silversea

SAN CRISTOBAL To BALTRA

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS expedition cruise Silver Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands once inspired Charles Darwin, and they have been impressing travelers ever since. Snorkel with turtles, marvel at manta rays and marine iguanas, and witness the behaviour of flamingos, penguins, pelicans, and flightless cormorants. You’ll also walk across otherworldly lava fields, discover saltwater lagoons, and learn about the islands history before and after Darwin made it famous.
Voyage 8847

Single occupancy supplements starting at only 10%

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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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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 2 Land programme(s) in SAN CRISTOBAL

The Silver Galapagos will circumnavigate Kicker Rock, one of the most iconic features of the Galapagos Islands. The small landform is formed by two tall towers of lava rock and when viewed from the south, resembles a sleeping lion. This phenomenon is reflected in the Spanish name “Leon Dormido” or literally, Sleeping Lion. As the ship steers around the islands, your Expedition Team will point out seabirds, such as Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and frigatebirds.
Our ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Zodiacs bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance.
Playa Espumilla is located on the northwestern side of Santiago Island and is home to a variety of wildlife including nesting green sea turtles, and plentiful birds such as flamingos, White-cheeked Pintails, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Hawks, Whimbrels, and American Oystercatchers. Zodiacs will land you at the center of the white-sand beach to join a trail that passes by a seasonal lagoon hosting a variety of bird life.
The agile Silver Galapagos can anchor in deep water right up against the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on the northwest side of Isabela Island. From our anchorage Zodiacs set out to cruise beneath the imposing volcanic coastline. The cliffs support endemic Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos fur seals, Blue-footed Boobies, and marine iguanas. The waters below hold scores of Eastern Pacific green sea turtles swimming all around the Zodiacs.
With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another. Galapagos sea lions and their pups also take shelter here, resting on the beach and playing in the shallow tide pools sprinkled along the coast.
Tagus Cove is a sheltered area southwest of Volcán Darwin on Isabela Island. The protected waters of this cove are home to sea turtles, marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins. In addition, the cove has offered safe anchorage to visiting ships through the ages. Here you can choose to kayak, snorkel or head ashore to discover centuries-old names of vessels that were painted or carved onto the rock near the landing site. After landing by Zodiac, you may hike through the forest of Palo Santo trees to access the upper reaches of a volcanic cone.
The tranquil inlets of Elizabeth Bay are the perfect spot for a Zodiac cruise. First pass the “Las Marielas” islets, which are home to Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Then journey on into the bay flanked by the massive volcanoes of Sierra Negra and Alcedo and continue past fresh and desolate lava fields heading towards tall green mangrove trees growing out of black lava shores. In the easternmost embayment lies a hidden inlet.
Post Office Bay is steeped in history and received its name thanks to a post box that was placed ashore before 1813. Ships that were visiting the Galapagos on multi-year voyages would leave letters here to be collected and delivered by vessels on their way home. Visitors today can keep the tradition alive by leaving their own postcards in the post box (now a barrel) and looking for any they can deliver by hand back at home. Activities at Post Office Bay can include exploring a cave created by lava that runs underground towards the ocean.
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.
Floreana Island’s northernmost point is called Punta Cormorant – named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point.
Cerro Dragón’s land iguanas once played an important part in a conservation program headed by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. When the reptiles’ numbers declined in the 1970s, some animals were taken to breed in captivity and were released back into undeveloped areas. Today, it is an honor to see the success of this program firsthand at Cerro Dragón. Walk inland on a trail past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos, to see the reintroduced animals.
On the northern shore of Santa Cruz stretch the Las Bachas beaches. The two beaches together span a full kilometer. A short track leads visitors inland towards a shallow pond with the opportunity to spot flamingos, migratory birds in season, and scavenging shorebirds. The name “Las Bachas” derives from the mispronounced term “barges” –which the American forces had left behind after World War II. On our visit to Las Bachas there will be the chance to swim from one of the two sandy beaches and to look for sea turtles that use Las Bachas as one of their major nesting sites in the islands.
Los Gemelos is Spanish for “the twins” and true to the name, Los Gemelos are twin sinkholes, one on either side of the road running from Puerto Ayora to the north side of the island. The mammoth scale of the landmarks often elicits exclamations of wonder from visitors at first sight. The vertical walls of the sinkholes fall deep into the ground covered in a veil of greenery hiding the bottom of the pit. Walk along the craters’ edges before stopping at Rancho El Manzanillo to see giant Santa Cruz tortoises in the wild.
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.
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 1 Land programme(s) in BALTRA

