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 6th
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 group leaders Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, and Art Wolfe, as well as the rest of the team, for an introductory orientation program followed by a festive group dinner. Overnight Hotel Oro Verde
Day 2 – May 7th
Flight to Isla Baltra, and Setting Sail
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the airport for our 08:40 flight to Isla Baltra in the Galapagos Archipelago, arriving around 09:30. After arrival at Baltra airport, we will be met by our naturalist guides and escorted to the harbor. A motor launch will then transfer us to the M/V Eclipse, where we will be greeted by the Captain and crew before embarking on our cruise.
Santa Cruz Island – Black Turtle Cove
Black Turtle Cove is a complex maze of tranquil salt-water islets, surrounded by three different species of mangroves. Its waters are a nursery site for sea turtles, rays and sharks as well as a nesting site for sea birds. Difficulty level: Easy
Day 3 – May 8th
Rabida is a small island with red volcanic rocks surrounding a beautiful red sand beach, home to a colony of sea lions and a pelican nesting site. The trail leads to a saltwater lagoon where numerous species of birds congregate. Rabida is also considered to be one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Santiago Island – Puerto Egas
A trail leads to tidal pools, which are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus and starfish. We will also photograph marine iguanas, finches, oystercatchers, and possibly the Galapagos Hawk. The Galapagos Fur Seal grottoes here are one of the only places in the islands where these endangered endemic animals can be seen. Optional: swim or snorkel off the beach, where you will see fur seals, fish, rays and reef sharks, and possibly sea turtles. Difficulty level: Easy
Day 4 – May 9th
Isabela Island – Tagus Cove
Tagus Cove was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers and whalers. An optional hike leads through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin volcano. At the top of the trail, you will enjoy an incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake. This is also an excellent snorkeling location. Difficulty level: Easy to Difficult
Fernandina – Espinosa Point
Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine ecosystems in the entire world and also one of the most dynamic. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009, dominating the landscape with lava fields stretching towards the ocean from its base. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen, including the flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins and the Galapagos hawk. Difficulty level: Moderate
Day 5 – May 10th
Isabela Island – Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay is located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo volcano. After a wet landing on a beautiful black-sand beach, you may be able to observe sea turtle nesting sites. This area is also known for penguin and flightless cormorant sightings and is one of the best places to see Darwin’s finches as well as large land iguanas. Be on the lookout for Galapagos tortoises which like to feed within the site’s dense vegetation. Difficulty level: Moderate
Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point
Punta Vicente Roca Nazca features pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, boobies, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins, as well as striking geological features. This is also is a wonderful snorkeling site, where sea turtles and a variety of fish species can be photographed. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Day 6 – May 11th
Santa Cruz – Puerto Ayora: Charles Darwin Research Station & Highlands
Visit Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will gain insight into the efforts of scientists and managers to preserve the Galapagos ecosystem. After the visit we drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Day 7 – May 12th
Genovesa Island – El Barranco
El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock which leads to a plateau full of bird life amongst a Palo Santo forest. We will likely be able to photograph Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and petrels. With some luck, we may spot a short-eared lava owl. Difficulty level: Moderate
Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay
Darwin Bay’s soft, coralline white sand is only the beginning of a spectacular excursion. A trail from the beach takes us into lush mangroves where red footed boobies nest. Other locals include sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigate birds, and more. Snorkeling is a must here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and tortoises are common. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Day 8 – May 13th
Bartolome is a small island that has two very different visitor sites. At the first site, you can snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, where penguins are usually seen. Then, it’s back on board for a quick change of clothes followed by a short dinghy ride to a dry landing for a climb to the highest point on the island. On the way up, you will encounter different volcanic formations, including spatter and tuff cones, lava flow and lava tubes. From the summit you will have a wonderful view of Sullivan Bay. An alternate excursion will be provided for those not interested in the hike. Difficulty level: Moderate
Santa Cruz – Dragon Hill
The name Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) stems from the fact that it was one of the few sites on Santa Cruz Island where a healthy population of land iguanas were found in 1975. After landing at a pier, a hike takes you to a salt water lagoon behind the beach, frequented by common stilts, pintail ducks and occasionally flamingos. A short walk up the hill leads you to a land iguana nesting site, with breathtaking views of the bay. You will have the chance to go swimming after the walk. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Day 9 – May 14
Santa Cruz – Bachas Beach
Las Bachas Beach is located in the north of Santa Cruz Island. It's soft, white sand is derived from decomposed coral, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind the beach there is a small brackish lagoon, where it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. 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.
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.
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 the same comfortable amenities as our Superior Staterooms 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, offer an excellent opportunity for the more price conscious traveler to enjoy an unrivalled 7 night experience. These cabins are likewise well-appointed and are brightly illuminated with large portholes.
Single Stateroom (1): $10,495 single-occupancy
The popular Single Stateroom with porthole windows are 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.