The Galapagos are some of the most interesting and exotic parts of South America, and a dream trip for many who love to cruise. Historically, however, the stumbling block for many vacationers has been that the length of time needed for an expedition to these regions has been prohibitive- vacationers simply did not have enough time to explore these areas on a traditional expedition.
Silversea Expeditions recently announced, however, that they will be conducting short expedition voyages of 3 and 4 days, beginning in 2013. To find out more about these new options, please see the information below, straight from the line. (You’ll also find that Silversea offers eight-to-11 day cruise and land packages for a more in-depth exploration.)
NEW 2013 GALÁPAGOS EXPEDITION CRUISES
The new 4-day, Baltra-to-San Cristóbal expedition voyages, encompassing the islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, and Seymour Norte, are:
8301A: 28 September – 2 October
8307A: 9 – 13 November
8309A: 23 – 27 November
8311A: 7 – 11 December
The new 3-day, San Cristóbal-to-Baltra voyages, tracing a route through the islands of Española, Santa Cruz, and Plazas Sur, are:
8303B: 16 – 19 October
8307B: 13 – 16 November
8309B: 27 – 30 November
8311B: 11 – 14 December
Silver Galapagos expedition cruises offer adventurous travellers the life-enriching chance to discover a wild, pristine paradise that has long been regarded as a natural laboratory of evolution. On complimentary expeditions ashore guided by an experienced expedition team (certified by the Galápagos National Park Service), Silversea’s guests may experience up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colourful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin’s famous finches.
The cruise and land packages include an expedition voyage aboard the luxurious, all-suite Silver Galapagos, Silversea’s Galápagos air package (between Quito or Guayaquil and Galápagos), the Galápagos National Park entrance fee, plus pre- or post-cruise South America land extensions. The land programmes include deluxe hotel accommodation, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. While air travel between guest’s home and Lima, Quito or Guayaquil is not included, optional roundtrip air packages from select UK, US and Canadian gateways to South America are available through Silversea.
GALÁPAGOS CRUISE & LAND PACKAGES
Below is a sampling of the new Galápagos cruise and land package options (prices are per person, based on double occupancy):
8-Day Machu Picchu & Galápagos Package
Guests will enjoy 2 days surrounded by the history and culture of Ecuador’s vibrant capital on the “Quito Discovery” land extension before embarking on their 3-day Galápagos expedition cruise. After witnessing the natural treasures of the Galápagos Islands from their base of luxury aboard Silver Galapagos, guests will then journey to Peru to spend 3 days exploring the glorious Lost City of the Incas on an exciting “Machu Picchu Explorer” land adventure, highlighted by a scenic journey in Peru’s Vistadome train. This 8-day package is priced from USD$6,713.
10-Day Puno, Lake Titicaca & Galápagos Package
The magnificent Andes and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, are the setting for an exciting 4-day “Puno & Lake Titicaca” pre-cruise adventure. Highlights include a visit to the Sillustani tombs, a cruise to the floating reed islands of the Uros people with their centuries-old way of life, and a visit to Taquile Island to admire ancient weaving traditions. Guests then embark Silver Galapagos for an unforgettable 4-day expedition voyage through the Galápagos Islands, followed by 2 days absorbing the fascinating sights and attractions of Ecuador’s capital on the “Quito Discovery” post-cruise land extension. This 10-day package is priced from $7,503.
11-Day Amazon Explorer & Galápagos Package
Guests enjoy 2 days taking in the artistic, cultural and historic attractions of Ecuador’s capital on the “Quito Discovery” land extension before embarking on their 3-day expedition voyage aboard the elegant Silver Galapagos. Following the Galápagos programme is a unique 6-day journey to Peru’s Amazon basin where it’s possible to witness pygmy marmosets, howler monkeys, colourful toucans and other exotic wildlife that inhabit the region’s lowland forests. Participants will cruise the Amazon in all-suite luxury aboard m/v Aqua, dining on perhaps the finest Amazonian-Peruvian gourmet cuisine on the river. Expert naturalists will be on hand to share insights about this amazing and fragile ecosystem. This 11-day package is priced from $9,513.