5 Gyres Galapagos Expedition 2019

Tortoise, Galapagos

Leg 1: July 27 – August 3
Leg 2: August 3 – August 10


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. All while studying and logging plastic found in and around the waters of the island that inspired Charles Darwin’s work.

Sea Turtle, Galapagos

Citizen Science

  • Educational lectures: All guests participate in lectures and workshops aimed at educating on plastic pollution and related solution. All participants are trained in the protocols used to collect microplastic samples during the trip;
  • Microplastic samples in surface waters: A modified neuston net called a manta trawl is used to skim the surface of the ocean by towing the piece of equipment for a known distance. Any plastic pieces collected by the manta trawl is counted and used to determine microplastic concentrations;
  • Microplastic sampling on sandy beaches: Sand is sieved in specific locations to understand microplastic concentrations on the beaches; and
  • Waste Audits: Beach and waste cleanups are carried out in a variety of locations, ranging from beaches to streets, to understand the types of trash and brands.
Sea Life Galapagos


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?

Help on Board

What we hope to find:

  • 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 and daily activities. 
  • Learn about local solutions and efforts to address plastic pollution from environmental group representatives on both legs of the Expeditions. 
  • Educate 5 Gyres global community about the solutions to plastic pollution and share the beauty of Indonesia. 
  • Collect new microplastic data for the 5 Gyres Global Dataset that will be used to estimate plastic pollution globally. 
West Route.png


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.

Penguin, Galapagos

Apply here… Space is limited…


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