Galapagos Cruise15 day cruise/tour - November 24, 2023
This is the first time we have been able to put together a luxurious Galapagos Cruise. Celebrity is highly awarded in its quality of ships, service and food. What makes this opportunity sweet is our agreement to charter Celebrity’s whole ship. The ship can take 98 passengers plus 58 crew members. We will only have a grand total of 48 passengers along with the 58 crew members on each of our two chartered cruises. We will have more time ashore and also be able to do two islands a day instead of just one. Dr. Michael Wilcox will be the educator for both sailings. Late November, early December is a great time to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The average temperature in the Galapagos Islands this time of year is 81, the low at night is usually above 70 degrees. Perfect Temperatures! With Ecuador located on the Equator, temperatures do not vary much.
After the cabin for Michael Wilcox – we will only have 23 cabins to sell, but we do have a good allotment of choices. Staterooms can be with 1 large bed or two twins. The Premium Ocean View Cabins have a decent size window and all of the suites have outside balconies, perfect to use while sailing through the Galapagos Islands. Pictures of the different cabin categories can be seen on the following page.
Our special tour is a lot more than just a Galapagos Cruise. We studied many publications of the top 10 places to see and experience in Ecuador. We have also talked to those that we know in Ecuador to determine what else we should do in addition to Galapagos. We have determined that the top 5 places to see and experience in Ecuador are: #1 is obvious: The Galapagos Islands – #2: is Quito & the Equator- #3 is Cuenca – #4 is Cotopaxi National Park and #5: is the Nariz del Diablo Train. We designed a special tour that would include all 5. Most of our 7 nights in hotels in Ecuador are rated 5-Star Luxury Hotels.
Package Price Includes:
15 Day Complete Package Price Includes:
- 8 day 7 night Chartered Celebrity Cruise in the Galapagos Islands.
- Cabin Category: Premium outside widow cabin.
- Limited to a total of 48 passengers on the whole ship.
- Crew of 58.
- All shore excursions.
- All port charges.
- Galapagos National Park Fees.
- Cotopaxi National Park Fees.
- Small groups of approx. 12 passengers that will have an expert Nationalist Guide during your shore excursions!
- Snorkel equipment provided by the ship for everyone!
- 4 Airfares:
- Quito to Galapagos.
- Galapagos to Quito.
- Quito to Cuenca.
- Cuenca to Quito.
- Flight taxes and fees.
- Three quality meals on our luxurious Celebrity Cruise.
- All tips for the 58 crew members and Nationalist Guides.
- Drinks and beverages.
- 5-Star Luxury Hotel in Quito.
- 4-Star Deluxe Hotel in Cuenca.
- Exclusive 1 bus tour.
- Dr. Michael Wilcox as guest educator in Galapagos.
- Fun For Less Tour managers throughout your cruise and tour.
- All buses, guides, entrance fees throughout your land tour.
- Guide and bus driver tips.
- All transfers to and from all airports, ship and hotels.
- Nariz del Diablo Train.
- Use of our “Whisper Perfect” headset receivers.
Package Price: $8,699*
*Per person cash discount price, based on double occupancy.
Does not include international airfare or visas.
Upgrade to Suite with Balcony $2,299 per person.
Upgrade to Royal Suite with Balcony $3,399 per person.
Upgrade to Penthouse Suite with huge Balcony 5,999 per person.
Important Note Regarding The Two Itineraries: The tours in the Quito area and Cuenca area, including the train, will be the same; they will just happen in a different order. However, Celebrity Cruise has designed two different itineraries to the Galapagos Islands – a northern route and a southern route. BOTH are great itineraries. There is so much to see in the Galapagos that they had to create two itineraries. We have not included a lot of details on our land portion as we are still working on them. BUT, we have included in detail Celebrity’s two cruise itineraries. Both will be great, but if you want to read each itinerary before deciding, then do it reasonably fast, as we expect both sailings along with choice of cabins will sell fast!!! Remember that all Itineraries on land and sea are always subject to change.
*Please understand because of the wild nature of these animals we cannot guarantee the sighting of any specific species.
Itinerary For Group 1: Galapagos Northern Route
Day 1: November 24: Fly to Quito
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel at the airport. Tomorrow morning you fly to Galapagos.
Day 2: November 25: Fly to Galapagos Baltra Island
This morning we will transfer from our hotel to the Quito Airport to catch our included nonstop flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival, we will start our touring of Baltra Island before boarding our ship around 3 pm.
Baltra Island: During World War II, Baltra served as a U.S. military base protecting the Panama Canal from enemy attack. Now the cactus-strewn landscapes of Baltra are home to the region’s main airport.
Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island: A zodiac ride into Black Turtle Cove brings you up close to the quiet wonders of the Galapagos. Once inside the cove, we’ll quietly explore the area looking for sea turtles, several species of rays, and sharks.
Day 3: November 26: Galapagos Cruise
Our shore excursions today include the island of Rabida and Egas Port, on Santiago Island:
Rabida Island is a small island south of Santiago, Rabida is best known for its red sand and eroded volcanic landscape. A nesting colony of pelicans makes its home here, along with sea lions and some sea birds.
Egas Port, Santiago Island: With its black sand beach, coastal tide pools, and blue-water grottoes, this stop offers a wonderful taste of the Galapagos and the opportunity to see shore birds, Galapagos Hawks, sea lions, marine iguanas, and Galapagos fur seals. Sea lions, colorful tropical fish, and sea turtles are often seen while snorkeling.
