Discover Galapagos - A travel guide to Galapagos cruises, tours, boats and yacht charters

Galapagos Islands tours - fun for the whole family!

A travel guide to Galapagos tours, boats, cruises & yacht charters

Group & Incentive Tours

Meredith College,
Raleigh, North Carolina
July 14-20, 2006

Meredith College, Raleigh, North Carolina

Welcome to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands!
Meredith College escorts are Larry Grimes, biology and health sciences, and Blue Greenberg, art history.
President Maureen Hartford and Jay Hartford will also be traveling with us.

Galapagos cruise aboard the Galapagos Explorer II
The Galapagos Explorer II

The M/V Galapagos Explorer II is a 293.14 feet ocean-going cruise ship.

Navigating the Galapagos Islands at a speed of 17 knots, the Explorer II enables you to see more of Galapagos in less time. It has capacity for 105 passengers, but due to the National Park regulations, it only carries 100 passengers. Six naturalist guides aboard lead daily shore excursions and offer nightly briefings to prepare you for the islands to be visited the next day. 

Classic Suite
Classic Suite
Premium Suite
Premium Suite
Deluxe Suite
Deluxe Suite

The ship provides all the facilities and services to make the cruises enjoyable and comfortable. Features aboard include swimming pool, jacuzzi, solarium, spacious dining room, an electronic elevator, large conference room, lounge, three bar areas with music, Boutique and reading room. The ship has 53 air conditioned outside Suites, each one with private bathroom and a small sitting area.

The Naturalist Room
This room is designed for the wide-eyed ecotourist who is seriously interested in being part of the long-term research programs developed by the various research organizations. Here you can help and work together with our guides monitoring physical and biological process of the islands. Here you will also find a "Research Logbook", where you and the naturalist guides register uncommon sights. In addition, marine and land charts of the islands and mainland are available, as well as satellite images.

In addition to the daily briefings, conferences on natural history and culture lectured by our guides are also offered. Please check schedules and themes on the information board in the main lobby.

Star gazing
Since Galapagos offers cloudless skies mostly of the year, astronomy is a must. Our crew offers nightly interpretation lectures on the top deck with visual aids to enhance the sightings.

Bridge and Engine Room Visits
The Galapagos Explorer II represents a state-of-the-art display of the latest marine technology meriting a visit to the neural areas of the ship, the bridge (located on the Marco Polo Deck) and the Engine Room. Please sign up at the front desk for the assigned schedule. Only guided visits permitted

Special food
In case you require vegetarian or a special meal, please report this information to the purser.

The Marine Reserve offers a spectacular world worthwhile to explore. We offer this activity nearly every day. Snorkeling requires a certain degree of preparation that will be provided by your guide, but should be not attempted by people without swimming abilities. Snorkeling gear is available on board.

Your Itinerary:


July 14 (Friday Night)
Upon your arrival in Guayaquil, Ecuador, our guides will meet you at the airport and escort you to our comfortable bus for a guided tour from the airport to the 5 star Oro Verde Hotel. The Oro Verde is one of the most luxurious hotels in Guayaquil.

July 15 (Saturday)
After breakfast, our guides will pick you up from the Oro Verde and escort you to the Guayaquil airport for your early morning flight to Galapagos...

Hotel Oro Verde, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Oro Verde

Galapagos Islands

July 15 (Saturday)
A.M: Arrival at Baltra Airport, Galapagos
You will be met upon your arrival in Galapagos by your guides who will escort you to the ship for lunch.

P.M: Santa Cruz Island - Cerro Dragon
After a delicious lunch and brief siesta, we will disembark the ship for your first excursion ashore
: a short walk in search of dragons (land iguanas) and time to relax on the beach. Optional snorkeling and dinghy ride through the mangroves...


Map of Galapagos
July 16 (Sunday)
AM: Bartholomew
Island Visit
On Bartolome, it seems like we are walking on the moon. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up a steep slope to the summit of a once active volcano. Pause along the way to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top, gaze out across a panoramic view including the famous "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone. Down below, crystal clear water invites you to snorkel with schools of tropical fish. Penguins often swim in this area. On the other side of the Island encounter sea turtles and white-tipped sharks.


Galapagos Penguins
Galapagos Penguins
PM: Puerto Egas Visit,  Santiago Island
This is a wonderful location for looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter fur seals that were once on the verge of extinction.


Galapagos Fur Seals
Fur Seals

July 17 (Monday)
AM: Punta Espinoza,
Fernandina Island
Located in the western part of the archipelago, Fernandina is the youngest and most pristine island found in Galapagos. Hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory. Flightless Cormorants build their nest on the point and Galapagos Hawk fly overhead. Evidence of recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast.
Flightless Cormorant
Flightless Cormorant
PM: Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island
In the afternoon we will disembark into the dinghies for an excursion along the cliffs where we will see blue and masked (or Nazca) boobies. We will enter a huge lava tube where sea lions bask and play.


