The perfect blend of activity and education. The 48-passenger National Geographic Islander features renowned experts from National Geographic in addition to well-trained Expedition Leaders and naturalist staff. This cruise is ideal for the traveler seeking an intellectual experience, and who is willing to pay extra for National Geographic expertise.
A Galapagos cruise aboard the National Geographic Islander features nimble zodiacs and kayaks that cruise to the volcanic shores and pristine beaches of Galápagos, and an undersea program utilizes underwater video, glass-bottom boat and hydrophone that bring seldom seen or heard worlds to life. Every expedition in the Galápagos is led by a team of naturalists (including an Underwater Specialist), a videographer and Expedition Leader, providing a multitude of resources for a rich and unmatched understanding of all that you’ll see.
The moment you step foot on your first island here you'll see that freedom and fearlessness are a way of life. Whether strolling the islands' pristine beaches, searching for the spectacular waved albatross, having a "chat" with a particularly friendly sea lion or snorkeling with Galapagos penguins, a glorious feeling of freedom abounds. And, thanks to the legacy of Jacques Cousteau, that feeling is kept alive via a fleet of nimble zodiacs that can nose into landfalls and cruise along reefs, affording intimate views of "the action." Meanwhile, expert National Geographic naturalists are always there to point out particularly unusual wildlife behaviors and characteristics so that you may observe, inquire and react as it unfolds before your eyes. Their specialized knowledge and interests - marine biology, zoology, botany and geology - will transform your experience into a biology class in real-time. Here in Darwin's natural laboratory, the animal world is your oyster.
Day 1 - Guayaquil, Ecuador
Galapagos cruises aboard the National Geographic Islander begin in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Group flights from Miami are available. We’ve found that Miami is a convenient gateway for most, but other air alternatives are available. Arrive Guayaquil by late evening. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, it’s a short drive to the Hotel Hilton Colón.Accommodations:
Hotel Hilton ColonIncluded Meals:
Day 2 - Fly to Baltra, Galapagos & Embark Ship
This morning fly to the island of Baltra in the Galapagos. Flying time from Guayaquil is approximately one and a half hours. Upon arrival, transfer immediately to the National Geographic Islander. After settling into your cabin, gather in the ship's lounge for a refreshing welcome drink and a general orientation. By dinner time, you will have already made the acquaintance of some of the exotic animals you've come here to fraternize with.Accommodations: National Geographic IslanderIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Days 3-8 - Galapagos Islands
Although exact routing depends on the National Park Service, we may visit the following islands:
This is an enchanting landscape where lava, mangroves and golden sand converge. Great walks and views abound, with a chance to snorkel with Galápagos penguins.
Santiago offers close encounters with Galápagos fur seals and sea lions along with an opportunity to study the inhabitants of the island’s countless tide pools along its indented shoreline. Look for marine iguanas, brilliant Sally Lightfoot crabs and many shore birds. Kayak and snorkel along the spectacular cliffs of Buccaneer Cove.
Learn about vital preservation work being done at the Charles Darwin Research Station and see the local culture. Then, head up into the highlands to roam an entirely different highland ecosystem, a moss-draped landscape where wild giant tortoises and various Darwin finch species forage.
After landing on a black sandy beach, hike against the backdrop of the youngest Galápagos volcanos and look for colorful endemic land iguanas. Later, snorkel in deep water among sea turtles or kayak and take zodiac rides in search of flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins.
This is the youngest island in the Galápagos. Discover the marine iguana haven of Punta Espinoza as you hike over young lava flows and take in the dramatic backdrop of Isabela’s volcanoes off in the distance. Galápagos hawks, sea lion nurseries and many sea birds are found here.
Snorkel among sea lions in the clear waters off Champion Islet. We may also find flamingos, pintail ducks and various shorebirds. Hike to a pristine white-sand beach, a favorite nesting site for sea turtles.
The exclusive home to waved albatross (Apr. - Dec.) and particularly colorful marine iguanas, Española is also a paradise for Darwin’s finches, sea lions galore and the famous blue-footed boobies. Snorkel and stroll along the island’s lovely beaches.
