The Galapagos Islands were discovered by accident by the Bishop of Panama in 1535. For the next 300 years the main visitors were either whalers or English pirates hiding out in between plundering Spanish galleons laden with silver and gold.
The islands gained international recognition when Charles Darwin published his famous theory on “natural selection” following his visit to the islands in 1835 aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin marvelled at the extraordinary animals on the islands. Fueled by the nutrient rich ocean currents and isolated from humans, the islands have developed unique, abundant wildlife that has no natural fear of Man. The islands' importance was confirmed when the islands were declared the world’s first World Heritage Site in 1978 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1984.
The Galapagos National Park protects 97% of the islands. Thanks to conservation efforts the Galapagos Islands are much as they were millions of years ago and visitors can see up close some of the planet’s most wonderful creatures and landscapes. It truly is like no place on earth. Imagine yourself walking amongst prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, albatross nesting colonies, lumbering giant tortoises, baby sea turtles hatching or flamingos. Swim and snorkel with playful sea lions, speedy penguins, sea turtles and a myriad of spectacularly colourful fish. We guarantee you an experience like no other you have ever known.
Additional Charges Apply - Easter, Christmas and New Year
• Isabela Island: keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola (sunfish)
• Espinosa Point: after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, we'll reach the island's highlight: the Flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk
• Elizabeth Bay: the bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and Blue-footed Boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks
• Santa Cruz Highlands: walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species
Assistance will be provided for you when you arrive to the airport by one of our representatives after you have landed.
You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Ocean Spray staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.
The afternoon visit to Chinese Hat, offers rare, up close viewing of Galapagos wildlife and well preserved remnants of fragile volcanic rock that can't be found in such a unique condition anywhere else. The islet is home to a colony of sea lions on the white coral sand beach.? Here you can see American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Penguins swimming along the shores, and Sally-Lightfoot Crabs in bright contrast to the dark volcanic rock.
Isabela Island: The largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active.
The morning visit is to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola (or pacific sunfish).
Fernandina Island: No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island and therefore it is one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. Fernandina is the youngest island in Galapagos. Access to this site is extremely restricted by the Galapagos National Park and you will be one of those very lucky visitors. The volcano "La Cumbre" dominates the landspace with lava fields reaching the ocean.
Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, we will land at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, we'll reach the island's highlight: the Flightless Cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.
The morning visit, including Tagus Cove's cliff-side gallery, provides a clear view of pirate graffiti dating back to 1836. The contrast between vandalism and the pristine environment is thought provoking. Up the (1.25 mi / 2 km) hike through lava formations, we will see stunning views of the surrounding slopes and volcanoes, making our way to Darwin Lake. This salt-water crater-lake may have been filled with a tidal wave brought on by a volcanic eruption.
In the afternoon, we will land at Urbina Bay which presents some fascinating geological formations. In 1954, an uplift from the sea formed the bay which has been characterized by the resulting terrestrial coral reef ever since. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water, along with Flightless Cormorants, pelicans, and marine iguanas. You will be dazzled by the breathtaking view of Volcano Alcedo, with the possibility to see land iguanas and giant tortoises in the wild.
The morning visit will take us to Elizabeth Bay, a secluded space lacking any landing sites. We will take a traditional 'panga' ride or dinghy ride, passing the red mangroves and amongst the wildlife of the lively bay. Elizabeth is known for its marine life; you will probably see sea turtles and rays skimming the surface of the water. You may also see Brown Pelicans diving for fish, penguins, Blue-footed Boobies and possibly spot humpback whales
In the afternoon we will visit Moreno Point, located south west of Elizabeth Bay. Here, a dry landing onto what was once flowing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake, which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world, as the marine life drifts by. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, White-Cheeked Pintails, and Common Gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.
In the morning we start at the Charles Darwin Station - Breeding Center "Fausto Llerena" home to tortoises ranging from 4-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of tortoises interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans. The babies are only kept until they are about four years old, or large enough to survive in the wild. These conservation efforts continue to be extremely successful.
Here at the Highlands, you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. You will come upon the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long. Local guides will provide information and flashlights. Walking through the lava tubes is a unique and surreal experience.
In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.
After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra Island's airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland.
Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador's mainland.
These Galapagos cruise itineraries are subject to change without previous notice due to weather conditions and National Park regulations. Itineraries of 8 or more days may be scheduled to stop at ports for various cruise logistic reasons and/or for embarking/disembarking passengers.
05 December, 2020 to 10 December, 2020
Main Deck: 4 double cabins (334 ft² / 32 mt²) Upper Deck: 4 double cabins (248 ft² / 23 mt²) 1 single cabin (194 ft² / 18 mt²) All with private balconies.
Galapagos Park Entrance Fee + Transit Control Card: 120 USD pp
Vessel Type: Power Motor Catamaran
Length: 34 metres
Passenger Capacity: 16
Built / refurbished: 2011
The Mega-Catamaran Ocean Spray offers the best performance and comfort in Galapagos Cruising. The elegant design includes a huge sundeck, Jacuzzi and spacious cabins each with private balcony.
Her speed, comfort, top guides and itinerary will make Ocean Spray perfect for your Galapagos Cruise Adventure. Kayaks are also available for use.
Accommodation: Main Deck: 4 double cabins (334 ft² / 32 mt²) Upper Deck: 4 double cabins (248 ft² / 23 mt²), 1 single cabin (194 ft² / 18 mt²). All with private balcony.
Crew: Captain, Bilingual Galapagos National Park Naturalist Guide, Quality Control Manager, 8 other crew (First Mate, Chef, Sous Chef, Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Sailor, Barman, Housekeeper).
KEY FEATURES - Ample social areas & jacuzzi, Private Balconies, Top Galapagos Guides, Cruise Manager
Voyage on board in selected cabin category
All shore excursions
All meals while on board
Regular soft drinks and juices
Galapagos National Park bilingual Guide
Use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits
Carbon Offset for your Cruise
International and domestic airfares
Round-trip airfare Mainland Ecuador – Galapagos (Approx USD$550.00 per person)
Galapagos National Park Fee and transit card (Approx USD$120.00 per person)
Passport and visa costs where applicable
Plastic bottled beverages