The M/Y Grace was built in the UK and named after her last owner, Princess Grace of Monaco. The name is a representation of her elegance, beauty and prestige. You can cruise the Galapagos like a royal.
She is the ideal small luxury yacht for the traveller seeking a grand nautical safari experience, complimented with excellent service and dining. It will feel like you are sailing in your own private yacht, with a a cruise director onboard to ensure the voyage and visits ashore all go perfectly. Newly fitted stabilisers ensure a smooth sailing.
The yacht has spacious dining room, sitting room inside, as well as 'al fresco' dining areas, sun deck, library, bar-salon, kayaks and a jacuzzi.
She has only 9 spacious staterooms of up to 19 square meters (209 square feet) to accommodate up to 16 guests. All staterooms feature private bathrooms, individual climate controls, safe boxes, telephones and plenty of storage space for clothing and luggage. Bathrooms have luxury amenities, hair dryers and ample space to store toiletries.
Upper deck: 2 Master Suites (A1 & A4) with queen size bed, and 2 suites (A2 & A3) with twin beds, all with picture windows.
Lower deck - 5 Staterooms with porthole windows. 3 cabins (C1, C2 & C5) with a queen size and 2 cabins (C3 & C4) with twin beds.
- Boat Description
- Deck descriptions and staterooms
Following Darwin's TrailMore details
Following Darwin's Trail
New Itinerary - from 26 May 2020 onwards
Day 1 - Baltra and Bachas Beach
You’ll need to rise early this morning to catch your flight to the Galapagos. All our flights to the Galapagos originate in Quito, and stop in the port city of Guayaquil to take on passengers before heading on to the islands. For this itinerary you will be landing on the island of Baltra. After passing through Galapagos National Park inspection your National Park Guide will be there to greet you, holding a sign with the name of your yacht. Your guide will accompany you on the short bus ride to the waterfront. During WWII the island of Baltra was a US Air Force base and one can still see the remnants of the old foundations left behind from that era. We transfer via panga dinghy to the waiting M/Y Grace. The crew will see that your luggage is transferred to your cabin.At the dock we board a dinghy (panga) to make the short crossing to M/Y Grace. You only need to bring your carry-on luggage on the panga as our crew will transfer your luggage to your cabin. You’ll have time to settle into your new home for the week before assembling to review safety procedures and coming events with your Galapagos National Park Guide. While this is taking place the M/Y Grace will start her engines and set off into the archipelago. At the north end of Santa Cruz Island is Las Bachas, comprised of two sandy white-coral beaches that is are major egg-laying sites for sea turtles. The official story of how Las Bachas got its name comes from the Galapagos National Park. During WWII the US military discarded two barges on the beaches. When the first settlers to the area following the war arrived they mispronounced barges as bachas, resulting in the name. There are other explanations of how the location got its name having to do with indentations left in the sand by both egg laying sea turtles and their departing hatchlings, but we will go with the Park’s.We go ashore the white sandy beach and are greeted by patrolling blue-footed boobies. A brief walk inland takes us to a lagoon where pink flamingoes are often found along with great blue herons, common stilts, brown noddys, white-cheek pintail ducks and migratory birds. Snorkelling today is from the beach and you can also enjoy a swim in these waters, which are typically warmer than in other places in the Galapagos.
