Wonders of the Galápagos (2013)
Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience
- Day 1: Arrive Guayaquil, Ecuador
Arrive in Guayaquil to begin your Galápagos adventure.Hilton Colón Guayaquil
- Day 2: Guayaquil/The Galápagos
After a private welcome breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos. Upon arrival, you are met by your naturalist guides and escorted to a private vehicle that whisks you to the pier to board ‘Eclipse,’ your home for the seven-night cruise at the heart of your itinerary. After settling in, attend an introductory briefing and a fitting for your wetsuit and snorkeling gear.'Eclipse' | Meals: B L D
- Days 3-8: The Galápagos
Lying about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are a haven for some of the world’s most varied wildlife. It was this diversity that first led naturalist Charles Darwin to propose that species evolved in response to their environment. Darwin’s work also helped to alert the world to the need — urgent even in his own day — to preserve these islands from degradation by humans. Today, tourism to the Galápagos is closely managed, and your visit adheres to the strictest standards of environmental responsibility. Because weather, water and wildlife conditions are subject to constant change, your islands itinerary is not fixed, but two daily excursions are planned to the main sites and islands, which vary depending on the route you choose. You may explore landmarks such as Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island, the volcanoes of Isabela Island, El Barranco on Genovesa Island, Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island and the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. Each cruise day begins with an early breakfast, perhaps taken al fresco on ‘Eclipse’s’ spacious deck. You then board a sturdy rubber raft called a panga for the morning shore excursion.
As soon as your feet touch terra firma, expect to spot flora and fauna (all different depending on the island), take photographs and confer with your naturalist guide. See sunbathing sea lions; skittering Sally Lightfoot crabs; tangles of marine iguanas; penguins, finches, terns and blue-footed boobies overhead and underfoot; even a century-old tortoise diligently trudging over the sand. Return to ‘Eclipse’ for a refreshing lunch, followed by time at leisure to nap or socialize on deck. Keep your binoculars close by for a possible sighting of whales or seabirds. In the afternoon, return to the pangas for the second excursion of the day, perhaps with an opportunity to swim, kayak or snorkel. Back on board ‘Eclipse’ for the evening, there is time to shower and relax before gathering in the dining room for another wonderful meal.
In the evening, your time is your own: attend a lecture on board by one of your affable guides, recapping the day’s sights and gaining a sneak peek at tomorrow’s itinerary; explore the mysteries of the night sky with a fascinating astronomy lecture on deck; peruse the ship’s excellent library; or gather for cocktails in the lounge to cap a day of extraordinary discoveries.'Eclipse' | Meals: B L D
- Day 9: The Galápagos/Guayaquil
Disembark today and fly to Guayaquil, where the remainder of your evening is at leisure. Reminisce on your journey with fellow guests during a farewell dinner tonight.Hilton Colón Guayaquil | Meals: B D
- Day 10: Depart Guayaquil
Board your homebound flight.Meals: B