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Silver Suite

361 ft² / 34m² including a private balcony

From US$ 13,800
Deluxe Veranda Suite

303 ft² / 28m² including private balcony

From US$ 11,300
Veranda Suite

268 ft² / 25m² including a private balcony

Waitlist
Terrace Suite

287 ft² / 26.38m²

From US$ 10,400
Explorer Suite

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

From US$ 8,300
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
  • *If the one-category upgrade is not available, guests receive instead $500 onboard credit per suite for a total of $1,500 onboard credit per suite.
  • *In case Promotional Flights are not available or for guests not utilizing the promotional bundle offer, we are pleased to offer a $1,000 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$ 13,800
Deluxe Veranda Suite

303 ft² / 28m² including private balcony

From US$ 11,300
Veranda Suite

268 ft² / 25m² including a private balcony

Waitlist
Terrace Suite

287 ft² / 26.38m²

From US$ 10,400
Explorer Suite

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

From US$ 8,300
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 4 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 — San Cristobal

Embark Silver Galapagos for your exciting Silversea Western Galápagos Expedition. After settling in and attending a mandatory safety drill we will be setting sail. This afternoon you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.

During the late afternoon Silver Galapagos will circumnavigate Kicker Rock. We will be looking for frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Nazca Boobies. The geological formation and its impressive height can best be seen from the ship and conditions permitting we will be able to observe one of the most beautiful sunsets of the Galapagos Islands.

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

Day 2 — Bartolomé and Playa Espumilla, Santiago or Caleta Bucanero

Some of the most spectacular landscapes in the islands come into view. Just off the coast of Santiago, Bartolomé boasts some of the most magnificent landscapes in the islands including the famous Pinnacle Rock, a towering obelisk at the edge of the ocean. Go snorkelling or take a walk along the beach to look for the playful Galápagos Penguin, perched on a rock or zooming underwater.

Beautiful Espumilla Beach is an important nesting site for the East Pacific green sea turtle. We will walk through the arid vegetation zone of the interior where we will see the largest palo santo trees in the Galápagos, the perfect habitat for several species of Darwin’s finches. At times of the year when conditions are not ideal at Espumilla, you will enjoy a visit to Buccaneer’s Cove. This protected cove once served as a safe harbour for pirates as they repaired their ships and replenished their stores. Today, it offers a wealth of water-based activities, including snorkelling with a kaleidoscopic array of tropical fish, whitetip reef sharks, fur seals and even eagle rays. You can embark on a kayak or Zodiac tour and spy some of the beautiful geologic features of the area—red cliffs, natural caves and unique rock formations—while perhaps spotting seabirds like the Brown Noddy that nest in the cliffs.

Day 3 — Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela, and Punta Espinoza, Fernandina

The arid landscape of Isabela, the largest island in the Galápagos, is pierced by five majestic shield volcanoes. Snorkelling is probably the best although coldest in the islands at Punta Vicente Roca, located at the base of Ecuador Volcano. Half of this volcano collapsed about 100,000 years ago—meaning that visitors now get a spectacular cutaway view of the caldera. Aboard a Zodiac, we will look for Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins.

