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Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise – Nine of the Best Isles Plus Machu Picchu

Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise – Nine of the Best Isles Plus Machu Picchu

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Description

South America land adventure The first part of our adventure takes place on land. Setting off from Lima, Peru’s vibrant capital, we’ll fly to Cusco, the ancient centre of the Inca empire, and discover its many cultural and architectural wonders. Next, we travel up the Sacred Valley on a luxury train to the incredible mountain citadel of Machu Picchu before heading back to Cusco and then flying to charming Quito – the ‘City of Eternal Spring’. 
Awe inspiring Galápagos Islands After exploring Quito´s historic centre on a guided tour, we’ll head to the Galápagos Islands for an unforgettable sea adventure. This itinerary calls at nine incredible islands – Baltra, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, Santiago, Rábida, Bartolomé and Genovesa. Here, you’ll visit picturesque landscapes showcasing a range of ecosystems and see many of the species which made these islands so famous. On this active cruise, and with an onboard Expedition Team of local guides, you’ll get closer to the many natural wonders in our small panga boats, kayaks and glass-bottom boat. 

Trip Name
Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise - Nine of the Best Isles Plus Machu Picchu
Days
14
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Vessel Length: 71.8 meters Passenger Capacity: 90 Built / Refurbished: 2002 / 2015 / 2018 / 2021 When you are exploring the Galápagos islands with us onboard the MS Santa Cruz II, you will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in high quality surroundings. The small size - with a guest capacity of maximum of 90 allows for a cozy yet classy environment. You´ll easily feel at home on board. Gastronomic delights Mouthwatering meals and creative cocktails await you aboard MS Santa Cruz II. With creativity and dedication, our cheerful staff draw inspiration from everything from the weather to the region’s flavours and local ingredients. Beagle Restaurant - Incredible Dining Experience The MS Santa Cruz II has a team of trained staff members that utilize locally-sourced organic food to prepare every dish. This ship provides a Le Cordon Bleu (a trained Gastronomy Director) and a wide variety of culinary experiences that encompass all diets and preferences. Each and every meal served onboard is exquisite. Panorama bar & lounge This large and well-lit area is not only the main bar, but also the place where most ship events will take place (welcome and farewell cocktail), and doubles as an ideal place for lectures. It’s the ideal site to chill and relax with Wi-Fi hot spot and direct access to our al fresco terrace. Luxury living Your ship gives you everything you could wish for in a home away from home: places for stimulation, relaxation, and meetings with your fellow guests. With a Scandinavian-inspired décor and all modern conveniences, MS Santa Cruz II does it in comfort and style. Expedition lounge & bar with Science Corner and library Facing the front of the ship, the Expedition Lounge – complete with a refreshment station and library – is a fantastic place to admire the beauty of the Galápagos’ Islands from inside. The Science Corner includes a glass cabinet, a microscope and a whale vertebrae clone, a perfect learning zone about our science activities. Sky deck The Sky deck offers spaces where guests can relax and enjoy their Galápagos expeditions basking in the sun at the very top of the ship. The sun deck and fitness room are located here. Wellness and workouts Whenever you feel the need to get your body moving, exercise facilities are on hand to get your pulse up. And whether you’re relaxing after a day of fascinating lectures, or a long hike, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to relax your body and mind. Fitness Room Our fitness center is equipped with yoga mats, set of weights, 2 treadmills, 2 stationary bikes, and an elliptical trainer for those guests who do not want to let their routine slide. Hot Tub For a nice relaxing time our two hot tubs with capacity for 5 guests each. Located on the Expedition deck are ideal.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1 Your land adventure begins
Start your adventure in ancient and modern Lima  Welcome to Peru, one of the most fascinating countries in South America!  If you have time after your arrival in Lima before settling in at your hotel for an overnight stay, we suggest you wander historical centre, which is packed with elegant Spanish colonial architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or why not walk along the oceanfront boardwalk in the upmarket Miraflores district. Here, you’ll find many restaurants and cafés, as well as shops if you need to purchase anything ahead of your adventure. Lima is considered the food capital of Latin America, so be sure to try local dishes like ceviche, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice with onion and chilli.
Day 2 - DAY 2 City of the Incas and a cultural gem
Explore the ancient seat of the Inca Empire In the morning, you’ll take a flight to Cusco, the ancient seat of the Inca Empire. A local guide will take you to check in at your hotel, before inviting you on a guided tour of this enigmatic city.   You’ll see impressive Inca structures contrasted with ornate buildings from Spanish colonial times. Visit the 15th century ceremonial compound of Sacsayhuaman, or admire the architecture of the Spanish Santo Domingo church, a convent built on the ruins of Koricancha, the Inca Sun Temple. After your tour of the highlights of this cultural and architectural gem, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 3 - DAY 3 Back in time to a lost world
