10-Day Galapagos Islands Cruise
Off the coast of Ecuador, The Galápagos Islands are home to an abundance of wildlife. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, it is that rare wilderness where animals have no instinctive fear of humans. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II or the National Geographic Islander experience up close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and domed giant tortoises.
- The new Endeavour II is equipped with kayaks, paddleboards, and Zodiacs, allowing for up close exploration.
- Join our naturalists on interpretive island walks to learn about Galápagos wildlife, and witness incredible interactions between animals in their natural habitat. All departures will have a certified photo instructor onboard.
- Meet endangered Galápagos giant tortoises at a National Geographic–supported captive breeding program, and then observe these creatures in the wild.
- Snorkel amid shimmering fish, sea turtles, penguins, and playful sea lions.
Day 1 — U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador: Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel. Hotel Hilton Colón
Day 2 — Guayaquil/Galápagos: This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands and board our comfortable expedition ship. During lunch, we begin our exploration of the islands and their diverse wildlife.
Days 3 through 8 — Exploring Galápagos: In keeping with the nature of an expedition, our itinerary is flexible, allowing you to take advantage of this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. You will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists; swim; snorkel; or explore the waters by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour II only), or Zodiac.
Listed below are some of the islands we may visit during our expeditions:
Isla Bartolomé: Walk to the top of Bartolomé’s volcanic cone for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding beaches. After the hike, immerse yourself among schools of multicolored reef fish. You could swim with Galápagos penguins.
Isla Santiago: Follow a path along a series of tide pools and underwater caverns in search of Galápagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, shore birds, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Isla Santa Cruz: Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, a breeding area for endangered endemic species. Then tour the neighboring captive breeding program for endangered Galápagos giant tortoises run by the Galápagos National Park Service, and supported by the National Geographic–Lindblad Fund. Travel into the highlands to observe and photograph these tortoises in the wild.
Isla Isabela: Explore the largest island in the group, home to marine iguanas, abundant sea turtles, the only species of flightless cormorant in the world, and the only penguin species that inhabits the equator. Cruise by Zodiac and hike against a backdrop of giant shield volcanoes, and snorkel in the cool waters that often draw whales and dolphins to the area.
Isla Floreana: Hike to a turtle nesting beach and a lagoon that is home to flamingos and other bird species. At Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions and visit Post Office Bay, founded by whalers in the 18th century. If you see a letter addressed to someone who lives near you, the tradition is to deliver it by hand.
Isla Fernandina: Discover the marine iguana haven of Punta Espinoza as we hike over lava flows. Galápagos hawks, sea lion nurseries, and rare flightless cormorants can be found while exploring this island. Snorkel among sea turtles, penguins, and the occasional marine iguana.
Isla Española: See swallow-tailed gulls, Española mockingbirds, boobies, and waved albatrosses in this birder’s paradise. Walk among vivid green-and-red marine iguanas and unique lava lizards, and observe sea lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach.
Day 9 — Galápagos/Guayaquil: After breakfast, disembark the ship and fly to Guayaquil. The evening is at your leisure.
Day 10 — Guayaquil/U.S.: Depart Guayaquil this morning, arriving home the same day.
This vacation is great for families, a state-of-the-art ship boasts excellent naturalist guides and overall educational program plus kayaks, glass-bottom boats and an undersea specialist. You will receive a complimentary DVD of your trip.
Complimentary Airfare: Receive free round-trip international airfare between Miami and the Galápagos on the 2022 departures:
Extend Your Stay and Save: Make the most of your time in the region and save 10% off the total expedition cost when you combine your Galápagos expedition with a voyage to Upper Amazon.
Savings on Extended Photo Departure: Join underwater photojournalist Brian Skerry and National Geographic photographer Michael Melford on departures aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II for an epic 17-day photography expedition and receive a 10% savings. Please call us at 352-277-7300 for details and to book this special departure.
National Geographic Expert: Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts — from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. Meet Jay, one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
Jay Dickman: A Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer who has worked in photojournalism for more than 40 years, covering topics as diverse as the war in El Salvador, the Olympics, national political conventions, six Super Bowls, and the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Among his more than 25 assignments for the National Geographic Society, Jay has lived for three months in a Stone Age village in Papua New Guinea and spent a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear attack sub. A popular photo instructor and expedition leader, he has also published five books and numerous articles for National Geographic Traveler, LIFE, Condé Nast Traveler, Time, Sports Illustrated, and Forbes. The November 23 and 30, 2018 departures are dedicated photography expeditions, and Jay will be joining you.
Expedition Cost: Start at $7290 to $17170- Prices are per person, double occupancy, those marked solo pay no single supplement occupancy. Children under 18 years of age save $1000 off. Airfare from $199pp from select cities to Miami.
International Airfare: to/from Guayaquil and airfare within Ecuador is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight between Guayaquil and Galápagos is $520 (subject to change).
*Please note: All departures are family friendly. Itineraries vary subject to the Galápagos National Park regulations. Each of our voyages include Islas Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Baltra, and a selection of the other stops listed in the itinerary.
Notes: This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
National Geographic Global Explorers: Kids and teens will develop the mindset of an explorer through a range of cool activities: recording wildlife, plant, and undersea sightings in their Field Notebook, using photos, video, drawing and more to tell a story about the wonders they’ll encounter, snorkeling with sea lions, and earning their Zodiac “driver’s license!” Plus, National Geographic certified field educators—a brand-new addition to our expedition team—will help optimize Galápagos’ daily learning opportunities.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor: On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Diving Program: Please inquire for details
Optional Pre- or Post-Trip Extensions:
Hacienda La Danesa – full day in Guayaquil from $265 pp
Otavalo Cultural Experience – full day from $265 pp
Quito, World Heritage City – half day from $85 pp
Optional Pre-Trip Extension: Tropical Andes (Mashpi Lodge) & Colonial Quito – Before your Galapagos adventure, discover the lesser-known wonders of mainland Ecuador on this adventure in the Andes. Explore Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from the comfort of historic Casa Gangotena on Plaza San Francisco. See dazzling colonial churches and bustling traditional local markets. Then immerse yourself in the heart of the Ecuadorian Chocó, one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots, at Mashpi Lodge. 6 Days from $2,390 pp.
Included: One pre-cruise hotel night and one post-cruise hotel night in Guayaquil; round-trip airport to hotel transfers for group flights; transfers to/from ship; Galapagos National Park entry fee; Galapagos Transit Card; shipboard accommodations; certified photo instructor; kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding; one hour of Wi-Fi per person/per day onboard ship; gear on loan (snorkeling gear, wetsuit); video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Not Included: Airfare; meals not indicated as included; optional extensions; passport and visa expenses; travel insurance; Internet/Wi-Fi beyond what is mentioned as included; items of a personal nature such as laundry, premium alcoholic beverages; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
Airfare between Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands: The flights between mainland Ecuador (Guayaquil) and the Galapagos Islands are an additional cost. For your cruise security, ExpeditionTrips must reserve these flights for you at the time of cruise booking. Approximate cost (including service fee): $500-$700 per adult; $350-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).
If this is a cruise/land tour that you’ve been waiting for, please call TravelKatz at 352-277-7300 and we will be happy to make the arrangements for you. Let’s all go!