Aboard M/V Eclipse, Southern Circuit

Cruise the islands on one of the newest, medium-sized ships
Overview

overview

The Eclipse is a perfect base for any Galapagos cruise: a generously proportioned ship with a small yacht atmosphere. Ever since her arrival in 1999, the Eclipse has been considered the finest boutique cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands, offering unparalleled levels of comfort and service. She was converted specifically for upscale cruising in the islands, and was designed to meet the exacting demands of luxury travel. Whether you are snorkeling with sea-lions, watching a blue-footed booby feed its young, or following a giant tortoise through the forest, the Galapagos Islands will surpass all expectations, and there is no better way to enjoy the wonders of the islands than on board the Eclipse.

From your comfortable base aboard the Eclipse, you will be able to explore the islands’ best visitor sites. There are many opportunities to hike, swim, snorkel, bird-watch, and take great close-up photographs of the flora and fauna. For land visits, guests are divided into groups of a maximum of 12 people, each with its own naturalist guide. The Eclipse anchors off shore at two visitor sites per day, and passengers are ferried to landing points in small boats, locally called “pangas.” On the islands you follow marked trails, walking at a leisurely pace, with your guides explaining the unusual sights you see. Afterwards, there is often an opportunity to swim and snorkel before returning to the ship.

Taking children to the Galapagos Islands is an immensely rewarding experience. For this reason, we offer selected family departures during the months of July, August, and December. Specialist guides educate and entertain the children throughout the day, while adults enjoy the cruise at your own pace, knowing that the children are in safe hands and making their own discoveries about the history of evolution and the wonders of the islands.

Starting in 2012, two itineraries are offered to adhere to new touring regulations established by the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve to limit tourist visits for the islands' health and recovery.  Choose between this southern itinerary, which includes Espanola Island, and its companion tour of the north which includes Genovesa, based on your preferences and dates.  If you want the complete Galapagos experience and have the time, take both!

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil
    Arrive in the busy waterfront city of Guayaquil

    Arrive in either Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador, where you will be met and transferred to your local hotel.* Quito is located in a huge valley of the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 9,455 feet; it’s a great place to extend your stay to explore the city or the surrounding volcanic mountain range. Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and, with its low elevation and more coastal location, is an ideal point from which to fly to the Galapagos. Overnight at the Swissotel or Patio Andaluz in Quito or the Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil, for two nights. (*Hotel/city tour package is not included in cruise rate.)

    Meals
    None
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Quito or Guayaquil
    Wander along Guayaquil's lovely Malecon

    Quito city tour: Stroll down cobblestone streets and through flowering plazas. Visit the old colonial center of Independence Square, the elegant cathedrals of San Francisco and La Compañía, and also San Agustín, Quito’s oldest monastery. Drive through the residential section and past the Legislative Palace (Congress). Visit Panecillo Hill south of the old town, which affords great views of the city, snow-capped mountains, and surrounding volcanos. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore or relax.

    Guayaquil city tour: Our first stop is Malecon 2000, a two-mile-long waterfront promenade along the Guayas River. The waterfront boardwalk features a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, shops, and museums with art exhibitions, as well as free weekend jazz and classical music concerts. Drive through the colorful streets of this, one of Ecuador’s most important port cities. Visit the Public Market, the waterfront, the docks, and Simon Bolivar Park, which is famous for its tree iguanas. Also, admire the watchtower, La Rotonda, Old Santa Ana Fort, and Las Penas, a charming colonial section of town occupied by artists. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore or relax.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Arrive Galapagos/North Seymour
    Sea lions and other creatures are unafraid of humans

    The flight from Quito (via Guayaquil) to the Galapagos is approximately 2-1/2 hours long (or about 2 hours from Guayaquil). Upon arrival at Baltra airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee (pre-paid for you). Guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts called Zodiacs, or pangas, will transport you to the yacht, and the crew will welcome you onboard. After a briefing and a light lunch, you'll set off for your first landing.

