Galapagos Islands Small Yacht Cruise IVS

11 Days from From $5,500

Cruise the Galapagos in an upscale yacht on this exciting International Veterinary Seminars course. The Galapagos are a wildlife treasure. Nothing quite compares to the joy of observing animals in the wild here, or the sense of wonder and privilege felt while spending time with creatures that don't run or fly away when humans approach.

Galapagos Islands Small Yacht Cruise IVS

Cruise the Galapagos in an upscale yacht (limited to 18 passengers) on this exciting International Veterinary Seminars course.

The Galapagos are a wildlife treasure. Nothing quite compares to the joy of observing animals in the wild here, or the sense of wonder and privilege felt while spending time with creatures that don’t run or fly away when humans approach.

An outstanding natural history guide will lead us on exciting hiking trips each day through incredible habitats in this unmatched wildlife spectacle.

You’ll enjoy watching the world’s only seagoing lizards, to flightless cormorants and penguins, flamingos, inflatable frigate birds, wave albatrosses, clownish boobies, patriarchal giant tortoises, and 13 species of Darwin finches. There can often be thrilling encounters with animals–up close and in large numbers.

This expedition often provides extraordinary opportunities to swim with marine mammals such as sea lions, fur seals, dolphins, and manta, eagle, and golden rays, as well as thousands of the 300 species of colorful fish.

We have selected the “Coral II” motor yacht for our travels as it is a spectacular small yacht with only a maximum of 18 people, making this is the ideal way to explore these enchanting islands.

Along the way, Dr. David Twedt from Colorado State University will present 18 CE hours on “managing common gastro-intestinal problems in practice”. Dr Twedt is a world renowned GI specialist and a regular IVS presenter because of his practical and informative presentations. Seminar registration fee is $795.00.

Topics to be discussed include how Dr Twedt manages a large variety of common problems: acute and chronic liver disease, PLE, using diets in practice, what are his favorite GI drugs, canine & feline pancreatitis, acute & chronic diarrhea and managing the vomiting dog & cat. Clincial cases will be also presented for group discussion.

IVS in the Galapagos Trip Highlights:

  • Deluxe, upscale yacht limited to 18 passengers
  • Enjoy up close and personal encounters with wildlife in one of the world’s top nature destinations!
  • The most comprehensive Galapagos experience available, with nature hikes, swimming, and sea kayaking excursions
  • Knowledgeable and personable naturalist on board our yacht to lead all hikes and activities.
  • Optional opportunities to SCUBA dive

Itinerary Snapshot

(Meals included: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

Day 1 Arrive to Quito and check in to hotel, SwissÔtel. Hotel website: http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

Day 2 Walking tour of historic Quito. B

Day 3 AM – Depart from Quito to Baltra. PM – Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Charles Darwin Station with some free time to visit town and shop. B, L & D

Day 4 AM – Santa Fe wet landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling. PM – South Plaza, Plaza Island dry landing. Walking tour. B, L & D

Day 5 AM – North Seymour dry landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling. PM – Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz wet landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling/swimming. B, L & D

Day 6 AM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill, San Cristobal dry landing. Capital of Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to visit Interpretation Center and Museum of Natural History. Walk up Tijeretas Hill. PM – Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve, San Cristobal dry landing. Visit Breeding Center with opportunity to visit village for a drink, shopping, exploring. B, L & D

Day 7 AM – Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal wet landing. Walking tour on lava formations and beaches. Snorkeling/Swimming. PM – Pitt Point & Pitt Islet, San Cristobal wet landing. Rocky terrain walking tour. B, L & D

Day 8 AM – Mosquera Islet wet landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling. PM – Bartolome dry landing. Walking tour in volcanic zone followed by snorkeling/swimming. B, L & D

Day 9 AM – Rabida wet landing. Walking tour along beach and dunes. Dinghy ride with snorkeling. PM – Egas Port, Santiago wet landing. Walking tour on varied volcanic terrain, followed by snorkeling/swimming. B, L & D

Day 10 AM – El Chato, Santa Cruz dry landing. Visit to a private farm then catch return flight to Quito. PM – Check back into SwissÔtel. B&L

Day 11 Fly out of Quito. B

*Note: depending on availability we may choose a different hotel of similar type and equal quality.

Meals: Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30, except for Sunday when it is served at 6:00 and Wednesday at 7:00. Lunch is at 12:30 and dinner at 19:30, except on Monday and Saturday when it will be served at 18:30.

Dry Landings: Passengers step directly from a dinghy onto rocks or a dock. We recommend: walking shoes. Special care is highly recommended when walking on wet rocks.

Wet Landings: The dinghy edges toward the beach, where you step into knee-deep water assisted by crew members and guides. We recommend: swimming suit or shorts, walking shoes or sandals, towel (provided by the crew while disembarking).

Day 1: Quito, Ecuador
Arrive in Quito, Ecuador where a representative will meet and bring you to SwissÔtel. For more information on our hotel accommodations, please see their website at http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

A bit about Quito
The capital of Ecuador was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the ‘Baroque school of Quito’, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

Day 2: Quito
Guided informational hike of Quito. Quito’s old-town is like walking through time and back again amidst splendid 16th century architecture, churches bathed in gold, convents tucked away behind hand–carved, baroque doors and block upon block of Spanish-style.

Day 3: Baltra Airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Corals.
PM – Fausto Llerena Breeding Center – Charles Darwin Station(Santa Cruz) Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his specie) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1h30 walk

Day 4: Santa Fe
AM – Wet landing on a white sand beach surrounded by a sea lion colony; we continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as we search for the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is home to a number of endemic species including Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. Deep-water snorkeling.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour deep-water snorkeling

PM – South Plaza (Plaza Island)
Dry landing on the northern part of the Islet. The walk begins with an impressive cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas; as we reach its highest point, be on the lookout for tropicbirds and a bachelor sea lion colony.

