A Story of Creation and Evolution

Off the western coast of South America lie Pacific islands that are home to some of the world's most fascinating wildlife. Fly from Quito, Ecuador, to the Galápagos Islands to board the Treasure of Galápagos. Avalon guests explore the volcanic archipelago that inspired Darwin's revolutionary evolutionary work On the Origin of Species. Exciting shore excursions introduce you to a world like no other with giant tortoises, penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, and a fantastic array of bird species — including the remarkable blue-footed boobie. Embark on a thrilling expedition to discover extraordinary wildlife with experienced Naturalists. Stroll the pristine beaches beside penguins and flamingos, marvel at ancient tortoises and the world's only amphibious iguanas, walk on volcanic slopes, see a kaleidoscope of birds, mammals, and reptiles in this wild paradise.

There is no place on Earth like the Galápagos Islands. Created by titanic geothermic upheavals resulting in hundreds of volcanic islands and islets more than five million years ago. Two million years after their formation, the young islands cooled down — inviting animal and plant life to move here by hitching rides on rafts of vegetation floating from Central and South America. These early immigrants had to adapt to a peculiar new environment and slowly evolved to thrive in their new home. The result? Unique and endemic species found nowhere else on earth.

The first human to step on the Galápagos Islands was a wayward sailor and Spanish bishop blown off his intended course of a mission to Central America in 1535—a mere 500 years ago. During the 17th and 18th Centuries, pirates used the Galápagos Islands as a refuge and food stockpile—harvesting the islands’ giant tortoises. Later in the 18th Century, whalers began using the archipelago as their base of operations—leaving a devastating impact on the islands by killing tortoises and introducing domestic animals. Today, the islands are the focus of conservation and protection.

Galapagos Islands Cruises

Darwin’s Theory

It wasn't until 1832 that the Galápagos Islands were officially claimed by Ecuador and named Las Islas Galápagos after the famous tortoises. When Charles Darwin visited in 1835, he observed a pristine, naturally isolated living laboratory that would inspire and refine his theories, which he would share with the world-to shattering effect-decades later. The islands have not lost their ability to inspire; the natural magic Darwin discovered over 180 years ago is still thriving in this remarkable environment.

Still today, wild creatures of the Galápagos are not wary of humans. Here, you can walk among the marine and land iguanas basking in the sun; observe the elaborate mating rituals of blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and frigate birds; and snorkel with playful sea lions and penguins. All who visit these islands come away inspired and changed by this spectacular living laboratory and timeless wilderness sanctuary.

 

Treasure of Galápagos

Seeing the Galápagos Islands on board the 9-suite Treasure of Galápagos goes beyond traditional cruising and allows you a truly intimate experience with a maximum of 16 guests. Chartered for Avalon guests, the Treasure of Galápagos features spacious suites with balconies and takes you around the archipelago to explore the natural wonders of this region in privacy and comfort. Beautifully appointed, the Treasure of Galápagos epitomizes luxury in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy the amazing natural world known as “a laboratory of evolution.” Delve into this magical world in the company of an expert crew and experienced Naturalist, including guided shore excursions, onboard lectures, and snorkeling in the marine reserve by snorkelling from your luxury catamaran ship.

An Adventure in Luxury

The Treasure of Galápagos combines contemporary design, luxury, and exclusivity. With capacity for only 16 passengers, the ship’s nine spacious, outside suites offer floor to ceiling windows, a private balcony, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, and safe. In addition, the 430-square-foot master suite boasts two private balconies, as well as a private living area. The non-smoking interior features elegantly appointed common areas including an indoor lounge and bar, dining area, shaded outdoor lounge, sun deck with Jacuzzi, and an observation area for whale and dolphin watching. Avalon also includes complimentary wine with all onboard dinners and open seating throughout the dining room for all meals consisting of international cuisine and Ecuadorian specialties. You can sit back and relax while the expert crew and multilingual Naturalist and Cruise Director attend to every detail and deliver a once-in-a-lifetime cruise in the most unique place on earth! With dates chartered exclusively for Avalon guests, you will enjoy the most intimate of Galápagos experiences.

