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Glories of the Galapagos

Island Hopping in the Galapagos Archipelago aboard the Silver Galapagos

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  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Expedition Cruising

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

Darwin & the Theory of Evolution

  • Blue Footed Booby

The islands of the Galapagos archipelago, located 600 miles off Ecuador’s Pacific Coast are special in so many ways - a veritable Eden. Largely unspoilt by development, a place where fascinating and diverse wildlife is both abundant and fearless of man. The moment you set foot on your first island of the Galapagos you will see that curiosity and fearlessness are a way of life. Whether strolling along the islands’ pristine beaches, having a “chat” with a particularly friendly sea lion, watching the basking marine iguanas or snorkelling with Galapagos penguins (the most northerly penguin in the world), a feeling of freedom surrounds you.

Our week long discovery around the islands aboard the Silver Galapagos allows time for an in-depth exploration into the flora, fauna, wildlife, geology and history of the Galapagos. The schedule will be flexible, determined by weather and sea conditions and wildlife sightings. Whilst cruising, you are free to relax or learn more from the naturalist guides. Explorations ashore will include island walks with your naturalist guide who will explain the flora and fauna and take you to the best places for wildlife sightings. There will be daily excursions by Zodiac which will be used to land on remote beaches and to explore the coastlines, taking full advantage of wildlife sightings. In addition there will also be daily opportunities to swim or snorkel to observe the diverse marine life and the opportunity to make use of the onboard fleet of kayaks. The experienced onboard team will always be available to point out the intricacies of the wildlife as it unfolds before your eyes.

The most celebrated visitor to Galapagos was undoubtedly the young Charles Darwin who arrived in 1835 aboard HMS Beagle as part of an expedition commanded by Captain Robert FitzRoy. The ship was homeward bound after spending three years charting the coasts of South America from the Rio Plata round to Chiloe in southern Chile. When Darwin arrived in the Galapagos, he found a remarkable population of plants, birds and reptiles that had developed in isolation from the mainland, but often differed on almost identical islands next door to one another, and whose characteristics he could only explain by a gradual transformation of the various species. Darwin’s critical and open mind lead to his theories of evolution and after his return to England, he arrived at the principal of ‘natural selection’. This theory contradicted all views held at the time by scientists as well as the Church, therefore he kept his findings to himself for the next 20 years while he patiently collected evidence to support it. On the Origin of the Species was finally published in 1859. While traveling through Darwin’s Islands you will have the opportunity to observe the same animals that he did in order to make your own conclusions. The most obvious conclusion is the creatures of the Galapagos having lived years without the threat of predators do not have the natural fear of human that most animals possess.

  • Our View

    Red footed boobie

    “There’s a short, five minute coach ride from the little airport on Baltra to the harbour where the Silver Galapagos waits at anchor for me and for the 90 others who have just arrived for a week’s exploration of the eastern islands. I step out of the coach at the harbour, squinting in the bright sunshine, don a lifejacket and wait for a few moments before it is my turn to hop in a Zodiac and be whizzed off to the ship. As I wait, a few feet to my right a marine iguana clambers out of the water and over some craggy volcanic rocks and then scampers its way across the landing platform, literally darting between the legs of a slightly startled fellow passenger, before coming to a rest on some sand at the edge of our group where it very tolerantly poses for about 1000 eagerly taken photographs. Frigate birds wheel overhead, Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle and bicker amongst the rocks, one of Darwin’s finches bobs and cocks its head at us, as we all point and gawp in unison in 90 different directions at so many of the different little miracles that this place so readily provides. And this is all in the first five minutes on the journey from the airport. The holiday hasn’t even really begun yet.

    For dinner on the first night I chose to eat at The Grill, the outdoor restaurant on Deck 5. Seeing as it was the first day of the holiday, I allowed myself a ‘surf n turf’ mixture of sizzling lobster tail and fillet steak (truth be told, this was not the only evening during the week that I permitted myself this indulgence). Shortly after our plates had been cleared away, a fellow passenger called over to our table and encouraged us to join her at the railing along the port side of the deck. We did so and, in the waters below, illuminated by the ship’s spotlights, she pointed out a group of sea lions that was darting to and fro, criss-crossing one another’s paths through the water in a frantic but seemingly choreographed manner. Their purpose became clear moments later when the school of flying fish that they had been gradually corralling towards the vessel started leaping and fluttering from the water straight into the side of the ship, a dozen at a time. As the stunned fish fell back into the sea they were quickly gobbled up by the waiting sea lions. And then by a pelican, which had swooped down upon the scene and now sat bobbing on the surface eager to get involved in a cheap meal. And then, to the evident consternation of the pelican, three eight-foot Galapagos sharks arrived, apparently also sensing an easy dinner from out in the darkness. The sharks stayed with us for maybe half an hour before gliding silently off into the night. The memories of such moments seem likely to remain with you for rather longer though. And this was only what happened while I was having dinner on the first night…“

