10 May 2019
12 – days
FANTASTIC VALUE! ALL INCLUSIVE! NOW BOOKING!
We had such an amazing experience cruising, walking & snorkelling on the beautiful Galapagos Islands in March 2017, we’re doing it again in May 2019!
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR THE 2019 ITINERARY
We have cruised and visited islands of the ‘Inner Loop’, but in 2019 we will be exploring ‘Outer Loop’ islands, when we should also see the king of the birds – the Galapagos Waved Albatross PLUS the giant iguanas resplendent in their bright coloured skin! As places fill very quickly on such a small ship we need to book cabins 2 years ahead! All cabins have ocean views as there are no ‘inside’ cabins on this ship.
Soaring peaks, sandy beaches and crystal-clear seas are inhabited by creatures of all shapes and sizes. Snorkel in the shimmering waters and discover sea lions and sea turtles, or witness penguins, lizards and many more intriguing creatures on land.
Darwin’s theory of evolution explains how species of living things have changed over geological time.
The theory is supported by evidence from fossils, and by the rapid changes that can be seen to occur in microorganisms such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Many species have become extinct in the past and the extinction of species continues to happen. Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands around 1831 had a resounding impact on the formation of his Theory of Natural Selection. In 1859, Darwin finally consolidated all of his observations into his famous book On The Origin of Species, drastically and controversially altering the scientific view on the biological origins of life.
THE CELEBRITY XPEDITION
Designed not just for travel, but for exploration, this 100-guest mega-yacht sails to the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s last pristine environments, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The exemplary service, knowledgeable crew, environmentally sound ship design and Galapagos National Park-certified onboard naturalists, all help to preserve this delicate archipelago, while enlightening you to its natural and evolutionary significance. It’s truly a journey like no other.
Please join us on this dream, once-in-a-lifetime holiday, whilst we are still allowed to venture onto and cruise around these spectacular islands!
HERE ARE A FEW WONDERFUL MEMORIES TO SHARE FROM THE INNER LOOP OF ISLANDS IN MARCH 2017…..
NB. All cabins have ocean view
Luxury return transfer to London Heathrow
Only FOUR local pick-ups:
Gosport; Lee on the Solent;
Stubbington & Fareham
Personal Travel Treats
The comfort of a UK Airport Lounge
Return scheduled International flights
Return Internal Flights
7 nights Celebrity Xpedition® with
all meals, all drinks, tea/coffee,
unlimited water and all gratuities
3 nights’ 4* Quito Marriott Hotel
2 breakfasts & 2 dinners
CABIN GRADE inclusive price:
Grade XD Deck 3
Grade XP Deck 4
(the Solent Events cabins in 2017)
Local Guides & Naturalists
Hotel porterage – one bag per person
All airport taxes, security charges,
UK Airline Passenger Duty, state & local taxes,
ATOL & ABTA protection
Excursions & island visits as per itinerary
Solent Events Escort/Tour Manager
For your peace of mind and financial protection, our holiday is arranged with
Travelsphere Worldwide and Celebrity Xpedition Cruise Ships, who are fully bonded.
View the Itinerary
The Galapagos Islands are unlike anywhere else on earth – an exotic haven of flora and fauna, where the interference of humans has been kept to an absolute minimum.
Day 1 – Local pick-up for our Luxury Coach transfer to London Heathrow and a relaxing Airport Lounge before our Galápagos adventure starts by flying to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, for a two night stay at the beautiful JW Marriott Hotel.
Day 2 – We will take time to relax to get used to the high altitude of Ecuador’s capital. A local guide will captivate us on an included city tour, where we will have the opportunity to stand on the Equator and view the winged Virgin of Quito Monument high on Bread Loaf Hill.
Day 3 – After breakfast, we fly to Isla Baltra in the Galápagos and step aboard Celebrity Xpedition for our exciting 7-night cruise. During the cruise we will go ashore aboard a Zodiac – a large inflatable boat. We will also have the opportunity to snorkel in the warm, crystal-clear waters of the Pacific and get up close to the most beautiful sea creatures.
PM. Daphne Minor Daphne Major and Daphne Minor are located between Santa Cruz and Santiago Islands. Most tourists are restricted from visiting these islands by the Galapagos National Park; however, the islands continue to be a popular stop for scientists researching the unique qualities of the Galapagos finches.
Highlights: Birdwatching, including the Galapagos finches Activities: Possible diving
Day 4 – Our cruise continues its journey around the islands stopping at Gardner Bay on Isla Española, the most southerly and the oldest island in the Galápagos Archipelago.
AM Española Island: Gardner Bay/Islet
Española Island is located at the extreme southeast of the archipelago. Relatively flat with small hills, a group of geologists found signs of volcanic activity in the 1980s. Vegetation on the island includes many thorny plants and native animals include the waved albatross, marine iguanas, and lava lizards. Fast Facts: Española Island’s English name is “Hood” Island.; Animals: Lava lizards, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, waved albatrosses
Gardner Bay, on the eastern side of the island, is the breeding site of nearly all of the world´s 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses. It has an ample white sandy beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkeling.
Highlights: White sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds; snorkeling: colorful fish, sea lion nursery Possible Activities:* Snorkeling, dinghy ride, kayaking, short hike of (0.6 mi/1 km)
PM Suarez Point
This area is great for spotting blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities.
Highlights: Hood mockingbird, Nazca boobies, waved albatross, red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawk, blue-footed boobies, blow hole, amazing landscape
Day 5 – We will spend today cruising going ashore on the former penal colony on Isla Floreana.
