7 Night Galapagos Southern Loop departing roundtrip from Baltra onboard Celebrity Xpedition.
Celebrity Xpedition is a ship that sails you back into history, through the fabled waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands. Cruise aboard Celebrity Xpedition and you'll experience a sense of intimacy that can only be achieved aboard a smaller ship. And yet, Celebrity Xpedition is filled with touches that are luxuriously familiar. Morning mimosas, daily massages and moonlit toasts are just a few of the spoils you'll enjoy as you embrace the timelessness of the Galapagos Islands - a land that time has seemingly forgotten.
DAY 1 SATURDAY AM - BALTRA ISLAND - EMBARKATION
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.
DAY 1 SATURDAY PM - NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND
North Seymour is a small island just north of Baltra. It is home to the largest colony of frigate birds in the Galapagos. While keeping an eye out for male frigates 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.
DAY 2 SUNDAY AM - SOUTH PLAZA, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
One of two islands off Santa Cruz, South Plaza was born of upheaval, uplifted during a geologic event. This small, but beautiful rocky island is strewn with tall prickly pear cactus and roaming land iguanas, marine iguanas, along with a colony of sea lions. Numerous seabirds nest in and soar over the cliff on the high side of the island. Excursion options: Walk.
DAY 2 SUNDAY PM - SANTA FE ISLAND
The visit at Santa Fe begins with a wet landing on the small beach in Barrington Bay on the northeast side of the island. 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, different types of finches, and the Galapagos Mockingbird. The visit includes a hike past saltbush where Galapagos hawks as well as the Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. While snorkeling, sea lions are the main attraction. Fish densities are fairly low, but there are occasional sightings of sea turtles and various rays. Excursion options: Walk, swim, kayak, snorkel, Zodiac.
DAY 3 MONDAY AM - PUNTA PITT, SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
Pitt Point is located on the northeastern tip of San Cristobal Island. After disembarking onto the small green sand beach, you will 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, Zodiac.
DAY 3 MONDAY PM - PUERTO BAQUERIZO MORENO, SANTA CRUZ
Here we have the opportunity to 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.
DAY 4 TUESDAY AM - POST OFFICE BAY, FLOREANA ISLAND
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 mail left behind to deliver at home.
BARONESS OUTLOOK, FLOREANA ISLAND
The Baroness’ Viewing Point is the ideal place to take in the unique scenery that defines Floreana, and to learn about the history of the island’s early settlers. Once inhabited by an indulgent baroness and her three lovers, the history of this island is intriguing. During the Zodiac ride around “La Loberia,” you can observe several marine species such as golden eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, mullets and occasionally Galapagos penguins. Excursion options: zodiac, walk.
DAY 4 TUESDAY PM - CORMORANT POINT, FLOREANA ISLAND
Floreana was the first capital of the Galapagos, and where Charles Darwin met the islands’ Governor. Its small brackish lagoon is often home to flamingos, stilts, and white-cheeked pintail ducks, and one of its beaches is a popular nesting site for sea turtles. Check out the green-hued sand where you land! Excursion options: Walk and swim.
CHAMPION BAY, FLOREANA ISLAND
Champion lies east of Floreana and provides a wonderful opportunity for snorkeling and a Zodiac ride. When snorkeling, tropical fish abound with frequent sightings of sea turtles, rays, sharks, sea stars, and more. If we’re lucky, the sea lions will be in a playful mood.
During a Zodiac ride along the rocky shoreline keep an eye out for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans, and frigate birds. Red-billed Tropicbirds nest in the crevices below the large prickly pear cacti and you may spy the very rare Charles Mockingbird. Excursion options: Snorkel, Zodiac.
DAY 5 WEDNESDAY AM - ELIZABETH BAY MANGROVES, ISABELA ISLAND
Elizabeth Bay is one of the furthest points in the Galapagos visited on our cruise. We will 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.
DAY 5 WEDNESDAY PM - MORENO POINT, ISABELA ISLAND
Moreno Point, at the base of Cerro Azul Volcano, is dotted with lagoons that host a wide variety of wildlife. At first glance, Moreno Point appears to be covered by a flat featureless lava flow and devoid of life. Upon closer inspection and a short walk, much more is discovered within its oasis-like ponds that often host flamingos, paint-billed crakes, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. On the Zodiac ride keep your eyes out for Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies. There may also be an opportunity to snorkel. Excursion options: Walk, Zodiac, deep water snorkel.
DAY 6 THURSDAY AM / PM - PUERTO AYORA, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
This is the main population center of the islands, and home to the National Park Service tortoise-breeding center and the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the tortoise-breeding center and walk through the Charles Darwin Research Station. In addition, you can also take a bus ride to the highlands to observe giant tortoises in the wild and walk through a lava tunnel.
Optional time for shopping will be available. Excursion options: Tortoise-breeding Center/Charles Darwin Center, Highlands.
DAY 7 FRIDAY AM - GARDNER BAY, ESPAÑOLA ISLAND
The beach at Gardner Bay, with its sparkling white sand, offers one of the best places to relax and swim in the Galapagos. It is home to one of the most important colonies of sea lions in the archipelago, and is also a nesting site for sea turtles. Three species of Darwin’s finches and Española Mockingbirds may also be seen here. Excursion options: Swim, snorkel, and kayak.
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