5* Galapagos Expedition

Explore the legendary Galapagos Islands from the comfort of the intimate 5* Celebrity Xperience. The inspiration for Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, the Galapagos host an incredible array of extraordinary wildlife; on land, sea and air!

This stunning ten night holiday features the seven-night 5* cruise of the Galapagos, two nights in a 5-star hotel pre-cruise in Quito, Ecuador, with a guided city tour, and one night in hotel post-cruise in Quito.

DESTINATION Galapagos, Ecuador
FROM Dublin / Ecuador
DATE January – March 2018
DURATION 10 Nights
PRICE From €7,789 pp

Step aboard our newly refurbished, mid-sized Celebrity Xperience for a vacation where absolutely nothing is middle-of-the-road. With 24 stylish staterooms – each featuring an ocean view and detailed extras that make a big difference – you’ll find it easy to unwind and get to know your fellow travellers.

As part of Celebrity’s new Xperiential Travel program, you’ll have the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the wildlife inhabiting the Galapagos Islands, and you’ll get an in-depth introduction to the people who live in the communities of the islands. You’ll learn about their way of life in this incredible archipelago while helping companies and associations in their efforts to conserve and advance the way of life there. You’ll experience farming and fishing – all in a responsible way. You’ll get to know the Galapagos, and help make it a better place like few people ever do.

Flight Times:

OUTBOUND Indirect TBA
RETURN Indirect TBA

Northern-Map

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Quito, Ecuador:   5* Hotel Overnight.

After your flight to Ecuador, you will be transferred to the 5* hotel for your two-night stay before your cruise.

A capital city high in the Andes, Quito is dramatically situated, hemmed in by mountain peaks whose greenery is concealed by grey afternoon mist. Modern apartment buildings and modest concrete homes creep partway up their slopes and busy commercial thoroughfares lined with shops and choked with traffic turn into subdued neighbourhoods on Sundays. Warm and relaxed, traditional Ecuadorian Sierra culture – overflowing market stands, shamanistic healers, fourth-generation hatmakers – mix with a vibrant and sophisticated culinary and nightlife scene.

The city’s crown jewel is its ‘Old Town,’ a Unesco World Heritage Site packed with colonial monuments and architectural treasures. No sterile museum mile, everyday life pulses along its handsomely restored blocks with 17th-century facades, picturesque plazas and magnificent art-filled churches. Travellers, and many locals too, head to the ‘gringolandia’ of the Mariscal, a compact area of guesthouses, travel agencies, ethnic eateries and teeming bars.

Day 3: Baltra & Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island:

After your flight to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands you will be transferred to the port to board the 5* Celebrity Xperience.

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 and where you will meet the ship. From the airport, it is just a short bus and Zodiac ride to the ship.

A Zodiac ride into Black Turtle Cove, one of the most beautiful sites in the Galapagos, takes us through a complex maze of tranquil saltwater inlets surrounded by mangroves. Once inside the cove, we’ll quietly explore the area looking for sea turtles, several species of rays, and sharks. It is also a nesting site for brown pelicans, egrets, and herons. Excursion options: Zodiac.

Day 4: Rabida Island & Egas Port, Santiago Island:

A small island south of Santiago, Rabida is best known for its amazingly red sand and eroded volcanic landscape. A nesting colony of pelicans makes its home here, along with sea lions, finches, mockingbirds, Galapagos Hawks, and some seabirds. With good conditions, the snorkelling can be excellent. Excursion options: Zodiac, walk, swim, kayak and snorkel.

With its black sand beach, coastal tide pools, and blue-water grottos, this stop offers a wonderful taste of the Galapagos and the opportunity to see shorebirds, Galapagos Hawks, sea lions, marine iguanas, and Galapagos fur seals. Sea lions, colourful tropical fish, and sea turtles are often seen while snorkelling here (conditions permitting). Excursion options: Walk, swimming, snorkel.

Day 5: Tagus Cove, Isabela Island & 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. Excursion options: Walk, snorkel, hike.

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. Excursion options: Walk, hike, snorkel, swim.

Day 6: Urvina Bay, Isabela Island & Vicente Roca Point, 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. Excursion options: Walk, hike, snorkel, swim.

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. Excursion options: Zodiac, deep water snorkel. 

