The Samba is a great, small yacht for a "close to the water" experience viewing the islands with up to 16 guests in small cabins and a wonderful covered deck area for lunch "al fresco".

The Samba offers a small yacht, intimate experience exploring the Enchanted Islands. With its carefully designed itineraries and activities, Samba makes the most of your time to witness how the islands and wildlife differ within the archipelago.

The Samba has only 7 classic cabins for a maximum of 14 guests plus crew. Nevertheless you have a sun deck and comfortable designed lounge areas that allow you to enjoy every aspect of your cruise experience. Enjoy the top decks, sunbathe, and gaze at the star in the night sky.

For more information visit http://galapagosamba.net

Samba
Useful Information

Boat descriptions

The Samba was built in Holland with teak decks in 1966 it is now a perfectly well converted cruise yacht to explore the Galapagos Islands. She accommodates 14 guests, a perfect number to enjoy the magic of the Islands with privacy and flexibility. Its professional, experienced and friendly crew and naturalist guide are devoted to showing you everything that makes the Galapagos Islands such a unique and special environment.

On the main deck there is an outside area with reading, resting and also eating space; and inside, there is a dining salon with library with TV/VCR and Stereo. Here is where briefings and conference-talks are given and planning about next day activities. The upper deck has an outside dinning area and sun protection, ideal for watching the abundant bird and marine life. The Foredeck has enough space for sun bathing or just to relax.

The ample and comfortable space on deck makes this boat ideal for nature and photography cruises. One naturalist guide  presents an evening briefing on the Galapagos wildlife and activities and accompanies guests on the morning and afternoon excursions on the islands.

The accommodation includes all meals (Full Board), all transport, daily guided excursions, while drinks and the Galapagos Park Fee of usd 100.00 per person are extra.

There is snorkelling equipment available aboard available for hire but wetsuits need to be requested and ordered in advance.Both are payable locally. Departures on Tuesdays.

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Tourist Superior Class
14 passengers
Steel-hulled motor yacht with stabilizing sail
78 ft. / 23.77 m.
18 ft. / 5.48 m.
134 tons
Very efficient Twin DAV diesel engines 280 HP-CUMMINS that only use a remarkable 6 gallons of diesel every hour!
Two of 21 & 12.5 kW for 110v & 220v A/C and 12v & 24v D/C
2.500 miles
8.5 knots cruising
Steadying sails
1.500 gallons and water maker
6 air-conditioned double cabins and 1 exterior double bed cabin, all with private bathrooms and hot water. An ample dining-room/salon connects to an outdoor dining facility with large tables, 32" High Definition LCD TV, DVD video equipment, sound-system, mini-library with books and videos and a small bar.
6 + licensed Naturalist Guide
Furuno Navnet Radar, Plotter and Sonar, GPS, VHF & SSB radios, two tenders with outboard motors.
One self-contained 20-passenger life raft, EPIRB, two bi-directional VHF emergency-radios, one VHF (Motorola) wide-range radio, VHF and HF radios and one cell-phone communication system, life jackets, fire extinguishers, safety smoke and fire detectors and overhead sprinkler systems, A.B.C fire-control system and CO2 bank for the engine room.

Deck plan & cabins

South East itinerary 7 nights

Samba Galapagos route maps

Tuesday to Tuesday

Day 1 - Arrival & Charles Darwin Research Station

AM: On arrival at Baltra Airport all visitors pay their entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park and get their hand luggage. You will then be met by the Samba's naturalist guide, who will assist you with your luggage collection and accompany you on a short bus ride to the harbor to board the M/Y Samba.

PM: After settling in your cabin onboard the Samba and having a snack, you will land for the afternoon stopover at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you will learn how the magic is done behind the scenes. This NGO celebrates 50 years of scientific work, and it is responsible, in a great deal, for the conservation status and the restoration of the Galapagos. An important partner in the duty of preservation of this pristine archipelago is the National Park Service and they run the tortoise breeding centre. 