Discover the lost city of the Incas   An early morning transfer will take you to Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, from where you’ll catch a train along the narrow-gauge line to Machu Picchu, passing through stunning highland scenery along the way. After around two hours, we’ll stop at the small town of Aguas Calientes and take the short bus ride to Machu Picchu – the so-called Lost City of the Incas.      You’ll enjoy a guided tour of this once-hidden settlement, marvelling at the stonewalls, terraces and ramps that are carved into the mountain. You’ll love the peaceful atmosphere of Machu Picchu as you gaze at the lowland jungle from this city in the clouds. After lunch, we’ll return to Cusco where you’ll enjoy your final night at the hotel.
Day 4 - DAY 4 Quito – city of eternal spring
Discover the vibrant city of QuitoThe day begins with breakfast at your hotel. We’ll then drive to the airport in Cusco for the morning flight via Lima to Ecuador. You´ll arrive in Quito in the afternoon. At 9,350 feet, Quito is the second-highest capital city in the world, and its main draw is the exquisite Old Town which was founded on an ancient Inca settlement. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s packed with well-preserved colonial-era architecture, including colourful plazas, magnificent churches and handsome monuments. If you have enough time in the evening, visit the Calle La Ronda, an ancient pedestrian street with links to the poets and artists who’ve lived here. It’s lined with shops and cafes, and there are many handicrafts available to buy.
Day 5 - DAY 5 Visit historic Quito
 Straddle the Equator at the Middle of the World City Today you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Quito’s remarkable Old Town – one of the largest and best-preserved colonial-era quarters in South America. Wander through cobblestone streets as you admire the architecture – and sample some delicious chocolate made from finest Ecuadorian cacao along the way. Next, you’ll head to the iconic ‘Middle of the World City’, located around 16 miles north of Quito. After lunch, you’ll visit the famous monument that delineates the imaginary line of the Equator. Have your camera ready to capture the moment you stand with one foot in each hemisphere.
Day 6 - DAY 6 Your cruise begins
Get ready to explore the spectacular Galápagos Islands As your South America land adventure draws to a close, it’s time to embark on the next stage of your journey. After breakfast, a short flight will take you to Baltra Island in the spectacular Galápagos archipelago. A transfer brings you straight to the port where your comfortable expedition ship MS Santa Cruz II awaits.  In the afternoon we’ll begin our exploration of the Galápagos Islands following the north shore of Santa Cruz towards the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón – Dragon Hill – where we’ll land. The first part of the walk here passes by a brackish lagoon that’s frequented by shorebirds and American Flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as a chance to get a first look at some land iguanas.
Day 7 - DAY 7 Wildlife-rich Isabela and Fernandina
Scan the coastline and seas for iconic species You’ll start your day at Punta Vicente Roca, on the north-western tip of Isabela Island. After breakfast, we’ll explore the coast by panga boat, learning about the dramatic geology of the area from your naturalist guides.  This site is a nesting place for several bird species, so look out for Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, and boobies. Weather permitting, you’ll get to snorkel alongside the cliffs, where you might find green sea turtles, oceanic sun fish, and fur seals.  In the afternoon, we’ll explore Fernandina, an island with a unique ecology and a big population of marine iguanas. Scan the coast for sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hawks and penguins.
Day 8 - DAY 8 Darwin’s Santa Cruz
Meet the famous giant tortoises of Galápagos  Today, you’ll explore Santa Cruz Island. In the morning, we’ll disembark at Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. A giant tortoise breeding centre, here you can see recently hatched tortoises and Darwin’s famous finches – the birds he used as a basis for his theory of evolution by natural selection. There’s also an impressive forest of prickly pear cacti that’s home to many land birds.  Enjoy a cooler climate over lunch in the lush highlands, where giant tortoises shuffle about munching on grass and wallowing in pools. You'll have time for another activity, including mountain biking or visiting a sugar plantation.
Day 9 - DAY 9 Picturesque Floreana
Discover Galápagos history and underwater wildlife After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a panga boat ride among the channels on Floreana’s north shore, before taking in the incredible views of the island from Baroness Cove. Later on, we’ll land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries.  After lunch, you’ll explore the wonders around Champion Islet in a panga boat or aboard our glass-bottom boat. Here, you can snorkel in one of the best spots in the archipelago.  From there, it’s onwards to Cormorant Point, where we’ll take a walk from an olivine-crystal beach to a brackish lagoon, where you can commonly see American Flamingos, Pintail Ducks and more.
Day 10 - DAY 10 Relax in Baltra
Unwind and recharge your batteries Relax on board while we anchor off Baltra Island. After four days of exploring the unique nature and environments of Galápagos, it is the moment to pause for a while and recharge your batteries for the days ahead. Make use of the many onboard facilities, flick through the books in the library or exercise in the gym – it’s up to you. In the afternoon, we’ll land at Las Bachas beach, located on the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island. This glorious white beach with turquoise waters is a great place to spot iconic Galápagos wildlife like flamingos and sea turtles. Enjoy swimming or snorkelling before heading back to the ship for an expedition briefing about the following day.
Day 11 - DAY 11 Pristine Santiago Island
