Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Epic Galápagos Photography Expedition tour

Epic Galápagos Photography Expedition

National Geographic Expeditions Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
86%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
17 days
From: $ 12,580 $ 740 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Explore the Galápagos archipelago and undersea in great depth with hikes and Zodiac cruises
  • Tour paced for photo ops and timed to take advantage of the best light.
  • Shoot with and learn from top National Geographic photographers and the Lindblad-National Geographic Director of Expedition Photography
  • Go on daily photo assignments to help build your personal portfolio with wildlife legendary for uniqueness and lack of fear of humans - allowing for up-close and magical photo opportunities with blue-footed boobies, sea lions, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and more.
  • Enjoy a mid-voyage photo seminar with our expert photographers and a special photography tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Short Description

Join a team of top National Geographic photographers in one of the planet’s most photogenic places for an in-depth exploration over two weeks. Whether you’re a published pro or a rookie looking to build a portfolio, you’ll learn new shooting skills in the field and editing and gear tips during on-board sessions. Enjoy daily excursions including snorkeling, hiking, Zodiac tours, and kayaking, and experience up-close photography opportunities with the unique wildlife of the Galápagos.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Guayaquil
End City Guayaquil

Trip Includes

  • Accommodations
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Pre-departure information
  • Entrance fees, excursions, and sightseeing noted as included in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation during the expedition
  • Transfers to and from group flights where applicable
  • Services of an adventure consultant, guides and any other staff, and on designated “Photography” departures, a National Geographic Photographer
  • Taxes, port charges, baggage handling, and service charges
  • Itineraries that include camping, camp and cook staffs, tents, kitchen and dining tents and necessary Trip equipment (e.g., sea kayaks, rafts, personal floatation devices, etc.) are provided.

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Itinerary

Day 1: U.S. / Guayaquil, Ecuador

Depart the U.S. and arrive in Guayaquil by late evening; it’s a short drive to the Hotel Hilton Colon, where we spend the night.

Day 2: Guayaquil/ Galápagos Islands

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a short flight to the Galápagos, we’ll board the National Geographic Endeavour and begin to explore the Galápagos with a landing at the beautiful Las Bachas beaches, lined with endemic coastal plants and protected saltwater lagoons.

Day 3: North Seymour Island and Rabida Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

North Seymour Island is an uplifted piece of seafloor, home to land iguanas, sea lion colonies, blue-footed boobies and frigate bird nesting colonies. We will spend the morning observing and photographing the rich wildlife of this islet as we hike the rocky trail. The afternoon will be the first of many great snorkeling opportunities. You can also opt to kayak along the picturesque volcanic coast. Later you’ll land on the bright red sand of a charming beach and take a hike into the island to search for hawks and other land birds to photograph.

Day 4: Fernandina Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fernandina Island is the youngest and most pristine island in Galápagos. The stark black lava flows are home to some of the largest marine iguana colonies in the archipelago, and the peculiar-looking flightless cormorants nest along the coast. Bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs scamper among the black rocks, and sea lions play along the coast against the dramatic backdrop of volcanoes. Later today, sail across the channel to Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Snorkel in a sea turtle feeding area and then take Zodiac rides along the coast to look for Galápagos fur seals and penguins. Late afternoon, gather on the outer decks to get a look inside the huge collapsed caldera of a volcano while crossing the Equator at sunset.

Day 5: Isabela Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Land on a turtle nesting beach of black sand, and choose from various hiking options to look for the wildlife of the area including a large land iguana nesting colony and occasional giant tortoise sightings. In the afternoon the ship repositions to the historical Tagus Cove, a sheltered bay that has been a popular anchorage for centuries of visitors, including Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle. Activities you can choose here include a scenic hike overlooking a volcanic crater, Zodiac and kayaking excursions to look for penguins, flightless cormorants, and shorebirds, and even some deep water snorkeling.

Day 6: Santiago

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hike up into a coastal forest behind one of the largest turtle nesting beaches in Galápagos, explore the spectacular Buccaneer Cove by Zodiac and kayak, and enjoy snorkeling among the dense schools of reef fish that find refuge in the indented shoreline. Afternoon hikes at Puerto Egas lead you through a fascinating geological landscape of mixed ash and lava flows, tidal pools and grottoes. Inhabiting the area you will find both Galápagos sea lions and fur seals, marine iguanas, land and shore birds, and brilliant Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Day 7: Santa Cruz

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galápagos National Park Service. You’ll learn about the science and conservation work undertaken in the islands, and meet some of the key players in the local conservation world. This afternoon, our photo team will be hosting a Photo Seminar on-board the ship, followed by a late-afternoon photographic outing in town.

