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Story Land & Sea®

Galapagos Adventure

Story Small Ships® Itinerary


In 2018, Discover the Galapagos Islands in Luxury

Story Small Ships cruising through the Galapagos.

Before traveling to the island of Baltra to start your Galapagos cruise we recommend a restful stop in Quito, Ecuador. Start your adventure in Ecuador's capital of Quito and experience the Spanish and Inca culture of this mountain city before you cruise. The subtropical highland has constant spring-like temperatures throughout the year due to its elevation (9350 feet) and proximity to the equator. Enjoy the historic center for its architecture and markets.

Upon arrival Baltra, we have included your arrival transfer to the M/Y Passion. Welcome aboard.

Our luxury yacht made for only 12 special guests with generous private cabins and bathrooms features a panoramic sky lounge with bar, sun deck with lounge chairs and a jacuzzi, plus a separate dining room. The service is second to none, with a ration of 1 crew member per guest.

This Story Small Ships itinerary is for those that love the outdoors, hiking and snorkeling. Wetsuits, snorkeling gear and life vests are included. A minimum of twelve guests are required for this sailing. We will advise all booked guests of options at 150 days prior to departure.

What are wet and dry landings? A wet landing is when the pontoon boat (panga or zodiac) lands on a beach and guests swing their legs over the side into shallow water and then walk onto the beach. A dry landing may be a dock or a climb up some rocks. Deep water snorkeling involves dropping off the panga with your snorkel gear on. This is usually the best type for viewing wildlife. Beach snorkeling involves a walk into shallow water from a beach, and a swim out to the best viewing area. Sunscreen and hats are recommended as the sun at the equator is stronger than most of us are accustom.

Find out why more and more travelers are opting to Leave the Herd Behind with Story Small Ships while discovering the many mysteries and wonders of the Galapagos Islands.


The trip is fully-hosted by our professional Story Cruise Director and complemented by our local, expert tour guides. Story's Galapagos Tour is the perfectly balanced adventure through this beautiful part of Europe.
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Pinnacle Rock & Sullivan Bay
  • Galapagos Plaza Sur
  • Tortoises in the Galapagos

Pre-Cruise Quito Experience - Option

Day 1 - Wednesday

The pre-cruise optional itinerary includes "two nights" in Quito: most flights will arrive late evening (around midnight).

Arrival to Quito, Mariscal Sucre International Airport UIO
Airport transfers to your Quito hotel are included.

Your international flight is not included in your tour package, however, we can arrange your air travel through our Story® Air Service Department. We'll work with you to get the absolutely lowest fare available based on your travel preferences. We utilize both our own air department and on-line agencies to find the best rate.

Visit Air Service department by clicking here.


 
Quito City

Day 2 - Thursday

food icon   Included Dining: Join your Tour Captain tonight for an included Welcome Dinner.

Quito City Walking Tour
This morning, meet your Story Tour Captain in the hotel lobby before joining your local expert guide for a Quito City walking tour. Visit the historic center of the highest capital city at 9,350 feet above sea level. Stop to admire the Carondelet Presidential Palace - the seat of the Spanish Royal Crown from 1611 which is on Independence Plaza - a gathering place for locals and travelers alike. The church of San Francisco is one of the largest of Latin America and houses 18th century sculpture known as the Virgin of Quito, which has long been a kind of icon of the city. Learn about the history and culture of Quito from your knowledgeable guide. Your afternoon is free to explore the town.


 
Mitad del Mundo

Day 3 - Friday

food icon   Optional Dining: Join your Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore on your own.

Mitad del Mundo, the Middle of the World
This morning, join your Tour Captain and our expert guide for a short drive to the Middle of the world! At Mitad del Mundo, you can straddle the equator and feel the affects of being in two hemispheres at the same time. Our guide will introduce us to the culture of the native Ecuadorian people and display other phenomenon of life at the equator. Your afternoon is free to explore the local market and handicraft shops and the night life of La Ronda.


 
CRUISE PORTION OF ITINERARY BEGINS TODAY:
Welcome to the Galapagos Island of Baltra

Day 4 - Saturday
Day 1 - Cruise Commencement Today

Arrival to Baltra & Begin Cruise

Santiago, Chile

City: Baltra

We have an early morning departure transfer to the Quito airport for our flight to the coast. We connect in Guayaquil on our way to Baltra.

After arriving at Baltra airport we will transfer and board the Passion and enjoy lunch onboard.

After lunch, we will navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island.

Pelicans and herons roost on the branches, while marine dwellers such as Green Sea Turtle or Golden Ray may cruise right next to the panga as it makes its way through the mangroves.

Story Exclusive: Unique Perspective Experience onboard the M/Y Passion - enjoy our welcome reception onboard tonight.