The largest colony of marine iguanas in the Galápagos can be seen sunning on the black lava shores of Punta Espinoza at the northeastern corner of Fernandina, the youngest island in the Galápagos. One of the most pristine islands in the world, Fernandina hosts an impressive array of wildlife including sea lions, colourful Sally Lightfoot crabs and the rare endemic Flightless Cormorant.

Day 4 — Caleta Tagus and Bahía Elizabeth, Isabela

A short cruise across the Bolivar Strait brings Silver Galapagos to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. Yellow Warblers and Galápagos Mockingbirds may escort our hike between palo santo trees and yellow cordias, passing the briny Darwin Lake along the way. Join the snorkelling tour to look for penguins, cormorants and the shy Brown Noddy along the sheltered cliffs. You may also explore the area on a kayak. 

The tallest red mangrove trees in the Galápagos are found in Elizabeth Bay, an idyllic mangrove lagoon and a fascinating place to observe marine life. We will take a Zodiac through the mangroves where sea turtles swim close to the surface, and pelicans and herons stalk for fish or crab. Sea lions and penguins are also prevalent in this marine sanctuary.

Day 5 — Post Office Bay and Punta Cormorant and Champion Islet, Floreana

Floreana has been luring visitors since the 18th century when whalers hunted the island for tortoises and pirates sought shelter in its caves. Sailors established a rustic mailing system still in use today: a box –today a barrel nailed to a pole- where they would drop letters hoping they would be delivered by other mariners sailing home. You can continue the tradition if you choose. Afterwards take a walk along the lovely beach, or go snorkelling in a colourful underwater world.

A sea lion rookery has developed on Floreana’s northern shore. Amid lava rocks that are dotted with prickly pear cacti and sesuvium, a small colony of the creatures thrives. Pups are particularly curious when visitors arrive—they love to go in the water and investigate Zodiacs as they pass through their waters.

As you travel along the coast, you may find many other creatures that look for shelter amid the red and white mangroves: eagle rays, marine turtles, Brown Pelicans and resting Cattle Egrets. Kayaking through the turquoise waters here is a true pleasure, inviting a sense of peaceful solitude and an invigorating feeling of connection to nature.

At Punta Cormorant, one of the most interesting sites in the islands, we will land on the olive-green sand and walk to Flour Beach, a favourite nesting site for green sea turtles, hoping to see flamingos on the way. Floreana also offers some of the best snorkelling sites in the Galápagos.

Day 6 — Cerro Dragón and Las Bachas, Santa Cruz

Cerro Dragon’s land iguanas have played an important part in the conservation program by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. When their numbers declined in the 1970s some animals were taken to breed in captivity, others were put onto the neighbouring islet Venecia. As these programs were successful, we will be heading inland on a trail leading past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos to see the reintroduced animals. Once at the hill, we will circle Cerro Dragon, looking for the land iguanas and their burrows.

There might also be the possibility to snorkel near the landing site if time and tides permit.

Silver Galapagos will relocate to the northern shore of Santa Cruz during the early afternoon. At Las Bachas there will be the chance to swim from one of the two beaches, see White-cheeked Pintails and flamingos at a lagoon behind the beach and look for sea turtles -Las Bachas is one of the major nesting sites for them.

Day 7 — Los Gemelos, Puerto Ayora and the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz

The second largest island in the archipelago is home to both the largest human settlement and the second largest wild tortoise population. We will visit Los Gemelos, two pit craters in the midst of a forest of tall scalesia trees that look like giant daisies and are endemic to the Galápagos. There is a good chance to spot land birds, especially one of the rare and endemic Galápagos Martins. We also visit a private reserve to see tortoises in the wild.

In the afternoon, the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center gives us the opportunity to see both the domed tortoise and the iconic saddleback tortoise after which the islands were named. There is also the alternative to visit an organic coffee farm, Galápagos coffee is world known for its quality.

Day 8 — Baltra

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Galapagos for your return flight from Baltra 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.