Ecuador & Its Galápagos Islands

8 Day Cruise Quito to Quito

Vacation Overview

This exciting cruise vacation lets you sample the natural wonders of Ecuador and its Galápagos Islands. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Quito and have your photo taken at the “Center of the World.” You’ll also explore one of the oldest streets in Quito to visit with local artists and taste some Ecuadorian chocolate at a chocolate factory. Before taking to the sea, a highlight of your trip will be a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts for the giant tortoises. Then, embark on an exciting 4-night cruise among various Galápagos Islands on the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. Have your camera ready as your Naturalist points out colonies of sea lions, pelicans, albatross, several species of Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, flamingos, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels, short-eared owls, and other birds. Each day venture to a new island which is home to species found nowhere else in the world! During your cruise, you’ll also have a chance to snorkel in the tropical waters and perhaps get a look at sea turtles, sharks, and rays. A remarkable cruise adventure!

Itinerary

 

Day 1 ARRIVE IN QUITO, ECUADOR

Bienvenido a Ecuador! South America’s Most Biodiverse Country

Take free time today to relax and prepare for your upcoming Galápagos adventure, or walk through the historic city to sample ceviche or helado (Latin-American ice cream). Dine out tonight or ask about the best clubs for music and dancing.

Day 2 QUITO

A Gold Altar, Artistic Avenues, and Two Hemispheres in One Day

CLASSIC Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Quito that showcases the colonial city’s historic sites, including the impressive Legislative Palace with its enormous sculpted mural of Ecuadorean history. You’ll also see Independence Plaza and visit the 16th-century San Francisco Monastery, and La Compañía Church—the exquisite Jesuit cathedral with its spectacular Spanish baroque architecture—more than 160 years in the making.

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Walk down Calle La Ronda—one of Quito’s oldest streets—with a wealth of artist’s workshops and galleries where you’ll meet local artists and learn about their original works. Later, visit a local chocolate factory for a tour and a tasting to discover why Ecuador is one of the world’s finest chocolate producers.

CLASSIC Your day in Quito ends with a Guided Excursion to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo—a monument to the Equator—the “middle of the world”. Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time at the exact location of the Earth’s Equator. Observe the equatorial effects of the dual-spiraling directions of water and balancing eggs on end.

This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with delicious regional cuisine.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 3 BALTRA–GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS (EMBARKATION)–SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

The Theory of Evolution—and Giant Babies

This morning, take a flight to the Galápagos island of Baltra where you’ll embark on your five-day cruise aboard the Treasure of Galápagos.

DISCOVERY Join your naturalist on a Guided Excursion to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station— established to help conserve the Galápagos’ natural habitat and protect the famous giant tortoises. While here, learn about the tortoise-rearing program and see many of the various islands’ tortoises.

Later on board your ship, join in a briefing of the next day’s adventures, and enjoy a Captain’s welcome with cocktails and dinner.

NOTE:
The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 4 SANTIAGO ISLAND

Volcanoes, Marine Life, and Lunar Landscapes

DISCOVERY This morning, you will find yourself anchored in the western-central part of the archipelago where volcanoes are still active, attributing to the dramatic scenery. Take a Naturalist Led Excursion of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island where you will walk on newly-formed (less than 100 years ago) lava flows reminiscent of the lunar landscape. You can catch sight of lava lizards, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and even the Galápagos penguin.

This afternoon, cruise to Bartolomé Island.

BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND

Hike the Summit, Snorkel, and Swim

ACTIVE Take a Guided Hike to Bartolome’s 114-meter summit for spectacular panoramic views of the region with two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows and spatter cones, including the iconic Pinnacle Rock. Later, take a snorkel and swim off the beach here—home to playful sea lions, Pacific green turtles, white tip reef sharks, and Galápagos penguins.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 5 NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND

Masterful Marine Iguanas and Birds of a Different Color

CLASSIC Take a Naturalist-Led Excursion to see colonies of remarkable bird species, including blue-footed boobies, great frigate birds, and magnificent frigate birds—with its inflated red chest and nearly 7-foot wingspread. Watch for gulls and herons of all assortments.

ACTIVE Take a Guided Snorkeling Excursion in the aqua blue waters just off North Seymour Island’s shore—teeming with sea lions and amphibious marine iguanas—found only in the Galápagos.

This afternoon, cruise for the sandy island of Mosquera Islet.

MOSQUERA ISLET

A Sea Lion Haven of White Coral Sand

DISCOVERY Take a Guided Walk on the white coral beaches to the islands’ largest congregation of Galápagos sea lions. You’ll see a wide variety of shore birds reflecting the island’s amazing biodiversity—from the deep-gray lava gull to the yellow-crowned night heron.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 6 SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND

Tracing Darwin’s Footsteps and Audubon’s Muses

DISCOVERY This morning, take a Naturalist-Led Excursion to South Plaza Island to observe wildlife, including sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, and hybrid iguanas (only found on this island and a result of a cross between land and marine iguanas). You will see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon’s shearwaters, and many other species.

