Experience Guayaquil with your private guide before you fly and embark to the enchanted Galapagos Islands on your cruise.Situated about 1000 km (625 miles) west of the Ecuadorian mainland, the islands are bleak, barren and rocky. Made famous by Charles Darwin’s scientific voyage in the ‘Beagle’ during the 19th century, the islands’ unique wildlife – which includes giant tortoises, lizards and iguanas – remains the most interesting feature for the modern-day visitor. Some 50 per cent of the islands’ species are found nowhere else in the world. In 1978, UNESCO declared the Galápagos to be ‘the universal natural heritage of humanity’.
Cruise departures every Saturday, year-round.
Guayaquil airport transfer with private vehicle and driver.
Conveniently placed in Ecuador, a strategic point in South America, the Hilton Colon Guayaquil hotel combines excellent service and a laid-back resort feel with a convenient location only few minutes from José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. With 294 fully renovated rooms and suites, you can enjoy your spacious guest room and stay connected with wireless internet access. Get to work at the desk or just relax with a movie on the flat screen TV. Connecting rooms are perfect for those travelling as a family. Step up to an Executive Room or suite and benefit from extra space, a range of special touches and exclusive access to the Executive Lounge where complimentary snacks and refreshments are served.
Enjoy half day tour of scenic Guayaquil. Centennial Park honors the heroes of Guayaquil’s independence. Beside the park is the neo-gothic Metropolitan Cathedral. Then visit Malecon 2000, a waterfront, running parallel to the River Guayas and featuring historical, cultural and entertainment areas. To the north is the oldest neighbourhood of Guayaquil, the 19th century neighbourhood of Las Peñas, which has been beautifully restored with brightly colored art galleries.
Enjoy a private transfer from your hotel in Guayaquil to the airport.
Fly from Guayaquil to Galapagos on a direct flight. The flight duration is approximately 2 hours. Please note that flight rates are subject to change without prior notice.
Upon arrival to Baltra, a group transfer awaits, for your transportation to the ship.
Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, and to explore the ship. Your expedition begins shortly.
Your mandatory Galapagos National Park entrance fee & tourist card are included in your itinerary pricing.
Please note: the itinerary is a guideline only - the route and program vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety precautions and wildlife encounters.
The tiny Mosquera Islet is home to a huge population of sea lions, as well as many shorebirds. Keep your eyes peeled, since there are occasional reports of dolphins and orca around Mosquera.
The 16-passenger Athala II provides a cozy small yacht atmosphere, comfortable accommodations, personalized service, a dedicated cruise director, and more, all for your Galapagos expedition cruise adventure. This motor catamaran was specifically designed and built to cruise the Islands providing comfort and excellent stability for those looking for a Galapagos adventure cruise in style. The Athala II's upper deck features a bar and a beautiful open area for relaxation and al fresco dining. The sundeck is great for whale and dolphin watching or to simply relax in the Jacuzzi. In the evenings there is no better place for star gazing. The dining area can be found on the main deck, along with a really comfortable lounge. All meals are served as a buffet style with all soft drinks included.
Sullivan Bay is known for its spectacular volcanic formations and unique geological scenery. Few plants have been able to take root here, much less be successful, so pay particular attention to the low-lying pioneer plant known locally as "mollugo", as well as the lava cactus.Bartolome is a small island with two very different visitor sites: on the beautiful beach you can hang out with the sea lions and snorkel, while the hike up to the peak offers jaw-dropping scenery.
Located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo volcano, the site of Urbina Bay is famous for its large land iguanas, as well as the frequent Galapagos tortoise, flightless cormorants and penguins.
Tagus Cove was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates and buccaneers. The trail up from Tagus Cove goes through an area of vegetation, leading to a spectacular view of Darwin Volcano Lake. Enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and dinghy ride.
Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine and dynamic ecosystems in the entire world. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009. Punta Espinosa is home to very unique Galapagos species such as the Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorants, and huge marine iguanas.Vicente Roca Point is a wonderful snorkeling site, and for those who don't snorkel, a dingy ride will give you the opportunity to study the Galapagos' spectacular geography. Nazca boobies, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins are often seen in the area.
The trail at Puerto Egas leads to tidal pools which are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus and starfish. You will also see marine iguanas, finches and the Galapagos hawk, as well as the less common Galapagos fur sea lion. There will be an opportunity to swim or snorkel off the beach.
In addition to a beautiful beach, there is a Palo Santo forest that has some of the tallest specimens of the islands. Later, Buccaneer Cove's awe-inspiring scenery will take your breath away. Activities include kayaking, snorkeling, and dinghy rides.
On your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, you will gain insight into the great preservation efforts being made by scientists, guides, and rangers. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands' namesake. After the visit, you drive up to the lush highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings. In the afternoon you will have free time for shopping and mingling with the locals, or you can simply relax on board.
El Barranco or Prince Philip's Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock which leads to a plateau full of bird life amongst a Palo Santo forest. You will see Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and petrels. With some luck, you might spot a short-eared lava owl.Darwin's Bay's soft, coralline white sand is only the beginning of a spectacular excursions. The trail takes you into lush mangroves where red footed boobies nest. Other locals include sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls and frigatebirds. Kayaking and snorkeling are a must here, since sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and sea turtles are often seen.
North Seymour Island may very well be the perfect way to say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands. Although the island is characterized by arid vegetation, fauna abounds and you will soon find yourself surrounded by sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, frigatebirds and more.
