Join us for this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime voyage to experience firsthand why Charles Darwin made this keen yet simple observation of the Galápagos Islands. Today, the archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with 95 percent of its natural biodiversity, first encountered when a Spanish ship drifted off course in 1535, still intact. Home to the amazing exotic birds, plants and animals that inspired Darwin, this “living laboratory of evolution” continues to offer the excitement of original discovery to every visitor.
A team of multilingual onboard Ecuadorian expert naturalists will share their in-depth insight and knowledge about the Galápagos’ distinctive ecosystem during daily excursions and natural history lectures. The ship provides a glass-bottom boat to observe marine life, Zodiacs for island landings and excursions, complimentary snorkeling equipment and a nighttime stargazing program.
- Pricing from
Reserve early and SAVE up to $2,000 per cabin!
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
Feb 9, 2022 - Feb 17, 2022
The six‑night Post‑Program Option features Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Lima and Cuzco.
Machu Picchu Post Tour Extension – Pricing includes internal flights
$2995 per person based on double occupancy
$3795 per person based on single occupancy
Based on a minimum of 20 paying passengers
|PRIOR TO DEPARTURE
96 days or more prior*
95-61 days prior
60-45 days prior
44-0 days prior
50% of program price
75% of program price
100% of program price
*In the event of a cancellation between 45 and 95 days prior to departure, the refund will be by credit, usable on a future Gohagan & Company trip which commences on or before December 31, 2023. In addition, for all bookings, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply.
Depart the U.S. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, transfer to the Hilton Colón Guayaquil Hotel.
Guayaquil/Baltra, Galápagos Islands/Santa Cruz Island
Fly to the small island of Baltra and embark the expedition vessel Santa Cruz II in time for lunch. Attend an orientation by the ship’s English‑speaking Ecuadorian naturalists while cruising to Santa Cruz Island, known for endemic marine iguanas, prickly pear cacti, giant land tortoises and pristine white beaches. Aboard panga boats, explore the shores of mangrove-lined islets and observe emblematic blue‑ and red-footed boobies, brown pelicans and magnificent frigatebirds. Visit a small lagoon frequented by pink flamingos and shorebirds before a short ascent of Dragon Hill, which provides sanctuary to a large population of land iguanas and affords spectacular views. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board the ship this evening.
Isabela Island/Fernandina Island
Cruise through the ecologically rich Bolivar Channel, framed by the dramatic volcanic peaks of Isabela and Fernandina. Spend the morning at seahorse‑shaped Isabela, a younger island formed by six shield volcanoes, notably Volcán Sierra Negra—the world’s second largest caldera. Enjoy opportunities to snorkel off Punta Vicente Roca or search the northern shores for Nazca boobies, Darwin’s finches and Galápagos hawks. The rocky landscapes of Fernandina are the most untouched of all the Galápagos Islands. Look for Galápagos penguins and sea lions competing for fish, marine iguanas basking in the sun and flightless cormorants drying their wings amid scuttling Sally Lightfoot crabs. Discover how recent volcanic activity has
reshaped the island’s topography, creating an ever-changing environment for thriving species found nowhere else.
Santa Cruz Island
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station—established in 1965—where over two hundred scientists collaborate in conservation efforts, including a breeding program for rare giant tortoises. Transfer to Santa Cruz’s cool, lush highlands for lunch amid an endemic Scalesia cloud forest. This afternoon, choose from a variety of leisure activities at Tortuga Bay. Stroll along an immaculate sweep of white sand that shelters nesting sea turtles, marine iguanas and lava gulls. Snorkel in the clear waters of a secluded cove amid colorful reef fish or walk the island’s trails and keep watch for warblers, finches, mockingbirds and lava lizards.
Post Office Bay, Floreana Island/ Champion Islet/Cormorant Point
Floreana was one of the first islands in the archipelago to be settled by European whalers and buccaneers. At Post Office Bay, peruse the mail in the wooden barrel “post office,” established by whalers to transport letters home on passing ships. Select a piece of mail to hand deliver to its final destination or leave your own message to be delivered by a future visitor. Cruise via panga or snorkel in the sparkling waters surrounding pristine Champion Islet—one of the best areas to snorkel in the archipelago. Encounter sea horses, sea turtles, sea lions, coral hawkfish and other aquatic wonders. Scan the skies and shorelines for a rare sighting of the endemic Floreana mockingbird, common to the islands when Darwin visited but endangered today. Walk along the brackish lagoons and mangroves near Cormorant Point, a haven for flamingos and pelicans. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship this evening.
Dock in Baltra and disembark the ship. Board your late-morning flight to Quito, one of the highest capital cities in the world at 9,350 feet. Transfer to the ideally located JW Marriott Quito. Surrounded by snowcapped peaks, yet only miles from the equator, Quito is arguably South America’s most attractive and beguiling capital city.
Quito is a city of startling contrasts, where thousands of years of South American traditions are interwoven with Catholicism, the Spanish language and Western European culture. Experience the architectural splendor, indigenous traditions and contemporary verve of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the noble, 16th‑century Iglesia de San Francisco—the continent’s most feted religious structure—Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, renowned for its lavish interior adorned with an estimated seven tons of gold leaf, and see the Moorish‑influenced Catedral Metropolitana. Tour Casa del Alabado, an impressive private museum of pre‑Columbian art and archaeological artifacts housed in a 17th‑century colonial mansion.
Stand in the “middle of the world” with one foot in each hemisphere at the equator. See the hundred‑foot‑tall Equatorial Monument, which commemorates the 18th‑century multinational expedition that located zero degrees latitude, accurately establishing the Earth’s size for the first time. In the Ethnographic Museum, see exhibits that celebrate Ecuador’s cultural diversity. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore Quito.
Continue on the Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Post‑Program Option or enjoy day room accommodations in the Hilton Colón Guayaquil Hotel and depart late this evening for the U.S.
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