Discuss this workshop
September 5-14, 2014
Iguana Deck = $5,700
Booby Deck = $5,950
Dolphin Deck = $6,300
Rates are per person, double occupancy
Single Occupancy room = $7,000
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 partner on this trip is the world-renowned photographer Tim Vollmer who is a native of Iceland and has been running photo tours for years. He has one of the best reputations in the industry. Mike Hagen, your Nikonians Academy Director, is co-leader for this trip, so you can be sure that this will be an adventure you'll never forget.
Our trip includes 7 nights on a Galapagos cruise and three nights in Quito 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!
Western Galapagos Itinerary*
Friday - Depart your home airport. Arrive Quito Ecuador and check-in at airport or hotel.
Saturday - Photos and tour of Quito, Ecuador by your professional photographer guide.
Sunday - Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (airport) to Playa Ochoa (ZN), Leon Dormido
Monday - Prince Philip's Steps, Darwin Bay
Tuesday - Bachas Beach, North Seymour
Wednesday - Punta Espinosa, Tagus Cove
Thursday - Elizabeth Bay, Urbina Bay
Friday - Puerto Egas, Rabida Island
Saturday - Darwin Station, Santa Fe Island
Sunday - Interpretation Center (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.
2 nights hotel in Quito before ship excursion (breakfasts included)
Airfare from Quito to Galapagos Islands
Cabin accommodation on yacht
Park entrance fees
Transit control card
All meals on board ship (full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)
Non-alcoholic beverages (local beer/wine is included with dinner)
Pro snorkeling equipment
Sea kayaks use
One night hotel in Quito after ship excursion (breakfast included)
International airfare from your home to Quito
Gratuity for yacht crew and guides (typically $175 per participant)
On board purchases (bar and boutique)
Land based purchases such as souvenirs, clothing, etc.
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 = $5,700
Booby Cabin = $5,950
Dolphin Cabin = $6,300
All rooms are double occupancy. Single Occupancy rooms are $7,000.
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.
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
Magnificent Frigate Bird
Great Frigate Bird
Red-billed Tropic Bird
Fur sea lions
Galapagos Giant tortoises
Galapagos land iguana
Galapagos marine iguana
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.
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.