silversea

BALTRA To SAN CRISTOBAL

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS expedition cruise Silver Galapagos

One of the most spectacular wildlife experiences imaginable in Darwin’s stunningly beautiful isles. Snorkel with sea turtles and manta rays, wander through lava fields and explore scalesia forests. See flamingos and penguins and catch a glimpse of legendary Pinnacle Rock. Discover a saltwater lagoon and see cave inscriptions from the 1800s.
Voyage 8947

Book and pay in full by 31 August, 2018 and save 10%*

Fares shown are per guest

Cruise itinerary

Our itineraries are second-to-none – below please find detailed information regarding ports of call, arrival and departure times, as well as supplemental information about the destinations you’ll visit
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Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is the gateway through which most people enter and depart the Galapagos Island. Upon arrival and once through immigrations procedures, visitors are transferred directly to a nearby dock to join the ship by Zodiac. The runway was first constructed here during World War II when the island was used as a US Army Air Base. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos, the island itself is small, flat and arid.

View 2 Land programme(s) in BALTRA

Daphne Major is a volcanic tuff crater island, located to the north of Santa Cruz Island not far from Baltra International Airport. Circumnavigating the island by ship will reveal the rocky outcropping from all angles as it rises approximately 120 meters (390 feet) above sea level. Usually only scientists are allowed to land on Daphne, so it will be a special event to come in close with the ship and watch for Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, frigatebirds, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies, Brown Pelicans, and Swallow-tailed Gulls riding the sea breezes swirling around this rugged landmass.
At Genovesa Island the ship tucks into Darwin Bay, an ancient volcanic crater now flooded by the sea. Zodiacs land on a picturesque sandy beach where Galapagos sea lions often rest on the fine, white sand. Explorations along the shore may reveal marine iguanas looking like prehistoric dinosaurs in miniature. By heading inland a short distance visitors could encounter seabirds of all shapes and sizes nesting in the vegetation. Scores of immature Red-footed Boobies perch on branches within an arm’s reach of the path.
From Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island explorers can access an area known as El Barranco or the “Prince Philip’s Steps”. A brief scramble up the stone steps brings you to the plateau of the island. From here, on flat ground, a small trail wanders past Red-footed Boobies, perching frigate birds, Galapagos Mockingbirds, Nazca Boobies, and Galapagos finches. The highlight however, is arriving on the windward side of the island to see hundreds of Wedge-Rumped Storm Petrels flying around in a frenzy of activity above the lava field where they nest.
The landing at North Seymour Island is onto black lava rock. After a short climb, visitors arrive on the island’s flat plateau where a number of sea lions nurse pups and frigatebirds nest. The island is dry, and so the predominant tree is the prickly pear cactus favored by the yellow Conolophus land iguanas that live here in number. The undulating terrain is littered with red-brown volcanic boulders and large male Magnificent Frigatebirds can be seen inflating their vivid red gular sacs in hopes of impressing females flying overhead.
The lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island will inevitably remind visitors of the surface of the moon. As brilliant red Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle along the black volcanic shores, learn about the formation of the islands through geological forces from your guides. The lava flows here are just over one hundred years old and date back to 1897. The lava took on a rope-like appearance and geologists have adopted a Hawaiian word, pahoehoe, as the technical name for this kind of volcanic rock.
Rabida Island has received accolades for being one of the most exotic spots on earth and while it is small in size, the island is dramatic in scale. Rugged red cliffs rise from the sea and Zodiacs land onto a beach of dark red sand colored by iron ore. Ghost crabs and Galapagos sea lion pups often rest on the russet sands. Further inland, the rusty sand gives way to shrubby coastal vegetation dominated by prickly-pear cactus. Common Cactus Finches feed on the yellow flowers while Darwin finches and lava lizards skitter across the path in search of food.
Just off Santa Cruz, Eden Islet offers up a thick coastal mangrove forest growing on black volcanic boulders peppered with tall prickly pear cactus. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone from an ancient volcano, and is an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galápagos. The shallow waters around the island are ideal for spotting Pacific green sea turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, sea lions, marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Giant tortoises are emblematic of the Galapagos Islands. To experience these ancient animals firsthand, the Silver Galapagos anchors off San Cristobal Island and Zodiacs take all ashore to the pretty little town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. From here we set out by bus for the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve in the highlands of the island. The trails of the reserve lead to encounters with large, lumbering adult tortoises as well as small juveniles that could fit in the palm of a person’s hand.
On the northern shore of San Cristobal Island is a peninsula known as Punta Pitt. The point is made up of two coalesced volcanoes and is much younger than the rest of the island. Some of the lava flows are only a few centuries old. From a sandy beach Zodiac landing leads a long walk following a twisting red gravel path that runs through black basalt lava rocks, and between craggy peaks. The vegetation along the way is low and scrubby, and attractive blue-gray lichen grows on the rocks.
Isla Champion is a small islet off Floreana Island’s northeast coast. To cruise by it reveals a bare, rocky island without much allure, but to enter the infinitely blue waters around this small landmass is to discover a spectacular underwater realm. The visibility is generally impressive and thanks to this water clarity snorkelers often spot reef sharks patrolling the reef wall, cruising Pacific green turtles, and playful Galapagos sea lions. Encounters in the blue with thousands of small silver minnows, large tuna fish, or oceanic sunfish are not unheard of either.
Punta Suárez lies at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds and you may spot Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies on the breeze. The largest seabird to nest in the Galapagos Islands is the Waved Albatross. These ocean wanderers can be seen seasonally here from April through December, when pairs reunite on Española, going through an elaborate pair-bonding display. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be seen on the point, along with sea lions and colorful marine iguanas.
Silver Galapagos will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.
South Plaza is a serene island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. This small island is sprinkled with giant prickly pear cactus, carpeted with a reddish mat of ground-cover succulents, and is home to a large nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls, along with marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions. Seabirds crowd the island’s shores including Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Pelicans, and frigatebirds. However, the birds, seals and marine iguanas share the spotlight with brilliant yellow land iguanas of the island.
Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.

