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Tip Top III

First Class Motor Yacht


Spacious and comfortable yacht with a great itinerary and an excellent local company.

Category Length Guests Cabins
First Class 104 ft / 32.7 m 16 10

The Tip Top III is owned by one of the oldest families in the Galapagos, which has a great reputation for good food, good service and a very helpful crew. The company has become a leader in Galapagos for attaining international certification for its environmental and safety practices. This is the yacht we usually charter for our escorted group grips. A steel-hulled Motor Yact, the Tip Top III was built in 2001 and completely refurbished in 2008 and is very spacious, light and comfortable, with three decks and wall-to-wall carpeting. A benefit is that it has all lower beds, which is 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. The yacht has been awarded the SmartVoyager qualification for sound environmental practices.


16 passengers accommodated in 10 cabins. Each cabin has: private bathroom with hot water, locker and drawers. 6 cabins in the lower deck have two have a double lower and single upper, four have two single lower berths, 4 cabins in the upper deck, 2 with one lower double birth, and two with two single lower berths. All fully carpeted and air conditioned.

Rates 2017 (Please contact us for GB£ rates and other prices)

Please ask us in case any special promotions are available on this yacht

Prices start at US$2,362 per person for a 4-day cruise

  • Tip Top III is available to charter
  • Discounts available for groups
  • Including all accommodation, food, services of a top class naturalist, $20 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 Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.


Itinerary ‘A’ North and Western Islands

Baltra Arrive at this islet where you will be met by your guide and crew.

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.

James (Santiago) – Sullivan Bay
Sullivan Bay offers a rare look at a recently formed lava-field. Located on the eastern coast of James Island, just across from Bartolome, this lava field is thought to have been created in eruptions that took place around 1890.

Bartolome Home to one of the most iconic scenery shots of Galapagos, this small island located off the eastern shore of James Island is home to beautiful panoramic views. The striking volcanic landscape, looks almost lunar and provides a great introduction to the volcanic origins of the islands, with spatter cones and cinder cones. You will also see Pinnacle Rock, a striking example of a tuff cone, and good examples of pioneering plants, including some beautiful stands of lava cactus. At sea level, this is a great place for swimming and snorkelling, if you are lucky with Galapagos Penguins.

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.

James Bay
This was the island where Charles Darwin spent the majority of his land visits in Galapagos. At James Bay, the Fur Seal Grotto provides great chances to get close views of both fur seals and sea lions in a series of rocky pools. This visit also provides some of the best opportunities for tide-pooling in the Galapagos, with the chance to see plovers, herons and oyster catchers with some good swimming and snorkelling off the beach.

Measuring over 1800 square miles, and accounting for over half the land surface area in Galapagos, at about 80 miles in length, the seahorse shaped Isabela Island is the largest in the Galapagos. Isabela is formed from six separate volcanoes (Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf).

Isabela – Vicente Roca Point Beautiful volcanic scenery and amazing lava intrusions as well as a huge sea cliff categorise this area, in the northern part of the island which lies on the flank of 2,600 foot Volcano Ecuador. Here the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay that is well protected from ocean swells. Masked and blue-footed boobies sit along the cliffs whilst flightless cormorants stay along the shoreline and if you are lucky you will see penguins in the water. The upwelling of coldwater currents have created an abundance of marine life here, making for great snorkelling.

Fernandina 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

Isabela – Urbina Bay
In 1954, almost 4 miles of coastal seabed, with marine-life and all, were dramatically and very suddenly uplifted about 15 ft. This area is now a nesting site for Brown Pelicans and Flightless Cormorant and giant Marine Iguanas can be seen. You will also see a few large land iguanas and if you are lucky a giant tortoise or two can be seen.

Isabela – Tagus Cove The land tour here takes you up the slopes of the Darwin Volcano up to a salt water lagoon at the top, providing a great view of the fragile lava fields, the volcanic formations as well as the ocean. A great part of the visit here is a panga ride along the coast, with dramatic colours and beautiful tuff formations, with Blue-footed boobies, penguins and marine iguanas.