Day 2 - Floreana

AM: Following a four-hour navigation from Puerto Ayora, we will do a wet landing on a volcanic olivine beach. Punta Cormorant lies on the northern shore of Floreana and is home to greater flamingos and sea turtles. On one side, the point is partially flooded with a brackish lagoon, where flamingos nest and feed. Whimbrels, herons and stilts are other common shore and migratory birds of the wetlands. On the other side, sea turtles use every corner of a white sand beach to deliver their eggs. You often see stingrays and reef sharks from the shore and, if you are lucky, turtles basking. Around mid-morning we sail for 25 minutes to do a dinghy ride and snorkel at Champion Islet. This small piece of land is one of two places were the Floreana mocking bird survives after its extinction on the big Island. While trying to find the rare bird from our dinghies, we will enjoy a beautiful landscape full of fairytale cactus and terracotta rock formations. The snorkeling around the island is extraordinary, lots of fish, rays, sharks and the playfulness of the Galapagos sea lions.

PM: Adventure, survival, mystery and murder are the main ingredients for our next stop. Post Office Bay has a legacy of pirates, whalers and scientific expeditions. After a wet landing, we walk a very short distance to learn about Post Office Bay and this important Galapagos tradition. Later we will Kayak or ride our dinghies to the west, going through a small set of islets with a sea lion colony, boobies and mangroves. Finally, following our ride, we will land at the Baroness lookout. On top of this eroded spatter cone we will embrace the vivid obscurity of the human history of "Las Encantadas". 

Day 3 - Española

AM: Española is the oldest Galapagos Island. This morning we land on Punta Suárez, one of its most attractive parts of the island and home to waved albatrosses fiery marine iguanas, playful sea lions, colourful Sally Lighfoot Crabs and charming blue-footed boobies. A long walk here will give you the opportunity to see the wildlife up close, whilst its powerful cliffs provide a home for an array of sea birds, including the sallow tailed gull and Nazca booby.

PM: Located on the north coast of Española, Gardner Bay has a tranquil white sand beach. The fine grains of sand make perfect terrain for a soft walk and a relaxing late in the afternoon, where sea lions and mocking birds will keep you company. Depending on weather conditions, either at the end of the morning or early in the afternoon, we will snorkel or kayak around Gardner Island. Its calm waters and attractive landscape give you a great experience above and below water.

Day 4 - San Cristobal

AM: You will wake up to the barking of Galapagos sea lions, the animals after which the Island was named. After a dry landing on Isla Lobos, we walk over very rocky terrain, where Frigate birds, with their magenta and green iridescent feathers, decorate the saltbushes. The island is also the nesting ground of blue-footed boobies. Don't miss the chance to swim with sea lions; few sea creatures are as playful as these marine mammals. Before lunch we navigate past a dramatic tuff cone formation - Kicker Rock. The eroded structure has vertical walls of over 450 feet and has a great numbers of sea birds nesting and resting on it. We will circumnavigate the rock to admire its magnitude, soon after that we will jump in the water to swim with harmless Galapagos sharks, sea turtles, and eagle rays and drop offs full of colorful fish and invertebrates.

PM: On Punta Pitt, we do a wet landing late in the afternoon to climb a tuff cone and enjoy the sunset. This point is closest to mainland South America. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, frigate birds and storm petrel nest in the area.  The ochre color beach is perfect for a relaxing plunge after the walk.   

Day 5 - Sante Fe & South Plaza

AM: Barrington Bay is one of the most picturesque inlets of all visitor sites of the Galapagos. The white sand on the seabed reflects the light to turn the calm waters turquoise. A small forest of gigantic prickly pear cactus grows on a peninsula, keeping the bay sheltered, creating ideal conditions for a large sea lion colony. Santa Fe is an ancient extinct volcano and it has been isolated from other islands long enough to have an endemic land dragon. Paler in color than its relatives, the Barrington terrestrial iguana has a primitive morphology. Galapagos Hawks, mocking birds and finches also inhabit the island.

