M/Y Grace

Cruise back in time on the elegant 16-passenger Grace, a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. Now you can experience these enchanted isles on board this luxurious yacht. Refit and reconstructed during several stages of her past, the ship has always maintained her graceful and stylish lines. The Grace boasts a high crew-to-passenger ratio plus beautifully appointed cabins and common areas. The experienced professional and friendly naturalists aboard are the most knowledgeable in the islands. They will introduce you to the full spectrum of Galapagos wildlife that made the Islands famous and inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. With one naturalist guide for every 9 guests on a full yacht, Grace offers one of the most intimate and personal expedition experiences in the Galapagos, where guests can truly interact and gain a wealth of knowledge from the real Galapagos experts. Many Galapagos cruises avoid the long navigations to save costs, but the Grace believes that a true Galapagos experience involves visiting the most remote islands as well. Among these is Genovesa, or Tower Island, found far north on the archipelago. Visit this “Island of Birds” and be amazed at the variety of bird life that inhabits this partially submerged volcano.

M/Y Grace offers 2 Master Suites, 2 Suites, 3 Premium Staterooms and 2 Deluxe Staterooms of up to 200 square feet with private facilities, individual climate controls, safe boxes, telephones and plenty of storage space for clothing and luggage. Five cabins have twin beds and the other four cabins have double beds. Bathrooms have all the essential amenities, hair dryers and ample space to store toiletries. During your visits to the islands, your cabin will be cleaned twice each day. Coming in 2018, the new and more spacious Grace Kelly Suite will be on the main deck with 3 windows.

The vessels features a main salon equipped with a bar, TV/Video system and stereo system. Passengers can choose to eat inside in the interior dining room or outside in the al-fresco dining area. The sundeck has a bar and plenty of space to relax in the open air. Guests can also lounge in the front of the boat where the jacuzzi and sun chairs are located. Grace features a jacuzzi, sea kayaks, snorkeling gear and wetsuits onboard. A Kids Club with activities like star-gazing and movie nights is available for special family-oriented departures. Child-oriented guides who organize learning activities and provide children with a kids expedition journal are placed specifically for departures with children. A wide variety of books are available in the library as well as various board games and movies for children. Children menus are specially prepared for family departures. Grace operates two unique 8-day Galapagos cruise itineraries, which can be combined into an all-encompassing 15-day cruise. Grace is the ideal yacht for the discerning traveler who seeks a true explorer experience, complemented with top notch service, superb accommodations and fine dining.

Grace Itinerary  (Saturday to Saturday)

Day 1 - Baltra

Daphne Major Islet

This morning we fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos. Flight time is just under 2 hours from the mainland. Upon arrival we board M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor site: Daphne Major Islet.

We will circumnavigate Daphne Major Islet which is home to a variety of birds including Galapagos martins, blue footed boobies, nazca boobies, short eared owls, red billed tropic birds amongst others.

Day 2 - Santa Fe & South Plaza

Morning visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkeling - with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and get a glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus.

Afternoon visit to South Plaza, one of the smallest yet most colorful islands in the Galapagos. Yellow land iguanas wander through bright red carpet weed, waiting from prickly pears to drop from green cactus. Orange sally lightfoot crabs dot the blackened lava above the landing site, all surrounded by turquoise waters. We'll see swallow tailed gulls nesting along the up-tilted end of the tiny island, while red-billed tropicbirds, frigatebirds and shearwaters fly in dancing displays. You'll also have the chance to see blue footed boobies along the cliff's edge.

Day 3 - Genovesa Island: Prince Phillip’s Steps & Darwin Bay

Tower Island could serve as a film set for a secret submarine base! The southern part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the throat of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galapagos archipelago. It is also known as "Bird Island," which it lives up to in a spectacular way. Our first visit is to Prince Phillips Steps, the best Galapagos landing site to see red footed boobies, comically perched by wrapping big red feet around tiny branches.  We walk a short distance to seek out short eared owls preying on swarms of storm petrels. The snorkeling at the foot of the steps is amazing with large, brightly colored tropical fish taking on a neon quality against the black lava background.

After lunch take time to kayak beside the walls of the sunken caldera before our afternoon visit to Darwin Bay, A gorgeous tidal grotto forms the backdrop to the gaggle of nesting and soaring seabirds birds and path leads up to the rookery cliffs for views of the bay and colonies of gulls, tropic birds and frigates.

Day 4 - Fernandina Island: Punta Espinoza & Isabela Island: Urbina Bay

In the morning we visit Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently (most recently in May 2005). We visit Punta Espinoza, a narrow spit of land, where a number of unique species, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, herons, egrets and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity.

Afternoon visit to Urbina Bay, directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). We walk on a stretch of three miles (5 km) of the marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkeling amongst marine creatures, or just relaxing on shore.

Day 5 - Isabela Island: Tagus Cove & Punta Vicente Roca

A morning visit to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes. The green algae underwater pastures of the cove offer the chance to snorkel with marine iguanas, sea turtles, penguins and sea horses.

