Galapagos Islands Tours

Galapagos Islands

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The Galápagos aboard M/V Evolution

Baltra to San Cristóbal: 8 Days/7 Nights

Highlights: Visit ONE UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Departure Dates:

June 2014: June 14-21, June 28-July 5
July 2014: July 12-July 19, July 26-August 2
August 2014: August 9-16, August 23-30
September 2014: September 6-13, September 20-27
October 2014: October 4-11, October 18-25
November 2014: November 1-8, November 15-22, November 29-December 6
December 2014: December 13-20, December 27-January 3, 2015 

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – SATURDAY
Quito or Guayaquil / Baltra – Galapagos
Today we fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos in the morning. Flight time is approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival we board M/V Evolution where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor sites: Whaler Bay, a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill and Eden Islet, home to a great variety of seabirds and marine iguanas and also a great snorkeling site. After these visits we get ready for our welcome cocktail and first briefing before continuing to dinner. (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 2 – SUNDAY
AM: Isabela Island : Punta Vicente Roca
PM: Fernandina Island : Punta Espinosa
In the morning we visit Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. We will have a chance to see colorful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water. Afternoon visit to Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently (most recently in May 2005). We visit Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land, where a number of unique species, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, herons, egrets and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity. (B, L, D)

DAY 3 – MONDAY
AM: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay
PM: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove
Urbina Bay is directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). We walk on a stretch of three miles (5 km) of the marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkeling amongst marine creatures, or just relaxing on shore. In the afternoon we visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone, and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – TUESDAY
AM: Bartolome Island : Pinnacle Rock
PM: Santiago Island : Sullivan Bay
In the morning we visit Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where we will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. We will also hike a trail to Bartolome’s summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht. Afternoon visit to Sullivan Bay, one of the most outstanding volcanic sites in the Galapagos. In the nearly 100 years since the Sullivan Bay Flow, only a few plants like Mollugo and Lava cacti have managed to take root in this harsh environment. Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools of Sullivan Bay. After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coraline beaches. (B, L, D)

DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island: Las Bachas Beach
PM: Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill
In the morning we visit Las Bachas, a sandy white-coral beach that is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles. The name Bachas refers to the remains of landing craft left here at the end of WWII. Ashore marine iguanas mingle with flamingos and other wading birds in another of the many super saline lagoons found in the Galapagos. Afternoon visit to Dragon Hill, named for the large number of land iguanas that frequent the area, and an important nesting site for iguanas reintroduced by the Charles Darwin Research Center. A short walk from the beach leads to a hypersalinic (saltier than the ocean) lagoon that is frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds. From here, they will pass through a forest of the endemic Scalesia tree. There are only 400 specimens of the Scalesia tree left in the world. Past the forest, hike up Dragon Hill for impressive views of the bay. (B, L, D)

DAY 6 – THURSDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island : Charles Darwin Station
PM: Santa Cruz: Highlands, Lava Tubes, Pit Craters
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. In the afternoon we are off to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild, walk through lava tubes and see the Gemelos, twin collapsed craters. (B, L, D)

DAY 7 – FRIDAY
AM: Española Island (Hood): Punta Suarez
PM: Española Island (Hood): Gardner Bay
Hood is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and number of fauna that inhabit the island. In the morning we visit Punta Suarez where you will witness the largest variety of marine iguanas in the Galapagos, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff’s edge, as well as the famous waved albatross. In the afternoon we visit Gardner Bay, a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals. (B, L, D)

DAY 8 – SATURDAY
AM: San Cristobal: Interpretation Centre
Late AM: Depart for mainland Ecuador
Today our Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Evolution and her crew we pay a visit to the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre on San Cristobal Island. The Centre presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna and your naturalist will use the exhibits to provide an illustrated overview of life on the Islands. A short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both “magnificent-frigates” and “great-frigates” can be seen in the same colony. Next we head to the airport for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (B)

RATES & ACCOMMODATIONS

CATEGORY2014 RATES
MASTER SUITE A1PLEASE CALL
SUITES A2 & A3PLEASE CALL
PREMIUM STATEROOMS C1-C3 & C5-C9PLEASE CALL
DELUXE ROOMS C4 & D1-D4PLEASE CALL

PROGRAM INCLUSIONS

• Accommodations for 7 nights / 8 days
• All meals onboard
• All non-alcoholic beverages consumed throughout the cruise
• All guided services throughout the cruise
• Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel & fins)
• Wetsuits
• Fuel & Air Tax ($100)
• Galapagos Park Entrance Fee ($100 adults, $50 children)
• INGALA Transit Cards ($10)
• Gratuities & Tips to Crew and Staff ($105)

Not included in the prices above: 

• Bar consumption onboard
• Roundtrip Galapagos Airfare (Starts at $400)
* Travelers 11 and under at the time of travel are considered children

Note:
Air tickets, National Park fee and fuel surcharge can be subject to change without prior notice.

Additional charges or discounts:

  • Single Supplement*: 75% Surcharge (if passenger is not willing to share cabin)
  • Children 11 yrs and under: 30% discount off our published rates (not applicable for departures on or between Christmas, New Years and Easter)
  • Easter, Christmas and New Year’s weeks have a surcharge of $400 per person
  • ** Supplements & surcharges can be subject to change with prior notice. 

EvolutionFloorPlans.001

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR See Photo Gallery

The Galápagos aboard M/V Evolution

San Cristóbal to Baltra: 8 Days/7 Nights

Highlights: Visit THREE UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Quito + Cuence + Galapagos Island Cruise

Departure Dates:

April 2014: April 12-19, April 26-May 3
May 2014: May 10-17, May 24-31
June 2014: June 7-14, June 21-28
July 2014: July 5-12, July 29-26
August 2014: August 2-9, August 16-23, August 30-September 6
September 2014: September 13-20, September 27-October 4
October 2014: October 11-18, October 25-November 1
November 2014: November 8-15, November 22-29
December 2014: December 6-13, December 20-27

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – SATURDAY
Quito or Guayaquil / San Cristobal – Galapagos

Today we fly to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos in the morning. Flight time is approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival we board M/V Evolution where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor sites: Ochoa Beach, a beautiful white coral sand beach next to a turquoise bay, and home to a small colony of sea lions. We end our day at Kicker Rock, a spectacular rock formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is split, forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching. After these visits we get ready for our welcome cocktail and first briefing before continuing to dinner. (L, D)

DAY 2 – SUNDAY
AM: South Plaza Island
PM: Punta Carrion / Daphne Island
In the morning we visit South Plaza Island and its land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed. We will see swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays. Early afternoon snorkeling at Punta Carrion followed by a visit to Daphne Island. The geology of this island is extremely interesting as it is essentially one large tuff cone – a giant pile of compressed volcanic ash shaped like a cone. (B, L, D)

DAY 3 – MONDAY
AM: Chinese Hat Islet
PM: Santiago Island: James Bay
Morning visit to Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone; it has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Late morning snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove. Afternoon visit to James Bay, where we land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes, which are home to sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas and tropical fish. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY
AM: Genovesa (Tower) Island: Darwin Bay
PM: Tower Island: Prince Phillip’s Steps
Tower Island could serve as a film set for a secret submarine base! The southwestern part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the outer edges of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galapagos archipelago. It is also known as “Bird Island,” a name it lives up to in a spectacular way! (B, L, D)

DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY
AM: North Seymour Island
PM: Santa Fe Island
Morning visit to North Seymour Island which is teaming with wildlife! Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline are home to swallow-tailed gulls. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, where a trail will take us to see sea lions, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, pelicans, magnificent frigate birds and land iguanas. Afternoon visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkeling – with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus. (B, L, D)

DAY 6 – THURSDAY
AM: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay / Baronesse Overlook
PM: Floreana Island: Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown
Floreana has had a colorful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts, and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists—a Baroness among them—who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in mystery and death. We visit Post Office Bay, where in 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island‘s Post Office, to send letters home on passing ships. The tradition continues to this day, simply by dropping a post card into the barrel without a stamp. Afternoon visit to Punta Cormorant which offers two highly contrasting beaches; a green-olivine beach and an iron-red beach. Between the two beaches is a salt lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts and other wading birds. Late afternoon snorkeling at Devil’s Crown, which is home to a myriad of marine species including a variety of corals, pencil sea urchin, wrasses, angelfish and amberjacks – making for some of the best snorkeling in the Galapagos. (B, L, D)

DAY 7 – FRIDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island : Charles Darwin Research Station
PM: Santa Cruz: Highland’s Tortoise Reserve, Lava Tubes, Craters
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. Here we will find Lonesome George, the last of his particular race of tortoise – and who may be 150 years old! Afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild. (B, L, D)

DAY 8 – SATURDAY
AM: 
Santa Cruz Island : Black Turtle Cove
Late AM: Baltra Island: Depart for mainland Ecuador
Today our Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Evolution and her crew we pay a visit to Black Turtle Cove, a beautiful mangrove estuary where we quietly drift in our panga to see spotted eagle rays, diamond shaped mustard rays, white-tipped reef sharks, pacific green sea turtles and a large variety of shore birds. Next we head to Baltra Island airport for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (B)

RATES & ACCOMMODATIONS

CATEGORY2014 RATES
MASTER SUITE A1PLEASE CALL
SUITES A2 & A3PLEASE CALL
PREMIUM STATEROOMS C1-C3 & C5-C9PLEASE CALL
DELUXE ROOMS C4 & D1-D4PLEASE CALL

PROGRAM INCLUSIONS

• Accommodations for 7 nights / 8 days
• All meals onboard
• All non-alcoholic beverages consumed throughout the cruise
• All guided services throughout the cruise
• Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel & fins)
• Wetsuits
• Fuel & Air Tax ($100)
• Galapagos Park Entrance Fee ($100 adults, $50 children)
• INGALA Transit Cards ($10)
• Gratuities & Tips to Crew and Staff ($105)

Not included in the prices above: 

• Bar consumption onboard
• Roundtrip Galapagos Airfare (Starts at $400)
* Travelers 11 and under at the time of travel are considered children

Note:
Air tickets, National Park fee and fuel surcharge can be subject to change without prior notice.

