Note to Single Travelers: We may have limited availability for those seeking to share double-occupancy staterooms aboard M/V Eclipse. Please contact us if interested.
Join us for this unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The world's preeminent natural history photographers – Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, and Art Wolfe – have joined forces to lead an expedition to photograph the extraordinary wildlife spectacle on a little volcanic archipelago that changed the world forever: Galapagos. The Masters of Nature Photography and Visionary Wild are pleased to present this luxury photo adventure, aboard our 210-foot private expedition vessel, M/V Eclipse. Learn as you travel through the islands, with instruction and guidance by Lanting, Mangelsen, and Wolfe, and generous support by a first-rate team of assistant instructors and the best naturalist guides in the Galapagos. This is a rare opportunity to spend one-on-one quality time with each of these great masters, both in the field and onboard. During our daily excursions in this wondrous wildlife hotspot, you will experience close-up encounters with species found nowhere else on the planet, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and Darwin's finches, among others.
We will make regular landings at locations that offer unparalleled opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife behavior up-close and eye-to-eye, with the dramatic volcanic landscape as a backdrop. Aboard Eclipse, enjoy informal discussions and image reviews with the masters. Eclipse's spacious and luxurious staterooms, impressive amenities and relaxing public spaces, fine dining, and the services of an expert crew and our certified Galápagos naturalists. Presentations by Lanting, Mangelsen, and Wolfe will inspire creativity and help elevate your photographic technique, while our expert naturalists paint the rich and colorful picture of the Galapagos' remarkable natural history. The itinerary is designed to optimize opportunities for photography, but at its core this is a first-class natural history tour of the Galapagos, making this a perfect opportunity for non-photographer guests to join in as well.
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- Pricing by stateroom class
The landings and photography excursions described below are representative of what we plan to undertake on this trip, though the itinerary is subject to change to enable us to take advantage of special opportunities, or respond to weather and other unforeseeable circumstances.
Day 1 – May 13th
Arrival in Guayaquil, Ecuador
Participants will be met at the airport in Guayaquil and transferred to the Hotel Oro Verde. That afternoon, you will meet one of our expert local naturalists for an introductory orientation program followed by a festive group dinner. Overnight Hotel Oro Verde
Day 2 – May 14th
Flight to Isla Baltra, and Setting Sail
After an early breakfast at the hotel, guests will be transferred to the airport for a 08:40 flight to Isla Baltra in the Galapagos Archipelago, arriving around 09:30. After arrival at Baltra airport, you will be met by our naturalist guides and escorted to the harbor. A motor launch will then transfer guests to the M/V Eclipse, where you will be greeted by group leaders Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, and Art Wolfe as well as the rest of the team, the Captain, and crew before embarking on our cruise.
North Seymour Island is a perfect introduction to the Galapagos. Fauna abounds and you will soon find yourself surrounded by frigate birds and blue footed boobies. Keep an eye out for land iguanas and sea lions too. Difficulty level: Moderate
Day 3 – May 15th
South Plaza Island is home to a large Opuntia cactus forest, land iguanas and one of the largest sea lion colonies in the central region of the archipelago. We will likely be able to photograph Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and other sea birds, as well as various finches. Difficulty level: Moderate
Here we will photograph several of Santa Fe´s endemic species, including the Galapagos hawk, the Galapagos snake, various finches and the Galapagos mockingbird. Playful sea lions usually join swimmers during beach time. Difficulty level: Moderate
Day 4 – May 16th
San Cristobal - Punta Pitt
Punta Pitt is located on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. You will hike up to a plateau where the view and landscape are so spectacular it is definitely worth the effort. The power hike is followed by kayaking, snorkeling and dinghy ride opportunities. Difficulty level: Difficult
San Cristobal - Cerro Brujo
.In addition to the magnificent scenery, there is a beautiful beach and a dinghy ride at the visitor site. Cerro Brujos' spectacular beach is home to a large colony of sea lions and is the first place in the archipelago that Charles Darwin visited. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Day 5 – May 17th
Floreana – Post Office Bay – Baroness View Point
Post Office Bay is home to a unique “post office” inspired by 18th century pirates and buccaneers who used a wooden barrel 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. The Baroness View point is the ideal place to take in the unique scenery that defines Floreana. Difficulty level: Easy
Floreana - Champion Islet and Cormorant Point