    Joe Nelson, Head of Customer Relations

    More information
  • Expedition Highlights

    • Visit “Bird Island” home to over 30 bird species.

    • Climb Prince Philip’s Steps through a thriving seabird colony.

    • Observe sea lion families and the famed giant tortoises.

    • Admire the antics of Red-footed and Blue-footed Boobies.

    • Explore natural underground lava tunnels and hike across lava flows.

    • Hike up the sides of an extinct volcano.

    • See spectacular water-spouting “blowers”.

    • Swim and snorkel in tranquil, clear waters with the opportunity to use onboard kayaks for the more adventurous.

    • Photograph colourful marine iguanas.

    • Cruise by Zodiac along scenic coastlines.

    More information

Silver Galapagos

Silver Galapagos

For our Galapagos adventure we have chartered the 100-passenger, Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waters of the Galapagos archipelago, she is the ideal vessel for the region. Experience the glories of the Galapagos with complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkelling, kayaking and nature hikes led by our highly experienced guides certified by the National Park of the Galapagos.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Quito, Ecuador.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight. Arrive into Quito in the late afternoon and transfer to the Marriott Hotel (or similar) for our two night stay. The remainder of the evening is free to acclimatise and enjoy the hotel facilities.

Day 2 - Quito.

After breakfast in the hotel we will enjoy a guided excursion of Quito, including its colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved in South America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon will be at leisure to explore independently before we meet this evening for dinner.

Day 3 - Quito to Baltra.

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Baltra. On arrival, transfer to the Silver Galapagos. This afternoon after settling in, attend a mandatory safety drill and whilst setting sail you will be introduced to your Expedition Team. Enjoy the first of many memorable meals onboard this evening.

Day 4 - Bahia Darwin, Genovesa Island.

Genovesa is dubbed “Bird Island”, a name it lives up to in a spectacular way. Huge colonies of seabirds create a birdwatcher’s paradise. Take a walk on the sandy beach of Darwin Bay, home to one of the world’s largest Red-footed Booby nesting colonies. Yellowcrowned Night Herons feed near tidal lagoons, while hundreds of Swallow-tailed Gulls nest in the cliffs. Climb “Prince Philip’s Steps”, a steep path named after the Duke of Edinburgh who visited the island in 1965, and you will be well rewarded with a remarkable spectacle of Nazca Boobies nesting on the ground, Great Frigate birds with their fiery red sacs, and, if you are lucky, you might see the elusive Short-eared Owl on a daytime hunt for Storm Petrels, a favourite prey. After a morning walk, we will have a chance to enjoy our first snorkelling excursion and experience the diverse, underwater wonderland that surrounds the island. We will also have the opportunity to kayak around Darwin Bay, which is actually a flooded caldera and admire the island’s craggy landscape.

Day 5 - North Seymour.

On North Seymour we will witness the marks nature has left on the islands through its geological forces. North Seymour is a small up-lifted island close to Baltra filled with a spectacular profusion of wildlife — above and below the sea. We will walk through this spectacular landscape, and afterwards have an opportunity to go snorkeling. In the afternoon, our landing will be in Sullivan Bay, on a white sandy beach or directly onto lava, depending on the conditions. In either case we will see the lava flows that are not much older than a hundred years, dating back to 1897. Here the very high temperature of the molten material, as well as its gas content, had caused the surface to be quite smooth. The appearance this lava has is almost like frail rope and the technical term for it is pahoehoe (a Hawaiian name that supposedly suggests the swirls left behind by a paddle (hoe) in the water). Since the lava has not moved equally in all places, the “design” of the surface texture induces one to see different objects and images in the lava. As the sun heats up the lava during the day, at the time of our visit the temperatures will have you back at the sandy beach and getting ready for snorkelling in due time. While we will look for shelter from the heat at the beach, be aware that animals like beaches, too. Apart from rays, turtles are quite fond of the beaches and come there to lay their eggs.

