Evolution's Playground

Galapagos Islands

May 9 - 27, 2020
(Cancelled - Details In Overview)
Cost: $9,800 - $10,650
Leader: Juan Manuel Salcedo
Group Size: 14
Days: 19

Safari Overview

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) we are cancelling all of our trips scheduled to depart before May 15, 2020. If you are booked on this trip we are offering 110% of your cancelled destination’s trip cost to be transferred to one of our trips that departs before May 15, 2022. If not, we will send you a full refund, but we hope that you’ll consider rebooking to help support local communities and Cheesemans’ during this challenging time.

Future trips to the Galapagos Islands are as follows:

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and sail on the most in-depth itinerary possible around this archipelago famous for charismatic wildlife unafraid of you or your camera. Explore the lush cloud forest of Ecuador before embarking on the Samba for a 15-day voyage around the Enchanted Isles. With our expert resident leaders, discover endemic reptiles, tropical land birds, breeding boobies, albatross, penguins, marine mammals, sharks, tropical fish, and much more. This special expedition caters to photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike, with early and late landings, to take advantage of the best conditions. The evolutionary story of the Galapagos Islands has been told many times but only through immersing yourself in its splendor can you truly appreciate the impressive forces that shape nature here and around the globe.


  • Navigate among 16 islands and experience the diversity of the archipelago.
  • Snorkel with sea lions, penguins, tropical fish, sharks, rays, and rare coral formations.
  • View mating behavior of frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and waved albatross on Española Island – the only known waved albatross nesting site in the world.
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and learn about conservation and restoration programs.
  • Observe hummingbirds, Andean cock-of-the-rock, and special mammals in Ecuador’s cloud forest.

Itinerary Updated: March 2020

Ship Info FAQ

Our Trip Leaders

Juan Manuel Salcedo

Juan grew up in the Galápagos Islands where he developed his passion for wildlife while sailing on his father's boat. He received a degree from the University of San Francisco, Quito after studying Applied Ecology, Biology and Geology. Juan also earned a skipper certificate after studying sailing and navigation in Los Angeles. Involvement in Environmental Education projects in the Galápagos Islands and on mainland Ecuador fills his spare time.


Sail on the most in-depth itinerary possible around the Galapagos Islands, famous for charismatic wildlife.

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Ship Information


The Samba is a 78-foot, steel-hulled motor yacht with a stabilizing sail making her the perfect choice to experience the Galápagos Islands to their fullest. This sturdy, stately, and very comfortable ocean-going vessel is a European Dutch classic and best in her class with a specially designed high bow.

More Information
Samba with Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris

Cost & Payments


Not Included


Fitness Level



What species and behaviors can we expect to see in May and June?

May and June are the best months to see breeding activity, especially bird courtship. Waved albatross perform their exquisite courtship dance, and some may already have eggs. Frigatebirds will court females by inflating their blood red throat sacs while clattering their bills, quivering their wings, and waving their heads back and forth; great frigatebirds courtship will wind down on Genovesa, while magnificent frigatebirds courtship will be active on North Seymour. Because the well-known blue-footed booby is an opportunistic breeder, so it’s very hard to predict its activity, we may or may not see them courting, but we have reliably seen courtship in previous years during these months. You may even see a few chicks!

In June, as the garua (cool/dry) season becomes more prominent and the water temperatures cool, marine life becomes more plentiful. You may have a better chance to encounter more Galápagos penguins, whales, and dolphins feeding in the nutrient rich, cool waters.

What can I do if I don’t want to snorkel?

Year after year, many of our travelers comment that the beautiful underwater environment was their favorite part of the safari. We strongly encourage you to snorkel even if you are not a strong swimmer. The Samba crew will always assist you if you are uncomfortable! If you elect not to snorkel, you can relax aboard the Samba.

Will I see other boats during our voyage?

Yes, you will see other boats but landings and snorkel locations have a daily visitation limit. We will often have landings and snorkels to ourselves. You’ll never feel as if you’re in a swarm of boats and people!