This 8-day Central Western Galapagos Islands cruise sails to some of the region's most popular islands and picturesque islets, combining the natural highlights of this region with visits to historical sites and local research facilities to gain a well rounded and in-depth understanding of the Galapagos.
The five stars Solaris offers passengers an exclusive experience as an attentive crew of eight goes above and beyond to meet the needs of an intimate group of 16 passengers.
Begin your journey on Baltra Island where you'll meet and greet your knowledgeable naturalist guide and fellow passengers, and visit your first site on this cruise - Las Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, where you'll discover the role it played in World War II.
From there, the Solaris sails onward to Isabela Island, where you'll observe white-tipped reef sharks resting in the calm waters between the collection of islets.
After a tour of the Wetlands for the opportunity to spot the elusive flamingo, climb the 20-meter walls of The Wall of Tears, a reminder of the penal colony Isabela Island once was.
Observe Galapagos Giant Tortoises at the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, and learn how the facility is contributing to the preservation of this species.
Visit Punta Moreno, where on a guided walk along a trail, you'll come to a striking panoramic view of the Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul and La Cumbre - three of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos.
Learn the history of pirates in this region at Tagus Cove and journey onward to 642 sq. km Fernandina Island, the third-largest island in the archipelago, and walk the barren landscape of Punta Espinosa, observing the large colonies of marine iguana that bask in the sun here.
Spend time on Santiago Island, and after a walk along the golden sands of Espumilla Beach, go snorkeling with schools of tropical fish at Buccaneer's Cove.
Dive into the history of Puerto Egas and learn how this site briefly housed a salt mining business in the late 1920s. Then explore the otherworldly landscape of Rabida, its striking red sand beach and matching rust-colored cliffs a result of oxidation.
See Chinese Hat, a gently sloping volcanic cone on a tiny 1 sq. km islet near the southeast coast of Santiago that takes the form of a Chinaman's hat, then spend a day exploring the highlights of Santa Cruz Island.
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora, the premiere breeding site of the Galapagos Islands, and learn how this facility is working to maintain biodiversity in the region.
Then tour the Highlands where you'll see the Twin Craters and observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Your final morning on this eight-day Central Western Galapagos Islands cruise takes you to North Seymour, where you'll witness the most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in the archipelago.
With this itinerary, you'll spend your days snorkeling and swimming in radiant turquoise waters, walking along nature trails to discover native flora and fauna and embarking on guided hikes across the volcanic landscape while spotting endemic sea birds and colonies of sea lions.
With 11 bright and modern cabins and floor to window ceilings on the main and upper decks, you'll be discovering the pristine nature of the Galapagos in indulgent comfort, as you sink into your plush bed at the end of the night, or spot wildlife in the ocean from the main deck sailing between Santa Cruz and North Seymour on the Solaris.