An Escorted Journey

With The Zoological Society of London

An exclusive charter of a luxury boat, the MV Eclipse
We have specifically chosen our favourite small boat in the Galapagos for this private charter. We have worked with the Eclipse since its maiden voyage over 10 years ago so we know her intimately. The stylish interiors, great service and excellent food ensures our guests can access the most remote corners of these islands without having to sacrifice an ounce of comfort. We never compromise on guiding, which is why we have chosen the Eclipse – the naturalist guides on board this luxury boat are the best in the Galapagos Islands. The boat is certified within the Rainforest Alliance “Smart Voyager” programme.

In partnership with ZSL
We are very proud to have partnered with the Zoological Society of London and inbuilt donations from this tour will go a long way to supporting ZSL with their extraordinary conservation efforts. ZSL’s history with the Galapagos goes right back to Darwin, who was a ZSL Fellow and famously visited the islands in Sept – Oct 1835. The bird specimens he collected were given to John Gould, ZSL’s taxidermist and Curator of Birds. Gould’s work is mentioned as a reference for Darwin’s book on the Origin of Species.

Special access to leading conservationists including senior research fellow, Dr Malcolm Nicoll
We have arranged extra special access to ZSL conservationists and specialist guides and researchers at the Darwin Centre, who knows only too well what challenges we face to preserve our world’s most endangered species. There are few places on earth that illustrate this better than the Galapagos Islands. Dr Malcolm Nicoll will travel with guests throughout this journey and give insightful lectures and lead informal discussions covering the topics of island bio-diversity and its threats as well as ZSLs conservation work.

A March navigation for excellent wildlife conditions
Our Journey has been planned in March, a perfect time of year to see wildlife in the Islands. In particular, the calmer waters and warm sea temperature means that underwater visibility is at its best and the ocean is alive with activity. The snorkelling will be spectacular; where else can you say that you have swum nose-to-nose with sea lions, penguins and dolphins all in one day? On land the action continues as iguanas, turtles and boobies are busy nesting.

As part of the Darwin 200 celebrations in 2009 ZSL London Zoo opened ‘Giants of the Galapagos’, home to a group of magnificent Galapagos tortoises – Dirk, Dolly, Polly and Priscilla.

Returning home
Upon returning home and included in this group trip, there will be an opportunity for a post tour meet up at London Zoo where ZSL experts will give you further insight into ZSLs conservation work and will explain how your inbuilt donation will be used.

the galapagos islands escorted journey luxury group travel

Save

Save

Save

Enquiry +

Itinerary

Accommodation

17th March – 18th March

The Hilton, Guayaquil

Located in the new financial district, one mile from the airport and six miles from the city centre, the Hilton is a good pit stop before heading out to the islands. There are four restaurants, two bars and 24-hour room service. It also has a great outdoor swimming pool with pool bar if the weather is nice.

18th March – 25th March

The Eclipse

At 210ft, The Eclipse has plenty of space for comfort and stability and with just 48 passengers,  it is still relatively small and the experience is highly personal. There are approximately 28 crew and 4 naturalists on board and the level of service is first class. The facilities include al fresco dining, a library/video room and observation deck, a plunge pool and a poolside bar.

25th March – 26th March

The Hilton, Guayaquil

Located in the new financial district, one mile from the airport and six miles from the city centre. There are four restaurants, two bars and 24-hour room service. It also has a great outdoor swimming pool with pool bar if the weather is nice.

Extensions

26th March – 30th March

Amazon, Ecuador

For a completely contrasting wildlife experience, head into the Amazon jungle for either a river cruise or, if you feel you’ll be boated out by then, a stint in a luxury lodge. From either base, your days (and nights) can be spent exploring on foot or by small boat. The wildlife here is very different from the Galapagos – it’s shy and illusive, so while it’s extra rewarding when you see a troop of monkeys crossing your path, the experience is as much about the thrill of being deep in the Amazon Rainforest as it is about the wildlife you’ll see. Our favourite lodge is the Napo Wildlife Centre – quite a journey to reach but well worth the time.

26th March – 29th March

Northern Sierra or Avenue of the Volcanoes

To get a fantastic sense of authentic rural Andean life, head north or south a couple of hours from Quito to spend a few days in one of the traditional family run haciendas of the area. You can explore the lush green landscape and rolling hills on foot, by horse or by mountain bike, or your private driver and guide can take you to nearby communities and handicraft, fruit and vegetable markets where you can see the shy, Kichwa speaking locals going about their lives in traditional dress. Hacienda Zuleta is fantastic for a huge variety of activities in a breath-taking, tranquil setting.

