from $6,498 per person
Skip the Crowds on our Galapagos Islands Cruise
The Galapagos Islands are a treasure meant to be experienced with a small group of true nature enthusiasts – not 100 “tourists.” Our small group size of just 32 aboard the Evolution ensures you enjoy ample time and attention as you explore. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and world-class service to discover the Galapagos. Each day during this Galapagos Islands tour, you “come home” to a comfortable, intimate expedition ship. The Evolution is the perfect haven for relaxing between daily hiking and snorkeling excursions, or for joining fellow travelers for a briefing by our knowledgeable naturalists.
Travel Partners: Explore More with International Expedition
IE’s in-depth Galapagos Islands tour offers more than a typical "tourist" overview – we expose you to the greatest variety of wildlife. Our Galapagos Islands cruise pass dormant volcanoes; lets you snorkel with sea lions; and even includes watching the giant tortoises graze. These are the moments of wonder you expect on this small-ship cruise.
The Highest Rated Galapagos Islands Travel Guides
Our highly qualified naturalist Galapagos Islands travel guides are authorities on the wildlife, history, geography and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. You’ll learn from an expedition leader and local naturalist who are passionate about the islands and licensed at the highest level — Level 3 — by Galapagos National Park.
Two Amazing Itineraries
• Darwins Enchanted Isles: February 2; February 16; March 30; May 11; May 25; July 6; October 12; October 26; November 9; December 21
• Remote Northern & Central Isles: January 12; March 9; April 20; June 15; July 27; August 10; November 30
A marine biologist and professional naturalist, Jack has spent much of the past two decades traveling on, and lecturing about, the world's oceans. Cofounder of Zegrahm Expeditions and research associate in the Section of Fishes at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Jack is a leading authority on the fishes and marine environments of the eastern tropical Pacific. For seven years he lived in the Galápagos, where he carried out extensive marine biological studies. In 1997, Stanford University Press published his comprehensive volume The Fishes of the Galápagos Islands, and he received his Ph.D. from Pacific Western University. A true adventurer and Fellow of The Explorers Club, Jack has led numerous expeditions to the remote corners of the world, participating in polar expeditions as a marine naturalist, photographer, and expedition leader, as well as working with noted scientists and explorers such as Jean-Michel Cousteau. Jack is an avid scuba diver, certified divemaster, and dedicated conservationist. In 2002 he was one of 57 scientists invited by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to participate in a conference in Hanoi to discuss a strategy for the preservation of marine biodiversity. When not traveling, he manages his own photography business in the Florida Keys.
Level 3-certified guide Alex Cox developed a strong interest in wildlife and the outdoors as a small boy on the island of San Cristóbal before studying at the Central University of Ecuador, where he honed his passion for Earth science. Alex has spent the past 20 years as a Galapagos naturalist guide in the islands. When not leading our Galapagos Islands tour, look for Alex swimming, hiking or spending time with his two children.
During our intimate Galapagos Islands cruise, you’ll find yourself just inches away from giant tortoises, comical blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, iguanas and many other animals, and you’ll gain an appreciation for how remarkable life on Earth can be. Voyage the famed waters of Galapagos amid the spectacular landscapes and distinct endemic wildlife that so intrigued Charles Darwin. From the spouting whales crossing the Bolivar Channel to the waved albatrosses nesting along the cliffs of Espanola, you'll experience the undeniable wonder of Darwin's Enchanted Isles.
Bring a valid passport that will not expire until at least six months after your departure date before you travel to Ecuador. Visas are not required for US or Canadian citizens.
No inoculations are required to enter Ecuador or to return to the US. The CDC recommends malaria pills and the yellow fever shot if you are visiting the Ecuadorian rainforest (not part of our Galapagos islands travel package); however, you should consult with your personal physician.
Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and each meal boasts international and traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, fresh fruit and sumptuous desserts.
Your air-conditioned cabin is the perfect haven between excursions, featuring private facilities and ample storage space. During every excursion, cabin stewards will service your spacious cabin.