Day 6 - Rabida and Bahia Ballena or Eden, Santa Cruz.

Rabida is a small picturesque island with red rock cliffs and maroon sand. Here we can see Darwin’s finches, lava lizards and Galápagos Mockingbirds. Take a walk along the cliffs where the red rocks, green Palo Santo trees and the blue turquoise sea create landscapes of stunning contrast, while an underwater world teeming with colourful tropical species and vibrant submarine landscapes is equally amazing. After a short but rewarding hike, we will have the opportunity to swim or simply stroll along the beach and admire the sea lions snoozing along the shore. You can also enjoy a stunning snorkel excursion with sea lions, reef sharks, marine iguanas, colourful anemones and parrotfish, or kayak along the picturesque Rabida cliffs. Depending on the landing conditions, the Expedition The Itinerary Leader and Captain will decide whether we can go for a walk at Bahia Ballena where whalers left behind some of their pottery, or sail to Eden Islet for snorkelling, kayaking and Zodiac rides. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone and an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galapagos. It is home to Great Blue Herons, sea lions, and Blue-footed Boobies; while the small tidal areas can be a resting place for reef sharks, Eagle Rays and Green Turtles, and make an excellent spot for kayaking as well.

Day 7 - La Galapaguera & Punta Pitt, San Cristobal.

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

Day 8 - Bahia Gardner, Espanola.

Do not miss a chance to swim with sea lions from the gorgeous beach at Gardner Bay. Relax on the white sands of this idyllic beach as the water laps gently in front of you. You may even spy some iguanas on the shore. Further out you can snorkel with large schools of colourful tropical fish and an occasional Manta Ray, while a Whitetip Shark naps on the bottom. You may wish to experience this from a kayak: paddling through crystal-clear waters while marvelling at the natural wonders all around you. This afternoon we will visit Punta Suarez at the western point of Espanola, the oldest island in the Galapagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds. Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies can easily be seen. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galapagos Hawks can also be found, as well as sea lions and colourful marine iguanas.

Day 9 - Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz.

We will cruise overnight to Santa Cruz, an island in the central part of the archipelago with the largest human population. The headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station are located in the small town of Puerto Ayora. The station is the operative branch of the Charles Darwin Foundation, an organization established in 1959 to provide conservation counsel to the Ecuadorian government. Its flagship programme is the restoration of Galapagos Giant Tortoises. At the Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre, we will get to see tortoises of both morphotypes: dome-shaped and saddle-backed, as well as baby Giant Tortoises up to five years old that are waiting to be returned to their home island. There is also an exhibit on Galapagos land iguanas; their numbers were once diminished due to introduced animals, but they have had a comeback thanks to the efforts of the National Park Service and Research Station. Alternatively, visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to see the giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Towards the end of the morning, there will be time to do some sightseeing and shopping in town. Silver Galapagos will sail to Plaza Sur, a neat little island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. Its main attraction is a colony of Galapagos land iguanas, but the setting is also a highlight — Giant Prickly Pear Cactus, the reddish Sesuvium plant, a mat-like ground cover, and a large nesting colony of Swallowtailed Gulls make this small island an excellent stop before the ship sails to San Cristobal. Marine Iguanas and Galapagos Sea Lions are also around.

Day 10 - San Cristobal to London.

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Galapagos and transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight to Guayaquil and onwards to London. Alternatively you may wish to join our extension into Peru.

Day 11 - London.

Arrive this morning.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £300 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
8 to 18 March 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
1 Explorer Suite Deck 2 £6895 £6595
2 Explorer Suite Deck 3 &4 £7195 £6895
3 Terrace Suite Deck 5 £7395 £7095
4 Veranda Suite Deck 5 £8095 £7795
5 Deluxe Veranda Suite Deck 4 £8395 £8095
6 Silver Suite Deck 6 £8695 £8395
1 Explorer Suite for sole use Deck 2 £8895 £8595

Tour Reference Code: SCSG090217

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, two nights hotel accommodation in Quito on a breakfast only basis, dinner on day 2, Quito city tours, seven nights aboard the Silver Galapagos on a full board basis, butler service in all suites, room service (06.00 to 23.00), all drinks onboard including in-suite mini bar, onboard lecture programmes, all excursions, all gratuities, Galapagos Transit Card, Galapagos National Park Entrance fee, transfers, port taxes, airport taxes, Noble Caledonia Tour Manager.

