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East & West Galapagos Expedition Cruise

Available every month throughout the year*

15 Days / 14 Nights

Combining Aqua's east and west itineraries into a full 14-night expedition of the Galapagos Archipelago offers for the most in-depth discovery of the archipelago's hidden treasures. Expect to see land iguanas up close, as well as iconic sights like the penguin-dotted Pinnacle Rock and centuries-old pirate hideouts.

Itinerary in a Nutshell

9

Ports

1

Country

Aqua Mare

Expedition Cruise

Routes
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Ecuador:

Image by Mac Gaither

Day 01  |  Puerto Ayora - Fausto Llerena Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)

Aqua Expeditions staff will meet you at the airport and bring you to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island via van and ferry in about 1.5 hours. On the way, have lunch at a Giant Tortoise Reserve, then see Santa Cruz's hills. Get a warm welcome on Aqua Mare, the first 50-meter luxury superyacht in the Galapagos Islands. Our 16-person crew will treat you with the utmost care because we have one crew member for every guest. As a welcome gift, you will also get an Aqua Expeditions water bottle and a waterproof bag to put your things in during wet landings. In the evening, you'll have free time to explore Puerto Ayora. We recommend strolling around the main waterfront to visit boutiques and jewelry shops before returning to the ship for an evening lecture and inspiration for the next day, then enjoying your first taste of fresh seafood in the Galapagos Islands.

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Day 02  |  Punta Cormorant - Bahía Post Office - Mirador De La Baronesa (Floreana Island)

For your second Galapagos morning, you will be anchored at Floreana Island. The morning wet landing tour takes you to Punta Cormorant to see larger flamingos, ducks, black-necked stilts, and other coastal birds. You can see where sea turtles nest at night and potentially spot stingrays and sharks. Enjoy a meal of authentic Ecuadorian dishes with an Andean touch before travelling back to Floreana to honor an island custom at Baha Post Office. Another quick tour of a 1920s fishing enterprise will follow the visit to Mirador de la Baronesa. After returning to Aqua Mare, enjoy a Japanese-Peruvian fusion feast with tuna tartare and quinoa yakimeshi. Stay out on the upper deck with a cocktail to see the northern and southern hemispheres tonight.

Image by Fermin Rodriguez Penelas

Day 03  |  Punta Moreno - Bahía Urbina (Isabela Island)

Aqua Mare anchored on Isabela Island after a night of sailing. Isabela, the largest and youngest island in the Archipelago, is home to giant tortoises and marine iguanas. In the morning, we hike to Punta Moreno to see mangroves and gas-rich basaltic lava rocks from Isabela's Cerro Azul volcano. You'll take a dinghy trip through mangrove lagoons to see marine iguanas, cormorants, and penguins. In the afternoon, the Aqua Mare will sail north to Baha Urbina, a 6km2 point originally underwater and raised 3m in 1954. Here you can see land iguanas, sea iguanas, and tortoises. We'll have macambo rice, fish maito, and candied pear under the skies while viewing Isabela's five volcanoes.

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Day 04  |  Punta Espinoza - Fernandina Island - Caleta Tagus (Isabela Island)

Start the day with a workout on the sun deck at Punta Espinoza, part of a lava flow from the La Cumbre volcano, one of the world's most active. The region is known for its marine iguanas, cormorants, and lizards. Galapagos penguins, hawks, and snakes are possible. You can snorkel in the morning before returning to the yacht for lunch. Aqua Mare crosses the Bolivar Channel returning to Isabela Island for an afternoon trip to Caleta Tagus, a favorite pirate and whaler anchorage. Darwin Lake is a saltwater lake inside a tuff cone. If you'd prefer not to climb, you can use double kayaks, snorkel, SUP, or beautiful black tenders to explore the cove and its environs. After sundowners, head to the bridge to chat with the skipper as we cross the equator twice.

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Day 05  |  Puerto Egas - Playa Espumilla - Caleta Bucanero (Santiago Island)

This morning, you will take a tender to Caleta Bucanero, a 17th-century pirate rest point where they stocked up on tortoise flesh and water. If ocean conditions are adverse, visit Playa Espumilla, a sea turtle breeding area. We return to the yacht for lunch, which includes specialties like linguine ai frutti di mare. Next, disembark at Puerto Egas, northwest of Santiago Island. You can hike to fur seal grottos or snorkel to see sea turtles, sea lions, and white-tipped sharks. As the team prepares for our next excursion, enjoy Happy Hour onboard with an Aqua Bloody Mare.

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Day 06  |  Rábida Island - Caleta Tortuga Negra (Santa Cruz Island)

Wake up to the sounds of nature and a fresh breakfast before taking a tender to Rábida Island, also called the red island. The color comes from lava that is very old and porous. You can hike, use one of our double kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, or snorkel, and you can also watch the sea lions that have made the beach their home. After a tasty lunch, you can go to the panoramic lounge to hear one of our knowledgeable guides give a talk. The Aqua Mare will sail to Caleta Tortuga Negra, a mangrove estuary where sea turtles live, to the north of Santa Cruz Island. This excursion is a tender ride because there is no place to land, but you can see green sea turtles, blacktip sharks, and Galapagos sharks. Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will show you more of our signature dishes as the day comes to a close.

