Aboard Eric-Flamingo-Letty, Southern Circuit

Cruise to the best southern island sites, including Floreana, on a 20-passenger yacht
Overview

overview

 

The fleet of three identical first-class motor-yachts, M/Y Eric, Flamingo I, and Letty, was custom-designed for Galapagos excursions, offering tremendous value for superior comfort. Two experienced English-speaking naturalist guides attend to the details of your Galapagos cruise. Each naturalist takes a group of no more than ten passengers on all shore excursions and shares extensive insights into the islands’ diverse wildlife. Stable rubber boats (Zodiacs), locally called pangas, ferry passengers to shore for island visits. These week-long, comprehensive itineraries visit the islands’ most spectacular sites to witness the unique plants and animals that have made these islands famous. 

Two itineraries are offered to adhere to touring regulations established by the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve to limit tourist visits for the islands' health and recovery.  Take your pick between this and its companion tour of norther islands, based on your preferences and your dates, or if you want the complete Galapagos experience and have the time, take both!

Built in 1991 and refurbished every year, each 20-passenger yacht features ten double outside-facing cabins located on three decks with polished teak wood interiors and either windows or portholes. All of the yachts are fully air-conditioned, and all cabins have private bath facilities. Picture windows surround the upper two decks and offer spectacular panoramic views of ocean and islands. Enjoy sea breezes, sunny days, and starlit nights on lounge chairs and recliners located on the sun deck and observation points. Snorkeling equipment, custom wet suits, and sea kayaks are all available at no additional cost.

During the months of June, July, August, and December, these ships offer special Galapagos departures for families with kids of elementary school age and older.

The itinerary shown here is for the Flamingo and the Letty; the order of visits will vary slightly on the Eric.  Please contact us for details associated with your preferred travel dates.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil
    Explore Guayaquil's lovely waterfront Malecon

    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, the surrounding volcanic mountain range, or possibly an excursion to the fabled Otavalo market.

    Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city; with its low elevation and coastal location, it is an ideal point from which to fly to the Galapagos.  The city's 1.5-mile waterfront Malecon 2000 riverfront promenade is a lovely and enjoyable place to spend an afternoon.

    *Hotel/city tour package is not included in cruise rate.

    Meals
    None
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Quito or Guayaquil
    Explore the charming neighborhood of Las Penas

    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, La Compañía, and San Agustín, Quito’s oldest monastery. Drive through the residential section and past the Legislative Palace (Congress). Panecillo Hill overlooks the city and snow-capped mountains. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore or relax.

    Guayaquil city tour: Our first stop is Malecon 2000, an 80-million-dollar riverside complex built along a two-mile stretch of the Guayas River. The waterfront promenade features restaurants, cafes, shops, and museums with art exhibitions as well as free weekend jazz and classical music concerts. Drive through the colorful streets of 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 frequented by artists. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore or relax.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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  • Day 3: San Cristobal/Playa Ochoa/Leon Dormido
    Arrive in the Galapagos ready for adventure

    You will be transferred to the airport where you will collect your tickets for your flight to the Galapagos. Upon arrival at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island, the crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to your anchored yacht. After the welcome briefing, buffet lunch, and safety drill, travel by bus to the southern shore to visit La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado. Here, the National Park has established a breeding program for the giant land tortoises that you will encounter living in their natural habitat. Learn about their origin, evolution and threats by introduced animals at the information center for visitors. Along the trail, look for the San Cristobal (Chatham) mockingbird, lava lizard and Calandrinia plant, that are endemic to this island. Back on board, join your fellow yacht mates for your island briefing and the Captain's welcome cocktail party and dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 4: San Cristobal/Cerro Brujo/Punta Pitt
    Punta Pitt is a great site for birds, including this Nazca booby

    This morning , you visit the northeast tip of  San Cristobal, Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including all three types of boobies: Blue footed, Nazca and Red-footed boobies, both Frigate species, swallow-tailed gulls, Storm petrels and a colony of sea lions. Punta Pitt is considered to be a first class site for birds and on par with Genovesa (Tower) Island. A Zodiac ride is offered as well as kayaking and snorkeling from the beach, following a walk.