This afternoon, cruise to Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island.

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

Blue Herons, Blue Lagoons, and a Sleeping Lion

ACTIVE Take a Guided Walk at the site where Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos. See the volcanic remains of magnificent Kicker Rock—also called León Dormido (Sleeping Lion). Walk beside one of the island’s blue lagoons to see a number of migratory birds, including pelicans and great blue herons.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 7 GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS (DISEMBARKATION)–SAN CRISTOBAL–QUITO

The Geological Genesis of a Magical Archipelago

DISCOVERY This morning, cruise to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a Naturalist Guided Tour of the San Cristobal Interpretation Center. You’ll learn about the Galápagos’ fascinating volcanic origins, remote location, climate, and the arrival of diverse species that inspire both imagination and science.

This afternoon, you’ll say farewell to the magical islands of Galápagos and fly to Quito. This evening, spend free time relaxing or enjoy one of Quito’s many fine restaurants.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 8 QUITO

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

Vacation Highlights

Day 1 Arrive Quito, Ecuador: Welcome to Quito

Day 2 Quito: Walking tour, visit San Francisco Monastery, La Compania Church, La Ronda Street, a Chocolate factory, and the Equatorial Monument; welcome dinner

Day 3 Quito–Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)–Santa Cruz Island: Fly to the Galápagos Islands; embark Treasure of Galápagos; visit Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island

Day 4 Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 5 Galápagos Islands Cruising: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 6 Galápagos Islands Cruising: South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 7 Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation)–San Cristobal Island–Quito: Disembark Treasure of Galápagos; visit San Cristobal Interpretation Center; fly to Quito

Day 8 Quito: Your vacation ends this morning

  • Maximum elevation on tour: 9,200 ft.
  • Small Group Discovery - We never allow more than 16 passengers on our Small Group Discovery vacations, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the destination and local culture.

Hotels

Quito

Swissotel

Moderate Deluxe

This contemporary hotel is located in the commercial district of Quito, minutes away from historical Old Town. The hotel offers a wide variety of dining with six restaurants and two bars. Other features include a luxury spa, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, tennis and racquetball courts, beauty salon, gift shop, and business center.

Dates and Prices

View the following dates and prices to find just the right date for your vacation. Below you'll find the date your vacation starts and the date your vacation ends.

Once you’ve selected your date, click on ‘Reserve Now’ to book your vacation.



Vacation
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Vacation
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Departure
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Ship
Photos displayed represent the first ship in
the list. Visit the Ship Details tab to view
other ship photos (when applicable).
02-03-2021 02-10-2021 10203 Treasure of Galapagos Please Call
02-17-2021 02-24-2021 10217 Treasure of Galapagos Please Call
03-03-2021 03-10-2021 10303 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
03-17-2021 03-24-2021 10317 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
04-28-2021 05-05-2021 10428 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
05-12-2021 05-19-2021 10512 Treasure of Galapagos NOT AVAILABLE   
06-23-2021 06-30-2021 10623 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
07-21-2021 07-28-2021 10721 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
10-13-2021 10-20-2021 11013 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
10-27-2021 11-03-2021 11027 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
11-10-2021 11-17-2021 11110 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
02-16-2022 02-23-2022 20216 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
03-02-2022 03-09-2022 20302 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
03-16-2022 03-23-2022 20316 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
03-30-2022 04-06-2022 20330 Treasure of Galapagos Reserve Now
“Starting at” or “From” price includes port charges and intra-vacation flights (if applicable). Price shown is per person in twin occupancy and does not include international airfare.



Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travellers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travellers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
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Important Notes

  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $250 per person per vacation is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View full Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
  • Charges not included in the land vacation price: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges; passports; visas and vaccinations; transfers; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ships' crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary; porterage at airports or train stations; Travel Insurance premiums; and all other items of a personal nature.


Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Flex Air allows flexibility if you want to make changes to your vacation schedule. Instant Purchase Air may offer additional airline options but has more restrictions. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option.

Guaranteed air-inclusive prices: air is only available to passengers traveling from the Canada and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit ($300 per person) is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon Waterways in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus $50 per person non-refundable service fee. Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon Waterways has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.

Air-Inclusive Vacations — Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air inclusive price quotes will include all government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. The total airfare price, the base airfare price, and the applicable government taxes and fees are broken-out line-by-line and shown while booking online and on the invoice after your travel is booked. For return travel from some countries, international travellers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveller at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.