Days 8 & 9: San Cristobal

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Visit Punta Pitt with its fascinating geology, also the only site where all three booby species that occur in the Galápagos nest together. Take hikes up to the plateau for wonderful views, and Zodiac cruises along the base of the cliffs to look for red-footed, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and possibly even snorkel and kayak among young sea lions. Snorkel around the famed Leon Dormido or “Kicker Rock” among graceful sharks, sea turtles, and other larger marine species. Then travel to the highlands of San Cristobal, drive up to a freshwater lake in an old volcanic crater, visit a semi-captive tortoise population, and spend time among the large sea lion colony that inhabits the picturesque waterfront of the town. Also land on Cerro Brujo (Wizard Hill), where we will take Zodiac rides and kayaking options along the spectacular cliffs, before landing on the beach for swimming and nature walks.

Day 10: Española

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The morning will be spent at the spectacular Gardner Bay, home to a pristine white sand beach inhabited by extensive sea lion colonies. Activities here include exploring the beach, deep-water snorkeling, and kayaking. The afternoon will be spent hiking among the sea bird colonies at Punta Suarez.

Day 11: Floreana

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

During an early morning hike at Punta Cormorant you’ll observe flamingos and shore birds, a turtle nesting beach, and fascinating vegetation. Later, while at Champion Islet, you’ll spend time looking for the endangered Charles mockingbird from our Zodiacs, then don your gear to snorkel among sea lions in clear waters. During the afternoon, you’ll explore the historical Post Office Bay by Zodiac and kayak, then land on one of the same beaches Charles Darwin set foot on, and check the barrel originally set up by 18th century whalers for mail.

Day 12: Santa Cruz

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

You’ll leave the ship early and head into the lush highlands where giant tortoises forage. Visit a charming sugar cane mill located in the highlands called El Trapiche, then continue to the coast to spend the rest of the afternoon at the picturesque El Garrapatero beach.

Day 13: Dragon Hill and Guy Fawkes/El Eden and Daphne Major

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will hike through giant cactus and incense tree forests to reach Dragon Hill, the habitat of the colorful Santa Cruz land iguanas that have been brought back from the brink of extinction. Later you will have the opportunity to snorkel along the steep, invertebrate-coated walls of the islets of Guy Fawkes.

Day 14: Bartolome and Sombrero Chino

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning you will visit Bartolomé, an enchanting landscape where lava, mangroves, and golden sand converge. You will have the opportunity for an early morning hike to the summit of the cone, with stunning views of the famous Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding volcanic landscape. Later in the morning, enjoy snorkeling from the beach, where you might encounter sea lions, small reef sharks, and even Galápagos penguins. In the afternoon you will continue to explore some of the small islets just off the coast of Santiago Island, including a small volcano called “Sombrero Chino”. The stark lava flows form tubes and caves that are an important nesting area for Galápagos penguins, and the waters bathing the shore are rich in fish life.

Day 15: Genovesa

Sail into the caldera of Genovesa, known as “bird island”, where you’ll enjoy hikes among nesting colonies of swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, all while keeping a look out for hunting short-eared owls. Ride Zodiacs and kayak along the base of the caldera wall, and snorkel among large schools of parrot fish and other tropical species.

Day 16: Galápagos / Disembark/Guayaquil

Meals: Breakfast

Disembark and fly to Guayaquil. The afternoon and evening are at yours at the Hotel Hilton Colon.

Day 17: Guayaquil/U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

Depart Guayaquil this morning, arriving home the same day.

Availability

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Price From $ 12,580
Price Per Day: $ 740 per day
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Details

Ship Name

National Geographic Endeavour

Ship Description

The National Geographic Endeavour is a premier expedition ship that accommodates 96 guests in 56 outside cabins. Single cabins in Category 1 are highlighted in bright blue and include cabins 219, 222, 309-312, 314-316, and 318. Single cabins in Category 2 are highlighted in bright pink and include cabins 124, 126, 127, and 205.

The ship is fully stabilized, allowing for smooth passage from one island to the next. It carries snorkeling gear, wet suits, kayaks, a fleet of Zodiacs, and a glass-bottom boat. Public areas include a lounge and bar, a library, a gift shop, a fitness center, a sauna, and a swimming pool. Services include a full-time doctor and a wellness specialist, Internet access, and laundry.

Deck & Cabin Plans

All Deck & Cabin Plans

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

epigalnat

Trip Excludes

  • The “Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner” notations apply to the period during the expedition only and do no any meals on flights to/from the Trip.
  • International airfare
  • Optional gratuities
  • Personal items

Meals Included:

15 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches and 13 Dinners

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