    North Seymour (dry landing) may very well be the perfect introduction to the Galapagos Islands. Although the island is characterized by arid vegetation, fauna abounds and you will soon find yourself surrounded by sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, frigates and more. With some luck, you may even get to see land iguanas as well. Difficulty level: Moderate.

    Back on board, attend the first of your daily briefings on the next day's adventure, then enjoy welcome cocktails and dinner onboard.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: South Plaza/Santa Fe
    Look for land iguanas at Dragon Hill

    South Plaza Island, although quite small, is actually home to a large Opuntia cactus forest, land iguanas, and one of the largest sea lion colonies in the central region of the archipelago. An endemic plant, Sesuvium, inhabits this island and is a great climate indicator, as its color is a greenish-yellowish during the rainy season and a bright red during the dry season. You will also be able to see Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, other kinds of sea birds, as well as different types of finches. Difficulty level: Moderate.

    In the afternoon, head to Santa Fe (wet landing). Formed by uplifting, rather than by a volcano, Santa Fe is known for having one of the most beautiful coves in all of the Galapagos. Some of the island’s endemic species include the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, different types of finches, and the Galapagos mockingbird. The visit includes a hike on a trail past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks as well as Santa Fe's  land iguanas tend to roam. Playful sea lions will often accompany swimmers and snorkelers; kayaking and Zodiac rides are also options this afternoon. Difficulty level: Moderate.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: San Cristobal/Punta Pitt/Cerro Brujo
    Hiking here is somewhat more rugged, but rewarding

    Punta Pitt is composed of volcanic bluff substrate and is located on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. This is the only site in the Galapagos where you'll have the opportunity to see all three species of boobies and both species of frigatebirds. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled, as the Red-Footed Booby is not as easy to spot because they prefer to nest in areas of thick brush. You can also enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, and Zodiac rides at Punta Pitt. Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult.

    In the afternoon, visit Cerro Brujo. Located on the north coast of San Cristobal Island, this eroding tough cone offers a fantastic landscape as well as wonderful swimming, snorkeling, and Zodiac rides. Cerro Brujo's gorgeous beach is also home to many sea lions, and it's where Charles Darwin first set foot on the archipelago. You will also see a beautiful lagoon used by the locals of Baquerizo Moreno Port for salt mining, as well as two different species of halophytes (rare plants that grow in soils with a high salt content) Difficulty level: Easy to moderate.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Floreana/Baroness/Punta Cormorant
    Participate in the traditions of Post Office Bay

    Floreana (dry landing) is one of the Galapagos' most infamous islands due to many strange stories you'll hear about its past settlers. There are many wonderful and diverse sites to visit, including Post Office Bay and the "Baroness's Viewing Point." Marine life also abounds in Floreana's coastal regions, making it a fantastic site for snorkeling and kayaking. Flamingos also populate the island and may be seen during your visit.  Baroness's Viewing Point is the perfect place to take in Floreana's special environment, and a great spot to learn about and ponder regarding the bizarrely intriguing history of the Baroness and her three lovers. In the 18th century, whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home. This is one of the archipelago's most famous spots. Snorkeling and kayaking are late morning opftions. Difficulty level: Easy.

    Return to the boat for lunch.  A great site for bird-watching, Cormorant Point, your afternoon stop, has a large lagoon where everything from flamingos to stilts and pintail ducks can be observed. The beach nearby is also quite special and known as: The "Green Beach" so named due to its green color, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand. Snorkeling, kayaking, and Zodiac rides are also available in the afternoon. Difficulty level: Easy.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Elizabeth Bay/Punta Moreno
    Snorkel sheltered Elizabeth Bay while you look for rays

    Elizabeth Bay is one of the most remote points you'll visit on your Galapagos cruise. On this morning's Zodiac ride, enter a sheltered cove, a wonderful mangrove ecosystem and refuge for sea turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies, penguins, herons, and more. Difficulty level: Easy.

