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Galapagos and Ecuador


Itinerary for Galapagos and Ecuador Photo Tour with Tim Vollmer and Dean J. Tatooles

Our Photo adventure trip to the Galapagos Islands will be an experience of a lifetime. Each day will feature a different area of the amazing Galapagos Islands. Our expedition yacht has the ability to anchor close to our attractions and our small group size means that we can be nimble while photographing nature’s splendor. Our trip includes 7 nights on a Galapagos cruise and two nights in Guayaquil Ecuador.

The food on our yacht is wonderful and cooked by some of the best chefs on the water. We’ll have access to snorkel equipment and kayaks. We’ll also have the opportunity for underwater photography if you decide to take on that challenge. Our outfitters run some of the best trips in the Galapagos. They are certified with SmartVoyager, a voluntary environmental program developed by Corporacion y Desarollo from Ecuador and The Rainforest Alliance from New York since 2000. This program gives a “green seal of approval” to tour boats that comply with strict requirements to tread lightly on the area’s fragile ecosystem.

Temperatures during our adventure will range from the low 60?s F at night to the upper 70?s F during the day.

Galapagos is a sub-tropical destination and most of the seabirds and reptiles nest year round. Because of this, it is possible to see courtship, mating, chicks hatching and rearing during the trip.

Each day typically begins with an early 7:30am breakfast followed by the first shore excursion. We return for lunch followed by a siesta while the vessel navigates to the next island. Mid-afternoon, we disembark for the second excursion and return to the boat by sunset.

Before dinner, we hold a briefing for the next day’s shore excursions. In the evenings, we motor to the next island arriving early in the morning for a new adventure.

We must be accompanied at all times by our naturalist guides who have been trained by the Darwin Station and licensed by the National Park. They know each visitor site intimately and share their knowledge on nature walks during the day and in briefings in the evenings.

Our vessel will anchor offshore at two visitor sites per day while we are ferried to our landing points in small zodiac-style tenders (locally called “pangas”). The landings are either wet (where one must step into water anywhere from your ankles to your knees and wade to shore) or dry (where one steps from the zodiac directly to the volcanic rock). Your guide and dingy driver will assist you with a steady hand.

On the Islands, one must follow marked trails set by the National Park walking at a leisurely pace. The guides will interpret and explain the unusual sights you see. You’ll spend 3-4 hours at each site allowing plenty of time to explore and photograph the abundant wildlife. There are opportunities to swim or snorkel almost every day during the week and sometimes twice a day. Kayaks can be used only at designated sites approved by the National Park.

This is the perfect trip for couples to participate in a safe, yet intrepid adventure together. If you’ve been looking for a time to check Galapagos off your bucket list, then this is it!

Western Galapagos Itinerary

– Saturday – Depart your home airport. Arrive Guayaquil, Ecuador and check-in at hotel.
– Sunday – Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (airport) to Playa Ochoa (ZN), Leon Dormido
– Monday – Prince Philip’s Steps, Darwin Bay
– Tuesday – Bachas Beach, North Seymour
– Wednesday – Punta Espinosa, Tagus Cove
– Thursday – Elizabeth Bay, Urbina Bay
– Friday – Puerto Egas, Rabida Island
– Saturday – Darwin Station, Santa Fe Island
– Sunday – Interpretation Center (airport) Arrive to Guayaquil and check-in at hotel.
– Monday – Depart Guayaquil airport. Fly home.

Our expedition yacht is designed for small, intimate groups. The boat has a maximum capacity of 20 passengers and our group will take 10-13 of those positions. Therefore, we’ll be sharing the boat with other travelers.
However, our group will operate as an independent team with our own Academy professional photographer leader and guide.

We will have two naturalist guides on board who will accompany us during our shore excursions. Each day we will have intimate access to animals and landscapes as we traverse the island chain.

Our yacht was built in 1991 and was custom designed for Galapagos cruising. It is refurbished annually and features three decks of spacious staterooms with polished teak interiors trimmed with brass.