Day 2 - Prince Phillip’s Steps and Darwin Bay
Tower Island could serve as a film set for a remote 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 rest of the archipelago. It is also known as Bird Island, a name it lives up to in a spectacular way. Our first landing is Prince Phillip’s Steps, named for a visit by the British Monarch in 1964. The dry landing begins at the base of this 25-metre (81-foot) stairway leading up to a narrow stretch of land that opens out onto a small plateau. This is actually a small peninsula that forms the southeastern section of the island. Red-footed boobies wrap their webbed feet around branches to precariously perch in the bushes where they nest. In contrast their masked-booby cousins dot the surface of the scrublands beyond. Crossing through the sparse vegetation, you will come to a broad lava field that extends toward sea cliffs that form the island’s southern edge. The cavities and holes that have been eroded into the fragile lava are an ideal nesting ground for storm petrels. There are two species, the Galapagos petrel, which is active by day, and the wooden petrel, which feeds at night. The petrels flutter out over the ocean in swarms, then return to nest in the cracks and tunnels of the lava field but not without hazard. Short-eared owls lay in camouflaged wait here and make their living feeding off the returning petrels. After completing the two hour hike we return to the vessel to change into our wetsuits for some snorkelling at one of the best sites in the islands. By Phillip’s Steps, along the cliffs that form the protected southern bay of the Tower’s caldera, we enter the water into another world. The first thing you will notice when snorkelling here are very large tropical fish. These are warm water fish feeding off cold water nutrients. You’ll find the full assortment here including oversize parrot, unicorn, angel and hogfish along with schools of perch, surgeon fish and various types of butterfly fish. Hiding in and around the rocky shoreline that drops off into the caldera you will also see a rainbow assortment of wrasse, basslet, anthias and tang. This is the place to bring your underwater tropical fish identification chart. There are some special treats to be found here including occasional visits by fur sea lions. This area of the bay is also excellent for some kayaking in the calm waters close to the shore to observe nesting birds and you might like to go out for a spin after lunch, before our next landing across the bay to the north.Landing on the white coral sands of Darwin Bay and walking up the beach, you find yourself surrounded by the bustling activity of great frigate birds. Puffball chicks and their proud papas—who sport bulging scarlet throat-sacks—crowd the surrounding branches, while yellow-crowned herons and lava herons feed by the shore. Farther along you will discover a stunning series of sheltered pools set into a rocky outcrop. Watch your step for marine iguanas, lava lizards and Galapagos doves that blend with the trail. The trail beside the pools leads up to a cliff overlooking the ocean filled caldera, where pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world, can be seen nesting at the cliff’s edge. Lava gulls and pintail ducks ride the sea breezes nearby. A brief panga ride brings us to the base of those same cliffs to reveal the full variety of bird species sheltering in the ledges and crevices created by the weathered basalt. Among them, red–billed tropic birds enter and leave their nests trailing exotic kite-like tails. This is also an intriguing place to go deep-water snorkelling. The centre of the caldera is very deep and attracts hammerheads and large manta rays which sometimes patrol the western edge of the caldera that is more open to the sea. You can snorkel here gazing down into the depths where you just may spot these large animals if you are fortunate. But don’t worry, if you don’t really want to see them there is the equally amazing and far more sheltered snorkelling experience across the bay.Right around sunset we will leave To we r to set out across the archipelago to the far western islands. Remember to watch the inner bay at sunset as you might spot a giant manta ray.
