Spaces Available: SOLD OUT
Location: Quito, Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands
Dates: July 30 – August 8, 2020 (in country – does not include flight days)
Cost: $7989 double and single occupancy (very limited); $1800 non-refundable deposit due upon registration.
Description: We are very excited to offer an incredible trip to the Galapagos in 2020. We looked at many boat options (we have done Galapagos cruises before) and wanted something different. A unique trip designed for a small group with tons of deck space (better photography) and an itinerary that focuses on the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos. We found it with the Mary Anne, a 216 foot 3-masted sailing boat. The Galapagos is a bucket list trip for any photographer, and traveling through islands on this boat will be a remarkable voyage.
The Trip: July 30-August 8. We plan to meet in Quito, Ecuador before the trip. We’ll spend a day in Quito exploring and photographing the area, including the vibrant central plaza. From Quito we will fly to the Galapagos to begin our journey.
The Boat: The Mary Anne is the only one of its kind in the Galapagos, and is operated by the Angermeyer family who pioneered cruise tourism in this area. You will be in good hands. At 216 feet long, with only 16 passengers, you will have huge deck areas to roam barefoot and photograph from any angle. Due to the size and deep draft of this ship, this is one of the most stable ships in the Galapagos. We have 5 double cabins and 3 single cabin spaces available. Most cabins have a double lower bed and single bunk above, while two doubles have double lower beds. All cabins have AC and a private bathroom/shower. The Mary Anne will sail at times during our trip; you might just find yourself photographing the boat as much as the scenery and wildlife. We have two zodiacs to shuttle us to shore. Go here to see more about the ship: https://www.visitgalapagos.travel/sailing-cruises/mary-anne/. Expect gourmet dining on the outside deck or in the elegant dining area inside.
The Route: We chose an eastern route through the Galapagos Islands with a focus on wildlife and iconic landscapes. We’ve done this route before, and the wildlife photography is incredible. We chose our dates to coincide with the birthing season for sea lions, so expect many pups on the beach. August is nesting season as well for many birds. Blue-footed boobies and albatross will be nesting, in addition to countless other bird species we will photograph including red footed boobies, frigate birds, flamingos and tropic birds. We will seek out giant tortoise on Santa Cruz island as well as photograph various species of iguana on the rocky coastline. The wildlife in the Galapagos is not afraid of people. You won’t need your super telephoto lens since wildlife will be very close…often only feet away. You will walk through colonies of nesting sea birds.
Since the water is cooler in August, visibility is at its best and the snorkeling is fantastic. Imagine snorkeling with curious sea lions, schools of colorful tropical fish and marine iguanas. We also stop at Bartolome Island, with its Pinnacle Rock and bay, the most famous landscape in the Galapagos. Pinnacle Rock is also a good place to find the Galapagos penguin. Landscape images of endemic cactus, red sand beaches and turquoise bays will highlight this itinerary as well.
Daily Schedule: Each day we will have shore excursions, hikes and often snorkeling opportunities. Photography will be non-stop; expect to shoot more than you can imagine. In the evenings we will have presentations by our naturalist guide, as well as photo classes by Tom and Cree. We will be presenting classes on a variety of photography topics, and doing personal image critiques. We’ll show you the tips to get great images in this unique environment, from birds in flight to creative compositions of island landscapes. Bring an underwater camera if you have one; we will discuss underwater photograph techniques. Day by day we will explore and photograph different islands, each with its own unique wildlife and photography opportunities.
Tour Leaders: We have worked with our friend Marcello to organize this trip; many of you have been with him in Patagonia. Marcello will be along to oversee logistics and is an excellent naturalist and birder. Both Tom and Cree will be going as photography guides. And we will also have a naturalist guide who takes us on shore excursions, and will be the local Galapagos expert. With four guides and 13 passengers, our ratio of guide to participant will be hard to match.
Closest Airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Equador
Included in the fee:
- 2 Full time tour photography leaders to assist the group during the trip
- Naturalist and bilingual logistics coordinator
- Lodging in Quito and on the Mary Anne
- Transportation in Quito
- In country round trip flight from Quito to Santa Cruz Island (flight is included in cost)
- Most meals
- Park entrance fees
- Copy of Tom’s ebook Create Better Photographs
Participants will provide their own:
Personal expenses, tips, beverages during meals, other meals or services not mentioned in the itinerary description.
- International travel round trip to Quito, Ecuador