PM: A two-hour navigation north will take us to South Plaza. The dry landing takes you to a brilliant combination of wildlife and colour. Land iguanas wander through bright red carpet weed, Swallow tailed gulls nest around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds and shearwaters perform acrobatic flying displays. The South Plaza is also one of the best spots in the archipelago to see land iguanas and swallow-tailed gulls, both indigenous to the Galapagos. There are iguana nests scattered all over the hill and the sheer cliffs of the southern shore provide the perfect bird habitat, making it an unparalleled observatory for swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon shearwaters, and red-billed tropicbirds. If we have enough time and good weather we will swim or snorkel in Punta Carrion - a great way to end an active day!

Day 6 - Santiago & Bartolome

AM: The genesis of the islands is vividly demonstrated at Sullivan Bay, with its coiled shiny structures of the pahoe-hoe lava, which appear as if they were formed only yesterday. The contrast of colours and shapes of the basalt, and the distinction of rust and shine of its surface create a bizarre, almost Mars-like landscape.
 
PM: Bartolome Island offers an explosive volcanic landscape, offering perhaps the finest vista in all the Galapagos at Pinnacle Rock. Later, we take a walk on magical golden beaches, where sea turtle nest (December to March), with time to swim near penguins, harmless sharks and lava tubes. 
 
Day 7 - Rabida & James Bay

AM: The island of Rábida has lavas rich in iron and, after millions of years of exposure to air, they have turned red. The rusted volcanic material has eroded to form a beautiful crimson sand beach, perfect for a walk. The protected shore provides excellent conditions for a Galapagos sea lions nursery and brown pelicans also use the nearby saltbushes as a resting and nesting area. Hawks and mocking birds are common visitors and sknorkeling here offers encounters with harmless sharks, rays and many colorful fish varities.

PM: Following a two-hour sail northwest, we will make a wet landing at Puerto Egas (also known as James Bay). The magical shorelines here are a combination of tuff cone, lava flows and organic sand. A rocky coast with a very gentle slope is used by a great number of shore birds and reptiles. Oystercatchers, whimbrels, sanderlings, turnstones, tattlers and other waders are mixed with marine iguanas and brightly-painted crabs to feed by the rich littoral zone. Large lava tunnels, that are partially collapsed, are the homes of the Galapagos fur sea lions. The snorkeling here is amongst the best in the archipelago, with sea turtles, parrot fishes, damsel fishes, harmless white tipped reef sharks and many more frequently encountered.  
 
Day 8 - North Seymour & Baltra

A visit to North Seymour is the best way to say goodbye to the Galapagos. Following a dry landing at sunrise, we will walk amongst the largest blue-footed booby colony of the Islands. If visiting around April and May, you could be treated to their bizarre and animated mating dance. Not far from the dancers we have both great and magnificent frigatebirds nesting. The males inflate their bright red pouches to attract the females that fly above them, whilst swallow tailed gulls and tropicbirds decorate the large basaltic walls of the island.  We will be back on board for breakfast, ready for check out at 9:00. Your guide will accompany you to Baltra airport for the flight back to the mainland.

North West itinerary 7 nights

Samba Galapagos route maps

Tuesday to Tuesday

Day 1 – Arrival & Las Bachas

AM: On arrival at Baltra Airport all visitors pay their entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park and get their hand luggage. You will then be met by the Samba's naturalist guide, who will assist you with your luggage collection and accompany you on a short bus ride to the harbor to board the M/Y Samba. 

