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Cruising the Galapagos: Silversea

Duration
10 Days
Prices:
On request

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:
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Quito

On arrival in Quito you will be met and transferred to 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

Quito to San Cristobal

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.

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.

The Silver Galapagos will circumnavigate Kicker Rock, one of the most iconic features of the Galapagos Islands. The small landform is formed by two tall towers of lava rock and when viewed from the south, resembles a sleeping lion. This phenomenon is reflected in the Spanish name "Leon Dormido" or literally, Sleeping Lion. As the ship steers around the islands, your Expedition Team will point out seabirds, such as Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and frigatebirds. The islands' geological formation and impressive height can best be seen from the ship, and conditions permitting, you will be able to watch the sun go down in one of the most beautiful settings of the Galapagos Islands.

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

Bartolome

The ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Zodiacs bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber's ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands -- the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance.

Playa Espumilla is located on the northwestern side of Santiago Island and is home to a variety of wildlife including nesting green sea turtles, and plentiful birds such as flamingos, White-cheeked Pintails, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Hawks, Whimbrels, and American Oystercatchers. Zodiacs will land you at the center of the white-sand beach to join a trail that passes by a seasonal lagoon hosting a variety of bird life. The trail then leads inland to a fragrant Palo Santo (incense tree) forest before looping back to the beach in a lazy circuit past the mangrove-fringed lagoon, where you can watch shorebirds work the mudflats for their dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Isabela

The agile Silver Galapagos can anchor in deep water right up against the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on the northwest side of Isabela Island. From our anchorage Zodiacs set out to cruise beneath the imposing volcanic coastline. The cliffs support endemic Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos fur seals, Blue-footed Boobies, and marine iguanas. The waters below hold scores of Eastern Pacific green sea turtles swimming all around the Zodiacs. If conditions allow, fortunate snorkelers will have an opportunity to swim with eagle rays, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos Penguins, and schools of small tuna in the blue.

With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another. Galapagos sea lions and their pups also take shelter here, resting on the beach and playing in the shallow tide pools sprinkled along the coast. Walk past high sandy areas where marine iguanas lay their eggs and along low, shallow mangrove ponds ringed with bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs and Flightless Cormorants drying their stubby wings in the sunshine

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Isabela

Tagus Cove is a sheltered area southwest of Volcán Darwin on Isabela Island. The protected waters of this cove are home to sea turtles, marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins. In addition, the cove has offered safe anchorage to visiting ships through the ages. Here you can choose to kayak, snorkel or head ashore to discover centuries-old names of vessels that were painted or carved onto the rock near the landing site. After landing by Zodiac, you may hike through the forest of Palo Santo trees to access the upper reaches of a volcanic cone. Watch for several species of Darwin finches and curious mockingbirds as you ascend. From the track's high point the panoramic view is spectacular.

The tranquil inlets of Elizabeth Bay are the perfect spot for a Zodiac cruise. First pass the "Las Marielas" islets, which are home to Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Then journey on into the bay flanked by the massive volcanoes of Sierra Negra and Alcedo and continue past fresh and desolate lava fields heading towards tall green mangrove trees growing out of black lava shores. In the easternmost embayment lies a hidden inlet. Our nimble Zodiacs can enter this small cove to look for sea turtles, rays and even sharks.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Floreana

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.

Post Office Bay is steeped in history and received its name thanks to a post box that was placed ashore before 1813. Ships that were visiting the Galapagos on multi-year voyages would leave letters here to be collected and delivered by vessels on their way home. Visitors today can keep the tradition alive by leaving their own postcards in the post box (now a barrel) and looking for any they can deliver by hand back at home. Activities at Post Office Bay can include exploring a cave created by lava that runs underground towards the ocean. The bay itself offers kayaking along the shore and into Mystery Bay, snorkeling, swimming and relaxing on the beach.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Floreana

Floreana Island's northernmost point is called Punta Cormorant -- named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point. Standing at the edge of the lapping waves, you might spot mammoth female sea turtles hauling themselves out of the sea to lay eggs in the sugar sand dunes that lay high above the tide line.

Cerro Dragón's land iguanas once played an important part in a conservation program headed by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. When the reptiles' numbers declined in the 1970s, some animals were taken to breed in captivity and were released back into undeveloped areas. Today, it is an honor to see the success of this program firsthand at Cerro Dragón. Walk inland on a trail past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos, to see the reintroduced animals. In a periodic local phenomenon, during rainier times the salinity in the lagoons drops with the inflow of freshwater.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Santa Cruz

On the northern shore of Santa Cruz stretch the Las Bachas beaches. The two beaches together span a full kilometer. A short track leads visitors inland towards a shallow pond with the opportunity to spot flamingos, migratory birds in season, and scavenging shorebirds. The name "Las Bachas" derives from the mispronounced term "barges" --which the American forces had left behind after World War II. On our visit to Las Bachas there will be the chance to swim from one of the two sandy beaches and to look for sea turtles that use Las Bachas as one of their major nesting sites in the islands.

Los Gemelos is Spanish for "the twins" and true to the name, Los Gemelos are twin sinkholes, one on either side of the road running from Puerto Ayora to the north side of the island. The mammoth scale of the landmarks often elicits exclamations of wonder from visitors at first sight. The vertical walls of the sinkholes fall deep into the ground covered in a veil of greenery hiding the bottom of the pit. Walk along the craters' edges before stopping at Rancho El Manzanillo to see giant Santa Cruz tortoises in the wild. On the ranch swap walking shoes for knee-high rubber boots and wade out in to the green fields to come close to majestic giant tortoises and search for the coveted Woodpecker Finch.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Darwin Station and Return to Mainland

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.

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.

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:

2019

Baltra to San Cristobal  Nov 14, 28; Dec 12, 26
San Cristobal to Baltra  Nov 7, 21; Dec 5, 19

2020

Baltra to San Cristobal

Jan 9, 23; Feb 6, 20; Mar 5, 19; Apr 2, 16, 30; May 14, 28; Jun 11, 25;Jul 9, 23; Aug 6, 20; Sep 3, 17; Oct 1, 15, 29; Nov 12, 26; Dec 10, 24

San Cristobal to Baltra Jan 2, 16, 30; Feb 13, 27; Mar 12, 26; Apr 9, 23; May 7, 21; Jun 4, 18;
Jul 2, 16, 30; Aug 13, 27; Sep 10, 24; Oct 8, 22; Nov 5, 19; Dec 3, 17, 31

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Arrival transfer in Quito when taking advantage of the special $199US/$299CA international airfare from select North American Gateways
  • 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.

Pricing is based on Explora Suite

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. Pricing listed is from and to be used as a guide only.

TB CONDORTQUI3620CR: CGB2
3 Dec 2020
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