View 1 Land programme(s) in SAN CRISTOBAL

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Silver Suite

361 ft² / 34m² including a private balcony

From US$ 11,070 with early booking bonus
Deluxe Veranda Suite

303 ft² / 28m² including private balcony

From US$ 8,910 with early booking bonus
Veranda Suite

268 ft² / 25m² including a private balcony

From US$ 8,550 with early booking bonus
Terrace Suite

287 ft² / 26.38m²

From US$ 7,470 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

Up to 250 – 235 ft² / 23 – 22m² with view window

From US$ 6,570 with early booking bonus
Fares shown are per guest

included in the cruise fare

  • Included flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands
  • Included Transfers
  • Included pre cruise Hotel in Quito (2 nights)
  • Included National Park fees
  • Included "Quito by Night" Tour
  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service – available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • *Excluding All Full World Cruise and Grand Voyages
  • *In case Promotional Flights are not available or for guests not utilizing the promotional bundle offer, we are pleased to offer a $500 Air credit. Terms and conditions.

Silver Galapagos

A Galápagos expedition cruise, enjoyed aboard Silver Galapagos, brings you to one of the most isolated places in the world to encounter an abundant variety of wildlife species that is incredibly unique and found nowhere else on earth. Lying just off the western coast of South America, the Galápagos archipelago is inaccessible to most, yet this isolation has allowed nature to develop in ways exclusive to the islands. Experience it all with complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking and nature hikes led by our highly experienced  guides certified by the National Park of the Galápagos.

