Galápagos Islands | Expedition aboard M/C Tip Top II

Galápagos Islands | Expedition aboard M/C Tip Top II

About this trip

The Galápagos have long enchanted outsiders with their singular flora and fauna, geological curiosities, and extraordinary terrains. This small-group cruise expedition offers a front-row seat for exploring the archipelago’s eastern islands: stunning formations like saw-toothed Kicker Rock and Cerro Brujo, volcanic calderas, sandy beaches, and teeming lagoons. Glimpse iconic wildlife like Red- and Blue-footed Boobies, Galápagos tortoises, and iguanas, and learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect these fragile ecosystems and their one-of-a-kind inhabitants.

Highlights

  • Learn about important conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station. 
  • Come face-to-face with iconic wildlife including Blue-footed Boobies, flamingos, sea lions, and Waved Albatross.
  • Walk through the incredible cactus forest on Santa Fe Island and observe colonies of land iguanas.
  • Snorkel around Champion Islet, one of the most beautiful snorkeling sites in the islands.
  • Sail around Kicker Rock, a massive tuff rock that juts almost 500 feet above the ocean surface and which serves as a nesting place for many sea birds.

Meet your leader

Dr. Randy Moore

Randy Moore is a biology professor at the University of Minnesota who has been taking groups to Galápagos for 15 years. He has written several books about the islands, including Understanding Galápagos: What You’ll See and What it Means (with Sehoya Cotner, 2013), Galápagos Revealed: Finding the Places that Most People Miss (with Roslyn Cameron, 2018), and the upcoming Galápagos: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture (2021).

Guayaquil

Jul 19, 2023

Upon arrival in Guayaquil, after clearing customs and immigration, you will be met and escorted to your hotel. Check-in begins at 2:00 pm.

Overnight at Oro Verde Hotel

Guayaquil

Jul 20, 2023

After breakfast, have a program orientation, then set out on a city tour of Guayaquil. Sites include Santa Ana Hill, the colorful heart of the old town, and the Malecón, the riverfront promenade revitalized with restaurants, art galleries, stores, and museums.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Oro Verde Hotel

Galápagos

Jul 21, 2023

Fly from mainland Ecuador to Baltra. After boarding M/C Tip Top II, attend your first orientation and have a light snack. Disembark at Playa Las Bachas and visit a flamingo lagoon. Attend an evening orientation about the origin and evolution of the Galápagos Islands, and enjoy a welcome cocktail with the entire crew, followed by dinner. Each day there will be a briefing about the next day's activities, and time for optional swimming, snorkeling and/or kayaking.
*Cruise itineraries are subject to change without prior notice for various factors including, but not limited to: safety, weather, mechanical breakdown, unforeseen emergencies, and the discretion of the Captain, Guide, and the Galapagos National Park.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II

Galápagos

Jul 22, 2023

Today go for a panga boat ride and then land on Genovesa Island at Prince Philip's Steps (El Barranco), a steep, naturally formed path that leads up to a cliff face. Walk and observe the lives of the birds here, such as the Red-footed Booby, Galápagos Short-eared Owl, and storm petrels. Enjoy lunch aboard the boat. Later in the afternoon, visit Darwin Bay, home to frigatebirds, herons, boobies, turtles, marine iguanas, and more. After dinner, attend an evening orientation to learn about conservation efforts to protect the islands.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II

Galápagos

Jul 23, 2023

This morning go ashore at South Plaza Island, where a walk through a cactus forest allows you to observe land iguanas and many species of tropical birds. Return to the yacht for lunch and sail to Santa Fé Island to check out a different colony of land iguanas native to the island.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II

Galápagos

Jul 24, 2023

Disembark and take the bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the native forests in El Chato Reserve, then go to a farm to search for giant tortoises in the wild. After lunch on the farm, return to Puerto Ayora to visit the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Interpretation Center inside the Charles Darwin Research Station. Return to the yacht for dinner and nightly orientation.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II

Galápagos

Jul 25, 2023

Land on Floreana Island and walk to Baroness Viewpoint, named for the Baroness Eloise von Wagner Bosquet. Enjoy the beautiful landscape and see the ruins of her house, then continue to Post Office Bay. In the 18th century, whalers placed a wooden barrel at this site to use as an informal post office, and today, visitors continue the tradition by leaving their own postcards in the barrel. Before lunch, visit Wittmer Pension. Return to the yacht for lunch. In the afternoon, disembark at Cormorant Point and take a short walk to the Flamingo Lagoon. Continue the walk to La Picona beach for the chance to see marine turtles and their nesting grounds. Afterwards, visit Champion Islet for a snorkeling excursion.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II

Galápagos

Jul 26, 2023

After breakfast, visit Punta Suárez on Española Island to walk along lava beds and observe unique colonies of marine birds. From April to December, this is one of the best places in the world to see Waved Albatross and their nests. In the afternoon, visit Gardner Bay for a walk among sea lions on the beach. Then take a panga ride around Osborn Islet and the islets of Gardner.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II

Galápagos

Jul 27, 2023

Breakfast onboard, then disembark on San Cristóbal Island and drive to the Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center to learn about the tortoise reproductive process and the programs to maintain the species. Drive back to the port and visit the Interpretation Center, which features exhibits on the conservation and history of the islands. This afternoon, visit Cerro Brujo to walk on a white sand beach and observe sea lions, brown pelicans, marine iguanas and Blue-footed Boobies. Later, sail around Kicker Rock (León Dormido), a massive tuff rock that juts almost 500 feet above the ocean surface, and which serves as a nesting place for many sea birds.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II

Guayaquil

Jul 28, 2023

Take one last panga ride this morning around Black Turtle Cove, a series of coves and islets surrounded by mangroves, where you can observe white-tipped reef sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays. Return to the boat and disembark on the pier to take the bus directly to the airport in Baltra for the flight to Guayaquil. Upon arrival, after collecting luggage, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an early farewell dinner. For those departing this evening, you will be taken to the Guayaquil International Airport for your flights home.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at Oro Verde Hotel

Farewell!

Jul 29, 2023

Today you will transfer to the airport for your flight home. Check-out should be before 12:00 pm.

Breakfast- included