Not Included: Travel Insurance.

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Silver Galapagos

For our Galapagos adventure we have chartered the 100-passenger, Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waters of the Galapagos archipelago, she is the ideal vessel for the region. Experience the glories of the Galapagos with complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkelling, kayaking and nature hikes led by our highly experienced guides certified by the National Park of the Galapagos.

 
  • Silver Galapagos
    Silver Galapagos
  • The Grill
    The Grill
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • Reception
    Reception
  • Library
    Library
  • Explorer Lounge
    Explorer Lounge
  • Terrace Suite
    Terrace Suite
  • Explorer Suite
    Explorer Suite
  • Deluxe Veranda Suite
    Deluxe Veranda Suite
  • Your Suite

    Accommodation onboard is arranged over five decks. Each suite affords considerable comfort with marble en-suite bathroom and outside views. The 50 ocean-view suites range in size from 210 to 361 square feet. All suites feature butler service and a refrigerator stocked with your preferred beverages including wines and spirits which your butler will replenish upon request. Amenities in the suites include luxury Pratesi bed linen, choice of pillow and bath amenities, iPod docking station, flat screen television, music and satellite news programming, direct dial telephone, sitting area with writing desk and personalised stationery, personal safe, plush robe and slippers, hairdryer and Wi-Fi internet access (charges apply). The beds in each suite can be configured as double or twin.

  • Suite Categories

     • Explorer Suites measure between 210 to 240 square feet on Deck 2 featuring three portholes or 235 to 250 square feet on Decks 3 & 4 with a view window.

    Terrace Suites measure 287 square feet and feature a large picture window with easy access to the public observation area with deck furniture.

    Veranda Suites measure 268 square feet and feature floor- to- ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony with deck furniture.

    Deluxe Veranda Suites measure 303 square feet and features floor- to- ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony with deck furniture

    Silver Suites measure 361 square feet and features your own private balcony with deck furniture.

  • Your Space

    The spacious and luxuriously appointed public areas onboard include the Explorer Lounge which is an ideal place to relax and unwind and where you can attend informative lectures, recaps and briefings whilst enjoying views of the islands. Along with a sophisticated AV system, there is also a small photography station with an IMac where guests can download and edit their photographs during their time onboard. Relaxing in the ship’s library, you can read books about the natural sciences, human history and conservation of the islands, and find maps and charts of this remarkable archipelago that sprawls over 36,000 square miles around the Equator. Here you can also find a choice of contemporary literature and an extensive collection of the classics, test your knowledge with daily quizzes and crosswords, or challenge someone to a game of chess or a board game.

    Meet and mingle with fellow travellers and members of your expedition team in the Piano Bar, where cocktails are served and views of blue seas and lava-rock landscapes are always on display. The friendly bar staff will quickly learn your favourite drink, but do try one of t he local concoctions — a Blue Footed Boobie perhaps. Accompanied by the music of the resident pianist, you can enjoy afternoon tea and pre-dinner cocktails here before dinner with new-found friends.

    The Jacuzzi, beauty salon and massage room are located on Deck 6 where a full range of salon services are available including hairstyling, manicures and pedicures. Appointments for these chargeable services may be made onboard the ship. The fitness centre also offers eye-opening panoramas with a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike and a weight machine. Snorkelling equipment for guests is stowed and cleaned in the outdoor area on Deck 3. Guests who bring their own equipment can also stow their gear here to dry after our water activities.

  • Your Dining

    The Restaurant The menu in The Restaurant includes a wide range of international selections although the onboard chefs always include a choice of local Ecuadorean specialities to enrich your culinary journey. The Restaurant offers open-seating dining, which means there are no assigned times, no assigned tables. You are free to dine when, where and with whom you please.

