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Galápagos — Central Islands aboard the Xavier III

Galápagos — Central Islands aboard the Xavier III


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Overview

Dates & Prices

*Please Note: This vacation includes an internal air component which will not be discounted from the listed price below.
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Seven nights cruising through the Galápagos National Park aboard Xavier, snorkelling with sea lions and discovering amazing marine life, coming face-to-face with 200-year-old giant tortoises, hiking along dramatic lava flows and exploring colonies of sea birds and sea lions, finding marine iguanas relaxing in the sunshine

Encounter the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first weighed anchor off its shores. Spend seven nights exploring the incredible wildlife of the Galápagos archipelago in the company of an expert Naturalist Guide. In the evenings, return to the Xavier to reflect on the day's adventures. Retire to air-conditioned cabins with exclusive lower berths and private bathrooms - that's why you'll never end up on another operator's ship.

Day 1: Quito
Arrive at any time.
Activity: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
Activity: The adventure begins today. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Your G Representative will review the details of your tour.
Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon (or similar)

Day 2: Quito/Puerto Ayora
Transfer early to the airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival meet the Naturalist Guide, who will assist with the transfer to the Xavier, located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Visit the Santa Cruz highlands and get up close and personal with giant tortoises.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Activity: Head to Santa Cruz's verdant highlands and the El Chato Reserve. There are many reserves in this area, such as El Manzanillo, Primicias, and El Chato II, making this is a perfect place to see giant tortoises in their natural environment.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 3: Chinese Hat/Black Turtle Cove
Visit Chinese Hat for snorkelling opportunities and to observe the birds and sea lions before taking an excursion to Black Turtle Cove to see the marine life.
Activity: Explore Chinese Hat's beautiful landscape and view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows.
Activity: Snorkel right from the white-coral sand beach and come face to face with playful sea lions and large schools of tropical fish. Keep an eye out for marine iguanas and penguins.
Activity: Explore the mangroves by panga to find rich marine wildlife between the fresh and salt waters. Keep any eye out for sting rays and sea turtles in this tranquil ecosystem. Whitetip reef sharks can also be seen gliding by.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 4: Cerro Dragón/Islas Daphne
Visit Cerro Dragón on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island to see land iguanas and a salt water lagoon frequented by flamingos and other species of birds. Continue to Daphne Island in the afternoon to spot birds and wildlife.
Activity: Visit Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) for some prime birdwatching. Take a short walk from the beach to a hypersalinic (saltier than the ocean) lagoon frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Pass through a Palo Santo tree forest; endemic to the area, there are only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world.
Activity: Travel to Daphne, a tiny conical island, home to nesting blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, Darwin's finches, and a variety of marine life. Observe from the boat as this island is dedicated to scientific research. This island was where Dr. Peter Grant conducted a long-term study of Darwin's finches.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 5: Islas Plaza/Santa Fé Island
Land at South Plaza in the morning for wildlife spotting opportunities. Afternoon visit to Santa Fé Island for guided walks to observe the wildlife and plentiful marine iguanas. Opportunities for swimming and snorkelling with the sea lions.
Activity: Visit South Plaza, one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos, which has one of the largest populations of land iguanas. Walk along a path through a cactus forest and view a combination of dry and coastal vegetation on this lively island, home to a wide range of fauna, including incredible birdlife. Spot red-billed tropicbirds and indigenous swallow-tailed gulls resting on the cliffs, and sea lions playing in the waters.
Activity: Visit Santa Fé for amazing wildlife watching opportunities. Hike towards the cliffs along the island's northern shore to view the forest of giant prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), which is home to endemic land iguanas. It is also one of the best locations to see sea turtles, sea lions, and maybe even get a glimpse of a whitetip reef shark from the panga.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 6: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Visit the Interpretation Center on San Cristóbal Island and enjoy free time to explore the port town of Baquerizo Moreno. Visit Isla Lobos in the afternoon to spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions.
Activity: Learn about the history of the Galápagos Islands from the very beginning of their volcanic origins through to today's conservation efforts. Tour the Human History exhibit to learn about the islands' discovery and colonization, and discover the natural history and variety of flora and fauna that make the Galápagos so fascinating.
Activity: Explore this tiny island for great wildlife encounters. Either by foot or by panga, view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. Spot a small colony of blue-footed boobies as well as two species of sea lions.
Activity: Snorkel the waters of peaceful Isla Lobos, amid the families of sea lions and their inquisitive pups looking to play. Spot nesting frigatebirds and the famous blue-footed boobies resting on the shore. Be sure to bring your camera to catch some snaps at this prime wildlife watching haven.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 7: North Seymour/Mosquera Islet
Explore two tiny islands that are big on wildlife. North Seymour offers great views of nesting seabirds, including frigatebirds and Mosquera is home to large colonies of sea lions.
Activity: Have an amazing wildlife experience visiting North Seymour Island - this island is teeming with life! Follow trails to see all the action (you may need to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana while walking). Depending on the season, see blue-footed booby nests where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Head to a rocky shore to see flocks of pelicans having lunch in a dive bomb feeding frenzy, then turn inland to a large nesting site of magnificent frigatebirds. These huge, dark acrobats have two-metre (6.5 ft) wingspans, and males, with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. Top off your visit with a snorkel excursion among the colourful fish who call this area home.
Activity: Take your time exploring the underwater world along North Seymour's beach. Be greeted by large schools of tropical fish and sea lions, and keep an eye out for sea turtles and reef sharks.
Activity: Wander along the beach and keep a look out for wildlife on land, in the air, and at sea. Relax on the sand or search for aquatic life in the tidal pools that dot the coastline.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 8: Santiago Island/Bartolomé Island
Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to witness the giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé Island for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint.
Activity: Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see one of its star natural attractions - striking and fascinating giant lava formations. Very few plants have managed to survive on this island due to its harsh environment and relatively new lava flow. Enjoy a walk along the lava formations before coming to a white-coral sand beach, where abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions gather on shore.
Activity: Enjoy a cool dip after exploring Sullivan Bay on foot. Grab a snorkel and discover many species of fish and other marine life in the shallow waters. Keep an eye out for turtles, rays, and large schools of colourful fish.
Activity: Hike to Bartolomé's summit for a stronger perspective of the islands' not-too-distant volcanic origins, and enjoy a panoramic view - it's one of the best among the islands! See other Galápagos Islands in the distance as well as Pinnacle Rock, the island's famous towering landmark.
Activity: Take the opportunity to swim and snorkel along the shore, home to one of the most iconic volcanic rock formations on the islands. Home to Galápagos penguins, friendly sea lions, sea turtles, and a huge variety of fish, Bartolomé and its surrounding waters are a fantastic place to explore the natural wonders of the Galápagos.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 9: Puerto Ayora/Quito
Disembark in Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises. Fly back to Quito.
Activity: Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close - a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened. This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 10: Quito
Depart at any time.
Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.
Meal(s): Breakfast