    After lunch on board, visit Moreno Point, located just southwest of Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island and known for its large populations of sea birds which can be seen on a Zodiac ride along the striking-rocky shores or on a hike along paths through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves. In the tide pools, green sea turtles and white-tipped sharks can be spotted. Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Santa Cruz/Puerto Ayora/Darwin Station
    Commune with tortoises on Santa Cruz

    After a dry landing in the town of Puerto Ayora, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you'll gain insight into the massive efforts of scientists, guides, rangers, and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site and its tortoises. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands’ namesake, learn about their plight, and observe efforts to rebuild wild populations on the islands.
     
    After the visit, drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will visit a tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings. Difficulty level: Easy to moderate.

    Return to the ship for lunch and a variety of afternoon activities such as snorkeling, Zodiac rides, and relaxing.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Espanola/Gardner Bay/Punta Suarez
    Depending on the season, you may see sea turtle hatchlings

    Gardner Bay (wet landing) offers the chance to enjoy a wonderful white sandy beach. It is home to one of the Galapagos' most important colonies of sea lions, and it is also a nesting site for sea turtles. Throughout the morning, there are opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Difficulty level: Easy.

    After lunch, visit Punta Suarez (dry landing), one of the most popular and attractive sites in the Galapagos. Due to its isolation from other islands, it has a high proportion of endemic fauna. A few steps inland from the landing site, groups of Espanola marine iguanas bask in the sun. Further inland, Nazca and blue-footed boobies nest near the trail, Galapagos doves peck around, unaware of visitors, and finches go about their daily business. The trail continues towards a blowhole, a fissure in the lava where water spurts high into the air like a geyser. Cracks in the cliffs are home to swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Farther up the cliff in an area of low-lying trees, you will find nesting waved albatrosses. The 15,000 to 17,000 pairs of albatrosses on Espanola represent almost the entire planet's population of this extremely rare species. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals of the animal world which you might witness, depending on the timing of your visit. Difficulty level: Difficult.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Mosquera Islet/Fly to Quito or Guayaquil
    Leave the M/C Eclipse, your home for the week, and head for the mainland

    After breakfast, enjoy your last excursion, a Zodiac ride to Mosquera, a tiny islet home to a huge population of sea lions and many shorebirds. While at Mosquera, keep your eyes peeled, as there are occasional
    reports of dolphins and orcas. Difficulty level: Easy.

    Around mid-morning, head to the airport for your midday flight back to Quito or Guayaquil, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel with the rest of your day at leisure.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Quito or Guayaquil/Onward
    Bid farewell to Ecuador

    You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Thursday weekly departures (cruise departs on Saturday). Call for dates.
Land Cost:
$5,400
- $6,400
Costs are for cruise only See below for full details
Single Supplement:
$2800-6400
50% of cabin cost for standard staterooms, 100% for superior and deluxe staterooms.
Need to Know

Need to Know

About the Ship

The M/V Eclipse provides an exceptional level of comfort and elegance. She is an expedition vessel, 210 feet long accommodating up to 48 passengers in 27 cabins.

Ships the size of the Eclipse would normally accommodate many more passengers, but in designing her layout, cabin numbers were limited in order to provide passengers with unrivaled cabin space and ample social areas. The Eclipse is unique in offering the generous accommodation of a larger vessel, while preserving the atmosphere and exclusivity of a smaller yacht.
Fully air-conditioned, the Eclipse’s spacious cabins have either a double or twin bed arrangement, with two bedside tables, a writing desk, two chairs, ample closet space, and an internal communication system. The well-appointed bathrooms consist of a shower, toilet, sink, cabinet, hairdryer, and a basket of toiletries, with fresh towels provided every day.
The Eclipse has a well-equipped lounge for relaxation and for the nightly briefings on the day’s discoveries and the following day’s activities. There is also as well-stocked library for quiet study and reading. In addition to the elegant indoor dining room, there is also an al-fresco dining area located around the pool, where you can enjoy the islands’ spectacular scenery over a delicious lunch.

View the Eclipse deck plans photos, and more.

Cruise Costs:
Prices are per person, for 8-day Cruise only.
Please see below for additional costs.

