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Galapagos Travel

Grace Western Northern

Following in Darwin's Footprints

from $5,450
8 days

Ship Name

M/Y Grace

Trip Type

Sea

When To Go

Year Round

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Trip Summary

Follow in the footsteps of Darwin and the bucaneers and pioneers who made their way to the Enchanted Isles. This Western and Northern route covers some of the most legendary islands in the Galapagos and a wide and engrossing variety of species - both fauna and flora. This traditionally styled heritage yacht once owned by the Royal Family of Monaco features a lower guest to naturalist guide ratio for an enhanced educational experience with one of the longest operating Galapagos cruise companies.

Activities
Snorkeling
Birding
Hiking
Zodiac Tours
Kayaking

Itinerary Day By Day

Day 1

Daphne Islet

This morning fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos. Flight time is approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival board the M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route.

We will circumnavigate Daphne Major Islet which is home to a variety of birds including Galapagos martins, blue footed boobies, nazca boobies, short eared owls, red billed tropic birds amongst others.

Day 2

Santa Fe & South Plaza Islands

Morning visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkeling - with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and get a glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus.

In the afternoon we visit South Plaza Island and its land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed. We will see swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds, frigatebirds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays.

Day 3

Genovesa (Tower) Island

Tower Island could serve as a film set for a secret submarine base! The southwestern part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the outer edges of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galapagos archipelago. It is also known as “Bird Island,” a name it lives up to in a spectacular way!

Day 4

Fernandina & Isabela Islands

In the morning we visit Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently (most recently in May 2005). We visit Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land, where a number of unique species, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, herons, egrets and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity.

Afternoon visit to Urbina Bay, directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). We walk on a stretch of three miles (5 km) of the marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkeling amongst marine creatures, or just relaxing on shore

Day 5

Isabela Island

Morning visit to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone, and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes.

In the afternoon we head north to Punta Vicente Roca. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. We will have a chance to see colorful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water. This is also a great spot to take an interesting panga ride to spot wildlife along the shores and cliffs.

Day 6

Santiago Island

The short walk up the beach leads inland to a mangrove typically inhabited by the Common stilts. Beyond the mangroves is a brackish lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos and white cheeked pintails wade in search of mollusks. The trail makes a passes over a tiny hilltop through a sparse Palo Santo forest before looping back to beach. Galapagos finches and Vermilion fly catchers inhabit the area. The tuff formations that form the cliffs that surround the cove have created a natural sculptor gallery rising from the sea with formations including the Monk and Elephant Rock.

Afternoon visit to James Bay, where we land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes, which are home to sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas and tropical fish. Snorkeling in the late afternoon to at one of the best sites on the islands to see Green Sea Turtles and Galapagos Penguins swimming.

Day 7

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. Here we used to find Lonesome George (now deceased), the last of his particular race of tortoise.

Afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild.

Day 8

San Cristobal Island

Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Grace we visit the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre that presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna. From the Centre, a short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both “magnificent-frigates” and “great-frigates” can be seen in the same colony. Next we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland

Dates & Rates

Please click on a column header to view cabin photos and descriptions.

Departure DateDeluxe StateroomsPremium StateroomSuitesMaster Suite
 Mar 4 - Mar 116390 6750 7150 7650
 Mar 18 - Mar 256390 6750 7150 7650
 Apr 1 - Apr 86390 6750 7150 7650
 Apr 15 - Apr 226390 6750 7150 7650
 Apr 29 - May 66390 6750 7150 7650
 May 13 - May 206390 6750 7150 7650
 May 27 - Jun 36390 6750 7150 7650
 Jun 10 - Jun 176390 6750 7150 7650
 Jun 24 - Jul 16390 6750 7150 7650
 Jul 8 - Jul 156390 6750 7150 7650
 Jul 22 - Jul 296390 6750 7150 7650
 Aug 5 - Aug 126390 6750 7150 7650
 Aug 19 - Aug 266390 6750 7150 7650
 Sep 2 - Sep 96390 6750 7150 7650
 Sep 16 - Sep 236390 6750 7150 7650
 Sep 30 - Oct 76390 6750 7150 7650
 Oct 14 - Oct 215450 5750 6100 6500
 Oct 28 - Nov 45450 5750 6100 6500
 Nov 11 - Nov 175450 5750 6100 6500
 Nov 25 - Dec 15450 5750 6100 6500
 Dec 9 - Dec 166390 6750 7150 7650
 Dec 23 - Dec 306390 6750 7150 7650
 Jan 6 - Jan 136390 6750 7150 7650

View Rate Notes

The above rates are per person, based on double occupancy and in US dollars unless indicated otherwise.

