Galapagos Islands – New Year Cruise – Baltra Roundtrip
NEW YEAR CRUISE DATES: DEC 29, 2021 – JAN 8, 2022
DEC 28, 2022 – JAN 7, 2023
DURATION: 13 DAYS/12 NIGHTS
EMBARK: BALTRA, GALAPAGOS
DISEMBARK: BALTRA, GALAPAGOS
SHIP: SILVER ORIGIN
*Includes 10% savings. Rates vary by departure date.
BOOK BY MAY 31 TO SAVE 10%
Join us aboard our beautiful Silver Origin as we explore the islands where nature has taken her evolutionary course. This is a special 10-night exploration cruise, visiting more islands than traditional 7-night cruises. Enjoy learning about the strange and wonderful creatures that inhabit the islands and let our team of expert leaders guide you through the past present and future of the archipelago. If you are a traveler with both compassion and curiosity, then the Galapagos Islands are for you.
Enjoy a Galapagos Expedition to snorkel with sea lions and hike along lava tunnels and back to the beginning of time. Silversea’s Silver Galapagos will take you to the remote islands, whilst indulging you in the unrivaled all-suite comfort and elegant sophistication which has made us famous. Watch bellowing elephant bulls challenge each other in a spectacular display. Admire the courtship of a Blue-footed Booby. Step over iguanas basking in the sun. It is not only the abundance of wildlife, but their fearlessness that makes the Galápagos island cruise a nature lover’s dream.
- CELEBRATE NEW YEAR IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
- Walk across spectacular lava fields
- Explore tidal pools, lush mangroves and scalesia forests
- See giant tortoises, pelicans and the largest colony of marine iguanas
- Snorkel with green sea turtles, penguins, sea lions and manta rays
- Hike through fragrant forests of Palo Santo “Incense” trees
- Watch for a unique species of flightless cormorant
- Visit one of the most volcanically active places on Earth
- See wild flamingos and nesting sea turtles
- Photograph iconic Pinnacle Rock
The Galápagos All-Inclusive Experience Includes:
- Included flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands
- Included Transfers
- Included two nights pre-cruise Quito hotel
- Post-cruise day room hotel in Guayaquil if needed
- Included National Park fees
- Personalized service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
- Butler service in every suite – all guests are pampered equally
- Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
- Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
- In-suite dining and room service – available from 06:00 to 23:00
- Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
- Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
- Gratuities always included in your fare
- Free air from North America Gateways
- Evening tour of Quito’s historic city highlights
- Roundtrip Economy Air to Ecuador for guests traveling from select US/Canadian gateways
- Travel Insurance
- Air costs not otherwise covered
- Spa and personal expenses
MON - ARRIVE QUITO, ECUADOR
Meet and transfer to your included deluxe hotel.
Arrive earlier to explore more of this wonderful, diverse country. Visit the Amazon region and stay at a fabulous wildlife center. See the colorful birds of Ecuador’s Cloud Forest near Quito. We can make all the arrangements for you.
TUE - FREE DAY TO EXPLORE QUITO
Free Day to explore Quito
Take in some of the numerous museums, and explore the beautiful historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This evening enjoy a night walking tour of old Quito, where the historic buildings are illuminated.
WED - FLY TO BALTRA, GALAPAGOS - EMBARK SILVER ORIGIN
You will be transferred to the Quito airport for your included flight to Baltra and the Silver Origin.
Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is truly the entrance to the Galapagos Islands. Despite not being considered as part of the National Park proper, Baltra definitely offers a taste of the weird and wonderful nature that thrives on the islands. The island is located in the central part of the archipelago. At just eight sq. mi it is one of smallest islands, yet its flat, volcanic rock surface and central location in the archipelago makes it an ideal place for one of the islands’ two airports. The airport was built by the US Air Force, who used it as an army base during WWII. As a travel destination in itself it offers few attractions, and all travelers who come here are just passing through, either on either way to or from the islands. There is no tourism infrastructure (save a few agencies that offer tours of the islands) or shops on Baltra and any purchases that you might wish to make should be done at the airport if they can. However, land iguanas and Galapagos finches are popular sights, and the iguanas are often seen running across the runway itself. You will be amazed how playful sea lions and some sea birds welcomed you at the pier.