Beyond Darwin's FootstepsMore details
Beyond Darwin's Footsteps
New Itinerary - valid for departures from 26 May 2020
Day 1 - Baltra Island, Santa Cruz Highlands and Darwin Station
You’ll need to rise early this morning to catch your flight to the Galapagos. All our flights to the Galapagos originate in Quito and stop briefly in the port city of Guayaquil to take on passengers before heading on to the islands. For this itinerary you will be landing on the island of Baltra. After passing through Galapagos National Park inspection your National Park Guide will be there to greet you holding a sign with the name of your yacht on it and will accompany you on the short bus ride to the Itabaca channel. Once we cross the Itabaca channel, we will visit Los Gemelos. The terrestrial world of the tortoise and underworld of the lava tubes meet at Los Gemelos (the twins). These two large sinkholes craters were formed by collapsed lava tubes. The contrast between the marine desert coast and verdant Lost World look of the highlands is most striking here and you can easily encounter rain even when sun is shining a half an hour away at the coast.Los Gemelos are surrounded by a Scalesia forest. Scalesia is endemic to Galapagos and many endemic and native species call the forest home. This is an excellent place to view some of Darwin’s famous finches along with the elusive and dazzling vermillion flycatcher. A highlight of any trip to the archipelago is a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands, where the sparse, dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our afternoon destination is the Wild Tortoise Reserve where we will have chances to track and view these friendly ancient creatures in their natural setting. This extends to the adjacent pasturelands, where farmers give tortoise safe quarter in exchange for allowing paying visitors to see them.We will then board your home while in Galapagos, the M/Y Grace. In the late afternoon, we can visit Puerto Ayora, home to both the Galapagos National Park Service Headquarters and Charles Darwin Research Station, the center of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding & Rearing Program run by the research station, which began by rescuing the remaining 14 tortoises on the island of Española in 1970. This program has restored the population of animals there to over 1,000 today. You will see many of these animals, with their sweet ET necks and faces; from hatchlings to juveniles to large, distinguished individuals. This is where famed tortoise, Lonesome George, lived out his last days as the last of his particular race of tortoise. We’ll enjoy our first Pacific sunset aboard the M/Y Grace by celebrating happy hour atop her sky lounge where drinks are available daily along with hors d'oeuvres. A little later we gather in the main salon for a presentation by our guide on the next day’s activates and visitor sites, before sitting down to dinner. We spend a bit more time in port this evening before setting sail for the island of Floreana.
Day 2 - Peace Asylum, Cormorant Point & Devil’s Crown
Floreana has had a colourful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists—a self proclaimed Baroness among them—who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in death and mystery. Today roughly a hundred Ecuadorians inhabit the island. 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. The catch is you must take a post card from the barrel and see that it gets to the right place. That is how the system began and continues to this day. Some claim it works better than the official Ecuadorian post office. After breakfast we travel in an open-air bus into the highlands of Floreana, while your Naturalist Guide begins filling you in on the history of this, the first settled island in the Galapagos. You will walk to the Asilo de la Paz (Peace Asylum) where one of the islands’ few springs is located. This artesian spring attracted pirates, whalers and later settlers to Floreana as it was one of the very few year round sources of fresh water in the Galapagos. The Cueva de los Piratas (Pirate's Cave) is quite literally where pirates carved temporary shelter out of soft stone and is also where one of the original settlers, Margaret Wittmer, gave birth to a son, Rolf, who is still living. Some have almost jokingly referred to it as the 'Stonehenge' of Floreana due to its interesting shapes. Cerro Pajas (Bird Hill) truly lives up to its name with a multitude of Floreana Finches. It also offers spectacular views of the island and the sea below. We will visit a tortoise reserve where you can watch many of the giant tortoises up close and personal. All the while, your Naturalist Guide will be pointing out the wildlife and filling you in on the colorful history of Floreana's first inhabitants like the Baroness and re-telling the legend of the "Floreana Mystery". We return to the Grace for lunch and a siesta. Our next landing is further along the shore to the northeast. On route we pass within view of Baroness Point in an area of mangrove lined lagoons. Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet, the self proclaimed Baroness (of Floreana) frequented this overlook, but we will leave the rest of her intriguing story to your Galapagos guide. Punta Cormorant offers two highly contrasting beaches; the strand where we land is composed of volcanic olivine crystals, giving it a greenish tint that glitters in the sun. From here you’ll notice the small cinder cone that forms the point. Our landing is just to the west of the cinder cone where a trail crosses the neck of an isthmus to a beach of very fine white sand known as Flour Beach. Flour Beach was formed by the erosion of coral skeletons. Between the two beaches, in a basin formed by the surrounding volcanic cones, is a hyper-saline lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts and other wading birds. We stop at the lagoon and then continue on the trail to Four Beach. Be careful not to wade into the tide with bare feet! If you stand at the edge of the water and look into the tidal area you will soon notice that the silty surf is rife with rays. Sea turtles also surf the waves off the beach. We return to our yacht and set out to our snorkelling destination as we don wetsuits while making our way around Punta Cormorant. Alternatively we may snorkel at Devil’s Crown which is located some 250 meters (700 ft) north of Punta Cormorant. The crown is an old submerged volcanic cone that has been worn down by waves. Devil's Crown is home to a myriad of marine species including several species of corals, sea urchins, and many other creatures including a great number of fish species, making this place one of the best snorkelling sites in the Galapagos. The eroded crater walls form a popular roosting site for seabirds including boobies and pelicans. The snorkeling begins outside the crater to the southeast, where a swift current will take you for a ride along the north side of the crown and right into the middle. Relax, enjoy the ride and let the current do the work. After the ride keep your eyes open for spotted eagle rays and golden rays that like to swim near the crown. Once back aboard the the Grace you’ll want to soak in the warm Jacuzzi after peeling off your wetsuit and then retire for hors d’ouevres and drinks to enjoy the sunset.
