This luxury cruise has it all - adventure, relaxation, and world-class service onboard the state-of-the-art Silver Origin. Designed specifically with the Galápagos in mind, Silver Origin is one of only two ships sailing in the region to feature dynamic positioning – meaning no anchor to damage the delicate ecosystem of the sea bed. There are only 100 guests and 86 crew on board, so your experience is truly personalised. From the comfort of your suite accommodation, you'll take in sweeping views of the pristine turquoise oceans. Then, by way of Zodiac boat, you'll be taken on daily excursions to the hidden corners of the Galápagos, experiencing up-close encounters with unique bird species and iconic wildlife such as the Giant Turtle and the Galápagos Sea Lion. In fact, Silver Origin boasts the highest Zodiac-to-guest ratio in the region, and offers one guide for every 10 guests. This is everything you wanted in a holiday, and more.
A private chauffeur transfer to the airport and VIP lounge access will see you start your holiday in style, before your flight to Ecuador's capital, Quito. Check in to your luxury accommodation for a night of relaxation ahead of your Galápagos adventure.
Stay: JW Marriott Quito
Quito is an ancient Incan city nestle in the foothills of the Andes. With its cobbled streets and a blend of architectural styles, against a backdrop of the magnificent Pichincha volcano, Quito is a fascinating place to explore on foot. Don't miss a chance to sample some local delicacies; the quesadilla quiteña, filled with queso dulce and dipped in hot chocolate, is a particular highlight. Come the evening, you'll be taken on a fascinating Quito By Night tour, visiting the San Francisco Church, Independence Plaza and the Presidential Palace, before returning to your hotel for a good night's sleep.
Stay: JW Marriott Quito
Today you'll be whisked to the airport to board your flight to San Cristobal, one of the oldest islands in the Galápagos and formed from dormant volcanoes. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbour, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s. From San Cristobal you'll board Silver Origin and by lunchtime you will be circumnavigating Kicker Rock, which when viewed from the south resembles a sleeping lion. As the ship steers around the islands, your Expedition Team will point out seabirds as you watch the sun go down in one of the most beautiful settings of the Galápagos Islands. You'll also have time to get your bearings on board before a delicious dinner in The Restaurant.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
This morning you will anchor in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé at Sullivan Bay. Your Zodiac boat will bring you ashore to an arid volcanic landscape dotted with lava lizards, Galápagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galápagos Islands, the view towards Pinnacle Rock. After a post-hike swim and snorkel in search of whitetip reef sharks, you'll head to Buccaneer Cove, rich in pirate folklore and stories of hidden treasures. The erosion carved caves in the cliff face and has shaped the rock into unique forms, such as Bishop's Rock. By zodiac or by kayak close encounters with sea lions, fur seal, Swallow-tailed gulls and Blue Footed Boobies are not uncommon.
Today you will anchor in deep water against the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on the northwest side of Isabela Island. You'll cruise by Zodiac boat beneath the imposing volcanic coastline, watching for Flightless Cormorants, Galápagos fur seals, Blue-footed Boobies, and marine iguanas. If conditions allow, you'll have an opportunity to swim with eagle rays, Galápagos sea lions, Galápagos penguins, and schools of small tuna in the blue. By lunchtime, you'll arrive at the lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island, where hundreds of marine iguanas, sea lions and their pups rest on the black rock of recent lava flows.
Today your first destination is Tagus Cove, home to sea turtles, marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants and Galápagos penguins. Here you can choose to kayak, snorkel or head ashore to discover centuries-old names of vessels painted and carved onto the rock near the landing site. A hike through the forest of Palo Santo trees reveals a panoramic view of Darwin Lake and the calm waters of Tagus Cove. By lunchtime, you can take a Zodiac cruise among the tranquil inlets of Elizabeth Bay, flanked by the massive volcanoes of Sierra Negra and Alcedo. In the easternmost part of Elizabeth Bay lies hidden inlets lush with red, white and black mangroves. Nose through the dense mangroves which are teeming with marine life that frequent the shallows to nurse their young, you might encounter sea turtles, rays and even sharks.
After an early morning arrival into Post Office Bay, you can keep local traditions alive by leaving your own postcards in the post box and look for any you can deliver by hand back at home. Explore a cave created by lava or kayak along the shore and into Mystery Bay. Rays, blacktip reef sharks, Galápagos sea lions, herons, frigatebirds, Brown Pelicans, Darwin finches, and Yellow Warblers can all be spotted here. By lunchtime, you'll cruise by Isla Champion's infinitely blue waters and spectacular underwater realm, ideal for snorkelling. This afternoon, visit Floreana Island’s northernmost point, famous for its flamingos and mammoth female sea turtles.
With a unique ecosystem created by a 864 metre peak, the island of Santa Cruz creates a wet microclimate and an abundance of freshwater. The flora, fauna and vegetation which can only be found in this area is home to the iconic giant tortoise. These gentle giants roam at their own pace and with the help of the local conservation, their numbers have rebounded in recent years. However, they can still be elusive to spot and the expedition guides will do their best to locate them in their natural habitat.
A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre will guarantee a close encounter with a variety of species as they help breed and reintroduce wildlife to the island.
After an early breakfast, head ashore for a morning at Cerro Dragon, hiking between the volcanic rock dotted with Sally Light-footed crabs and in search of the elusive pink flamingos that frequent the area. Expedition guides will help you Identify the local inhabitants of shorebirds, Galapagos land iguanas and sea life that nestle in the shallows.
This afternoon, a rare opportunity to snorkel the deep waters of four islets that make up the Guy Fawkes, will be a highlight of your cruise. Satellite cones surrounded by the deep water rise to meet strong sea currents full of nutrients, attracting several varieties of sharks and even Manta rays. The small islets with underwater cliffs covered in colourful invertebrates such as sponges, corals, sea stars and urchins will easily make this an unforgettable experience. A final stop at Bahia Borrero with its arid zone and diverse vegetation will wrap up this incredible journey before heading aboard the Silver Origin for your farewell dinner.
After a final breakfast onboard, you'll arrive in San Cristóbal and disembark before flying onwards to Guayaquil. Those with flights after 10pm will have use of a day room at Oro Verde Hotel before heading to the airport to catch your flight back to the UK. then, enjoy a private chauffeur transfer from the airport to your home.
"This luxury cruise is the best way to see the Galápagos Islands. You'll encounter some of the world's most spectacular landscapes and the incredible wildlife the islands are famous for. If you've dreamed of swimming with giant turtles or scouting Pinnacle Rock, this is the holiday for you."
Low Season from from: £8,900 pp
— save up to £300 pp
Regular departure dates, year round, price varies by departure date and suite availability - please call for details.