Western Galápagos – Baltra to Baltra

Includes a 2 night pre-cruise stay in Quito and domestic flights. The Western Islands are home to the only active volcanoes in the archipelago and are known both for their spectacular volcanic landscapes as well as penguin spotting; over 95% of Galapágos Penguins live in these islands. It’s also the only area to see the endemic Flightless Cormorant. Other key sites include the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Post Office Bay with its human history and Champion Islet with some of the best snorkelling in the archipelago.

Highlights

  • Walk across spectacular lava fields
  • Explore tidal pools, lush mangroves and Scalesia forests
  • See pelicans and penguins along the rocky shores
  • Swim with green sea turtles, sea lions and manta rays
  • Hike through fragrant forests of palo santo “Incense” trees
  • Encounter the largest colony of marine iguanas
  • Watch for a unique species of Flightless Cormorant
  • Visit one of the most volcanically active places on Earth
  • Discover a saltwater lagoon within a volcanic tuff cone
  • Read cave inscriptions from the 1800s
  • Learn of the islands’ whaling history and early Norwegian settlers
  • See wild flamingos (in season) and nesting sea turtles
  • Observe giant tortoises and sea lion colonies
  • Photograph iconic Pinnacle Rock

What is Included

  • Included flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands
  • Included Transfers
  • Included 2 nights Pre-Cruise hotel and tour of Quito
  • Included National Park and immigration fees
  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service – available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly-qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare

What is Not Included

  • Flights Dublin/Quito (Ecuador) – Guayaquil (Ecuador) /Dublin
  • Single supplement is 50% of total room price
  • Travel insurance €85.00 (+ 70 years – double premium)

Itinerary Details

Day 1 & 2 – Quito

Arrive in Quito and check in to the JW Marriott Hotel Quinto for a complimentary 2 nights stay.

You will also enjoy a city tour of Quito during your stay.

Day 3 — Baltra

Transfer to Quito Airport and domestic flight to Baltra where you will embark on the Silver Galapagos and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition – Western Galápagos. After settling in and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and enjoy the first of many memorable meals on board.

Day 4 — Bartolomé, Playa Espumilla, Santiago

Some of the most spectacular landscapes in the islands come into view. Just off the coast of Santiago, Bartolomé boasts some of the most magnificent landscapes in the islands including the famous Pinnacle Rock, a towering obelisk at the edge of the ocean. Go snorkelling or take a walk along the beach to look for the playful Galápagos Penguin, perched on a rock or zooming underwater.

Beautiful Espumilla Beach is an important nesting site for the East Pacific green sea turtle. We’ll walk through the arid vegetation zone of the interior where we’ll see the largest palo santo trees in the Galápagos, the perfect habitat for several species of Darwin’s finches.

At times of year when conditions aren’t ideal at Espumilla, you’ll enjoy a visit to Buccaneer’s Cove. This protected cove once served as a safe harbour for pirates as they repaired their ships and replenished their stores. Today, it offers a wealth of water-based activities, including snorkelling with a kaleidoscopic array of tropical fish, whitetip reef sharks, fur seals and even eagle rays. You can embark on a kayak or Zodiac tour and spy some of the beautiful geologic features of the area—red cliffs, natural caves and unique rock formations—while perhaps spotting native sea birds (like the Brown Noddy) that nest in the cliffs.

Day 5 — Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela, Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)

Five (originally six) majestic shield volcanoes up to half-a-million years old pierce the arid landscape of Isabela, the largest and youngest island in the Galápagos. Snorkelling is probably the best (and coldest) in the islands at Punta Vicente Roca, located at the base of Ecuador Volcano (North-west Isabela). Half of this volcano collapsed about 100,000 years ago—meaning that visitors now get a spectacular cutaway view of the caldera. Aboard a Zodiac, we’ll look for an array of seabirds including Flightless Cormorants and penguins.

The largest colony of marine iguanas in the Galápagos can be seen sunning on the black lava shores of Punta Espinoza at the north-eastern corner of Fernandina. One of the most pristine islands in the world, Fernandina hosts an impressive array of wildlife including sea lions, colourful Sally Lightfoot crabs and the rare endemic Flightless Cormorant.

Day 6 — Caleta Tagus, Bahía Elizabeth (Isabela)

A short cruise across the Bolivar Strait brings us to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. Yellow Warblers and Galápagos Mockingbirds may escort our hike between palo santos and yellow cordias, passing the briny Darwin’s Crater lake along the way. Join the snorkelling tour to look for penguins, cormorants and the shy Brown Noddy along the sheltered cliffs. You may also explore the area on a kayak.