The Grace offers opulent accommodation to match her prestigious past. You'll be living in high style during your cruise, enjoying the facilities, fine food and shore excursions.
The 9 staterooms combine the style of a bygone era with modern comforts such as individual climate control, safe and telephone.
You'll mix with fellow travellers in the dining room and lounge, as you relax into your elegant surroundings and start to feel at home. Grace has an attractive sun deck where you'll find inviting easy chairs beckoning and a barman at your beck and call for that refreshing drink. A separate deck area at the front of the boat has deck chairs and a jacuzzi. Fine dining is served in the elegant dining room. You can choose to eat indoors or out, as you prefer.
The daily shore excursion programme is delivered by 2 on board expert naturalist guides, with a maximum of 9 guests to each guide.
- 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.
- Air conditioning throughout the ship.
- Length - 44 metres.
- Beam - 7 metres.
- Engines - 8 cylinder, twin Duetz 500 bhp ea.
- Generaters - 75kw ea.
- Builder - Camper & Nicholson, England.
- Cruising speed - 12 knots.
- Crew - 9 crew members, plus 2 naturalist guides and a cruise director.
- Navigation equipment - 72 mile Furuno Radar 19-53 CBB Navnet, Furuno GPS satellite navigator system, Furuno Depth Sounder, Simrad HS50 Electronic Girocompass, speed and distance log, compasses, barometers, forward looking echo sounder.
- Safety equipment -EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), 2 x 16 person open sea life rafts, life jackets, flares and signals, fire extinguishing system, and sprinkler system throughout the vessel. Safety Onboard equipment on board either meets or exceeds USA Coast Guard regulations.
- Communications equipment - UHF, VHF radio, Satellite Phones.
- Electricity - 110 volts AC / 60 Hz: 2 flat prongs.
- Stabilisers for smooth sailing.
- 6 kayaks and 2 dinghies.
Deck descriptions and staterooms
The M/Y Grace has only 9 spacious staterooms of up to 19 square meters (209 square feet) to accommodate up to 18 guests. All staterooms feature private bathrooms, individual climate controls, safe boxes, telephones and plenty of storage space for clothing and luggage. Bathrooms have luxury amenities, hair dryers and ample space to store toiletries.
Sun Deck - this is the top-most deck of the yacht where you will find plenty of reclinable lounge chairs for sunbathing while on your Galapagos cruise or for reading in the open air.
Albert deck - on this deck you will find 2 Master Suites and 2 Twin Suites with ocean view windows. The captain’s bridge, the al-fresco lounge and al-fresco bar are also located on this deck.
Monaco Deck - this is the main deck of the yacht where you will find the interior dining room, reception area, main lounge and the Grace Kelly Suite. On the outside of this deck you will also find the al-fresco dining area, stern resting area and the jacuzzi.
Carolina deck - on this deck you will find 4 Premium Staterooms (doubles and twins) with ocean-view port-holes.
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