    The Grill Soft breezes and island views beckon at the Grill, especially as the sun goes down, when guests gather at the outdoor bar for cocktails and tapas and to discuss their day. Dining options at The Grill include a choice of lighter fare as well as grilled favourites and fresh-from-the-oven pizza. In the evening The Grill is transformed into an intimate, interactive eatery where diners can grill their own fresh seafood and prime cuts under a canopy of stars.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Deck plans
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Our View

“There’s a short, five minute coach ride from the little airport on Baltra to the harbour where the Silver Galapagos waits at anchor for me and for the 90 others who have just arrived for a week’s exploration of the eastern islands. I step out of the coach at the harbour, squinting in the bright sunshine, don a lifejacket and wait for a few moments before it is my turn to hop in a Zodiac and be whizzed off to the ship. As I wait, a few feet to my right a marine iguana clambers out of the water and over some craggy volcanic rocks and then scampers its way across the landing platform, literally darting between the legs of a slightly startled fellow passenger, before coming to a rest on some sand at the edge of our group where it very tolerantly poses for about 1000 eagerly taken photographs. Frigate birds wheel overhead, Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle and bicker amongst the rocks, one of Darwin’s finches bobs and cocks its head at us, as we all point and gawp in unison in 90 different directions at so many of the different little miracles that this place so readily provides. And this is all in the first five minutes on the journey from the airport. The holiday hasn’t even really begun yet.

For dinner on the first night I chose to eat at The Grill, the outdoor restaurant on Deck 5. Seeing as it was the first day of the holiday, I allowed myself a ‘surf n turf’ mixture of sizzling lobster tail and fillet steak (truth be told, this was not the only evening during the week that I permitted myself this indulgence). Shortly after our plates had been cleared away, a fellow passenger called over to our table and encouraged us to join her at the railing along the port side of the deck. We did so and, in the waters below, illuminated by the ship’s spotlights, she pointed out a group of sea lions that was darting to and fro, criss-crossing one another’s paths through the water in a frantic but seemingly choreographed manner. Their purpose became clear moments later when the school of flying fish that they had been gradually corralling towards the vessel started leaping and fluttering from the water straight into the side of the ship, a dozen at a time. As the stunned fish fell back into the sea they were quickly gobbled up by the waiting sea lions. And then by a pelican, which had swooped down upon the scene and now sat bobbing on the surface eager to get involved in a cheap meal. And then, to the evident consternation of the pelican, three eight-foot Galapagos sharks arrived, apparently also sensing an easy dinner from out in the darkness. The sharks stayed with us for maybe half an hour before gliding silently off into the night. The memories of such moments seem likely to remain with you for rather longer though. And this was only what happened while I was having dinner on the first night…“

Joe Nelson, Head of Customer Relations

Expedition Highlights

• Visit “Bird Island” home to over 30 bird species.

• Climb Prince Philip’s Steps through a thriving seabird colony.

• Observe sea lion families and the famed giant tortoises.

• Admire the antics of Red-footed and Blue-footed Boobies.

• Explore natural underground lava tunnels and hike across lava flows.

• Hike up the sides of an extinct volcano.

• See spectacular water-spouting “blowers”.

• Swim and snorkel in tranquil, clear waters with the opportunity to use onboard kayaks for the more adventurous.

• Photograph colourful marine iguanas.

• Cruise by Zodiac along scenic coastlines.

Tour Extensions

    • 4th to 8th March 2018

      Before embarking the Silver Galapagos, enjoy a jungle adventure staying at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge which sits high on the shores of Lake Garzacocha. During your time at the lodge, you will explore the most bio-diverse region on the planet with English-speaking guides in canoes and on foot. Please note that the itinerary shown below is only an example of how we expect to spend our time at the lodge but full itinerary details will be provided on arrival.

      La Selva Lodge La Selva Lodge

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 London to Quito. Fly by scheduled indirect flight. On arrival, transfer to the Marriott Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay. Remainder of the day at leisure.

      Day 2 Quito to La Selva Lodge. After breakfast we transfer to the airport for the 30-minute flight to Puerto Francisco de Orellana followed by an amazing journey of two and a half hours in a motorized canoe with an English speaking naturalist guide to La Selva port. A short jungle walk will then lead us to a creek where small fibre glass canoes will be taken to enjoy an unforgettable 20 minutes canoe ride across “Garzacocha” (the heron’s lagoon) in order to reach the lodge area. On arrival at the lodge a naturalist guide will provide a short briefing with information about the lodge and your schedule of activities. This afternoon you can join a guided walk on the Matapolo Trail during which guides will share their knowledge about flora and fauna of the tropical rain forest. After dinner at the lodge join a night walk to enjoy all of the insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that you might see during an hour walk in the darkness of the forest.

