Premier Galápagos

10 days

The inspiration for Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’, the Galápagos is a destination unlike any other. Your journey begins in the historical city of Quito, exploring its streets and architecture, established by the Spanish, yet retaining glimpses of its earlier Incan residents. Departing the mainland, you will trace Darwin’s footsteps as you drift in luxury to visit several of the Galápagos’ 127 islands. Observe the giant tortoises of San Cristobal, witness the charming dance of the blue-footed booby, and plunge into the ocean to explore the realms beneath the waves. Your floating residence is of the utmost elegance, with a fully-appointed en suite cabin, gymnasium, library and gourmet meals leaving nothing to be desired.


  • Explore the historical city of Quito
  • Take a walking tour of Quito’s architecture & sights
  • See the mating dance of the blue-footed booby
  • Stay aboard a fully-appointed luxury yacht
  • Enjoy gourmet meals with a handful of fellow guests
  • Explore walking trails & view endemic wildlife up close
  • Go snorkeling & view a spectrum of marine life
  • Kayak through quiet bays & dramatic coastlines
  • Learn about the Galápagos from your naturalist guide
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station



Arrive Quito, Ecuador

Upon arrival in Quito, you will be transferred to Casa Gangotena, a boutique hotel in the city’s Old Town. The luxuriant hotel has an air of Victorian design, providing superb cuisine, a rooftop terrace, and a secluded garden to unwind after your journey.


Explore Quito on a Walking Tour

Enjoy a full-day tour of magnificent Quito and its surrounds. You’ll start by exploring the city’s historic district, soaking in this urban jewel with its artistic and architectural treasures. The tour will take in churches and monasteries plated in gold as examples of Catholicism’s sway towards region over indigenous custom. Your guide will also escort you to several colonial art museums and divulge many of Quito’s secret destinations, rarely seen by tourists.


Transfer to the Galápagos Islands & Leon Dormido

Board your flight to the Galápagos. On arrival you transfer to your vessel. Once aboard, you will be given a briefing by the purser who will familiarize you with the vessel, your schedule and daily activities, before allocating your cabin. Setting sail, your captain will take you to Leon Dormido, (Spanish for sleeping lion), a remnant of a vertical tuff cone formation, rising 500 feet from the ocean. A relaxed evening concludes your first day in the Galápagos, enjoying a cocktail reception with your captain followed by an elegant multi-course dinner.


Cerro Brujo & Punta Pitt

Sailing overnight, you will wake on the north side of San Cristobal, transported along the shoreline by Zodiac to observe the abundant birdlife. Brown pelicans soar on their immense wings overhead, while noddy terns and blue-footed boobies plunge into the ocean in search of fish. This is also a superb location to familiarize yourself with your snorkeling equipment and practice your kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding skills. Though a little challenging (but very safe and fun) to master, stand-up paddleboards give you a more elevated perspective from which you can better view waterlife.

After a delightful barbecue lunch, your adventure takes you onto land, exploring the winding pathways of Punta Pitt in search of several booby species along with a host of other birdlife. After a snorkeling excursion, return to the vessel for a relaxed evening after your first full day in the Galápagos.


Española Island & Gardner Bay

Having sailed overnight, you will wake to new horizons. Your first stop this morning will be Punta Suarez. This is a phenomenal site where you will get to see many of Española Island’s endemic wildlife on a walking tour. Species include sea lions, marine iguanas, Galapagos hawk, waved albatross, red-billed tropic birds and Nazca boobies. One of Punta Suarez’ most famous landmarks is a dramatic blowhole that sends plumes of whitewater skywards, casting rainbows in the sunlight.

This afternoon, you will continue to Gardner Bay. This white sandy beach is home to a large colony of sea lions and impossibly turquoise waters. You will also have the option to kayak or snorkel at Tortuga Rock, viewing a wealth of marine life.


Punta Coromorant & Floreana Island

Located on Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant has striking olive-hued beaches due to unique mineral deposits. Sea lions bask on the sand, and the sounds of lava heron and blue-footed boobies fill the air. Your walking tour will take you to an inland saline lake where your naturalist guide will point out Bahama ducks, flycatchers and flocks of pink flamingos dining on the algae and crustacea that give them their distinctive coloring.

Lunch aboard is followed by a fascinating presentation on the human history of the Galápagos, before visiting one of the islands’ most distinctive historical sites: Post Office Bay. Erected by English whaling fleets in the late 18th century, a post barrel still stands. This was once used by sailors and even pirates to send letters around the world. No postage is required. Instead, the postal service relies on the integrity of its patrons. You may wish to search through the postcards left by previous visitors. If you see one addressed to a location near your home, you may choose to take it with you.


Pure Ayora & the Charles Darwin Research Station

When you awake this morning, the view will be completely different from the last few days. A harbor full of boats is bustling with activity at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. You will be transferred by bus to a higher altitude with beautiful geological formations including the lava tunnels at El Mirador and Los Gemelos (the twins), a pair of massive craters. Your guides will explain how they were formed. The highlight of the morning is a visit to Rancho Primicias, a privately-owned ranch where tortoises roam free. These slow-moving giants can grow to be over 500 pounds (225kg)!

Lunch is served back on board the yacht, and later in the afternoon you’ll learn about the most famous visitor to the Galapagos – Charles Darwin – as well as current conservation efforts, when you visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena or Charles Darwin Research Station.


Bartolome Island – a Return to Solitude

Escaping the bustle of Puerto Ayora, your day begins in the tranquility of Bartolome Island. Two options present themselves this morning:

Some may choose to take the slightly challenging hike around the island, ascending the 400 steps to one of Bartolome’s highest points for panoramic views of Pinnacle  Rock. Along the way, you will view fascinating geological formations created by ancient volcanic activity. For a more sedate morning, you may elect for a Zodiac circumnavigation of the island, searching for Galápagos penguins along the way. This will also provide the opportunity for some more snorkeling, spotting tropical fish and harmless reef sharks in the azure waters.

Lunch aboard is followed by another trip ashore, this time to the small islet of Sombrero Chino. This small outcrop is home to marine iguanas who navigate to the water between herds of snoozing sea lions. The area also has exceptional snorkeling – your last activity of another day filled with activities.


South Plaza & North Seymour Island

South Plaza is a small islet with tall cliffs and a trail amongst a variety of plants and animals. This atoll is home to a colony of bachelor sea lions, with dominant bulls in various stages of recovery from battles over prime beach territory. You’ll also have an opportunity to see land iguanas up close, and your naturalist guide will describe what differentiates them from marine iguanas.

During lunch, you’ll sail to North Seymour Island, where a spectacular sight awaits: frigate birds with red sacs inflated on their chests, seeking mates. The Galápagos Islands are home to two different species of frigates, great and magnificent, and your guides will teach you to identify the difference. Here you will also have a final opportunity to snorkel in deeper water, spotting sharks, sea lions, and starfish, along with a variety of tropical fish.

Before dinner, enjoy a champagne toast to celebrate a wonderful week at the Captain’s farewell gathering. After dinner, there is a special presentation from your guides, displaying images from your wonderful week in paradise.

DAY 10

San Cristobal, Flight to Quito & Departure

Your final stop in the Galápagos will be to San Cristobal. Prior to your departure from the Galápagos, you will have the opportunity to visit The Interpretation Center, offering a fascinating history of mankind’s presence in the archipelago. Stretch your legs on a short trail before boarding the bus to Baltra airport for the flight back to the mainland.

Depending on your arrival time, you may enjoy the luxury of an afternoon at the nearby Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel. Here, you can make use of their facilities, refresh and possibly take a short nap before your flight home.