Additional charges or discounts:

  • Single Supplement*: 75% Surcharge (if passenger is not willing to share cabin)
  • Children 11 yrs and under: 30% discount off our published rates (not applicable for departures on or between Christmas, New Years and Easter)
  • Easter, Christmas and New Year’s weeks have a surcharge of $400 per person
  • ** Supplements & surcharges can be subject to change with prior notice.

EvolutionFloorPlans.001

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR See Photo Gallery

The Galápagos aboard M/Y Grace

Baltra to San Cristóbal: 8 Days/7 Nights

Highlights: Visit THREE UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Quito + Cuence + Galapagos Island Cruise

Departure Dates:

May 2014: May 3-10, May 17-24, May 31-June 7
June 2014: June 14-21, June 28-July 5
July 2014: July 12-July 19, July 26-August 2
August 2014: August 9-16, August 23-30
September 2014: September 6-13, September 20-27
October 2014: October 4-11, October 18-25
November 2014: November 1-8, November 15-22, November 29-December 6
December 2014: December 13-20, December 27-January 3, 2015 

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – SATURDAY
Quito or Guayaquil / Galapagos

This morning we fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos. Flight time is approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival we board M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor site: Chinese Hat. 

Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone, has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Late afternoon snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.

After this visit you have time for a shower as we get ready for our welcome cocktail and our first formal briefing before dinner. (L, D)

DAY 2 – SUNDAY
AM: Santa Fe Island
PM: South Plaza Island
Morning visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkeling – with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and get a glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus. In the afternoon we visit South Plaza Island and its land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed. We will see swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds, frigatebirds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays. (B, L, D)

DAY 3 – MONDAY
AM: Genovesa Tower Island: Prince Phillip’s Steps
PM: Tower Island: Darwin Bay
Tower Island could serve as a film set for a secret submarine base! The southwestern part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the outer edges of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galapagos archipelago. It is also known as “Bird Island,” a name it lives up to in a spectacular way! (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY
AM: Fernandina Island: Punta Espinosa
PM: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay
In the morning we visit Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently (most recently in May 2005). We visit Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land, where a number of unique species, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, herons, egrets and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity. Afternoon visit to Urbina Bay, directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). We walk on a stretch of three miles (5 km) of the marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkeling amongst marine creatures, or just relaxing on shore.(B, L, D)

DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY
AM: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove
PM: Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca
Morning visit to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone, and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes. In the afternoon we head north to Punta Vicente Roca. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. We will have a chance to see colorful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water. This is also a great spot to take an interesting panga ride to spot wildlife along the shores and cliffs. (B, L, D)

DAY 6 – THURSDAY
AM: Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach or Buccaneer’s Cove
PM: Santiago Island: James Bay
Morning visit to Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone; it has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Late morning snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove. Afternoon visit to James Bay, where we land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes, which are home to sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas and tropical fish. Snorkeling in the late afternoon to at one of the best sites on the islands to see Green Sea Turtles and Galapagos Penguins swimming. (B, L, D)

DAY 7 – FRIDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station
PM: Santa Cruz: Highland’s Tortoise Reserve, Lava Tubes, Craters
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. Afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild. (B, L, D)

DAY 8 – SATURDAY
AM: San Cristobal: Interpretation Centre
Late AM: Depart for mainland Ecuador
Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Grace we visit the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre that presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna. From the Centre, a short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both “magnificent-frigates” and “great-frigates” can be seen in the same colony. Next we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (B)

RATES & ACCOMMODATIONS

CATEGORY2014 RATES
MASTER SUITES A1 & A4PLEASE CALL
TWIN SUITES A2 & A3PLEASE CALL
PREMIUM STATEROOMS C1 & C2PLEASE CALL
PREMIUM STATEROOMS C3, C4 & C5PLEASE CALL

PROGRAM INCLUSIONS

• Accommodations for 7 nights / 8 days
• All meals onboard
• All non-alcoholic beverages consumed throughout the cruise
• All guided services throughout the cruise
• Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel & fins)
• Wetsuits
• Fuel & Air Tax ($100)
• Galapagos Park Entrance Fee ($100 adults, $50 children)
• INGALA Transit Cards ($10)
• Gratuities & Tips to Crew and Staff ($105)

Not included in the prices above: 

• Bar consumption onboard
• Roundtrip Galapagos Airfare (Starts at $400)
* Travelers 11 and under at the time of travel are considered children

Note:
Air tickets, National Park fee and fuel surcharge can be subject to change without prior notice.

Additional charges or discounts:

  • Single Supplement*: 75% Surcharge (if passenger is not willing to share cabin)
  • Children 11 yrs and under: 30% discount off our published rates (not applicable for departures on or between Christmas, New Years and Easter)
  • Easter, Christmas and New Year’s weeks have a surcharge of $400 per person
  • ** Supplements & surcharges can be subject to change with prior notice.

M/Y Grace Floor Plans

GraceFloorPlan.001

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR See Photo Gallery

The Galápagos aboard M/Y Grace

San Cristóbal to Baltra: 8 Days/7 Nights

Highlights: Visit THREE UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Quito + Cuence + Galapagos Island Cruise

Departure Dates:

April 2014: April 12-19, April 26-May 3
May 2014: May 10-17, May 24-31
June 2014: June 7-14, June 21-28
July 2014: July 5-12, July 29-26
August 2014: August 2-9, August 16-23, August 30-September 6
September 2014: September 13-20, September 27-October 4
October 2014: October 11-18, October 25-November 1
November 2014: November 8-15, November 22-29
December 2014: December 6-13, December 20-27 

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – SATURDAY
Quito or Guayaquil / Galapagos

This morning we fly to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. Flight time is approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival we board M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor sites: Lobos Beach and Kicker Rock.. 

Lobos Island, across a small channel off the coast of San Cristobal Island, lives up to its name of –Sea Lion Island– with its noisy population of frolicking and barking beasts. This is your first chance to share the water with a playful colony of the “wolves of the sea”. From lobos we head to Kicker Rock, a spectacular rock formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is split, forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching.

After this visit you have time for a shower as we get ready for our welcome cocktail and our first formal briefing before dinner. (L, D)

DAY 2 – SUNDAY
AM: Española Island (Hood): Punta Suarez
PM: Española Island (Hood): Gardner Bay
Hood is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and number of fauna that inhabit the island. In the morning we visit Punta Suarez where you will witness the largest variety of marine iguanas in the Galapagos, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff’s edge, as well as the famous waved albatross. In the afternoon we visit Gardner Bay, a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals. (B, L, D)

DAY 3 – MONDAY
AM: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay / Baroness Overlook
PM: Floreana Island: Cormorant Point & Champion Islet
Floreana has had a colorful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts, and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists—a Baroness among them—who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in mystery and death. We visit Post Office Bay, where in 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island‘s Post Office, to send letters home on passing ships. The tradition continues to this day, simply by dropping a post card into the barrel without a stamp. Late morning walk to the Baroness Overlook for some striking views of the scenery surrounding Floreana Island. In the afternoon we visit Cormorant Point which offers two highly contrasting beaches; a green-olivine beach and an iron-red beach. Between the two beaches is a salt lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts and other wading birds. In the late afternoon we head to the tiny islet known as Champion, considered one of the top snorkeling sites the Galapagos and offers prime underwater sea lion interactions. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – TUESDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill
PM: Santa Cruz Island : Highlands Tortoise Reserve
After a dry landing at Dragon Hill, we head up the beach to a trail that takes us to a hyper saline lagoon. This is a seasonal haunt for pink flamingos. You will notice that as we make our way from the coast toward the top of the hill, there is a transition from intertidal vegetation like mangroves to dry zone vegetation including Palo Santo cactus and the silvery leafed Palo Santo trees. Keep your eyes open for the famous Darwin’s Finches and Land iguanas in the bushes. The lava flows that reach out from the shore from Dragon Hill form black reefs where we will enjoy some excellent snorkeling late in the morning. In the afternoon we are off to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild, walk through lava tubes and see the Gemelos, twin collapsed craters. (B, L, D)

DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island: Las Bachas Beach
PM: Chinese Hat Islet
In the morning we visit Las Bachas, a sandy white-coral beach that is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles. The name Bachas refers to the remains of landing craft left here at the end of WWII. Ashore marine iguanas mingle with flamingos and other wading birds in another of the many super saline lagoons found in the Galapagos. In the afternoon we head north to Chinese Hat Islet, named for the resemblance its shape has to a traditional Chinese Coolie’s hat. Our next visitor’s site is off limits to larger groups and day boats, making it one of the least visited sites in the central islands. Our landing site is a tiny crescent shaped cove with sandy white beach cradled between black lava rocks and the crystal turquoise waters of the channel. A sea lion colony likes to rest on the warm white sands, while the rockier sections of the coast are alive with fiery colored sally lightfoot crabs. Marine iguanas sun themselves atop the rocks after foraging for algae in the channel. (B, L, D)

