The Samba accommodates 14 guests, a perfect number to enjoy the magic of the Islands with privacy and flexibility. Its professional, experienced and friendly crew and naturalist guide are devoted to go the extra mile to make your journey a trip of a life time. This 8 day itinerary takes in the South East Islands which make up a traditional Galapagos highlights cruise
The opportunity to explore the Galapagos by sail boat
Hike above 270 feet on Bartolome Island to admire the dramatic spatter cones and the view of Pinnacle Rock
Stroll along the beach while sea lions curiously wander around you!
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Baltra - Charles Darwin Research Station
Day 2: Punta Cormorant, Champion Rock & Post Office Bay, Floreana Island
Day 3: Punta Suárez, Gardner Bay & Gardner Rock, Española Island
Day 4: Isla Lobos, Kicker Rock & Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal Island
Day 5: Santa Fe & South Plaza Islands
Day 6: Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island - Bartolome Island
Day 7: James Bay - Rabida Island
Day 8: North Seymour Island - Depart Baltra
Day 1: Arrive in Baltra - Charles Darwin Research Station
After to settling into your cabins on-board the Samba and having a snack, you will land for the afternoon stopover at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you will learn how the magic is done behind the scenes. This NGO celebrates 50 years of scientific work, and it is responsible, in a great deal, for the conservation status and the restoration of the Galapagos. An important partner in the duty of preservation of this pristine archipelago is the National Park Service and they run the tortoise breeding centre.
Day 2: Punta Cormorant & Post Office Bay, Floreana Island
Following a four-hour navigation from Puerto Ayora we will do a wet landing on a volcanic olivine beach. Punta Cormorant lays on the northern shore of Floreana and is the house of greater flamingos and sea turtles. On one side, the point is partially flooded with a brackish lagoon where flamingos nest and feed. Whimbrels, herons and stilts are other common shore and migratory birds of the wetlands. On the other side sea turtles use every corner of a white sand beach to deliver their eggs.
Around mid morning, we sail for 25 minutes do a dinghy ride and snorkel at Champion Islet. This small piece of land is one of two places were the Floreana mocking bird survives after its extinction on the big Island. While trying to find the rare bird from our dinghies, we will enjoy a beautiful landscape full of fairy tale cactus and terracotta rock formations. Soon sea lions will invite us to enjoy the water. The snorkelling around the island is extraordinary, lots of fish, rays, sharks and the playfulness of the Galapagos sea lions.
Post Office Bay has left a legacy of pirates, whalers, scientific expeditions and intense stories of slay and constant ambiguity. After a wet landing we walk a very short distance to be part of the most important Galapagos tradition. Later, we will kayak or ride our dinghies to the West. We will go through a small set of islets with a sea lion colony, boobies and mangroves. Finally, following our ride we will land at the Baroness lookout. On top of this eroded spatter cone we will embrace the vivid obscurity of the human history of “Las Encantadas”.
Day 3: Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay, Espanola Island
Espanola Island is the oldest Galapagos Island The Queen, her Majesty has travel 100 miles away from the volcanic hotspot; she sets an example of splendor and wisdom. When landing on its Western tip, on Punta Suárez, it is difficult to digest the beauty and the overwhelming amount of life. It takes a few minutes to understand that you are not dreaming and that the marine iguanas are really covered with fiery colors, sea lions leisurely wander around you, blue-footed boobies and Sally light-foot crabs coat the rocks with their intense grace. The long walk leads you the finest illustration of ancient sea bird colony.
Depending on weather conditions, either at the end of the morning or early in the afternoon, we will snorkel or kayak around Gardner Island. Its calm waters and attractive landscape give you a great experience above and below water. Located on the north coast of Española, Gardner Bay has tranquil white sand beach. The fine grains of sand make perfect terrain for a soft walk and a relaxing late in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be alone, sea lions and Hood mocking birds will keep company.
Day 4: Isla Lobos, Kicker Rock & Punta Pitt, San Cristobal Island
You will wake up to the barking of Galapagos sea lions, animals after which the Island was named. After a dry landing on Isla Lobos, we walk on over very rocky terrain. To your surprise red balloons will soon bound you, great and magnificent pirates nest on this small flat Island. Frigate birds with their magenta and green iridescent feathers decorate the saltbushes. The island is also the nesting ground of blue-footed boobies. Don’t miss the chance of swimming with sea lions; a few sea creatures are as playful as these marine mammals.
Before lunch, we navigate by a dramatic tuff cone formation, Kicker Rock. The eroded structure has vertical walls of over 450 feet and has a great numbers of sea birds nesting and resting on it. We will circumnavigate the rock to admire its magnitude, soon after that we will jump in the water to swim with Galapagos sharks, sea turtles, and eagle rays and drop offs full of colorful fish and invertebrates.
On Punta Pitt we do a wet landing late in the afternoon to climb a tuff cone and enjoy the sunset. This point is closest to mainland South America. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, frigate birds and storm petrel nest in the area. The ochre color beach is perfect for a relaxing plunge after the walk.
Day 5: Santa Fe & Plazas Islands
The bay looks as if artist ornamented it. Barrington Bay is one of the most picturesque inlets of all visitor sites of the Galapagos. The white sand on the seabed reflects the light to turn the calm waters turquoise. All the before mentioned are suitable conditions for a large sea lion colony. Santa Fe is an ancient extinct volcano and it has been isolated from other island long enough to have an endemic land dragon. Paler in color than its relatives, the Barrington terrestrial iguana has a primitive morphology. Galapagos Hawks, mocking birds, finches and endemic rice rats make company to yellowish monster. The snorkelling won’t disappoint you.