Evening Dining the Story Small Ships® Way: Expertly crafted dining experiences by our onboard chef onboard the Passion each evening. Creative cuisine paired with perfect wine and other beverages included only with Story Land & Sea®.


 

Up North
Day 5 - Sunday
Day 2 - Cruise

Heading North

A beautiful morning kicks off this day as we travel to Genovesa Island and reach Darwin Bay . This is a unique site lined with red mangrove and soft-haired prickly pear cacti where Red-footed Boobies and Great Frigate birds perch tamely.

At Prince Philip Steps , we enjoy the edge of a cliff where Frigate-birds, Nazca Boobies, and Red-footed Boobies nest. We will be seeking out the impressive Red-billed Tropic-bird amidst Galapagos Storm Petrels.

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Sullivan Bay Experience

Day 6 - Monday
Day 3 - Cruise

Contours of Sullivan Bay

Santiago, Chile

This morning we're bound for Bartholomew to ascend the wooden steps and reach the summit of this spatter cone for a most breathtaking panorama of the islands’ well photographed Pinnacle Rock, views of neighboring Santiago and many other central islands in the distance.

This afternoon, we head across to Sullivan Bay in Santiago to walk over a recent lava flow, including very fresh pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals, and pioneer plants.

Along the shoreline, we may find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.

Another wonderful day of exploring the Galapagos Islands.

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Transport to Mars

Day 7 - Tuesday
Day 4 - Cruise

Exploring a Martian-Like Landscape

This morning we're bound for Rábida’s deep-red beaches to explore the red island’s fascinating interior and saltwater lagoon. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, and yellow warblers feed off the vegetation; given the right time of the year brown pelicans nesting on salt bushes that fringe the beach.

Afternoon, we head across to Cerro Dragón on Santa Cruz’s north-west shore ; we visit a saltwater lagoon, home to Greater Flamingos, Black-necked Stilts, and White-cheeked Pintails. Further inland we find a fantastic land iguana nesting site.

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Hidden Treasures

Day 8 - Wednesday
Day 5 - Cruise

Discover Some of The Galapagos' Secret Treasures

We visit Santa Cruz Island and enjoy some of the island's most famous highlights. We arrive the dock of Puerto Ayora to then board our transportation and head to the Island's highlands. This area, in contrast to the coastal region, has lush vegetation and forest, due to the humidity that gathers in the higher regions.

We visit one of the ranches of the area, where it's possible to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. As these animals migrate from the coastal area to the highlands and back, the chosen ranch will depend on the presence of the tortoises, as they roam free and change their locations.

This is also a good place to see the Galapagos hawk and barn owl of this island and the surrounding forests are filled of birds such as the vermilion flycatcher or the yellow warbler.

Enjoy lunch at the ranch and then we're back to Puerto Ayora for our second visit of the day, the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Fausto Llerena breeding center.

Here, we will see tortoises from different islands. The animals are found in large semi natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for the tourists. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults.

After this visit, we will have some time to explore the town of Puerto Ayora and its many souvenir shops, before boarding the M/Y Passion for dinner and the usual briefing.

Dining: Enjoy another chef-prepared dinner onboard the Passion.

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Heading Eastward

Day 9 - Thursday
Day 6 - Cruise

On to the East Islands

Santiago, Chile

Today we venture to on one of the oldest docks of the Archipelago, colorful Plaza Sur is home to vibrant green prickly pears, deep red Sesuvium and coppery-orange land iguanas; impressive seaward cliffs are excellent for a variety of coastal birds. This is also a great place to observe the adult and pup sea lions swimming along the shores.

This afternoon we make our way on to shore on a beautiful white beach where sea lions are usually resting, on Santa Fe, we will be looking for the endemic species of land iguana, larger and yellower than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galapagos are also found here.

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Punta Suárez

Day 10 - Friday
Day 7 - Cruise

From Albatrosses to Blow-holes

Punta Suárez is a spectacular walk into the intimacies of life at sea, with nesting sites of Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, as well as the fascinating breeding rituals (April to December) of Waved Albatross. Lined with neon-colored marine iguanas (January), and lazy Galapagos sea lions, we walk up to an amazing viewpoint of the famous blow-hole.

We will spend the day in fantastic Española, starting with Gardner Bay, an outstanding beach with sea lions, marine iguanas, and the intrepid Española Mockingbird.

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Tortoise Haven

Day 11 - Saturday
Day 8 - Cruise

A Last Goodbye With the Tortoises

On this our final day among and on the islands we will enjoy an interesting stop to experience the Lava tunnels found in the highlands.

These intriguing tunnels were formed by a lava flow that hardened on the outside while still maintaining its fluid scolding state on the inside, leaving hollow tunnels where it passed. We will walk inside one of this tunnel (that are artificially illuminated to help visitors) to have a close look at the formations and learn more about the origin of these very volcanic archipelago.