DAY 6 – THURSDAY
AM
: Rabida (Jervis) Island
PM: Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
Rabida Island, also commonly known by its English name of Jervis Island, is known for its unique reddish-maroon terrain as a result of the oxidation of lava. It is home to large populations of sea lions, pelicans, flamingoes, as well as a thick forest of Palo Santo trees. A yellow saltwater lagoon is found behind the reddish beach, where vast numbers of brightly colored pink flamingoes can be seen lazying around male sea lions that have been ousted from their groups. Late morning snorkeling opportunity along the rocks with sea lions and tropical fish. Afternoon visit to Sullivan Bay, one of the most outstanding volcanic sites in the Galapagos. In the nearly 100 years since the Sullivan Bay Flow, only a few plants like Mollugo and Lava cacti have managed to take root in this harsh environment. Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools of Sullivan Bay. After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coraline beaches. (B, L, D)

DAY 7 – FRIDAY
AM: Bartolome Island: Pinnacle Rock
PM: North Seymour Island
In the morning we visit Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where we will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. We will also hike a trail to Bartolome’s summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht. Afternoon visit to North Seymour, a good nesting site for frigate birds and Blue-footed boobies. The Island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. This island is teaming with life! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana; blue-footed booby nests sit beside the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. (B, L, D)

DAY 8 – SATURDAY
AM: Mosquera Islet
Late AM: Depart for mainland Ecuador from Baltra Island
Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Grace we visit Mosquera Islet, located between North Seymour and Baltra. It is one of the smallest Islands resulting from an uplift of sand, made up of coral reefs and rocks. It boasts one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos archipelago. There are occasional reports of Orca whales seen praying on the sea lion colony. It is also home to many sea birds which is an excellent site for observing shorebirds. Next we go to the airport for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (B)

2013 RATES & ACCOMMODATIONS

CATEGORY2014 RATES
MASTER SUITES A1 & A4PLEASE CALL
TWIN SUITES A2 & A3PLEASE CALL
PREMIUM STATEROOMS C1 & C2PLEASE CALL
PREMIUM STATEROOMS C3, C4 & C5PLEASE CALL

PROGRAM INCLUSIONS

• Accommodations for 7 nights / 8 days
• All meals onboard
• All non-alcoholic beverages consumed throughout the cruise
• All guided services throughout the cruise
• Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel & fins)
• Wetsuits
• Fuel & Air Tax ($100)
• Galapagos Park Entrance Fee ($100 adults, $50 children)
• INGALA Transit Cards ($10)
• Gratuities & Tips to Crew and Staff ($105)

Not included in the prices above: 

• Bar consumption onboard
• Roundtrip Galapagos Airfare (Starts at $400)
* Travelers 11 and under at the time of travel are considered children

Note:
Air tickets, National Park fee and fuel surcharge can be subject to change without prior notice.

Additional charges or discounts:

  • Single Supplement*: 75% Surcharge (if passenger is not willing to share cabin)
  • Children 11 yrs and under: 30% discount off our published rates (not applicable for departures on or between Christmas, New Years and Easter)
  • Easter, Christmas and New Year’s weeks have a surcharge of $400 per person
  • ** Supplements & surcharges can be subject to change with prior notice.

GraceFloorPlan.001

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR See Photo Gallery

ECU1 UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Quito

3 Days/2 Nights

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Quito – UNESCO’s first World Heritage City (1978). Our English speaking guide will meet you at the arrival hall outside immigration and escort you to your hotel – Anahi Boutique Hotel; Mansion de l’Angel.; Boutique Hotel Cafe Cultura; Casa Aliso.

Day 2 – Tour historic Quito. Today you will visit Historic Quito and many of its famous sites and buildings, then visit the “Center of the World” at the equator. You will see much of the long, narrow city along the way. Tonight enjoy a sparkling “city lights” welcome dinner.

Day 3 – After breakfast, your guide will accompany you to the airport to board your flight to the Galapagos Islands, Coca, or other destination. (B)

ECU2 Historic Quito and Otavalo

5 Days/4 Nights

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – ARRIVE QUITO – UNESCO’s first World Heritage City (1978). Our English speaking guide will meet you outside immigration in the arrival hall. Transfer to ANAHI  Boutique Hotel (2 nights).

Day 2 – HISTORIC QUITO – MUSEUM TOURS  – After breakfast at your hotel, you will visit Historic Quito including several historic buildings. Enjoy lunch on your own. Explore more of this beautiful town center before returning to your hotel to relax and freshen up. Tonight enjoy a sparkling “city lights” welcome dinner. (B, D) (SEE QUITO TOUR DETAIL)

Day 3 –   EQUATOR – ROSE FARM – Today you will cross the equator. You will see much of the long, narrow city along the way. You will follow the Pan-American Highway heading north into the Andean mountain range, and the Imbabura Province. You will have lunch in a historic hacienda built on the site of a 15th century Jesuit mission, where the original chapel still stands. After lunch, tour one of the largest rose farms of Ecuador. Continue to your overnight accommodations at a charming, 300-year old historic landmark, Hacienda Cusin (2 nights).  Before dinner, enjoy a stroll through the fabulous gardens, filled with thousands of beautiful flowers and plants. Retire to your room to be warmed by the fireplace which was lit for you. (B, L, D)

Day 4 – OTAVALO – Tour to Otavalo to visit one of South America’s largest handicraft markets, and then to Peguche, one of the wealthiest towns in the Otavalo Valley. Enjoy lunch at the historic 300 year old Hacienda Pinsaqui. Visit the leather craft center of Cotacachi where you will find hundreds of leather stores selling all kinds of locally produced leather goods.  Return this afternoon to your cozy Hacienda room. (B, L, D)

Day 5 –  TRANSFER TO AIRPORT – After breakfast, transfer to Quito Airport for your flight to Galapagos Islands or Coca.

ECU3 Visit Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Quito and Cuenca

7 Days/6 Nights

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Quito – UNESCO’s first World Heritage City (1978). Our English speaking guide will meet you outside immigration in the arrival hall. Transfer to choice of hotel – Anahi Boutique Hotel; Mansion de l’Angel; Boutique Hotel Cafe Cultura; Casa Aliso.

Day 2 – Tour Historic Quito. You will visit Historic Quito and many of its famous sites and buildings. Tonight enjoy a sparkling “city lights” welcome dinner.

Day 3 – Today you will visit the “Center of the World” at the equator. You will see much of the long, narrow city along the way. (SEE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD TOUR DETAIL)

You will follow the Pan-American Highway heading north into the Andean mountain range, and the Imbabura Province, where you can admire the amazing landscape and views of several volcanoes. Guayllabamba is a very fertile river valley where exotic fruits such as avacados and chirimoyas grow.

You will make a stop in Cayambe, a town famous for the production of bizcochos using traditional wood ovens. Visit a bakery to see the production process and taste this local treat.

We will stay overnight at a charming, 300-year old historic landmark, Hacienda Cusin.  Before dinner, enjoy a stroll through the fabulous gardens, filled with thousands of beautiful flowers and plants. Retire to your room to be warmed by the fireplace which was lit for you. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – TOUR OTAVALO – Tour to Otavalo to visit one of South America’s largest handicraft markets, and then to Peguche, one of the wealthiest towns in the Otavalo Valley. The artisans here are renowned weavers, creating beautiful tapestries, rugs, blankets and clothing.

Enjoy lunch at the historic 300 year old Hacienda Pinsaqui.

Visit the leather craft center of Cotacachi where you will find hundreds of leather stores selling all kinds of locally produced leather goods.

Day 5 – Today you will visit one of Ecuador’s largest rose farms, exporting over 15 million roses a year. Then you will have a tour and lunch in the historic hacienda of the rose farm family. After lunch, transfer to the Airport Mariscal Sucre for a short flight to the historic colonial city of Cuenca, the second city in Ecuador designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will be met upon arrival by your English speaking guide. Transfer to your boutique hotel in the heart of this historic city. Dinner at the amazing TIESTOS Restaurant.  (B, L, D)

Day 6-  Enjoy an informative walking tour of Cuenca. Visit the public market, beautiful churches and cathedrals, charming streets. You will visit the world famous ”Panama” hat factory of Homero Ortego, so named because of their popularity with workers during the construction of the Panama Canal. Then to a local pottery artist, with a great panoramic view of the city. Transfer to airport. Fly to Guayaquil and transfer to Boutique Hotel Del Rio for a wonderful dinner and overight. (B, L, D)

Day 7 – After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will board your ship. Lunch will be served aboard the flight out of Guayaquil. (B,L,D)

ECU4 Visit Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Quito, Cuenca and Galápagos Islands with Ingapirca

8 Days/7 Nights

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Quito – UNESCO’s first World Heritage City (1978). Our English speaking guide will meet you outside immigration in the arrival hall. Transfer to choice of hotel – Anahi Boutique Hotel; Mansion de l’Angel; Boutique Hotel Cafe Cultura; Casa Aliso.

