"This trip was unbelievable! We will never forget the feeling of being so close to nature, with a naturalist that fed us information constantly about the history of Galapagos and the plant, marine and wildlife there. Being on a yacht with such a small group made it so much more wonderful -- and to top it off, the food and all of the staff on the yacht gave the trip a five star feel. We came home with the most incredible memories and photos of wildlife that we will treasure forever." Sonya W.
If you want to explore the Galapagos in a small, luxurious ship, the 16-passenger Integrity is an excellent choice. The guides and service personnel are superb and there is never a crowd when you go on excursions ashore, or while kayaking or snorkeling.
If you want an active Galapagos adventure, the Integrity is a good choice - you can walk, swim, snorkel and kayak almost every day. There's plenty of time to relax too. It's up to you how you spend your time during this Galapagos Island cruise.
If you want to experience the wildlife and natural history that are the main attractions of the Galapagos Islands, the naturalist guides on the Integrity will provide an in depth, nuanced introduction. There are no better trained or friendlier guides in the archipelago.
This is the perfect multi-generational trip! Bring the whole family!
Our expedition begins on Thursdays in Quito, Ecuador, then continues on to Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos where you have a day and a half ashore to visit the Charles Darwin Research Center and the Santa Cruz highlands. You board the Integrity on Saturday in time for dinner, then spend the next six days sailing, swimming, hiking, kayaking, and relaxing on deck enjoying tropical breezes. The following Saturday you disembark and fly back to Quito for a final overnight before catching flights home on Sunday.
It's a wonderful, well paced experience and we highly recommend it if the Galapagos are on your wish list. Browse our Galapagos Islands cruise reviews to read more about this trip on the Integrity.
Fly from your home city to Quito, Ecuador. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the Hilton Colón Quito hotel with check-in to your Club Floor accommodations.
Transfer to the airport for an early morning flight to Baltra, Galápagos. We transfer to the Island of Santa Cruz where we travel with our naturalist in a spacious air conditioned vehicle up into the highland rainforest. We'll have lunch then explore the Santa Cruz highlands to view endemic Galápagos plant species and visit lava tubes and sinkholes. We'll hike through tall grasses among the grazing tortoises.
Depending on the season, we will be staying in the highlands or along the coast.
Santa Cruz Hotel, BLD
(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
We head down to the village of Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where we learn about conservation issues and the tortoise and iguana hatching and rearing programs. We'll even get to view some of the hatchlings. After an exploration of the village of Puerto Ayora, we lunch at a waterside restaurant overlooking Academy Bay. We board the luxurious 141 foot yacht Integrity mid- to late afternoon in Academy Bay.
We live aboard the spacious Integrity for a week, spending as much time ashore as the Park rules permit. With our licensed Class III naturalist, we learn about the birds and animals, geology, marine life and oceanic systems of the Galapagos Islands. We swim and snorkel with tropical fish, sea lions and sometimes with penguins!
From our anchorage in the Baltra harbor, we say "adios" to the Integrity and its dedicated crew, and adjourn to the Baltra airport to await our mid-morning flight to the Ecuador mainland and Quito. On arrival, we transfer to the Hilton Colón Quito hotel for an overnight. You will have time to shop before dinner. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Hilton Colon Quito, B
Transfer to the airport with check-in to your homeward bound flight unless you are remaining for more adventures.
We hike, swim, snorkel, and meander among birds and animals that have no fear of us - that return our curiosity as we enter their world.
Nature walks - most days you will go ashore one or more times with the naturalist to walk among the birds and sea mammals which have no fear of humans. The walks are generally very easy and you don’t need any special gear.
Snorkeling – the marine environment is as interesting as the islands and snorkeling is one of the best ways to experience it. The water is usually very clear and filled with tropical fish. The ship has equipment for you and the guides will escort you to the best spots.
Kayaking – the ship carries sit-on-top kayaks for excursions and you will have the opportunity to explore the coast line where curious sea lions often come up to take a look at you.
Birding - the birds are fearless, literally, and we can walk in close proximity of nesting birds, taking care not to disturb them. The naturalist is well versed in all the resident species and visitors.
