Isabela II: Yacht Details

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An elegant yacht for upscale Galapagos exploration

The Isabela II is a luxurious 40-passenger yacht. This stylish boat is fully air conditioned and offers ample social areas on its three decks, including a bar and lounge, dining room, and a sun deck with a bar, Jacuzzi, and solarium. The ship also has a glass-bottom boat, providing additional opportunities to observe the local marine life. With three high quality naturalist guides aboard, the Isabela II is an elegant and inviting way to explore the Galapagos.


Day by Day Itinerary

BRIEF SUMMARY (for detailed island visits please scroll down)
4 night cruises run from Monday to Friday and Friday to Tuesday / 6 night cruises run from Tuesday to Monday

4 Night Southern Itinerary

Friday Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz)
Saturday Floreana: Post Office Bay / Cormorant Point
Sunday Española: Punta Suarez / Gardner Bay
Monday San Cristóbal: Punta Pitt / Cerro Brujo
Tuesday Return to Mainland

4 Night Central Itinerary

Monday Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz)
Tuesday Santa Fe / South Plaza
Wednesday North Seymour / Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)
Thursday Bartolome / Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
Friday Return to Mainland

6 Night Northern Itinerary

Tuesday Arrive to San Cristóbal / Galapaguera Cerro Colorado
Wednesday Genovesa: Prince Philip’s Steps / Darwin Bay
Thursday Santiago: Buccaneer Cove / Puerto Egas
Friday Punta Espinoza (Fernandina) / Tagus Cove (Isabela)
Saturday Isabela: Urbina Bay / Punta Vicente Roca
Sunday Rábida / Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz)
Monday Return to Mainland


Isabela II 4 Night Southern Itinerary

Friday to Tuesday


Day 1 Friday Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz)
Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Isabela II, who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to the ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion will be to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, where a series of walkways will take you through the captive breeding program to see juvenile and adult tortoises from different islands. Here, you will witness the efforts and results of the field work being done in the islands and increase your understanding of the work being done by the foundation to preserve the ecosystems of the Galapagos.

Day 2 Saturday Floreana: Post Office Bay / Cormorant Point
Today you will visit Floreana Island, located on the southern edge of the archipelago. You will first 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. North of Post Office Bay is 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.

Day 3 Sunday Española: Punta Suarez / Gardner Bay
Today you will visit Española (Hood) Island, the southernmost island in the Galapagos and home to the greatest number of endemic species in the Archipelago. In the morning you will disembark at Punta Suarez, where colonies of Nazca and blue-footed boobies nest along the trails. You will also be able to see the famous Galapagos blowhole, where the seawater is forced through a fissure in the cliff and, depending on the waves and tide levels, can spout up to 80 feet high. On the east coast of Española is Gardner Bay, your next destination, whose white-sand beaches are home to sea lions. This is a great area for snorkeling, with an opportunity to see many different schools of fish near Tortuga Rock, a few hundred meters off the shore.

Day 4 Monday San Cristóbal: Punta Pitt / Cerro Brujo
This morning you will visit Punta Pitt, on San Cristóbal Island. Punta Pitt is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim from the beach or off the nearby islets Later in the day you will take a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers to Cerro Brujo (Witch Hill), where you will disembark on a white coralline beach. The beach is a large expanse, great for walking, with rewarding bird watching with good views of seabirds like blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, herons, frigate birds, and more shore birds. Also, look out for Galápagos sea lions. Highlights ashore include the Chatham mockingbird and Chatham lava lizard; both species are endemic to this island, and seen nowhere else in the Galápagos.

Day 5 Tuesday Return to Mainland
This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to San Cristóbal Airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Isabela II 4 Night Central Itinerary

Monday to Friday


Day 1 Monday Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz)
Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Isabela II, who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to the ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion will be to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, where a series of walkways will take you through the captive breeding program to see juvenile and adult tortoises from different islands. Here, you will witness the efforts and results of the field work being done in the islands and increase your understanding of the work being done by the foundation to preserve the ecosystems of the Galapagos.

Day 2 Tuesday Santa Fe / South Plaza
This morning you will land on Santa Fe Island, which offers a small picturesque bay that attracts large numbers of sea lions. 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 prickly pear cactus forest where the opuntia cacti grow to heights of over 30 feet. In the afternoon you will head to South Plaza, a small island with steep cliffs formed by rising lava. The island is covered by Opuntia cacti and the characteristic Sesuvium, which changes its colors from season to season. South Plaza is home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in Galapagos, as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas.

Day 3 Wednesday North Seymour / Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)
In the morning you will disembark on North Seymour, a small uplifted island that is home to the largest nesting ground of Magnificent Frigate birds in the Galapagos. Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigate birds are abundant here. Later in the day you will head to Santa Cruz Island to visit Bachas Beach, named for a pair of World War II barges left by the U.S. Army. Here, you will visit a small lagoon where migratory birds (such as herons and pelicans) and other species are often present. You may also see flamingos.