Day 2 – Tour Historic Quito. You will visit Historic Quito and many of its famous sites and buildings. This evening enjoy a very special welcome dinner with a sparkling view of Historic Quito and the illuminated historic buildings. (See Quito Tour Details) (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Today you will visit the “Center of the World” at the equator. You will see much of the long, narrow city along the way. (See Middle of the World Tour Details)

We will stay overnight at a charming, 300-year old historic landmark, Hacienda Cusin.  Before dinner, enjoy a stroll through the fabulous gardens, filled with thousands of beautiful flowers and plants. Retire to your room to be warmed by the fireplace which was lit for you. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – TOUR OTAVALO – Tour to Otavalo to visit one of South America’s largest handicraft markets, and then to Peguche, one of the wealthiest towns in the Otavalo Valley. The artisans here are renowned weavers, creating beautiful tapestries, rugs, blankets and clothing.

Enjoy lunch at the historic 300 year old Hacienda Pinsaqui.

Visit the leather craft center of Cotacachi where you will find hundreds of leather stores selling all kinds of locally produced leather goods. (See Otavalo Tour Details)

Day 5 – ROSE FARM – CUENCA – Today you will visit one of Ecuador’s largest rose farms, exporting over 15 million roses a year. Then you will have a tour and lunch in the historic hacienda of the rose farm family. After lunch transfer to Quito Airport for your flight to Cuenca, the second city in Ecuador designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (See Rose Farm Details)

Transfer to your Cuenca hotel, enjoy some free time and a wonderful dinner at Tiestos Restaurant.

Day 6-  Enjoy an informative walking tour of Cuenca. Visit the public market, beautiful churches and cathedrals, charming streets. You will visit the world famous ”Panama” hat factory of Homero Ortego, so named because of their popularity with workers during the construction of the Panama Canal. Then go to a local pottery artist, with a great panoramic view of the city. (See Cuenca Tour Details) Dinner on your own tonight. (B, L)

Day 7 – After Breakfast you will drive to Ingapirca, an Incan archeological site. These are the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. The most significant building is the temple of the sun, an elliptically shaped building constructed around a large rock. The building is constructed in the Incan way without mortar in most of the complex. The stones were carefully chiseled and fashioned to fit together perfectly. The temple of the sun was positioned so that on the solstices, at exactly the right time of day, sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway of the small chamber at the top of the temple. Most of this chamber has fallen down.

The Incas were not the first inhabitants of Ingapirca. It had long been settled by the Cañari indigenous people, who called it Hatun Cañar.

The castle-complex presents an Inca-Cañari origin. The objective of its construction is uncertain. The complex played an important role on military strategies as a fortress and provisions to troops on north Ecuador. A common criterion of archeologists states that the main objective for its construction was linked to cult of sun.

After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a scenic drive through the mountains down to the coastal city of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest. Stay overnight at the beautiful Boutique Hotel Del Rio (One night), where you will savor a delicious dinner, prepared by your hostess, Maria. (B, L, D)

Day 8 – GALAPAGOS ISLANDS – After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will board your ship. Lunch will be served aboard the flight out of Guayaquil. (B,L)

 

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Your tour will take you north to the San Antonio parish of Quito province. Visit the 30 meter high Mitad del Mundo monument built from 1979-1982 to replace a smaller, 10 meter high monument erected on this site in 1936 to commemorate the bicentennial of the French Geodesic Mission of 1736. This expedition came to what is now Ecuador to perform scientific measurements to determine the roundness of the earth and the length of a degree of longitude at the equator. They finished their work in 1739, and returned to Europe via the Amazon River system to the east. The mission was one of the first geodesic (or geodetic) missions carried out under modern scientific principles, and the first major international scientific expedition.

The museum inside the monument displays samples of indigenous ethnography of Ecuador, from those of the Amazonian Rainforests, to the Andes and the Pacific coast. You can have your picture taken as you straddle the line representing the equator, with a foot in each hemisphere!

Although the exact location of the equator varies slightly each year, modern GPS systems have pinpointed the actual equator a few hundred meters away, which you will visit at the nearby Intiñan Solar Museum. Here you will observe and experience the “mysterious” physical phenomena that may only occur directly on the Equator.

Next, you will enjoy a wonderful lunch and spectacular view right on the edge of the dormant Pululahua Volcano at the exclusive El Crater Restaurant. Pululahua means “smoke of water” in the indigenous language Quichua. The Pululahua caldera is over five kilometers wide. You may witness the moist clouds from the Pacific carried by prevailing winds, rolling into the caldera and flowing up over the rim of the volcano at the restaurant.

After lunch we return to tour historic Quito, which, at an elevation of 9,200 feet (2,800 meters) above sea level, makes it the second highest national capital in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia. Quito’s history dates to the first millenia when it was settled by the Quitu tribe. During the 15th century, the Kingdom of Quito was part of the Inca Empire, until the Spanish arrived in 1534. The first of many churches, the San Francisco Convent, was built the following year.

Along with Krakow, Poland, Quito was named the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Quito extends 54 kilometers along the foot of Pichincha volcano. Your tour will begin at the el Mirador de Guálpulo (Guápulo’s viewpoint). The rustic and bohemian atmosphere of Guápulo neighborhood makes one feel as in a charming town trapped within the modern city. It was from here that Francisco de Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro started the expedition that later led them to discover the Amazon River. Guápulo is also known for its beautiful colonial church, a Sanctuary to the Guápulo Virgin that gives the name to the whole neighborhood. From the Guápulo viewpoint you can see part of the valleys of Cumbayá and Tumbaco, and, on a clear day, some of the impressive mountains of the Avenue of the Volcanoes.

The tour continues to the historic center of Quito where you will visit a few of the many colonial churches (La Basilica, La Compañia, San Francisco, La Catedral and others), monasteries, chapels, the President’s Palace, governments buildings, and houses, with characteristic colonial Spanish architecture.

You can still see remnants of the identifiable precise stone construction of the ancient Inca civilization in the walls and foundations of buildings. The streets are full of history. You will see the influence of the baroque movement with paintings and sculptures made by artists from La Escuela Quitena (Quito School of Art), local talent which was influenced by the European movement.

We will continue to El Panecillo Hill with its 45 meter high aluminum statue of Madonna, where you will have a beautiful view of both the old and new city. The virgin stands on top of a globe and is stepping on a snake, which is a classic Madonna iconography. Less traditional are the wings. Locals claim that she is the only one in the world with wings like an angel. The monument was inspired by the famous “Virgen de Quito” (Quito’s Madonna) sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1734, which now decorates the main altar at the Church of St. Francis. This Madonna represents a turning point of the Quito School of Art (one of the most renowned of the Americas) because it shows a virgin in movement that is practically dancing in contrast with the traditional static Madonnas that were produced during the 18th century.

This evening enjoy a very special welcome dinner with a sparkling view of Historic Quito and the illuminated historic buildings. (B, L, D)

Day 2 Tour Schedule

830A – Depart Quito hotel

915A – Arrive Mitad Del Mundo (1hr your of museum and monument)

1015A – Transfer to Solar Museum (1 hr tour and experiments)

1130A – Transfer to El Crater Restaurant

1200N – Lunch at El Crater restaurant

130P – Depart to historic Quito

300P – Arrive Historis Quito. Visit Basillica and have a guided tour of churches and squares.

530P – Return to hotel

700P – Transfer to restaurant (Ventanal or Pims at Crystal Palace

Day 3 Monday

Tour to Otavalo to visit one of South America’s largest handicraft markets, and then to Peguche, one of the wealthiest towns in the Otavalo Valley. The artisans here are renowned weavers, creating beautiful tapestries, rugs, blankets and clothing.

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Enjoy lunch at the historic 300 year old Hacienda Pinsaqui.

Visit the leather craft center of Cotacachi where you will find hundreds of leather stores selling all kinds of locally produced leather goods.

Leaving Quito you will follow the Pan-American Highway heading north into the Andean mountain range, and the Imbabura Province, where you can admire the amazing landscape and views of several volcanoes. Guayllabamba is a very fertile river valley where exotic fruits such as avacados and chirimoyas grow.

You will make a stop in Cayambe, a town famous for the production of bizcochos using traditional wood ovens. Visit a bakery to see the production process and taste this local treat.

You will continue on to the town of Otavalo, famous as one of Latin America’s largest indigenous handicraft markets. You will find locals selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods, spools of wool, and almost anything else one could imagine – but all made locally in Ecuador. No “Made in China” stickers here!

The Otavaleños were known for their trade and commerce activity even before the colonial era. You will see beautiful woven work in colorful cotton and wool that has become world famous, thanks to the extraordinary creativity and ability of the Ecuadorian craftsman. While the largest market is on Saturday when almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops.

Otavalo was an area made up principally of farming communities due to the rich volcanic soils in this area, but with the growth of tourism, the town has begun to focus more on the making of handicrafts which has made the market a popular stop with visitors to Ecuador.

Just as Otavalo is famous for its textiles, many of the Ecuadorian villages and towns are famous for their own particular crafts. Cotacachi, the center of Ecuador’s leather industry, is known for its polished calf skins. In San Antonio, where the local specialty is wood carving, the main street prominently displays carved statues, picture frames, and furniture. One small town, Salcedo, further south in Cotapaxi Province, is famous for the delicious fruit ice cream the locals make and sell.

Otavaleña women traditionally wear distinctive white embroidered blouses, with flared lace sleeves, and black or dark over skirts, with white under skirts. Their long black hair is tied back with a small band of woven multi colored material, often matching the band which is wound several times round their waists. They usually have many strings of gold beads around their necks, and matching tightly wound long strings of red coral beads around each wrist. Men wear white trousers, and dark blue ponchos.

Otavalo is also known for its traditional music and musicians. There are many musical groups currently traveling around the world promoting their music, sometimes known as Andean New Age, with the characteristic reed pan flutes.