Arrive Guayaquil - Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde. (Meals Aloft)
Guayaquil / Baltra / Daphne Major - Fly to Galapagos and board the Evolution. After a safety briefing, enjoy a circumnavigation of Daphne Major, a paradise for sea birds such as magnificent frigatebird. (B,L,D)
Isabela Island / Fernandina Island - Zodiacs take you on a dramatic ride into the heart of a sunken volcano at Punta Vicente Roca. Take to the water, where we swim and snorkel among sea turtles, penguins and possibly even sea horses. Explore the lava fields of Punta Espinosa, located on Fernandina, the youngest and most volcanically active island in the Galapagos. Here we spot flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. Whale watch from the Evolution’s open-air decks as we cross the Bolivar Channel. (B,L,D)
Isabela Island - Hike along the uplifted section of sea floor in Urvina Bay at the base of the Alcedo Volcano. Our naturalists point out the tortoises, colorful land iguanas and other wildlife that feed on the vegetation. Board our Zodiacs for an excursion to Tagus Cove, where we look for penguins, flightless cormorants, pelicans along the cliffs before a chance to snorkel and swim. (B,L,D)
Bartolomé / Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay Visit Bartolomé Island, hiking to the top of a dormant volcano for a dramatic panorama, including famed Pinnacle Rock. The island is dotted with craters, cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones and broken lava tunnels which run down from the summit. Our Zodiac drivers will take “non-hikers” for a ride around the cliffs, observing a stunning volcanic landscape and Galapagos penguins. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and maybe even speedy penguins. This afternoon, hike across the panoehoe lava of Sullivan Bay, seeing some of the hearty flora colonizing the landscapes. Stroll along the coralline beach spotting black and white oystercatchers. (B,L,D)Volcanic landscape on Bartolome
Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach / Rabida Island Walk along the white sands of Bachas Beach looking for Sally Lightfoot crabs, black necked stilts and whimbrels. Snorkel in the calm waters where sea turtles nest. Our afternoon is spent along the distinct red-sand beaches and cliffs of Rabida Island. While exploring this uninhabited island at the archipelago’s geologic center, watch for up to nine species of Darwin’s finches, doves, yellow warblers and mockingbirds. A small saltwater lagoon is home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and black-necked stilts. Snorkelers may take to the water with sea lions, sea turtles and reef fish such as damsels and pufferfish. During a guided kayaking excursion, watch for brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies while savoring views of the island’s sloping volcanic peak. (B,L,D)
Santa Cruz Island - Begin our day in the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in the wild. Stop at a family run farm before learning about the work being done to study and preserve wildlife at Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center at the Darwin Research Center. (B,L,D)
Española Island - As the southernmost island in the archipelago, Española’s relative isolation has resulted in not only an abundance of unusual wildlife, but species and subspecies that are endemic to the island, such as Española (Hood) mockingbird, Española (Hood) racer snake, Española (Hood) lava lizard, waved albatross and brightly colored marine iguanas. Enjoy a Zodiac ride before wading ashore to Punta Suarez through a sea lion colony. Walk along the cliffs looking for waved albatrosses, Galapagos hawks, Hood mockingbirds and the red-colored race of marine iguana en route to Española’s blowhole, where waves spout 90 feet into the air. After a relaxing lunch, swim, snorkel and kayak in the waters off Gardner Bay, or simply bring along your book or a camera and relax on the white sands. (B,L,D)
San Cristóbal Island / Guayaquil End your Galapagos Islands cruise by returning to San Cristóbal to visit the Interpretation Center, opened by the park in 1998. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel Oro Verde. (B,L Aloft)
Depart Guayaquil - Board independent flights home. (B, Meals Aloft)
For our Galapagos Islands cruise ship we have selected the M/V Evolution, accommodating just 32 guests. This intimate ship features a great deal of public space, including an observation deck and a canopied bar on the roof deck, perfect for enjoying a snack and drink on the canopied roof deck while whale watching or chatting with fellow passengers. Two-person kayaks also are available and a doctor is aboard on every voyage and even accompanies your small group off-ship.
Because there is an "open bridge" policy aboard the M/V Evolution, you are welcome to visit the captain and crew and learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day our naturalist guides will give talks and briefings on the day’s events and about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. They will help you understand the context of what you’ve seen and help prepare you for the next day’s activities. A convenient boarding platform makes it easy and safe to board our excursion boats.
Explore photos from our past journeys