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zSilversea Expeditions to the Galapagos - North & Central Islands

11 days

Never more than 16 guests. Guaranteed.

Small Group Discoveries

  • Set sail aboard the newest and most luxurious ship... The ultimate Silver Galapagos features oceanview suites, butler service, complimentary wine and spirits throughout the ship and the finest naturalists.
  • Delight in Quito's best luxury hotel, set in a restored mansion overlooking historic Plaza San Francisco.
  • Our extensive Small Group sightseeing and a lunch in historic La Ronda bring Colonial Quito to life.
  • With no more than 16 guests in your landing party, you'll enjoy a comfortable pace and unforgettable up-close encounters with wildlife.

Show all itinerary details

Day
1

Welcome to Quito c

Please note: 2014 Itinerary begins with our Feb 13, 2014 departure.

Transfer to the luxurious boutique hotel, Casa Gangotena.

Day
2

Discover Quito's Colonial splendor

This morning’s city sightseeing begins in the heart of the capital’s historic San Juan neighborhood. At a popular local pastry shop, in business for more than 40 years, you’ll savor a cup of Ecuadorian hot chocolate and a quesadilla, a traditional cake-like sweet made from flour, eggs and cheese. Focusing on Quito’s handsome Colonial-era architecture, your exploration continues with some of the city’s most significant churches and monuments, including the Church of the Compania of Jesus and the Church of San Francisco. A pleasant guided stroll brings you next to La Ronda, home to artisan workshops specializing in traditional crafts including textiles, hats and candles. After lunch in one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants here, you will be escorted back to your hotel in the mid-afternoon. If you prefer, you can be dropped off at the Central Bank Museum to explore its highly regarded collection on your own. Meals B,L

Day
3

Fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos c

Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Baltra Island where your deluxe ship awaits. Tonight's dinner on board is accompanied by complimentary wine and beverages. Then join our engaging naturalists for the first of your informative shipboard briefings - a nightly introduction to the myriad wonders that await you the following day. Meals B,L,D 

Day
4

Genovesa Island

With little rainfall, Genovesa Island’s vegetation is unique and characteristic of an arid environment. Except for Marine iguanas, reptiles are few – but the island is a paradise for sea birds including large colonies of red-footed boobies, masked boobies, Galapagos storm petrals and great frigate birds. With hardly any “introduced” species, Genovesa Island is one of the most pristine in all of the Galapagos. Your morning excursion on Genovesa finds you at Darwin Bay on the southern side of the island. This bay offers excellent swimming and snorkelings, nd you’ll have a good chance of seeing Hammerhead sharks. In the afternoon you’ll explore the El Barranco landing site. Meals B,L,D

Day
5

Ashore on North Seymour and Santa Cruz Islands

After breakfast, make a dry landing on North Seymour Island, home to sea lions and 2 species of frigate birds.  A pleasant hike to the interior of this flat island brings you to a small forest with Prickly Pear cactus and numerous nesting sites of Blue-footed boobies After hiking, there is time for swimming and snorkeling.  In the afternoon we come ashore on the east coast of Santiago Island in Bahia Sullivan on a white coral sand beach great for swimming and snorkeling, and with a trail over a lava field that flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galápagos while observing its wildlife. Meals B,L,D

Day
6

Rabida and Santa Cruz Islands

This morning’s shore expedition finds you on one of the most volcanically varied islands in the archipelago.  After landing on a quiet maroon-colored beach, which takes its distinctive hue from the high iron content of the island’s ancient lava flows, you’ll embark with your naturalist for a guided walk along a short inland trail. Along the way, you can expect to encounter Brown Pelicans nesting in the Salt Brush behind the beach as well as other birds including Galapagos Doves, Yellow Warblers, Pintail Ducks and Flamingos.  There’s time to swim and snorkel with the sea lions before returning to the ship.  During lunch onboard, your ship will sail to Santa Cruz Island.  Depending on landing conditions, you’ll make an afternoon landing at Bahia Ballena (Whale Bay) , the site of one of the oldest former whaling camps in the Galapagos! The Bay’s unusual green-hued beach is due to a high volume of Olivine Crystals. Lead by your sharp-eyed naturalist, your guided walk offers the opportunity to spot marine Iguanas, Galapagos Hawks, Sea Lions and Frigate Birds. Or you’ll sail to Eden Islet for snorkeling, kayaking and zodiac rides.  Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone, and an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galapagos Islands.    Meals B,L,D

Day
7

Two Landings on San Cristobal Island

Go ashore this morning to San Cristobal and visit the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado.  Over-hunting and competition with introduced animals has left the Galapagos Giant Tortoise close to extinction. Nonetheless, since the late 1950s, the tenacious work of the Galápagos National Park Service park rangers and the scientists of the Charles Darwin Research Station have been bringing those numbers back. We’ll see these ancient reptiles and their babies, and learn more about current conservation efforts at the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado. Breeding and rearing endemic animals in captivity is part of a much broader conservation program aimed at restoring and protecting the Galapagos Islands' natural biodiversity. After lunch onboard, your captain will chart a course for Punta Pitt. San Cristóbal is one of the oldest islands in Galápagos and the well-eroded landscape of Punta Pitt creates a dramatic landscape. We may see all three species of boobies here: red, blue and Nazca, as well as both the Great and Magnificent Frigate Bird. After a wet landing on an olivine beach where sea lions doze, we’ll climb up a ravine to view one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago. San Cristóbal or Chatham Lava Lizards guide our way, while Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies fly overhead.  Meals B,L,D

Day
8

Morning and Afternoon Landings on Espanola Island

Espanola is the oldest island in the Galapagos.  Call upon Gardner Bay where your sharp-eyed guide will point out a wide variety of birds and animals including Hood mockingbirds and the Galapagos hawk. You’ll have the opportunity here to swim and snorkel with the sea lions. In the afternoon, go ashore at Punta Suarez, where a rocky coastline is home to Nazca boobies and colored marine iguanas. Meals B,L,D

Day
9

Puerto Ayora Town and Plazas Island

We’ll cruise overnight to Santa Cruz, an island in the central part of the archipelago with the largest human population. The headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station are located in the small town of Puerto Ayora.  At the breeding and rearing center, we’ll see tortoises of both morphotypes: dome-shaped and saddle-backed, as well as baby Giant Tortoises up to 5 years old that are waiting to be returned to their home island. There’s also an exhibit of Galápagos land iguanas; their numbers were once diminished due to introduced animals such as dogs and cats, but they have had a comeback thanks to the efforts of the National Park Service and Research Station. Towards the end of the morning, there will be time to do some sightseeing and shopping in town. After lunch, go ashore on Plazas Island for up-close encounters with Sally Lightfoot crabs, land iguanas and maybe even the magnificent frigate bird. Meals B,L,D

Day
10

Disembark on Baltra Island and fly to Guayaquil

Disembark your ship on Baltra Island and transfer to the airport for your included flight back to the mainland to the bustling Pacific port of Guayaquil. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to the deluxe Hilton Colon Hotel where the balance of your time is free. Meals B

Day
11

Farewell to Ecuador

Your voyage with us ends this morning. Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

Ecuador Amazon Lodge

Explore Ecuador’s largest tract of Amazon jungle from the Napo Wildlife Center, our 5-star eco-lodge in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Includes roundtrip air from Quito and native-guided rainforest excursions.

Cuenca

Fly roundtrip from Quito to this handsome Colonial-era town set high in Ecuador’s southern Andes. Enjoy a city tour and then personalize your stay with a second countryside excursion of your choice.

MapSearch

Prices are per person, land only. We offer air on LAN. Add extra nights.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

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