Aboard Eric-Flamingo-Letty, Northern Circuit

Cruise the best northern island sites, including Genovesa, on a 20-passenger yacht
Overview

overview

CALL FOR SPECIAL DISCOUNTS ON SELECT DEPARTURES!

Two itineraries are offered to adhere to touring regulations established by the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve to limit tourist visits for the islands' health and recovery.  Take your pick between this and its companion tour of southern islands, based on your preferences and your dates, or if you want the complete Galapagos experience and have the time, take both!

The fleet of three identical first-class motor-yachts, M/Y Eric, Flamingo I, and Letty, was custom-designed for Galapagos excursions, offering tremendous value for superior comfort. Two experienced English-speaking naturalist guides attend to the details of your Galapagos cruise. Each naturalist takes a group of no more than ten passengers on all shore excursions and shares extensive insights into the islands’ diverse wildlife. Stable rubber boats (Zodiacs), locally called pangas, ferry passengers to shore for island visits. These week-long, comprehensive itineraries visit the islands’ most spectacular sites to witness the unique plants and animals that have made these islands famous.

Built in 1991 and refurbished every year, each 20-passenger yacht features ten double outside-facing cabins located on three decks with polished teak wood interiors and either windows or portholes. All of the yachts are fully air-conditioned, and all cabins have private bath facilities. Picture windows surround the upper two decks and offer spectacular panoramic views of ocean and islands. Enjoy sea breezes, sunny days, and starlit nights on lounge chairs and recliners located on the sun deck and observation points. Snorkeling equipment, custom wet suits, and sea kayaks are all available at no additional cost.

During the months of June, July, August, and December, these ships offer special Galapagos departures for families with kids of elementary school age and older.

The itinerary shown here is for the Flamingo and the Letty; the order of visits will vary slightly on the Eric.  Please contact us for details associated with your preferred travel dates.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil

    Arrive in either Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador, where you will be met and transferred to your local hotel.*

    Quito is located in a huge valley of the Andes mountains at an altitude of 9,455 feet; it’s a great place to extend your stay to explore the city, the surrounding volcanic mountain range, or possibly an excursion to the fabled Otavalo market.

    Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city; with its low elevation and coastal location, it is an ideal point from which to fly to the Galapagos.  The city's 1.5-mile waterfront Malecon 2000 riverfront promenade is a lovely and enjoyable place to spend an afternoon.

    *Hotel/city tour package is not included in cruise rate.

    Meals
    None
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Quito or Guayaquil

    Quito city tour: Stroll down cobblestone streets and through flowering plazas. Visit the old colonial center of Independence Square, the elegant cathedrals of San Francisco, La Compañía, and San Agustín, Quito’s oldest monastery. Drive through the residential section and past the Legislative Palace (Congress). Panecillo Hill overlooks the city and snow-capped mountains. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore or relax.

    Guayaquil city tour: Our first stop is Malecon 2000, an 80-million-dollar riverside complex built along a two-mile stretch of the Guayas River. The waterfront promenade features restaurants, cafes, shops, and museums with art exhibitions as well as free weekend jazz and classical music concerts. Drive through the colorful streets of one of Ecuador’s most important port cities. Visit the Public Market, the waterfront, the docks, and Simon Bolivar Park, which is famous for its tree iguanas. Also, admire the watchtower, La Rotonda, Old Santa Ana Fort, and Las Penas, a charming colonial section of town frequented by artists. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore or relax.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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  • Day 3: San Cristobal/Cerro Colorado
    Watch for tortoises in their natural habitat

    You will be transferred to the airport where you will collect your tickets for your flight to the Galapagos.

    Upon arrival at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island, the crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to your anchored yacht.  After the welcome briefing, buffet lunch, and safety drill, you travel by bus into the interior of San Cristobal to visit La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado, where the National Park has established a breeding program for the tortoises and set up an information center for visitors. Along the trail, you may find the San Cristobal (Chatham) mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, both endemic to the island. Here, you will see the terrestrial tortoises living in their natural habitat, and learn about their origin, evolution and threats by introduced animals.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 4: Genovesa/Darwin Bay/Philip's Steps
    Nazca boobies are among the many birds you'll see on Genovesa

    Spend the entire day on Genovesa (Tower) Island, considered to be one of the most spectacular islands in all of the Galapagos for its variety and sheer number of birds. This morning, we have a wet landing on Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where swallow-tailed and lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of great frigatebirds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead. The trail leads through a rich inter-tidal zone where we find a great diversity of wildlife. This afternoon, we have a dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps. Red-footed boobies nest here in Palo Santo trees, and Nazca boobies nest near the trail. In an open lava field, we find storm petrels in large numbers. If you are lucky, we will see the elusive short-eared owl. Look for the beautiful Red-billed Tropic bird found in the crevices along the cliff by kayak or Zodiac. You can choose to swim or snorkel from the beach with sea lions in these northern warmer waters or for those with experience, we offer snorkeling in deeper water. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 5: Las Bachas/Cerro Dragon
    Male frigatebird displaying his inflated red throat pouch