Deposit: 25% of fare per person, higher for Peak Season / Holiday Sailings. Deposits may be paid by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express).

Final Payment: Due 90 days prior to departure.  For Peak Season / Holiday Sailings due 120 days prior to departure.  Final payment is payable by check or wire only.

Additional Costs:

  • Single: Twin staterooms booked as a single incur a 50% supplement, suites a 75% supplement.
  • Triples available, inquire for rate.
  • Christmas &  New Year's surcharges: $500 per person / 100% Single Supplement
  • Child Discount: Children under 15 are 15% off when sharing with 2 full paying adults, maximum of 3 child discounts per family, Fall, Christmas & New Year departures are excluded
  • Galapagos National Park Fee of $100 per adult | $50 per child 11 and under
  • Transit Control Card: $20 per person
  • Airfare to the Galapagos: $530 - $550 per adult / Child rate available.
  • Pre and Post Hotels and Transfers: Package rates available

Child Policy: Children accepted, infants on request. Children under 15 sharing a cabin with their parents or guardians are 15% off with two full fare-paying guests, limit 3 child discounts per family.  Fall, Christmas & New Years departures are excluded from child discounts.

Dry Dock: Vessel is in dry dock from August 19 - October 13, 2017

Included: Accommodations on board, all meals, all non-alcoholic beverages, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish, snorkeling gear including wet suits, luggage handling and shuttle transfers within the islands

Not Included: Air to the galapagos, Galapagos National Park Fee ($100 adult / $50 child), Transit Control Card $20, alchoholic beverages, internet / wifi, international air, hotels in Quito or Guayaquil pre and post cruise, transfers (other than indicated above)

Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations must be received in writing. All deposits are refundable up to 120 days, less a per person operator fee (varies by operator) ranging from $250 - $500 per person. Reservations cancelled after final payment due date will lose the full cruise fare.

Trip Cancellation Insurance is strongly advised.

ExploringCircle Insurance Provider: TravelEx

ExploringCircle Terms and Conditions

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Ship Information

M/Y Grace - 18 Passengers

Built as a private luxury yacht and owned by a number of wealthy personages, the Grace has a long and storied history and was even once used in several capacities by the British Royal Navy during World War II. In the 1950s, Academy Award winning former actress Princess Grace of Monaco received the luxury yacht as a wedding gift from millionaire Aristotle Onassis. In 2007, the yacht was acquired for Galapagos cruising and rechristened the Grace in honor of its most famous owner.  The small and intimate 18 passenger Grace has been fully refurbished and redecorated to reflect its traditional heritage and guests can enjoy the luxury and glamour of a bygone era with all modern travel comforts. In addition to finely appointed staterooms and suites, the Grace offers 2 sun deck areas for relaxation as well as an outdoor hot tub and an al fresco dining area. Inside there is a dining room, bar and salon area and even a wine cellar. One of the most appealing and useful features is an outer corridor promenade that wraps around the entire vessel, in traditional yacht style. Stepping aboard the Grace is like stepping into the past, and a fitting vehicle by which to explore the Enchanted Isles- an experience to remember forever.

Accommodations

Trip Policy

Included: Accommodations on board, all meals, all non-alcoholic beverages, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish, snorkeling gear including wet suits, luggage handling and shuttle transfers within the islands

Not Included: Air to the galapagos, Galapagos National Park Fee ($100 adult / $50 child), Transit Control Card $20, alchoholic beverages, internet / wifi, international air, hotels in Quito or Guayaquil pre and post cruise, transfers (other than indicated above)

Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations must be received in writing. All deposits are refundable up to 120 days, less a per person operator fee (varies by operator) ranging from $250 - $500 per person. Reservations cancelled after final payment due date will lose the full cruise fare.

Trip Cancellation Insurance is strongly advised.

ExploringCircle Insurance Provider: TravelEx

ExploringCircle Terms and Conditions

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