Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

002018E-18

This exciting cruise vacation lets you sample the natural wonders of Ecuador and its famous and fascinating Galápagos Islands.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Enjoy guided sightseeing in Quito and have your photo taken at the “Centre of the World”
  • Visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Cruise among various Galápagos Islands
  • See colonies of sea lions, pelicans, albatross, several species of Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, flamingos, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels, short-eared owls, and other birds
  • Snorkel in the tropical waters and keep a lookout for sea turtles, rays and sharks
Details

Group Size: 32 maximum

2018 Departure:
February: 21
March: 07
April: 04
May: 02
October: 17

2018 Pricing:
Suite, CA$6,848
Master Suite, CA$7,498
Taxes and fees: CA$157
Intra-Ecuador flight: CA$629 / taxes on airfare CA$123

2019 Departure:
February: 06, 20
March: 06, 20
May: 01
June: 26
October: 30

2019 Pricing:
Suite, CA$7,238
Master Suite, CA$7,888
Taxes and fees: CA$157
Intra-Ecuador flight: CA$629 / taxes on airfare CA$123

2020 Departure:
February: 05
March: 18

Tour Code:
002018E-18

Itinerary
Open All
Day 1: Arrive in Quito, Ecuador

Welcome to Quito!

Day 2: Quito

Included sightseeing showcases Quito’s colonial history and treasures including the historic stone murals of the Legislative Palace, Independence Plaza and the 16th-century San Francisco Monastery, and the Jesuit’s La Compania Church with its stunning golden altars.

Next, take a walk down one of Quito’s oldest streets, La Ronda, which is home to many artist’s workshops and galleries. Here, you will have the chance to meet some of the local artists and talk with them about their work before visiting a Chocolate Factory to learn why Ecuador is considered one of the finest chocolate producers in the world.

After seeing the chocolate-making process, a tasting is a must! Top off your day with a photo in front of the Equatorial Monument in the “Middle of the World.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously and test the effects of the earth’s rotation through different experiments like balancing an egg on a nail. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner.
(B, D)

Day 3: Quito – Baltra-Galapagos Islands – Cruise to Santa Cruz Island

Take a morning flight to Baltra, one of the remote Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival, embark the Treasure of Galápagos for five days of cruising among various Galápagos Islands. Each day, travel ashore to the remote islands with your expert Naturalist, who introduces you to the unique fauna living free and fearless of man.

After lunch, join your Naturalist for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, established to help conserve the Galápagos’ natural habitat and protect the famous giant tortoises. While here, learn about the tortoise-rearing program and see many of the various islands’ tortoises.

Later, on board the ship, join a briefing on the next day’s adventure, followed by a Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.
(B, L, D)

Day 4: Galapagos Islands Cruise – Santiago and Bartolome Islands

After breakfast, you will find yourself anchored in the western-central part of the archipelago where volcanoes are still active, attributing to the dramatic scenery. Join your Naturalist for an exploration of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island, where you will walk on newly-formed (less than 100 years ago) lava flows reminiscent of the lunar landscape. Keep your eye out for lava lizards, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and even the Galápagos penguin.

This afternoon at Bartolomé Island, hike to the summit for one of the best panorama views of the region with two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows and spatter cones, including the iconic Pinnacle Rock. End your visit with a chance to snorkel or swim off the beach with the playful sea lions, Pacific green turtles, harmless white-tip reef sharks, and if you are lucky—the Galápagos penguins! (B, L, D)

Day 5: Galapagos Islanda Cruising – North Seymour Island and Mosquera Inlet

Disembark at North Seymour Island, where your Naturalist will point out colonies of blue-footed boobies, Magnificent and Great Frigate Birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and lava herons. This is one of the few spots where you can compare the Magnificent and the rarer Great Frigate Bird breeding next to each other. The shores teem with sea lions and marine iguanas, and are a good spot for snorkelling.

In the afternoon, visit Mosquera Islet, a sandy island with one of the largest concentrations of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago. A walk on the white coral beach reveals shorebirds like the endemic lava gull, waders like the yellow-crowned night heron, and intertidal hunters, such as the striking reddish-orange Sally Lightfoot crabs.
(B, L, D)

Day 6: Galapagos Islands Cruising – South Plaza and San Cristobel Islands

At South Plaza Island, wildlife includes sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, and hybrid iguanas (only found on this island and a result of a cross between land and marine iguanas). Also known for its prolific birdlife, you will see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon’s shearwaters, and many other species.

This afternoon, visit the first site Charles Darwin visited in the Galápagos, Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal. Admire the stunning views of Kicker Rock before visiting a lagoon home to many migratory birds such as pelicans, black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and the great blue heron.
(B, L, D)

Day 7: Disembark San Critobal – Quito

After breakfast, disembark the boat in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a visit to the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre. Here, you will learn about the islands’ volcanic genesis, their remoteness, ocean currents, special climate, the arrival of different species, and their establishment. Next, head to the airport for your flight to Quito, where you will have free time this evening to prepare for your return flight home tomorrow.
(B)

Day 8: Quito

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Included
  • Accommodations on board the ship
  • Breakfast daily; four lunches; five 3-course dinners (includes Welcome Dinner in Quito and Farewell Dinner on board the ship
  • Complimentary coffee, tea and water all day
  • Complimentary wine with dinners on the ship
  • Daily multi-media lectures
  • Shore excursions with Naturalist Guide
  • Use of snorkelling equipment
  • Services of a multilingual team of Naturalists
Not Included
  • Domestic airfare from Quito to Galapagos return, CA$629
  • Taxes on airfare, CA$123
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee and transit card CA$168
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport and/or visa fees, if required
Tour Notes

The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

Map