Tip Top II
First Class Motor Yacht
Good value, great itinerary, comfortable yacht, excellent local company.
|First Class||90ft / 28.3 m||16||8|
The Tip Top II is owned by one of the oldest families in the Galapagos, which has a great reputation for good food, good service and a very friendly crew. The company has become a leader in Galapagos for attaining international certification for its environmental and safety practices. A steel-hulled Motor Yact, the Tip Top II was completely refurbished in 2006 and is spacious, light and comfortable, with three decks and wall-to-wall carpeting. A benefit is that it has all lower beds, which is rare for yachts in this budget and an advantage if you don’t fancy climbing onto a top bunk! It also has a very good itinerary, which allows you to see some of the top visitor sites in the archipelago making it a great choice within its price category. The yacht has been awarded the SmartVoyager qualification for sound environmental practices and meets.
16 passengers accommodated in 8 cabins. Each cabin has: private bathroom with hot water, locker and drawers. 6 cabins in the lower deck have two single lower beds, in the upper deck 2 cabins also have 2 lower single beds. Fully carpeted and air conditioned.
Prices start at US$1,788 (GB£1192) per person for a 5-day cruise
- Tip Top II is available to charter
- Discounts available for groups
- Including all accommodation, food, services of a top class naturalist, $10 Galapagos Migration Card.
- Excluding flight to Galapagos, $100 Galapagos National Park entrance fee, bottled and alcoholic drinks, tips and personal expenses
If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone 01482 872 716 for more information or email us today.
8-day Itinerary visits the following visitor sites and islands
(15,8,4 and 5 day itinerarys available)
Baltra Arrival at the airport where you will be met by your guide and crew.
Santa Cruz – Highlands The highlands of Santa Cruz are home to fascinating geological features, like lava tubes and the twin sinkhole craters of Los Gemelos, which are home to some 300 different fern species as well as a “forest” of Sunflowers as well as some elusive endemics like the Woodpecker Finch (one of only two bird species in the world to use twigs as tools), the Small Tree Finch, Vegetarian Finch and Galapagos Rail all found in the lush forest of Scalacia (Giant Daisies) that characterise the highlands of this island. The highlands of Santa Cruz are one of the best places to see Giant Tortoises in the wild, particularly October through December as these magnificent giants undertake their seasonal migration from the lowlands to the lush grazing of the highlands.
Rabida A red sandy beach with sea lions and nesting Brown Pelicans, which sometimes afford a rare glimpse of chick feeding. A short walk from the beach is a sea water lagoon, where flamingos can sometimes be seen. Geologically, Rabida is said to have the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the islands. It also provides a great opportunity to snorkel with sea lions and has a great diversity of near-shore and pelagic fish.
Bartolome The youngest of the Galapagos Islands at just over 100,000 years old, this is the most pristine and untouched of all the islands (not just in Galapagos, but in the world). Volcanically it is still active with eruptions occurring every few years. Punta Espinosa, is a truly spectacular visitor site and a real highlight. A narrow strop of land extending out from the base of the Fernandina Volcano it offers the best chance to see Marine Iguanas with the largest colony in the Galapagos. You will also have the chance to see Flightless Cormorants here, at the tip of the narrow point.
Genovesa (Tower) A highlight of any visit to the Galapagos, a truly beautiful island thanks to the richness of its birdlife. Located in the northeast portion of Galapagos, the island is an outpost for many seabirds (as is Espanola in the South). Interestingly there are no land reptiles here and only very small marine iguanas, due to direction of ocean currents which apparently would not have carried terrestrial animals there. You will visit the following sites.
Darwin Bay – Genovesa This bay is actually the caldera of an extinct, partially eroded volcano, with the surrounding cliffs forming the inner portion of the rim. You arrive on a corral beach, and will immediately be struck by the birdlife. Great Frigatebirds (which during February –May the males have their red pouches inflated looking trying to attract a mate), Red-footed boobies nesting in the mangroves, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Yellow-crowed Night Herons. Your trail takes you past a beautiful tide pool area.
Prince Philip’s Steps – Genovesa The tour begins with a great panga (small dingy) ride along the base of the cliffs where you an see Redbilled Tropicbirds trying to make a precise landing in their nest. Squadrons of Frigatebirds are seen flying back and forth, whilst Red-footed boobies perch on branches of Palo Santo trees which seemingly grow out of the cliffs. Once you arrive on land and climb to the cliff-top, you enter an area where nesting Masked Boobies and Great Frigatebirds are found. It is also a great place to see Galapagos Doves and Vampire Finches (sharp-beaked ground finches)…ask your guide for the full story on the name! You will also see great numbers of Storm Petrels here, sometimes in tens of thousands. If you are lucky, you may also see a short-eared owl.
Santa Cruz – Bachas Beach A beautiful white sandy beach punctuated by lava formations. The wonderfully soft sand here makes it a favourite site for nesting sea turtles. Here you will also see white mangroves, one of the three species found in the Galapagos, as well as marine iguanas and flamingos if you are lucky.
North Seymour A great variety of Galapagos wildlife is provided in the loop trail on this small island. The highlight of your visit here will be the largest colony of magnificent frigatebirds in the Galapagos as well as a colony of blue-footed boobies. In addition there are sea lions, marine iguanas, lava lizards, swallow-tailed gulls, and a few secretive, but very large, land iguanas.
