Please call free on - 0800 707 6229 - for huge extra savings on Tauck Galapagos Wildlife Wonderland Cruise (Family Adventure)
Take your family somewhere a bit different on your next family holiday. Discover the vast wildlife of the Galapagos islands. This eight-day family adventure takes guests to the exotic Galápagos Islands, a region rich with a variety of local wildlife, flourishing flora and on-island excursions. Sailing through the four-island system by panga and by expedition ship, Santa Cruz II, as you and your family take in the beautiful views on both land and sea
. Across this island society; explore the lagoons on Baltra Island that have a variety of birds within its ecosystem including pintail ducks, flamingos and stilts. Snorkel in Santiago Island in Buccaneer Cove where local sea lions may sneak up alongside you and surprise you. Hike up Bartolomé Island accompanied by incredible views at the summit. See the intricacies of the island firsthand! From the red sand of Jervis Island to the marine iquanas who forage for food in the sea, even the crabs are different here, with their bright red and yellow shells that provide quite a contrast to the black-lava rocks of these volcanic islands. Learn from Galápagos naturalists who travel with you... take walks on lave terrains... travel ashore via pangas... swim and snorkel... And much more!
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts plus other select BBC Earth touches
- ll gratuities to Tauck Directors, local guides, drivers, naturalists, and ship staff
- Includes On-Tour Air (2 flights)
- 4 nights aboard the new 90-guest Santa Cruz II, designed especially for Galápagos Islands cruising; dry and wet landings
- Your cruise may be a shared ship experience with non-Tauck guests onboard as well; all Tauck guests will be accompanied by one Tauck Director for approximately every 40 Tauck guests, and your itinerary will always be highlighted by exclusive, private Tauck shore excursions
- Licensed Naturalist Guides of Galápagos National Park accompany shore excursions and hold briefings aboard ship, offering hands-on natural history lessons
- Private Tauck Shore Excursions with experts, averaging two daily, for wildlife sightings and exciting activities
- Entrance fee to Galápagos Nat’l Park – USD $100 value per adult
- Have brunch near a dormant volcano close to the Equator and explore colonial Quito on a guided tour
- Learn about the Galápagos' natural history and conservation in the islands during a visit to the Cristóbal Interpretation Center on San Cristóbal
Day 1: Arrive Quito, Ecuador
A transfer is included from Mariscal Sucre International Airport to the Swissôtel Quito, where you'll enjoy an Executive Level room. Join us for a special reception with local entertainment before our welcome dinner at the hotel. Then get a good night’s sleep so you’ll be rested and ready for your family's unforgettable Galápagos experience.
Day 2: Visit the Equator and explore Quito
Quito is not only 9,200 feet above “seal” level, it’s also on the Equator... the "middle of the world." Take the opportunity to stand on both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time, and learn more about Quito's unique geography at the Inti Ñan Museum before enjoying an Ecuadorian lunch near a volcanic crater. Explore centuries-old Colonial Quito on a guided tour. Then spend the rest of the day and evening at leisure as you get set for tomorrow... when your Galápagos cruise gets underway!
Day 3: Cruise to islands time forgot
Your family's Galápagos tour and cruise* commences today when you fly from Quito to the volcanic island of Baltra and board your new expedition ship, Santa Cruz II. Your first shore excursion features a ride ashore on a panga to the island of Santa Cruz, and a wet landing on Las Bachas Beach (named for the US military barges, referred to as "bachas," that were beached and abandoned there after WWII) – an important nesting area for the green sea turtle. On a guided hike around a saltwater lagoon today, look for flamingos, pintail ducks, sandpipers and stilts; join our expert naturalists for an informative briefing back aboard ship this evening, prior to the Captain's welcome reception followed by dinner.
Day 4: Meet the locals on Santiago Island
Start the day with a morning boat ride off Buccaneer’s Cove on Santiago (James) Island – once a favorite haunt of pirates and whalers – to observe seabirds like frigates, pelicans and boobies, and go snorkeling off the panga. After lunch aboard ship, a wet landing at Puerto Egas on Santiago provides even more opportunities to see seabirds, along with a colony of sea lions and marine iguanas; enjoy a swim and a snorkel from the beach before returning to the ship.
Day 5: Explore Rábida & Hike on Bartolomé
Meet Darwin's finches and other rare birds today after a wet landing on Rabida (Jervis) Island, with its red-colored beaches. Experience both wet and dry landings on your excursion to Bartolomé Island; hike up to the summit and drink in amazing vistas of its volcanic features and the neighboring islands. Ride a panga around Pinnacle Rock, and view sea lions, sea turtles and tiny tropical Galápagos penguins in a panorama of life found only here. Tonight you'll find out more about the Galápagos Islands with our shipboard naturalists.
Day 6: Towering sights & birds at Darwin Bay
Explore Genovesa (Tower) Island by panga and a dry landing; climb up Prince Philip’s steps for a hike across the island, where you'll see masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and more. An afternoon cruise and a wet landing at Darwin Bay offers more amazing views of thousands of rare birds, including red-footed boobies, gulls, mockingbirds, herons and finches, as well as an optional walk across volcanic terrain. Back aboard the ship, celebrate the end of your cruise – and your family's most unforgettable Galápagos tour – at our Captain’s farewell dinner.
Day 7: Disembark on Santa Cruz & fly to Guayaquil
Disembark Santa Cruz II on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, and visit a tortoise reserve to observe in the wild one of the rarest forms of wildlife that continue to thrive here on the Galápagos Islands – the giant tortoise – and efforts being made by the Ecuadorian National Park Service to preserve and protect life on the islands for future generations. Late morning, travel to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil on the mainland, and an overnight at the Wyndham Guayaquil. Join us this evening for a poolside farewell party at your hotel as your family's Ecuador and Galápagos tour comes to a close.
Day 8: Homeward bound
A transfer from the Wyndham Guayaquil to José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport is included. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in.
Created especially for operations in remote areas like the Galápagos Islands, the Santa Cruz II boasts five spacious decks with modern interiors designed by renowned Swedish ship designer Richard Nilsson. Just over 70 meters long, the new vessel sleeps 90 guests in 50 contemporary designed staterooms – 36 of which can be interconnected, offering flexibility for families and single travelers. Guests can choose from luxuriously appointed double and triple Explorer cabins, or opt for the more exclusive Darwin Suite, an exceptional standard of accommodation on the Panorama Deck. All staterooms are equipped with air conditioning, a large picture window, hair dryer, iPod / MP3 docking station, numerous electrical outlets, in-room safe, reading lights and more.
From top to bottom, Santa Cruz II features ample, indulgent spaces crafted from choice materials, including wide hallways and broad stairwells. Passengers can truly relax in the beautifully designed communal areas and viewing platforms, including indoor and outdoor dining options, two lounge bars, a well-stocked library, two indulgent ocean view hot tubs and a state of the art gym. Creative Ecuadorian and international cuisine featuring freshly caught fish and seafood and locally grown organic fruit and vegetables is spotlighted on menus served in the colorful Beagle Dining Room and al fresco on the Panorama Deck.
Santa Cruz II offers a refined small ship cruising experience, with a maximum capacity of just 90 passengers. Aboard Santa Cruz II, the Tauck group may share the ship with non-Tauck guests. On all departures, the Tauck group will be accompanied by one Tauck Director for approximately every 40 Tauck guests. Your cruise will be highlighted by exclusive, private Tauck shore excursions, while your time on board Santa Cruz II will provide opportunities for you to interact with the ship's other non-Tauck guests.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don't include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment's notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
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