AM Floreana Island
Floreana, is located at the far south of the archipelago. The island is associated with a strange and curious history of its inhabitants. Snorkeling around this area is one of the best in the Galapagos.Fast Facts: The official name of the island is “Santa María” and its English name is “Charles,” but it is most commonly known as “Floreana.” Animals: Flamingos, sea turtles
This site hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can also be seen. The beaches on this island are distinct: The Green Beach is named so due to its green color, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand, and the Four Sand Beach is composed of white coral.
Highlights: Flamingoes, green-colored beach Possible Activities:* Dinghy ride & hike (1.25 mi /2 km)
PM: Post Office Bay
In the 18th century, whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home. Highlights: Barrel Post Office, nice sandy beach Possible Activities:* Short hike (less than 0.6 mi/1 km) & snorkeling
Day 6 – Located on the extreme north coast of Isabela Island, between volcanoes Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul, Punta Moreno is dominated by jet-black pahoehoe lava that extends as far as the eye can see. The archipelago’s largest island, was formed by the joining of five young volcanoes. While these volcanic regions contain extensive lava fields and little vegetation, the southern highlands and various other regions are covered by dense vegetation including the unique red mangrove. Isabela Island is also home to many native Galapageños living in the island’s largest town, Puerto Villamil. Numerous tidal pools, are a magnet for wildlife. We can walk to the edge of the lava to look straight down at the inhabitants of the crystal-clear pools, including the occasional green sea turtle, white-tipped reef sharks, and puffer fish. At Urvina Bay we will see large land iguanas, and there’s the possibility of spotting giant turtles, rare flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, penguins and huge marine iguanas.
AM Isabela Island: Moreno Point
Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of the Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatchers delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.
Highlights: Flamingoes, gallinules, pintail ducks, turtles, whitetip reef sharks. Possible Activities:* Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike (1.2 mi / 2 km)
PM Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.
Highlights: Land iguanas (the biggest in the Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkeling: turtles, rays, tropical fish Possible Activities:* Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6 mi / 1 km), long (1.9 mi / 3 km)
Day 7 – We cruise to the remains of an ancient volcano where dramatic cliffs and blue waters give Punta Vicente a spectacular setting. Search for sea turtles, penguins and fur seals during our visit.
AM Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point
No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. The volcano La Cumbredominates the landspace with lava fields reaching the ocean. The island´s highlight features the Flightless Cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.
Highlights: Flightless Cormorant, marine iguanas, lava, sea lions, penguins, La Cumbre active volcano Activities: Hike (1.25 mi/2 km)
PM Isabela Island: Vicente Roca Point
We cruise round to the northwestern coast of the island comprised of two separate coves. This site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating mola-mola (sunfish) may be spotted here. This bay is great for diving and snorkeling.
Highlights: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, sea lions.; snorkeling: sea turtles, rays and puffer fish. Possible Activities:* Snorkeling & dinghy ride
Day 8 – Today we cruise to South Plaza Island for more wonderful sights and the giant tortoises.
AM South Plaza Island
This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.
Highlights: Land iguanas, sea lion colony, Audubon´s shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, amazing landscape with cliffs Activities: Hike (2 ½ km /1.55 mi)
PM Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill
Home to the largest town in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora, the Island has a large variety of vegetation. Pit craters, Scalesia Forest, cacti and ferns are found in its vegetation zones. The island is comprised of a younger part formed by volcanic cones and lava and an older narrow strip of land formed by uplifted lava flows and tuffs.
Highlights: Santa Cruz is the only island with six different vegetation zones.; Animals: Giant Tortoises, land and marine iguanas, variety of birds
Day 9 – Our cruise brings us to Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz, where we will visit have a fantastic day visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station, dedicated to the conservation of the Galápagos Islands’ unique ecosystem. This evening we enjoy a farewell cocktail party and barbecue under the stars, hosted by the ship’s Captain. TBC
Day 10 – Sadly, our wonderful adventure cruise of discovery comes to an end back on Isla Baltra, where we will disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for our flight to Quito. Tonight we will stay in the JW Quito Marriott Hotel before our flight back to the UK.
Day 11 – Transfer to the airport for an overnight flight to the UK.
Day 12 Arrive in the UK
Coach transfer to home area
Please note: Itineraries are unlikely to change significantly, but are subject to change. Weather, wildlife breeding, instructions from the Galapagos National Park, specific abilities and interests of passengers as well as operational matters may cause the guides or captain to change the time or nature of visits. Your guide will always endeavor to select the best itinerary within these limits.
HOTEL in QUITO: 4-star Marriott Quito Hotel.
Facilities include: restaurant, bar, gym, swimming pool. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer.
VISAS: No requirement
PASSPORT: British citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in Ecuador. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days, irrespective of the endorsement with regard to national status contained in the visitor’s passport.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Details on request.
XD Deluxe staterooms – Deck 3
XP Premium staterooms – Deck 4
XO Ocean View staterooms – Deck 3
Please note: As we want you to get the very best experience from your holiday, from your holiday, please be advised that this tour is not suitable for anyone with limited mobility.
Cruising aboard Celebrity Expedition you’ll experience a sense of intimacy that can only be achieved aboard a smaller ship yet, it is filled with touches that are luxuriously familiar. Morning mimosas, daily massages and moonlit toasts are just a few of the spoils you’ll enjoy as you embrace the timelessness of the Galapagos Islands – a land that time has seemingly forgotten.
This holiday is escorted from start to finish by a Solent Events Tour Escort. On this occasion, a Travelsphere Tour Manager will not be provided during our 12 day holiday, as Celebrity Xpedition has their own excellent, extremely knowledgeable local guides and naturalists in Quito and on board the ship.
View the Deck Plan
CELEBRITY XPEDITION DECK PLAN
Premium Staterooms (Solent Events booked these in 2017)
Decks 3 & 4
Ocean View Staterooms
Decks 5 & 6