Galapagos Family Cruise
This 7-day Galapagos Family Cruise has been carefully crafted with families in mind. You’ll enjoy a fun-filled tour of historic Quito before making your way to the incredible Galapagos archipelago for the 4-night cruise of your dreams. The recently-refurbished Santa Cruz II features five decks, a dedicated kids’ area, and the option of booking interleading cabins. The sophisticated culinary experience and out-of-this-world wildlife adventures will amaze even the most seasoned traveler, while the Young Pirates program (kids’ meals, educational activities, snorkel classes, glass-bottomed boats) will keep the little ones busy and happy.
Starting from $5,490 per person
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.
HOW IT WORKS
- Spend a full day immersed in the historical wonders of Quito, Ecuador. Try to spot the cathedral’s tortoise-shaped gargoyles and learn how to make an Ecuadorean quesadilla.
- Visit the Charles Darwin Research Center to learn about the life cycle and conservation of the Galapagos Tortoise. With oh-so-cute babies aplenty and loads of educational info, there is something for everyone.
- Marvel at penguins, marine iguanas, and seals – not to mention myriad fish – while snorkeling off Isabela and Floreana Islands.
- For those too young (or old) to snorkel, the Santa Cruz II is equipped with glass-bottomed boats which make the submarine wonders of the Pacific accessible to all.
- Witness an enormous colony of marine iguanas on the desolate, moon-like landscapes of Fernandina Island. Next, see their landlubbing cousins on the aptly named Dragon Hill.
- Fill your free time with activities including walks along the beach, tanning on the decks or kayaking in the Pacific Ocean.
- The whole family will love the trippy shoreline of Cormorant Bay whose sands sparkle green thanks to the high level of olivine crystals.
- As part of the Young Pirates program, kids enjoy child-specific meals (and meal times), movies and activities (everything from bracelet weaving to stargazing)
Welcome to Quito, the capital city of Ecuador! After a long flight, you all deserve some rest and relaxation. An SA Expeditions representative will pick you and your family up from the airport and take you to your hotel. With a historical center surrounded by modern districts, you can choose the setting for your night’s stay in the capital city.
Not far from ancient Inca ruins, the city of Quito effortlessly balances modern sophistication with traditional culture. Start your kiddy-friendly tour at the neo-gothic Basilica where you can spot your first (stone) Galapagos tortoises. Next, the whole family will learn to make a sweet-savory local pastry known as an Ecuadorean quesadilla. After snapping a few shots of the Presidential Guards in their smart purple uniforms, you'll head to the fascinating Mitad del Mundo site, located on the Equator. At the Inti Ñan Museum, take part in some of the quirky experiments on offer – watch how the water runs in different directions in the Northern and Southern hemisphere and balance an egg on a pinhead.
After a scrumptious breakfast in your Quito hotel, hop on a morning flight to the Galapagos Islands. You’ll arrive in Baltra and then take a short bus ride to board your elegant vessel, the Santa Cruz II. Begin your island exploration along the north shores of Santa Cruz, where the landscapes are just as whacky and diverse as the plants and animals. Rocky Dragon Hill is a marvelous opportunity to spot large land iguanas which – much to the little ones’ amazement – really do look like miniature dragons. Later, walk along the shores of a nearby lagoon which is known for its variety of bird species, including iridescent flamingoes (Galapagos flamingoes are the brightest on the planet) and comical blue-footed boobies (it’s impossible not to smile at their antics).
Isabela Island is the largest in the archipelago and one of the most volcanically active places in the world. There are many ways to explore this island’s unique geology, but hands down our favorite is snorkeling with the marine life that lives on the border of these cliffs. In the same underwater scene, you can see schools of penguins swimming by, a marine iguana gnawing on algae and a family of sea turtles floating in the background. Later in the day, you'll visit the youngest of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina – a desolate, rocky outcrop that’s unfit for human habitation but a paradise for Marine Iguanas and Galapagos Penguins.
The Galapagos Islands are synonymous with giant tortoises, and today is your chance to see these iconic reptiles in all stages of their development. A guided tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Santa Cruz Island will allow you to get up close and personal with adorable baby tortoises, to view a staggering natural history collection that includes specimens of over nine thousand species, and to learn about the creative (and effective) conservation efforts that have been applied in order to protect one of the island’s most popular residents. We know that the best family vacations involve plenty of options which is why you can choose between afternoon activities including strolling along the beach or the tortoise reserve; kayaking through the smooth waters off Santa Cruz, or simply relaxing next to the boat’s hot tubs with a good book and a long, cold drink.
A morning trip to quirky Post Office Bay will give you a chance to play mailman for a day: a centuries-old system sees visitors sift through the barrel-load of postcards and deliver any that are headed for destinations close to home. In the afternoon we’ll head to Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano that is considered one of the best snorkeling spots in all of the archipelago. If snorkeling is not your thing, it’s also a wonderful locale for a cruise in the glass-bottomed boat. As if this day hasn’t had enough surprises, you’ll top it off with a trip to Cormorant Point, notable for an array of whacky plants and sand that is tinged green thanks to the abundance of olivine crystals.
All good things must come to an end eventually. After five wonderful days of fresh sea air, abundant marine wonders and weird-and-wonderful land excursions, it’s time to return to the mainland. After docking at Santa Cruz Island you’ll head to the Baltra airport to catch the return flight to Quito, Ecuador – during which you can start planning your next Galapagos adventure.
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