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Cruising the Galapagos: Celebrity Xploration

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,579

Explore the volcanic landscapes and diverse wildlife of the Galapagos Islands aboard the Celebrity Xploration. Cruising aboard this comfortable catamaran, you’ll spot iguanas at Chinese Hat, walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin at Cerro Brujo, and witness the spectacle of albatross mating rituals at Punta Suarez.


This 8-day tour takes you throughout the Galapagos Islands aboard the Celebrity Xploration.

Your Galapagos tour begins on the mainland in Quito, where you’ll connect to Baltra on Santa Cruz Island and board the Celebrity Xploration. This outstanding catamaran accommodates 16 passengers in eight spacious and air-conditioned cabins. The four cabins on the upper deck have interconnecting doors to accommodate larger groups, while the four cabins on the main deck offer private balconies. Enjoy the vessel’s relaxed, intimate atmosphere and exceptional service as you dine on delicious meals and experience the biological diversity of the Galapagos Islands.

Start with a visit to Sombrero Chino or Chinese Hat, a small islet southeast of Santiago Island that resembles a rice-picking hat when viewed from the north. Explore the landscape’s lava flows as well as its sea lions, iguanas, and Galapagos penguins. On Santa Cruz Island, head up Dragon Hill to find an iguana nesting site before exploring the volcanic rocks and red sand beaches of Rabida. On Isabela Island, hike up to Sierra Negra Volcano and see a tortoise breeding centre.

On Floreana Island, you can see the Post Office Barrel that has stored mail since the 19th century. It happens to be located off the bay where the first colonists arrived. Spot flamingos and other shorebirds such as common stilts and pintail ducks at Cormorant Point. At Cerro Brujo you’ll see the first spot that Charles Darwin visited when exploring the islands as well as a large colony of sea lions. Continue following in Darwin’s footsteps by passing back to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and see tortoises in their natural habitat.

Close out your trip to the Galapagos with a visit to Punta Suarez, where the entire world population of waved albatrosses mate during the spring. Then stop by Gardner Bay to relax on the white sand beach and swim in the warm waters before returning to Baltra to connect back to Quito.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,579

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Mainland to the Galapagos Islands

This morning, take a flight departing from mainland Ecuador heading to Baltra (2.5 hours). Upon arrival at Baltra airport, you will clear immigration and be met by your guide, who will escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor. A motorized dinghy will then transfer you to the Celebrity Xploration, where the captain and crew will welcome you aboard.

Sombrero Chino means "Chinese Hat", a name that makes perfect sense as soon as you take a look at its unique shape. There are several interesting geographical formations that are ideal for scenic photos, and these are home to various marine species, such as Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions. Keep an eye out for different species of Darwin's finches as well.

Difficulty level: Easy

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

Celebrity Xploration

More Info

Location View map
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    Celebrity Xploration



    For those looking for a Galapagos adventure cruise in style, the 16-passenger Xploration provides a cozy small yacht atmosphere, comfortable accommodations, personalized service, a dedicated cruise director, and more; in order to offer the best service to our passengers and be aware of their needs. ...

    For those looking for a Galapagos adventure cruise in style, the 16-passenger Xploration provides a cozy small yacht atmosphere, comfortable accommodations, personalized service, a dedicated cruise director, and more; in order to offer the best service to our passengers and be aware of their needs.

    This Motor Catamaran was specifically designed and built to cruise the Islands providing comfort and excellent stability.

    Perhaps more so than any other place in the world, the fauna of the Galapagos are unique. Charles Darwin's observations of these unique animals, their remarkable adaptation to a hostile environment, and the subtle variations between races of the same species living on different islands led directly to his theory of natural selection.

    The theory explains how the vast multitude of species on the Earth have evolved from a simple, singled-celled ancestor. The theory remains the single most important one in biology.

    Facilities

    • Kayaks, Canoe
    • Lounge
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Snorkelling
    • Sundeck
    • Whale Watching

    More Details

Day 2

Santa Cruz Island and Dragon Hill

As the name implies, Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) is known for its healthy population of land iguanas. Other locals include common stilts, pintail ducks and occasionally flamingos. A short walk up the hill leads you to a land iguana nesting site, with breathtaking views of the bay. You will have the chance to go snorkeling after the walk.