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Inclusions

Meals Included
9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport
Motorized yacht (Xavier), plane, private vehicle, panga.

Inclusions
Cruise the Galápagos Islands aboard the Xavier (7 nts). All meals aboard the Xavier. Certified Galápagos National Park Service Guide. Highlands and wild tortoise excursion (Santa Cruz Island). Snorkelling at Chinese Hat, Isla Lobos, North Seymour and Sullivan Bay. Visit to a wildlife interpretation centre (San Cristóbal Island). Hike to the Bartolomé Island viewpoint overlooking the famous Pinnacle Rock. Visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island). All landings and excursions. Onboard snorkelling equipment and wetsuits. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Accommodations

Hotels (2 nts), aboard the Xavier in twin-share cabins (7 nts).

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.3
Accommodations
4.2
Itinerary
3.4
Professional Staff
5
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
4.6

Ratings based off 5 reviews - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

The itinerary was terrific, the guides were great (Milton and Mauricio). They kept up us on track to see and experience the wonders on the Galapos Islands. Milton was particularly attentive, making sure we were safe while snorkeling. The food was good and other staff were courteous. My only complaints are that accommodations in the lower cabins of Xavier III were not up to expectations -old and freezing cold - and the hotel on Santa Cruz Island was 2-star, at best. These accommodations were an extreme contrast to the quality and luxury of the Hotel Hilton Colon in Quito.

It was a dream vacation.Thank you.


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