Last week we launched our latest edition of our Bucket List brochure, but there is one destination featured that we have newly added that is taking Cruise.Co by storm and that is our Fully Escorted Cruise and Stay holiday to the Galapagos in March 2019.
The interest we have had since it was launched has been crazy and I can totally see why. It also confirms that South America is the number 1 destination for 2018/2019. Our South American Bucket List escorted itineraries are sold out for January and February 2018 and 75 per cent full for 2019 so demand is definitely there so when we added to our South American collection by featuring the Galapagos Islands then I guess the interest was expected.
So what are the details of the trip that many are talking about.
The trip departs the Uk on 1st March 2019 for a 21 night itinerary. Prices are based on London Heathrow departures to Quito but regional flights are also available at a supplement.
Day 1 – Arrive Quito 1st Mar 2019 Meal Plan
Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! Your meeting point today will be at the joining hotel in Quito, however transfers
are available on an individual basis at additional cost. Depending on your arrival time, you may have some free
time before your orientation briefing and welcome meeting from your guide. This is normally at 6pm, but final
details will be confirmed nearer the time.
Day 2 – Galapagos 2nd Mar 2019 Breakfast and Lunch Included
Early this morning, transfer to Quito airport and then see the Galapagos Islands dotted like pearls in the ocean
as you fly to Santa Cruz Island (approximately 3.5 hours).
Once you arrive into Baltra Airport, your guide will be waiting to take you to Santa Cruz Highlands for lunch.
Then you will visit one of the farms where you can see Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat.
Days 3, 4, 5 – Galapagos 3, 4, 5th Mar 2019 Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch included on all days
On Days 3, 4 and 5 you will visit three of the below islands (one island per day). The islands you visit will
depend on availability.
Bartolome is the most recognizable and photographed island in the archipelago thanks to its distinctive
pinnacle rock. You’ll walk along a wood trail to the top of this once-active volcano, seeing the different lava
rock formations that were created during the formation of island on the way. At the top you’ll have a fantastic panoramic across to Santiago Island’s Sullivan Bay – look out for the surrounding plants like lava cactus, as well
as Darwin`s finches. After the walk, take a zodiac ride along the island to meet the cheeky Galapagos penguins,
and then disembark on the beach for some snorkelling. This is a great place to see white tip reef sharks, sea
turtles, many fish, and maybe swim alongside sea lions. You’ll then return to Puerto Ayora.
The small island of North Seymour is home to many different species of animals, and is the best place to see
the frigate birds with their bulbous red throats, watch the iconic blue footed boobies dance, spot land and
marine iguanas, and search for Galapagos sea lions and fur seals. On a two-hour walk around this magical
island you’ll also spy other sea birds like swallow-tailed gulls and shearwater, as well as many tropical birds.
After the walk you’ll return to the boat for lunch, then sail to Bachas beach on Santa Cruz Island. This is a
nesting area for sea turtles and there’s a small lagoon where flamingoes can occasionally be seen. You’ll also
strap on your mask again for some snorkelling through the beautiful waters.
Taking an 80-minute boat ride from Puerto Ayora, cruise to one of the most beautiful bays in the Archipelago.
Here the pristine colour of the water allows you to see the bottom, and you might swim alongside eagle rays,
sting rays, sea turtles and lots of fish. Santa Fe is known for its large colony of sea lions that lounge around on
the two beaches. On the shore there are two trails that can be hiked – both give you the opportunity to see
the Santa Fe land iguana, which is found only on this island. One of the trails is into the opuntia forest, home
to the archipelago’s largest trees, and you can hike along the cliffs. The vegetation of Santa Fe is notable for
the very large Prickly Pear Cacti. After the walk, return to the boat, where it’s time for some snorkelling in the
pristine waters – sea lion pups will be eager to swim along too. Then make the return journey to Puerto Ayora.
South Plazas is located on the east cost of Santa Cruz Island. It was formed from uplifted marine lava and is
one of the smallest islands on the archipelago. It’s one of the most concentrated wildlife sites around through.
Disembark at a small dock frequently occupied by sea lions, then walk through a small forest of prickly pear
cacti, decorated with their yellow flowers, and look out for land iguanas waiting for the fruits and flowers to
fall to the ground. Make your way up to the top of a cliff, where you can often see a shoal of the native yellowtailed
mullet in the waters below. Look up for views of swallow-tailed gulls, tropical bird, frigate birds, and
pelicans. At the eastern end of the island bull sea lions congregate to rest and recover their energy after losing
their territory; and plot to once again become the beach master. After this enjoyable walk, return to the boat
for lunch, and then sail to Punta Carrion for some more snorkelling. This is a great chance for underwater
photos of sea turtles, white tip reef sharks, sea lions and many fish. You’ll then return to Puerto Ayora.
Day 6 – Guayaquil 6th Mar 2019 Breakfast Included
This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Guayaquil. You should arrive at
your hotel by midday and will have the afternoon and evening to explore. Guayaquil is a port city and you can
take a walk along the Simon Bolivar promenade, where you can see the La Rotunda Monument. It also has a
small park, not far from the promenade, known as ‘Parque de las Iguanas’. Here you can see a multitude of
land iguanas sunbathing on the ground and in trees!
Day 7 –Flight to Santiago 7th Mar 2019 Breakfast Included
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight to Santiago:
On arrival in Santiago our local guide will meet your flight and take you to your hotel located next to the
Day 8 – Santiago to San Antonio 8th Mar 2019 Breakfast Included
This morning you will be transferred from your hotel to the San Antonio Cruise Port to board your Holland America Lines MS Zaandam for a 14 night itinerary around South America.
08 Mar 19
Embark MS Zaandam
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Valparaiso port to embark MS Zaandam.
09 Mar 19
10 Mar 19
Puerto Montt, Chile
The surrounding glacial Lake District and mountainous parks have made Puerto Montt an important destination for travellers. The city offers an authentic taste of Chilean life as well as some of the most sought after restaurants in the region.
11 Mar 19
Cruising the Chilean Fjords.
12 Mar 19
Cruising Canal Sarmiento.
13 Mar 19
Punta Arenas, Chile
Cruising Cockburn Channel and Beagle Channel.
14 Mar 19
Cruising Glacier Alley.
15 Mar 19
Scenic Cruising Cape Horn.
16 Mar 19
Stanley, Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands’ capital has been the seat of government since 1845 and sits on the eastern side of the isles. An astonishing population of penguins, seals and albatross have made Stanley (previously Port Jackson) a very popular tourist spot.
17-18 Mar 19
19 Mar 19
Home to nearly half of the country’s population, Montevideo is renowned for its colloquial markets and rich culture. From subtle tango bars and classical auditoriums through to modern nightclubs, there’s a fit for everyone in Uruguay’s graceful capital.
20 Mar 19
Buenos Aires, Argentina (overnight)
Visually similar to Europe (with a Latin American edge), the city is a sprawling metropolis filled with romantic restaurants, an unmatched nightlife and an aroma of passion that travels from its outer neighbourhoods through to its bustling centre.
21 Mar 19
Buenos Aires (Disembark)
Disembark your ship and transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK.
22 Mar 19
Arrive in the UK.
I have to admit this sounds absolutely right up my street, The Galapagos have always seemed to have a little mystery surrounding them but only when you do the research on them do you realise the hidden gem The Galapagos Islands really are.
I have added a link for you below with all of the prices for you depending on which particular grade of cabin you book. Please call me on 0804086114 or Email me at Hollyc@cruise.co.uk for any further information or availability.
“>Galapagos Prices March 2019