South Plaza South Plaza is the best island for observing land iguanas, along with cactus finches, tropic birds and sea lions. One of your first stops will be through a small “forest” of prickly pear (Opuntia) cactus. The walk along the sea cliffs is a wonderful experience, with Audubon’s shearwaters and red-billed tropicbirds gliding by. Towards the end of the walk is a bachelor sea lion colony, with a battle-scared collection of old bulls in various states of recuperation or total retirement!
Santa Fe A volcanic uplift, this island offers a great chance to see the land iguanas (Conolophus pallidus) endemic to Santa Fe Island. Some of these can be 5 ft long and have a beautiful golden-yellow colour that shows off the scales to advantage. In the same area you’ll also see a forest of giant prickly pear cactus. After your visit swimming and snorkelling will often follow.
Espanola (Hood) This island is one of the highlights of any visit to Galapagos (it is Santiago Bejarano’s favourite island). Espanola is the southernmost island in the Galapagos, and is considered the oldest. Numerous sea lions are seen here, plus hundreds of marine iguanas basking on the rocks. Espanola’s marine iguanas are unlike other Galapagos marine iguanas in their bright colouring, and the lava lizards are distinctive too. Espanola is home to thousands of nesting seabirds between April and November, with the Waved Albatross, perhaps the most spectacular of Galapagos birds, returning to Espanola by the thousands in late March to perform their amazing mating dance and produce the next generation. Almost the entire population breeds on this island April through November; they spend the rest of the year at sea. You’ll also witness courting blue-footed and masked boobies, and hopefully see their offspring of the year. At Gardner Bay there’s time to hang out with sea lions and snorkel, as well as walk the beautiful white sand beach.
Floreana - Punta Cormorant At Punta Cormorant you’ll walk on an olivine beach (a mineral known for its olive-green quality, that is found in meteorites, the moon and mars as well as on earth), visit a large lagoon where great flamingos sometimes nest, and walk over to Flour Beach, a beautiful white sandy beach to look for green sea turtle nests.
Floreana – Devil’s Crown Devil’s Crown is one of the highlights of this area is snorkelling at Devil’s Crown, a partially submerged crater teeming with parrotfish, wrasse, surgeonfish, and damselfish among many other varieties of tropical fish.
Floreana - Post Office Bay The famous Post Office Bay is where people leave their mail to be picked up and delivered by others in the “post office” barrel—a time-honoured tradition begun by whalers hundreds of years ago.
Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station The Charles Darwin Research Station offers a great chance to learn about the work being done to conserve and protect the islands wildlife. For some visitors (depending on the time of year) this is the only time to see Giant Tortoises and certainly the closest range opportunity. .
Baltra Return to the islet for flight back to Quito.
Please note: Itineraries are unlikely to change significantly but are subject to change. Weather, wildlife breeding, instructions from the Galapagos National Park, specific abilities and interests of passengers as well as operational matters may cause your guide or captain to change the times or nature of your visits. Your guide will always endeavour to have the best itinerary for you within these contstraints.
Deck Plan / Spec
3 decks, with a bar, dining room, well stocked library, a spacious sundeck and diving platform. All fully air conditioned, a TV, DVD, well designed light and airy dining room.
Captain, engineer, cook, barman, waitor, two sailors and bilingual naturalist guide.
- 2 Twin Cummins 6CTA8.3-M main engines (255 HP each.)
- Twin 55 MCGGA Cummins-Onan generators (55 kW each.) 110/220 V. AC current.
- Twin Furuno 24 mile range Radars,
- Ecosounder, GPS, ICOM SSB
- Radio; twin VHF DSC Standard Radios; hydraulic helm; Epirb; magnetic compass, barometer; clock; thermometer; helm indicator; searchlight; horn.
- Four DSB inflatable life rafts for 56 passengers each (Solas 74/83); 50 life jackets; fire & smoke detectors; complete fire system;
- Twin 14 feet Nautica Inflatable boats with Four Stroke 25 HP outboard motor for 8 passengers each;
- All safety equipment complies with international Coast Guard regulations
- Length: 90 feet / 28.3 meters
- Beam: 22 feet / 6.9 meters
- Speed: 12 knots cruising speed
- Electric Power Supply: 110V & 220V (A/C)
Some history! Captain Rolf Wittmer, owner of the Tip Top yachts, was the first person to be born on Floreana Island and was one of the pioneers of ecotourism in Galapagos. With almost four decades of experience operating yachts in Galapaagos, the Tip Top fleet, owned and operated by Rolf Wittmer and his children is one of the best known and respected operations in Galapagos offering great service and personal attention.
ISO 9001: 2000 and ISO 14001:2004 for quality and environmental management respectively published by the International Organization for Standardization; OSHAS 18001:1999: for the Occupational Health, Safety and Security by the British Standards Institution; ISM Code, SOLAS Code Ch 13 by the International Maritime Organisation for Safety at Sea Smart Voyager Standard: by the Rainforest Alliance for sustainable tourism SA 8000 standard by Social Accountability International for social responsibility.