Upon arrival, transfer to a hotel for your three night stay, breakfast included
After breakfast, go on a full day tour of the city where you can live like a ‘local’, meeting local herbal healers, exploring markets and enjoying some amazing Ecuadorian cuisine.
In the afternoon, visit the Archaeological Museum which houses a collection of pre-Colombian exhibits dating back some 5,000 years. The tour also includes a visit to El Panecillo – a 600 ft high volcanic hill offering panoramic views over Quito in all its Andean splendour. (B,D)
Visit the photogenic Sangolqui open-air market, where you can sample different Andean specialities and see vibrantly-coloured legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Later after a short drive from Quito, visit Cotopaxi National Park. This mostly treeless landscape is characteristic of the Andean moorlands, or paramo, and you may see herds of llamas roaming wild here. Finally Get up close and personal with one of Ecuador’s natural wonders as you visit an active volcano and walk to a height of almost 12,800 ft. (B,D)
Transfer to Quito Airport for your flight to Galapagos Airport on Baltra Island. After you have landed, transfer to the port to embark Hurtigruten’s comfortable expedition ship Santa Cruz II for your six night cruise
Dock in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the archipelago’s capital and visit a breeding centre for the highly endangered giant tortoise.
In the afternoon, the small expedition boats will take you to Punta Pitt at the eastern tip of the island. This unusual point consists of an eroded volcanic cone and is the only site in the Galapagos where you might see three species of boobies.
Visit the idyllic white sand beach on the island of Sante Fe and go on a scenic nature walk. The island is home to a colony of sea lions, as well as the endemic Barrington land iguana.
Relax by swimming or perhaps snorkelling from the small boats. To get a peek of the under-water world, join a trip in a glass bottomed boat or discover this beautiful island at your own pace on a kayak.
Pass through a channel where the turquoise waters are offset by the white sandy beaches, which in turn contrast sharply with the black lava rocks. Spot the frigatebirds, and shearwaters gliding in the breeze whilst land iguanas sleep by the shore and marine iguanas slip in and out of the water.
Today head ashore at Puerto Ayora and drop in on the Charles Darwin Research Station where over 200 scientists and volunteers are working to conserve the Galapagos wildlife. Visit the breeding enclosures and look upon Darwin’s famous finches.
Later enjoy lunch in the highlands, surrounded by green foliage and a cooler climate with giant tortoises roaming in their natural habitat. After you could hike to the bay, go kayaking in Tortuga Bay or go mountain biking.
Said to be one of the oldest islands at four million years, Espanola is a magnet for birds and almost the entire world population of Waved Albatrosses breeds here between March & January. Also look out for the Espanola lava lizard as well as the highly coloured marine iguanas.
Later, witness the famous El Soplador, a blowhole blasting water 75ft into the air before visiting the coral beach of Gardener Bay and the nearby Osborn Islet which provides beautiful settings for observing sea lions, mockingbirds and finches.
Visit Eden Islet, off the coast of Santa Cruz Island where you can spot an abundance of wildlife, from Galapagos green turtles, rays and some friendly reef sharks. A range of activities to explore the reef are available from snorkelling to taking a trip on the glass bottomed boat.
Head to the island of North Seymour, a small mostly flat piece of land which was created when a volcanic eruption lifted up the seabed. There’s a small forest of silver-grey Palo Santo Trees – known as Saint’s wood – just above the landing site. This is a great place to observe colonies of Frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. Sea lions & marine iguanas also call North Seymour home.
Bid farewell to the bounteous wildlife and wonderful expedition team as you disembark the ship at Baltra Island
Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to London
The 2022 Galapagos Islands Discovery
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Per Person Pricing
* Prices shown are per person, based on two adults sharing a twin cabin and include all cruise offer discounts and savings.
When you are exploring the Galápagos islands with us onboard the MS Santa Cruz II, you will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in high quality surroundings. The small size - with a guest capacity of maximum of 90 allows for a cozy yet classy environment. You´ll easily feel at home onboard. This sleek, spacious ship has a layout that allows you to enjoy your sailing in all aspects. Enjoy delicious food in the nice restaurant, learn with fellow travellers in the Science Centre or maybe mingle out on the many decks? While exploring the Galápagos, you´ll have the ability to actively engage in activities and encounters. After a day in Darwin´s footsteps, you will enjoy coming home to a casual atmosphere with the best service there is. The MS Santa Cruz II´s amenities easily appeal to all world explorers. MS Santa Cruz II is environmentally sustainable and socially conscious with the local community, the operation is carbon neutral.
Booking conditions of Hurtigruten and Reader Offers Limited Agency terms of business apply. Prices are per person based on two adults sharing, except single cabins, may increase or be withdrawn at any time. Offer applies to new bookings only. Ports may require a tender. Savings is based on two adults sharing. Regional and premium class flights will incur supplementary costs and may require an additional overnight stay. Please note this voyage may not be suitable for guests with mobility restrictions. Weather, wind and sea conditions have a great influence on the programme and schedule. Safety is always the first priority and the ship’s Captain will decide the final sailing schedule. Therefore, itinerary is subject to change. Drink inclusions are subject to the cruise line’s T&Cs. Drinks are only included with lunch and dinner. WIFI is subject to the cruise line’s T&Cs and cannot be guaranteed. If the named hotel is unavailable a suitable alternative will be provided. Star ratings are ROL Cruise classified. Flights may be indirect. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. Cruise Miles T&Cs apply. E&OE
John Lewis Gift Card is based on one per booking, for UK mainland addresses only when booking an Ocean View cabin or above by 8pm 30th November 2021. The amount is tiered on cabin grade booked.