2024 DATES TBA
Immerse yourself in a wonderland of sight, sound and nature
Image Courtesy of International Expeditions
Thirteen major, six minor and 42 volcanic islands make up Ecuador’s iconic Galapagos Islands. This volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, a mere 1,000 km off the Ecuadorian coast, is one of the world’s leading destinations for wildlife viewing, with 77 endemic animals and several plant species that can only be seen in the Galapagos.
This World Heritage site boasts a vast and ruggedly lush landscape with one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. While cruising around the islands in the comfort of the MV Evolution, a 32-person boat, you’ll have endless opportunities to explore the ecosystem, the wildlife, and the stunning natural beauty seen throughout. On the adventure front, there are plenty of places and ways to flex your sense of adventure. Or you can simply sit back, relax, and soak it all in.
The islands and the surroundings are rich in history, with plenty of pirate stories and whaler's tales. It’s a very compelling place. It inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution in the 1830s. Who knows what it will inspire in you?
2024 Dates TBA - So, book soonest!
Group size: 12-32
Deposit due ASAP to secure your spot and cabin
New Dates for the Galapagos Trip 2024 TBA
Email us ASAP to Secure Your Spot.
About the Trip
As a part of this rugged yet luxe experience, you will spend seven nights aboard the M/V Evolution ship, which features the most public space and largest cabins of any yacht in her class.
Your days will be spent surrounded by mind-blowing beauty while being immersed in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.
Activities range from snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and hiking as well enjoying intimate picnics in the highlands with giant tortoises around, visiting family-run coffee and sugar cane farms and learning about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
No matter what you do, you’ll be in the best of hands with the archipelago's best guest-to-guide ratio on small-group departures of just 26-32 guests.
(This is on a first come basis. Don't wait until the final deadline to pay or book as cabins are available to other travelers outside of this trip. If interested, best to book soonest to ensure a cabin.)
Dates - 2024
New Galapagos Trip Dates for 2024 TBA
Days -10 Days/9 Nights
Size - Minimum 10/Maximum 20
Style - Adventure, Wildlife & Culture
Needs - $1,000 deposit is required ASAP to hold your spot.
Treats - Exceptional marine and wildlife, stunning nature
Accommodations - Port Hotel & Boutique Style Yacht
Host- Karen Loftus
Fees - TBD
Shared accommodations and Single. available
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1 2024
Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde. With approximately two million people in the metropolitan area, Guayaquil's port city is Ecuador's largest and most populous city.
Like any big city, there is a mix of neighborhoods as well as creative, culinary, and lifestyle attractions spread throughout this sprawling city. Be sure to visit the colorful favelas in the hills and the Rio Guayas selection, the riverfront town square area, and the hub of the city.
On this first day and night in the city, you are free to explore on your own. Meals, experiences, and excursions are on your own and at your own expense.
Day 2 | 2024
Guayaquil / Baltra / Daphne Major
This morning, we leave Guayaquil and fly to Galapagos to board your home away from home for the next week. The M/V Evolution provides ample living space and storage. So settle in. After a safety briefing, enjoy a circumnavigation of Daphne Major, a paradise for seabirds such as the magnificent frigatebird. A welcome dinner with our group on board and an introduction with Karen Loftus will follow.
Day 3 | 2023
Isabela Island / Fernandina Island
We’ll start our first full day of adventure in Zodiacs, which will take us on a dramatic ride into the heart of a sunken volcano at Punta Vicente Roca. We will take to the water to swim and snorkel among sea turtles, penguins, and possibly even seahorses.
We’ll explore the lava fields of Punta Espinosa, located on Fernandina, the youngest and most volcanically active island in the Galapagos. Here, we are sure to spot flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. Whale-watching from the Evolution’s open-air decks as we cross the Bolivar Channel is a great way to end the day.
Day 4 | 2024
Today, we hike along the uplifted section of the seafloor in Urvina Bay at the base of the Alcedo Volcano. Our naturalists will point out the tortoises, colorful land iguanas, and other wildlife that feed on the vegetation. Later, we board the Zodiacs for an excursion to Tagus Cove, where we look for penguins, flightless cormorants, and pelicans along the cliffs before a chance to snorkel and swim—dinner on board to follow.
Day 5 | October 27th, 2023
Bartolomé / Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
This morning, we visit Bartolomé Island, hiking to the top of a dormant volcano for a dramatic panorama, including famed Pinnacle Rock. The island is dotted with craters, cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones, and broken lava tunnels which run down from the summit.
Our Zodiac drivers will take “non-hikers” for a ride around the cliffs to observe a stunning volcanic landscape and Galapagos penguins. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and maybe even speedy penguins. This afternoon, we hike across the pahoehoe lava of Sullivan Bay, where we will see some hearty flora colonizing the landscapes. We’ll stroll along the coralline beach, spotting black and white oystercatchers.
Day 6 | 2024
Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach / Rabida Island
Today kicks off with a walk along the white sands of Bachas Beach, looking for Sally Lightfoot crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. We’ll snorkel in the calm waters where sea turtles nest. Our afternoon is spent along the distinct red-sand beaches and cliffs of Rabida Island. While exploring this uninhabited island at the archipelago’s geologic center, watch for up to nine species of Darwin’s finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mockingbirds.
A small saltwater lagoon is home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and black-necked stilts. Snorkelers may take to the water with sea lions, sea turtles, and reef fish such as damsels and pufferfish. During a guided kayaking excursion, we’ll watch for brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies while savoring views of the island’s sloping volcanic peak.