PM: After a light lunch the Samba will navigate for 25 minutes to Las Bachas, organic white sand beaches located on the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island. They are the most important nesting site for the green Pacific sea turtles of the Galapagos. Named Las Bachas after the American military occupation on Baltra during the Second World War, the place is a peaceful a beautiful introduction to the Enchanted Islands. On the shore is easy to encounter marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, blue-footed boobies and, in a nearby lagoon, we often find flamingos, black necked stilts and other shore birds. Visitors are welcome to swim or snorkel near the beach. 

Day 2 – Genovesa

AM: After 6 to 7 hours of navigation from Santa Cruz you will wake up to the beautiful cacophony of one of the largest tropical sea bird colonies on the planet. The cliff-tops are decorated with frigate birds, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow tailed gulls, tropic birds and many other pelagic animals. Following a wet landing at Darwin Bay, you will encounter red-footed boobies displaying for potential mates as they collect nesting material and great frigate birds inflating their bright red gulag sacks, hoping to attract a female. Darwin's finches, Galapagos doves and mocking birds stroll the ground to find seeds and insects. The red mangroves, cactus and saltbushes contrast with the blue sky and the dark basaltic walls.

PM: Following lunch, you will do a dry landing to climb Prince Philip's Steps. The steep ascent takes you 100 feet above sea level, where you will find the elegant silhouette of a red-billed tropic bird and the aerobatic Galapagos shearwate. From here we will follow a lava rock trail through the endemic dwarf incense tree forest and the Palo Santo forest, dormant most of the year, but which fragences the air in the rainy season with a refreshing aroma. As you exit the latent trees you will enjoy the sight of thousands of storm petrels flying erratically beyond the lava flows. This is the perfect scenario to see one of the few island predators - the short-eared owl. Snorkeling on Genovesa offers close encounters with a wide variety of tropical fish. 

Day 3 – Marchena & Playa Negra

AM: We will travel back south after sailing to Genovesa. The Samba is the only boat that heads west-northwest and was granted the chance to use Marchena's magical shorelines to snorkel, dinghy ride and kayak by The Galapagos National Park Service. Punta Mejía is one of the best sites in the archipelago to snorkel; the calm and clear deep blue water of the north west coast, and the dark hostile topography of the location give the sensation of witnessing the beginning of our planet and its underwater world.  Apart from great fish diversity, we often see rays, reef sharks and sea turtles.
 
PM: Navigating southwest for 45 minutes to Playa Negra is always an exciting experience. More than once in the past we have seen bottle nosed dolphins, other cetaceans or feeding frenzies. After an early afternoon snorkel around recently formed lava grotto, where marine iguanas feed, we will start a 5 to 6 hour sail to the west. As we get further away from the island, the sea floor changes dramatically and we enter deep water, an oceanic drop-off. The Cromwell current, which arrives from the west, brings richness to the surface and generates a large upwelling. As a result, we have the chance to seek out whales and dolphins here.

Day 4 – Isabela

AM: Human history has left its footprint on this small corner of the Galapagos. Punta Albemarle, the farthest north point of Isabela, was once an important US radar station to prevent any Japanesse attempt to destroy the Panama Channel. Today, the recent lava flows are the nesting ground of the only flightless cormorant in the world and the basking terrain of the largest marine iguanas of the Galapagos. Because not many boats visit this site, the cormorants, that are very shy birds, display as they build their bulky nest with seaweed, with total indifference to human presence. As the morning advances, the iguanas dive into the sea to feed on green and red algae.
 
PM: Punta Vicente Roca offers an overwhelming diversity of geological formations. Located only a few miles south of latitude 0 , the area is an outstanding example of how the Islands were formed and how the forces of change have transformed the landscape and shaped the wildlife. Vicente Roca is the home of tuff cones and lava dikes. We will look at the dramatic structures from our dinghies, from where we can also enjoy watching Galapagos penguins, brown noddies, blue-footed boobies and other marine life. When the waters are calm enough, the snorkel is fascinating. The walls of the tuff cones are full of colourful invertebrates and rich algae blooming, give us a great chance of witnessing numerous sea turtles feeding.