    Later you arrive to Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach, considered one of the most spectacular in Galapagos and great for a peaceful walk with expansive views and good bird watching.You may choose to snorkel or kayak from the beach, or swim with the sea lions. Return to the yacht for a briefing followed by dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 5: Espanola/Punta Suarez/Gardner Bay
    Look for the waved albatross, found only on Espanola

    This morning we have a dry landing at Punta Suarez, Espanola, where you will find the greatest number of endemic species in all of the Galapagos. Sea lions noisily greet us as we land on their beach. Curious Hood Mockingbirds peck at your shoelaces. From April to November, the waved albatrosses, found only on Espanola, perform their wild mating ritual. Colonies of Blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca boobies busily care for their young. Stunning swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world, are all around. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. You will also find Darwin’s finches, Galapagos doves, and Galapagos hawks, observe a unique species of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings, and spy colorful Sally lightfoot crabs crawling along the shoreline near the famous "blow hole".

    In the afternoon, following a wet landing on Gardner Bay, Espanola, walk along seemingly endless stretches of this white sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow, so this is a chance to explore. You may find a Galapagos Hawk, Darwin’s Finches, and Hood Mockingbirds. Swim with sea lions right from the beach, explore by kayak, or just relax. There’s an excellent snorkeling site off Gardner Islet with a colorful diversity of sea life near Tortuga Rock, where snorkelers can explore caves covered with invertebrates.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 6: Floreana/Punta Cormorant/P.O. Bay
    Participate in the traditions of Post Office Bay

    This morning, step ashore at Punta Cormorant, Floreana, one of the few populated islands in the Galapagos. Floreana's history is rich with mystery and intrigue. Set foot on a green-sand beach alive with the sounds of sea lions. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home to pintail ducks, common stilts, and the pinkest flamingos in the world. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants, including Morning Glory, Cut-leaf Daisies, Palo Verdes, and Scalesia, leading to a beach with powder-soft sand where sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand dunes and rays swim in the shallow water. After the walk, you'll have an opportunity to snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and coral. In the afternoon, visit Post Office Bay, probably one of the most famous human sites in the Galapagos. Here, 18th century English whalers placed a barrel that was used to as a primate post office for mail between the Galapagos and their homeland. You are invited to continue tradition by leaving your outbound post card(s) here and to pick up any mail bound for your hometown to hand-deliver when you get back.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 7: Santa Cruz/Highlands/Puerto Ayora
    See the Galapagos hawk on Isabela Island

    This morning, you disembark in port and travel by bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The scenery gradually changes as we wind our way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Here, you visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias” one of the private farms in the highlands where we encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat. We visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where we find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. Today you visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Lierena (formerly the Charles Darwin Research Station). See all three tortoise corrals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. We stop at Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a presentation. Visitors can see the tortoise and land iguana corrals. Puerto Ayora is the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000. This evening you have the option to return to your yacht for a buffet dinner or remain in town on your own account. Those who return to the yacht will be provided zodiacs to return to town to shop for souviners, watch a soccer game, or stop at a pub or internet café. Zodiacs will be provided for your return to your yacht.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 8: Bartolome/Sombrero Chino/
    Visit the moon-like landscape of Bartolome Island

    This morning visit Bartolome, where it seems like we are walking on the moon, as this young island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, take a brisk 30-minute climb up a wooden stairway that leads to the summit of a once-active volcano. Along the way, pause to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones, and cinder cones. From the top of the stairs, gaze out across the island for a panoramic view, including "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone. Crystal clear water is an invitation to snorkel from the beach or Zodiac with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins.

    In the afternoon, visit Las Bachas, which is Spanish for "barges".  There is a long stretch of a soft white sand beach and interior lagoon where we find the Greater Flamingo. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel from the beach.  Located off the southern tip of Santiago, is the small island of Sombrero Chino, or the "Chinese Hat", which gets its name from its shape.  After a wet beach landing with a sea lion colony, the trail gives way to a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble including cracked lava tubes. You will find marine iguanas and pairs of oystercatchers, as well as  a snorkeling site that is frequented by Galapagos Penguins.  