Volcan Ecuador
Near Punta Vicente Roca

July 18 (Tuesday)
AM: North Seymour
This is one of the few uplifted islands in Galápagos. In previous times, this was the ocean’s bed. Today’s afternoon walk includes a dry landing for a view of the coast and the interior of the island, while exploring colonies of blue-footed boobies, Magnificent frigate birds, and swallow-tail gulls. The sandy shore teems with Galápagos sea lions and marine iguanas.


Blue-footed Booby Feet
Blue-footed Boobies Feet
PM: Highlands, Lava Tunnels
and Wild Giant Tortoises, Santa Cruz Island 
In the afternoon drive up to the lush highlands, including the Scalesia (an endemic giant daisy tree) forest and the twin pit craters Los Gemelos. The trip to the highlands includes the islands’ most-famous reptile: the giant tortoises in their wild habitat.  What a privilege to see an endangered species roving in this lush environment. 

Galapagos Giant Tortoise
Giant Galapagos Tortoise, Santa Cruz Highlands


Lave Tubes in Galapagos
Lava Tube

The vermilion flycatcher will delight all participants with its scarlet feathers against an emerald green forest.  Look for the Darwin’s finches of the highlands (most of them from the tree-finch group), particularly the famous Woodpecker Finch.

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island, Galapagos
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island


July 19 (Wednesday)
AM: Lobería, San Cristobal
The "Loberia" is a sea lion colony only 10 minutes by bus from the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. See bull sea lions and females with pups.
PM: Airport & Return flight to Guayaquil
Your guides will escort you back to the San Cristobal Airport for your afternoon flight to Guayaquil. Upon your arrival in Guayaquil, you will be met at the airport and escorted back to the Hotel Oro Verde.

July 20 (Thursday)
AM: Guayaquil Airport
We will pick you up at the hotel and escort you back to the airport for your flight home or on to Peru!

Learn more about the Galapagos Islands by taking the full Galapagos Guided Tour.. 
Check out the links on this page for even more information about Galapagos...

Optional Post Galapagos Extension:
Cusco & Machu Pichu

July 20 (Thursday)
Arrive Lima. Transfer airport / hotel
Overnight at Htl Sonesta Posada El Olivar Lima 5*

July 21 (Friday)
Transfer hotel / airport (B)
Arrive Cusco. Transfer airport / hotel
Pm: City + nearby ruins
In the afternoon, we tour this ancient and magnificent city that is a blend of Spanish and Incan cultures visiting Sacsayhuaman fortress with granite zig- zag walls of precise stonework, mysterious carved rock of Kenko shrine and the Tambomachay Inca Baths. Lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight at Htl Libertador Cusco 5*

July 22 Fd Machu Picchu (B, L)
Transfer to the train station for the Vistadome train to the fabulous mountain top ruins of Machu Pichu. Lunch is included. Late afternoon return by train to Cusco and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at Htl Libertador Cusco 5*

July 23 Fd Pisac market / Ollantaytambo (B, L)
In the morning you will visit Pisac, famous for its Mass and market. The Mass is attended by the "mayors" of the neighboring villages, complete in their traditional costumes and carrying the traditional "varayoc" or staff of authority. The market is very colorful with a variety of foods and handicrafts. (The market is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Mass is held only on Sundays.) In the afternoon you will tour a remarkable fortress, Ollantaytambo, built by the Incas. There are many enormous pink stones, weighing as much as 50 tons, that were brought from the river valley and used as building blocks. Overnight at Htl Libertador Cusco 5*

July 24 Transfer hotel / airport (B)
Arrive Lima. Transfer airport / hotel
Overnight at Htl Sonesta Posada El Olivar Lima 5*

July 25 Transfer hotel / airport (B)

B: breakfast L: lunch


Galapagos Islands Boats, Cruises and Yacht Charters


Galapagos Cruises and Tours
SCUBA Diving Cruises



Frequently Asked Questions
Galapagos Map
A Brief Introduction
What to Bring
Travel Insurance

Hotels in Quito & Guayaquil


The Galapagos Archipelago
Baltra (Arrival)
Santa Cruz - Caleta Tortuga Negra
San Salvador - Sullivan Bay
San Salvador - James Bay
Fernandina - Punta Espinoza
Isabela - Tagus Cove
Isabela - Urvina Bay
Isabela - Elizabeth Bay
Santa Cruz - CDRS and Highlands
Hood Island - Punta Saurez
Hood Island - Gardner Bay
Santa Fe
Baltra (Departure)


Family Travel Planner
Adventures of Little Miss Chievous
Evan's Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia 2000
Evan's Ecuador 1998

Follow this link to Evan's Ecuador...
Evan with Galapagos Tortoise




Hotels, Haciendas, & Jungle Lodges

Photo Journal

Follow the iguana to Hood Island...
Marine Iguana


 Discover Galapagos
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