On the first day of your journey, you’ll be greeted at the airport by a Celebrity Cruises® representative and transferred to the JW Marriott hotel. Enjoy free time to relax and settle in.
Breakfast is served at the hotel. During your guided tour of the capital of Ecuador, situated at an altitude of 9,350 feet, you’ll stand on the equatorial line at the Intiñan Solar Museum, and marvel at the monastery of San Francisco and la Compañia Church. Your Tour Director will escort you throughout your Quito stay, and serve as your personal concierge. Lunch with a spectacular view of the city, and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local gourmet restaurant.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra, Galapagos. During World War II, Baltra served as a U.S. military base protecting the Panama Canal from enemy attack. Now the cactus-strewn landscapes of Baltra are home to the region’s main airport and where you will meet the ship. From the airport, it is just a short bus and Zodiac ride to the ship for embarkation.
North Seymour is a small island just north of Baltra. It is home to the largest colony of frigatebirds in the Galapagos. While keeping an eye out for male frigatebirds trying to impress potential mates with an inflated red neck pouch, you may see blue-footed boobies dancing in a timeless courtship ritual. Sea lions and large land iguanas also roam about this rocky terrain. Excursion options: Walk and deep-water snorkel.
One of two islands off Santa Cruz, South Plaza was born of upheaval, uplifted during a geologic event. The rocky island is strewn with prickly pear cactus and home to land iguanas, marine iguanas, and a colony of sea lions. Our excursion here is a short walk to view wildlife, flora, and geology.
Begin with a wet landing on the small beach in Barrington Bay. Large numbers of sea lions are found on the beaches and can often be seen surfing in the waves. Some of the island’s endemic species include massive Santa Fe Opuntia cactus, the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, finches, and the Galapagos Mockingbird. Hike past saltbush where Galapagos hawks and Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. Keep an eye out for sea lions and the occasional sea turtles or ray. Excursion options: Walk, swim, kayak, zodiac.
After disembarking onto the small green sand beach, hike up to a plateau, where the view and landscape are so spectacular it is well worth the effort. A steep gully leads up the cliff to a breeding ground for all three varieties of boobies: Red-footed, Blue-footed and Nazca. It’s the only place in the Galapagos where you can see all three species nesting together. Excursions options: Hike, kayak, snorkel, and zodiac.
Visit the small waterfront town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the administrative capital of the islands. Excursion options: a tour of a local interpretation center and time for shopping or a fast-paced long walk to view scenic vistas, followed by a visit to the interpretation center.
Rich in history, this site is home to the post office barrel established in about 1793, where pirates, buccaneers, whalers and others could leave their mail to be picked up by outbound ships. The tradition continues today, as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home.
This bay provides a wonderful opportunity for ocean adventures. When snorkeling, tropical fish abound with frequent sightings of sea turtles, rays, sharks, sea stars, and sea lions if they’re in a playful mood. On a zodiac ride along the rocky shoreline keep an eye out for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans, and frigatebirds. Red-billed Tropic birds nest in the crevices below prickly pear cacti. The rare Charles Mockingbird also makes its home here. You can also participate in a short hike over a small hill and across the island, you may have an opportunity to see the elusive flamingos in a brackish pond and visit a popular sea turtle nesting site on the fine white sand beach. Excursion options: Snorkel, zodiac,and hike.
Elizabeth Bay is one of the furthest points in the Galapagos visited on our cruise. Enter a sheltered cove accessible only by zodiac. It is a wonderful and secluded mangrove ecosystem that is a refuge, resting, and feeding site for sea turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, penguins, pelicans, lava herons, and more. Excursion options: Zodiac
Along this beautiful rocky shore, a field of hardened black lava flows is pockmarked by shallow pools, which are home to shorebirds and flamingos. The mangrove-lined shore also provides a chance to see marine iguanas, sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, penguins, and the flightless cormorant. Excursion options: a long walk and zodiac ride, or an extended zodiac ride.
The main population center of the islands, Puerto Ayora is home to the National Park Service tortoise-breeding center and the Charles Darwin Research Station. You will be able to visit the breeding center and walk through the Research Station. You will also have the opportunity to take a bus ride to the highlands to observe giant tortoises in the wild and walk through a lava tunnel. In addition, you will have an exclusive opportunity to participate in the Scalesia reforestation project.
A long white sand beach and clear blue waters make this an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beach. In the water, sea turtles, rays, colorful tropical fish, sea lions and maybe even a white-tip reef shark may be seen. Excursion options: beach walking, swimming, or a deep-water snorkel for experienced snorkelers.
Española is the oldest island in the Galapagos and home to an abundance of wildlife. At this site, visitors can expect to see sea lions, Galapagos Hawks, marine iguanas, and both blue-footed and Nazca boobies. Excursion options include a long, rocky walk to look for Waved Albatrosses (March to January), and observing an impressive blowhole that spews water like a towering geyser. A short walk is also available.
From Baltra, you’ll fly to Quito, and then on to Lima, Peru. A Celebrity representative will be on hand to assist with all your transfers. You’ll overnight at the Westin Lima hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will pick you up and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Cuzco. Lunch is served at Casa Hacienda Orihuela in The Sacred Valley, where the Orihuelas, a family of great art collectors, will be your hosts. Dinner and overnight at the Tambo del Inca Luxury Collection hotel in The Sacred Valley.
Experience the Urubamba Valley, The Sacred Valley of the Incas. Explore the impressive ruins, featuring hillside terraces and a crowning temple designed for worship and astronomical observation. You’ll tour Ollantaytambo and the Pablo Seminario workshop, then lunch at Wayra Ranch- a feast led by the prominent Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and Nacho Solis. During your meal, delight in stunning equestrian Peruvian Paso horse entertainment and marinera music. Dine and overnight at Tambo del Inca Luxury Collection.
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Machu Picchu on the Vistadome train. Lunch will be served at the Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu. Tour the exceptionally preserved buildings and mysterious passageways underlying the city. Then, enjoy welcoming aperitifs, dinner, and an excellent selection of wines while relaxing on the Belmond Hiram Bingham back to Cuzco for an evening of local music, dancing, and Pisco sours. Overnight at Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco.
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a scenic tour at the Coricancha, also known as the “Temple of the Sun,” before touring the Sacsayhuamán fortress and the Cathedral, one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in America, housing about 400 works of art. Lunch is served at Limo Restaurant, with dinner being served at the hotel Monasterio.
Upon your return flight to Lima, enjoy a scenic tour of the city, visiting the Larco Herrera Museum, a colonial mansion built in the eighteenth century. Lunch at the Café del Museo restaurant before proceeding on to the Historic Center of Lima and the convent of San Francisco, a masterpiece of colonial architecture. Dine and overnight or day room at Westin Lima Hotel.
Departure is determined based on your return flight schedule.
When you set foot aboard our 48-passenger Celebrity Xpedition in the Galapagos Islands, be prepared for an experience like no other. Filled with indulgences, including room service, in-suite dining, massage services, complimentary plush bathrobes, a fitness room, nightly lectures by certified naturalists from the Galapagos National Park (who are on board during your entire vacation), and live music in the Discovery Lounge, you’ll experience the Galapagos Islands with style.