      Day 3 La Selva Jungle Lodge. After an early breakfast we will take a 20 minute walk to the Observation Tower where you can enjoy an enchanting view of the canopy of the forest. Several different species of birds with bright colours and symphonic calls, as well as canopy mammals like red howler monkeys may be seen. Later we enjoy a walk on the Tucaneta Trail to learn about the flora and fauna and see the main characteristics of the tropical rain forest and the behaviour of insects, frogs, toads, reptiles, birds and mammals. Enjoy lunch at the lodge and some time to relax before a late afternoon canoe ride around Garzacocha Lake, observing herons, flycatchers, birds of prey and the famous Hoatzin.

      Day 4 La Selva Lodge. This morning we will explore Mandicocha Lagoon, a smaller lagoon surrounded by an Igapo Forest. Observe the interesting ecosystem and take fascinating photos. A canoe ride around the lagoon and along its creek will let you learn about important species of flora and fauna that you find only in this type of forest such as sloths, caiman lizards, fruit bats and jacanas. A walk along a different trail will lead you back to the lodge for lunch. This afternoon join the Chuagumago Hermano Trail which begins behind the lodge and finishes on the edge of the lagoon. During the walk your guides will talk about the neo-tropical pharmacy of the forest.

      Day 5 La Selva Lodge to Quito. Depart this morning and fly to Quito. On arrival transfer to the Marriott Hotel (or similar) and follow the main itinerary.

       

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £1895
      Single £2395

      Price includes: Economy class scheduled air travel from Quito to Coca, three nights accommodation at La Selva Lodge on a full board basis, overnight hotel accommodation in Quito on a bed and breakfast basis, transfers, port taxes, airport taxes, gratuities to staff.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

    • 17th to 24th March 2018

      Discover the heart and soul of one of the most fascinating civilisations in the Americas, the Incas. Explore Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire; the Sacred Valley, a setting of picturesque communities, impressive terraces and some important archaeological sites; and the ultimate Inca site, Machu Picchu.

      Machu Picchu Machu Picchu

      Day 1 Galapagos to Lima. Disembark the Silver Galapagos and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Lima via Guayaquil. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration.

      Day 2 Lima to Cusco. After breakfast we embark on a city tour including the Plaza Mayor, the official centre of the city and the original site upon which Lima was founded. From the historic centre, we make our way to the archaeological site of Huaca Pucllana. This ceremonial centre rose to importance between 200 – 700 A.D. It is an adobe pyramid of seven platforms which has now been completely surrounded by the neighbourhood of Miraflores. After lunch, we drive through modern Lima on a panoramic tour of the residential district of Miraflores and then we return to the airport for our scheduled flight to Cusco. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the Palacia del Inka Hotel which is our base for the next two nights. Meet for dinner this evening at the hotel.

      Day 3 Cusco. Today we explore Cusco, including the Cusco Cathedral and Santo Domingo, a Dominican church and convent built upon the foundations of the Koricancha temple. This was the ‘place of gold’ - the Inca’s principal religious building, which was dedicated to the worship of the sun. After seeing the sights of the ancient city, we continue to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a true testimonial to Incan architectural expertise. Compiled of massive stones we are challenged to try to slip a piece of paper into the cracks in between these blocks, cut and fitted together with incredible precision without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. This ancient fortress (where the greatest battle between the Spanish and Incas took place) overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco and the breath-taking countryside surrounding the city. We head back into Cusco for lunch before spending the remainder of the day and evening at leisure. Dinner at will be served at the hotel this evening.

      Day 4 Cusco -Sacred Valley- Machu Picchu. Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before visiting the local village of Pisac, famous for its bustling, colourful market. After lunch, continue on to the massive fortress of Ollantaytambo. The fortress, a formidable stone structure that climbs massive terraces reaching the top of a high peak, was the valley’s main defence against the Antis and was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest. Below the fortress lies a complete Incan town, also called Ollantaytambo, still inhabited and with its original architecture and layout preserved. We transfer to the train station to board the train upon arrival, walk to Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in Aguas Calientes for dinner and an overnight stay.

      Day 5 Machu Picchu–Sacred Valley. After breakfast this morning we transfer to the bus station and take a bus ride to Machu Picchu, accompanied by our guide. We explore the city's ruins and feel its pulse as we visualize the lives of the priests, craftsmen, and servants who inhabited this incredible place. Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artefacts and woollen clothing, but no gold. The same precision of assembled stones exists here as in other Incan sites. Enjoy your lunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. After having lunch, take the train on our way back to Sacred Valley. Then we will transfer to the hotel at Sacred Valley.  Overnight and dinner at Aranwa Sacred Valley & Wellness Hotel where we meet for dinner tonight.