THU – GARDNER BAY, PUNTA SUAREZ, ISLA ESPANOLA
Located on the northern coast of Española, the turquoise color water and white sandy beach stand out from far away. This beach is made out of pulverized shells and corals offers a sandy patch of up to 1 kilometer in length. Española is considered one of the oldest in the Galapagos and has thus developed species that are endemic. Along the coast of Gardner a subspecies of colorful Marine iguanas are living among Hood Mockingbirds. The apex predators Galapagos Hawks commonly visit the coastline and a couple of times a Giant tortoise has been seen here.
Punta Suárez lies at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds and you may spot Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies on the breeze. The largest seabird to nest in the Galapagos Islands is the Waved Albatross. These ocean wanderers can be seen seasonally here from April through December, when pairs reunite on Española, going through an elaborate pair-bonding display. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be seen on the point, along with sea lions and colorful marine iguanas.
FRI – RODRIGUEZ BREEDING CENTER, CERRO BRUJO, SAN CRISTOBAL
Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 8,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.
An impressive tuff cone has been carved by erosion into an outstanding natural sculpture, being a resting place for marine birds such as blue-footed bobbies and brown pelicans. One of the most beautiful white sand beaches of the Galapagos (swim or snorkel). View sea lions, sally light footed crabs, blue-footed bobbies. Behind the dunes, you find a coastal lagoon, which was visited in the past by the locals to extract salt, today it is home to some shorebirds such as stilts and plovers.
SAT – DAY AT SEA
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
SUN – SULLIVAN BAY, ISLA BARTOL0ME; BUCCANEER COVE, ISLA SANTIAGO
Our ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Zodiacs bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance. On the way down watch how the sunlight catches the green of pioneering plant species in stark contrast against dark volcanic rock, and look forward to time swimming and snorkeling from the golden beach.
Buccaneer Cove is a colorful inlet on Santiago or James Island. It owes its name to some of the first visitors to the area: pirates. They came searching for water, tortoises, and some people say even places to hide their treasures. We don’t know about any pirate’s gold, but the area’s landscape is a treasure. The geology combines some tuff red cones with impressive basalt lava dikes and sills. The erosion has carved caves and shaped some rocks into unique forms such as the Bishop’s Rock. Palo Santo trees and some giant Prickly pear cactus cover the area, and at a distance, you can observe the impressive volcanos of Isabela Island. We will explore the area from our Zodiacs, searching for sea birds such as Nazca Boobies, Blue Footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls. We can often find sea turtles and even reef sharks in this place. Also, in Buccaneer Cove, we can observe the two sea lions species: the Galapagos sea lion basking on the beaches and the fur seal looking for shade on the collapsed rocks along the coast.
MON – PUNTA VICENTE ROCA (Isabela); PUNTA ESPINOZA, FERNANDINA
Punta Vicente Roca is one of the marine sites Isabela Island has to offer. On the southern side of Ecuador Volcano, the tip of land on the western end of Isabela is named after Vicente Ramon Roca, President of Ecuador from 1845-49, who as Prefect of Guayas had proposed the Ecuadorian annexation of the Galapagos Islands in 1831. The geological formations, the underwater caves and lava tubes offer fascinating views of the coastline. The South Equatorial Countercurrent hits this part of the archipelago from the west and the water offers abundant food sources for different marine life and seabirds. It is normal to see Pacific green turtles, but sharks, rays, whales and dolphins can also be expected, apart from a small colony of fur seals. Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Noddies and other seabirds nest in the cliffs and both the endemic Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants have established small colonies nearby. Marine iguanas also like this area because of the rich variety of seaweeds growing underwater along the western coast of Isabela. As a marine site, deep-water snorkeling is also possible at Punta Vicente Roca.
With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another. Galapagos sea lions and their pups also take shelter here, resting on the beach and playing in the shallow tide pools sprinkled along the coast. Walk past high sandy areas where marine iguanas lay their eggs and along low, shallow mangrove ponds ringed with bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs and Flightless Cormorants drying their stubby wings in the sunshine.
TUE - TAGUS COVE, ELIZABETH BAY, ISABELA ISLAND
Tagus Cove is bordered by a steep rocky coastline and has for centuries offered shelter for ships and yachts. The cove is named after the British frigate HMS Tagus visiting the Galapagos in 1814. Already by the 1830s other ships had their visits recorded by painting or scratching their name onto the rocks. On approach Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants –both birds mainly found on Isabela’s west coast and neighboring Fernandina- are often seen. From the landing a trail through an incense tree forest leads past Darwin Lake to a viewpoint on top of a spatter cone. During the hike several land birds including Medium Ground-Finches, Galapagos Hawks, Yellow Warblers as well as Large-billed Flycatchers are often present. Brown Noddies and Blue-footed Boobies prefer the rocks along the shore.
