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Cruising the Galapagos: Silversea

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 7,600

Enjoy the fascinating Galapagos Islands aboard a luxury cruise ship calling at a selection of islands offering a vast array of unusual and distinctively unique animal and bird life. A wonderful combination of nature and cruising in an amazing destination.


On arrival in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, overnight before flying to the Galapagos to join your cruise ship, the Silver Seas your home for the next 7 nights. This luxury ship sails with a maximum of 100 passengers.

On arrival in the Galapagos, meet your expedition team and settle into your cabin. The following morning, sail to the island of Bartolome with its magnificent landscapes and its famous Pinnacle Rocks. Here you can snorkel or simply walk along the beach watching playful penguins. At Espumilla Beach, you have the important nesting site of the Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtle.

You can also go to Buccaneers Cove, once a safe haven for pirates and view amazing tropical fish, white tip sharks and fur seals.

The next port of call is Isabela, the largest of the islands where five volcanoes pierce the landscape. Go snorkeling at Punta Vicente Roca. Also experience the view from the volcanic crater. Take a Zodiac to see seabirds including cormorants and penguins. Then on to Punta Espinola on the island of Fernandina where you can see Sally-Foot crabs. Back to Isabela where you will find yellow warblers and mockingbirds. Take a hike inland and see Darwin’s Crater Lake. Later consider snorkeling to look for penguins, herons and terns. On the island, view the mangrove trees on the lagoon at Elizabeth Bay with its sea turtles, pelicans and sea lions.

The next island is Floriana where you will find the interesting rustic mailbox nailed to a tree where sailors used to leave mail in the hope that other sailors would take it back with them to Europe. Here walk along the beach to find a sea lion colony and view many other animals.

On San Cristobal Island, you will come across the Galapagos Giant Tortoise. There will be time to snorkel, swim or go kayaking while viewing sea lions and marine iguanas.

Your last island is Santa Cruz, Galapagos’ second largest and with its largest human population. See rare Galapagos martins here. You have the opportunity to go mountain biking into the interior or visit local farms with their coffee and sugar plantations. Also visit the Breeding Centre for tortoises.

Your Galapagos cruise comes to an end at Baltra Island where you fly back to Quito.

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 7,600

Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special

Day 1

Quito

On arrival in to Quito you will be met and transferred your hotel.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

JW Marriott Quito

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    JW Marriott Quito



    The JW Marriott Hotel, in the heart of Quito, is the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and Andean Mountains. The hotel is just 7 miles from the historical city center. It is close to the La Mariscal neighborhood, the old city and just two hours ...

    The JW Marriott Hotel, in the heart of Quito, is the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and Andean Mountains. The hotel is just 7 miles from the historical city center. It is close to the La Mariscal neighborhood, the old city and just two hours from the famous craft market in Otavalo.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Internet
    • Laundry facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Safety Deposit Box
    • Spa

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Day 2

Quito

Today is free to wander around the streets of this UNESCO World Heritage city. Tonight you will join your group for nighttime tour of Quito

Day 3

Baltra - The Galapagos

A morning transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos.

Fly from Quito to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival into the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a Silver Galapagos representative and transferred to the vessel.

After settling in and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and enjoy the first of many memorable meals on board.

Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is the gateway through which most people enter and depart the Galapagos Island. Upon arrival and once through immigrations procedures, visitors are transferred directly to a nearby dock to join the ship by Zodiac. The runway was first constructed here during World War II when the island was used as a US Army Air Base. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos, the island itself is small, flat and arid. Its dry environment hosts salt bushes, prickly pear cactus and palo santo trees, all of which support land iguanas that can occasionally be seen crossing the runway.

Daphne Major is a volcanic tuff crater island, located to the north of Santa Cruz Island not far from Baltra International Airport. Circumnavigating the island by ship will reveal the rocky outcropping from all angles as it rises approximately 120 meters (390 feet) above sea level. Usually only scientists are allowed to land on Daphne, so it will be a special event to come in close with the ship and watch for Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, frigatebirds, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies, Brown Pelicans, and Swallow-tailed Gulls riding the sea breezes swirling around this rugged landmass.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

Silver Galapagos

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Location View map
  • Silver Galapagos



    A Galápagos expedition cruise, enjoyed aboard Silver Galapagos, brings you to one of the most isolated places in the world to encounter an abundant variety of wildlife species that is incredibly unique and found nowhere else on earth. Lying just off the western coast of ...

