A Great Way to Explore the Galapagos

Looking for a great way to explore the Galapagos?  I attended a wonderful seminar from Celebrity in beautiful (and I mean beautiful) Hoboken, New Jersey.  The Galapagos Sales & Communication Director at Celebrity Cruises presented a fact-filled session on Celebrity’s Galapagos offerings.   Quick note to you:  I took these photos on my phone during the presentation.


explore the Galapagos waved albatross

waved albatross | explore the Galapagos

marine iguana explore the Galapagos

marine iguana explore the Galapagos



Here’s a look at some of the islands and what you might experience:

  • Giant tortoises on Santa Cruz – 10 guests per guide.  You’ll observe the process of adaptation of the tortoises to Santa Cruz.
  • Iguanas of Fernandina Island – these iguanas are herbivores and live mostly on the lava fields.  The marine iguanas dive and live on plants from the bottom of the ocean.  Also, the iguanas are not designed for salt water so they sneeze it out when returning to the surface!
  • One more point on our iguana friends – El Nino and La Nina affect the algae growth and where the marine iguanas go to eat
  • Flightless cormorants (or Galapagos Cormorants) do not fly as they have adapted to dive for food and nesting materials
  • Blue footed, red footed, and Nazca boobies are some of the most famous occupants of the Galapagos Islands.  The blue footed booby is the most social and normally they lay two eggs with only one surviving.
  • On Espanola Island, you could see a waved albatross – they mate for life.  The males and females leave the island in November and go their separate ways.  They return to Espanola Island in February and mate again.
santacruzisland explore the Galapagos

santacruzisland explore the Galapagos

Is the Galapagos for you?  Could be, if any of these apply:

  • Do you love flora and fauna?
  • Been on a Safari or want to go on one?
  • Looking for something different? Already been to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, etc.?
  • Searching for a unique multi-generational trip?
  • Want to cross off a prime bucket-list experience?
  • Interest in Darwin and natural selection?
  • Never cruised but want some adventure?
  • Don’t like crowds?

Quito, Ecuador Alfonfin [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Alfonfin [CC BY-SA 3.0 Quito, Ecuador (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Next, here’s a Quick look at what’s included in Celebrity’s way to explore the Galapagos:

2-night pre-cruise stay in Quito, Ecuador:

  • Transfers from the Quito Airport to your hotel and back to the airport.
  • Two nights in a shared double occupancy room at a hotel in Quito prior to your flight to Baltra.
  • Meals during the pre-land portion of the package in Quito, including all meals on Saturday, and Sunday breakfast pre-cruise.
  • A guided tour of Quito (full day).
  • Round-trip air transportation (coach class) from Quito to Baltra.
  • Transfers from the airport in Baltra to the ship.
  • 7-night Galapagos cruise aboard one of the Celebrity ships in Galapagos as indicated in the applicable itinerary
  • All gratuities.

Post-Cruise Arrangements for the 10 and 11 night packages:

  • Transfers from your Celebrity vessel to the airport in Baltra.
  • Air transportation (coach class on either scheduled or charter service) from Baltra to Quito.
  • Transfers from the Quito Airport to your hotel.
  • One night (or two nights if you purchase the 11-night voyage) at a hotel (dinner and full breakfast are included).
  • Afternoon shopping tour to local craft market, time permitting.
  • Transfer from your hotel to the Quito Airport.
  • All gratuities

Here are some more details on Celebrity’s way to explore the Galapagos:

(Bias alert: Celebrity is by no means the only way to explore the Galapagos; however, they’ve spent the most time and effort educating me.  Lindblad Expeditions, Silversea and other tour operators offer their own Galapagos islands packages themselves or via chartered vessels. Let me know your preferences and I’ll help you build your dream trip!)

  • Packages require the pre and post night in Quito due to the long-haul flights to and from Quito.  Additionally, the packages require the pre and post nights for the flights to and from Baltra island in the Galapagos, where you’ll meet your cruise vessel.  Did you know that Baltra Island is 650 miles off the coast of Ecuador?
  • The flight to and from Quito to Baltra Island are exclusively for Celebrity guests.
  • All shore excursions included: Take guided snorkeling as an example – only 8-10 people snorkel with one guide.  Expect to pay $250pp for this one excursion if you could purchase it separately.

Your experience in the Galapagos aboard Celebrity Xpedition or Celebrity Flora (Only Celebrity has real marine scientists aboard.)

  • 2 Daily shore excursions approximately 8:30-11am and 3-6pm
  • Naturalists will hold evening briefings to review options for the next day’s shore excursions
  • On snorkeling tours, you may spot: penguins, sea lions, turtles, fish, and sharks.
  • Celebrity Xpedition is a 70 passenger Yacht – fully refurbished in September of 2018.
  • The Celebrity Flora, the newest, most innovative ship in the Galapagos, is an all-suite ship with cabins starting at 325 sq ft. and outward facing bathrooms.
  • The Flora will follow state-of-the-art environmental practices
  • The Celebrity Flora is a ZERO single-use plastic experience; guests get reusable water bottles.
  • The Celebrity Flora collects ocean temperature and flow data to share with the scientific community.
  • Experience Galapagos Glamping – guests can sleep under the stars on the Vista deck aboard the Celebrity Flora
  • Both the Flora and Xpedition store snorkel gear; cubbies on the Flora and crew handles the gear on the Xpedition.
  • Wet suits are also included
  • Both ships offer full-speed Wi-Fi

When to explore the Galapagos: weather and operations

  • The Galapagos is a year-round destination.
  • In January, February, and March, the water is warmer.
  • In the summer months, the water is cooler – about 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  (As mentioned elsewhere, wet-suits are supplied.)
  • All tour operators must follow alternating inner vs. outer loop itineraries as dictated by the park service; itineraries are subject to change at any time   For more details, please refer to: National Park Rules.

Note: land-based vacations are possible to explore the Galapgos

You may stay at a hotel or lodge on Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, or Isabela islands and take day boat tours to uninhabited islands but you will be limited by the range of islands and species you can see.

Are you ready to explore the Galapagos? Book your complimentary dream trip design session. Want to learn what it’s like to work together to plan your next trip?  Explore right HERE.