Isabela – Elizabeth Bay Located on the west coast of the Isabela, no landings are permitted here, but it makes for a beautiful panga (small dingy) ride. This is one of the best areas to see Galapagos Penguins as they prefer the cooler waters found in this area of the archipelago. Flightless Cormorants and giant marine iguanas, which have grown so large thanks to the plentiful food are also see in this area. As you then enter a narrow cove lined with large Red Mangrove trees, you can see marine turtles, rays and shore birds.

Isabella Island (Puerto Villamil)
The Galapagos has 11 different species of Giant Tortoise with five different species on the island of Isabella. You get the chance to see them at a new breeding site built by the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station, just outside of town to protect and increase the endangered populations of tortoises in the southern part of the island. It is a beautiful setting, with lots of space and shade for the tortoises.

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. It is also a great chance to see the Tortoise Rearing Centre.

Baltra Return to the airport for flight home.

Itinerary ‘B’ Central and Southern Islands

Arrive at the airport and met by your guide and crew.

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. It is also a great chance to see the Tortoise Rearing Centre.

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.

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!

Chinese Hat or Sombrero Chino
Located just off the southeast tip of James Island, this island owes its name to its shape. A truly beautiful island, surrounded by crystal clear waters, a great location for sea lions. Perhaps more than any other site, this islet gives you a sense of Galapagos volcanic origins as the beautiful white beach gives way to an almost primeval landscape of volcanic rubble. (if there is time after your visit, there is usually a snorkeling session off James Island – great snorkeling)

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.

Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove
A beautiful mangrove lagoon on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. The yacht anchors just outside the cove and you enter on a dingy, paddling through the calm water which is a nesting site for Green Sea Turtles (they are on the rare and endangered species list). A wonderfully quiet journey, through a beautiful and unique habitat and with good luck as well as the marine turtles you will see different types of sharks and schools of Golden Rays swimming just below the surface, whilst yellow warblers sing from above.

Santa Cruz – Cerro Dragon Cerro Dragon or Dragon Hill, has recently been opened by the Galapagos National Park. After a dry landing, the walk at this visitor site takes you to a hypersalinic (saltier than the ocean) lagoon behind the beach where you can often see flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts and other species of bird. A short walk to the hill, offers a great view of the bay and a nesting site for land iguanas, many of which have been repatriated by the Charles Darwin Research Station.

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.

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 - 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.

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.

San Cristobal
The easternmost island in the archipelago, this island has a small town, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and an airport and is where a number of cruises start and end. It is also home to a fantastic interpretation centre, which provides an excellent overview to the islands natural history and the conservation work being done to protect it. Leon Dormido, sometimes called Kicker Rock, is a huge rock formation, your captain will navigate your yacht right through the middle of it!

San Cristobal – Cerro Brujo The striking, eroded tuff cone was one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin, it is has a beautiful white coral sand beach where you can take a leisurely walk (depending on time of year) visited by Brown Pelicas, Blue-footed Boobies, and Swallow Tail Gulls as well as marine iguanas and sea lions. The beauty of this dramatic area can also be explored by ‘panga’ or small dingy where you can explore a tunnel that goes all the way through the eroded rock formation.

Arrive at the airport where you will be met by your crew and guide

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

Deck Plan Tip Top III


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.


Snorkel equipment and kayaks included. Wet suits not available.


  • BF8M-1015 MC Deutz engines (442 HP each.)
  • Twin 55 MCGGA Cummins-Onan generators (55 kW each.)
  • Twin RL72C,
  • 24 miles range Raytheon radar's; Raytheon L755 Ecosounder & Chart plotter; 667 Furuno Ecosounder; Raytheon GPS-112; 1503 Furuno SSB radio; Standard Spectrum VHF radio; ACR RLB-23 Epirb; Ritchie magnetic compass, barometer; clock; thermometer; helm indicator; searchlight; horn.
  • Two You Lung inflatable life raft for 25 passengers; 50 life jackets; fire & smoke detectors; complete fire system;
  • Twin 17 feet Nautical RIB Inflatable boats with 25 HP outboard motor for 12 passengers each. Safety equipment complies with international Coast Guard regulations.

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.

Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel, Ecuador and Galapagos Specialist
on 01964 552292
Contcat us online

First Class Yachts:
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Tip Top III

Tip Top III

Tip Top III

Tip Top III

Tip Top III

SantiagoCall Santiago, Galapagos specialist and trip leader
on 01964 552292
Contcat us online

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