    A Galápagos expedition cruise, enjoyed aboard Silver Galapagos, brings you to one of the most isolated places in the world to encounter an abundant variety of wildlife species that is incredibly unique and found nowhere else on earth. Lying just off the western coast of South America, the Galápagos archipelago is inaccessible to most, yet this isolation has allowed nature to develop in ways exclusive to the islands. Experience it all with complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking and nature hikes led by highly experienced guides certified by the National Park of the Galápagos.

    Facilities

    • Beauty Salon
    • Fitness Centre
    • Free WiFi
    • Jacuzzi
    • Library
    • Lounge
    • Massage Rooms
    • Restaurant

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Day 4

Bahia, Darwin, Genovesa

At Genovesa Island the ship tucks into Darwin Bay, an ancient volcanic crater now flooded by the sea. Zodiacs land on a picturesque sandy beach where Galapagos sea lions often rest on the fine, white sand. Explorations along the shore may reveal marine iguanas looking like prehistoric dinosaurs in miniature. By heading inland a short distance visitors could encounter seabirds of all shapes and sizes nesting in the vegetation. Scores of immature Red-footed Boobies perch on branches within an arm's reach of the path. In addition, watch for Great Frigatebirds and Yellow-crowned Night Herons along the walk.

From Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island explorers can access an area known as El Barranco or the "Prince Philip's Steps". A brief scramble up the stone steps brings you to the plateau of the island. From here, on flat ground, a small trail wanders past Red-footed Boobies, perching frigate birds, Galapagos Mockingbirds, Nazca Boobies, and Galapagos finches. The highlight however, is arriving on the windward side of the island to see hundreds of Wedge-Rumped Storm Petrels flying around in a frenzy of activity above the lava field where they nest. In addition to the petrels, their predator, the Short-eared Owl can also be spotted here, perhaps even actively hunting its prey.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

North Seymour

The landing at North Seymour Island is onto black lava rock. After a short climb, visitors arrive on the island's flat plateau where a number of sea lions nurse pups and frigatebirds nest. The island is dry, and so the predominant tree is the prickly pear cactus favored by the yellow Conolophus land iguanas that live here in number. The undulating terrain is littered with red-brown volcanic boulders and large male Magnificent Frigatebirds can be seen inflating their vivid red gular sacs in hopes of impressing females flying overhead. At certain times of the year, pairs of Blue-footed Boobies dance here in a ritualized mating dance that reinforces their pair bond and shows off their vivid blue feet.

The lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island will inevitably remind visitors of the surface of the moon. As brilliant red Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle along the black volcanic shores, learn about the formation of the islands through geological forces from your guides. The lava flows here are just over one hundred years old and date back to 1897. The lava took on a rope-like appearance and geologists have adopted a Hawaiian word, pahoehoe, as the technical name for this kind of volcanic rock. After walking the exposed rocky terrain, it is a welcoming sensation to return to the sandy beach and get ready for a swim or a snorkel

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Rabida

Rabida Island has received accolades for being one of the most exotic spots on earth and while it is small in size, the island is dramatic in scale. Rugged red cliffs rise from the sea and Zodiacs land onto a beach of dark red sand colored by iron ore. Ghost crabs and Galapagos sea lion pups often rest on the russet sands. Further inland, the rusty sand gives way to shrubby coastal vegetation dominated by prickly-pear cactus. Common Cactus Finches feed on the yellow flowers while Darwin finches and lava lizards skitter across the path in search of food.

Just off Santa Cruz, Eden Islet offers up a thick coastal mangrove forest growing on black volcanic boulders peppered with tall prickly pear cactus. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone from an ancient volcano, and is an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galápagos. The shallow waters around the island are ideal for spotting Pacific green sea turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, sea lions, marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Explore by Zodiac or kayak, and watch for Brown Pelicans flying and diving to scoop up their prey, while Blue-footed Boobies enter the water like torpedoes to spear small fish.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

San Cristobal

Giant tortoises are emblematic of the Galapagos Islands. To experience these ancient animals firsthand, the Silver Galapagos anchors off San Cristobal Island and Zodiacs take all ashore to the pretty little town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. From here we set out by bus for the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve in the highlands of the island. The trails of the reserve lead to encounters with large, lumbering adult tortoises as well as small juveniles that could fit in the palm of a person's hand. Back in town take time to wander the shops or photograph the Galapagos sea lions resting on local boats, lazing about under park benches, or lounging on rocks surrounding the working waterfront.