The tallest red mangrove trees in the Galápagos are found in Elizabeth Bay, an idyllic mangrove lagoon and a fascinating place to observe marine life. We’ll take a Zodiac through the mangroves where sea turtles swim close to the surface, and pelicans and herons stalk for fish or crab. Sea lions and penguins are also prevalent in this marine sanctuary. (No landings permitted.)

Day 7 — Post Office Bay, Punta Cormorant; or Corona del Diablo; or Champion (Floreana)

Floreana has been luring visitors since the 18th century when whalers hunted the island for tortoises and pirates sought shelter in its caves. Sailors established a rustic mailing system here: a barrel nailed to a pole where they would drop letters hoping they would be delivered by other mariners sailing home. You can continue the tradition if you choose. Then take a walk along the lovely beach, or go snorkelling in an underwater world as colourful as Floreana’s history.

You’ll have an opportunity to get to know the flora and fauna of this island. On the northern coast (between Punta Cormorantand Post Office Bay), a sea lion rockery has developed. Amid lava rocks that are dotted with prickly pear cacti and sesuvium, a small colony of the creatures thrives. Pups are particularly curious when visitors arrive—they love to go in the water and investigate Zodiacs as they pass through their waters.

As you travel along the coast, you may find many other creatures that shelter amid the red and white mangroves: eagle rays, marine turtles, Brown Pelicans and resting Cattle Egrets. Kayaking through the turquoise waters here is a true pleasure, inviting a sense of peaceful solitude and an invigorating feeling of connection to nature. Even if you prefer not to go into lava tunnels, there is so much to explore in Floreana.

Where in the world can you see an olivine beach, deciduous vegetation and pink flamingos all in one place? Only at Punta Cormorant, one of the most interesting sites in the islands. We’ll learn about the formation of beaches as we land on the olive-green sand and walk to Flour Beach, a favourite nesting site for green sea turtles. Floreana also offers some of the best snorkelling sites in the Galápagos.

Day 8 — Galapaguera Cerro Colorado, Wizard Hill (San Cristóbal)

The most emblematic animal in the archipelago is the Galápagos 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 Galápagos National Park Service park rangers and the scientists of the Charles Darwin Research Station has been bringing those numbers back. We’ll see these ancient reptiles and their babies, and learn more about current conservation efforts at 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.

This afternoon you can swim, snorkel or kayak with sea lions and marine iguanas right from Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach. It’s a haven for birdwatching, too.

Day 9 — Los Gemelos, Puerto Ayora and the Fausto Llerena Breeding Cente (Santa Cruz)

The second largest island in the archipelago is home to both the largest human settlement and the second largest wild tortoise population. We’ll visit Los Gemelos, two pit craters (similar to sink holes) in the midst of a forest of tall scalesia trees that look like giant daisies and are endemic to the Galápagos. Here there’s a good chance to spot land birds, especially one of the rare and endemic Galápagos Martins.

Tortoises in the Galápagos occur in two different morphotypes: dome-shaped and saddle-backed. The smaller saddle-back tortoise was hunted virtually to extinction and just a handful of survivors remain. The Fausto Llerena Breeding Center gives us the opportunity to see both the domed tortoise and the iconic saddleback tortoise after which the islands were named.

Day 10 — Baltra

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Galapagos for your return flight from Baltra Airport to Guayaquil Airport. (Note: if your flight out of Guayaquil departs after 22.00hrs a complimentary day room will be provided in a hotel in Guayaquil).

Accommodation

2 NIGHT PRE-CRUISE SIMPLY HOTEL: JW MARRIOTT HOTEL QUINTO

The JW Marriott Hotel Quito, located in the oldest city in the Western Hemisphere, attracts visitors from all countries to enjoy our churches and the 16th Century European architecture as well as natural sanctuary like rain forests and the highest active volcano of the world.


SHIP DETAILS

Silver Galapagos

A galápagos expedition cruise, enjoyed aboard silver galapagos, brings you to one of the most isolated places in the world to encounter an abundant variety of wildlife species that is incredibly unique and found nowhere else on earth. Lying just off the western coast of south america, the galápagos archipelago is inaccessible to most, yet this isolation has allowed nature to develop in ways exclusive to the islands. Experience it all with complimentary exploration activities including zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking and nature hikes led by our highly experienced guides certified by the national park of the galápagos.

Guests: 100 crew: 75 length: 289.24 feet / 88.16 meters

Click here to view more information on this ship

Suite

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and request a quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite. "

Silver Suite

361 ft² / 34m² including a private balcony, Deck 6

Spacious, with a welcoming sitting area, a marbled bathroom and your own private balcony with patio furniture. Silver suites can accommodate three guests in (there is a sofa bed in the living area).

