• Greater Galápagos flamingos. Look for them in salty lagoons on the islands.

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  • Life on the islands moves at a different pace.

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  • Bartolomé Island's Pinnacle Rock (far right) is a breeding spot for penguins.

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  • Blue-footed booby. Fabulous feet (and proud of them).

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  • An outdoor café. Galápagos cactus feeds many birds and animals on the islands.

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Galápagos. 8, 9, or 10 Days of Tropical Phenomena.

Get to the Galápagos yesterday. Go back to a time of innocence, beauty, and wonder. Spend a day or so in charming colonial Quito (on the Ecuadorian mainland), then head for the islands—each one absolutely unique. You've not seen or experienced anything like them.

     Close your eyes and conjure up a lost paradise, an untouched place where animals rule and man is but an awkward biped. A place where sea lions claim sandy beaches as their playgrounds and where the shoulders of volcanoes shelter quiet coves teeming with marine life. Now open your eyes—and you’ve arrived in the Galápagos archipelago, where man is, well, beside the point. 


Ecuador

Type:Custom Journeys/Ocean Cruising

Mode:Water

Journeys

R. Crusoe offers journeys through the Galápagos and to Quito, on mainland Ecuador, that range from seven to 11 days. These include between four and eight days of cruising in the Galápagos archipelago. If you would like to piggyback two or more journeys to make a broader sweep of the islands, that is easily done. Please speak to a Crusoe travel specialist for details.

      R. Crusoe has chosen the best small expedition ships on these waters: the 40-passenger Isabela II, the 48-passenger La Pinta, and the 90-passenger Santa Cruz II. All use Zodiacs to get us to and from the islands, all carry with them a glass-bottom skiff, and all have snorkeling gear for use by passengers. Finally, all are manned by expert crew and by a group of naturalists who take us around these amazing islands, sharing their insights and knowledge as we go.

These journeys depart throughout the year. Speak to an R. Crusoe travel specialist for departure date details.

Northern Galápagos. 10 Days. Aboard the Isabela II.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on San Cristóbal Island,Genovesa Island, James Island, Fernandina Island, Isabela Island, Rábida Island, Santa Cruz Island, disembark on Baltra Island.
Overnights in Quito & aboard Isabela II.

Southern Galápagos. 8 Days. Aboard the Isabela II.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on Baltra Island, Santa Cruz Island, Floreana Island, Hood Island, San Cristóbal Island, disembark on San Cristóbal Island.Overnights in Quito & aboard Isabela II.

Central Galápagos. 8 Days. Aboard the Isabela II.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on Baltra Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Fe Island, South Plaza Island, North Seymour Island, Santa Cruz Island, Bartolomé Island, James Island, Baltra Island, disembark on Baltra Island. Overnights in Quito & aboard Isabela II.

Northern Galápagos. 8 Days. Aboard the Santa Cruz II.
• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on Baltra Island, Santa Cruz Island, James Island, Rábida Island, Bartolomé Island, Genovesa Island, San Cristóbal Island, disembark on San Cristóbal Island.
Overnights in Quito & aboard Santa Cruz II.

Western Galápagos. 9 Days. Aboard the Santa Cruz II.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on Baltra Island, North Seymour Island, Isabela Island, Fernandina Island, Santa Cruz Island, Floreana Island, disembark on Baltra Island.
Overnights in Quito & aboard Santa Cruz II.

Eastern Galápagos. 8 Days. Aboard the Santa Cruz II.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on San Cristóbal Island, Santa Fe Island, South Plaza Island, Santa Cruz Island, Hood Island, disembark on Baltra Island. Overnights in Quito & aboard Santa Cruz II.

Northern Galápagos. 8 Days. Aboard La Pinta.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on Baltra Island, Santa Cruz Island, Chinese Hat Islet, Bartolomé Island, James Island, Genovesa Island, disembark on Baltra Island. Overnights in Quito & aboard La Pinta.