We will visit a weaver in nearby Peguche before arriving at the beautiful, 300-hundred year old Hacienda Pinsaqui for a special lunch. Explore this historic hacienda and lush gardens. Take particular note of the old maps on the walls showing Ecuador borders before the Peruvians took much of the land east of the Andes in the brief 1941 Ecuador-Peru War,

After lunch we will visit the nearby town of Cotacachi, where you can find dozens of stores selling quality locally produced leather goods.

We will stay overnight at another charming, historic landmark, Hacienda Cusin. Before dinner, enjoy a stroll through the fabulous gardens, filled with thousands of beautiful flowers and plants. Retire to your room to be warmed by the fireplace which was lit for you. (B, L, D)

Day 3 Tour Schedule

800A – Depart Quito hotel

930A – Arrive Cayambe. Visit Biscohos Bakery (1/2 hour)

1000A – Depart Cayambe

1045A – Arrive Otovalo Market for shopping (1.5 hours)

1215P – Depart Otovalo Market

1230P – Arrive Peguche, visit Weaver (1/2 hour)

100P – Depart Peguche

115P – Arrive Pinsaqui Hacienda for Lunch (1.25 hours)

230P – Depart Pinsaqui

245P – Arrive Cotacachi for leather shopping (1.5 hours)

415P – Depart Cotacachi

500P – Arrive Hacienda Cusin for dinner and overnight

Day 4 Tuesday

Today you will visit one of Ecuador’s largest rose farms, exporting over 15 million roses a year. Then you will have a tour and lunch in the historic hacienda of the rose farm family. After lunch transfer to Quito Airport for your flight to Cuenca, the second city in Ecuador designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Transfer to your Cuenca hotel, enjoy some free time and a wonderful dinner at a nearby restaurant.

This morning visit one of the many rose farms in the Cayambe area. Now one of Ecuador’s largest growers, this family-owned farm (Rosadex) exports over 15 million stems a year. Learn about the science and art of cultivating long stem roses for cut flower markets around the world. You will understand just why Ecuadorian roses are considered the world’s best.

The unique conditions that make Ecuador such a great place to produce roses, and may other plants, including orchids and exotic fruit, are found in only two countries on the planet – Ecuador and Kenya. These conditions include year-round consistent temperature and daylight hours, high elevation, and proximity to the sun and its intense rays.

The roses are grown in plastic covered green houses to control the environment. The specific plastic cover will vary depending on what bands of light the grower wants filtered for its particular rose. Red roses require one type of plastic, while white or yellow roses require a different characteristic. These greenhouses can be seen throughout the Andes, but particularly in proximity to Quito, and its international airport. In the case of this Rosadex farm, these greenhouses cover 50 acres of the plantation.

Everyday hundreds of thousands of roses are cut, processed, packaged and shipped by refrigerated trucks to the Quito airport for delivery to markets all around the world. Each market may have its special requirements. For instance, the Russian market prefers very long stems, large buds and many thorns, which help conserve moisture. Whereas the US market prefers shorter stems, smaller buds, and fewer thorns.

Nestled in the fertile valley of Cayambe, this rose farm is owned by a fourth generation Ecuadorian family, who take great pride in welcoming visitors. Originally part of a 16th century Jesuit Mission, this plantation raised cattle until the family started producing roses in 1993. Vestiges of the colonial era can be found in the Jesuit chapel and the granary, both original Jesuit-built structures.

The historic Hacienda La Compañía de Jesus dates back to the early 20th century and boasts a neo-Classical French style. It was built by the current owner’s grandfather, and the house is full of antiques and artifacts, including the farm’s former ledgers with reams of information about its valuable cattle and horses. The house’s original furniture, wallpaper, rugs and carpets have all been preserved as much as possible, making a visit to the hacienda a step back in time.

After lunch, transfer to the Airport Mariscal Sucre for a short flight to the historic colonial city of Cuenca, where you will be met upon arrival by your English speaking guide. Transfer to your choice of wonderful boutique hotels in the heart of this historic city.

Dinner at Villa Rosa Restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Tour Schedule

930A – Depart Hacienda Cusin

1015A – Arrive Rosedex Rose Farm (1 hr tour)

1115A – Depart Rose Farm for short walk (drive) to Hacienda Compania

1130A – Arrive Hacienda Compania for tour and lunch (1.5 hours)

100P – Depart to Quito Airport

TBD – Flight UIO to Cuenca, transfer to choice of hotel

700P – Transfer to restaurant Villa Rosa

Day 5 Wednesday

Enjoy an informative walking tour of Cuenca. Visit the public market, beautiful churches, cathedrals, and charming streets.

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After lunch, you will visit the world famous ”Panama” hat factory of Homero Ortego, so named because of their popularity with workers during the construction of the Panama Canal. Then to a local pottery artist, with a great panoramic view of the city.

This beautiful, compact city of only 400,000 people is ideal for walking, as the narrow, cobble-stone streets can become congested. Within just a few blocks from your hotel you can visit one of the largest cathedrals in South America (Cathedral de la Immaculada Concepcion), dozens of colonial era churches, the clean and busy public market, beautiful squares and parks that feature free Wi-Fi, shops and boutiques.

Cuenca has been an artist community for hundreds of years. And a shopper’s paradise, where you will see many locally made examples of pottery, ceramics, painting, weaving and textiles. We will visit two examples after lunch – the famous Homero Ortega “Genuine Panama Hat” factory (patrons include the queen of England), and the ceramics studio and gallery of Eduardo Vega, one of Ecuador’s most famous artists.

Cuenca (Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca) was founded by the Spaniards in 1557, but previously inhabited by the Canari people in what was called Guapondelig, and later by the Inca in what they called Tomebamba. Cuenca is situated in a valley through which flow four rivers. Since 1999, Cuenca has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

City leaders have been careful to preserve the wonderful architecture, and to remove modern distractions such as overhead wires in the historic area.

Return to hotel for some free time, and then head back out to enjoy a special dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Tour Schedule

900A – Depart Cuence hotel for walking tour

1200N – Lunch

100P – Depart restaurant for tour to Panama hat factory, pottery studio, overlook

400P – Return to hotel – free time

700P – Transfer to dinner

Day 6 Thursday

After breakfast, your guide will accompany you to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil and connection to the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will board your ship. Lunch will be served aboard the flight out of Guayaquil. (B,L,D)

Accommodations & Rates

FALKLANDS, SOUTH GEORGIA & ANTARCTIC ISLANDS - G Expedition

CABINOCT 23, 2017
PER PERSON
QUAD - CAT 1A
2 upper berths, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$11,999
TRIPLE - CAT 1
1 upper berth, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$13,199
TWIN - CAT 2
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, porthole
$14,999
TWIN - CAT 3
2 lower berths, full
ensuite washroom, window
$15,999
TWIN - CAT 4
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, large window
$16,999
DOUBLE - CAT 5
Queen bed, lounge area, upgraded full ensuite
washroom, several large windows and fridge
$18,999
KAYAKING OPTION$1,499

SPIRIT OF SHACKLETON EXPEDITION - G EXPEDITION

CABIN - RATES PER PERSONREGULAR RATES
Nov 21-Dec 13, 2017
REGULAR RATES
Jan 09-31 2018
CAT 1A QUAD
2 upper berths, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$14,199
$17,199
CAT 1 TRIPLE
1 upper berth, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
Wait List
$18,199
CAT 2 TWIN
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, porthole
Wait ListWait List
CAT 3 TWIN
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, window
$19,699
$23,699

CAT 4 TWIN
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, large window
$22,699
$26,699

CAT 5 DOUBLE SUITE
Queen bed, lounge area, upgraded full ensuite
washroom, several large windows and fridge
$26,199
Wait List
KAYAK OPTION$1,499$1,499
CAMPING OPTION$349$349

Antarctica AIR CRUISE TOUR #1 - All Inclusive Rates*

2013-14 SEASON RATESLOW SEASONREGULAR SEASONHIGH SEASON
Triple Cabin$12,095$12,390$13,290
Twin Cabin$13,195$13,790$14,890
Single Cabin$17,295$18,390$20,390
2014-15 SEASON RATESLOW SEASONREGULAR SEASONHIGH SEASON
Triple Cabin$12,395$13,195$14,095
Twin Cabin$13,495$14,595$15,595
Single Cabin$17,595$19,495$21,195
Antarctica AIR CRUISE TOUR #1 - * Includes all features as described, including both land and shipboard gratuities, taxes, port charges, airport transfers, tours, hotels and meals as listed.

ATHALAHotelDBLSGL
ALL CABINS
High Season
Mansion
San Juan
$8,995
$8,795
$12,095
$11,895
ALL CABINS
Low Season
Mansion
San Juan
$8,695
$8,495
$11,695
$11,495

LA PINTAHotelDBLSGL
ALL CABINSMansion
San Juan
$9,595
$9,395
$12,895
$12,695

ECLIPSE
Peak Season
HotelDBLSGL
DELUXEMansion
San Juan
$10,795
$10,595
$19,095
$18,895
SUPERIORMansion
San Juan
$10,395
$10,195
$18,095
$17,895
STANDARDMansion
San Juan
$9,595
$9,395
$13,095
$12,895
Single - 2 CabinsMansion
San Juan
$10,295
$10,095

ECLIPSE
Non Peak
HotelDBLSGL
DELUXEMansion
San Juan
$10,495
$10,295
$17,995
$17,795
SUPERIORMansion
San Juan
$10,095
$9,895
$17,595
$17,395
STANDARDMansion
San Juan
$9,295
$9,095
$12,795
$12,595
Single - 2 CabinsMansion
San Juan
$9,895
$9,695

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR See Photo Gallery

The Middle of the World and Galapagos Island Cruise

ECU 2: 7 Days/6 Nights

Highlights: Visit TWO UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Quito + Galapagos Island Cruise
Hotels: Hilton Colon Guayaquil, Hotel Oro Verde

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR See Photo Gallery

Day 1 Saturday (Arrival)

Arrive Galapagos Islands (Baltra). Transfer to Galapagos Explorer II
PM: Visit Bahia Sullivan, Santiago Island

Day 2 Sunday

AM: Bartholomew Island
PM: Espumilla beach, Santiago Island.

