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Cormorant Catamaran: Yacht Details

The Cormorant is one of the finest catamarans in the islands

The Cormorant is a 16 passenger catamaran, and is one of the most modern vessels to cruise the Galapagos.   Its design provides for exceptional stability and comfort.  Eight of the nine cabins have a private balcony, including the two suites on the upper deck. All excursions are led by a bilingual naturalist guide, and excursion options include hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking. The Cormorant’s amenities and service make it one of the most highly regarded options in the islands.

Day by Day Itinerary

BRIEF SUMMARY (for detailed island visits please scroll down)
7 night cruises run from Saturday to Saturday
4 night cruises run from Saturday to Wednesday of Itinerary A
3 night cruises run from Wednesday to Saturday of Itinerary A

Itinerary A
Saturday:        Arrive to Baltra / Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
Sunday:          Bartolome / Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
Monday:          South Plaza / Santa Fe Island
Tuesday:        San Cristobal:   Cerro Brujo / Punta Pitt
Wednesday:  Isla Lobos / Kicker Rock
Thursday:       Espanola:  Gardner Bay / Punta Suarez
Friday:             Floreana:  Cormorant Point and Champion Islet / Post Office Bay
Saturday:        Charles Darwin Research Center (Santa Cruz) / Depart for Mainland

Itinerary B
Saturday:        Arrive to Baltra / Los Gemelos (Santa Cruz)
Sunday:          Isabela: Tintoreras / Sierra Negra
Monday:          Isabela:  Punta Moreno / Elizabeth Bay
Tuesday:        Fernandina:  Punta Mangle (Fernandina) / Urbina Bay (Isabela)
Wednesday:  Fernandina:  Punta Espinosa / Vicente Roca Point
Thursday:       Santiago: Egas Port / Buccaneer Cove & Espumilla Beach
Friday:             Tower:  El Barranco / Darwin Bay
Saturday:        North Seymour / Depart for Mainland

Cormorant 7 night Cruise Itinerary A

Saturday to Saturday

Day 1 Saturday Arrive to Baltra / Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by the Cormorant 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 is to Bachas Beach, located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. It is a swimming beach that is one of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos. A floating pier can be seen here. You may also see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest off the beach.

Day 2 Sunday Bartolome / Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
The morning visit takes you to Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black, and even green volcanic formations. You will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands. You will also visit a small beautiful beach, surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. This beach is perfect for snorkeling and you may even see the Galapagos penguins.

In the afternoon you will head for Sullivan bay. This site, located southeast of Santiago Island, is of great geological interest. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows (solidified lava in corrugated or accordion form). It was very active in the last 25 years of the nineteenth century. The Sullivan lava flow formed in 1897. The area is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling, and other eruptions led to breaks in many places. About 200 meters from the landing, you can see patterns of vegetation that were burned during the eruption.

Day 3 Monday South Plaza / Santa Fe Island
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.

The afternoon visit is to Santa Fe Island. Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to a small picturesque bay and the boat will anchor on the northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.

Day 4 Tuesday San Cristobal: Cerro Brujo / Punta Pitt
In the morning you will visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) where you will explore one of the nicest beaches in the Galápagos. With a colony of sea lions and Blue-footed Boobies, this scenic place is bustling with life. Just beyond the beach is a lagoon, thriving with Egrets and Great Blue Herons. The turquoise water and abundant marine life will invite you to snorkel in their midst.

In the afternoon you will visit Pitt Point. Pitt Point holds its own as the northeastern most site on Isabela. After an easy hike, you will be rewarded with a unique treat. Here lays the only nesting site which hosts all species of Galápagos Boobies. Photographers will be thrilled with this intimate natural experience. The attractive volcanic tuff formations will have geologists and laymen alike imagining the forces of nature that created this land.

Day 5 Wednesday Isla Lobos / Kicker Rock
Today will begin with a dry landing on Isla Lobos, where you will walk over rocky terrain. Frigate birds can be found here, and the island is also the nesting ground for blue-footed boobies. You’re also likely to see sea lions, and may have a chance to swim with them.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a panga ride and snorkeling around the Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance. This site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean, form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropicbirds, frigate birds, and boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea, the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.

Day 6 Thursday Espanola: Gardner Bay / Punta Suarez
Española Island is the southernmost island of the Galapagos and is the breeding site of nearly all of the Waved Albatrosses in the entire world. Española is densely populated with mockingbirds, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Darwin finches, Galapagos Doves, hawks, red and green marine iguanas, and loads of sea lions. In the morning, you will start with the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups.

In the afternoon, you will visit Suarez Point on a trail where you will have the chance to see Blue-footed Boobies, albatrosses, and Nazca Boobies. You will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad. You’ll have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.

