July 24-Aug. 1, 2025 Set sail on the Isabela II through the Galápagos Islands, a remote volcanic archipelago over six million years old—and home to incredible wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the Galápagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago situated 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. These islands boast unique wildlife that has evolved in splendid isolation and served as a focal point of the Academy’s collections and research since 1905. We’ll set sail on the Isabela II through the Galápagos and visit the Charles Darwin Research Center, experiencing wonderful wildlife, unforgettable scenery, and so much more. The Isabela II, our base for seven days of exploration, offers an elegant, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of amenities including attentive staff, comfortable cabins, and naturalist guides.

  • When: July 24-August 1, 2025
  • Where: Yacht Isabela II
  • Activity level: Moderate
  • Good for families: Yes
  • Price: $9,575-$12,575 (based on party size)

Explore more details below!

Save your spot!

Click the "Register now" button below to reserve your spot through our tour partner, Royal Adventures.

Please note: You must be an Academy member or donor to register for this trip.


Image of Jack Dumbacher

Your Academy expert

Jack Dumbacher, PhD, Curator of Ornithology and Mammalogy

Dr. Jack Dumbacher is a biodiversity scientist working in the Galápagos studying avian molecular ecology. His work leverages historical museum collections to understand how birds evolved on the islands and to help guide rewilding efforts.

Blue footed boobies dancing

Trip highlights

  • Spend six nights aboard the Isabela II, an intimate 40-passenger motor yacht.
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station's giant tortoise breeding center to learn more about research and conservation work happening on the islands.
  • Learn more about the Academy’s extensive research in the Galápagos—islands long heralded by scientists as living laboratories of evolution.
  • Enjoy spotting many iconic Galápagos species including marine birds (waved albatrosses, boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls), giant tortoises, lizards, sea lions, and iguanas.
  • Head out on the water for snorkeling, kayaking, an inflatable dinghy ride, or to ride on the glass-bottom boat.
About Motor Yacht Isabela II
Yacht Isabela II in the Galapagos

Home for this voyage is the intimate 40-passenger Motor Yacht, Isabela II, offering an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere perfect for exploring the Galápagos.

Amenities include kayaks, a glass-bottom boat, jacuzzi, fitness room, bar, gift shop, natural history library, and sundeck. Wetsuits are available to rent for an additional fee. The dining is excellent, with a mix of continental cuisine and Ecuadorian specialties. The attentive staff and naturalist guides ensure your safety, comfort, and enjoyment throughout the cruise.

All 20 cabins have private bathrooms, small sitting areas, and air conditioning. Enjoy your stay as you adventure through one of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife destinations.


Day 1 (Thursday, July 24) Arrivals: Welcome to Baltra Island! Upon your arrival, we will head to the Isabela II, your floating home for the rest of your trip. Enjoy lunch before setting sail for Santa Cruz Island, a glorious destination of white beaches, lush lagoons, and iconic wading birds. Take a swim and return to the ship for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 (Friday, July 25): We land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and transfer to the nearby dock to board the Isabela II, where we take part in an introductory briefing, boat drill, and lunch. We'll disembark for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station's giant tortoise breeding center. Here are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation, and National Park Administration. Back on the ship, settle in with a welcome cocktail, a briefing on the next day’s expedition plan, and a delicious dinner.

Day 3 (Saturday, July 26): In the morning, we land on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island, Punta Pitt. We’ll follow a trail to the beach and observe the famous Galápagos boobies. This is the only site in the archipelago where all three species can be found together, along with two frigate bird species, and bachelor sea lions. Additional water activities will also be offered if weather permits. In the afternoon, you’ll disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for the island’s southern shore. Within the deciduous forest at Cerro Colorado, we will visit the iconic, endangered giant tortoises, and other endemic species.

