The Grace: Yacht Details


A deluxe luxury motor yacht, one of the finest in the Islands

The Grace offers the chance to cruise through the Galapagos on an exceptionally beautiful and historic vessel that was once a wedding present for Princess Grace of Monaco.  With a maximum of 18 passengers, she provides one of the finest ways to visit the islands.  The guides and cuisine are of the highest quality you can find. Decks and social areas are spacious and well appointed.

Day by Day Itinerary

BRIEF SUMMARY (for detailed island visits please scroll down)
7 night cruises run from Saturday to Saturday

Itinerary A
Saturday:        Arrive to Baltra / Chinese Hat
Sunday:          Santa Fe Island / South Plaza Island
Monday:          Tower Island:  Prince Phillip’s Steps / Darwin Bay
Tuesday:        Punta Espinosa (Fernandina) / Urbina Bay (Isabela)
Wednesday:  Isabela:  Tagus Cove / Punta Vicente Roca
Thursday:       Santiago Island:  Espumilla Beach or Buccanneer’s Cove / James Bay
Friday:             Santa Cruz:  Charles Darwin Research Center / Highlands
Saturday:        San Cristobal:  Interpretation Center

Itinerary B
Saturday:        San Cristobal:  Lobos & Kicker Rock
Sunday:          Espanola:  Punta Suarez / Gardner Bay
Monday:          Floreana:  Post Office Bay / Cormorant Point
Tuesday:        Santa Cruz: Dragon Hill / Highlands Tortoise Reserve
Wednesday:  Santa Cruz:  Bachas Beach / Chinese Hat Islet
Thursday:       Rabida Island / Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
Friday:             Bartolome / North Seymour
Saturday:        Mosquera Islet / Baltra

Grace 7 night Itinerary A

Saturday to Saturday


Day 1 Saturday Arrive to Baltra / Chinese Hat
Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands you will board the M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to the first visitor site: Chinese Hat Island. The island, a fairly recent volcanic cone, has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site.

In the afternoon there are opportunities for snorkeling with sea lions and penguins, as well as swimming opportunities in the cove. After this visit you can enjoy a welcome cocktail as you listen to the first formal briefing before dinner.

Day 2 Sunday Santa Fe Island / South Plaza Island
In the morning you will visit Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkeling because of the crystal clear waters. This is one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions, and get a glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas in an area of Opuntia Cacti.

In the afternoon you will visit South Plaza Island and see land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed. You will also see swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and shearwaters.

Day 3 Monday Tower Island: Prince Phillip’s Steps / Darwin Bay
Tower Island could serve as a film set for a secret submarine base! The southwestern part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the outer edges of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galapagos archipelago. It is also known as “Bird Island,” a name it lives up to in a spectacular way!

Day 4 Tuesday Punta Espinosa (Fernandina) / Urbina Bay (Isabela)
In the morning you will visit Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently (most recently in May 2005). You will visit Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land where a number of unique species, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, herons, egrets and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity.

The afternoon visit is to Urbina Bay, directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where you will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). You will walk a three mile (5 km) stretch of marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. Highlights of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises. There is also an opportunity to go snorkeling amongst marine creatures or just relax on shore.

Day 5 Wednesday Isabela: Tagus Cove / Punta Vicente Roca
In the morning you will visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone that ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of your boat in the bay, as well as the Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes.

In the afternoon you head north to Punta Vicente Roca. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. You will have a chance to see colorful fish, sea lions, penguins, and sea turtles in the water. This is also a great spot to take an interesting panga ride to spot wildlife along the shores and cliffs.

Day 6 Thursday Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach or Buccanneer’s Cove / James Bay
The morning visit is to Esmpumilla Beach whose main attractions are a palo santo forest, the beach, and the beautiful landscape. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles. You will follow a trail that heads into a sparely forested area then back to the beach. Along the way you may see a variety of Galapagos Finches or a Vermilion fly catcher. Once back at the beach visitors may have the chance to swim or snorkel, time permitting. Shortly afterwards you will visit Buccaneers Cove which is very scenic with steep cliffs made of tuff formations and the dark reddish-purple sand beach. This dramatic landscape is made all the more impressive by the hundreds of seabirds perched atop the cliffs. Two of the more recognizable rock formations are known as the “monk” and “elephant rock.”

The afternoon visit is to James Bay where you land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes, which are home to sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas, and tropical fish. You can snorkel in the late afternoon at one of the best sites on the islands to see Green Sea Turtles and Galapagos Penguins swimming.

Day 7 Friday Santa Cruz: Charles Darwin Research Center / Highlands
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program.

The afternoon visit is to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Your destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where you will have chances see these animals in the wild.

Day 8 Saturday San Cristobal: Interpretation Center / Cruise Ends
Today your cruise comes to an end, but before you leave you will visit the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre that presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora, and fauna. From the Centre, a short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both “magnificent-frigates” and “great-frigates” can be seen in the same colony. Next you return to the airport for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.


