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Multi-Adventure
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Galápagos by Sea Ocean Cruise Family Multi-Adventure Tour - Older Teens & 20s

Sailing through Ecuador's Enchanted Isles

Embark on a family island escapade like no other. The Galápagos archipelago is an isolated natural sanctuary, home to some of the world's most unique tropical ecosystems above and below the sea. Encounter Galápagos giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies. Explore volcanic calderas and stunning beaches. Each day aboard our expedition ship brings a new adventure.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual Plus Ship

Walk/Hike
Snorkel
Kayak
Bike

Ecuador

Start/End Quito

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Highlights
  • Immerse yourself in especially designed activities in some of the most phenomenal and captivating ecosystems on Earth
  • Sail to uninhabited islands accessible only by our cruise-based itinerary and enjoy epic (including face-to-face!) animal encounters
  • Snorkel and kayak for a special extended time exclusive to Backroads guests, then return to our ship to indulge in creature comforts
  • Bike through the misty highlands of Santa Cruz, keeping an eye out for wildlife and sensational views
Ports of call
Bartolomé Island
South Plaza Islet
North Seymour Island
San Cristóbal Island
Española Island
Floreana Island
Santa Cruz Island
Baltra
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Meet Our Leaders
Itinerary
Accommodations may vary based on departure date.
Casual Plus Ship
Accommodations may vary based on departure.

Your adventure begins in Baltra, the gateway to the Galápagos Islands | Explore the far reaches of this archipelago, which offers endless opportunities for exploration on land and sea | Journey on an eco-boutique expedition ship each day to unique coves and remote islands with opportunities to hike, snorkel and kayak at world-class sites | Experience firsthand the rugged beauty of the islands' fiery legacy by hiking along dried lava flows | Watch tiny Galápagos penguins dart and dive among the waves and Nazca boobies perched on rocky cliffs | Donning a snorkel and mask, discover an underwater wonderland of fascinating sea life | Hike through land iguana habitat en route to craggy cliffs where nesting red-billed tropic birds and swallow-tailed gulls play in the currents | Get up close and acquainted with iconic blue-footed boobies | View giant tortoises and learn about the breeding and life cycle of the islands' most famous residents | Look for lava lizards and frigate birds as you hike among cacti and acacias with panoramic views of picturesque bays and white-sand beaches | Take to the water in sturdy sea kayaks to gain a new perspective of the coastline and wildlife—if luck is on your side, you might spot rays, sea turtles, dolphins or sharks! | Discover a wide variety of endemic inhabitants found only in the Galápagos | Relax on idyllic sandy beaches with sunbathing sea lions | Bike through Santa Cruz's verdant highlands and visit an eco-farm that produces coffee and sugarcane | Savor a final evening under the stars while moored in the turquoise waters of a sheltered lagoon.

Galapagos Legend
GoGalapagos Ship
Galápagos Legend

This intimate yet spacious boutique expedition ship delivers comfort, personalized service and amenities including an outdoor bar, hot tub and stargazing deck. (pool)

View sample deck plans

Dates & Prices

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy

Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.

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Activity Level: 1-2

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.

Day 1
Other
Flight to Baltra Island (3.5 hours with layover in Guayaquil)
El Chato Reserve Hike (2 hours)
Day 2
Other
El Barranco Hike (2 hours)
Morning Snorkeling & Kayaking (2 hours)
Afternoon Snorkeling (1 hour)
Darwin Hike (2 hours)
Day 3
Other
Dragon Hill Hike (2 hours)
Santa Cruz Island Snorkeling (1.5 hours)
Santa Fe Island Hike (1.5 hours)
Kayaking
Santa Fe Kayaking or Snorkeling (1 hour)
Day 4
Biking
Level 1 | 9 miles* | 400 ft. gain
Level 1 | 19 miles | 500 ft. gain
Other
Coffee & Sugarcane Farm Visit (1 hour)
Optional North Seymour & Mosquera Scuba Excursion (full day)
Day 5
Other
Salt Mine Hike (half day)
Santiago Island Snorkeling (45 minutes)
Rábida Island Kayaking & Snorkeling (2 hours)
Rábida Trail Hike (1.5 hours)
Day 6
Other
Urbina Bay Hike (1.5 hours)
Urbina Bay Snorkeling (1 hour)
Tagus Cove Kayaking & Snorkeling (2 hours)
Caleta Tagus Hike (2 hours)
Day 7
Other
Espinosa Point Hike (1.5 hours)
Fernandina Snorkeling (1 hour)
Vicente Roca Point Snorkeling & Panga Ride (half day)
Day 8
Other
Disembark at Baltra Island; Shuttle to Baltra Airport; Flight to Quito (3.5 hours with layover in Guayaquil)
* Includes shuttle.