Day 4 (Sunday, July 27): Welcome to Española Island! Start your morning in Gardner Bay for a walk on the beach to observe sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, and to soak in the scenery. You’ll then have the opportunity for snorkeling, kayaking, an inflatable dinghy ride, or a ride on the glass-bottom boat. Return to the ship for lunch on board followed by an outing at Punta Suarez. This scenic location boasts lava and boulder terrains as well as colonies of albatrosses, boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, the unique marine iguanas, and the coastal landmark dubbed the “blowhole.”

Day 5 (Monday, July 28): We’re venturing to Floreana Island today. Disembark in the morning at Cormorant Point, a curiously olivine-crystal beach, and walk to a lagoon where American flamingos can be observed. From there, cross the island to a white-sand beach which is a nesting ground for sea turtles. You’ll have the opportunity at Champion Islet to snorkel, enjoy a panga ride, or go out in a glass-bottom boat. After lunch, the group will land at Baroness Cove and Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as an informal post office in the archipelago for over two centuries.

Day 6 (Tuesday, July 29): Isabela Island and Fernandina Island are our stops for today! Disembark at Punta Moreno, Isabela Island for a meander through mangroves in search of sea turtles. Take in the landscape that is dominated by giant volcanoes on a trail that loops through lava formations, pioneer lava cactus, and scalesia trees. Here, we hope to see the Galápagos penguins, flightless cormorants, brown pelicans, herons, sea lions, marine iguanas, and more! Additional water activities are offered here. The afternoon will feature Punta Mangle on Fernandina Island. Board a pangas, inflatable dinghy, to explore the coastline of the archipelago’s youngest ecosystem of tiny bays, mangroves, and coves.

Day 7 (Wednesday, July 30): You’ll arrive on Eden Islet on Santa Cruz Island this morning for another panga ride to the volcanic Islet to observe blue footed boobies, reef sharks, and frigates. Weather-permitting, water activities will be offered. Saving the best for last, you’ll spend the afternoon on North Seymour Island, the location of nesting frigatebirds, where males will be displaying their balloon-like red gular sacs, as well as land iguanas and sea lion colonies. Explore the coast with snorkeling and a dinghy ride, and end the day with dinner.

Day 8 (Thursday, July 31): Our journey ends at Baltra Island where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Upon arrival we'll check into our hotel to rest and freshen up. Later we gather for a festive farewell dinner.

Day 9 (Friday, August 1) Departures: Bid your Isabela II and Academy team a fond farewell—today you’ll disembark and head back home.



  • $9,575 per person based on double occupancy
  • $12,575 based on single occupancy
  • Children under 12 and sharing a cabin with a full-paying adult receive a $500 discount.

Payment schedule:

  • $1,000 deposit is required per person to reserve your spot.
  • Final payment due April 15, 2025.
  • Cancellations within 14 days of booking are eligible for a full refund of the trip deposit.
  • Cancellations received up to 100 days prior to departure will be assessed and may be subject to a cancellation fee of $1,000 per person.
  • Cancellations received within 100 days (April 15, 2025) prior to departure are subject to a 100% penalty of all deposits and payments, regardless of the booking date.

What's included:

  • Two-night accommodations at the 5-star Hilton Colón Guayaquil, Ecuador (Deluxe room)
  • 7 days / 6 nights cruise aboard the deluxe yacht Isabella II
  • All meals in trip itinerary
  • All transportation within trip itinerary
  • Guided field trips, excursions, and tours
  • Professional English-speaking tour guides throughout
  • Naturalist guides on the islands
  • Some activities including: kayaks, paddle boards, and glass-bottom boat
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers

What's NOT included:

  • International roundtrip airfare from the USA to Ecuador
  • Room service
  • Personal room charges (phone calls, baggage charges, laundry, etc.)
  • Travel or medical insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages other than wine at farewell dinner

Travel insurance:

  • We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance as the cancellation penalty listed above and in the trip registration will apply. An application for trip cancellation insurance will be available upon confirmation. Most insurance plans must be purchased within 14 days of paying the initial deposit in order to waive preexisting medical conditions as well as to purchase “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance.