Ecuador & Galapagos Cruise - Avalon Small Ship Cruises

Ecuador & Its Galápagos Islands 2018

8 Day Cruise from Quito to Quito

2018 Information. Switch to 2017 »

This exciting cruise vacation lets you sample the natural wonders of Ecuador and its Galápagos Islands. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Quito and have your photo taken at the “Center of the World.” You’ll also explore one of the oldest streets in Quito to visit with local artists and taste some Ecuadorian chocolate at a chocolate factory. Before taking to the sea, a highlight of your trip will be a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts for the giant tortoises. Then, embark on an exciting 4-night cruise among various Galápagos Islands on the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. Have your camera ready as your Naturalist points out colonies of sea lions, pelicans, albatross, several species of Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, flamingos, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels, short-eared owls, and other birds. Each day venture to a new island which is home to species found nowhere else in the world! During your cruise, you’ll also have a chance to snorkel in the tropical waters and perhaps get a look at sea turtles, sharks, and rays. A remarkable cruise adventure!


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Arrive Quito, Ecuador: welcome to Quito

Day 2 Quito: walking tour, visit San Francisco Monastery, La Compania Church, La Ronda Street, a Chocolate factory, and the Equatorial Monument; welcome dinner

Day 3 Quito–Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)–Santa Cruz Island: fly to the Galápagos Islands; embark Treasure of Galápagos; visit Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island

Day 4 Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 5 Galápagos Islands Cruising: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 6 Galápagos Islands Cruising: South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 7 Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation)–San Cristobal Island–Quito: disembark Treasure of Galápagos; visit San Cristobal Interpretation Center; fly to Quito

Day 8 Quito: your vacation ends this morning

Meals

  • American breakfast daily
  • 4 lunches
  • 5 three-course dinners including a welcome dinner in Quito and a farewell dinner on board the Treasure of Galápagos
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, and water on board throughout the day
  • Complimentary wine with all dinners on board

Notes

  • Maximum elevation on tour: 9,200 ft.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Quito, Ecuador

Welcome to Quito!

Day 2Quito

Included sightseeing showcases Quito’s colonial history and treasures including the historic stone murals of the Legislative Palace, Independence Plaza and the 16th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, and the Jesuit’s LA COMPANIA CHURCH with its stunning golden altars. Next, take a walk down one of Quito’s oldest streets, La Ronda, which is home to many artist’s workshops and galleries. Here, you will have the chance to meet some of the local artists and talk with them about their work before visiting a CHOCOLATE FACTORY to learn why Ecuador is considered one of the finest chocolate producers in the world. After seeing the chocolate-making process, a tasting is a must! Top off your day with a photo in front of the EQUATORIAL MONUMENT in the “Middle of the World.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously and test the effects of the earth’s rotation through different experiments like balancing an egg on a nail. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3Quito: Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)–Cruising: Santa Cruz Island

Take a morning flight to Baltra, one of the remote Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival, embark the Treasure of Galápagos for five days of CRUISING among various Galápagos Islands. Each day, travel ashore to the remote islands with your expert Naturalist, who introduces you to the unique fauna living free and fearless of man. After lunch, join your Naturalist for a visit to the CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, established to help conserve the Galápagos’ natural habitat and protect the famous giant tortoises. While here, learn about the tortoise-rearing program and see many of the various islands’ tortoises. Later, on board the ship, join a briefing on the next day’s adventure, followed by a Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

NOTE:
The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.

Day 4Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands

After breakfast, you will find yourself anchored in the western-central part of the archipelago where volcanoes are still active, attributing to the dramatic scenery. Join your Naturalist for an exploration of SULLIVAN BAY on SANTIAGO ISLAND, where you will walk on newly-formed (less than 100 years ago) lava flows reminiscent of the lunar landscape. Keep your eye out for lava lizards, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and even the Galápagos penguin. This afternoon at BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND, hike to the summit for one of the best panorama views of the region with two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows and spatter cones, including the iconic Pinnacle Rock. End your visit with a chance to snorkel or swim off the beach with the playful sea lions, Pacific green turtles, harmless whitetip reef sharks, and if you are lucky—the Galápagos penguins! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Galápagos Islands Cruising: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet

Disembark at NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, where your Naturalist will point out colonies of blue-footed boobies, Magnificent and Great Frigate Birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and lava herons. This is one of the few spots where you can compare the Magnificent and the rarer Great Frigate Bird breeding next to each other. The shores teem with sea lions and marine iguanas, and are a good spot for snorkeling. In the afternoon, visit MOSQUERA ISLET, a sandy island with one of the largest concentrations of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago. A walk on the white coral beach reveals shorebirds like the endemic lava gull, waders like the yellow-crowned night heron, and intertidal hunters, such as the striking reddish-orange Sally Lightfoot crabs. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Galápagos Islands Cruising: South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands

At SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND, wildlife includes sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, and hybrid iguanas (only found on this island and a result of a cross between land and marine iguanas). Also known for its prolific birdlife, you will see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon’s shearwaters, and many other species. This afternoon, visit the first site Charles Darwin visited in the Galápagos, CERRO BRUJO on SAN CRISTOBAL. Admire the stunning views of Kicker Rock before visiting a lagoon home to many migratory birds such as pelicans, black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and the great blue heron. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation)–San Cristobal–Quito