    This morning you will visit Las Bachas, Spanish for "the barges."  There is a long stretch of a soft white sand beach and interior lagoons where we find the greater flamingo. The snorkeling from the beach here is wonderful. At Black Turtle Cove (Caleta Tortuga Negra) we have a zodiac ride through a series of coves and inlets surrounded by mangroves. Here you can view pairs of mating sea turtles (Sept to Feb), white-tipped reef sharks and golden cow-nosed rays. Located on the northern tip of Santa Cruz is Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). Along the trail, we find Darwin Finches, Galapagos Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Audubon Shearwater and the endemic land iguanas, orange-yellow in color with large spines along their backs, were once part of the Darwin Station’s breeding program. We find pink flamingos feeding in the salt-water lagoon as well as other lagoon birds; stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers and more. From the top of the hill, we enjoy a majestic view of the bay island covered in Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo and Cordia Lutea (muyuyu). After the briefing and dinner, we sail toward the western islands and cross the equator line for the second time.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 6: Fernandina/Urbina Bay, Isabela
    Decipher ancient mariners' graffiti at Tagus Cove

    This morning, we have a wet landing at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina, the youngest and most pristine Island in the Galapagos. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. Hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territories. Flightless cormorants build their nests on the point, and Galapagos hawks fly overhead. There is a chance to snorkel here with sea turtles. After lunch, we cross the Bolivar Channel, where we often spot whales and dolphins riding the ship's bow wave. We disembark at Urbina Bay, ISABELA, where we find four miles of its coastal seabed, with marine life exposed due to a dramatic uplift in 1954 when the volcano erupted. The marine remnants of coral skeletons, some of them waist-high, are visited after a wet landing on the beach. Urbina is home to the very large and colorful Galapagos land iguanas, occasionally giant tortoises, Darwin Finches. Brown Pelicans and Flightless Cormorants also nest here. Giant Marine Iguanas are seen along the coast. You may encounter penguins while snorkeling here. At Punta Vicente Roca, a Zodiac ride offers an incredible view of the tuff walls, we can enter the wave-sculpted cave and find sea turtle who frequent this area. You may spot the dorsal fin of a Mola Mola, an odd looking giant sun fish. Return to the yacht for briefing and dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 7: Isabela/Elizabeth Bay/Tagus Cove
    Marvel at coral skeletons on land, result of volcanic uplift

    Our morning excursion is a Zodiac ride in Elizabeth Bay, Isabela that begins at a secluded cove lined with large red mangrove trees where you will see turtles, rays, and shore birds. We then motor to the rocky islets known as “Las Marielas,” to view colonies of nesting penguins, flightless cormorants, and giant marine iguanas. Isabela was created when six volcanoes flowed together and formed the largest Island in Galapagos. We have a dry landing at Tagus Cove, located on the western Island of ISABELA and a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Old graffiti dating back to the 1800′s is written on the rocky cliffs. Explore the Coves by Zodiac or kayak to find Galapagos Penguins, Boobies, Pelicans and other seabirds. An uphill hike brings us to a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. An excellent snorkeling site is offered from the zodiac or take out a Kayak and explore the shoreline. After dinner, a sky full of stars beckons to go on deck and observe the galaxy while crossing the equator for the last time.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 8: Santiago/Puerto Egas/Rabida Island
    Look for fur seals (a type of sea lion) in the grotto

    This morning, we have a wet landing at Puerto Egas, Santiago. Stroll along the shoreline looking for octopus, starfish, and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers, and yellow-crowned night herons. Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter shy fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, enjoy some snorkeling and kayaking if you wish. This afternoon, we disembark on Rabida Island, located near Santiago. Rabida sports the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the islands and is considered the geographic center of the Galapagos. The dark red sand beach resulted from erosion of volcanic stones. Follow a trail that leads to a salt water lagoon, and observe Greater Flamingos as they feed. Brown Pelicans nest in the mangroves at the far side of the lagoon. After the walk, there is time for snorkeling.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 9: Santa Cruz/Darwin Station
    Visit Charles Darwin Research Station

    Today after breakfast, disemark for a trip to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Visit all three tortoise corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated to the islands where they were born. Scientists from all over the globe come to the station to conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. You will also visit Van Straelen Hall, where there are exhibits and a short video presentation. Visitors can see the tortoise and land iguana corrals. Puerto Ayora is the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000 inhabitants. This evening you have the option to return to your yacht for a buffet dinner or remain in town on your own account. Those who return to the yacht will be provided zodiacs to return to town to shop for souvenirs or stop at an internet café. Zodiacs will be provided for your return to the yachts.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 10: San Cristobal/Quito or Guayaquil
    Drop anchor in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

    This morning, drop anchor in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal. Visit the Interpretation Center, which was opened in 1999. Here, you will gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Galapagos Islands. Afterwards, spend some time in port before heading to the airport for your noontime Aerogal flight back to the mainland, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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  • Day 11: Quito or Guayaquil/Onward

    Depending on the time of your flight home, you may have time for a city tour or relaxing by your hotel pool. Later, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Friday, weekly departures (cruise departs on Sunday). Call for dates and special family departures.
Land Cost:
$3,900
- $4,700
Costs are for cruise only See above for full details
Single Supplement:
$1800
No single supplement if willing to share. However, if no share is available within 60 days prior to departure, a single supplement will be added.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Cruise Costs: 

Prices are per person, for 8-day Cruise only.
Please see below for additional costs.

