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A medium sized luxury yacht for up to 32 guests with beautifully finished accommodation and fabulous al fresco dining.
With more deck space than other medium sized vessels, you will enjoy superb al fresco dining on your cruise on the M/V Evolution. The beautifully furnished salons, open decks and private areas enable relaxed enjoyment of the natural paradise you are exploring.
Choose from two 7 night itineraries. Your Naturalist Guide will always be with you, escorting you on the morning and afternoon land visits, lecturing each evening and accompanying you on snorkelling excursions and panga rides.
The itinerary includes visits to at least 8 uninhabited islands of the Galapagos National Park system, each with a different and diverse flora and fauna, plus the small town of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz where you view the giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Centre.
The M/V Evolution also offers family orientated departures and special photo safaris, both of which are increasingly popular.
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Each of these cruises itineraries can be integrated into our tailor-made tours.
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In the Steps of Pirates & Darwin
Saturday to Saturday
Day 1 - Arrival at Baltra Island and Daphne Major
The flight from Quito (via Guayaquil) to the Galapagos is approximately 1½ hours. On arrival at Baltra airport, transfer to the harbour to embark the M/V Evolution for your 7 night cruise on a full board basis including all excursions. After lunch and a briefing, we set sail to Daphne Major Islet, home to a variety of birds including Galapagos martins, blue footed boobies, nazca boobies, short eared owls, red billed tropic birds amongst others. After these visits we get ready for our welcome cocktail and first briefing before continuing to dinner.
Day 2 - Isabela and Fernandina
In the morning we visit Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Snorkelling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. We will have a chance to see colourful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water. Afternoon visit to Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently. We 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.
Day 3 - Isabela
Urbina Bay is directly west of Isabela's Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). We walk on a stretch of three miles (5 km) of the marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkelling amongst marine creatures, or just relaxing on shore. In the afternoon we visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone, and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes.
Day 4 – Isla Bartolome and Santiago
In the morning we visit Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where we will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. We will also hike a trail to Bartolome's summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht. Afternoon visit 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 is swimming and snorkelling with playful sea lions off two small beaches.
Day 5 - Las Bachas Beach and Rabida Island
In the morning we 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. Afternoon visit to Rabida which also offers a nice kayaking route starting on the eastern side of the island. It is possible to spot sea turtles from your kayak, sometimes swimming right up without noticing you and then dart into the depths once they see you. Make sure you to stop kayaking when you reach the red diamond shaped sign where there is a large rock where both blue footed and masked boobies like to perch. Beneath the ocean surface Rabida offers excellent snorkelling along the shore of the little peninsula. The sea turtles you just saw topside are easier to see once you are in the water. Giant schools of stripped salemas have been seen to carpet the deeper sections, attracting Galapagos sharks. Large schools of yellow tail surgeon fish thread through passages between the rocks. You can look for chances to swim with sea lions and penguins as well and keep your eyes open for marine iguanas grazing underwater.
Day 6 - Santa Cruz Highlands and Charles Darwin Station
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic centre of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. In the afternoon we are off to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild, walk through lava tubes and see the Gemelos, twin collapsed craters.
Day 7 - Española
Española 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 the island. In the morning we 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 we 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 8 - San Cristobal and depart for the mainland
Today our Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Evolution and her crew we pay a visit to the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre on San Cristobal Island. The Centre presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands' natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna and your naturalist will use the exhibits to provide an illustrated overview of life on the Islands. A short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both "magnificent-frigates" and "great-frigates" can be seen in the same colony. Continue to the airport for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.
Footsteps Back in Time
Saturday to Saturday
Day 1 - Arrival at San Cristobal
The flight from Quito (via Guayaquil) to the Galapagos is approximately 1 ½ hours. On arrival at San Cristobal airport, transfer to the M/V Evolution for your 7 night cruise on a full board basis including all excursions. After lunch and a quick briefing we set sail for Ochoa Beach, a beautiful white coral sand beach next to a turquoise bay, and home to a small colony of sea lions. We end our day at 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 and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching. After these visits we get ready for our welcome cocktail and first briefing before continuing to dinner.
Day 2 - South Plaza Island and Mosquera Island
In the morning we visit South Plaza Island and its land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed. We will see swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays.