Grace 7 night Itinerary B

Saturday to Saturday


Day 1 Saturday Begin Cruise / San Cristobal: Lobos & Kicker Rock
Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands you will board the M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to the first visitor sites: Lobos Beach and Kicker Rock. Lobos Island, across a small channel off the coast of San Cristobal Island, lives up to its name of -Sea Lion Island- with its noisy population of frolicking and barking beasts. This is your first chance to share the water with a playful colony of the “wolves of the sea”. From Lobos you will head to Kicker Rock, a spectacular rock formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is split, forming a colossal tablet.

After this visit you will be invited to share in a welcome cocktail while listening to the first formal briefing before dinner.

Day 2 Sunday Espanola: Punta Suarez / Gardner Bay
Hood Island is the southernmost island of the archipelago and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and number of fauna that inhabit it. In the morning you will visit Punta Suarez where you will witness the largest variety of marine iguanas in the Galapagos, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff’s edge, as well as the famous waved albatross.

In the afternoon you will visit Gardner Bay, a magnificent long white sandy beach where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals.

Day 3 Monday Floreana: Post Office Bay / Cormorant Point
Floreana Island has had a colorful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts, and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists—a Baroness among them—who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in mystery and death. You will visit Post Office Bay, where in 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island‘s Post Office, to send letters home on passing ships. The tradition continues to this day, simply by dropping a post card into the barrel without a stamp. In the late morning you will walk to the Baroness Overlook for some striking views of the scenery surrounding the Island.

In the afternoon you will visit Cormorant Point which offers two highly contrasting beaches; a green-olivine beach and an iron-red beach. Between the two beaches is a salt lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts, and other wading birds. In the late afternoon you will head to the tiny islet known as Champion, considered one of the top snorkeling sites the Galapagos and offers prime underwater sea lion interactions.

Day 4 Tuesday Santa Cruz: Dragon Hill / Highlands Tortoise Reserve
After a dry landing at Dragon Hill, you will head up the beach to a trail that takes you to a hyper saline lagoon. This is a seasonal home for pink flamingos. You will notice that as you make your way from the coast toward the top of the hill, there is a transition from intertidal vegetation like mangroves to dry zone vegetation including Palo Santo cacti and silvery leafed Palo Santo trees. Keep your eyes open for the famous Darwin’s Finches and Land iguanas in the bushes. The lava flows that reach out from the shore from Dragon Hill form black reefs where you will enjoy some excellent snorkeling late in the morning.

In the afternoon you are off to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. The destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where you will have chances see these animals in the wild, walk through lava tubes, and see the Gemelos, twin collapsed craters.

Day 5 Wednesday Santa Cruz: Bachas Beach / Chinese Hat Islet
In the morning you will visit Las Bachas, a sandy white-coral beach that is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles. The name Bachas refers to the remains of landing craft left here at the end of WWII. Ashore marine iguanas mingle with flamingos and other wading birds in another of the many super saline lagoons found in the Galapagos.

In the afternoon you will head north to Chinese Hat Islet, named for the resemblance its shape has to a traditional Chinese Coolie’s hat. The next visitor’s site is off limits to larger groups and day boats, making it one of the least visited sites in the central islands. The landing site is a tiny crescent shaped cove with sandy white beach cradled between black lava rocks and the crystal turquoise waters of the channel. A sea lion colony likes to rest on the warm white sands, while the rockier sections of the coast are alive with fiery colored sally lightfoot crabs. Marine iguanas sun themselves atop the rocks after foraging for algae in the channel.

Day 6 Thursday Rabida Island / Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
Rabida Island, also commonly known by its English name of Jervis Island, is known for its unique reddish-maroon terrain as a result of the oxidation of lava. It is home to large populations of sea lions, pelicans, flamingoes, as well as a thick forest of Palo Santo trees. A yellow saltwater lagoon is found behind the reddish beach, where vast numbers of brightly colored pink flamingoes can be seen with male sea lions that have been ousted from their groups. There will be a late morning snorkeling opportunity along the rocks with sea lions and tropical fish.

The afternoon visit is to Sullivan Bay, one of the most outstanding volcanic sites in the Galapagos. In the nearly 100 years since the Sullivan Bay Flow, only a few plants like Mollugo and Lava cacti have managed to take root in this harsh environment. Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools of Sullivan Bay. After exploring the lava flow, there are oppurtunties for swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coral beaches.

Day 7 Friday Bartolome / North Seymour
In the morning you will visit Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where you will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. You will also hike a trail to Bartolome’s summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and the beach where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle the yacht.

The afternoon visit is to North Seymour Island, a good nesting site for frigate birds and Blue-footed boobies. The Island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. This island is teaming with life! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana; blue-footed booby nests sit beside the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom.

Day 8 Saturday Mosquera Islet / Cruise Ends (Baltra)
Today your cruise comes to an end, but before you disembark you will visit Mosquera Islet, located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands. It is one of the smallest Islands resulting from an uplift of sand, made up of coral reefs and rocks. It boasts one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos archipelago. There are occasional reports of Orca whales seen praying on the sea lion colony. It is also home to many sea birds making it an excellent site for observing shorebirds.

After you visit you will return to the airport for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

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