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Silver Suite

361 ft² / 34m² including a private balcony

From US$ 11,070 with early booking bonus
Deluxe Veranda Suite

303 ft² / 28m² including private balcony

From US$ 8,910 with early booking bonus
Veranda Suite

268 ft² / 25m² including a private balcony

From US$ 8,550 with early booking bonus
Terrace Suite

287 ft² / 26.38m²

From US$ 7,470 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

Up to 250 – 235 ft² / 23 – 22m² with view window

From US$ 6,570 with early booking bonus
Fares shown are per guest

Restaurants

Discover our collection of onboard venues where you'll enjoy spending time with like-minded travellers and of course, our personalized all-inclusive service.

Public Areas

Renowned for culinary excellence and innovative spirit, Silversea's luxury cruises offer a choice of open-seating dining options throughout the fleet, as well as several specialty venues aboard all non-expedition ships.

3 Land programmes and 2 Hotels

Our land programmes (multi-day mid-, pre- or post-cruise) provide additional opportunities to discover more of the highlights and hidden treasures of the lands you visit.

Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by team of expert guides and lectures, allows you to fully experience the lands you'll visit.

voyage highlights

Day 1 — Baltra

Embark Silver Galapagos and depart on your exciting Silversea North Central Galápagos Expedition. After settling in, attending a mandatory safety drill and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.

Silver Galapagos will then head for Daphne to do a circumnavigation –usually only scientist are allowed to land. From the ship we will watch for Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies and Brown Pelicans, as well as Swallow-tailed Gulls and frigatebirds.

In the evening enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.

Day 2 — Bahía Darwin, Genovesa Island

El Barranco, Prince Philip Steps, Genovesa Island

Genovesa is dubbed “Bird Island”, a name it lives up to in a spectacular way. Huge colonies of seabirds create a bird-watcher’s paradise. Take a walk on the sandy beach of Darwin Bay, home to one of the world’s largest Red-footed Booby nesting colonies. Yellow-crowned Night Herons feed near tidal lagoons, while hundreds of Swallow-tailed Gulls nest in the cliffs. Climb “Prince Philip’s Steps”, a steep path named after the Duke of Edinburgh who visited the island in 1965, and you will be well rewarded with a remarkable spectacle of Nazca Boobies nesting on the ground, Great Frigatebirds with their fiery red sacs, and, if you are lucky, you might even see the elusive Short-eared Owl on a daytime hunt for Storm Petrels, a favourite prey.

After a morning walk, you will have a chance to enjoy the first snorkelling excursion and experience the diverse, underwater wonderland that surrounds the island.

There will also be the opportunity to kayak around Darwin Bay — which is actually a flooded caldera —and admire the island’s craggy landscape.

Day 3 — North Seymour

Sullivan Bay, Santiago

North Seymour is a small up-lifted island close to Baltra filled with a spectacular profusion of wildlife above and below the water’s surface. The Magnificent Frigatebird is an opportunistic breeder and at any month of the year one may see males displaying their bright-red gular pouch to attract females.

Galápagos sea lions snooze in the sand. Blue-footed Boobies perform their courtship dance called “sky-pointing”. Marine iguanas and Galapagos land iguanas patrol the beach, while Brown Pelicans and Brown Noddies look for food in the shallow coastal waters. Walk through this spectacular landscape and afterwards take the opportunity to go snorkelling—perhaps even spotting the impressive whitetip reef shark.

Witness the marks Nature has left on the islands through its geological forces. At Sullivan Bay we will see lava flows dating back to 1897. Here the very high temperature of the molten material, as well as its gas content, had caused the surface to be quite smooth. The appearance this lava has is almost like frail rope and the technical term for it is pahoehoe (a Hawaiian name that suggests the swirls left behind by a paddle (hoe) in the water). Since the lava has not moved equally in all places, the design of the surface texture induces one to see different objects and images in the lava.

Back at the sandy beach you might want to get ready for snorkelling. Apart from rays in the shallows, turtles are quite fond of the beaches and come there to lay their eggs.