Accommodations include ten double outside-facing cabins with a window or porthole view. Each room is fully air conditioned with private bath, drawers, intercom and climate controls. We have a dining room, well stocked bar and a conference area with flat screen TV. Every day we’ll be able to relax in a lounge chair on the sun deck enjoying the sea breezes, sunshine or a sky full of stars.



Sept. 2 – Sept. 11, 2017


10 Days / 9 nights

Photographic themes:

Architecture, landscape, sandstone formations, landscape, nature


Guayaquil, Playa Ochoa, Prince Philip’s Steps, Darwin Bay, Bachas Beach, North Seymour, Punta Espinosa, Tagus Cove, Elizabeth Bay, Urbina Bay, Puerto Egas, Rabida Island, Darwin Station, Santa Fe Island


Dolphin Deck = USD $6,900
per person in double room
Single Occupancy Room = Responsible to Pay for Two Occupancies

Price includes

  • Meet 2 nights hotel in Guayaquil one before/one after the ship excursion (breakfasts included)
  • Airfare from Guayaquil to Galapagos Islands
  • Cabin accommodation on yacht
  • Park entrance fees
  • All transfers
  • Transit control card
  • All meals on board ship (full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)
  • Purified water
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (local beer/wine is included with dinner)
  • Wet suits
  • Pro snorkeling equipment
  • Sea kayaks use

not included:

  • International airfare from your home to Guayaquil
  • Gratuity for yacht crew and guides (typically $175 per participant)
  • On board purchases (bar and boutique)
  • Land based purchases such as souvenirs, clothing, etc.
  • Tips

Photography Instructors


Tim Vollmer

Tim has devoted his life to photography, which has been his long held hobby and great passion. Tim has always felt himself drawn to the power and beauty he finds in nature. Tim has been leading photo tours and workshops in Iceland and in many different countries over the years. He has had the world as his workplace. Photographing everything from the dramatic landscape in Iceland, to the native people in the remote corners of the world and the culture that are unique to each country. His journeys have taken him around the world in pursuit of memorable travel experiences and the creation of compelling images. His work has been featured in international publications. His images and stories are shared on various internet outlets. As a driven artist, professional, entrepreneur and an adventurer, Tim is eager to share his passion, knowledge in photography and travel through the tours he designed on his own, or through his partnership with professional photographers from around the globe. Tim and his family currently lived 11 years in Iceland. Now they are based in Czech Republic.

Phone: (00420) 732203764

See his Website:

Photography workshops

Dean J. Tatooles

Chicago-based photographer, Dean J. Tatooles, is the owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris. In his professional career, Dean has specialized in landscape and wildlife photography and indigenous portraiture. His travels have taken him across all seven continents multiple times.

Dean works primarily with Nikon digital SLR equipment to capture his wildlife images and indigenous portraits and a Linhof 617 S III Technorama medium format panoramic camera to produce his majestic landscapes. At a young age, Dean became fascinated with the topography, culture and wildlife of certain locations in the Southern Hemisphere. In that spirit, he created Southern Cross Galleries after the constellation that bears its name and is only visible from below the Equator. His hope is that his work touches that sense of adventure in everyone and that viewers of his photographs will be transported to another time and place, even if it’s for just a moment.

As owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris, Dean in conjunction with his global partners, has lead photo tours all across the globe. The world is his workplace and Dean is eager to share his passion for photography with others whenever he can. Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris’ photo tours are always small and intimate –with rarely more than six to eight guests on a given trip. Wherever possible, mass tourism and the norm are avoided, opting for the more “off the beaten path” locations. Dean understands that light and timing are everything in creating that perfect photo and makes sure to have his guests in the right place at the right time to maximize opportunities. Accordingly, scheduling is flexible and his tours adapt constantly to conditions on the ground. Dean is happy to have many return guests over the years and hopes that you will choose to travel with us on your next adventure.

Phone: +1 (312) 898-0248

See his Website:

Dean J. Tatooles

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Galapagos November 27, 2015