Galápagos — South & Central Islands aboard the Xavier III

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Overview

Encounter the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first weighed anchor off its shores. Spend seven nights exploring the incredible wildlife of the Galápagos archipelago in the company of an expert Naturalist Guide. In the evenings, return to the Xavier to reflect on the day’s adventures. Retire to air-conditioned cabins with exclusive lower berths and private bathrooms. As one of the region’s largest operators, we understand the importance of controlling the onboard experience – that’s why you'll never end up on another operator's ship.

Itinerary

Day 1: Quito

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city. Please look for notices in the hotel lobby for a time and location of the welcome meeting.

Day 2: Quito/Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Fly to San Cristóbal Island. Meet the guide and transfer to the boat. Visit Isla Lobos in the afternoon to spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions.

In the afternoon, transfer to the boat. Continue to Isla Lobos, a small island home a friendly population of sea lions. While snorkelling in the calm clear waters watch as the curious pups blow bubbles, swim in circles and frolic in the waves.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: North Seymour/Mosquera Islet

Explore two tiny islands that are big on wildlife. North Seymour offers great views of nesting seabirds, including frigatebirds and Mosquera is home to large colonies of sea lions.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Santiago Island/Bartolomé Island

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to witness the giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé Island for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Puerto Ayora

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises and go on an excursion to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Free time for shopping or exploration of Puerto Ayora.

In the morning, arrive in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz is the second biggest island in the Galápagos, and has the largest population. Puerto Ayora is its main town. In the afternoon, there may be the opportunity to visit the highlands and see giant land tortoises in the wild.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Rábida Island/Bachas Beach

Land at Rábida Island for a visit to a saltwater lagoon and sea lion colony. Afternoon excursion to Bachas Beach for walks to observe the bird and wildlife as well as free time for swimming and snorkelling.

In the morning, go on an excursion to Rábida Island, and land on a red sand beach.

Afternoon excursion to Bachas Beach to see the sea lions and plentiful bird life.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Floreana Island

Land at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. Guided walks to observe the bird and wildlife and learn about the natural history. Visit Post Office Bay in the afternoon. Snorkelling excursion at Champion Islet.

Morning visit to Punta Cormorant on the northern part of Floreana. This is a perfect spot to go snorkelling, as the waters are home to a multitude of colourful fish and sea lions. Please be sure you are a comfortable swimmer, the water here can be rough and the currents are strong.

In the afternoon, visit Post Office Bay, which has an older and less mysterious history. A short hike up past the post barrel takes you to an interesting lava cave.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Punta Suárez/Bahía Gardner

Visit Punta Suárez and Gardner Bay on Española Island. Enjoy guided walks to observe wildlife and free time for swimming or snorkelling.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno/Quito

Visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristóbal Island before flying back to Quito.

Reach San Cristóbal in the morning. Disembark after breakfast then visit the Interpretation Centre, and transfer to the airport for the flight to Quito. Transfer to the group hotel upon arrival, and enjoy one last night on the town.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 10: Quito

Depart at any time.

Includes: Breakfast

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