      Day 6 Sacred Valley to Lima. After breakfast we then transfer to the airport in Cusco for our scheduled flight to Lima (light lunch on route) arriving this evening for an overnight stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

      Day 7 Lima to London. After breakfast transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

      Day 8 London. Arrive today.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £2945
      Single £3295

      Price includes: Economy class scheduled air travel from Baltra to Lima and between Lima and Cusco, two nights’ accommodation in Lima and Cusco and overnight accommodation in Aguas Calientes and Sacred Valley on a bed and breakfast basis, dinner on days 2, 3, 4 and 5, lunch on days 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, excursions, transfers, airport taxes, gratuities to staff.

      Not included: Travel Insurance.

Your Onboard Team

Joining you onboard and enhancing your experience immeasurably will be an Expedition Team including naturalists who have a wealth of knowledge of the islands. They will accompany you ashore, host lectures and re-caps onboard and always be available to answer any questions you may have about the many wonders surrounding you. Below are some of the team who may be joining you onboard.

Pierre Thomas – Expedition Team member & Noble Caledonia Tour Manager Pierre will be a familiar face to many of our passengers, having worked with Noble Caledonia for many years. Born in Belgium, Pierre moved to Zaire (the former Belgian Congo) with his family in 1978. They lived just outside Kinshasa, the capital city and he attended the Belgian School until 1989. Promising himself he would return to Africa after his studies, he then moved to Ghent, Belgium to study Tropical Animal Husbandry, specialising in Tropical Fish Farming. His studies took him to Rwanda where he completed an apprenticeship in Butare, and then to Ecuador where he worked with an Aquaculture Research Centre. This second apprenticeship allowed him to discover the Galapagos Islands, and soon after he moved there permanently to work as a Naturalist Guide and Expedition Leader for 10 years. Since 2003, Pierre has lectured and worked within the travel industry returning regularly to the Galapagos archipelago.

 

Daniel Arteaga - Expedition Leader Daniel´s involvement and endearment with the Galapagos National Park started when he was very young. Daniel´s parents have been part of the tourism industry of the islands since the late 1970s. He grew up in Playa de Oro, San Cristobal and throughout his life Daniel has formed a deep connection with the archipelago by being a volunteer of the National Park and community programmes in his home port. After graduating from high school he studied medicine. However, he has decided to take a new career path and opted for neurobiology. He enjoys sharing his experiences in the Galapagos because he finds that in this archipelago we hold a microcosm of our planet. There is so much we can learn not only of our global ecology but of ourselves as a species. Daniel truly believes that through education we can achieve positive change. That is his driving force to share and learn as a guide of the Galapagos National Park.

Ernesto Vaca - Expedition Team Guayaquil native, Ernesto Vaca, began working in 1986 as a field assistant for the project, “Repopulation of land birds in the burnt area of Sierra Negra volcano, Isabela Island, Galápagos.” It was a matter of time for his mind and soul to become part of the islands, so in 1989, as he finished his biology career and became a naturalist of the Galápagos National Park. He has been in touch with nature ever since, learning about her ways and turning himself into a disciple of nature’s protection. As well as being a naturalist, Ernesto is a firefighter with expertise in Homeland Security, thus working as a Provincial Director of Risk Management for the Galápagos from 2011 to 2013. Although he is an experienced naturalist and lecturer, Ernesto considers himself an enthusiastic apprentice, excitedly discovering along with those that accompany him on his explorations of the Galápagos.

Fernando Ortiz - Expedition Team fter receiving an education in marine biology with a focus on the development of the shrimp industry in the Ecuadorian coast, Fernando Ortiz worked for eight years as Naturalist Dive-Guide in the Galapagos National Park. In 2004, he was assigned the Process for Control and Marine Resources Conservation in the Galapagos National Park, a position in which he was responsible for managing all aspects of the Galapagos Marine Reserve, such as the functioning of the Participatory Government scheme, the control and surveillance of the Reserve and overseeing the development and control of fishing and research activities in the archipelago. In July 2005, he joined Conservation International as Galapagos Programme Coordinator. In this position he was in charge of fund raising, planning, implementing and managing of a programme formed by various conservation projects involving the recovery of biodiversity in areas affected by human activities, both at the Galapagos Marine Reserve and on the land area.

Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000