After this visit we will continue our ride to Baltra airport for our connecting flights to mainland Ecuador and back home.

Recommended: You may consider hotel in Guayaquil or Quito on your own before your international flight home.

In addition to the land visits we offer a good balance of other activities such as snorkeling, panga rides and kayaking.


Santiago, Chile
 

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Accommodations for the Cruise Galapagos Tour is the M/Y PASSION Yacht.

The luxury yacht, M/Y Passion, has undergone a complete yet sympathetic refit, retaining most of her original fittings. A vessel of great character, she now offers her guests a sense of refinement and exclusivity while providing all of the modern passenger comforts.

 

 

Pre-Cruise: 4-Star Hotel in Quito



M/Y PASSION LUXURY YACHT




Total with optional pre-cruise: 11 Days / 10 Nights Quito plus Galapagos True Small Ship Cruising

  • We've tried to include everything! However, make note of the following:

    Onboard dining: All meals aboard the M/Y Passion with wine at dinner.

    International Airfare is not included. International Airfare arrangements made by Story Land & Sea® are a completely separate booking from your land vacation. We highly recommend trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

  • Enjoy this True Small Ship Cruise with a maximum of 12 Travelers. Guaranteed. No waiting on big groups on big buses.
  • Hotels in the heart of the cities and towns.
    Not on the outskirts of town so no shuttles or special transfers needed.
  • We Never Up-sell while On Tour.
    See any of the mainstream tour operator itineraries to the Galapagos Islands and you will see very quickly how their "tour directors" make extra revenue.
  • Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff.
  • Customary gratuities for your Story Cruise Director are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path and unique Restaurants throughout the itinerary. 
    A authentic restaurants that fit our group size.
  • All Admissions and Sightseeing as defined on itinerary
  • Portage included from Baltra airport to the ship and on the return.
  • Services of Certified Naturalist Guide on board. 
  • All beverages including alcohol (bar) included on board the yacht. 

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Pre-Cruise Quito Experience
  • Air ticket to/from Galapagos from mainland Ecuador
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee currently $100 per person, pain in cash at the Baltra airport.
  • Transit Control Card, $20 per person
  • Personal Expenses
  • Gratuities for ship staff
  • Gratuities for Story Cruise Director

 

TOUR CONDITIONS:

Services of a full-time, experienced guides and professional Story Cruise Director.

PASSPORTS & VISAS
Travel documents are your responsibility including compliance with customs' regulations. PASSPORTS: A valid passport is required and must be obtained in person by each tour member at a local passport office.

LODGING & ACCOMMODATIONS
Tour prices are per person, based on two persons sharing double or twin-bedded room with private bathroom with tub or shower. Single rooms subject to availability and at an additional cost (tour participants without a roommate will have to pay the single room surcharge). Hotels used are based on your itinerary.

SERVICE CHARGES AND TAXES: All departure taxes and tipping are included. 

INSURANCE
Story highly recommends trip cancellation and interruption coverage. We recommend www.Travelex-Insurance.com. Enter location code of 06-0051 to associate any purchase with your Story vacation.

 

Story Small Ships® Presents...

Galapagos Adventure 8 Days/7 Nights
Optional Pre-Cruise Quite Experience 3 Days/2 Nights

Not Included:National Park fee $100 per person in US dollars cash upon arrival in Baltra airport. NO VISA required for US citizens. Required On Tour Airfare and International Airfare.

2018

— Small Ship Cruising Prices —

A small group of 12 guests in onboard luxury. Rates are per person and do not include flights or gratuities. Pricing includes beverages including alcohol (open bar) and wine at dinners while onboard the yacht.

Pre-Cruise Quito Experience: $1349 per person
Published Date Stateroom + Required On-Tour Airfare Suite + Required On-Tour Airfare
Specially Hosted Story Departure:
Featuring Story Tour Captain as Cruise Director
March 21 $8779 + $530 $10679 + $530
Book early for best savings and cabin selection. A minimum of twelve guests are required for this sailing. We will advise all booked guests of options at 150 days prior to departure.
2019

— Small Ship Cruising Prices —

A small group of 12 guests in onboard luxury. Rates are per person and do not include flights or gratuities. Pricing includes beverages including alcohol (open bar) and wine at dinners while onboard the yacht.

Pre-Cruise Quito Experience: $1349 per person
Published Date Stateroom + Required On-Tour Airfare Suite + Required On-Tour Airfare
Featuring Story Tour Captain as Cruise Director
March 20 $8779 + $530 $10679 + $530
Book early for best savings and cabin selection. A minimum of twelve guests are required for this sailing. We will advise all booked guests of options at 150 days prior to departure.

 

Get Started: Let's go to the Galapagos!

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