Day 7: Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island:

This is the main population centre of the islands, and home to the National Park Service tortoise breeding centre and the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the tortoise-breeding centre and walk through the Charles Darwin Research Station. In addition, you can also take a bus ride to the highlands to observe giant tortoises in the wild and walk through a lava tunnel. Optional time for shopping will be available. Excursion options: Tortoise-breeding Center/Charles Darwin Center, Highlands.

Day 8: El Barranco, Genovesa Island & Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island:

El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, named for Prince Philip who visited Galapagos 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. You will see Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and storm petrels. Lucky visitors with keen eyes may catch a glimpse of a Short-eared lava owl stalking petrel along the island’s eastern cliffs. Excursion options: Hike, zodiac, deep water snorkel.

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. Snorkelling 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 9: Bartolomé Island & Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island

Bartolomé Island hosts one of the region’s most often photographed views and a spectacular geologic setting. It’s barren moon-like volcanic landscapes, spatter cones, and pinnacle rock makes for a unique stop. It is also home to the endemic Galapagos penguin and provides an excellent opportunity for snorkelling. Excursion options include a hike up some 368 stairs “To the Top” of the volcano, a Zodiac ride, and an optional beach swim or snorkel. Excursion options: Hike, swim, beach and snorkel.

Dragon Hill, or “Cerro Dragon,” is named after its population of land iguanas. The site offers a beautiful view of the landscape and two small brackish lagoons where flamingos and other shore birds occasionally feed. Along the trail, we’ll cross a beautiful “white forest” of Palo Santo (incense) trees and Galapagos cotton plants. Excursion options: Walk and swim.

Day 10: Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island & Baltra: 

Las Bachas Beach is located in the north of Santa Cruz Island. Its soft, white sand is derived from decomposed coral, making it a favourite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind the beach, there is a small brackish lagoon, where it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. Excursion options: Walk and Swim.

Your cruise comes to an end in Baltra. Once you have disembarked you will be transferred to the airport transfer for flight to Quito.

Day 11: Quito, Ecuador:

Following your overnight stay in the 5* hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your overnight flights back to Ireland.

2-nights in the 5* JW Marriott Hotel in Quito hotel pre-cruise.

7-nights on board the 5* Celebrity Xperience.

1-night in the 5* JW Marriott Hotel in Quito hotel pre-cruise.

 

5* Celebrity Xperience

Step aboard our newly refurbished, mid-sized Celebrity Xperience for a vacation where absolutely nothing is middle-of-the-road. With 24 stylish staterooms—each featuring an ocean view and detailed extras that make a big difference—you’ll find it easy to unwind and get to know your fellow travellers.

All Staterooms feature:
• Two lower beds, convertible to king
• Dual voltage 110/220 AC
• Plentiful storage space in your bathroom and wardrobe
• Flat screen TV
• Direct-dial telephone
• Individual safe
• Desk
• Thermostat-controlled air conditioning
• Private refrigerator
• Wi Fi
• Room service (breakfast, lunch, and dinner available upon request)
• Luggage delivery at boarding
• Laundry service*
• Choice of soft or firm mattress
• Duvet cover
• Pillow menu
• 300 thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton linens
• Hair dryer
• Complimentary use of premium bathrobes
• Complimentary beach towel service
• Binoculars for use and available for purchase
• Complimentary use of snorkel equipment and wetsuits

to follow

Dates & Prices

DATE PRICE STATEROOM
11 January 2018 €7,789 Deluxe Oceanview
Stateroom
Book Now
08 March 2018 €7,799 Deluxe Oceanview
Stateroom
Book Now

Stateroom upgrades available (call for details)
Alternative dates available (call for details)

Price inclusions

  • Return flights from Dublin to Galapagos
  • All transfers airport / hotel / port
  • 2 nights pre-cruise in Quito, Ecuador, 5-star hotel with breakfast
  • 7 nights on board 5-star Celebrity Xperience based on two sharing
  • 1 night post-cruise in Quito, Ecuador, 5-star hotel with breakfast
  • Fine Dining on a Full Board basis while onboard
  • All Inclusive Drinks on board
  • Shore excursions included
  • Snorkelling equipment provided
  • One check-in bag of 20kg per person
  • Taxes and gratuities

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Non-refundable or transferable booking deposit of 10%
  • 2% surcharge if balance is paid by credit card
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • *Gratuities of $12.50 pp per day are included in the above price
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.