The tranquil inlets of Elizabeth Bay are the perfect spot for a Zodiac cruise. In the easternmost embayment lies a hidden inlet. Our nimble Zodiacs can enter this small cove to look for sea turtles, rays and even sharks.
Elizabeth Bay is one of the marine sites on Isabela’s west coast. South of Alcedo Volcano and north of Sierra Negra, Elizabeth Bay is found at Isabela’s narrowest east-west extension where the lava flows of these two volcanoes have connected each other. Elizabeth Bay’s shores show mangroves and specifically the easternmost part, a cove which can only be entered via a narrow channel, has red, white and black mangroves. Different animals prefer different parts of Elizabeth Bay. Las Marielas, three rocks at the entrance to the bay, are favored by Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins as a resting place, while the mangrove area is preferred by Great Blue Herons for hunting or the Magnificent Frigatebirds for perching. The bay is used by turtles, rays and even sharks for feeding or resting. The shallow water and the root system of the mangroves in the small inlet allow smaller fish to hide from bigger predators.
WED - POST OFFICE BAY, ISLA FLOREANA; CHAMPION ISLET; PUNTA CORMORANT (Floreana)
Floreana’s Post Office Bay has received its name as the site was used to leave mail for retrieval by others who were thought to stop at the Galapagos Islands or might be heading for the addressee’s direction. First mentioned by Porter in 1813 as “Hathaway’s Post Office”, HMS Beagle’s captain Fitz Roy stated that it was not in use in 1835 as the island was already settled at that time. Floreana had been the first island to be settled by Ecuadorians in 1832. Today a barrel instead of the original box is used by visitors who leave their own postcards and retrieve mail for hand-delivery. Apart from the beach and mail barrel the bay offers good swimming and snorkeling. The area holds remains of a failed Norwegian fish canning plant and settlement dating back to the 1920s. Although Floreana is inhabited, the number of residents is reduced because of the difficult access to water. A track from Post Office Bay connects with the only road from Puerto Velazco Ibarra on the west coast to a spring in the highlands.
Post Office Bay is steeped in history and received its name thanks to a post box that was placed ashore before 1813. Ships that were visiting the Galapagos on multi-year voyages would leave letters here to be collected and delivered by vessels on their way home.
Champion Islet is a small islet some 700 meters off the northeast coast of Floreana. It is one of four marine sites surrounding Floreana and offers excellent deep water snorkeling opportunities. Curious sea lions approach the snorkelers while turtles slowly swim by and sharks, sting rays, and a high diversity of colorful fishes can usually be seen. During a Zodiac cruise around Champion Islet not only seabirds such as Nazca Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, or Red-billed Tropicbirds will be seen, it is also possible to spot the rare Floreana Mockingbird.
Floreana Island’s northernmost point is called Punta Cormorant – named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point. Standing at the edge of the lapping waves, you might spot mammoth female sea turtles hauling themselves out of the sea to lay eggs in the sugar sand dunes that lay high above the tide line. Before returning to the landing site your guides may also point out White-cheeked Pintails, Blue-footed Boobies, Yellow Warblers, and Medium and Small Ground Finches.
THU - SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS, FAUSTO LLERENA BREEDING CENTER, PUERTO AYORA
Santa Cruz Island reaches a maximum altitude of 864 meters (2,835 ft) above sea level; at high altitudes, weather changes creating microclimates. The species of flora and fauna found near the shoreline are extremely different from those on the highlands. Life in the highlands is much easier due to the presence of fresh water, from the constant drizzle that happens during the dry season to heavy rains that occur during the wet season. Local people take advantage of this climate to cultivate a large number of crops and giant tortoises love this ideal weather to mate, feed and rest before their next long migration to the shorelines.
Silver Origin will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.
FRI - CERRO DRAGON (SANTA CRUZ); ISLA GUY FAWKES
A dry landing onto volcanic rock covered by Sally light- footed crabs will welcome you as you disembark for this walk discovering Cerro Dragon. Enjoy this visit that mixes a brackish water lagoon inhabited by shorebirds, some elusive pink flamingos and a volcanic rock cover dry enough to be the perfect ecosystem for the Galapagos land iguana.