Day 4: November 27: Galapagos Cruise
Our shore excursions today include Tagus Cove on the Isabela Island and Espinoza Point on the island of Fernandina:
Tagus Cove Isabela Island: Historically, an anchorage for pirates and whalers, this site offers a breathtaking view of Isabela, its volcanoes, and spectacular Darwin Lake. Along the shore, seabirds, penguins, sea lions, sea turtles, and nesting flightless cormorants can often be found.
Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island: Fernandina is the youngest island in the Galapagos and, as Darwin wrote, it is “covered with immense deluges of black naked lava.” Along with its extraordinary black lava rocks, this point of land hosts the largest colony of marine iguanas in the Archipelago, along with sea lions and a nesting site for flightless cormorants.
Day 5: November 28: Galapagos Cruise
Our shore excursions today include Urvina Bay on the island of Isabela and Vicente Roca Point on the island of Isabela:
Urvina Bay, Isabela Island: Composed of five coalesced volcanoes, Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos and the most recently active, the latest eruption having occurred in 2015. Here we will see large land iguanas, finches, and if lucky, a giant tortoise or two. In 1954, the intrusion of magma below one of the island’s volcanoes caused part of the bay to be uplifted some 6 meters, and today we can walk through the remains of what was once a thriving underwater reef.
Vicente Roca Point, Isabela Island: The half-collapsed remains of an ancient volcano make for a spectacular setting at this site. Awe-inspiring cliffs, blue waters, and wildlife create a zodiac ride to remember as we search for sea turtles, penguins, fur seals, the flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, marine mammals, and the oddly shaped form of the elusive sunfish.
Day 6: November 29: Galapagos Cruise
Our shore excursion today includes Bartolome Island and Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island:
Bartolome Island: Bartolome Island hosts one of the region’s most often-photographed views and a spectacular geologic setting. Its barren moon-like volcanic landscapes, spatter cones, and pinnacle rock makes for a unique stop. It is also home to the Galapagos penguin and provides an excellent opportunity for snorkeling.
Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island: A beautiful white sand beach on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. The name “Las Bachas” comes from the mispronunciation of the word “barges” by the local population during the 1950s when WWII barges broke their moorings and ran aground on the beach. This is also one of the largest nesting areas of the Pacific Green Sea Turtle in the Galapagos. A short beach walk brings you to a pond to look for flamingos and other shorebirds. Afterward, this is a fantastic beach to relax, go for a walk, swim, and maybe practice snorkeling.
Daphne Major: Daphne is a satellite volcanic cone located north of Santa Cruz Island. The crater floor is an important breeding site for blue-footed boobies. The cliff shore of the island is home for sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and tropical birds, which can be observed during the circumnavigation of the island.
Day 7: November 30: Galapagos Cruise
Our shore excursion today includes El Barranco on the island of Genovesa and Darwin Bay on the island of Genovesa:
El Barranco (Genovesa Island): El Barranco, also known as Prince Philip’s s after the prince who visited in 1965 and again in 1981, is a steep stairway that leads up through a seabird colony full of Nazca and red-footed boobies. Once visitors reach the plateau, the trail continues inland and passes more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa): Darwin Bay’s soft white sand is only the beginning of a spectacular excursion. A trail from the beach takes you into lush mangroves where red-footed boobies nest. Other local wildlife includes sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds, and more. Snorkeling is a must here, as the nutrient-rich water attracts all types of marine life, including sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, and the occasional manta ray. Excursion options: Walk, swim, snorkel and kayak.
Day 8: December 1: Galapagos Cruise
Today is a full day tour at Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruise:
Puerto Ayora Santa Cruz Island: This is the main population center of the islands, and home to the National Park Service tortoise-breeding center and the Charles Darwin Research Station. You will be able to visit the tortoise-breeding center and walk through the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Day 9: December 2: Baltra Island – Quito
Today we will head to the airport to await our flight back to Quito. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our 5-Star Luxury Hotel in the afternoon with some time to relax and enjoy your hotel.
Day 10: December 3: Quito
Full day tour to Cotopaxi National Park – overnight Quito at 5-Star Luxury Hotel.
Day 11: December 4: Quito – Cuenca
Most of today will be touring around Quito – late this afternoon, we fly from Quito to Cuenca. Upon arrival, we will check into our 4-Star Deluxe Hotel.
Day 12: December 5: Cuenca – Nariz del Diablo Train – Cuenca
Today will be a full-day tour into the countryside. The beautiful scenery and majestic mountains will only be topped by our Nariz del Diablo old train ride on tracks cut into the steep mountain to a wonderful viewpoint. At the end of the day we will return to Cuenca.
Day 13: December 6: Cuenca – Quito
Today we will enjoy the quaint town of Cuenca. After our day of touring, we will head to the airport for our flight back to Quito. Upon arrival, we will transfer back to our 5-Star Luxury Hotel.
Day 14: December 7: Quito – Equator – Quito
Today we will spend time on the Equator. It is amazing how water spins different a few feet apart from one side of the Equator line to the other. Upon returning to Quito we will fly late evening back to the US and home. (no hotel included tonight).
Day 15: December 8: Quito – Home
This morning we will catch our connecting flight back to our home cities.