Galapagos Photography Adventure

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Join us for the photo trip of a lifetime on a custom expedition yacht to one of Earth's most treasured locations

Trip Dates

September 13-20, 2015

Trip Cost

Iguana Deck = $5,900

Booby Deck = $6,150

Dolphin Deck = $6,500

Rates are per person, double occupancy

Single Occupancy room = $7,200

Trip Details

Our Nikonians Academy photo adventure trip to the Galapagos Islands will be an experience of a lifetime. Each day will feature a different area of the amazing Galapagos Islands. Our expedition yacht has the ability to anchor close to our attractions and our small group size means that we can be nimble while photographing nature's splendor.

Our trip includes 7 nights on a Galapagos cruise and two nights in Guayaquil Ecuador.

The food on our yacht is wonderful and cooked by some of the best chefs on the water. We'll have access to snorkel equipment and kayaks. We'll also have the opportunity for underwater photography if you decide to take on that challenge.

Our outfitters run some of the best trips in the Galapagos. They are certified with SmartVoyager, a voluntary environmental program developed by Corporacion y Desarollo from Ecuador and The Rainforest Alliance from New York since 2000. This program gives a "green seal of approval" to tour boats that comply with strict requirements to tread lightly on the area's fragile ecosystem.

Temperatures during our adventure will range from the low 60's F at night to the upper 70's F during the day.

Galapagos is a sub-tropical destination and most of the seabirds and reptiles nest year round. Because of this, it is possible to see courtship, mating, chicks hatching and rearing during the trip.

Each day typically begins with an early 6:00am breakfast followed by the first shore excursion. We return for lunch followed by a siesta while the vessel navigates to the next island. Mid-afternoon, we disembark for the second excursion and return to the boat by sunset.

Before dinner, we hold a briefing for the next day's shore excursions. In the evenings, we motor to the next island arriving early in the morning for a new adventure.

We must be accompanied at all times by our naturalist guides who have been trained by the Darwin Station and licensed by the National Park. They know each visitor site intimately and share their knowledge on nature walks during the day and in briefings in the evenings.

Our vessel will anchor offshore at two visitor sites per day while we are ferried to our landing points in small zodiac-style tenders (locally called "pangas”). The landings are either wet (where one must step into water anywhere from your ankles to your knees and wade to shore) or dry (where one steps from the zodiac directly to the volcanic rock). Your guide and dingy driver will assist you with a steady hand.

On the Islands, one must follow marked trails set by the National Park walking at a leisurely pace. The guides will interpret and explain the unusual sights you see. You'll spend 3-4 hours at each site allowing plenty of time to explore and photograph the abundant wildlife. There are opportunities to swim or snorkel almost every day during the week and sometimes twice a day. Kayaks can be used only at designated sites approved by the National Park.

This is the perfect trip for couples to participate in a safe, yet intrepid adventure together. If you've been looking for a time to check Galapagos off your bucket list, then this is it!

Galapagos Itinerary*

Saturday - Depart your home airport. Arrive Guayaquil Ecuador and check-in at airport or hotel.

Sunday – Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (airport) to Cerro Tijeretas & Leon Dormid, San Cristobal

Monday – Cerro Brujo and Punta Pitt, San Cristobal

Tuesday – Punta Suarazand Gardner Bay, Espanola

Wednesday – Punta Cormorant and Post Office Bay, Floreana

Thursday – Highlands of Santa Cruz and Darwin Station, Santa Cruz

Friday – Bartolome and Las Bachas or Black Turtle Cove or Sombrero Chino

Saturday – South Plaza Island, North Seymour

Sunday – Interpretation Center, San Cristobal (airport)

*The specific itinerary is subject to change at any time for any reason and without prior notice. Reasons can include changes to National Park rules, the discretion of the captain of the vessel, mechanical failure or weather.

Our expedition yacht is designed for small, intimate groups. The boat has a maximum capacity of 20 passengers and our group will take 10-15 of those positions. Our Nikonians Academy group will operate as an independent team with our own Academy professional photographer leader and guide.

We will have two naturalist guides on board who will accompany us during our shore excursions. Each day we will have intimate access to animals and landscapes as we traverse the island chain.

Our yacht was built in 1991 and was custom designed for Galapagos cruising. It is refurbished annually and features three decks of spacious staterooms with polished teak interiors trimmed with brass.

Accommodations include ten double outside-facing cabins with a window or porthole view. Each room is fully air conditioned with private bath, drawers, intercom and climate controls. We have a dining room, well stocked bar and a conference area with flat screen TV. Every day we'll be able to relax in a lounge chair on the sun deck enjoying the sea breezes, sunshine or a sky full of stars.

Price Includes

Airfare from Guayaquil to Galapagos Islands

Cabin accommodation on yacht

Park entrance fees

All transfers

Transit control card

All meals on board ship (full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)

Purified water

Non-alcoholic beverages (local beer/wine is included with dinner)

Wet suits

Pro snorkeling equipment

Sea kayaks use

One night hotel in Guayaquil after ship excursion (breakfast included)

Not Included

International airfare from your home to Ecuador

Gratuity for yacht crew and guides (typically $175 per participant)

On board purchases (bar and boutique)

Land based purchases such as souvenirs, clothing, etc.