Day 3 Monday

AM: Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island
PM: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island

Day 4 Tuesday

AM: Tagus Cove, Isabela Island
PM: Bahia Elizabeth, Isabela Island

Day 5 Wednesday

AM: Post Office, Floreana Island
PM: Options: a. Punta Cormorant; b. Devil’s Crown; c. Champion, Floreana Island

Day 6 Thursday

AM: Galapaguera – Cerro Colorado, San Cristobal Island
PM: Ochoa Beach, San Cristobal Island

Day 7 Friday (Departure)

AM: The Twins, Santa Cruz Island. Transfer to the airport.

Accommodations & Rates

CLASSIC ANTARCTICA - Silver Explorer

 DEC 07 2017FEB 14 2018DEC 06 2018
SUITE - RATES PER PERSONREGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*
REGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*REGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*
ADVENTURER SUITE$11,880WAIT LIST$12,880WAIT LIST$10,300$9,270
EXPLORER SUITE$12,680WAIT LIST$13,500$12,150$11,000$9,900
VIEW SUITE$13,680WAIT LIST$14,600$13,140$12,100$10,890
VISTA SUITE$14,280WAIT LIST$15,300$13,770$12,800$11,520
VERANDA SUITE$16,480WAIT LIST$18,980WAIT LIST$16,300$14,670
MEDALLION SUITE$22,880WAIT LIST$25,680WAIT LIST$23,000$20,700
SILVER SUITE$24,280WAIT LIST
$27,380WAIT LIST$24,700$22,230
GRAND SUITE$27,180WAIT LIST
$31,200$28,080$28,100$25,290
OWNER SUITE$30,080WAIT LIST$34,280WAIT LIST$31,500$28,350
*If paid in full by August 31, 2017 SAVE 10%
SINGLE +75% - 100%
$899 Airfare available from US gateways.
INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE
Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more); Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®; Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions; Personalized service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry; Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet; Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea; Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship; Free WIFI* throughout the ship; Onboard Gratuities; Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society

ANTARCTICA CLASSIC IN DEPTH - G Expedition

CABINNOV 12, 2017
PER PERSON
QUAD - CAT 1A
2 upper berths, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$7,499
TRIPLE - CAT 1
1 upper berth, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$8,499
TWIN - CAT 2
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, porthole
$9,499
TWIN - CAT 3
2 lower berths, full
ensuite washroom, window
$10,499
TWIN - CAT 4
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, large window
$11,999
DOUBLE - CAT 5
Queen bed, lounge area, upgraded full ensuite
washroom, several large windows and fridge
$13,499
KAYAKING OPTION$1,199
CAMPING OPTION$349

EXPLORERS' ANTARCTICA - Silver Explorer

 NOV 18 2017DEC 16 2017JAN 03 2018NOV 17 2018DEC 15 2018
SUITE - RATES PER PERSONREGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*
REGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*
REGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE* REGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*REGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*
ADVENTURER SUITE$25,080
$22,635
$22,580
$20,385
$26,680
$24,075
$20,580
$18,585
$22,980
$20,745
EXPLORER SUITE$26,580
$23,985
$24,080
$21,735
$27,980
$25,245
$21,780
$19,665
$24,380
$22,005
VIEW SUITE$28,380
$25,605
$26,080
$23,535
$29,980
$27,045
$23,780
$21,465
$26,580
$23,985
VISTA SUITE$29,480
$26,595

$27,280
$24,615
$31,180
$28,125
$24,880
$22,455
$27,780
$25,065
VERANDA SUITE$30,180

$27,225
$31,580
$28,485
$34,280
$30,915
$30,680
$27,675
$34,380
$31,005
EXPEDITION SUITE$36,680

$33,075
$38,680
$34,875
$41,580
$37,485
$36,380
$32,805
$40,780
$36,765
MEDALLION SUITE$42,080
$37,935
$44,380
$40,005
$47,580
$42,885
$42,080
$37,935
$47,180
$42,525
SILVER SUITE$42,580
$38,385
$47,280
$42,615

$50,480

$45,495
$44,980
$40,545
$50,480
$45,495
GRAND SUITE$47,580
$42,885
$52,980
$47,745

$56,480


$50,895
$50,680
$45,675
$56,880
$51,255

OWNER SUITE$52,580
$47,385
$58,680
$52,875

$62,380
$56,205
$56,380
$50,805
$63,380
$57,105
*If paid in full by May 02, 2017 SAVE 10%
SINGLE +75% - 100%
$899 Airfare available from US gateways.
INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE
Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more); Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®; Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions; Personalized service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry; Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet; Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea; Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship; Free WIFI* throughout the ship; Onboard Gratuities; Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society

EXPLORERS' ANTARCTICA - Silver Cloud Expedition

  DEC 19 2017
SUITE - RATES PER PERSONREGULAR RATEEARLY PAYMENT RATE*
VISTA SUITE$26,080
$23,535

VERANDA SUITE$35,080
$31,635
DELUXE VERANDA SUITE$36,580
$32,985
MEDALLION SUITE$53,880
$48,555
SILVER SUITE$65,480
$58,995
1 BEDROOM
ROYAL SUITE
$68,780
$61,965
2 BEDROOM
ROYAL SUITE
$85,580
$77,085
1 BEDROOM
GRAND SUITE
$72,180
$65,025
2 BEDROOM
GRAND SUITE
$88,880
$80,055
1 BEDROOM
OWNER SUITE
$82,180
$74,025
2 BEDROOM
OWNER SUITE
$95,580
$86,085
*If paid in full by May 02, 2017 SAVE 10%
SINGLE +25%
$899 Airfare available from US gateways.
INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE
Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more); Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®; Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions; Personalized service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry; Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet; Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea; Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship; Free WIFI* throughout the ship; Onboard Gratuities; Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society

ULTIMATE WILDLIFE EXPEDITION - Sea Spirit - Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica

SUITE - RATES PER PERSONREGULAR RATES
Nov 04 2017
EXPLOR CLUB RATE
Nov 04 2017
REGULAR RATES
Jan 01, 2018
REGULAR RATES
Nov 05 2018
EARLY BOOKING*
RATES -
Nov 05 2018
REGULAR RATES
Jan 03 2019
EARLY BOOKING*
RATES -
Jan 03 2019
REGULAR RATES
Feb 24 2019
EARLY BOOKING*
RATES -
Feb 24 2019
TRIPLE CLASSIC$14,095$12,835$16,895$14,895$13,555$17,495$15,895$14,895$13,555
MAIN DECK SUITE$18,195$16,525$21,095$19,495$17,695$22,995$20,845$19,495$17,695
CLASSIC SUITE$19,195$17,425$22,895$20,695$18,775$24,495$22,195$20,695$18,775
SUPERIOR SUITE$19,495$16,795$23,495$21.095$18,155$24,895$21,385$21,095$18,155
DELUXE BALCONY SUITE$21,295$18,325$26,795$23,395$20,110$27,495$23,595$23,395$20,110
PREMIUM BALCONY SUITE$22,495$19,345$28,095$24,995$21,470$29,495$25,295$24,995$21,470
OWNER'S SUITE$29,095$24,955$35,995$32,695$28,270$39,095$33,455$32,995$28,270
* EARLY BOOKING - Book before July 31, 2017

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR See Photo Gallery

Experience of a Lifetime

ECU 3: 12 Days/11 Nights

Highlights: Optional post-visit THREE more UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Quito, Cuenca, and the Galapagos Islands Cruise
Hotels: Hilton Colon Quito, Anahi Boutique Hotel, Mansion de l’Angel
2012 Departures: June 11, August 6, November 12

Day 1 Monday (Arrival)

Arrive Quito, UNESCO’s first World Heritage City (1978). Our English speaking guide will meet you outside immigration in the arrival hall. Transfer to choice of hotel.

Day 2 Tuesday

Arrive Quito, UNESCO’s first World Heritage City (1978). Our English speaking guide will meet you outside immigration in the arrival hall. Transfer to choice of hotel.

More...

After Lunch, you will visit Historic Quito and many of its famous site and buildings. Tonight enjoy a sparkling “city lights” dinner. (B,L,D)

After breakfast your tour will take you north to the San Antonio parish of Quito province. Visit the 30 meter high Mitad del Mundo monument built from 1979-1982 to replace a smaller, 10 meter high monument erected on this site in 1936 to commemorate the bicentennial of the French Geodesic Mission of 1736. This expedition came to what is now Ecuador to perform scientific measurements to determine the roundness of the earth and the length of a degree of longitude at the equator. They finished their work in 1739, and returned to Europe via the Amazon River system to the east. The mission was one of the first geodesic (or geodetic) missions carried out under modern scientific principles, and the first major international scientific expedition.

The museum inside the monument displays samples of indigenous ethnography of Ecuador, from those of the Amazonian rainforests, to the Andes and the Pacific coast. You can have your picture taken as you straddle the line representing the equator, with a foot in each hemisphere!