26th March – 28th March

Cuenca

A half an hour flight south of Quito or a half day scenic drive from Guayaquil is the very little visited but absolutely beautiful colonial city of Cuenca. The vast majority of Ecuador’s visitors just use Quito or Guayaquil as a stopover on the way to the Galapagos, so Cuenca is relatively tourist free and an absolute jewel. With its pleasant climate, cobbled streets and lovely, friendly atmosphere, it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of days exploring with your guide. The home of Panama hat production, there is lots of history here, amongst fantastic restaurants, markets and simple but charming hotels.

26th March – 2nd April

Peru

If you have a little more time to spare, a week or more, then neighbouring Peru combines fabulously with the Galapagos. This really is a country with something for everyone. There are incredible Inca sites; the iconic Machu Picchu as well as many others which don’t get anything like the same number of tourists. Peru is famous for incredible hiking, but there are other forms of fun light adventure to try, like white water rafting, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, mountain biking and horse riding. The people are friendly, welcoming and inclusive. The infrastructure for tourism is well developed, so there are exceptionally lovely hotels, fantastic guides and impeccable service. We can tailor make a variety of incredible itineraries here.

Guides

Dr Malcolm Nicoll

Dr Malcolm Nicoll is a senior research fellow in the Institute of Zoology  at the Zoological Society of London, with over 20 years’ experience of conserving threatened island species and their habitats. His collaborative research has taken him to numerous tropical islands including; Mauritius and the Seychelles where he lived for 10 years, Hispaniola and islands in the Gulf of Oman, and involves threatened land birds, seabirds, mammals and reptiles. He started his career as a raptor biologist, in 1992, working on the recovery programme for the Mauritius kestrel, which was once the world’s rarest bird. However, he quickly became fascinated by island biodiversity, the unparalleled rates of extinction it had experienced and the ongoing threats to its survival.

This led to opportunities to manage a number of island restoration and species recovery programmes in the western Indian Ocean, before completing a PhD on species reintroduction biology and management in 2004. Since then he has been fortunate to develop a collaborative portfolio of research projects that explore how threatened island species can be managed to secure their long-term future. When not fulfilling his administrative and scientific responsibilities in London, he can usually be found on a tropical island happily conducting field work and training the next generation of island conservation biologists.

The Zoological Society of London

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is dedicated to conservation in The Galapagos and we are proud to have partnered with them for this extraordinary Escorted Journey. ZSL’s history with the Galapagos dates back to Darwin, who was a ZSL Fellow and famously voyaged to the islands in 1835. Now it is through our own long term relationship with this charity that we are able to explore the islands and see them through the eyes of a leading conservationist that makes this trip so extraordinary. Inbuilt donations on this trip will contribute directly to fund ZSL research projects.

Henrietta Loyd

Henrietta Loyd, Co-Owner and Founder will personally accompany this trip. She last went to the Galapagos in the 1980’s and is hugely excited to be going back some 30 years on. She is a member of the Strategic Development Board of ZSL and is passionate about the work they do around the world. It is extremely exciting to have Dr Malcolm Nicoll as the guest lecturer being that islands are his speciality and his incredible knowledge will bring a whole new dimension to the trip.

Flights

With regards to flights, the routing we are suggesting is London – Guayaquil via Amsterdam, with KLM. This is the preferred routing suggested by our Galapagos experts in the office, and works really well with the tour schedule.

OUTBOUND
17 March London Heathrow – Amsterdam 06:30 – 09:00
17 March Amsterdam – Guayaquil 10:15 – 18:35

INBOUND
25 March Guayaquil – Amsterdam 20:20 – 14:40 +1
26 March Amsterdam – London Heathrow 15:50 – 16:15
(If you took the flight option on 25th we are able to refund the cost of the Hilton Hotel and airport transfer of £90pp at final balance stage)
OR
26 March Guayaquil – Amsterdam 18:45 – 13:15 +1
27 March Amsterdam – Guayaquil 14:40 – 15:00

Pricing Information

+ Deluxe Staterooms: £8420 per person – SOLD OUT
+ Superior Staterooms: £7502 per person
+ Staterooms: £7340 per person
+ Standard Staterooms: £6422 per person SOLD OUT
+ Single Staterooms: £7070 per person SOLD OUT

INCLUDES

+ All return domestic flights to Baltra from Guayaquil
+ All accommodation
+ Full board with soft drinks on the Eclipse and breakfast at the Hilton Hotel
+ Guiding and excursions as specified
+ Park fees and other entry fees (including all National park fees, tourist entrances and fuel surcharges)

EXCLUDEs

+ Return scheduled International flights
+ Alcoholic drinks
+ Travel insurance
+ Tips
+ Visas
+ Vaccinations
+ Any extras

Please view our booking conditions here.

where you will go on the trip

Arrive into Guayaquil
Fly to Baltra Island and Sail to North Seymour Island
South Plaza Island and Santa Fe Island
San Cristobal Island
Floreana Island
Isabela Island
Santa Cruz Island
Espanola Island
Mosquera Islet and Depart Galapagos