Join us for this extraordinary First-Class voyage and share in the wonder of Charles Darwin’s revolutionary observations of this remarkable world unto itself. Experience the astounding biodiversity of the UNESCO-inscribed Galápagos archipelago, preserved much as it was when Spanish colonists arrived in 1535. Home to unique animals, reptiles, birds, plants and aquatic life, Darwin’s “living laboratory of evolution” continues to inspire the thrill of original discovery in every visitor.
- Pricing from
Reserve by June 24 & SAVE up to $9,000 per cabin! Book Now – full fare rates will be charged after the EBD
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
Feb 10, 2023 - Feb 19, 2023
With state-of-the-art technology designed for the Galápagos Islands, the Silver Origin is the most elegant, sustainable ship to explore this unique ecosystem. Discover the spellbinding beauty of these islands in luxury with on board amenities not found anywhere else. Immerse yourself in the rare flora and fauna of the Galápagos with the interactive Basecamp hub of discovery. In addition to the included Zodiac excursions and marine activities, enjoy gourmet farm-to-table Ecuadorian recipes made with the freshest local ingredients, accompanied by regional wines in the ship’s restaurant and grill. Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, 24-hour in-Suite service, and unlimited Wi-Fi access are also available throughout the cruise.
Six-Star, all-Suite accommodations feature an ocean-view veranda, butler service, a fresh water purification system, private bathroom and large wardrobe with a personal safe. Silver and Veranda Suites offer two twin beds or one queen bed. Medallion, Royal, Grand, and Owner’s Suites offer two twin beds or one king bed.
Quito, Ecuador – February 8 to 11, 2023
Explore the UNESCO treasures, rich indigenous traditions and contemporary verve of Quito, South America’s prettiest and most beguiling capital city. Walk the streets of the Old Town, where Spanish colonial grandeur and pre‑Columbian rituals coalesce in a panoply of Baroque cathedrals, ornate palaces and lively plazas. Uncover Quito’s artistic soul along La Ronda, one of the city’s oldest streets. Visit a local artisanal chocolatier and see a demonstration on how they make their chocolate. Accommodations are for three nights in the Five-Star Jw Marriott Hotel Quito.
Price per person, based on double occupancy: $795
Price per person, based on single occupancy: $995
Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley – February 18 to 24, 2023
Explore Peru’s UNESCO-inscribed archaeological treasures and landscapes on this tour featuring Machu Picchu, Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. Cradled by the soaring peaks of the
Andes Mountains, the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu inspires awe like few other places. Admire the spectacular sites of the Sacred Valley, where ancient engineering marvels, such as
the fortress of Ollantaytambo, stand as lasting testimony to the Inca Empire. Here, village craftspeople employ age‑old techniques to spin, dye and weave tapestries and sculpt pottery painted with artistic patterns. In the historical Inca capital of Cuzco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, see the stone fortress of Sacsayhuamán and Baroqueand Renaissance‑style churches that provide a mix of pre‑Columbian and colonial influences. Enjoy deluxe, ideally located accommodations in Lima, Machu Picchu and Cuzco.
Price per person, based on double occupancy: $2,895
Price per person, based on single occupancy: $3,795
John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office from and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.
No cancellation fees for new bookings until 96 days prior to trip departure.
Depart the U.S. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, transfer to the Hilton Colón Guayaquil Hotel.
Guayaquil/San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands
Fly into San Cristóbal to embark the Silver Origin. San Cristóbal is one of the oldest islands in the Galápagos Archipelago, formed by dormant volcanoes. Here, approximately 8,000 people live and work as fishermen, farming the rich volcanic soil of the highlands, in government or tourism. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital city of the Galápagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s. When approaching Kicker Rock, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigatebirds can be observed in the air, while sea lions can be seen along the shore.
Isla Bartolomé/ Buccaneer Cove, Santiago
Anchor in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, where Zodiacs will bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. View one of the most beautiful panoramas in all the Galápagos Islands towards Pinnacle rock, with the black volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance. Buccaneer Cove is a colorful inlet on Santiago Island, owing its name to some of the first visitors—pirates. They came searching for fresh water, tortoises, and maybe even places to hide their treasures. At a distance you can observe
the impressive volcanoes of Isabela Island.
Punta Vincente Roca (Isabela)/ Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)
Punta Vincente Roca is one of Isabela Island’s beautiful marine sites. Geological formations, underwater caves and lava tubes offer fascinating views of the coastline. It is common to see Pacific green turtles, sharks, rays, whales and dolphins. Blue‑footed boobies, Nazca boobies, brown noddies and other seabirds nest in the cliffs, while the endemic Galápagos penguins and flightless cormorants have established small colonies nearby. Explore the young island of Fernandina, with a high density of marine iguanas, sea lions, sally light‑foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorants.
Tagus Cove (Isabela)/ Elizabeth Bay
Northwest of Isabela lies secluded Tagus Cove, which provided anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike leads to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. Elizabeth Bay is found at Isabela’s narrowest east-west extension where the lava flow of two volcanoes connects to each other. Las Mariela’s, three rocks at the entrance to the bay, are favored by blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants and Galápagos penguins as a resting place, while the mangrove area is preferred by great blue herons for hunting or the
magnificent frigatebirds for perching. The bay is used by turtles, rays and even sharks for feeding or resting.
Post Office Bay (Floreana)/Champion Islet/Punta Cormorant
Near Post Office Bay, explore the north shore of Floreana along narrow channels teeming with life. Champion Islet is one of four marine sites surrounding Floreana and offers excellent deep-water snorkeling opportunities. Curious sea lions approach the snorkelers while turtles slowly swim by and sharks, sting rays and a high diversity of colorful fish can be seen. During a Zodiac cruise around Champion Islet, look for Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, and the rare Floreana mockingbird. Visit Punta Cormorant, Floreana’s northernmost point, named for the British Naval vessel HMS Cormorant. Follow a short trail from the beach to the island’s shallow lagoon, famous for its flamingo population. The trail continues through the trees to a white-sand beach on the other side of the point. Here, observe the local colonies of birds and look for the sea turtles that are known to lay their eggs in the dunes.
Santa Cruz/Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Puerto Ayora
Santa Cruz Island reaches an altitude of 864 meters (2,835 ft), where weather changes create microclimates. The species of flora and fauna found near the shoreline vary extremely from those on the highlands. In Puerto Ayora, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station housing the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas, where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. Throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the Galápagos cactus finch.
Cerro Dragon/ Guy Fawkes/ Bahia Borrero
Explore a landscape of volcanic rock as you walk along Cerro Dragon. This visit mixes a brackish water lagoon inhabited by elusive pink flamingos and a volcanic rock cover dry enough to be the perfect ecosystem for the Galápagos land iguana. The Guy Fawkes islets have beautiful underwater cliffs populated with marine invertabrates such as corals, sea stars and urchins. Those conditions result in immense aggregations of fish, making it an ideal place for deep water snorkeling. In the northern area, Bahía Borrero is a beautiful white coralline beach used as a nesting site by green sea turtles. Behind the dunes is a forest of typical vegetation from the arid zone—Palo Santo, leather leaf and salty bushes. This welcomes yellow warblers and some
species of the Darwin finches, such as the common cactus finch or the small ground finch. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception at the end of the day.
day 9 & 10
San Cristóbal, Galápagos/Guayaquil/ Return Home
Disembark the ship at San Cristóbal and fly to Guayaquil. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before an overnight flight back to your home city.
Everything you need to know about the tour
Save this information for later by downloading the full tour brochure.
Be prepared with the National Trust Travel Plan
Since 1973, USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services has served travelers just like you, to help protect their travel plans