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: South Plaza/North Seymore
    Look for Santa Cruz's wild tortoises

    This morning, visit South Plaza, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs offering spectacular views. From a dry landing, the trails lead through prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) and Sesuvium. Here you will find the Galapagos land iguana feeding on the cactus leaves. Toward the end of the hill, you encounter a colony of bachelor sea lions. The dominant bulls are in various stages of recovery from battles lost over prime beach territory. You may also find swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters, and red-billed tropicbirds, all of which build their nests along the cliffs.

    You have a dry landing at North Seymore, a small geological uplift. There, you follow a trail that leads us to Swallow-tailed gulls, Blue-footed boobies and the endemic Land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of Magnificent Frigate birds found in Galapagos. As you stroll along the beach, find marine iguanas and sea lions body surfing the northern swells. After the walk there is a snorkeling opportunity offered in deep water. We return to the yacht for the Captain’s Farewell cocktail party and dinner as well as a special slide show presentation by your guides.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 10: San Cristobal/Quito or Guayaquil
    Bid farewell to your ship and her crew

    After breakfast on board, say goodbye and disembark the ship, then visit the Interpretation Center, opened on San Cristobal Island in 1999, an excellent place to gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the islands. Afterwards, spend time exploring the port before heading to the airport for your Aerogal flight back to the mainland.  There you may catch a late evening homebound flight or be transferred to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Swissotel (Quito) or Hotel Oro Verde (Guayaquil)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Quito or Guayaquil/Onward
    Leave Ecuador with fond memories

    Depending on the time of your flight home, you may have time for a city tour or relaxing by your hotel pool. Later, 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

Friday, weekly departures (cruise departs on Sunday). Call for dates and special family departures.
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,900
- $4,700
Costs are for cruise only See above for full details
Single Supplement:
$1800
No single supplement if willing to share. However, if no share is available within 60 days prior to departure, a single supplement will be added.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Cruise Costs: 

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

2014 Rates for Eric, Flamingo, Letty:

FIT RATES: 8 DAY/ 7 NIGHTS (rates are per person)

7 NIGHTS                         DOUBLE        TRIPLE         SINGLE
IGUANA DECK                $ 3900.00     $3800.00    $5825.00
BOOBY DECK                 $ 4350.00  
DOLPHIN DECK             $ 4700.00

2015 Rates for Eric, Flamingo, Letty:

FIT RATES: 8 DAY/ 7 NIGHTS (rates are per person)

7 NIGHTS                         DOUBLE        TRIPLE         SINGLE
IGUANA DECK                $ 4100.00     $4000.00    $6100.00
BOOBY DECK                 $ 4550.00  
DOLPHIN DECK             $ 4900.00

 

Additional costs: 

$110 National Park entry fee & tourist card

$580 Quito/Galapagos/Quito airfare

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

International airfare estimate: $900-$1300

Fuel Surcharge may apply

 

About the ships

M/Y Eric, Flamingo I, and Letty are small yachts with identical characteristics. A seasoned captain, 8 dedicated crewmembers, and 2 experienced English-speaking naturalist guides attend to the details of your Galapagos cruise. Each naturalist takes a group of no more than 10 passengers on all shore excursions and shares extensive insights into the Islands' diverse wildlife. Small wooden boats, locally called pangas, ferry passengers to shore for island visits. Outfitted in 1991, the fleet of three 20-passenger first class motor-yachts Eric, Flamingo I, and Letty are 83' long with 24' beams each and exclusively custom-designed for Galapagos excursions, with spacious accommodations for small groups.
Polished teak wood interior features fully air-conditioned cabins, public spaces, a dining room, a well-stocked bar, a conference area (with television, vcr, stereo cassette/cd equipment), and a book and video library. Accommodations include ten cabins located on three decks, each with a large private bathroom, fresh hot-and-cold-water shower, either two twin lower beds or one double bed, a roomy closet, overhead storage, separate climate controls, intercom system, bottled water toiletries, and fresh towels. Snorkeling equipment, wet suits, sea kayaks, and beach towels are provided at no additional charge.
Breakfast and lunch are casual buffets with fresh, creatively prepared produce. Unwind quickly in the evening with creamy soups, ceviches, grilled seafood, roasted potato salad, unique deserts, and other delicacies of both Ecuadorian and international cuisines.

 

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 motor yacht
Group Size:
20
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 motor yacht
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

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