 2014 Rates:

$6,650 Deluxe Stateroom, Queens & Triples, Boat Deck Cabins 17-20

$6,250 Superior Stateroom, Twins & Doubles, Boat Deck Cabins 21-28

$5,700 Staterooms, Twins & Doubles, Main Deck  Cabins 3-10

$5,400 Standard Staterooms, Twins & Doubles, Main Deck Cabins 11,12,14,15

$5,600 Single Stateroom, Main Deck Cabins 1-2

Single supplements are assessed as follows: 1.5 x the twin rate for Staterooms;  2x the twin rate for Superior and Deluxe Staterooms

Triple occupancy
Adult 3rd person is assessed at the current twin stateroom cabin rate
Child 3rd person is assessed at the current twin stateroom cabin rate less child discount

 2015 Rates:

$7,050 Deluxe Stateroom, Queens & Triples, Boat Deck Cabins 17-20

$6,650 Superior Stateroom, Twins & Doubles, Boat Deck Cabins 21-28

$6,050 Staterooms, Twins & Doubles, Main Deck  Cabins 3-8, 10

$5,750 Standard Staterooms, Twins & Doubles, Main Deck Cabins 9,11,12,14,15

$5,950 Single Stateroom, Main Deck Cabins 1-2

*Note:
On Family dates, children 5 years and older are welcome
On non-family dates, children 7 years and older are welcome
Children under 12 years sharing the cabin with an adult receive a 25% discount on cruise (only one discount per cabin) except for Easter, Christmas and New Year
Children booked in a single cabin or in a double cabin for single use pay the adult rate

Additional costs:
$110 National Park entry fee & tourist card

$560 Quito/Galapagos/Quito airfare

Hotel packages: hotel 3 nights, transfers & city tour or hotel 2 nights and transfers; inquire for costs

International airfare estimate: $1000-$1200

Fuel Surcharge is $260 per passenger

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
Delightful ship and hotel
Group Size:
48
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
Delightful ship and hotel
Terms & Conditions: 

Galapagos Cruise

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, English speaking guides, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation & check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), park or site entry fees, transit card, international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, fuel surcharges, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: For reservations requiring 1-2 cabins, a deposit of 30% of the cabin cost is due per person. Balance is due 90 days prior to departure. For reservations requiring 3 or more cabins, a deposit of 30% of the cabin cost is due per person. A second deposit of 30% of the cabin cost is due per person 180 days prior to departure and final payment for is due 90 days prior to departure. All payments are NON-REFUNDABLE. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. All payments may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail or via our website.  *HOLIDAY departures require an increased deposit of 40% from the regular terms and conditions.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Airfares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Duration: 4 days

Explore the rainforest habitats accompanied by native guides while staying at a charming lodge, designed to offer comfort while preserving the environment and ambiance of the rainforest.

Otavalo Off the Beaten Path

Duration: 3 days

This in-depth exploration of the scenic area north of Quito, including a trip to the famous Otavalo market, as well as visits to some of the smaller towns known for a variety of crafts.

Machu Picchu

Duration: 6 days

This short trip to Machu Picchu can be easily combined with your trip to the Amazon, Ecuador, or the Galapagos. Many major South American cities have daily flights to and from Lima.

Quito Colonial City and the Equator

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy a day exploring the city of Quito before or after your Journeys trip.

Avenue of the Volcanoes

Duration: 3 days

In three days, you can visit some of the most important sites in Ecuador. Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world, and Tungurahua has been erupting since 2001. The route is full of cultural, ethnic, and architectural attractions, along wi... read more

Guayaquil City & Optional Tours

Duration: 1 days

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city, and with its low elevation and coastal location, it is an ideal point to fly to and from Galapagos. Options include a tour of the city and the Botanical Gardens or the new Historical Park.

Cloud Forest

Duration: 1 days

Escape to a cloud forest paradise. Bellavista is a perfect day trip to see the subtropical rainforest during your stay in Quito. Why spend a spare day in the city when you could be hiking in a forest reserve, or relaxing in a hammock admiring the hum... read more

Otavalo Market

Duration: 1 days

Otavalo market is the oldest, best-known, and most important Indian market in South America, and it takes place every Saturday.  This extension allows you to visit the market, traveling from Quito via Calderón and Cayambe, and passing by some of th... read more

×