Eastern Galápagos. 8 Days. Aboard La Pinta.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on Baltra Island, South Plaza Island, Santa Fe Island, San Cristóbal Island, Espanola Island, Santa Cruz Island, disembark on Baltra Island.
Overnights in Quito & aboard La Pinta.

Western Galápagos. 10 Days. Aboard La Pinta.

• Arrive in Quito for touring and overnight, fly to Galápagos, embark ship on Baltra Island, North Seymour Island, Isabela Island, Fernandina Island, Isabela Island, Rábida Island, Santa Cruz Island, Floreana Island,  disembark on Baltra Island.
Overnights in Quito & aboard La Pinta.

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Pricing

8-Day Journeys
Per person sharing cabin from $5,690.
Internal air per person (estimate) $550

9-Day Journeys
Per person sharing cabin from $6,650.
Internal air per person (estimate) $550

10-Day Journeys
Per person sharing cabin from $7,380.
Internal air per person (estimate) $550


For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son travel specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.

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Pre-Tour or Post-Tour Options

Before or after a visit to the Galápagos archipelago off Ecuador's mainland, we suggest you explore another bit of paradise found: the Mashpi Rain Forest Biodiversity Reserve, in Ecuador. We suggest a three-day extension.

Mashpi Rain Forest Extension. 3 Days.

Mashpi is known as one of the planet’s most biologically diverse ecosystems. The 2,600-acre private reserve includes both montane forest and rain forest.

     Begin with an interesting and informative drive from Quito, Ecuador. See the equator, a volcano crater, and an ancient settlement of the Yumbo tribe. Upon reaching the Mashpi Rain Forest, settle into a brand-new eco-lodge right in the reserve. The property is elegant, minimalist, thoroughly delightful.

     Then explore the reserve using Mashpi's aerial tram, which takes us to the level where the most exciting things happen in a rain forest: the upper canopy. Guided nature walks—day and night—are offered, too. Keep an eye out for hummingbirds, parrots, toucans—just three of the 500 or so avian species that live in the Mashpi forest. Also here: thousands of orchids and bromeliads. Blue morpho butterflies. Glass frogs. Monkeys, peccaries, even puma.

     Sample Pricing: Per person sharing room from $1,550 for this three-day sample extension

Hacienda Zuleta in the Ecuadorian Andes. 2 or 3 Days.

After your Galápagos cruise, once you return to the Ecuador mainland, we suggest you spend a few days exploring the countryside using charming Hacienda Zuleta as a base.

     Zuleta is a 4,000-acre working farm that has for more than a century belonged to the family of a former president of Ecuador. From here, explore the Ecuadorian Andes through a great variety of activities—horseback riding, mountain biking, riding in a horse-drawn carriages. Visit a condor rehabilitation program. The possibilities in and around Zuleta are boundless, the scenery stunning.

     Sample Pricing: Please speak to an R. Crusoe travel specialist for pricing.

 

Remember that R. Crusoe & Son can create a Mashpi pre-tour or post-tour itinerary of any length to meet your exact specifications.

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About Our Ships.

R. Crusoe & Son offers journeys around the Galápagos archipelago aboard three excellent small ships—yachts, really—that are perfect for these waters. The ships: the Isabela II, La Pinta, and the Santa Cruz.

Isabella II.

Think of the 40-passenger Isabela II as a floating luxury hotel, 166 feet long and 38 feet wide. Each of 21 cabins has either twin beds, a double bed, or a double bed and a twin bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom, a closet, a writing desk, an internal phone, and air conditioning. There is a dining room, a salon-bar, a Jacuzzi, a boutique, a sun deck, and a reading room-library on board. The dining area sits all 40 passengers at once. The Isabela II’s atmosphere is delightfully casual. A medical doctor is on board throughout the journey. In addition to the 24-member crew (that’s more than one crew member for every two passengers), three naturalists accompany us. They lead small groups to the islands, usually via pangas that take us right to the water’s edge. A glass-bottom boat also travels with us for underwater viewing. Snorkeling gear is provided for your use on board.