Deluxe Veranda Suite

303 ft² / 28m² including private balcony, Deck 4

The spacious veranda suite’s plush comfort with more space to relax. The private balcony with patio furniture vaunts panoramic views throughout the cruise. Three guests can rest comfortably in deluxe elegance (there is a sofa bed in the living area).

Veranda Suite

268 ft² / 25m² including a private balcony, Deck 5

A silversea signature, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony with patio furniture. Veranda suites lavishly accommodate three guests (there is a sofa bed in the living area).

Terrace Suite

287 ft² / 26.38m², deck 5

A quiet sanctuary where large picture windows provide panoramic ocean views. Terrace suites provide splendid repose for three guests (there is a sofa bed in the living area), along with easy access to public observation area with patio furniture.

Explorer Suite

250 – 235 ft² / 23 – 22m² with view window, deck 2/3/4

All explorer suites can accommodate at least two guests.

Explorer suites 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, and 341 can accommodate up to three guests.

All explorer suites on deck 2 can accommodate up to three guests (there is a sofa bed in the living area).

Proposed Flights

Carrier

From / To

Departure Time

Arrival Time

KLM

Dublin / Amsterdam**

05.55 hrs.

08.30 hrs.

KLM

Amsterdam / Quito**

10.15 hrs.

16.15 hrs.

Tame (included in price)

Quito / Baltra

06.35 hrs.*

09.00 hrs.

Tame (included in price)

Baltra / Guayaquil

12.30 hrs.

15.20 hrs.

KLM

Guayaquil / Amsterdam

20.20 hrs.

13.40 hrs.*

KLM

Amsterdam / Dublin

17.00 hrs.

17.40 hrs.

*Call us for a quotation on fares

*Next day arrival Flight times and details may be subject to change

** It is necessary to depart on Friday 03 March, spend the night in Quito and fly from Quito to Baltra on the Saturday 05 March (Day 1 of the above itinerary). Please note that you have the option of extending your holiday by 5 days with the 5 Night Pre-Cruise Extension – Devil’s Nose and Andean, the same flight schedule would apply. (see full details and flight options in Optional Experiences).

Dates & Prices

Prices are per person sharing. Price includes Domestic flights but not International Return flights.

Start Date

End Date

Silver Suite

Deluxe Veranda Suite

Veranda Suite

Terrace Suite

Explorer Suite

Thu Mar 2

Sat Mar 11

€11,650.00

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

€9,450.00

€7,850.00

Thu Mar 9

Sat Mar 18

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

Thu Mar 16

Sat Mar 25

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

WAITLIST

€7,950.00

Prices subject to change

Additional departures are available throughout the year, contact us for dates and prices

Optional Experiences

Hotels

  • Pre-Cruise Simply Hotel: JW Marriott Hotel Quinto
  • Pre-Cruise Grande Hotel: Casa Gangotena
  • Post-Cruise Hotel: Hotel Oro Verde


Tours & Activities

  • 5 Night Pre-Cruise Extension – Devil’s Nose and Andean

Quintessentially Ecuador, the Andean region (also known as the Sierra and the Highlands) is the most visited region in the country. Its cultural and natural diversity spans grassy highlands (páramo), cloud forests, mountain lakes, active volcanoes, thermal baths, Indian markets, colonial towns and haciendas. The engineering marvel that is the Ecuadorian train system is highlighted by a ride on the so-called "Devil’s Nose", a hair-raising trip down the rocky slopes of the Andes through some of country’s most breath-taking scenery.

  • 3 Night Post-Cruise: Machu Picchu Grande Explorer

Indulge your senses with the scenic splendour and unique history of Peru. Board the legendary ‘Hiram Bingham’ for a picturesque train-ride to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, explore the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. Your overnight stay at the famed Sanctuary Lodge allows you to spend additional time at the historic site with fewer tourists.

Click here to view more information on these hotels and the full itineraries of these optional experiences >>


Important Information

  • A valid passport is required
  • A visa is not required for Irish citizens
  • Transfers from Quito Airport to JW Marriott Hotel Quinto are not included in the price
  • Our Galápagos itineraries are subject to change at any time due to circumstances beyond our control. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.
  • Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

How to reserve a place(s): a completed booking form with a deposit of 25% of the total cost (payment by cash/cheque /debit or credit card) should be sent directly to MAP Travel. The balance will be due 120 days prior to sailing – payment by cash/cheque or debit card.

In conjunction with Silversea