A two-hour navigation north will take us to South Plaza. The dry landing takes you to a brilliant combination of life and colors. Land iguanas wondering through bright red carpet weed, Swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays. There are iguana nests scattered all over the hill. The sheer cliffs of the southern shore are a perfect bird habitat, making it an unparalleled bird observatory for especially swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon shearwaters, and red-billed tropicbirds. If we have enough time and good weather we will swim or snorkel in Punta Carrion. A great way to end an active day!
Day 6: Sullivan Bay - Bartolome
The genesis of the islands is easy to acknowledge at Sullivan Bay. The coiled shiny structures of the pahoe-hoe lava appear as if they were formed yesterday. Located on the east shores of James Island these 131 years old lava flow has intact driblet cones. Older cinder cones were flooded by the rivers of lava and are a great example of aging igneous rocks. The contrast of colors and shapes of the basalt, and the distinction of rust and shine of its surface will take you back you of Mars, if you’ve been there before.
Bartolome Island offers an explosive volcanic landscape. Get ready to climb above 270 feet to admire the dramatic spatter cones and the view of Pinnacle Rock that everyone wants. Later, take a walk on magical golden beaches where sea turtle nest (December to March). Don’t forget to make time to swim near penguins, sharks and lava tubes.
Day 7: Rabida Island - James Bay
Galapagos offers a diversity of geological formations without
boundaries. The island of Rábida has lavas rich in iron and after
millions of years of exposure to air they have turned red. The rusted
volcanic material has eroded to form a beautiful crimson sand beach,
lovely for a walk. The protected shore provides excellent conditions for
a Galapagos sea lions nursery and brown pelicans use the nearby
saltbushes as a resting and nesting area. Hawks and mocking birds are
common visitors of the lowlands. Furthermore, you will find that
snorkelling of the beach can be very exiting as sharks, rays and many
colorful fish are often visible.
James Bay, also known as Puerto Egas, has magical shorelines that combine tuff cone, lava flows and organic sand. A rocky coast with a very gentle slope is used by a great number of shore birds and reptiles. Oystercatchers, whimbrels, sanderlings, turnstones, tattlers and other waders are mixed with marine iguanas and bright painted crabs to feed by the rich littoral zone. As grand finally, large lava tunnels, that are partially collapsed, are the houses of the Galapagos fur sea lions. The snorkel can be one of the best in the archipelago. Sea turtles feeding, parrot fishes, damsel fishes, white tipped reef sharks and many more…
Day 8: North Seymour - Baltra Airport
The visit to North Seymour is the best way of saying goodbye to the Galapagos. Following a dry landing at sunrise we will walk amongst the largest blue-footed booby colony of the Islands. If breeding you will enjoy their dancing and singing to find a mate. Swallow tailed gulls and tropicbirds decorate the large basaltic walls of the island.
We will be back on board for breakfast at 8:00 and we have to be ready to check out at 9:00. It is always a good idea to do most of your packing the previous night so you can have a pleasant last early morning visit and a relaxed breakfast.
Departs - Fortnightly (Tuesdays)
M/S Samba Ship Cabins
6 air-conditioned double cabins
1 exterior double bed cabin
All with private bathrooms and hot water
Dutch built with teak decks in 1966 as a luxury private yacht, the Samba
is now a perfectly well converted cruise boat specialized for Galapagos
Islands vacations. The SAMBA accommodates 14 guests, a perfect number
to enjoy the magic of the Islands with privacy and flexibility. Its
professional, experienced and friendly crew and naturalist guide are
devoted to go the extra mile to make your journey a trip of a life time.
The upper deck with an outside dinning area and sun protection is ideal
for bird and marine life watching. On the main deck, an outside area
with reading, resting and also eating space; and inside, there is a
dining salon with library with TV/VCR and Stereo. Here is where
briefings and conference-talks are given and planning about next day
activities. Foredeck has enough space for sun bathing, dolphin watching
or just to relax and observe marine life and the beautiful landscape of
the islands. The ample and comfortable space on deck makes this boat
ideal for nature and photography cruises.
Ship Deck Plan
Year Of Construction: 1966
Social Areas: Dining room, bar, sundeck, TV, VCR, convenient and comfortable meeting group area
Length (m): 23.77 m
Beam (m): 5.48 m
Electric Power: 110v & 220v A/C and 12v & 24v D/C
Machinery: Twin DAV diesel engines 280 HP-CUMMINS
Life Rafts: One self-contained 20-passenger life raft
Speed (knots): 8.5 knots
Naturalist Guide(s): 1
Snorkel Equipment Rental Included
All meals during the voyage
Activities as specified
Tours led by English-speaking Guide(s)
Use of kayak and snorkelling equipment
What's not included?
Passport, visa and immigration fees
Airport arrival/departure taxes
Additional hotel nights
National Park Entrance Fee $US100
Tourist Control Card US$20
Christmas & New Year surcharges*
Travel protection plan
Alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages
Any items not mentioned as included
*Surcharges will be applied to Christmas and New Year departures. Please contact us for more details.