This morning you'll disembark from your ship and bid farewell to the crew.
A coach awaits to transfer you to the airport for your outbound flight.
Fly from Galapagos to Quito via Guayaquil. The flight duration is approximately 4 hour.
Experience unmatched elegance at the JW Marriott Quito Hotel in Ecuador, the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and Andean Mountains. Located in the heart of the city, the JW Marriott is located on the famous Amazonas Avenue and features an amazing atrium lobby where you can enjoy a martini or espresso while enjoying the view. Amenities include spacious guest rooms and suites with magnificent views, high-speed Internet access, in-room safe and luxurious bedding. On-site restaurants offer innovative Ecuadorian and international cuisine while the tropical gardens and resort-style pool offer the perfect backdrop for some relaxation. There is also a fitness centre as well as full spa onsite.
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Quito with a professional driver.
A departure tax must be paid upon departing Ecuador through the Quito airport. The payment must be made in cash and the cost is of USD$44.30 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Christina Adams ,
April 21, 2014
"I know it's silly to give all 10's, obviously every trip has it's ups and downs, but if it hadn't been for our Kensington Tours planning, guides and drivers we would have been lost! It was wonderful to be out in a strange new environment yet know we had a safety net and a friendly face. The places we visited were awesome but I think we'll remember most the people that we met. Thank you and I'll send photos soon! Sincerely, Christina Adams"
Thomas Peyla ,
April 21, 2014
"I rated the quality of the accommodations an 8, but that is only because I chose to have more budget type accommodations. I was very happy with the hotels. The tours and guides were outstanding."
Susan Pope ,
April 21, 2014
"The arrangements all worked out very well, especially the drivers picking us up from airports and hotels. The hotels, although all in different categories, were mostly excellent. Eliza's Manor in Christchurch was especially good. My other favorites were the Novatel in Queenstown, the Grace in Sydney, and the Regent of Rotorua. My least favorite was the Quadrant in Auckland which was not located in a very convenient area. Provided breakfasts and boxed lunches were excellent too. We were unable to take three of the side trips....separate email coming. One suggestion would be that two very long days back to back should be avoided if possible, and travelers' ages taken into account. The trip to Milford Sound was an extremely long day and the Routeburn Trail hike was scheduled for the next day when it could have been on the following day which was free. We were happy to see so many different areas of New Zealand and experience everything from glow worm caves to fjords to a Maori hangi and geothermals."
Vivian Jennings ,
April 21, 2014
"Very pleased with organization. Not having to worry about connections or arrangements is wonderful. Great selection with hotels, Coral 1 and Napo Wildlife. Kensington puts all the details together to ensure a wonderful trip. Highly recommend the Galapagos and Amazon. "
Daniel More ,
April 21, 2014
"All was great. Guides were knowledgeable, personable, friendly... that's what really made the trip."
Marlin Barad ,
April 21, 2014
"Sofia, thank you for putting together a great trip. We certainly enjoyed ourselves very much. The planning and care was excellent. We hope we can do another trip with you all soon. Marlin Barad"
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
"We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and we had the time of our lives! Everything turned out perfectly. Guides were fun, on time and informative. The excursions were great for an active family and, of course, amazing.
I thought after the glacier trek it can't get any better - but it kept surprising me and amazing me. My personal favorite was the horseback riding. I thought afterwards after everything we have seen the bike tour would have to be a let down - NOPE - it also was so exciting and our guide was a hoot! Meals were amazing and after so many active excursions no guilt in pigging out.
I am so happy we took a little risk and went out of the way with our vacation this year. We will have this with us for a life time.
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
"GREAT trip! We were very pleased with every aspect that Brandi set up for us including the tour of Quito and environs. Our guide spoke excellent English, the driver was courteous and we felt safe and well-informed throughout the day. We're still going through the 500+ photos that I took and the 1700+ photos that my son took. Galapagos was a fabulous trip and the Eclipse was a terrific way to navigate the islands.
Mark Dornfeld ,
November 11, 2013
"My wife and I had a wonderful trip, we really enjoyed ourselves. All the accommodations that you booked for us were exceptional and our drivers and guides were lovely. We had great weather the whole trip and only lost one activity due to high winds. As you know this is a beautiful part of the world so my camera was snapping all the time. We would definitely use your services in the future for this type of travel. Thanks for all you help and expertise........be well.....m.d."
Jack Gregory ,
November 11, 2013
I wanted to give you a little feedback on our recent trip to Peru.
In a word – EXCELLENT – especially the high quality people you work with in Peru. We have taken tours all over the world, S. Africa, France, England, Vietnam, China to name just a few, and the service we received in Peru was far beyond and of the other experiences we have had. The attention to detail was very much appreciated, picking us up at the airport, taking us back to the airport and complete, hassle free, handling of all our details truly made this a stress free experience.
Special thanks to:
-The entire reservation system and the people I came in contact with that process...every detail accounted for
-The people that looked after us in Lima
-Andre, the young man in Cusco who faithfully phoned every night just to make sure the day went well, my wife was well and that we knew what we had to do the next day.
-The Sumaq hotel in Aquas Calientes...you can tell the level of service by the details...I watched a waitress hold a high stool for a lady to prevent her from tipping backwards as she got on the stool, the lady didn’t even know the waitress did it....that’s client care.
-Especially Mariela, the tour guide in Cusco...highly knowledgeable, passionate, personable and shows great care for the people she guides.
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