Day 4 — Rabida and Eden, Santa Cruz

Rabida is a small picturesque island with red cliffs and maroon-coloured sand. Here one can see Darwin’s finches, lava lizards and Galápagos Mockingbirds. A short but rewarding hike will lead along the cliffs where the red rocks, green Palo Santo trees and the blue turquoise sea create landscapes of stunning contrast. The underwater world teems with colourful tropical species and the vibrant submarine landscape is equally amazing. There will be the opportunity to swim or simply stroll along the beach and admire the sea lions snoozing along the shore. One can also go for a stunning snorkel-excursion with sea lions, reef sharks, marine iguanas, colourful anemones and parrotfish, or kayak along the picturesque Rabida cliffs.

Eden Islet

Silver Galapagos sails to Eden Islet for snorkelling, kayaking and Zodiac rides. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone and an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galápagos. It is home to Great Blue Herons, sea lions, and Blue-footed Boobies; while the small tidal areas can be a resting place for reef sharks, eagle rays and green turtles. Eden is also an excellent spot for kayaking.

Day 5 — La Galapaguera & Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal

The most emblematic animal in the archipelago is the Galápagos giant tortoise. Over-hunting and competition with introduced animals has left its numbers close to extinction. Nonetheless, since the late 1950s, the work of the Galápagos National Park Service and the scientists of the Charles Darwin Research Station has been bringing those numbers back. See these ancient reptiles and their babies, and learn more about current conservation efforts at Galapaguera Cerro Colorado. Breeding and rearing endemic animals in captivity is part of a much broader conservation programme aimed at restoring and protecting the Galapagos Islands’ natural biodiversity.

San Cristóbal is one of the oldest islands in Galápagos and the well-eroded landscape of Punta Pitt creates a dramatic landscape. Three species of boobies can be found there: Red-footed, Blue-footed and Nazca Booby, as well as both the Great and Magnificent Frigatebird. After a wet landing on an olivine beach where sea lions doze, climb up a ravine to view one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago. San Cristóbal or Chatham lava lizards guide the way, while Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies fly overhead.

Day 6 — Bahía Gardner and Punta Suárez, Española

Bahia Gardner promises a chance to swim with sea lions from its gorgeous beach. Relax on the white sands of this idyllic location. Further out one can snorkel with large schools of colourful tropical fish and an occasional manta ray, while whitetip reef sharks may nap on the bottom. Paddling through crystal-clear waters in a kayak, marvelling at the natural wonders, will give another view of the islands’ treasures.

Punta Suárez is at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds. Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies can easily be seen. The largest seabird to nest in the islands, the Waved Albatross, may be seen seasonally from April through December and has made Española its home. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be found, as well as sea lions and colourful marine iguanas.

Day 7 — The Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Puerto Ayora Town Visit, Santa Cruz Plazas Sur

Silver Galapagos will cruise overnight to Santa Cruz, an island in the central part of the archipelago with the largest human population. The headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station are located in the small town of Puerto Ayora.

At the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, young giant tortoises –both dome-shaped and saddle-backed- up to 5 years old are waiting to be returned to their home island. There is also an exhibit on Galápagos land iguanas; their numbers were once diminished due to introduced animals, but they have had a comeback thanks to the efforts of the National Park Service and Research Station.

There will be time to do some sightseeing and shopping in town as well.

South Plaza is a neat little island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. Its main attraction is a colony of Galápagos land iguanas, but the setting is also a highlight — giant prickly pear cactus, the reddish sesuvium plant, a mat-like ground cover, and a large nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls make this small island an excellent stop. Marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions are also around.

Day 8 — San Cristobal

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Galapagos for your return flight from San Cristobal Airport.

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

GEAR UP

Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.

Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials:

Clothes for all types of weather, boot rentals, accessories and more »

Packing List »

Make sure you get all your essentials today. We offer packages or individual items, for your convenience, and recommend you place orders at least 30 days before your embarkation date.