Day 7 Friday Floreana: Cormorant Point and Champion Islet / Post Office Bay
Today you will visit two sites on Floreana Island. Floreana is known for its fabulous snorkeling sites, its vibrantly pink flamingos, and its black sand beaches. You will start at Punta Cormorant, a steep lava cone joined to the main section of the island by a low-lying strip of land. At the high point of the trail that ascends this volcanic cone you will be able to look down into a large lagoon, where you may see several species of bird, including the occasional flamingo. From here you will also visit Champion Islet for some snorkeling, where you may spot sea horses, sea lions, blue lobster, and red-lipped batfish.

In the afternoon you will head to Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has been serving as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. The barrel was constructed in 1793 to maintain contact with Europe and the United States, and to this day it is a popular place to leave outgoing mail. Here, you can drop your postcards in the barrel as the whalers did centuries ago. You will learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants, and the adventures of pirates and whalers.

Day 8 Saturday Charles Darwin Research Center / Depart for Mainland
In the morning you start on Santa Cruz Island, at the Charles Darwin Station Breeding Center, “Fausto Llerena,” home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of turtles interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, and will stretch out their heads for a pet. 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. After the visit you will be escorted to Baltra airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Cormorant 7 night Cruise Itinerary B

Saturday to Saturday

Day 1 Saturday Arrive to Baltra / Los Gemelos (Santa Cruz)
Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by the Cormorant 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.

Your first excursion this afternoon is to Los Gemelos (the Twins), two subsidence craters formed by a series of eruptions that happened when the islands were still active. The Twins are also in the vicinity of the only Scalesia forest growing on Santa Cruz island. Some species of Galapagos finches and the beautiful vermilion flycatcher can usually be seen here.

Day 2 Sunday Isabela: Tintoreras / Sierra Negra
In the morning you will visit the Tintoreras Islet, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil. This island is the home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles, and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.

The afternoon visit will be to the Sierra Negra Volcano. The Sierra Negra Volcano boasts the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to seven species of finches and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

Day 3 Monday Isabela: Punta Moreno / Elizabeth Bay
In the morning you 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. 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.

The afternoon visit will take you to Elizabeth Bay, a secluded space lacking any landing sites. You will take a traditional ‘panga’ ride passing the red mangrove trees and see much of the wildlife of this 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 the Brown Pelicans diving for fish, penguins, Blue-footed Boobies, and possibly humpback whales.

Day 4 Tuesday Punta Mangle (Fernandina) / Urbina Bay (Isabela)
In the morning you will head for Mangle Point. No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape with lava fields reaching the ocean. The island´s highlight is the Flightless Cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.

In the afternoon, you 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 the Alcedo Volcano.

Day 5 Wednesday Fernandina: Punta Espinosa / Vicente Roca Point
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. Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands you will land at Espinosa Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, reach the island´s highlight: the Flightless Cormorant nesting site.

The afternoon will include a visit to Isabela Island’s Punta Vicente Roca, home to a colony of Galapagos fur seals, a species endemic to the islands. You may also see sea turtles, Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, Nasca boobies, blue footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds, and flightless cormorants.

Day 6 Thursday Santiago: Egas Port / Buccaneer Cove & Espumilla Beach
Today you will visit Santiago Island, in the heart of the Archipelago. You will start at Puerto Egas, where you will disembark on a dark-sand volcanic beach with an interesting history of human settlement. Galapagos fur seals can often be seen lounging under arches of lava carved by the ocean or dipping into the crystalline pools, also known as grottos.

In the afternoon you will cruise north to Buccaneer Cove, a popular hideout for pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries. Afterward you will disembark at Espumilla. A forest trail will take you through some of the largest specimens of Palo Santo on the islands to observe Yellow Warblers, the famously tame Galapagos Flycatcher, and Darwin’s finches.

Day 7 Friday Tower: El Barranco / Darwin Bay
The morning takes you to El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, whose steep, rocky path will lead you up 25 meters (82 feet) of cliff-face. After marveling at the view you will have the opportunity to take a 0.6 mile (1 km) trek through Palo Santo vegetation. Here you will be dazzled by all the birds: Red-footed Boobies, Short-eared Lava Owls, Galápagos Swallows, and Galápagos Doves.

The afternoon visit will take you to the beach at Darwin Bay. This white-sand coral beach heads a 1/2 mile (3/4 km) trail that winds through mangroves that are filled with land birds. You may see Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls. Further down the path, you may see sea lions playing in tidal pools. You will arrive cliff-side and can let the spectacular views soak in, while the Boobies and iguanas keep you company.

Day 8 Saturday North Seymour / Depart for Mainland
The morning visit will take you to North Seymour Island. Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed Boobies, and Magnificent Frigate birds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity and it is characterized by its arid vegetation zone. After the visit you will be escorted to Baltra airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.