Payment Details

A non-refundable down payment of $1000 is required to secure your seat for this trip. After the down payment, you will need to pay the remainder of the trip fee via a wire transfer or check. This remainder needs to be sent as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days before our departure. Bank information will be forwarded to all those who have paid the initial deposit.

All trip fees are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.

There are three options for rooms on our excursion. Cabin Class determines the type of room you'll be staying in. Here are the rates for double occupancy:

Iguana Cabin = $5,900

Booby Cabin = $6,150

Dolphin Cabin = $6,500

All rooms are double occupancy. Single Occupancy rooms are $7,200.

DOLPHIN DECK - Cabins #1, 3 & 4 have two twin lower beds or one double bed and picture windows. Cabin # 2 has one double bed and picture window. (cabins average 95 square feet/ 8.8 square meters)

BOOBY DECK - Cabins # 5 & 6 cabins have one double bed and picture windows. (cabins average 90 square reef/ 8.4 square meters)

IGUANA DECK - Cabins #7 & 8 have two twin lower beds and port lights. Cabins # 9 & 10 have two twin lower beds and one upper berth with port lights and can be sold as triples. (cabins average 110 square feet/ 10.2 square meters)

SINGLE - Cabins are assigned by our operator to the best cabin available at the time of sailing.

Special Considerations

Please let your tour leader, Mike Hagen, know if you have any special needs for this trip. He has lots of experience accommodating disabilities, dietary issues, or just about anything else. He's happy to help you work through the logistics of getting you on this trip.

Animals We're Likely to Encounter

Blue-Footed Booby

Nazca Booby

Red-Footed Booby

Magnificent Frigate Bird

Great Frigate Bird

Swallow-Tailed Gull

Storm Petrel

Lava Gull

Red-billed Tropic Bird

Galapagos Penguin

Greater Flamingo

Brown Pelican

Flightless Cormorant

Darwin's Finches

Galapagos Dove

Galapagos Mockingbird

Galapagos Hawk

Vermillion flycatcher

Short-eared owl

Sea lions

Fur sea lions

Galapagos Giant tortoises

Galapagos land iguana

Galapagos marine iguana



Tame sharks

Cancellation Policy

90 days or more before departure: $1,000 per person in addition to the non-refundable deposit.

89 - 61 days before departure: 50% of trip fee

60 days or fewer before departure: 100% of trip fee.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason whatsoever. Trips are sold as a package only.

  • You will learn

    • Photography in a small group environment
    • Unparalleled access to wildlife
    • Instruction by our pro photographer guide
    • Composition for wildlife photography
    • Landscape photography
    • Natural history of Galapagos
  • What to bring

  • Required

    • Camera (bring a backup if you can)
    • Wide angle lens (i.e. 12-24m)
    • Medium/normal lens (i.e. 24-70mm)
    • Telephoto lens (i.e. 70-200mm or 80-400mm)
    • Tripod
    • Memory cards
    • Battery chargers
    • Data backup (disks, computer)
    • Long pants (lightweight)
    • Shorts
    • Short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts
    • Polos
    • Windbreaker or lightweight rain jacket with hood
    • Sweatshirt
    • Walking shoes or light hiking boots
    • Boat shoes (rubber sole) or flip flops
    • Sandals (i.e. Teva or Chacos)
    • Wide-brimmed hat
    • Bandana
    • Swim suits
    • Sunscreen
    • Lip balm
    • Sunglasses (and strap/lanyard)
    • Earplugs
    • Toiletries
  • Optional

    • Extra camera bodies
    • Laptop
    • Under water housing
    • Macro lens
    • Video camera
    • Small binoculars
    • Motion sickness medication
    • Walking stick
  • What is provided

    • Incredible itinerary
    • Daily field instruction from professional photographer
    • 3 nights hotel in Quito, Ecuador
    • Airfare from Quito to Galapagos Islands
    • Cabin accommodation on yacht
    • Park entrance fees
    • All transfers
    • Transit control card
    • All meals
    • Snacks
    • Purified water
    • Non-alcoholic beverages (local beer/wine is included with dinner)
    • Wet suits
    • Pro snorkeling equipment
    • Sea kayaks use
    • Beach towels
    • Hair dryers
    • Biodegradable soap and shampoo
  • Venue Information

      Please check your venue by specific city area location.


An amazing opportunity to photograph one of Nature's most amazing wildlife spectacles


Galapagos Photography Adventure workshops are provided in the following locations:

City Area Date Instructor Price (Member) Price (Non-Member)
Galapagos Islands 14-SEP-2012 Mike Hagen $1000 $1030 Sold out
Galapagos Islands 07-SEP-2014 Mike Hagen $1000 $1125 Sold out
Galapagos Islands 13-SEP-2015 Mike Hagen $1000 $1200 Sold out

Member prices are only applicable to Nikonians Silver, Gold and Platinum Members. Non-members can register as Nikonians members here. Nikonians Basic members can upgrade the membership level here. Membership payments help sustain the growth of the Nikonians community and its services such as the Nikonians Academy.