After snorkeling at Champion Islet, you will visit Cormorant Point, where there is a beautiful lagoon which is home to flamingos, stilts and pintall ducks. Difficulty level: Easy
Day 6 – May 18th
Isabela Island - Elizabeth Bay
Elizabeth Bay is one of the furthest points of the Galapagos that we will visit on our cruise. We will enter a sheltered cove accessible by dinghy only – a wonderful mangrove ecosystem that is a refuge for sea turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies, penguins, herons and more. Difficulty level: Easy
Isabela Island - Moreno Point
Moreno Point is located just southwest of Elizabeth Bay and is famous for its huge population of seabirds. You´ll be able to get up close on a dinghy ride along the cliffs of the island, or on a hike through lava rock that leads to the tide pools and mangroves teaming with life on the west coast of Isabela Island. Observe and learn about different types of lava and pioneer plants while being surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery that Galapagos has to offer. Difficulty level: Moderate to Difficult
Day 7 – May 19th
Santa Cruz – Puerto Ayora - Charles Darwin
On your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station you will gain insight into the huge efforts being made by scientists, guides, rangers and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands’ namesake. After the visit we 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
Day 8 – May 20th
Española – Gardner Bay
Gardner Bay offers the chance to enjoy a wonderful white sandy beach. It is home to one of the 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
Española – Punta Suarez
Punta Suarez is home to large populations of the Nazca and blue-footed boobies, as well as the beautiful waved albatross (seasonally). The 10,000 to 12,000 pairs of albatross on Española represent the entire population of this species on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals of the animal world. Difficulty level: Difficult
Day 9 – May 21st
Mosquera Islet is a tiny islet, actually home to a huge population of sea lions and also home to many shorebirds. While at Mosquera, keep your eyes peeled as there are occasional reports of dolphins and orcas. Difficulty level: Easy
Isla Baltra – Flight Home
Return to Isla Baltra, disembark and transfer to the airport for flight departing 13:30, arriving in Guayaquil at 16:20. We say our goodbyes, and guests catch connecting flights home.
PRICING BY STATEROOM CLASS
Prices provided below are for the all-inclusive package, based on stateroom class and either single or double occupancy. Stateroom class, occupancy type, and bed arrangement may be selected via our online registration form. A 25% deposit is required upon registration, with an additional 25% due as of September 1, 2015, and the remaining balance due February 1st, 2016.
Available on our expedition vessel are 22 elegantly decorated Staterooms to host a maximum of 41 guests, with picture windows or large portholes for outside views. The en suite bathrooms are fully set with complimentary biodegradable toiletries. All cabins have central air-conditioning, with either a double or twin bed arrangement. Twin beds can be converted to king-size beds. High-quality bed linens, duvets and pillows provide for a peaceful sleep. For your valuables a safe deposit box is available in your cabins. All Staterooms are serviced three times a day.
Staterooms (7): $10,495 per person double-occupancy; $20,250 single-occupancy
On the Main Deck, we have seven Staterooms with porthole views. These cabins feature an excellent combination of comfort and contemporary decor, with amenities including premium bedding and new vanities. Two of them have interconnecting doors, ideal for families.
Standard Staterooms (2): $10,250 per person double-occupancy; $19,750 single-occupancy
Slightly closer to the engine rooms, our two available Standard Staterooms, located towards the stern of the Main Deck, feature the same amenities as our Staterooms, and offer an excellent opportunity for the more price conscious traveler to enjoy an unrivalled 7 night experience. These cabins are well-appointed and are brightly illuminated with large portholes.
Deluxe Staterooms (4): $11,500 per person double-occupancy; $22,500 single-occupancy
These cabins are comfortably situated on the Boat Deck. Each has been carefully furnished to a modern expeditionary style of decoration - just perfect for the Galapagos. These beautifully set cabins have large scenic windows, premium bedding, and well-appointed bathrooms and provide a complimentary one-time fully stocked minibar. Two of the four Deluxe Staterooms feature an extra bed.
Superior Staterooms (8): $10,995 per person double-occupancy; $21,250 single-occupancy
Also located on the Boat Deck, these offer an excellent combination of comfort and contemporary-type decoration with recently renovated vanities. Panoramic windows allow for bright natural lighting in cabins. Two of them have interconnecting doors to accommodate families.
Single Stateroom (1): $10,495 single-occupancy
The lone available Single Stateroom with porthole windows is positioned towards the bow of the vessel and are a perfect option for our solo travelers at a very attractive price. This is a bright, well-equipped cabin suited for one passenger.