Day 4 Thursday Bartolome / Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
This morning you will visit Bartolome Island. Here, you will hike up a series of steps to a lookout point, from which you can view the island’s unique, lunar-like landscape and the iconic Pinnacle Rock, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Galapagos. At the base of this rock are white sand beaches where you may see sea lions and Galapagos Penguins. In the afternoon you will go to Santiago (James) Island to see Sullivan Bay. Located on the eastern side of Santiago, this 131-year old lava flow still has intact driblet cones. Here, you can walk over uneroded, black pahoehoe lava covered with lava bubbles and tree-trunk molds in the surface, and you may see marine and terrestrial birds, a colony of Galapagos fur seals, and black marine iguanas.

Day 5 Friday Return to Mainland
This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to Baltra Airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Isabela II 6 Night Northern Itinerary

Tuesday to Monday


Day 1 Tuesday Arrive to San Cristóbal / Galapaguera Cerro Colorado
Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Isabela II, who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to the ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion will be to the Galapaguera, located on the southeast side of San Cristóbal Island, in the vicinity of Cerro Colorado. It is one of the few places where you can see Calandrinia Galapagosa, a plant endemic to San Cristobal and in danger of extinction. The site was built in 2002 to increase the population of the giant tortoise species of San Cristobal, and includes 12 hectares (120,000 square meters) of dry forest. The tortoises here have their corrals at the entrance of the Galapaguera, which also has a small interpretation center where visitors can learn about these animals and the conservation and breeding programs on the island. Along the trail it is possible to observe different bird species such as the mockingbird, the yellow warbler, small ground and tree finches, and the flycatcher.

Day 2 Wednesday Genovesa: Prince Philip’s Steps / Darwin Bay
Today you will visit Genovesa (Tower) Island, a low-lying volcano rising just above the ocean surface. Your first stop is at El Barranco, also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, where you will use the eponymous steps to climb up the steep basaltic cliff. The trail leads first through a small nesting colony of masked boobies before crossing a low, dense forest of Palo Santo trees where the red?footed boobies have their nests. At the edge of the island, thousands of small petrels nest in the crevices and tubes of the fragile lava. On both sides of the trail you may see Nazca booby nesting colonies. Later in the day you will visit Darwin Bay, a unique site lined with red mangrove and soft-haired prickly pear cacti, where you may see Nazca boobies, great frigate birds, and mockingbirds. Darwin Bay is a popular site for bird-watching, and sightings often include the sharp-beaked finch, large cactus finches, large ground finches, Galapagos doves, and swallow-tailed gulls.

Day 3 Thursday Santiago: Buccaneer Cove / Puerto Egas
Today will take you to Santiago (James) Island, located in the heart of the Archipelago. After breakfast you will enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove and learn about the history of Santiago Island and its relevance for whalers, pirates and early researchers. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions and inter-tidal organisms. In the afternoon, at Puerto Egas, 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.

Day 4 Friday Punta Espinoza (Fernandina) / Tagus Cove (Isabela)
This morning you will head to Fernandina Island, where you will disembark at Espinosa Point. One of the youngest islands in the Galapagos, Fernandina remains one of the most highly active volcanic islands. The island offers a contrast between the green mangroves, black lava flows, and turquoise waters. You may see Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas, and colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs. In the afternoon you will cross back over to Isabela to visit Tagus Cove, where you can view pirate graffiti dating back to the 1800s. As you walk around the cove you will enjoy views of a saltwater lagoon called Darwin Lake. From the summit of this hike you will be able to see both Darwin Volcano and Wolf Volcano.

Day 5 Saturday Isabela: Urbina Bay / Punta Vicente Roca
Located on the western side of the archipelago, Isabela was formed by the joining of six lava flows. Isabela stretches approximately 100 kilometers north to south and is the largest island in the Galapagos. You will start at Urbina Bay, at the foot of the Alcedo Volcano. Urbina Bay was uplifted from the seabed in 1954, leaving coral heads sitting out of the water. Here, you may see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water. On land you may see flightless cormorants, pelicans, and marine iguanas. You will also have a view of the Alcedo Volcano. Next you will visit 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 Sunday Rábida / Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz)
Today you will visit Rábida, an island known for the remarkable red coloring of its earth. This color comes from the oxidation of the iron-rich lava that makes up the island’s soil. A few minutes’ walk from the beach, you will find a small lagoon of brackish water, lined with opuntia cactus and Palo Santo trees. Rábida is home to an array of bird species, including finches, brown pelicans, Galapagos white-cheeked pintail ducks and Galapagos hawks. In the afternoon you will head to Cerro Dragon, located on Santa Cruz’s northwest shore. Here you will visit a saltwater lagoon, home to Greater Flamingos, Black-necked Stilts, and White-cheeked Pintails. Further inland you will find a land iguana nesting site.

Day 7 Monday Return to Mainland
This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to Baltra Airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.

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