Santa Cruz II.

The new Santa Cruz II made her debut in October 2015. This gorgeous ship has five spacious decks with modern interiors designed with stylish simplicity. The Santa Cruz II sleeps 90 passengers in 50 cabins on three decks. Guests can choose from single, double, or triple cabins, or they can opt for one of three Darwin Suites, all of which are on the Panorama Deck. Suite occupants receive elevated service and some extras, such as a take-home Galápagos coffee table book and the loan of a tablet in each cabin.    

     All guests can relax in the ship’s inviting public spaces including two lounge bars, a well-stocked library, two indulgent ocean-view hot tubs and a state-of-the-art gym.
Ecuadorian and international cuisine is prepared under the direction of the ship’s Cordon Bleu-trained gastronomic director. There are indoor and outdoor dining options as weather permits.

     Seven knowledgeable guides plus an expedition leader accompany each sailing. Activities can be tailored to guests’ interests and range from daily land expeditions to a host of aquatic activities, including ocean kayaking, snorkeling with sea lions, and glass bottom boat expeditions.

La Pinta.

The 207-foot long, 39-foot wide La Pinta motor yacht accommodates 48 guests. Ample staterooms provide a high level of comfort. She is especially well suited for families. Her 24 cabins are located mid-ship, on the upper deck, with twin beds that can be converted to queen beds. Each has a private bathroom and air conditioning. Six cabins are connected, for the convenience of families traveling together. La Pinta also has four triple cabins of approximately 236 square feet.

     A Young Pirates onboard program allows children age seven to 12 years old to fully absorb all we see in the Galápagos—at their own pace. Young guests enjoy a different educational approach, with children-only activities, special meals, interpretative recreational material, and books. Our goal is that everyone can thoroughly enjoy this natural paradise, appreciate the conservation efforts, and fully participate in all planned activities.

     All meals are open seating, with no dress code. The presence at dinner of the captain or other officers adds to the social moment. They are happy to join you at your table. Coffee, tea, crackers and biscuits are available for guests at all times. 

     La Pinta has a crew of 24 and carries three naturalists who lead us through the Galápagos. A glass-bottom boat accompanies us, as do three pangas. Public decks include an ample bar-salon, dining room, natural history library, sky bar, and sundeck, Jacuzzi, and fitness room. A medical doctor travels with us throughout the cruise.

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Darwin's Finches.

It's pure poetry that a group of small, dull-colored, not-very-interesting birds living on a clutch of volcanic islands off the Ecuadorian coast should come to symbolize one of the most important theories of modern science. We refer, of course, to Darwin's finches.

     Charles Darwin never claimed to be an ornithologist. Yet we all know the term "Darwin's finches" and the important role they played in the evolution of, well, Evolution and his brilliant theory of Survival of the Fittest.

     Darwin's finches (also known as Galápagos finches) are a group of 15 species of birds of the subfamily Geospizinae. They were first collected by Darwin on the Galápagos Islands during the second voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle (1831-1836). All are found only on the Galápagos Islands, except one, which is native to nearby Cocos Island.

     The most important differences between species? The size and shape of their beaks, which are highly adapted to different food sources. 

     After his voyage, Darwin passed the finch specimens to John Gould, a renowned English ornithologist, for identification. Gould reported that these birds were in fact "a series of ground Finches which are so peculiar [as to form] an entirely new group, containing 12 species."

     Darwin, intrigued, went back to look further at the specimens, noting the place that each was collected, and he discovered that each came from a different island in the archipelago. This fact ultimately supported his theory of the transmutation of species. Cactus finches, for example, have longer, more pointed beaks than their relatives, ground finches. Beaks of warbler finches are thinner and more pointed than both. These adaptations make them more able to survive on locally available food.

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