Note: The above route options and ports of call vary. Please download a Detailed Itinerary for your departure date to view specific daily route options, or call one of our Trip Consultants at 800-462-2848.

Our Galápagos walking routes are generally easygoing on beach or dirt paths, but some trails require more agility as we hike over dried lava flows or rocky surfaces. The terrain is predominantly flat and rolling with few steep or technical sections. If it rains, the trails can become muddy. Biking in the Galápagos is mainly along paved roads with some bike lanes and some short stretches of dirt road.We take multiple boat rides during this trip including 2 to 3 hour ocean crossings between the different islands in the archipelago. We also spend a good amount of time doing water-related activities such as snorkeling and kayaking in the open ocean. If you are prone to seasickness, we recommend you bring non-drowsy motion sickness medication such as Dramamine (especially in the summer months when water can be a bit rougher).

What's Included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Expert Backroads Trip Leaders, on ship and on shore
  • Off-the-beaten path exploration
  • Access to all ship amenities
  • Impeccable and personalized service from ship staff and Backroads Leaders
  • Exclusive activities that amplify your appreciation and understanding of the local culture
  • Exclusive routes
  • Gratuities on ship and on shore handled by your Backroads Leaders
  • Exploring lesser known routes away from busy ports
  • Easy-to-use route directions so you're free to explore independently
  • Private walking tours with expert guides
  • Access to all ship activities and excursions

Straight talk

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Ships

The ship we sail on is like a floating expedition boutique hotel, so you can visit a new destination each day without touching your suitcase once you've settled in. Our ship is custom‐designed with a variety of inviting spaces that offer plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing. Our ship is vastly smaller than most cruise ships, with up to just 100 passengers. We sail with up to 30 Backroads guests on the Galápagos Legend ship.

Backroads Cruising Life

If you're new to Backroads active cruise trips, there are a few things you need to know. Although our average group size is larger than a typical Backroads tour, our ship-based trips feel smaller and much more intimate than a typical cruise.

Additionally, even with an itinerary subject to fixed nautical schedules and national park regulations that may occasionally limit our time on shore, we get out and explore far beyond the cruise norm.

Being onboard a ship provides the benefit of being able to take advantage of ship amenities: the fitness room, hot tub and a pool. In addition, there is the opportunity to relax in the inviting common spaces or the privacy of your room. Your Trip Leaders will have information on the array of options to choose from.

If having longer routes or more flexibility to explore is important for you, we recommend choosing one of our River Cruise or Hotel trips. If you love meeting new people and having more time to relax aboard the ship, and enjoy the ease of unpacking once, you'll love our approach to active ocean cruising. Nobody does it like we do.

Meals

All meals are served aboard. On-ship meals, though delightful, are meant to appeal to a wide cross section of passengers and may at times feel more conventional and less reflective of the region than on Backroads Hotel trips.

Stateroom Categories

In contrast to our Hotel trips, which typically have similar room categories, the Galápagos Legend offers a wide range of stateroom categories to choose from. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast, so book as early as possible if this is important to you.

Travel Time, Internal Flights & Comfort

Please note that there is an ample amount of travel time on this trip, and we may have earlier mornings than you are used to on Backroads trips—including as early as 4 a.m.—due to our flights between the Ecuadorian mainland and the Galápagos Islands. We'll be flying on commercial flights with Avianca or LATAM Airlines aboard twin-jet planes. Also, be prepared for wet, windy conditions and bring seasickness medication if you think you'll need it, especially in summer months when the waters can be a bit rougher.

Itinerary Changes & National Park Regulations

The Galápagos Islands are a welcoming and fascinating place, yet complex and at times logistically challenging due to national park regulations. So while mid-trip itinerary changes are possible, rest assured your Trip Leaders will be at the ready with excellent alternate activities. Also, in accordance with the national parks' environmental protection regulations, hikers in the Galápagos need to be accompanied by our local naturalist and hike in designated areas.

Terrain & Trail Support

Most hikes on this trip are remote and do not intersect with roads. Vehicles or boats will get us to and from the trailheads, but the nature of these trails is such that we won't see our vehicles along the route. Ample trail support in the form of water and encouragement is provided by your Backroads leader and local guides.

Service Standards

Although the Galápagos Islands are part of Ecuador, they can feel worlds away from the mainland, with challenges including slow or nonexistent internet and ATMs possibly running out of cash. Service onboard our ship and at hotels and restaurants can lack a sense

On-Your-Own Activities

During the trip there's time for you to enjoy a scuba diving adventure. This activity is often a highlight for those who choose to do it, but due to liability issues and because it may not be to everyone's liking, it's not included in the cost of the trip and participation is at your own risk.

Ask A Trip Expert

Have a question and need expert advice? Our team of Trip Consultants is here to help! You can also visit our FAQ’s.

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