A legend is an experience that must be seen to be believed. A legend is something that can't be found anywhere else. And that's exactly what a tour aboard M/V Galapagos Legend offers: Nowhere in the world will you find a place with such tremendous natural beauty as the Galapagos Islands, nor an excursion that presents this paradise to you in such luxury. With capacity for up to 100 passengers in any number of spacious, elegant, and fully-furnished cabins, M/V Galapagos Legend has all the amenities of a cruise liner while still small enough for you to enjoy an intimate experience on the beaches and highlands of these pristine islands. Like a true legend, this tour will be totally unforgettable.
PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.
AM – Baltra Airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island (2 1/2-hour flight). Arriving in the Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken to a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.
PM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a bird watchers’ haven since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.
-Difficulty level: easy
-Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (seasonal conditions)
-Duration: 45-minute drive / 1 ½-hour walk
AM – El Barranco, Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)
Be marveled at the variety of sea life that uses the crevices of the lava cliffs for shelter. Red-billed Tropic birds fly overhead, switching between their nests and the bay, and a small colony of fur seals may be found near the landing site. You will be dropped off at a steep stairway that begins on rocks at the foot of a path that leads through a seabird colony full of Nazca and Red-footed Boobies. At the plateau, the trail continues inland allowing you to see more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest. Near the end of the trail, over a rocky lava plain, Wedge-rumpled Storm-Petrels can be observed flying in all directions. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a Short-eared Owl.
-Difficulty level: Moderate
-Type of terrain: rocky – lava
-Duration: 45-minute walk
PM – Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)
Disembark onto a small sand and coral beach. A short trail heads west along a tidal lagoon and then up a rocky hill that leads to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. Along the trail near the tidal lagoon, visitors will see pairs of Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Yellow-crowned and Lava Herons. The trail continues through Palo Santo trees, Opuntia cacti, and Saltbushes inhabited by Great Frigate birds and Red-footed Boobies. This is one of the few places in the islands where visitors are guaranteed to see Red-footed Boobies. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Red-footed Boobies live in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.
-Difficulty level: Moderate
-Type of terrain: Sand & Lava
-Duration: 2 ½-hour walk approx.
AM – Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. Walk by a brackish lagoon to see flamingos. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation. Keeping up until Dragon Hill, see an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchored boats and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves.
-Difficulty level: intermediate
-Type of terrain: rocky
-Duration: 2-hour walk
PM – Santa Fe Island
Wet landing. Santa Fe shows white sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies; through the island path, an endemic cactus forest is passed, home the Santa Fe land iguanas (the largest in the islands). This island is the habitat for a number of species, including the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats (one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents), a variety of finches and one of the four mockingbird species of the archipelago.
-Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour deep-water snorkeling
AM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island)
Wet landing. On the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lies two small flamingo ponds were iguanas sunbathe, see coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native vegetation like red and black mangrove, salt bushes. This beach is one of the main sea turtles nesting sites in the Galapagos. A turtle can lay eggs 3 or 4 times per season with an average of 70 eggs each time. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank a long time ago, when the United States Navy operated a base during World War II on Baltra Island. Local people modified the word barges to “Bachas”.
-Type of terrain: sandy
-Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling/beach time
After the visit, passengers will be transferred to the airport for their return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.
*Please note that while airfare from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands is not included in the price of your journey listed above, all guests are required to arrange airfare, at an extra fee, through Palace Tours: $490 per adult and $350 per child under 12 (These rates are subject to change). This fee also includes transfers for both passengers and luggage to and from the ship at the beginning and end of the tour. Any passengers who do not arrange their airfare through Palace Tours will be charged a flat fee of $90 per person and will be responsible for their own transfers to and from the airport to the dock. Palace Tours is not responsible if passengers miss their cruise because of delays resulting from independent airfare or transfer arrangements.
Optional services onboard (net per person in US$ subject to change)
If a customer wishes to change their tour dates and their original departure date between 125 and 65 days away, then they will be charged a $200 fee per person.
If a customer wishes to change their tour dates and their original departure date is less than 65 days away, then relevant cancellation fees will apply.
i) 20% of the trip price if it is cancelled between 89 and 65 days before the departure.
ii) 50% of the trip price, if it occurs from 59 to 30 days prior to the departure.
iii) 100% of the trip price, if it occurs within 29 to 0 hours prior to the departure.
The above times are based on local time of the destination where the tour is provided. In order to provide enough time for processing cancellation, guests need to add 3 business days to the above timeframes. An administration fees of 15% on any monies to be refunded to the client will be charged prior to refund.
All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover the losses incurred in case of cancellation. For more information on travel insurance, please visit www.palacetours.com/insurance.
M/V Galapagos Legend features 57 cabins: one balcony suite plus, eight balcony suites, four legend suites, 24 junior suites, 17 standard plus, and three standard suites. All cabins include twin beds or a double bed, a private bathroom, personalized air conditioning, a safety deposit box, an LCD-TV with multimedia system, and phone service for internal, local, and international calls.
The balcony suite plus, 245 sq. ft. in size, features a large bathroom, bathrobes and other amenities, two private balconies, a mini fridge with champagne, exclusive decorations, and the capacity to become a triple via an extra bed. Interconnecting cabins get the 471 sq. ft. Galapagos balcony.
