Travel aboard the
Known as the “Queen of Galápagos,” the Reina Silvia is a 90-foot yacht dedicated to providing an elegant, comfortable, small ship cruise adventure for up to 16 travelers into the heart of the Galápagos Islands. Spend 8 days exploring the western Galápagos Islands (Santa Cruz, Floreana, Isabela, Fernandina, Baltra) enjoying spacious staterooms complete with ocean views, a classic lounge to dine on world-class cuisine, and relaxing salon area for guide presentations. Relax with a luscious, handcrafted cocktail at sunset from the upper deck lounge that features a panoramic view of the islands. From the swimming platform to the extended bow for whale and dolphin watching, the Reina Silvia is committed to inspiring your adventurous spirit. Carefully arranged itineraries, along with pangas, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment, let you dive into an intimate, unique adventure exploring this magical part of the world.
Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island
Arrive at the airport on Baltra Island where guides from the Reina Silvia will greet you and whisk you off to an exquisite lunch in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
Afterward, visit the breathtaking Twin Craters, two collapsed underground fissures located on either side of the main road leading into the port. You’ll find giant tortoises, finches, warblers, and mockingbirds in this area.
By the afternoon, visit the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center where giant tortoises are bred and reared until they can survive in the wilds on their own. See tortoises in all ranges of life, from hatchlings to adult.
Board the Reina Silvia and settle into your cabin. Dine on a specially prepared meal as the sun sets over the islands and the stars spread across the sky.
Floreana Island / Champion Island
This morning, head to Cormorant Point on Floreana Island. Enjoy a hike to a saltwater lagoon, home to flamingos and other island birds. Swim in the crystal clear waters off Devil’s Crown, an extinct volcano that peeks out of the waters. Put on your snorkel gear to see the myriads of tropical fish that gather just under the surface.
Visit Champion Island, named after the whaler Andrew Champion, a small island just off Floreana’s southern coast. Continue your snorkeling experience here, considered one of the most beautiful places in the Galápagos to see reef fish, rays, sharks, even dolphins.
After lunch, make your way to the infamous Post Office Bay where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel as an unofficial mailbox. Without stamps back then, whalers relied on other ships to pick up their mail and hand-deliver them to the letter’s recipient. Keep up the tradition. Bring your own postcard, take a postcard.
In the afternoon, visit Asilo de la Paz, also known as Peace Haven, a 450m-high hill behind Straw Hill in the agricultural area of Floreana. See the pirate caves where many pirates hid out, and the freshwater spring at the base of the hill.
After breakfast, visit Moreno Point on Isabela Island, you’ll find yourself standing atop once flowing lava. The lava left craters in its wake that have since formed unique tidal openings where you might see whitetip reef sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life passing by. On land, catch sight of pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintail ducks, and common gallinules.
In the afternoon, visit Elizabeth Bay, on the east coast of Isabela. This bay contains many islets that you will get to visit by panga. Spot penguins and blue-footed boobies on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, this area is also perfect for snorkeling amongst schools of colorful fish, sea turtles, penguins, rays, and sea lions.
Isabela Island / Fernandina Island
This morning, step onto Urbina Bay, a fascinating geological formation. In 1954, an earthquake caused this area, once the seafloor, to lift high above the water. Walk along the trail of now sun-bleached coral reef that makes up Urbina. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface, as well as flightless cormorants, pelicans, and marine iguanas. Notice the dazzling view of the Alcedo Volcano looming nearby, a haven for hawks, the biggest land iguanas in the Galápagos, and giant tortoises.
After lunch, land at Espinoza Point. Walk past colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions until you reach the highlight of this island, a flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also gives you the perfect opportunity to see the Galápagos hawk, penguins, blue-footed boobies, and terns. Snorkel in search of sea turtles, rays, and puffer fish.
Today starts off with a visit to Tagus Cove. Located near the Bolivar Channel, the cove provides a sheltered area that invited pirates, whalers, and buccaneers during the 1800s and beyond to anchor and rest. Hike trails winding past Lake Darwin, a saltwater lagoon inside a partially submerged volcano where many birds reside including tree finches, hawks, yellow warblers, large-billed flycatchers, and sometimes the woodpecker finch. From the ridge high above the island, take in the sweeping views of the surrounding islands, including Punta Tortuga with its lovely beach surrounded by mangroves. Snorkel or kayak the shores of Tagus alongside penguins, flightless cormorants, sea lions, rays, and other tropical fish,.
By the afternoon, hop in a panga to explore Vicente Roca Point, a large bay with spectacular sea life. You may also snorkel on your own where you are sure to find seahorses, sea turtles, rays, puffer fish, and the strange yet fascinating mola, a large sunfish. From the boat, keep an eye out for blue-footed boobies, terns, and Nazca boobies.
Step onto Espumilla Beach at Santiago Island this morning. Marine iguanas lounge and Sally Lightfoot crabs attract hunting herons. Snorkel along the reef where you may come face-to-face with octopus, moray eels, and a wide variety of tropical fish. You may also choose to explore the area by panga ride or in your own kayak.
Next, visit Buccaneer Cove, named for its history as a refuge for British buccaneers. Pirates anchored in the cove to repair their ships and stock up on tortoise meat. Hike the steep cliffs where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, or get into the water with a snorkeling excursion, panga ride, or kayak around the shoreline.
After lunch, visit Egas Port, also known as James Bay. Home to the curious Galápagos hawk and quick-footed Galápagos lava lizards, oystercatchers and finches, hike along trails leading to gorgeous tide pools and grottos. Galápagos fur seals and marine iguanas dive in and out of these underwater grottos, making for a memorable snorkeling experience.
End the day with an 8 km round-trip hike at Minas de Sal, or Salt Mines, on the northwest side of Santiago Island, or take a more leisurely walk along the shore, watching for lava herons, Galápagos hawks, American oystercatchers, and whimbrels.
Santa Cruz Island / North Seymour Island
Spend the morning exploring Bachas Beach, located on the north shore of Santa Cruz, where remnants of abandoned U.S. World War II barges poke out of the water. Touch the past, quite literally, by snorkeling around the barges. Shipwrecks and other sunken ships are the perfect calling card for sharks and other tropical fish. This island is also home to flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, whimbrels, and sea turtles nesting on the beach.
This afternoon, visit North Seymour Island where Galápagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds live in great abundance. Formed by a series of submarine lava flows, the island is characterized by an arid vegetation zone. Explore the shores by panga ride, or snorkel with rays, reef sharks, and many colorful fish.
Balta Airport / Departure
After breakfast, depart the Reina Silvia and arrive at Baltra airport for your return flight home.
NOTE: The above itinerary reflects the intended program, however, should be read as a guide only. The actual itinerary will depend on weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control.