The Galapagos archipelago, on everyone’s bucket list, is one of the planet’s last wild and incredible places. We will walk on bare lava, come face to face with blue-footed boobies, wander the highlands for giant tortoises, swim with penguins and sharks, snorkel with green sea turtles and be surrounded by yellow-tailed surgeonfish. Plus, we'll be discussing global and local solutions to plastic pollution.

Photo credit: Pete Oxford


  • Wet suit

  • Binoculars

  • Headlamp

  • Camera 

  • Waterproof case for phone

  • Plug converter

  • Clothing (quick drying):

    • Sandals, such as Tevas (water resistant, with a strap) for boats, and relaxing

    • Casual, rubber soled walking shoes or boat shoe for walking on deck

    • Hiking shoes

    • 2 bathing suits

    • 2-3 pairs of shorts (or skirts/sundresses)

    • 4-7 t-shirts

    • 1-3 pairs of long pants for sun protection, bug protection, and nighttime warmth

    • 1-3 long-sleeved shirts (loose and lightweight)

    • 1-7 pairs of socks

    • 1 sun hat (wide brim or baseball cap)

    • 1 fleece, sweater, and /or windbreaker

    • 1 wool cap

    • 1 foul-weather jacket or raincoat

  • Snorkeling Equipment

  • Personal items

    • Toiletry items

    • Extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts

    • Prescription medication (complete with instructions on dosage)

    • Seasickness medication

    • Swimmer's Ear drops and ear plugs

    • Anti-itch remedy

    • Disinfectant

    • Insect repellent (with DEET)

    • Sun screen and lip balm/ chap stick (with SPF 30 or higher)

    • Coral safe sunscreen

sample itinerary

For detailed itinerary, click here.

Day 1, July 26th: Guayaquil

Day 2, July 27th: Baltra Island, Santa Cruz Island Highlands
Visit the world-renowned Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about the history and science of the islands.

Day 3, July 28th: Floreana Island: Punta Cormorant
We walk through mangroves and unique vegetation. Exhilarating snorkeling off the Devil’s Crown, a sunken cinder cone with turtles, rays and even some hammerhead sharks.

Day 4, July 29th: Floreana Island: Black Beach
Navigate the rich waters of the western islands to spot whales and dolphins.

Day 5, July 30th: Isabela Island: Punta Moreno
The ‘wilder’ side of the Galapagos, we will hike on superb pahoehoe lava flows in search of endemic plants and a brackish lagoon.

Day 6, July 31th: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay
The world’s largest, most pristine island, we land directly into the heart of Darwin’s ‘Imps of Darkness,’ the marine iguana ‘capital’ of the world.

Day 7, August 1st: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove
A hike to an overview of a flooded crater, Darwin’s Lake, and onward through a stunning volcanic landscape for a true understanding of how the hot lava of the Earth’s core has molded the Galapagos Islands

Day 8, August 2nd: Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach
The land of pirates and buccaneers! Hike to submerged lava grottos where we will commune with endemic fur seals that consider the grottos home.

Day 9, August 3rd: North Seymour Island & Baltra Airport
Here we will enter the habitat of another kind of pirate: the frigatebird. These birds are known for stealing the meals of smaller birds and frequently even shake boobies in mid-air to force them to regurgitate their prize.

Our Vessel

S/S Mary Anne Galapagos is a sailing vessel that redefines comfort. Aboard the 216 ft. (65.84 m) barquentine, the journey becomes an uncomplicated form of indulgence. Full sail navigation on a large ship like the S/S Mary Anne is probably one the best experiences in Galapagos. Being an imposing 3-masted vessel, you will discover her sails are not only for show off. The sails will be hoisted on every itinerary and passengers can photograph this spectacle from the panga. She is the only ship in the Galapagos Archipelago that can navigate by wind power alone. Maybe you will be interested in helping to hoist the sails?

Our trip goals:

  • Visit several communities in the Galapagos Archipelago to explore the natural environment through snorkeling, hiking, and local tours. Work with local organizations to share information about environmental issues impacting the local area.

  • Train all participants to be 5 Gyres Ambassadors and stewards of our ocean through lectures, discussions and workshops. 

  • Learn about local solutions and efforts to address plastic pollution from environmental group representatives on both legs of the Expeditions.  

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bali EXPEDITION (2018)

Our 18th Expedition traveled over 700 nautical miles between Flores Island and Lombok in Indonesia in July and August 2018 on a 37.5-meter Phinisi Buginese Schooner called the KLM. Sea Safari VII. An international group of 52 passengers joined 5 Gyres staff to carry out a number of citizen science activities, explore the region, and raise awareness about plastic pollution, locally and to our global community. 

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belize EXPEDITION (2017)

5 Gyres joined the Hello Ocean Expedition to research environmental threats to the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The crew included scientists, artists and filmmakers, who assisted in marine mammal and plastic pollution research. For the first time, 5 Gyres was able to collect microplastic samples alongside scientists researching toxins, genetics, and animal behavior in dolphins and manatees. We are excited to better connect the issue of plastic pollution to marine mammal health! Data will contribute to our Global Estimate of Plastic Pollution, which was the first to assess the quantities of surface plastic pollution in the ocean, finding 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 270,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide.


Our 17th Expedition gathered a group of 22 citizen scientists for two weeks on the Arctic exploration vessel Akademik Sergey Vavilov. The expedition primarily focused on micro- and nanoplastic research. It was managed by ExploringCircle, which donates a percentage of proceeds to non-profit organizations like 5 Gyres, and was the first  to share real-time data and photo updates with our community.


As documented in the "Smog of the Sea" film directed by Ian Cheney, our 2015 SEA Change Expedition traveled over 3000 nautical throughout the North Atlantic Gyre with a crew of 64 citizen scientists. Along with the Schooner Mystic crew of 14 sailors, the voyage also transported representatives from other nonprofit organizations and research facilities, as well as notable watermen and women, such as musician and activist Jack Johnson and ocean conservation activist Celine Cousteau.


5 Gyres' Expedition from Bermuda to Iceland was designed with the intention to better understand the distribution of plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre. The 14-person crew collected 41 samples to determine microplastic concentrations in the region and carried out  40 visual observations to track the macroplastic pollution in the area. Data contributed to 5 Gyres' first Global Estimate of Plastic Pollution.

Previous 5 Gyres Expeditions


2013 Bermuda to Rhode Island

2013 Lake Michigan

2012 Japan to Hawaii

2012 Marshall Islands to Hawaii

2012 Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie

2011 Hawaii to Vancouver

2011 Easter Island to Tahiti

2011 Chile to Easter Island

2011 Namibia to Uruguay

2010 Brazil to South Africa

2010 Ascension Island

2010 Bermuda to Azores

2010 Bahamas to Bermuda

2008 Los Angeles to Hawaii