If you’re taking a cruise with your children, TerraDiversa recommends you sail with a boat that offers family departures. This will ensure that the pace of this once-in-a-life adventure caters to your entire family, and that there are extra activities available to give parents some time to relax while their kids have a blast.
Age-appropriate activities are designed according to the age and number of children on board, including longer walks, snorkeling lessons and sea kayaking for teens, or activities and kid-friendly meals for the younger children on board. The captain can even give workshops on nautical knots, navigational charts and astronomy. The guides also organize movie nights, games, drawing contests, talent shows and costume parties.
Boats offering this Galapagos Family Cruise include the Eric and Letty, and family departures are run between the end of March to the end of August and are scheduled to coincide with school holidays in the U.S.. Kids under 7 are only accepted if they sign a special release and kids under 5 are only permitted on exclusive charter basis.
This tour includes
· A bilingual (English/Spanish) guide
· Accommodation on board based on double occupancy rates (single supplements apply)
· Excursions included in itinerary
· Kids activities and extras on family departures
· All meals while onboard
· Non-alcoholic beverages
· Welcome and farewell cocktail
· Snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks
· Use of all onboard facilities
· Transfers to and from the airport when in the Galapagos Islands
This tour does not include
· Airline ticket to/from mainland Ecuador
· Entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 for adults / $50 for under-12s)
· Tourist Transit Card TCT ($20)
· Alcoholic beverages
· Travel insurance
· Fuel surcharge
· Any other service not mentioned herein
Sample Itinerary (Eric / Letty)
Day 1 (Sunday) - Arrival & San Cristobal Island
Arrival and transfer to yacht. Welcome briefing and lunch. Visit to San Cristobal highlands to Centro de Crianza Jacinto to visit a giant land tortoise breeding program. Learn about their original, evolution and threats. Welcome cocktail party and dinner on board.
Day 2 (Monday) - Genovesa Island
Morning wet-landing at Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach with swallow-tailed and lava gulls. Visit an Optuntia cactus forest and mangroves to spot great frigate birds nesting. Follow trail into inter tidal zone. After lunch, dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps where red-footed boobies nest in palo santo trees and Nazca boobies nest near the trail. You might also see storm petrels or even the elusive short-eared owl. In the afternoon you have a choice of activities: searching for red-billed tropic birds along a cliff by kayak or zodiac, or either swimming or snorkeling from the beach with sea lions. You could also do some snorkeling in deeper water. Return to yacht for dinner before crossing the equator.
Day 3 (Tuesday) - Santa Cruz Island
Morning visit to Las Bachas, a long white sandy beach is located on the northwest coast of Santa Cruz Island, perfect for enjoying the landscape and observing shore and sea birds. There is some great snorkeling from the beach. On the northern tip of Santa Cruz you’ll visit Cerro Dragon, a path leading from flamingo lagoons to the top of the hill, passing land iguanas and their nests. DInner on board and sail towards western islands and cross the equator for the second time.
Day 4 (Wednesday) - Fernandina & Isabela Islands
Morning visit to Punta Espinoza, known for one of the greatest concentrations of endemic marine iguanas. Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, and sea lions are also common here. There is also the chance of snorkeling with sea turtles. After lunch, cross the Bolivar Channel, where you might have the chance of spotting some whales and dolphins. Visit to Urbina Bay on Isabela Island, a flat area formed by an uplift of the seabed in 1954. Evidence of the uplift includes a coral reef, which is now on land. Urbina is home to a large colony of colorful Galapagos land iguanas. There are also giant tortoises, Darwin finches, brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, giant marine iguanas and penguins.
Day 5 (Thursday) - Isabela Island
Morning visit to Elizabeth Bay by zodiac, a secluded cove lined with large red mangrove trees and home to turtles, rays and shore birds. You’ll even visit a colony of nesting penguins, flightless cormorants and giant marine iguanas. Afternoon visit to Tagus Cove, once a favorite port for pirates and whalers. Here you’ll get to explore the coves by zodiac or kayak and spot Galapagos penguins, boobies, pelicans and other seabirds. A trail leading up a hill takes us along a big salt lake passing a large number of native and endemic plants. At the top you’ll get a great view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. After dinner you can do some star gazing while you cross the equator for the last time.
Day 6 (Friday) - Santiago & Rabida Islands
Stroll along the shore at Puerto Egas on Santiago Island looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide you might even catch a glimpse of marine iguanas feeding on exposed green algae. There is also an array of bird life, including blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. At the end of the walk you’ll reach the grottos, deep pools of clear water where fur sea lions live in safety. You’ll even get a chance to do some snorkeling. After lunch you’ll visit Rabida Island, known as home of the largest variety of lava types. You’ll land on a dark red beach which is home to sea lions and pelicans. On your hike you’ll come across marine iguanas, mocking birds, yellow warblers, several species of Darwin finches and even flamingos. At the end of the day you’ll enjoy some snorkeling with sea lions. Back on the boat there’ll be dinner, cocktails and a slide show.
Day 7 (Saturday) - Santa Cruz Island
Morning visit to the highlands of Santa Cruz island, passing through the seven vegetation zones found in the Galapagos. Visit to Las Primicias tortoise reserve, to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Visit to the tunnels, large lava tubes. After lunch visit to the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena (Charles Darwin Research Station) to learn about tortoises and their breeding. Visit to Puerto Ayora, the social heart of the archipelago. You’ll have the choice either to return to the yacht for dinner or stay in town.
Day 8 (Sunday) - San Cristobal & departure
Morning visit to the San Cristobal’s Interpretation Center to understand the natural and human history of the islands. You’ll then transfer to airport to catch flight to the mainland.
Please read the packing tips included in our Galapagos travel guide
for more information.
Rates (per person)
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