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.
AM – Baltra Island Airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2½-hour hour flight). In Baltra, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.
PM – Bartolome Island
Dry or wet landing. We discover a fascinating landscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — that resembles the moon. Going up to the summit there will be an impressive view of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. We also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies.
Beach time is a great opportunity to do snorkeling and see the famous Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best snorkeling experience. Crystal clear water is the perfect spot to appreciate the incredible marine life it has to offer.
Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable however, there are pioneer plants including the endemic Tiquilia nesiotica and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes.
-Difficulty level: intermediate
-Type of terrain: trail made of 372 steps.
-Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling
AM – South Plaza Islet
Dry landing. There are two Plaza Islets (north and south) located east of Santa Cruz Island. On the northern part of the Islet, visitors begin the journey along an impressive cactus forest were colorful yellow and red land iguanas live, the population number is around 300 animals; during the dry season they survive on fruits and flowers of the opuntia cacti. A peculiar thing to see in South Plaza is the hybrid iguana (sea and land). When reaching the highest point, tropicbirds can be seen. During the dry season (June – January) the usually greenish and yellowish vegetation change of color creating a bright red landscape (sesuviumedmonstonei plant).
-Type of terrain: rocky
-Duration: 2-hour walk
PM – North Seymour Island
Dry landing. Off of Baltra Island and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is located.
This landmass was formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions, which deposited layers of lava on the ocean floor. An approximately two-hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and sea lions. You will also encounter land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across the endemic Galapagos Snake.
-Duration: 2-hour walk, 30-minute snorkeling
AM – Pitt Point & Islet (San Cristobal Island)
Wet landing followed by a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes 90 meters long, olivine beach and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together, as well as, two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.
-Difficulty level: difficult
-Duration: 2½-hour walk/ 40-minute snorkeling - kayaking
PM – Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)
Wet landing. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations and a beautiful white sandy beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. There is a lagoon visit where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.
-Difficulty level: easy
-Type of terrain: sandy
-Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling
AM – Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal Island)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristobal Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Enjoy a beautiful landscape on the way to the Reserve. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the village’s port, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.
-Type of Terrain: sandy
-Duration: 40-minute bus drive to the Reserve / 1-hour visit
After the visit you will go to San Cristobal Airport for their return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.
PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.
*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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