After breakfast, disembark the boat in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a visit to the SAN CRISOTBAL INTERPRETATION CENTER. Here, you will learn about the islands’ volcanic genesis, their remoteness, ocean currents, special climate, the arrival of different species, and their establishment. Next, head to the airport for your flight to Quito, where you will have free time this evening to prepare for your return flight home tomorrow. (Breakfast)

Day 8Quito

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Isabela II
Treasure of Galapagos

Isabela II

Seeing the Galápagos Islands on board the 21-stateroom Isabela II goes beyond traditional cruising. It's an expeditionary approach that allows you to authentically discover and explore the natural wonders of this region. The Isabela II is built to luxurious standards and features an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy all that the Galápagos is famous for intimate contact with the wildlife! Delve into this unique world with the Isabela II's crew and expert Naturalists, who share their passion for nature and conservation of this mysterious part of the world. The Isabela II features a Jacuzzi, exercise room, outdoor lounge, and an observation platform for dolphin and whale watching on the top deck. The ship's dining room, lounge, and bar are elegantly appointed, as is the well-stocked library/reading room. All staterooms are outside and feature air-conditioning, private bathrooms, hairdryers, and safety deposit boxes.

Included Amenities

  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Multimedia natural history lectures
  • Observation lounge
  • Gift Shop
  • Business center with Wi-Fi access
  • Snorkeling equipment including wetsuits (used June to December)
  • Sea Kayaks
  • Air-conditioned throughout
  • Cultural highlights on board
  • Multilingual Naturalists
  • Stargazing program
  • Bar/Lounge and Sun Deck Bar
  • Reading Room & Natural History Library
  • Jacuzzi
  • Glass-bottom boat
  • Hydrophone and "splashcam" for exploring the underwater world
  • Resident physician

Staterooms & Suites

Classic Cabin - 139 sq. ft.
Features
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • Individual climate control
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Internal communication system
  • In-room safe
  • Large mirror in bathroom
DECK PLANS

Treasure of Galapagos

Seeing the Galápagos Islands on board the 8-suite Treasure of Galápagos goes beyond traditional cruising and allows you a truly intimate experience with a maximum of 16 guests. Chartered exclusively for Avalon guests, the Treasure of Galápagos features spacious suites with balconies and takes you around the archipelago to explore the natural wonders of the region in privacy and comfort. Completely refurbished in October 2017, the Treasure of Galápagos is built to luxurious standards and features an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy all that the Galápagos is famous for intimate contact with the wildlife! Delve into this unique world with the Treasure of Galápagos' crew and expert Naturalist, who shares their passion for nature and conservation of this mysterious part of the world. The Treasure of Galápagos' non-smoking interior features elegantly appointed common areas including an indoor lounge & bar, dining area, shaded outdoor lounge, sun deck with Jacuzzi, and an observation area for whale or dolphin watching. Each of the seven outside suites offers a private balcony, which is rare in the Galápagos, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, and safe. In addition, the 430 square-foot Master Suite boasts two private balconies as well as a private living area. The Treasure of Galápagos will be fully refurbished in October 2017. Please check back for updated images coming soon.

Included Amenities

  • Jacuzzi
  • Gift Shop
  • Air-conditioned throughout
  • Expert crew and multilingual Naturalist
  • Expedition lectures on board
  • Elegantly appointed common areas
  • Observation area for whale and dolphin watching
  • Sun Deck
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Reading Room & Natural History Library
  • Free use of snorkeling equipment
  • Indoor lounge & bar
  • Shaded outdoor lounge & bar with premium lounge chairs
  • 24-hour complimentary water, tea, and coffee

Staterooms & Suites

Suite - 215 sq. ft.
Features
  • 6 twin cabins with 2 single beds (cabins 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, & 9)
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Bedside tables with reading lights
  • Private bathroom with full shower, hairdryer & bath products
  • Closet for storage
  • 2 double cabins with 1 double bed (cabins 6 & 7)
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Twice-daily housekeeping
  • Private balcony
  • Small table with two chairs
Master Suite - 430 sq. ft.
Features
  • King size bed
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Twice-daily housekeeping
  • Private bathroom with full shower, hairdryer & bath products
  • Closet for storage
  • Private living area with sofa bed
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Bedside tables with reading lights
  • Small table with two chairs
  • Two private balconies
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Quito

Quito

Swissotel

Swissotel 12 de Octubre 1820 y Luis Cordero, Quito,  Ecuador 12 de Octubre 1820 y Luis Cordero
Quito, Ecuador

Hotel as shown or similar
Moderate Deluxe

This contemporary hotel is located in the commercial district of Quito, minutes away from historical Old Town. The hotel offers a wide variety of dining with six restaurants and two bars. Other features include a luxury spa, indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, tennis and racquetball courts, beauty salon, gift shop, and business center.

Hotel Amenities

Gift Shop
ATM
Elevator
Parking/Valet
Dry Cleaning
Restaurant On-Site
Concierge desk
Spa Services
Currency Exchange
Pool
Bar/Lounge
Business Center
Shoe Shine
Beauty Salon
Fitness Room
Luggage Storage
Room Amenities

Mini-bar
Iron/Ironing Board
Air Conditioning
Television
Internet Access
Pay Movies
In-Room Safe
Complimentary Toiletries
Voicemail
Desk
Hair Dryer
Cable/Satellite
Daily Housekeeping
Phone
Room Service
Climate Control
Coffee Maker
Complimentary Newspaper

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)



No excursions were found; please select another departure.

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