Balcony suites, 226 sq. ft. in size, feature panoramic views, a private balcony, sliding doors, a mini fridge with champagne, and the capacity to become a triple via an extra bed.
Legend suites, 215 sq. ft. in size, and junior suites, 161 sq. ft. in size, feature two panoramic windows per cabin and the capacity for four and 20 suites, respectively, to become triples via an extra bed.
Standard plus suites, 118 sq. ft. in size, feature portholes and the capacity for four suites to become triples via an extra bed.
Standard suites, 111 sq. ft. in size, are interior cabins.
M/V Galapagos Legend also features a number of public areas for socialization, including numerous outdoor spaces, a pool, a stargazing terrace, multiple bars, a kid's corner, a sauna, jacuzzi, massage chairs, dining areas, and many more!
M/V Galapagos Legend has a multilingual crew of 56 members and seven certified, naturalist guides.
Naturalist guides speak English and Spanish, although guides who speak French, German, or Italian are available on request. Please indicate any preference at the time of booking.
Cabins aboard M/V Galapagos Legend use 110 V and 120 V electricity. Guests whose devices do not use this type of current should supply their own adapters.
Visa and Travel Documents
· As per international law, you must have a visa in order to enter Ecuador to begin your trip. While Palace Tours does not provide visas, we can help by providing you with all the necessary information you need to successfully obtain a visa to Ecuador.
Insurance (Personal and Otherwise)
· Palace Tours strongly recommends the purchase of adequate travel insurance in your country of origin prior to arrival to cover injury, illness, death, loss of luggage or effects, or cancellation.
· Ecuador does not require a yellow fever vaccination, and the nation has no yellow fever or malaria alerts at any location at this time.
· Palace Tours strongly recommends you consult your physician for any personal health advice based on your travel itinerary.
Pre- and Post-Tour Accommodations
Unless specifically mentioned, airfare (Domestic or international) to or from the Galapagos Islands and to or from Ecuador, accommodations before or after your tour, transfers to or from airports, and tour extensions are not included in the price of your journey, but can be arranged for an additional fee.
All itineraries include two daily excursions to visitor sites in the islands.
Transfers to and from the M/V Galapagos Legend to the islands will take place aboard dinghies; landings can be dry or wet and are indicated as such in the itinerary.
All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.
· In the Galapagos Islands, the weather is relatively stable throughout the year.
· The cool, dry season lasts from July to December and brings overcast conditions and choppier waters. Temperatures range from 19° to 25° C, with an average sea temperature of 21° C.
· The warm, wet season lasts from January to June and brings sunny skies and the occasional heavy rain shower. Temperatures range from 22° to 27° C, with an average sea temperature of 24° C (Though it has been known to dip lower).
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands?
· The Galapagos Islands are a perfect destination to visit at any time of year!
What should I pack with me on my trip to the Galapagos Islands?
· In terms of clothing, we recommend comfortable walking shoes or boots with strong traction, "Teva" style sandals for hiking on beaches or wet landings, a bathing suit, a light-to-medium fleece jacket for cool or breezy evenings, shorts (Quick-dry, if possible), T-shirts, sunglasses (Preferably polarized), and a hat or cap.
· We also recommend you pack your travel documents, such as your passport, a camera (With batteries and plenty of film/memory), a basic first-aid kit (Band-Aids, aspirin, seasickness pills, stomach-settling pills), and cash (Preferably in U.S. dollars). You should also pack a backpack for any off-board excursions so that you can carry any essentials you will need for the day.
· This list is by no means exhaustive, but merely a suggestion to get you started.
What is the currency?
Ecuador's national currency is the U.S. dollar, so it is legal tender for any transactions you may make.
What is the time difference in Ecuador?
· The Galapagos Islands are on GMT-6 (The same as Chicago). They do not observe Daylight Savings' Time, so during the months of April-October, they are on GMT-7 (The same as Denver). They are one hour behind mainland Ecuador.
How many airlines fly to the Galapagos Islands? How many airports are there?
· Only two airports in the Galapagos Islands receive flights from mainland Ecuador: Baltra Airport on the island of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Airport on the island of the same name. There is also a small airport on the island of Isabela in operation to receive the occasional small flight from Santa Cruz.
· The Galapagos Islands are serviced by LAN, TAME, and Aerogal (Now owned by Avianca).
Do I need to be in good physical condition to visit the Galapagos Islands?
· Guests on M/V Galapagos Legend itineraries can expect several hours of gentle walking each day on paths which may be unpaved and at varying slopes, so guests should have a level of fitness appropriate to participate. Please ask any questions you may have related to fitness as an impediment to participation at the time of booking.
· Certain treks or activities, like snorkeling, may require a greater degree of fitness.
Can my children accompany me?
Children under 12 years of age are allowed on board M/V Galapagos Legends excursions and pay 50% of the adult fare.
Interconnected cabins are available for families with children and there are a number of offerings designed specifically for children, such as our on-board playroom.
I have dietary restrictions. Can I be accommodated?
Guests with dietary restrictions are required to provide advance notice so that we can make special arrangements. Please ask any questions or indicate any dietary restrictions you may have at the time of booking.
Is M/V Galapagos Legend available for group or charter expeditions?
Yes. If interested, please inquire about group or charter details at the time of booking.
Should I leave a tip?
Tips are not included in the total price of your journey. We recommend guests leave a per person, per day tip of $15 for crew/$10 for guide.
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