See iconic wildlife and spectacular landscapes Today you’ll explore Santiago Island’s pristine beaches and picturesque landscapes. Take in the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove on the northwest coast, home to a large number of marine birds and sea lions. Immerse yourself in the scenery through a range of water activities and marvel at fantastic rock formations such as ‘Elephant Rock’ and ‘The Bishop.’   In the afternoon, we’ll head to Puerto Egas, one of the best visitor sites on the island. You’ll have the opportunity to see a colony of Galápagos fur seals and exotic birdlife on an excursion. Or you could just swim or snorkel along the rocky shorelines, typically, in the company of marine turtles.
Day 12 - DAY 12 Stunning Rábida & Bartolomé
Soak up the sights and sounds of the Galápagos Your day starts on tiny Rábida Island, located off the southern shore of Santiago. You can go for a thrilling panga ride along the coast explore the island’s mesmerising, red-coloured beach. Soak up the sights and sounds made by a colony of sea lions, and watch for marine iguanas, mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers and several species of Darwin’s Finches.  In the afternoon, we’ll sail to the golden sands of Bartolomé Island, dominated by the imposing Pinnacle Rock. You can swim or snorkel off the beach here, discover colourful marine life from our glass-bottom boat, or watch for Galápagos Penguins on the shore. Hike up to the summit of the island for fantastic views.
Day 13 - DAY 13 Genovesa, a bird paradise
Discover a birdlife haven and take a refreshing dip Today you’ll explore Genovesa Island. The morning starts with a steep but short climb – only 90 feet – up Prince Philip’s Steps – El Barranco – to reach flat and rocky plateau. Once there, you can walk along comfortably and look out for large colonies of Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, Great Frigatebirds and Storm Petrels. Afterwards or instead, hop into a kayak for some aquatic adventuring.  In the afternoon, we’ll land and swim at the beautiful beach that fringes Darwin Bay for a swim. Following this refreshing dip, take a stroll and observe hundreds of island birds, or alternatively just take it easy on the beach, swimming, snorkelling or kayaking.
Day 14 - DAY 14 One last adventure
See giant tortoises in the wild We start our last morning on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. A dry landing at a passenger wharf and a bus ride to the loftier region of the island will provide a final highlight of your expedition cruise: giant tortoises in the wild.  The windward slopes of the island are set aside as a reserve that’s home to two species of giant tortoise. These lush highlands also feature dense forests of Galápagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads. After this visit we’ll transfer directly to the airport in Baltra for your flight to Quito to connect to your international flight, or if you prefer, continue to Guayaquil for another adventure. To explore more of Ecuador, why not extend your stay and join one of our optional Post-Programmes.
Day 15 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-05-202523-05-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
10-05-202523-05-2025Array Array0Darwin Suite
24-05-202506-06-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
24-05-202506-06-2025Array Array25,569Darwin Suite
07-06-202520-06-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
07-06-202520-06-2025Array Array25,569Darwin Suite
21-06-202504-07-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
21-06-202504-07-2025Array Array25,569Darwin Suite
05-07-202518-07-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
05-07-202518-07-2025Array Array25,569Darwin Suite
19-07-202501-08-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
19-07-202501-08-2025Array Array25,569Darwin Suite
02-08-202515-08-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
02-08-202515-08-2025Array Array25,569Darwin Suite
16-08-202529-08-2025Array Array19,608Explorer Cabin
16-08-202529-08-2025Array Array25,569Darwin Suite
30-08-202512-09-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
30-08-202512-09-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
13-09-202526-09-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
13-09-202526-09-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
27-09-202510-10-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
27-09-202510-10-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
11-10-202524-10-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
11-10-202524-10-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
25-10-202507-11-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
25-10-202507-11-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
08-11-202521-11-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
08-11-202521-11-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
22-11-202505-12-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
22-11-202505-12-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
06-12-202519-12-2025Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
06-12-202519-12-2025Array Array25,077Darwin Suite
20-12-202502-01-2026Array Array20,801Explorer Cabin
20-12-202502-01-2026Array Array0Darwin Suite
17-01-202630-01-2026Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
17-01-202630-01-2026Array Array0Darwin Suite
31-01-202613-02-2026Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
31-01-202613-02-2026Array Array0Darwin Suite
14-02-202627-02-2026Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
14-02-202627-02-2026Array Array0Darwin Suite
28-02-202613-03-2026Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
28-02-202613-03-2026Array Array0Darwin Suite
14-03-202627-03-2026Array Array19,267Explorer Cabin
14-03-202627-03-2026Array Array0Darwin Suite

Inclusions

    • Visit magnificent Machu Picchu and nine of the most alluring Galápagos Islands on this land and sea adventure combination.
    • See the unique wildlife of Galápagos, from giant tortoises to marine iguanas as you visit the islands of Baltra, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, Santiago, Rábida, Bartolomé and Genovesa.
    • Learn about these incredible islands and Charles Darwin’s research from your expert Expedition Team, comprised of local naturalist guides.

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