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Luxury Galapagos Islands cruise

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Celebrate a special occasion with a week’s luxury cruise around Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, sailing on board the elegant Grace.

Travel to Quito, the highland capital of Ecuador, and after a couple of days exploring the city and its picturesque environs fly on to embark on an 8-day cruise around the Galápagos Islands, to see the greatest wildlife show on Earth. It was on a similar trip 200 years ago that Darwin returned from the archipelago to write the seminal book ‘The Origin of the Species’. Step into his shoes and explore the diversity of land and marine life which inhabit these enchanting islands.

You’ll sail on an elegant luxury yacht which could not be more romantic – Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco spent their honeymoon on board this very same sleek and glossy vessel. There’s abundant deck space and the yacht exudes sumptuous comfort and charm. In addition to landings on the islands you will have the opportunity to snorkel or swim with sea-lions. Travel by night and awaken next day with a new island to discover.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel.

Day 2

Guided tour of Otavalo and its market with lunch in an aristocratic colonial hacienda.

Day 3

Fly to the Galápagos Islands, board the elegant MY Grace.

Days 4-9

Land excursions from the cruise around the Galápagos Islands.

Day 10

Fly to Guayaquil, connect with international flight home or extend your holiday.

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What our experts say

This is the crème de la crème of Galápagos getaways. This holiday is perfect if you’d like to celebrate a special occasion or perhaps would simply like to sail the Galápagos Islands in style and luxury. My favourite thing about this holiday is the history of the boat itself – it’s romantic to think that Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco spent their honeymoon aboard this beautiful yacht

Mary Anne

Mary Anne Nelson

Travel Consultants

Places visited on this holiday

Luxury Galapagos Islands cruise

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Quito

Quito has long been a city of two halves. Occupying a highland valley at 2,850m and flanked by volcanoes, the setting of its historic centre and adjoining modern quarters is breathtaking. The formerly dark and run-down colonial heart has been magnificently restored. Cobbled lanes and whitewashed façades, scrubbed up churches and renovated theatres now gleam and echo with the sounds of the everyday life of its traditional inhabitants. Beyond are the skyscrapers and broad avenues of the contemporary commercial city, La Mariscal, with flashy shops, offices and restaurants, where busy young workers flock to the many bars and nightclubs.

When to go

The capital is an all-year destination. Lying at 2,850m on the Equator, Quito has a year round spring-like climate.  Most days have a sunny morning but there may be rain in the afternoon. Feb-Mar are the wettest months, Jul the driest.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency
Ecuador uses the US dollar. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. 
Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

A visit to Otavalo market in the northern highlands, 58km (1-2hrs by road); the bird-filled cloud forest in the Mindo region, 100km (1hr 40mins by road); the Avenue of the Volcanoes, 77km (2hrs by road); the Galápagos Islands, (2-3hrs by air).

Getting there

Average flight time is 15 hrs. There are no direct flights from the UK to Ecuador, popular routes to Quito involve a change of plane in Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid.

Key events

Dia de Quito: Quito, 6 Dec. The city’s own festival is actually celebrated from 1st Dec, with parades, street music and bullfights, right up until the fiesta’s climax on 6th. It can be quite boisterous.

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Galapagos Islands
Sunset on the islands

The Galápagos Islands.  There’s something magical about the name - they are, of course, known as the Enchanted Isles  - and they sit adrift of mainland Ecuador in isolation in the Pacific Ocean, for centuries far removed from the influences of mankind. Up to the middle of the 20th century only a colourful array of pirates, whalers, convicts, eccentrics and fishermen dropped anchor on their shores.

Born from volcanoes thrusting their way through the surface of the waters, the clutch of alternately sun-baked and misty islands of twisted lava, jagged cliffs and scrubby forest seem an unlikely habitat for wildlife. But a phenomenal array of trusting bird and reptile species, not to mention undersea marine animals, have settled and evolved here, to the delight of visitors from Darwin onwards.

Watch the lumbering giant tortoises, nesting albatrosses, flirting frigate birds, comic boobies, wrinkly iguanas and frolicking sea-lions from a cruise or land-based adventure. Climb a volcano, kayak to a white sand beach or swim with hammerhead sharks:  so many unique experiences to get involved in are at your feet.   

When's the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands?

At any time of year some of the fauna species will be breeding, nesting or in some other way particularly active. The climate is not extreme and even in the wetter months the rain usually only comes in afternoon showers. Dec - May the weather is hot with warm, calm seas and more chance of showers. Jun - Nov it is cooler with morning mist and choppier, colder seas.

What's the official language of the Galapagos islands?

Spanish

What is the official currency in the Galapagos Islands?

Ecuador uses the US dollar. The bank in Puerto Ayora may offer advances on a UK credit or debit card but you are well advised to bring US dollars cash sufficient for your needs on the islands with you.

What is the time difference between GMT and the Galapagos Islands?

GMT -6 hours.

Which other countries combine well with the Galapagos islands?
A land tour on the Ecuadorian mainland; the Inca archaeological sites of Peru (daily flights Quito to Lima 2hrs 20mins).      
How long is the flight from Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands?

Flight time from Quito is 2-3 hours, 1.5hrs from Guayaquil. Quito flights normally touch down in Guayaquil.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

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The total price above excludes international flights at beginning and end of your trip. To add flights speak to one of our experts on 020 8747 8315.

Luxury Galapagos Islands cruise

11 days from £7,337pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

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