Experience close-up encounters with colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies (seasonal) and magnificent frigatebirds, plus sea lion harems. Spot swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, land iguanas and fur seals along the cliffs. Plus, there are various walks and zodiac rides to choose from here.
North Seymour and Rabida
Enjoy walks, zodiac forays or deep-water snorkeling, with hundreds of fish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays, eels and more. Visit Rabida's bright-red beach to see wildlife, including a nesting colony of pelicans (seasonal)and Galapagos hawks, doves, Darwin's finches, mocking birds and more.
After a wet landing on a green, olivine beach, hike and enjoy spectacular scenery: tuff stone cliffs created by sea and wind. Zodiac rides along the coastline reveal blue-footed and red-footed boobies. Kayaking, beach swimming and snorkeling from zodiacs off an islet in the bay are all options.Accommodations: National Geographic IslanderIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 9 - Disembark Baltra & Fly to Guayaquil
This morning arrive at Baltra Island and disembark the ship. Transfer to the airport and fly to Guayaquil. The late afternoon and evening free to explore the city and prepare for your journey home. If you would to visit Quito, please inquire about our optional Quito extensions.Accommodations:
Hotel Hilton ColonIncluded Meals:
Day 10 - Depart Guayaquil
This morning fly home - or anywhere else you might have decided to go.Accommodations:
In addition to the 10-day cruise listed above, there is an optional 8-day Machu Picchu extenstion led by National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions crew. Call to learn more about this alternative.
Optional Machu Picchu Extension
Day 9 - Galapagos to Lima, Peru
Day 10 - Cusco to Sacred Valley of the Inca
Day 11 - Sacred Valley of the Inca
Day 12 - Machu Picchu
Day 13 - Machu Picchu & Cusco
Day 14 - Cusco
Day 15 - Cusco to Lima
Day 16 - Lima to Miami
Extend Your Trip:
This trip also combines well with our Peru, Machu Picchu 6 Day Explorer
. Call AdventureSmith Explorations about the possibilities of combining trips to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos.
Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.
2 nights hotel in Guayaquil, all airport/hotel transfers, Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100: adult, $50: child), Galapagos transit card, Galapagos cruise including all meals and nonalcoholic beverages while aboard, Expedition Leader and experienced Galapagos Islands naturalist guides, use of kayaks, snorkel equipment and wet suits, tips (except to ship's crew), taxes and service charges, services of a ship physician on most voyages.
Air transportation, extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, meals not indicated, travel protection plan, items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, voyage DVD, laundry. Gratuities to ship’s crew are at your discretion.
Single cabins available at "Sole Occupancy" rate listed above. Single travelers willing to share accommodations may participate in a share program where we will match you with another same sex traveler and guarantee you the double occupancy rate - even if we are unable to find a same sex match by the time of departure. This share program is available in Cabin Categories 1 and 2 only. Triples are available only in two select cabins. Third traveler receives 50% off the per-person cruise rate.
Families & Children:
Travelers aged 17 years old and under save $500. Specially skilled staff who are trained in organizing activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. These staff members have gone through a course designed by travel experts with years of experience in childhood and environmental education. This course has also been created in conjunction with the National Geographic Education department and NG Kids Magazine.
Arrival & Departure:
This trip begins and ends in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Plan flights to arrive at any time on Day 1 and depart anytime on the final day. Airport transfers are included for travelers arriving and departing on scheduled arrival/departure days. This trip can also be arranged to begin and end in Quito, Ecuador.
Flights from $450 per adult or $225 per child round trip from Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands.
Payment & Cancellation:
A deposit of $500 for the National Geographic Endeavour Cruise (or $800 deposit for cruise plus Machu Picchu land extension) is due at the time of booking with the final payment due 90 days from departure. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 120 days - deposit refunded, minus $150, in the form of travel certificate
119 to 90 days - advance payment cost
89 to 60 days - 25% of total trip cost
59 to 30 days - 50% of total trip cost
29 to 0 days - no refund
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
There are numerous opportunities to swim, snorkel and kayak; equipment and wet suits are available for use.
This trip will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life. Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in zodiacs. Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours roundtrip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are "wet", requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.
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