On the northern shore of San Cristobal Island is a peninsula known as Punta Pitt. The point is made up of two coalesced volcanoes and is much younger than the rest of the island. Some of the lava flows are only a few centuries old. From a sandy beach Zodiac landing leads a long walk following a twisting red gravel path that runs through black basalt lava rocks, and between craggy peaks. The vegetation along the way is low and scrubby, and attractive blue-gray lichen grows on the rocks. Gaining elevation along the narrow trail will open up views of the Silver Galapagos sitting in a sapphire blue sea far below.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Espanola

Isla Champion is a small islet off Floreana Island's northeast coast. To cruise by it reveals a bare, rocky island without much allure, but to enter the infinitely blue waters around this small landmass is to discover a spectacular underwater realm. The visibility is generally impressive and thanks to this water clarity snorkelers often spot reef sharks patrolling the reef wall, cruising Pacific green turtles, and playful Galapagos sea lions. Encounters in the blue with thousands of small silver minnows, large tuna fish, or oceanic sunfish are not unheard of either

Punta Suárez lies at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds and you may spot Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies on the breeze. The largest seabird to nest in the Galapagos Islands is the Waved Albatross. These ocean wanderers can be seen seasonally here from April through December, when pairs reunite on Española, going through an elaborate pair-bonding display. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be seen on the point, along with sea lions and colorful marine iguanas.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Santa Cruz

Silver Galapagos will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center's captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.

South Plaza is a serene island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. This small island is sprinkled with giant prickly pear cactus, carpeted with a reddish mat of ground-cover succulents, and is home to a large nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls, along with marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions. Seabirds crowd the island's shores including Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Pelicans, and frigatebirds. However, the birds, seals and marine iguanas share the spotlight with brilliant yellow land iguanas of the island. These plump terrestrial reptiles live well eating the plentiful prickly pear cactus fruits and pads found here

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

San Cristobal - Mainland

Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.

Then, disembark Silver Galapagos for your return flight from Baltra Airport. Services conclude on arrival into Guayaquil or Quito

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017 - Baltra to San Cristobal: Jun 1, 15, 29; Jul 13, 27; Aug 10, 24; Oct 5, 19; Nov 2, 16, 30

2018 - Baltra to San Cristobal: Jan 11, 25; Feb 8, 22Mar 22; Apr 5, 19; May 3, 17, 31;  Jun 14, 28; Jul 12, 26; Aug 9, 23; Sep 6, 20; Oct  4, 18; Nov 1, 15, 29; Dec 13, 27

2017 - San Cristobal to Baltra: Jun 8, 22; Jul 6, 20; Aug 3, 17; Sep 28; Oct 12, 26; Nov 9, 23; Dec 7, 21

2018 - San Cristobal to Baltra: Jan 4, 18; Feb 1, 15; Mar 1, 15, 29; Apr 12, 26; May 10, 24; Jun 7, 21; Jul 5, 19; Aug 2, 16, 30; Sep 13, 27; Oct 11, 25; Nov 8, 22; Dec 6, 20

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Arrival transfer in Quito
  • 2 pre nights in Quito at JW Marriott
  • Transfer to Quito airport for flight to Galapagos Islands
  • Return airfare from the mainland to the Galapagos Islands
  • National Park fee and visitors ticket
  • Personalised service - the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite - all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options - dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship - select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service - available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Post cruise mainland transfers 
  • Post cruise accommodation in Quito or Guayaquil
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Any service not specifically listed under "included"
  • Travel insurance, visa fees and items of a personal nature

OTHER INFORMATION:

NOTE: the return flight from the Galapagos islands terminates in Guayaquil. The option to be ticket to Quito is available but airport transfers and hotel day room will be forfeited. Available cabins are: Silver Suite – Deluxe Veranda Suite – Veranda Suite – Terrace Suite – Explorer Suite. Single and triple rates on request. Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

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

TB SILVERSQUI0118CR: CGB1
13 Dec 2018
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