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Rabida is a small island with red volcanic rocks surrounding a beautiful red sand beach, where there is a colony of sea lions and a pelican nesting site. The trail leads to a salt-water lagoon where shore birds can be seen. Activities include snorkeling, swimming, kayaking or dinghy ride.

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Isabela Island - Puerto Villamil

There are many unique and exciting opportunities on your visit to Puerto Villamil and its spectacular surrounding areas. Hike up to Sierra Negra Volcano, visit the tortoise breeding center, the wetlands or the infamous "Wall of Tears". You can stroll through town and mingle with the locals, or just lie on the beautiful beach and do nothing at all.

Difficulty level: Easy

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Floreana Island - Post Office Bay and Baroness' Viewing Point

Post Office Bay is home to a unique "post office" inspired by 18th century pirates and buccaneers who used a wooden barrel as an unofficial mailbox. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home. The Baroness' Viewing Point is the ideal place to take in the unique scenery that defines Floreana.

Difficulty level: Easy

After snorkeling at Champion Islet, you will visit Cormorant Point, where there is a beautiful lagoon that is home to flamingos, stilts and pintail ducks. A great site for bird-watching.

Difficulty level: Easy

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

San Cristobal Island - Cerro Brujo and Leon Dormido

In addition to the magnificent scenery, there is wonderful swimming and a dinghy ride at this visitor site. Cerro Brujo's spectacular beach is home to a large colony of sea lions, and it is famous for being the first place in the archipelago that Charles Darwin visited. Later, you will sail by Leon Dormido, a 500 ft high rock formation that is a hangout for many bird species.

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Visitors may have close encounters with sea lion pups, especially while snorkeling. However, this small islet offers much more, including blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds and even a glimpse at the second type of sea lion species found in the Galapagos: the fur sea lion.

Difficulty level: Easy

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Santa Cruz Island - Puerto Ayora and Highlands

On your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station you will gain insight into the extensive efforts underway to preserve the Galapagos Islands. You will also encounter the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands' namesake. After the visit you will drive to the lush highlands of Santa Cruz to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings. In the afternoon you will have free time for shopping or mingling with the locals, or you can simply relax on board.

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Espanola Island - Punta Suarez

Punta Suarez is home to large populations of Nazca and blue-footed boobies, as well as the beautiful waved albatross (seasonally). The 10,000 to 12,000 pairs of albatross on Espanola represent the entire population of this species on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals of the animal world.

Difficulty level: Moderate to Difficult

Gardner Bay offers the chance to enjoy a pristine white sandy beach. In addition to being a nesting site for sea turtles, it is home to one of the most important colonies of sea lions in the archipelago. Activities include swimming snorkeling and kayaking.

Difficulty level: Easy

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Daphne Island and Departure

Visitors are not allowed on this island due to its fragile ecosystem, but your guide will point out the island's birdlife from the vantage point of the yacht's deck and explain the important research that is underway. Later, you will be taken to the airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador where your tour concludes.

Difficulty level: Easy

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Saturday

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 4 night cruise aboard the Celebrity Xploration
  • All Transportation & tours as indicated
  • Local Guides
  • All entrances as indicated
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Galapagos Domestic Air
  • Beverages including select wines, spirits and soft drinks
  • All gratuities
  • Room service

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • International airfare and airfare taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities unless otherwise stated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions
  • Beverages unless otherwise stated
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Airport departure taxes 
  • Border taxes

OTHER INFORMATION:

NOTE: The domestic flights Quito - Galapagos - Quito (approx. $550 USD), Galapagos Park entrance fee of $100 USD and visitors ticket of $20 USD are included in the trip price. (Subject to change).

Itineraries: Due to government regulations designed to control and protect the impact of tourism, each vessel, based on length of cruise has its own distinct itinerary. The itineraries are designed to allow visitors to visit all regions of the islands and we suggest you request the advice of Goway's Latin specialists as to which itinerary would suit you best.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share based on current exchange rates and subject to change. Subject to availability, limited seats available, seasonal surcharges may apply.

TB OCEANADQUI16CR: AwE
2 Dec 2017
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