SCUBA diving - the ship is not equipped for diving and it is not one of the activities on this cruise. We can make arrangements for you to arrive early and stay on Santa Cruz Island where there are dive operators. We can recommend one, but you must book directly.
A trip exclusive: by starting in Galapagos with a stay at the Royal Palm Resort and visits to the Darwin Research Station and the Santa Cruz Highlands, we have an entire extra day to spend in the outer islands. That's why we can offer both Hood (Espanola) and Tower (Genovesa ) in a one-week, small yacht cruise.
All cabins are located on the main deck and feature lower twin or king beds.
The Integrity is a 141-ft. luxury yacht customized to carry 16 adventurers in luxury. It’s very comfortable due to the large stabilizers and all systems, including engines, transmissions, electronics, water filtration and sterilization are new, as are the interior decoration and furnishings.
There are double cabins, an owner’s suite and one single cabin. Each cabin has large picture windows, individual climate control, satellite telephone, a stocked refrigerator, and an entertainment center with CD/DVD, VHS, and LCD monitor. Bathroom facilities are en suite with a shower, lavatory and toilet. In the second deck salon, you’ll find the bar and lounge seating.
Meals are served at tables of 4 to 6, not far from a galley designed for the Integrity's gourmet chefs. On the covered top deck, you'll find a spa, a bar, barbecue and comfortable chaise lounges where you can relax, enjoy a beverage or nap in the gentle breezes.
Standard cabins (#3-8)
Standard w/queen bed (#9)
Suite (Cabin #1)
Departures throughout the year every Thursday, return ten days later on Sunday.
No departures in September.
Orvis Travel Special Offer:
Take $1,000 off of October 1-December 10 Non-Holiday Departures
(listed below in red)
|From $7,095||for 11-day Origin of Species itinerary|
|Rates are per person, double occupancy.|
|Single supplement||$1,800 for the cruise; or $485 (2016) for hotels|
|Owner's suite surcharge||$1,200 per person|
|Surcharges for holiday departures|
|$400 per person||for 11-day Origin of Species itinerary|
|2016 Departure Dates|
|Dec 31 - Jan 10 w||Jul 7 - Jul 17 e|
|Jan 7 - Jan 17e||Jul 14 - Jul 24 w|
|Jan 14 - Jan 24 w||Jul 21 - Jul 31 e|
|Jan 21 – Jan 31 e||Jul 28- Aug 7 w|
|Feb 4 - Feb 14 e||Aug 4 – Aug 14 e|
|Feb 11 - Feb 21 w||Aug 11 - Aug 21 w|
|Feb 18 – Feb 28 e||Aug 18- Aug 28 e|
|Feb 25 - Mar 6 w||Feb 25 - Mar 6 w|
|Mar 3 - Mar 13 e||Sep 29 - Oct 9 e|
|Mar 10 - Mar 20 w||Oct 6 – Oct 16 w|
|Mar 17 - Mar 27 e||Oct 13 – Oct 23 e|
|Mar 24 - Apr 3 w||Oct 20 - Oct 30 w|
|Mar 31 - Apr 10 e||Oct 27 - Nov 6 e|
|Apr 7 - Apr 17 w||Nov 3 - Nov 13 w|
|Apr 14 - Apr 24 e||Nov 10 - Nov 20 e|
|Apr 21 - May 1 w||Nov 17 - Nov 27 w|
|Apr 28 - May 8 e||Nov 24 - Dec 4 e|
|May 5 - May 15 w||Dec 1 - Dec 11 w|
|May 12 - May 22 e||Dec 8 - Dec 18 e|
|May 19 - May 29 w||Dec 15 - Dec 25 w|
|May 26 - Jun 5 e||Dec 22 – Jan 1 e ($7,995)|
|Jun 2 - Jun 12 w||Dec 29 - Jan 8 w ($7,995)|
|Jun 16 - Jun 26 e|
Santa Cruz Hotels
Santa Cruz Island accommodations are at Galapagos Safari Camp, Finch Bay Eco Hotel or Royal Palm Hotel. Please inquire which hotel has been confirmed for a specific trip date.
Orvis Travel Special Offer:
Take $1,000 off of October 1 – December 10, 2015 departures! Excludes Holiday departures.