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A Natural Selection for Cruising the Galápagos

Exploring the Galápagos Islands on board the Treasure of Galápagos goes beyond both traditional cruising and expedition. Experience the wonder of an expedition with all the comforts of home, including first-class service and dining onboard this intimate 9-stateroom ship.

Expert Naturalists

Cruising with you on the Treasure of Galápagos are experienced hand-selected Naturalists and guides with the highest level of training and assessment, including continued education every year. Each day expert Naturalists provide rich narrative about the abundant, natural life you’ll encounter. Your Naturalist will lead you along paths of lava flows occurring less than 100 years ago, personally show you the fascinating blue-footed booby species, the flightless cormorant, and the great frigatebird along with dozens of others. One of the greatest features of the Galápagos is that every island features unique wildlife. Some islands reveal only certain species of tortoises, birds and even a hybrid iguana that is indigenous only to South Plaza Island. Your Naturalist will also be your snorkelling guide to explore the second largest marine reserve in the world.

Perfectly Equipped for Luxury Expeditions

On board the Treasure of Galápagos, be pampered with personalized service and amenities, including a Jacuzzi, outdoor lounge, and an observation platform for dolphin and whale watching from the top deck. The ship's dining room, lounge, and bar are elegantly appointed, as is the well-stocked library and reading room. All staterooms are located outside to deliver stunning views in the relaxed luxury of your room. There’s no better way to explore the Galápagos.

    On Board

    • Intimate cruise experience with no more than 16 passengers
    • Expert crew & gracious staff
    • Expedition team of multilingual Naturalists
    • Professional Cruise Director and staff to help throughout your cruise
    • Fascinating destination talks and demonstrations by your Cruise Director, Local Guides, and ship’s crew
    • Complimentary reusable water bottle and water station
    • Outside private cabins
    • Multimedia natural history lectures
    • Elegantly appointed common areas
    • Non-smoking interiors
    • Indoor lounge & bar
    • Sun Deck
    • Observation area for whale or dolphin watching
    • Jacuzzi
    • International cuisine & celebrated Ecuadorian specialties
    • Complimentary coffee, tea, water, and snacks onboard throughout the day
    • Open seating throughout dining room for all meals
    • Complimentary snorkelling equipment
    • Wetsuits (available for an additional fee)
    • Galápagos Natural history lectures and stargazing talks
    • Radio and satellite telephone communications for emergencies
    • Stargazing Program

    In Room

    • Outside staterooms with balcony, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, and safe
    • Fine linens & duvets
    • Premium mattresses
    • Private bathroom with shower
    • Soft & firm pillows
    • Private bathroom featuring shower, hairdryer, & bath amenities
    • Eco-friendly hair care and bath products
    • Bedside tables with reading lamps
    • Small table with two chairs
    • Closet with shelves for storage & in-room safe
    • Private balcony with glass doors
    • Nightly turn-down service
    • Individual climate control

Local flavors. Familiar favorites.

Each dining experience brings a destination to life, especially with fresh, quality ingredients and delicious dishes crafted by the best chefs. Enjoy international cuisine with a focus on Ecuadorian flavors, recipes, and traditional food, all of which enhance cultural values. Start your day with a breakfast buffet offering a wide selection, and lunch buffet with a great selection of main courses as well as fresh salads and homemade soups. Dinner is served at your table with a choice of entrees and complimentary wine. Weather permitting, enjoy occasional "al fresco" dining on the outdoor deck. Before or after your Galapagos cruise, enjoy complimentary breakfast at your hotel. Included lunches and dinners may also be offered in your hotel or at local restaurants, with free time to enjoy local specialties on your own.

Superior Hotels

The Difference is Night and Day

Every Avalon hotel has been hand-selected by our regional experts. With high-quality service, desirable amenities, spacious guestrooms, and central locations, each hotel on your vacation is sure to exceed your expectations. View a cruise itinerary for a full list of hotels, amenities and photos.