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Day 07  |  Seymour Norte Island - Mosquera Island

Your day in the Archipelago starts with a refreshing breakfast, and then you head out to Seymour Norte Island, which was made when underwater volcanoes erupted about 3.1 million years ago. The island is mostly known for its healthy populations of land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and great frigate birds. After a morning full of fun things to do, you'll head back to Aqua Mare for a delicious lunch. Hop on one of our tenders for a wet landing on Mosquera Island during the afternoon trip. Even though Mosquera Island is one of the smallest in the archipelago, it is one of the best places to see sea lions. At sunset, you'll go back to the sleek and comfortable Aqua Mare for your last night on board. Talk to your friends on board about all the amazing things you've seen and done on this trip, and raise a glass of something special from our carefully chosen wine list as a farewell.

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Day 08  |  Daphne Island - Bahia Borrero (Santa Cruz Island)

Today starts with a fancy breakfast served as the sun comes up. As we go around Daphne Island, enjoy the views from Aqua Mare. Then, we'll go to Baltra Island to pick up people who will be staying with you for the next seven nights. At Baltra, you can relax on the beach or go scuba diving. In the afternoon, you will go on your first trip to Bahia Borrero, a beautiful white beach in the northern part of Santa Cruz. In the plants along the coast, you might see Darwin's finches, Cactus finches, and Small Ground finches. If you like to snorkel, the beach is one of the main places where sea turtles lay their eggs, so you are sure to see one or two! Head back to the ship for the night to enjoy a delicious dinner planned by Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, an Aqua Expeditions consultant chef who is known around the world.

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Day 09  |  El Barranco - Bahía Darwin (Genovesa Island)

This morning, you will wake up on the other side of the equator, you'll hike and dive in Bahia Darwin's coralline beach. After lunch, ride a tender around Genovesa Island's volcanic El Barranco. Fur seals rest in rock crevices. We'll travel 1.5 km inland to see red-footed boobies, huge frigatebirds, and Galapagos storm petrels. After supper, enjoy a private movie at the lower deck Beach Club. We recommend watching the Planet Earth Galapagos documentary, Master and Commander, or the starlit skies from the sun deck.

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Day 10  |  Bahía Sullivan (Santiago Island) - Sombrero Chino Island

Start the day off right with a workout or guided meditation on our sun deck, then refuel with a delicious breakfast. Our first trip of the day will be to Santiago Island, where we will land on dry land at Baha Sullivan to see new lava flows from Pahoehoe. After lunch and a naturalist discussion on the Aqua Mare, we visit Sombrero Chino Island, named for its little crater. From above, you may view sea lions and penguins in the island's beautiful seas. Snorkeling, SUP, and kayaking are available. After you're hungry, return to the yacht for sundowners and macambo rice and fish maito.

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Day 11  |  Bartolomé Island - Cerro Dragón (Santa Cruz Island)

When you anchor early in the morning at Bartolomé Island, you can take a gentle hike up to the top of a spatter cone to get a great view of the island's famous Pinnacle Rock. After that, you can cool off with a snorkeling trip where you might see sea turtles and Galapagos penguins. Then, head back to the yacht for lunch as we sail toward Santa Cruz Island. Our afternoon trip takes us to Cerro Dragón, also called Dragon Hill. It got its name because in 1975, it was one of the only places on Santa Cruz Island where scientists could still find a healthy population of land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus). Back on the boat, talk about your amazing trip while eating seafood specialties like pan-seared scallops and grilled squid that show off the best of the area's tastes.

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Day 12  |  Zanillo Giant Tortoise Reserve - Fausto Llerena Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)

This morning, you will visit a Giant Tortoise Reserve to get a close look at these wild Galapagos Islands animals in their natural environment. You can also see Darwin's finches, yellow warblers, flycatchers, cattle egrets, and, if you're lucky, Galapagos Rails in this area. After lunch, you'll visit Darwin Station and National Park headquarters to see tortoises in captivity at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center. Before returning to the cruise, enjoy Puerto Ayora. Refreshing superfruit juices await at our Beach Club, located at water level near the ship's aft. Divers can choose a full day of diving over day trips.

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Day 13  |  Punta Suárez - Bahía Gardner - Islote Osborn (Española Island)

Wake up early for a guided meditation on our upper deck before getting off the ship at Punta Suárez for our excursion this morning. This visitor site is one of the most interesting places to land in the Galapagos Islands because it has a lot of animals that are only found there, like the Espaola mockingbird, the lava lizard, the marine iguana, and the waved albatross, which is only found there. In the afternoon, we'll take a tender to gorgeous islets where you may snorkel with sea lions and reef fish. Baha Gardner, a coralline sand beach, has one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos. Back on the yacht, enjoy Happy Hour with a glass of our Aqua Bloody Mare as the crew prepares for our next anchorage.

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Day 14  |  Santa Fé Island - Plaza Sur Island

After a night at sea, you'll visit Santa Fé Island the next day. It is one of the oldest Galapagos Islands (approximately 3.6 million years old), and its vegetation includes palo santo trees, a pear cactus named Opuntia echios barringtonensis, and many local shrubs. We'll see land iguanas, lava lizards, mockingbirds, and Darwin's finches. We'll spend our last full day in the Galapagos Islands snorkeling, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding. While you eat lunch onboard, the boat will travel to Plaza Sur Island off Santa Cruz. In the afternoon, you disembark at this little, diverse islet for a two-hour hiking adventure with your guide. After your last review briefing, salute your newfound friends under the Archipelago's starlit skies.

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Day 15  |  Los Gemelos (Santa Cruz Island)

After a delicious breakfast, you say goodbye to the Aqua Mare team. Before departing paradise, drive up Santa Cruz Island's highlands to the twin craters of Los Gemelos. It's a beautiful, verdant spot. As you are taken to Baltra Island to catch a flight back to the mainland and continue your trip home, you will think back on your last adventure.

The Fleet

For more routes and detailed journey programs, please contact TRUVI team.

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