 2014 Rates for Eric, Flamingo, Letty:

FIT RATES: 8 DAY/ 7 NIGHTS (rates are per person)

7 NIGHTS                         DOUBLE        TRIPLE         SINGLE
IGUANA DECK                $ 3900.00     $3800.00    $5825.00
BOOBY DECK                 $ 4350.00  
DOLPHIN DECK             $ 4700.00

 

 2015 Rates for Eric, Flamingo, Letty:

FIT RATES: 8 DAY/ 7 NIGHTS (rates are per person)

7 NIGHTS                         DOUBLE        TRIPLE         SINGLE
IGUANA DECK                $ 4100.00     $4000.00    $6100.00
BOOBY DECK                 $ 4550.00  
DOLPHIN DECK             $ 4900.00

Additional costs: 

$110 National Park entry fee & tourist card

$580 Quito/Galapagos/Quito airfare

Hotel packages: hotel 3 nights, transfers & city tour; or hotel 2 nights and transfers; inquire for costs

International airfare estimate: $900-$1300

Fuel Surcharge may apply

 

About the ships

M/Y Eric, Flamingo I, and Letty are small yachts with identical characteristics. A seasoned captain, 8 dedicated crewmembers, and 2 experienced English-speaking naturalist guides attend to the details of your Galapagos cruise. Each naturalist takes a group of no more than 10 passengers on all shore excursions and shares extensive insights into the Islands' diverse wildlife. Small wooden boats, locally called pangas, ferry passengers to shore for island visits. Outfitted in 1991, the fleet of three 20-passenger first class motor-yachts Eric, Flamingo I, and Letty are 83' long with 24' beams each and exclusively custom-designed for Galapagos excursions, with spacious accommodations for small groups.
Polished teak wood interior features fully air-conditioned cabins, public spaces, a dining room, a well-stocked bar, a conference area (with television, vcr, stereo cassette/cd equipment), and a book and video library. Accommodations include ten cabins located on three decks, each with a large private bathroom, fresh hot-and-cold-water shower, either two twin lower beds or one double bed, a roomy closet, overhead storage, separate climate controls, intercom system, bottled water toiletries, and fresh towels. Snorkeling equipment, wet suits, sea kayaks, and beach towels are provided at no additional charge.
Breakfast and lunch are casual buffets with fresh, creatively prepared produce. Unwind quickly in the evening with creamy soups, ceviches, grilled seafood, roasted potato salad, unique deserts, and other delicacies of both Ecuadorian and international cuisines.

 

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
delightful motor yacht
Group Size:
20
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
delightful motor yacht
Terms & Conditions: 

Galapagos Cruise

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, English speaking guides, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation & check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), park or site entry fees, transit card, international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, fuel surcharges, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: For reservations requiring 1-2 cabins, a deposit of 30% of the cabin cost is due per person. Balance is due 90 days prior to departure. For reservations requiring 3 or more cabins, a deposit of 30% of the cabin cost is due per person. A second deposit of 30% of the cabin cost is due per person 180 days prior to departure and final payment for is due 90 days prior to departure. All payments are NON-REFUNDABLE. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. All payments may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail or via our website.  *HOLIDAY departures require an increased deposit of 40% from the regular terms and conditions.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Airfares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Duration: 4 days

Explore the rainforest habitats accompanied by native guides while staying at a charming lodge, designed to offer comfort while preserving the environment and ambiance of the rainforest.

Otavalo Off the Beaten Path

Duration: 3 days

This in-depth exploration of the scenic area north of Quito, including a trip to the famous Otavalo market, as well as visits to some of the smaller towns known for a variety of crafts.

Machu Picchu

Duration: 6 days

This short trip to Machu Picchu can be easily combined with your trip to the Amazon, Ecuador, or the Galapagos. Many major South American cities have daily flights to and from Lima.

Quito Colonial City and the Equator

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy a day exploring the city of Quito before or after your Journeys trip.

Avenue of the Volcanoes

Duration: 3 days

In three days, you can visit some of the most important sites in Ecuador. Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world, and Tungurahua has been erupting since 2001. The route is full of cultural, ethnic, and architectural attractions, along wi... read more

Guayaquil City & Optional Tours

Duration: 1 days

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city, and with its low elevation and coastal location, it is an ideal point to fly to and from Galapagos. Options include a tour of the city and the Botanical Gardens or the new Historical Park.

Cloud Forest

Duration: 1 days

Escape to a cloud forest paradise. Bellavista is a perfect day trip to see the subtropical rainforest during your stay in Quito. Why spend a spare day in the city when you could be hiking in a forest reserve, or relaxing in a hammock admiring the hum... read more

Otavalo Market

Duration: 1 days

Otavalo market is the oldest, best-known, and most important Indian market in South America, and it takes place every Saturday.  This extension allows you to visit the market, traveling from Quito via Calderón and Cayambe, and passing by some of th... read more

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