Arrive Guayaquil, Ecuador
Arrive in Guayaquil to begin your Galápagos adventure. Transfer to your hotel where you have the remainder of the day to settle in and relax
Guayaquil/The Galápagos | On Board ‘Xperience’
After a private welcome breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos. Upon arrival, you are met by your naturalist guide and escorted to ‘Xperience,’ your home for a seven-night cruise. Nimble enough to access the Galápagos Islands, yet large and stable enough for safety, ‘Xperience’ is built for adventure, offering a stylish and relaxed atmosphere. ‘Xperience’ is ecologically sound as well, and has been awarded the “Smart Voyager” seal of approval by the Rainforest Alliance, certifying it as an eco-friendly and socially responsible ship. After settling in, attend an introductory briefing and a fitting for your wetsuit and snorkeling gear.
The Galápagos | Spectacularly Diverse Wildlife
Lying 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, protecting the wildlife while allowing you to experience the environment much as Darwin did. Because weather, water and wildlife conditions are subject to constant change, your cruise itinerary is not fixed, but two daily excursions are planned to the main sites and islands. Explore landmarks such as Punta Espinoza on Fernandina 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. 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 (differing species, 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; even a century-old tortoise diligently trudging over the sand. Return to ‘Xperience’ for a refreshing lunch, perhaps taken al fresco on deck, followed by time at leisure to nap or socialize. Keep your binoculars close by for possible sightings of dolphins 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. You may well come face to face with a water-dwelling inhabitant, such as a curious sea lion stopping by to inspect those visiting its equatorial home. Back on board ‘Xperience,’ enjoy time to shower and relax before gathering in the dining room for another wonderful meal. Each evening, your time is your own: Attend a lecture on board by one of your affable guides, who recaps the day and gives 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 to gain further insight into a species you encountered; or gather for cocktails in the lounge to cap a day of extraordinary discoveries. Drift asleep in your air-conditioned cabin to the rise and fall of gentle ocean swells.
Guayaquil | Disembark and Enjoy a Farewell Dinner
Disembark today and fly back to Guayaquil. Relax at your hotel before gathering for a farewell dinner at your hotel’s restaurant. Share the highlights of your inspiring Galápagos experience with your fellow guests.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your homebound flight or set out for Lima, Peru, to begin the delightful Machu Picchu Post-Tour Extension.
NOTE: 'Xperience' is an adventure vessel and while it is ideal for small-group exploration in the Galápagos, it is not a luxury ship. Shore excursions are shared with other passengers. .