In the afternoon we visit Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. We will have a chance to see colorful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water.

Day 6 - Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach & James Bay

The short walk up the beach leads inland to a mangrove typically inhabited by Common stilts. Beyond the mangroves is a brackish lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos and white cheeked pintails wade in search of mollusks. The trail passes over a tiny hilltop through a sparse Palo Santo forest before looping back to the beach. Galapagos finches and Vermilion fly catchers inhabit the area. The tuff formations that form the cliffs that surround the cove have created a natural sculptor gallery rising from the sea with formations including the Monk and Elephant Rock.

Afternoon visit to James Bay, where we land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos with a natural bridge formed of broken lava tubes. This is the best place in the Galapagos to see fur seals and equally best place to see samurai like marine iguanas feeding in tidal pools nearby. You will find a colony of sea lions here and Galapagos hawk frequent the area. Snorkeling offers encounters with Green Sea Turtles and tropical fish.

Day 7 - Santa Cruz Island: Highlands and the Charles Darwin Research Station

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program.

Afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild.

Day 8 - San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center

Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Grace we visit the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre that presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna. From the Centre, a short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both “magnificent-frigates” and “great-frigates” can be seen in the same colony. Next we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

 

 

Grace Itinerary 2 (Saturday to Saturday)

Day 1: San Cristobal Island: Lobos

Today we fly to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos in the morning. Flight time is just under two hours from the mainland. Upon arrival we board M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor sites: Isla Lobos.

Lobos, lives up to its name of -Sea Lion Island- with its noisy population of frolicking and barking beasts. It lies just a short navigation north, up the west coast of San Cristobal, separated by a channel that forms an inviting lagoon. This is where you'll have your first chance to share the water with a playful colony of the "wolves of the sea". From lobos we should have views of Kicker Rock, a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is split, forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching.  After this visit you have time for a shower as we get ready for our welcome cocktail and our first formal briefing before dinner.

Day 2: Espanola island: Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay

Hood is the southernmost island of the archipelago and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and number of fauna that inhabit the island. In the morning we visit Punta Suarez where you will witness the largest variety of marine iguanas in the Galapagos, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff’s edge, as well as the famous waved albatross.

In the afternoon we visit Gardner Bay, a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals.

Day 3: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay & Cormorant Point

Floreana Island: Cormorant Point & Champion Islet

Floreana has had a colorful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts, and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists—a Baroness among them—who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in mystery and death. We visit Post Office Bay, where in 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island‘s Post Office, to send letters home on passing ships. The tradition continues to this day, simply by dropping a post card into the barrel without a stamp.

Afternoon visit to Punta Cormorant which offers two highly contrasting beaches; a green-olivine beach and an iron-red beach. Between the two beaches is a salt lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts and other wading birds. Late afternoon snorkeling at Champion Islet, which is home to a myriad of marine species including a variety of pencil sea urchin, wrasses, angelfish and amberjacks. Look for sea lions, rays, white-tipped reef sharks, and sea turtles.

Day 4: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands and the Charles Darwin Research Station

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. Here we used to find Lonesome George (now deceased), the last of his particular race of tortoise.

In the afternoon we are off to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild, walk through lava tubes and see the Gemelos, twin collapsed craters.

Day 5: Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach & Chinese Hat

In the morning we visit Las Bachas, a sandy white-coral beach that is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles. The name Bachas refers to the remains of landing craft left here at the end of WWII. Ashore marine iguanas mingle with flamingos and other wading birds in another of the many super saline lagoons found in the Galapagos.

Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone, has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat for which it is named. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago island, Galapagos penguins dot the coast. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Late afternoon snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.

Day 6: Rabida Island: Jervis & Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay

Rabida Island, commonly known by its English name of Jervis, is unique for the very red color of the beach and cliffs, beneath which one can find gliding sea turtles and perched blue footed boobies. A thick forest of Palo Santo trees sits back from the beach sheltering a yellow saltwater lagoon. Pelicans next in the thickets and brightly colored pink flamingoes graze the lagoon. A sea lion colony likes to laze on the red sands of the beach. We hike up a tiny peninsula for a wonderful view of the beach and lagoon. Sea caves invite exploration further down the coast.

Afternoon visit to Sullivan Bay, one of the most outstanding volcanic sites in the Galapagos. In the nearly 100 years since the Sullivan Bay Flow, only a few plants like Mollugo and Lava cacti have managed to take root in this harsh environment. Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools of Sullivan Bay. After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coraline beaches.

Day 7: Bartolome Island: Pinnacle Rock & overlook & North Seymour Island

In the morning we visit Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where we will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. We will also hike a trail to Bartolome’s summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht.

Afternoon visit to North Seymour, a good nesting site for frigate birds and Blue-footed boobies. The Island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. This island is teaming with life! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana; blue-footed booby nests sit beside the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom.