Day 5 – Fernandina & Isabela

AM: Fernandina is the youngest island of the archipelago. The whole Island is covered with hostile worthless lava, however, at Punta Espinoza the shoreline is teeming with life. Reptiles, birds and mammals all coexist in a living museum; groups of marine iguanas, playful sea lions, tireless flightless cormorants, dwarf penguins, busy Sally Lightfoot crabs and more. Don't forget to look around, because the Galapagos Hawk is always on the hunt. The site is a true cradle of evolution. Snorkeling with turtles, iguanas, cormorants and colourful fish is the best way to refresh after the lava walk.

PM: Located in the center of Isabela, Alcedo Volcano is remainder of how volatile this Islands are. On the west shoreline of Alcedo lays Urbina Bay. The landmass of the inlet was uplifted in 1954; more than ¾ of a mile of shoreline was created, and many coral reef extensions where exposed to air, as the upheaval rose the seabed. The brand-new landscape became a perfect nesting terrain of the most beautiful land iguana - the largest in the Galapagos. Impressive yellow, orange and brown iguanas roam the lowlands looking for flowers, fruits, leafs and shoots of their favourite plants. Also, when the rains arrive, it is possible to see giant tortoises sharing the land with the other primitive looking reptile. Urbina is miniature reminder of a Jurassic time.

Day 6 – Isabela

AM: Isabela Island constitutes almost half of the entire land surface of the archipelago. It is nearly 100 miles long and offers a remarkable diversity of habitats. Shaped like a seahorse and with volcanoes over 5,000 feet high, it is also the birthplace of vast mangrove extensions. Elizabeth Bay is the only place of earth where old tropical mangrove forests and penguins coexist. The ecosystem is also the home of spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and a is nursery for fish and marine invertebrates. With the outboards off and using only our oars for speed, we will enjoy this serene array of life.   

PM: When you land on Punta Moreno, you understand why the Spanish Bishop that discovered the Islands said: "it was as if God had decided to rain stones". When he first set foot on a lava field he struggled to find fresh water and, in desperation, was reduced to chew on cactus pats to quench its thirst. More than three centuries later a young Naturalist saw beyond the lava. Charles Darwin was amazed by the colonization of plants and presence of life in this harsh terrain. He thought this process could easily compare to the origin of life in our planet. The pioneer cactus growing over the country of lava is contrasted with stunning oasis and where lava tunnel roofs have collapsed, brackish water accumulates to give life to greater flamingos, moorhens, black-necked stilts and Galapagos Martins.       

Day 7 – Floreana

AM: After breakfast we land on Puerto Velasco Ibarra to ride on a chiva (endemic transportation), to visit the highlands of Floreana. On the way to the humid zone, we stop to climb Cerro Alieri. A good number of steps will leads us to a breathtaking view of a landscape decorated with liquens and epiphytes. The mysteries of this Island are hidden in the pirate caves. At Asilo de Paz we will learn of the fascinating story of the Wittmers, Doctor Ritter and Dora, and the famous Baroness and her three lovers.

PM: In the afternoon we land to visit La Lobería (sea lion roockery) and swim or snorkel of the beach. It is a refreshing end to a wonderful day.

Day 8 – Santa Cruz & Departure

AM: Before you go to the airport, we will stop at the Highlands of Santa Cruz. At 1,800 feet, the greenery offers the opportunity to admire the remnant of a Galapagos mature forest. The Daisy trees of the genus Scalesia decorate a couple of extraordinary geological formations. Known as "Los Gemelos", these collapsed craters and their surroundings are the home ti many Darwin finches, mocking birds, vermillion flycatchers and a wonderful diversity of indigenous plants. Departing visitors going to Baltra Airport and those who are staying on the Samba for a second week will all go together in a bus to Los Gemelos. Departing guests visit the craters and continue afterwards with your guide to Baltra airport, for your flight back to the mainland.

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