Although the exact location of the equator varies slightly each year, modern GPS systems have pinpointed the actual equator a few hundred meters away, which you will visit at the nearby Intiñan Solar Museum. Here you will observe and experience the “mysterious” physical phenomena that may only occur directly on the Equator.

Next, you will enjoy a wonderful lunch and spectacular view right on the edge of the dormant Pululahua volcano at the exclusive El Crater Restaurant. Pululahua means “smoke of water” in the indigenous language Quichua. The Pululahua caldera is over five kilometers wide. You may witness the moist clouds from the Pacific carried by prevailing winds, rolling into the caldera and flowing up over the rim of the volcano at the restaurant.

After lunch we return to tour historic Quito, which, at an elevation of 9,200 feet (2,800 meters) above sea level, makes it the second highest national capital in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia. Quito’s history dates to the first millenia when it was settled by the Quitu tribe. During the 15th century, the Kingdom of Quito was part of the Inca Empire, until the Spanish arrived in 1534. The first of many churches, the San Francisco Convent, was built the following year.

Along with Krakow, Poland, Quito was named the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Quito extends 54 kilometers along the foot of Pichincha volcano. Your tour will begin at the el Mirador de Guálpulo (Guápulo’s viewpoint). The rustic and bohemian atmosphere of Guápulo neighborhood makes one feel as in a charming town trapped within the modern city. It was from here that Francisco de Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro started the expedition that later lead them to discover the Amazon River. Guápulo is also known for its beautiful colonial church, a Sanctuary to the Guápulo Virgin that gives the name to the whole neighborhood. From the Guápulo viewpoint you can see part of the valleys of Cumbayá and Tumbaco, and, on a clear day, some of the impressive mountains of the Avenue of the Volcanoes.

The tour continues to the historic center of Quito where you will visit a few of the many colonial churches (La Basilica, La Compañia, San Francisco, La Catedral and others), monasteries, chapels, the President’s Palace, governments buildings, and houses, with characteristic colonial Spanish architecture.

You can still see remnants of the identifiable precise stone construction of the ancient Inca civilization in the walls and foundations of buildings. The streets are full of history. You will see the influence of the baroque movement with paintings and sculptures made by artists from La Escuela Quitena (Quito School of Art), local talent which was influeced by the European movement.

We will continue to El Panecillo Hill with its 45 meter high aluminum statue of Madonna, where you will have a beautiful view of both the old and new city. The virgin stands on top of a globe and is stepping on a snake, which is a classic Madonna iconography. Less traditional are the wings. Locals claim that she is the only one in the world with wings like an angel. The monument was inspired by the famous “Virgen de Quito” (Quito’s Madonna) sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1734, which now decorates the main altar at the Church of St. Francis. This Madonna represents a turning point of the Quito School of Art (one of the most renowned of the Americas) because it shows a virgin in movement that is practically dancing in contrast with the traditional static Madonnas that were produced during the 18th century.

This evening enjoy a very special welcome dinner with a sparkling view of historic Quito and the illuminated historic buildings. (B, L, D)

Day 3 Wednesday

Arrive Quito, UNESCO’s first World Heritage City (1978). Our English speaking guide will meet you outside immigration in the arrival hall. Transfer to choice of hotel.

More...

Tour to Otavalo to visit one of South America’s largest handicraft markets, and then to Peguche, one of the wealthiest towns in the Otavalo Valley. The artisans here are renowned weavers, creating beautiful tapestries, rugs, blankets and clothing.

Enjoy lunch at the historic 300 year old Hacienda Pinsaqui. After lunch, visit the leather craft center of Cotacachi where you will find dozens of leather stores selling all kinds of locally produced leather goods. (B,L,D)

DETAIL- After breakfast depart to the Imbabura Province.Leaving Quito we will follow the Pan-American Highway heading north into the Andean mountain range, where you can admire the amazing landscape and views of several volcanoes. Guayllabamba is a very fertile river valley where exotic fruits such as avocados and chirimoyas grow.

We will make a stop in Cayambe, a town famous for the production of bizcochos using traditional wood ovens. We will visit such a bakery to see the production process and taste this local treat.

You will continue on to the town of Otavalo, famous as one of Latin America’s largest indigenous handicraft markets. You will find locals selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods, spools of wool, and almost anything else one could imagine – but all made locally in Ecuador. No “Made in China” stickers here!

The Otavaleños were known for their trade and commerce activity even before the colonial era. You will see beautiful woven work in colorful cotton and wool that has become world famous, thanks to the extraordinary creativity and ability of the Ecuadorian craftsman. While the largest market is on Saturday when almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops.

Otavalo was an area made up principally of farming communities due to the rich volcanic soils in this area, but with the growth of tourism, the town has begun to focus more on the making of handicrafts which has made the market a popular stop with visitors to Ecuador.

Just as Otavalo is famous for its textiles, many of the Ecuadorian villages and towns are famous for their own particular crafts. Cotacachi, the center of Ecuador’s leather industry, is known for its polished calf skins. In San Antonio, where the local specialty is wood carving, the main street prominently displays carved statues, picture frames, and furniture. One small town, Salcedo, further south in Cotapaxi Province, is famous for the delicious fruit ice cream the locals make and sell.

Otavaleña women traditionally wear distinctive white embroidered blouses, with flared lace sleeves, and black or dark over skirts, with white under skirts. Their long black hair is tied back with a small band of woven multi colored material, often matching the band which is wound several times round their waists. They usually have many strings of gold beads around their necks, and matching tightly wound long strings of red coral beads around each wrist. Men wear white trousers, and dark blue ponchos.

Otavalo is also known for its traditional music and musicians. There are many musical groups currently traveling around the world promoting their music, sometimes known as Andean New Age, with the characteristic reed pan flutes.

We will visit a weaver in nearby Peguche before arriving at the beautiful, 300-hundred year old Hacienda Pinsaqui for a special lunch. Explore this historic hacienda and lush gardens. Take particular note of the old maps on the walls showing Ecuador borders before the Peruvians took much of the land east of the Andes in the brief 1941 Ecuador-Peru War,

After lunch we will visit the nearby town of Cotacachi, where you can find dozens of stores selling quality locally produced leather goods.

We will stay overnight at another charming, historic landmark, Hacienda Cusin. Before dinner, enjoy a stroll through the fabulous gardens, filled with thousands of beautiful flowers and plants. Retire to your room being warmed by the fireplace which was lit for you. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Thursday

Today you will visit one of Ecuador’s largest rose farms, exporting over 15 million roses a year. Then you will have a tour and lunch in the historic hacienda of the rose farm family. After lunch transfer to Quito Airport for your flight to Cuenca, the second World Heritage city in Ecuador.

More...

Transfer to your hotel, enjoy some free time and a wonderful dinner at a nearby restaurant. (B,L,D)

DETAIL-This morning we visit one of the many rose farms in the Cayambe area. Now one of Ecuador’s largest growers, this family-owned farm (Rosadex) exports over 15 million stems a year. Learn about the science and art of cultivating long stem roses for cut flower markets around the world. You will understand just why Ecuadorian roses are considered the world’s best.

The unique conditions that make Ecuador such a great place to produce roses, and may other plants, including orchids and exotic fruit, are found in only two countries on the planet – Ecuador and Kenya. These conditions include year-round consistent temperature and daylight hours, high elevation, and proximity to the sun and its intense rays.

The roses are grown in plastic covered green houses to control the environment. The specific plastic cover will vary depending on what bands of light the grower wants filtered for its particular rose. Red roses require one type of plastic, while white or yellow roses require a different characteristic. These greenhouses can be seen throughout the Andes, but particularly in proximity to Quito, and its international airport. In the case of this Rosadex farm, these greenhouses cover 50 acres of the plantation.

Everyday hundreds of thousands of roses are cut, processed, packaged and shipped by refrigerated trucks to the Quito airport for delivery to markets all around the world. Each market may have its special requirements. For instance, the Russian market prefers very long stems, large buds and many thorns, which help conserve moisture. Whereas the US market prefers shorter stems, smaller buds, and fewer thorns.

Nestled in the fertile valley of Cayambe, this rose farm is owned by a fourth generation Ecuadorian family, who take great pride in welcoming visitors. Originally part of a 16th century Jesuit Mission, this plantation raised cattle until the family started producing roses in 1993. Vestiges of the colonial era can be found in the Jesuit chapel and the granary, both original Jesuit-built structures.

The historic Hacienda La Compañía de Jesus dates back to the early 20th century and boasts a neo-Classical French style. It was built by the current owner’s grandfather, and the house is full of antiques and artifacts, including the farm’s former ledgers with reams of information about its valuable cattle and horses. The house’s original furniture, wallpaper, rugs and carpets have all been preserved as much as possible, making a visit to the hacienda a step back in time.

After lunch, transfer to the Airport Mariscal Sucre for a short flight to the historic colonial city of Cuenca, where you will be met upon arrival by your English speaking guide. Transfer to your choice of wonderful boutique hotel in the heart of this historic city.

Dinner at Villa Rosa Restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Friday

Enjoy an informative walking tour of Cuenca. Visit the public market, beautiful churches and cathedrals, charming streets.

More...