In South Plaza there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas. The population is approximately 300 individuals. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and flowers of Opuntia cacti. We will encounter the one and only Galapagos hybrid iguana.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk

Day 5: Seymour & Santa Cruz
AM – North Seymour
Dry landing. This is perhaps one of the busiest tourist destinations on the archipelago. Off of Baltra Island (where the airport is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is the most accessible for day trips out of Santa Cruz’s main port, Puerto Ayora.

An approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies*, magnificent and great frigatebirds*, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and as well as sea lions. You will also encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos Snake.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk, 30 minute snorkeling

PM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
Wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation, red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles* in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but then spend 3 or 5 years without breeding.

At this paradisiacal site we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. That is why the beach is called “Bachas” because the word “barges” in English was hard to pronounce for the local people.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

Day 6: Interpretation Center & Tijeretas (San Cristóbal)
AM – Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about Natural History in the Galapagos. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1 hour visit

Tijeretas Hill which involves a high intensity walk through beautiful landscapes ending with a magnificent view nearby a large frigatebird colony.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Duration: 1 hour visit

PM – Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristóbal)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Duration: 40 minutes bus drive to the Reserve / 1 hour visit

Day 7: Cerro Brujo (San Cristóbal)
AM – Wet landing. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of aa lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. We visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

PM– Pitt Point & Pitt Islet (San Cristóbal)
Wet landing followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together: Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed; as well as two species of frigatebirds and a sea lion colony; it is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

Difficulty level: difficult
Type of terrain: rocky and steep
Duration: 2h30 walk

Day 8: Mosquera Islet
AM – Wet Landing, Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, this flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as herons and Lava Gulls. There is no trail on Mosquera Island, so any visitor can enjoy an open are. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum grows on the sand.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1h30 walk & snorkeling

PM – Bartolomé
Dry landing. We discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones —as we hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. We also encounter marine iguanas and lava lizards.

Beach time is a great opportunity to snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos Penguin, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Shark, among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences; the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.

Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable. Pioneer plants are observed, so called because they are the first to establish roots on new ground. They include Tiquilia nesiotica (which is endemic to the island) and Chamaesyce(known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. Behind the beach we have dunes covered by mangroves.

Difficulty level: intermediate.
Type of terrain: trail made of steps (370 steps)
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

Day 9: Rábida
AM – Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches with incredible landscape; Rábida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen. We will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

PM – Egas Port (Santiago)

Wet landing on a beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first part of the trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of the trail is partially uneven terrain, comprised of volcanic basaltic rock that lounges the shoreline.

The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron and astounding array of marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks. Snorkeling here offers rarities such as octopus or squid.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: the first part flat and then semi rocky
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

Day 10: El Chato (Santa Cruz)
AM – Dry landing. We will reach the Santa Cruz highlands and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

Baltra airport
In the morning we will go straight to the airport for return flight to Quito and land around 4pm. We will check back into our hotel, the SwissOtel, for our last night in Quito.

Day 11: Quito
Transfer to airport for your flight back home, or begin your trip extension (call for details).

The Coral II is the perfect combination of classic beauty and exquisite style.  Built in Holland,  she surpasses all the standards you would expect from a high-class yacht in order to make your cruise among the enchanted islands extraordinary.

Every cabin features handsome wood decoration, along with air-conditioning, a private bathroom, safe deposit box, telephone, and your choice of background music.  Additionally, the Coral II has plenty of room to relax with three sundecks (some shaded), a Jacuzzi, comfortable dining room and lounge.

360* tour of the Corall II Yacht

Coral Deck PlansCabin Coral

Departure Dates:

March 19-29, 2018

Trip Length: 11 Days
Trip Price:

$5,500 (Standard Plus Cabin) or $6,000 (Junior Cabin), per person, based on double occupancy.
Does not include price of flight between Quito and Baltra or National Park entrance fees.

18 CE hours (optional): $795.00

Dr. David Twedt from Colorado State University will present “managing common gastro-intestinal problems in practice”. Dr Twedt is a world renowned GI specialist and a regular IVS presenter because of his practical and informative presentations. Seminar registration fee is $795.00.

Deposit: $600

Extensions available:

  • Galapagos Safari Camp

    Galapagos Safari Camp is a new way to experience the Galapagos, either in addition to a cruise or as a unique destination in itself. Our eco-luxury tented camp – one of the first in Latin America – follows the African safari tradition in which guests enjoy total comfort under canvas while experiencing nature in its purest form.

     

    5 to 7 Days from $3600.00 per person, based on double occupancy
  • Hacienda Zuleta in the Andes

    Built in 1691, Hacienda Zuleta lies in the spectacular Andean mountain range of Ecuador at 9,600 feet. Explore the mountains by horseback, mountain bike or foot. Learn about the rich culture of this community that still operates as they did hundreds of years ago. Dine on food that is locally sourced and fall asleep to the crackling fire in your room’s fireplace.

    Customizable from $280 per person, based on double occupancy
  • Ecuador Amazon Extension

    In only 4 or 5 days, it is not uncommon for even the most casual birder to see over 250 species here. With only minimal effort you can expect to see dozens of colorful parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers, hawks, and oropendolas, as well as many monkey, frog and snake species, to name a few.

    4 Days/3 Nights or
    5 Days/4 Nights from $1,050 Per person, based on double occupancy