Day 8: Black Turtle Cove

Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Grace we visit Black Turtle Cove, a mangrove estuary on the northern shores of Santa Cruz Island. We visit the cove via panga (local dinghy) but with the engines turned off. Many rays, sea turtles, pelicans and other wildlife live among the mangroves.

Next, we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland

Combine Cruises!

Take the 15 day itinerary and see all the best of the Galapagos Islands. This option gives you an opportunity to see all that Galapagos has to offer. You will be exposed to all the amazing wildlife encounters, all the endemic plants and species and you will be witnesses to the biology, geology, history and astrology that can be understood.  You will be guarantee to see everything the Galapagos have to offer and double your chances of spotting elusive wildlife such as orcas, manta rays, Galapagos hawk, all types of finches, penguins, dolphins and whales among others. Discounts apply

Walks & Hikes

During each day of your Galapagos cruise aboard M/Y Grace you will have two expeditions to a visiting point on a specific island where you will be able to walk and hike on beaches, lava fields, alongside cliffs and around mangrove estuaries. Our guided walks and hikes include wildlife encounters, scenic views and detailed lectures and explanations from your naturalist guide on many issues concerning the islands. This activity is great to get amazing shots of wildlife from up-close.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the favorite activities of all people who visit the Galapagos Islands and requires no previous experience to be enjoyed immensely. You will be offered the opportunity to go snorkeling almost every day at various snorkeling sites around the archipelago. You will have the chance to snorkel with playful sea lions (watch video), marine iguanas (watch video), green sea turtles (watch video) and many other wonderful creatures. For non-divers, this is an incredible way to get a glimpse of the marine.

Panga Rides

On all of our cruises we offer dinghy of "panga" rides (inflatable zodiacs) on most of the visitor sites that we take you to. The group, of up to 9 guests per zodiac, is taken for a ride alongside cliffs and shores, secluded coves and beautiful mangrove estuaries. This activity is great to see volcanic formations as well as shore birds from up-close. In the mangrove estuaries it is very common to see green sea turtles mating, golden & eagle rays and sleeping reef sharks! This activity provides various chances to get some great photographs of marine creatures from up close!

Kayaking

Sea kayaking is offered on all of our departures and you require no previous experience to enjoy this activity. Our sea kayaks are the ideal means by which to get some good exercise and explore the cliffs and shores of the various visitor sites around the archipelago. A typical cruise week offers great opportunities to go kayaking around secluded coves, shores, mangrove estuaries and beautiful beaches. Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, sea lions and many other animals can be seen from up-close on a kayak and even as they swim!

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is offered as an additional activity for those guests who are looking to take a peek at the underwater world of the Galapagos. On the day your yacht visits the port town of Puerto Ayora, you can choose to go on a day diving trip instead of the visit planned for that day. If you do not want to miss the activities planned for the day at Port, you can also choose to go diving either by arriving a couple of days before the start of your cruise or by staying on the islands a couple of days after the cruise. Please inquire with us for more information on our Galapagos diving adventures.

Motor Yacht / Expeditions Vessel

L.O.A                     145 feet / 44 meters

BEAM                    22.1 feet / 7 meters

ENGINES              8 cylinder - Twin Deutz - 500 bhp ea.

GENERATORS    2 Caterpillar 75W ea.

BUILDER               Camper & Nicholsons: South Hampton, England

CRUISING SPEED              10-12 knots

ACCOMMODATIONS

2 Master Suites on Albert Deck - A deck

2 Twin or Queen Suites on Albert Deck - A deck

2 Double Premium Staterooms on Carolina Deck

3 Twin or Queen Premium Staterooms on Carolina Deck

 

CREW

9 crew members plus 2 naturalist guides (on a full ship) & 1 cruise director.

DINGIES               2 dingies (pangas/zodiacs) for 12 pax each
 

NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT

72 mile Furuno Radar 19-53 CBB Navnet, Furuno GPS satellite navigator system, Furuno Depth Sounder, Simrad HS50 Electronic Girocompass, speed and distance log, compasses, barometers, forward looking echo sounder.

 

ONBOARD SAFETY EQUIPMENT

EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)

2 x 16 person open sea life rafts, life jackets, flares and signals, fire extinguishing system, and sprinkler system throughout the vesse. Safety Onboard equipment on board either meets or exceeds USA Coast Guard regulations

 

COMFORT EQUIPMENT

Air Renewal System, Air conditioning throughout, TV / CD / VHS/DVD, boutique, Jacuzzi

 

COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT              UHF, VHF radio, Satellite Phones

 

ELECTRICITY        110 volts AC / 60 Hz: 2 flat prongs

 

Special: 

25% off + free Galapagos flights, park fees & tourist cards
Save up to $2200 on the following departures:
Jan 12-19, 2019
Jan 19- 26, 2019
Jan 26- Feb 02, 2019
Feb 02-09, 2019
Feb 09-16, 2019
*Book by Dec 31, 2018

Discover all of the Galapagos
​Stay for 2 weeks - get 10% off on your 2nd week!

New bookings only. Cannot be combined with other specials.