Guy Fawkes is a group of four islets situated on the northwestern side of Santa Cruz Island. They are satellite cones, surrounded by deep waters. As they rise from the deep, they intercept with the strong sea currents making the area a place full of life. These small islets have beautiful underwater cliffs covered with all sorts of marine invertebrates such as sponges, corals, sea stars, urchins — making it a very colorful place for deep water snorkeling. Due to the conditions mentioned above, it results in some immense aggregations of fish, and, due to the depth of the water, it is not unusual to find Sharks or Manta Rays. Guy Fawkes is one of the most exciting places to deep water snorkel. You never know what you will find.
SAT- BALTRA - DISEMBARK - FLIGHT HOME
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil and home.
Or stay and see more of amazing Ecuador! This is an incredibly diverse country, from the Galapagos to the Pacific Coast, to the Highlands of the Andes and down to Amazonia, and the Napo River, pone of the primary tributaries of the mighty Amazon .
The most elegant ship ever to sail the Galapagos.
The first destination specific ship built by Silversea, Silver Origin is the height of experiential travel in the Galapagos. Never before have the islands been so superbly presented: a team of Ecuadorian national expert guides, the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the Galapagos, 8 Zodiacs, seamless hybrid spaces that offer an extraordinary voyage – for extraordinary people. All-suite accommodation, Horizon Balconies, butler service, sophisticated interiors, interactive base camp, Ecuadorian inspired cuisine … no aspect of Silver Origin has been left to chance. The most environmentally conscious ship we have ever built, take a vertical leap and transform your idea of travel with Silver Origin.
PROTECTING THE GALAPAGOS, TODAY AND TOMORROW
We also know that our guests are more aware of the impact their travel has on the planet. In order for Silver Origin to have the lowest possible carbon footprint, we designed her to include state-of-the-art technology, a dynamic positioning system that protects the delicate seabed and an advanced propulsion system. We also made sure all suites feature a fresh water purification system that will significantly reduce plastic bottle usage. Finally, we created the Silversea Fund for the Galápagos; a fund dedicated to safeguarding the archipelago for generations to come.
YOUR DESTINATION BEGINS ON BOARD
No matter where you are on Silver Origin, you will feel like the Galápagos is right there with you. The natural beauty of the archipelago makes it one of the best destinations in the world and Silver Origin makes sure that no view is left unseen. The ship features 24-hour sweeping views over the Galápagos, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling windows that extend throughout the ship, while the Observation & Stargazing Platform offers uninterrupted views, which follow you to your suite. And you might spot a sea lion relaxing on shore through the glass horizon balcony or private ocean-view shower!
BECOME AN EXPEDITION EXPERT
Preparation is key to enjoying the archipelago, and we know our guests are hungry for as much information as possible. This is why we ensure all our guides – more per guest than any other ship – are not only experts in their field but are certified by the National Park of the Galápagos. For the same reason, we are also proud to introduce Basecamp. A welcoming and innovative “knowledge lounge”, Basecamp features materials and tools that provide a wealth of inside knowledge. Opening out directly onto the Marina, Basecamp gives easy access to the Zodiac® deck. In fact, with the highest number of Zodiacs® per guest in the region, Silver Origin provides the most personalized on-shore experience possible.
Authentic Local Culture
AUTHENTICITY IS EVERYTHING
Throughout our many years of sailing the Galápagos, one thing has remained constant: the love our guests feel for local customs and cuisine. What are the ingredients that make up our signature dishes? How to prepare local recipes like our world-famous ceviche at home? Which is why we made sure Silver Origin provides only the most authentic culinary experience possible. In the kitchen, we bring them truly authentic Ecuadorian recipes using only the freshest local ingredients, accompanied by the best regional wine. And in our live gourmet preparation sessions and seminars, why not experience for yourself how to create and recreate all the flavors Ecuador and the Galápagos have to offer.
Comfort And Service
THE LUXURY YOU EXPECT, THE SERVICE YOU DESERVE
After a busy day of discovery, Silver Origin’s careful and attentive crew is more welcome than ever. Sink back into the unparalleled luxury and industry-leading personalized service that Silversea is famous for. And did you know that Silver Origin is the only ship in the entire Galápagos region to offer butler service in every suite? In fact, with the highest ratio of crew per guest in the area, we are happy to give our guests that personal touch that makes their stay on board as enjoyable as their visit to the islands themselves.