Galapagos Explorer: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)

7 Days | Explore the fascinating wildlife and incredible terrain of the Galapagos Islands

4.9 out of 5 based on 10 reviews submitted.
Adventure Cruising
AUD $4,112
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Explore the Galapagos and its native wildlife on a sailing trip around the central islands of the archipelago. Meet the green turtles that inhabit Isla Santa Cruz, watch blue-footed boobies dance the booby two-step and marvel in awe at the unfamiliar beauty that characterises these far-flung islands. Encounter the very same creatures that sparked Darwin’s imagination when he formulated his theories of evolution. There’s no spot on earth that is closer to the origins of the planet, where every step feels as though it’s through uncharted territory. Prepare to depart on the adventure of a lifetime and become a Galapagos explorer.

Trip overview

Map of Galapagos Explorer: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz) including Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Adventure Cruising, Wildlife
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • As you board your vessel, M.Y Grand Queen Beatriz, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, you will encounter nature at its finest.
  • Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight.
  • Walk through the agricultural region and into the misty forests of Santa Cruz and look out for Galapagos giant tortoises!
  • Take an excursion to North Seymour, which is one of the most visited islands in the Galapagos, and see what all the hype is about.
  • See Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove), a red mangrove wetland on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. Paddle among the cove’s peaceful waters, looking out for green turtles, golden cow-nose rays, eagle rays and Galapagos sharks.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, The Galapagos Conservancy. Donations support their Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (WISE) program, providing capital for sustainability initiatives and empowering female entrepreneurs in the Galápagos.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip involves lots of active adventure and we ask that you read through the itinerary carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the included activities and with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over four decks and the steps between the decks are steep.
  • You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat (panga) during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters we sail are usually calm, there are times when the sea can get rough and choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.
  • A typical yacht/boat for sixteen travellers is equipped with eight cabins each with ensuites. They are designed to maximise living area space, so sleeping quarters can be a bit cramped. That being said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic Galapagos trip more than makes up for any discomfort.
  • While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
  • Please note that while there is an itinerary in place, some changes may occur due to the weather or because of direction from the local authorities. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for potential modifications to the route or activities. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens.
  • All of the Galapagos tours begin and end in Quito which is located approximately 2850 m above sea level so you may experience some altitude sickness.


Grand Queen Beatriz
Grand Queen Beatriz
Experience the ‘Enchanted Islands’ in our new custom-built yacht, the Grand Queen Beatriz.
Explore features


Map of Galapagos Explorer: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz) including Ecuador



6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners


Minibus, Boat, Plane, Zodiac


Hotel (2 nights), Overnight boat (4 nights)

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
  • Isla Mosquera - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Mosquera - Beach Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Snorkelling or swimming (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Sombrero Chino - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Sombrero Chino - Walk and Panga ride (2 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

Dates and availability

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Important notes

Before checking in for the flight from Quito to the Galapagos, there is a US$20 transit fee that needs to be paid. On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park. If your voyage visits Isabela Island, there is also a US$10 fee to be paid on arrival at the island.

This tour includes a complimentary arrival transfer in Quito. Please advise flight details 30 days prior to travel so that the transfer can be organised.

When booking, please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you.

Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform us or your agent of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.

The minimum age on this trip is 15. Please note that triple cabins are not available. If travelling with a child, the child will need to share with one of the adults, and the other adult will share with another adult passenger, or pay a single supplement.

Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to our internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.9 out of 5 based on 10 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Lisa · Traveled September 2023
The Galapagos trip has been a once in a lifetime experience. The staff were superb, as was the food and accommodation - but it was our guide, Roberto, who really made our trip so amazing. So informative and entertaining - we have learnt so much about this beautiful place and its inhabitants!
Review submitted 19 Sep 2023

Susan · Traveled July 2023
Loved everything about our small-boat trip. The boat is spacious and comfortable, the meals were excellent and generous, the staff were always smiling and helpful, our tour leader Wilson was a joy to be with. Even the weather and the animals co-operated.
Review submitted 16 Aug 2023

Naomi · Traveled June 2023
Highly recommend visiting the Galapagos on board Grand Queen Beatrix. Our tour guide Roberto was fantastic! Great mix of activities, walking the islands learning about the history and wildlife, and the snorkelling is incredible with chances to swim with penguins, turtles and reef sharks. Food on board was beyond expectations also.
Review submitted 10 Jul 2023

Michelle · Traveled March 2023
The Galápagos were AMAZING! Within seconds of my first snorkel session, I was beside a sea lion. I also saw sharks and all the wildlife expected except for penguins. The GQB is a beautiful yacht, with topnotch crew, five-star meals, and luxury treatment (although the hot tub was not available during my trip). The stars were unbelievable each night from the top deck!
Review submitted 05 Apr 2023

Karen · Traveled March 2023
The entire experience of the Galapagos Islands was fantastic! The Grand Queen Beatrice yacht we stayed on was top notch! The crew service was excellent. Our guide, Roberto was so knowledgeable about the islands, the animals, the history. He had a great sense of humor and made things very fun. Really made the trip very enjoyable. I've heard the Galapagos Islands is a trip of a lifetime and I do believe it's true. I love seeing all the animals in their natural environment, seems like there is great care taking to keep them thriving. There was one feedback a little while ago, from a younger person that this trip was not good for young people and catered to people over 50. This was very much a falsehood. We had two young ladies in their 20s on our trip and I asked them if they felt they were not getting a good trip because of the age group and they said absolutely not! I've been on three intrepid trips and really like them because they are very environmentally conscious, all of the organization as well done from someone picking you up at the airport, all transportation, most all food arranged, activities planned and downtime.
Review submitted 19 Mar 2023
Galapagos Explorer: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)
AUD $4,112