Day 7 | 2024
Santa Cruz Island
We’ll begin our day in the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in the wild. We’ll stop at a family-run coffee and sugar cane farm and learn about the work being done to study and preserve wildlife at Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center at the Darwin Research Center.
Day 8 | 2024
As the southernmost island in the archipelago, Española’s relative isolation has resulted in not only an abundance of unusual wildlife but also species and subspecies that are endemic to the island, such as Española (Hood) mockingbird, Española (Hood) racer snake, Española (Hood) lava lizard, waved albatross and brightly colored marine iguanas. We’ll enjoy a Zodiac ride before wading ashore to Punta Suarez through a sea lion colony.
We’ll walk along the cliffs looking for waved albatrosses, Galapagos hawks, Hood mockingbirds, and the red-colored race of marine iguanas en route to Española’s blowhole, where waves spout 90 feet into the air. Afterwards we’ll have a relaxing lunch, swim, snorkel, and kayak in the waters off Gardner Bay. If not up for all the activity, a book, a camera, and a kickback in the white sands is also an option. A special dinner and event with Karen to follow over dinner for our final night onboard.
Day 9 | 2024
San Cristóbal Island / Guayaquil
End your Galapagos Islands cruise by returning to San Cristóbal to visit the Interpretation Center, opened by the park in 1998. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel Oro Verde before your connecting flights the following morning.
(This evening, you are on your own. However, Karen is working on organizing an event in the city of Guayaquil on this final evening together in Ecuador. Details to follow.)
Day 10 |2024
After breakfast at the hotel, you will board your independent flights home or to another destination.
Until we travel together again…
The M/V Evolution is an intimate ship that accommodates as many as 32 guests. The ship feels a bit like a boutique hotel with its chic beachy vibe and its open, airy and ample public space throughout. With an open-air bar, hot tub, indoor and outdoor dining areas as well as two sun decks, the Evolution offers guests more open-air public space than any boat in her class. The canopied bar on the roof deck is perfect for early morning coffee and whale watching and or for sipping of sundowners at day's end.
Rooms offer ocean-view portholes or windows. Ranging from 143 to 263 square feet, the oversized air-conditioned cabins aboard the Evolution are the largest on average of any ship on the islands.
Throughout the expedition, you will benefit from your local guides' 20-year experience and their highest level (Level 3) by Galapagos National Park. Meals onboard are served in one seating in the dining room. Each meal boasts both international and traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. Dancing and local bands are not unlikely while on board.
*All images on the Galapagos page are courtesy of International Expeditions
Accommodations, Rates, Availability
SHARED ACCOMMODATION & SINGLE AVAILABLE
New Dates, Deadlines, and Prices for WAT's Galapagos Trip 2023 TBA
Pricing is based on a single supplement and a shared triple and double-occupancy room. A $1,000 deposit is required ASAP to hold your spot as expeditions do sell out as cabins become full.
This program welcomes a minimum of 12 guests booked with WAT. There is a maximum of 32 guests in total on the ship.
Email us ASAP to Secure Your Spot!
Karen Loftus is a well-known and respected luxury travel and lifestyle writer and photographer with a sense of humor, a wicked sense of adventure, and an insatiable appetite for off-the-beaten-path endeavors.
She hit her international stride twenty-plus years ago as an award-winning feminist playwright. She was also a groundbreaking international comedian in the US, Europe, Asia, and The Middle East.
She also ran her own nonprofit, Body Comedy, where she used humor to heal. She worked with thousands of survivors of physical and sexual violence, women, and children in many facilities, juvenile halls, prisons, and shelters.
Ten years later, Karen ended up on Hollywood's red carpet, interviewing the celeb set and writing about travel, fashion, beauty, food and wine, and the Hollywood lifestyle. Since then, she has traveled to all seven continents and 70+ countries while working as a writer and photographer.
Her compelling and entertaining stories have appeared in Vogue, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Robb Report, American Way, Hemispheres Magazine, The NY Daily News, The Globe & Mail, South China Morning Post, The Gulf News, Huffington Post, and Men's Journal among many others.
This serial entrepreneur has produced comedy tours and theatrical events worldwide through her production company, Goddess Productions, and lifestyle and fashion-driven events through her event company, The Lofty Style Lounge.
Lofty loves hitting the road, sharing her wild stories and entrepreneurial endeavors with other women. She speaks at college campuses, conferences, and corporate events.
In addition to WAT, she also arranges well-curated travel for individuals and groups under her travel advisor umbrella, Lofty Traveler. Lofty Traveler is a part of Cloud 10 Travel - An Independent Affiliate of Cadence Travel, a Virtuoso Agency.
Your Tour Operator
We are working with a pioneer who has 38 years of immersive experiences in the Earth's wildest regions. They are an award-winning eco-travel company that travels to more than 20 countries. From sought-after signature Amazon River cruises and African safaris to their newest adventures to Cuba, Latin America, and beyond, their small-group nature tours remain the standard for exploring Earth's most captivating natural and cultural wonders.
This is the only trip on the list that I have not traveled to myself, nor have I traveled with the company before. I have, however, traveled with their sister company, Quark Expeditions, to Antarctica. They are handling WAT’s Antarctic trip in 2020. That’s how much I loved the company and their Antarctic experience.
So, I know that we are in the best hands with their sister company, International Expeditions. Similar to the other trips, I have been working meticulously with IE. We are working together to add feminine elements to this trip, one of which is a female naturalist who will be traveling with us throughout.
As far as the adventure for this trip, you can dial it up or down on a daily basis based on your own interests and abilities.