Early afternoon snorkelling at Punta Carrion. Located between North Seymour and Baltra is the small island of Mosquera. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks and tide pools. Created by geological uplift, the island has a flat look to it rather than the conical shape of the volcanically formed islands. A stroll down the beach offers views of the brown pelicans, boobies and colonies of sea lions that like to laze here. The tiny spit of land has one of the largest populations of sea lions in Galapagos. Along the rocks and in the tide pools are the now familiar sally lightfoot crabs (red lava crabs). They follow the tide eating the algae and detritus left behind. Ever aware of movement around them, the sally lightfoot is quick to escape from approaching predators, in stark contrast. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks and tide pools and has a flat look to it rather than the conical shape of the volcanically formed islands. A stroll down the beach offers views of the brown pelicans, boobies and colonies of sea lions that like to laze here. The tiny spit of land has one of the largest populations of sea lions in Galapagos. Along the rocks and in the tide pools are the now familiar sally lightfoot crabs.
Day 3 - Chinese Hat Islet and Santiago Island
Morning visit to Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone; it 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. Late morning snorkelling with sea lions and penguins as well as swimming opportunities in the cove. After lunch, we visit James Bay, where we 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.
Day 4 - Genovesa Island
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! We also visit Prince Philip's Steps, named after the British monarch's visit here in 1964, located in a spectacular bay with a wide variety of large tropical fish.
Day 5 - North Seymour and Santa Fe Island
Morning visit to North Seymour Island which is teaming with wildlife! Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline are home to swallow-tailed gulls. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, where a trail will take us to see sea lions, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, pelicans, magnificent frigate birds and land iguanas. After lunch, we visit Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkelling - with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus.
Day 6 - Floreana Island
Floreana has had a colourful 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. We 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. Afternoon visit to Punta Cormorant which offers two highly contrasting beaches; a green-olivine and iron-red beach. Between the two beaches is a salt lagoon frequented by flamingos, pintails, stilts and other wading birds. Late afternoon snorkelling at Devil's Crown, which is home to a myriad of marine species including a variety of corals, pencil sea urchin, wrasses, angelfish and amberjacks.
Day 7 - Wild Tortoise Reserve and Charles Darwin Research Station
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic centre of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. After lunch, we head to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild.
Day 8 - Santa Cruz Island and depart for the mainland
Today our Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the M/V Evolution and her crew we pay a visit to Black Turtle Cove, a beautiful mangrove estuary where we quietly drift in our panga to see spotted eagle rays, diamond shaped mustard rays, white-tipped reef sharks, pacific green sea turtles and a large variety of shore birds. We continue to Baltra Island airport for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.
The M/V Evolution is a luxury expedition cruise ship accommodating up to 32 passengers in 16 cabins. With more deck space than other medium sized vessels, the Evolution offers wonderful al-fresco dining, one of the joys of sailing in the Galapagos. The canopied sun deck is also the perfect place to relax, sunbathe and observe the wildlife.
Other public areas include an indoor dining room, library/video room, small jacuzzi, bar, boutique. Evolution carries kayaks, snorkelling gear and wetsuits for guests to use.
The cabins 16, spacious, air-conditioned cabins have twin or king size double beds, private bathroom, port hole window, hair dryer and ample storage space.
Family orientated cruises
The M/V Evolution operates a regular number of family orientated cruises, with child-friendly naturalist guides, special children's menus, an activity programme designed for children and teenagers, the Explorers Club Galapagos wildlife journal and special star-gazing nights. Please ask our travel specialist for more details and departure dates.Bridge Deck: 3 junior suites; Main Deck: 9 cabins; Lower Deck: 4 cabins. All have climate control and private bathrooms.
Photo safari cruises
Led by naturalist guides who are also professional photographers, these selected departures are designed around the interests and requirements of photographers, with emphasis on lighting and the best times to shoot, navigating to the best locations for photography and talks and guidance on wildlife photography and technique. Please ask our specialist travel advisors for details and departure dates.
- Full board accommodation in your chosen cabin.
- All shore excursions.
- Transfers to/from the ship in the Galapagos Islands.
- Non alcoholic drinks throughout the cruise.
- Complementary use of snorkelling gear, wet suits and sea kayaks.
- Built - 2003 in Japan.
- Length - 58 metres.
- Beam - 8.9 metres.
- Engines - Caterpiller 3519 TITA 1300 hp.
- Cruising speed - 10-12 knots.
- Crew - 18 plus 2 naturalist guides and a cruise director.
- Dingies - 3.
- Communications equipment - UHF, VHF radio and Satellite Phones.
- Electricity - 110 volts AC / 60 Hz: 2 flat prongs.
Deck plan & Cabins