After lunch, you will visit the world famous ”Panama” hat factory of Homero Ortego, so named because of their popularity with workers during the construction of the Panama Canal. Then to a local pottery artist, with a great panoramic view of the city. (B,L,D)

DETAIL- This beautiful, compact city of only 400,000 people is ideal for walking, as the narrow, cobble-stone streets can become congested. Within just a few blocks from your hotel you can visit one of the largest cathederals in South America (Cathedral de la Immaculada Concepcion), dozens of colonial era churches, the clean and busy public market, beautiful squares and parks that feature free Wi-Fi, shops and boutiques.

Cuenca has been an artist community for hundreds of years. And a shopper’s paradise, where you will see many locally made examples of pottery, ceramics, painting, weaving and textiles. We will visit two examples after lunch – the famous Homero Ortega “Genuine Panama Hat” factory (patrons include the queen of England), and the ceramics studio and gallery of Eduardo Vega, one of Ecuador’s most famous artists.

Cuenca (Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca) was founded by the Spaniards in 1557, but previously inhabited by the Canari people in what was called Guapondelig, and later by the Inca in what they called Tomebamba. Cuenca is situated in a valley through which flow four rivers. Since 1999, Cuenca has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

City leaders have been careful to preserve the wonderful architecture, and to remove modern distractions such as overhead wires in the historic area.

Return to hotel for some free time, then back out to enjoy a special dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Saturday

After breakfast, your guide will accompany you to the airport to board your flight to the Galapagos Islands, where you will board your ship. Lunch will be served aboard the flight out of Guayaquil. Transfer to the Galapagos Explorer II.

PM: Bahia Sullivan, Santiago Island (B,L,D)

Day 7 Sunday

AM: Bartholomew Island
PM: Espumilla Beach, Santiago Island (B, L, D)

Day 8 Monday

AM: Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island
PM: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island (B, L, D)

Day 9 Tuesday

AM: Tagus Cove, Isabela Island
PM: Bahia Elizabeth, Isabela Island (B, L, D)

Day 10 Wednesday

AM: Post Office, Floreana Island
PM: Floreana Island Options: A. Punta Cormorant; B. Devil’s Crown; C. Champion (B, L, D)

Day 11 Thursday

AM: Galapaguera – Cerro Colorado, San Cristobal Island
PM: Ochea Beach, San Cristobal Island (B, L, D)

Day 11 Thursday

AM: The Twins, Santa Cruz Island
Transfer to airport for flight to Guayaquil and connection to flight home. (B)

Optional transfers and overnight at Hilton Colon Guayaquil.

Accommodations & Rates

FALKLANDS, SOUTH GEORGIA & ANTARCTIC ISLANDS - G Expedition

CABINOCT 23, 2017
PER PERSON
QUAD - CAT 1A
2 upper berths, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$11,999
TRIPLE - CAT 1
1 upper berth, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$13,199
TWIN - CAT 2
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, porthole
$14,999
TWIN - CAT 3
2 lower berths, full
ensuite washroom, window
$15,999
TWIN - CAT 4
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, large window
$16,999
DOUBLE - CAT 5
Queen bed, lounge area, upgraded full ensuite
washroom, several large windows and fridge
$18,999
KAYAKING OPTION$1,499

SPIRIT OF SHACKLETON EXPEDITION - G EXPEDITION

CABIN - RATES PER PERSONREGULAR RATES
Nov 21-Dec 13, 2017
REGULAR RATES
Jan 09-31 2018
CAT 1A QUAD
2 upper berths, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
$14,199
$17,199
CAT 1 TRIPLE
1 upper berth, 2 lower berths,
full ensuite washroom, porthole
Wait List
$18,199
CAT 2 TWIN
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, porthole
Wait ListWait List
CAT 3 TWIN
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, window
$19,699
$23,699

CAT 4 TWIN
2 lower berths, full ensuite
washroom, large window
$22,699
$26,699

CAT 5 DOUBLE SUITE
Queen bed, lounge area, upgraded full ensuite
washroom, several large windows and fridge
$26,199
Wait List
KAYAK OPTION$1,499$1,499
CAMPING OPTION$349$349

Camp Denali and North Face Lodge - Denali National Park

Rates per person20172018
5-DAY/4-NIGHT
MONDAY-FRIDAY
$2,995$3,195
4-DAY/3-NIGHT
FRIDAY - MONDAY
$1,995$2,095
Singles add $100 per night.
Rates include taxes, Alaska Railroad GoldStar service from Fairbanks to Denali Park, and from Denali to Anchorage, accommodations and meals at the lodges and guided activities.

Included: All tour arrangements and accommodations as described, meals as noted, all gratuities aboard ship and ashore, all taxes, park and government fees, air within the itinerary (Quito-Cuenca; Cuenca-Galapagos; Galapagos-Guayaquil), $50 shipboard credit for soft drinks and snorkel equipment, service of staff, guiders and escorts.

Not included: Travel Insurance, alcoholic beverages, items of a personal nature, and air to and from Ecuador.

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Peru and Machu Picchu

Tour length: 9 days/8 Nights
Departures: Daily Departures Available
Ship: None (Extension land tour)

Visit three more UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this extension tour to Peru – Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Lima where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2 –Morning transfer to airport. Fly to historic Cusco, historic Inca capital, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and gateway to the Inca sites of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Transfer to the beautiful Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel in Urubamba. The afternoon is free to relax, enjoy a spa treatment, or other optional activities. (B, L, D)

Day 3 –This morning tour the Sacred Valley and to the market at Pisac. After lunch visit the remarkable fortress at Ollantaytambo. Return to your hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 4 –Transfer to the train station for the trip to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival check into the Inkaterra Machu Picchu.  Afternoon is free to explore, participate in programs, have a spa treatment, or just relax. (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Early risers may choose to hike to the “Sun Gate” to watch the sun rise over the ruins at Machu Picchu. This morning we will have a guided tour through the grounds. Return to your hotel for lunch. Afternoon is free to return to Machu Picchu, explore Aguas Calientes, enjoy a spa treatment, or participate in one of the enrichment programs at the hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 6 – After breakfast, board the train for your trip back to Ollantaytambo and return to Cusco and your hotel – the Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel. At almost 11,000 feet above sea level, all rooms at this luxury hotel are equipped with an intelligent oxygen system, which ensures maximum comfort for guests. This additional 30% oxygen results in a reduction in the sense of altitude. Along the way we will visit other incredible Inca sites. (B, L, D)

Day 7 –The tour today will introduce you to the 800 year old capital of the Inca civilization. The Spanish arrived in 1534 and named the city Cusco. The first cathedral built in Cusco is the Iglesia del Triunfo, built in 1539 on the foundations of the Palace of Viracocha Inca. The main basilica cathedral of the city was built between 1560 and 1664. Stone was used as the main material, which was extracted from nearby quarries, although some blocks of red granite were taken from the Inca fortress known as Sacsayhuamán. (B, L, D)

Day 8 –Transfer to the airport for a mid-day flight to Lima, where you will enjoy a city tour including the historic city center, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour ends at the elegant Mira Flores Park Orient Express Hotel with sweeping ocean vistas. Tonight is our farewell dinner at a unique Lima restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 9 –Transfer to the Lima airport for your flight home.

Accommodations & Rates

PERU ExtensionDBLSGLHotel UpgradesAir
$2,995$3,995Rio Sagrado $176 pp
Tambo del Inka $200 pp
$800 (est)
Extra Night in Lima
Miraflores Park Hotel
$154pp$308 pp

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General Information

Peru

With a history of over ten thousand years, Peru is a country rich in cultural heritage, traditions and mysticism. The Inca Empire was so large that it reached the current countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, with Cusco as its capital city.  The Empire came to an end with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in 1532, who established the vice royalty of Peru, lasting for almost 300 years until 1821 when Peru got its independence, giving birth to the Republican era.

Lima

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru, with almost 9 million inhabitants, making it the fifth largest city in Latin America. It is located in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as la Ciudad de los Reyes, or “the City of Kings”. It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.

The Center of the Andean World

The city of Cusco, meaning “navel of the world” in Quechua, was the capital of the Inca´s Empire. The city is known as the archaeological center of the Americas, and which UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site in 1983.  Although the area was settled centuries before the Incas arrived, it was only during the period of Inca control (1438-1532AD) that the Huantanay River basin, upon which Cusco is built, reached its peak as an administrative, religious and military center. This development is attributed to the Inca Emperor Pachacutec, who built the city’s most remarkable structures. The city served as a hub for a vast network of roads interconnecting the whole of South America, from the southern part of present–day Colombia to the northern part of what is now Argentina. The origins of the city are shrouded in myth and legends which tell the tale of how the Inca Empire came into being.

Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley of the Incas, or Urubamba Valley, is a setting of picturesque communities, impressive terraces and several important archaeological sites. Today the Sacred Valley remains a lush agricultural region supplying the city of Cusco with much of its produce such as maize, fruit and vegetables.

Machu Picchu

Situated in an enclave on the saddle of a mountain, just a few hours from Cusco, overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu consists of two main areas: one agricultural, formed mainly by mountains and food stores, and the other urban, which is noted for its sacred zone, with its temples, squares and royal tombs built of stone cut with incredible skill. Opposite the citadel is the majestic Huayna Picchu Mountain, which is visible looming in the background in typical photos of the site. The Incas built this citadel at the end of the fourteenth century. As centuries passed, the site became totally overgrown by vegetation, and virtually disappeared from site. Hiram Bingham, Director of the Yale Peruvian Expedition, rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. Machu Picchu, a mystic place of worship, was also a spot for star-gazing and the private hacienda of the Inca Emperor Pachacutec. As a result of a special connection with the people, in July 2007, it was recognized as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.

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