The Celebrity Xploration is a stylish catamaran that features eight luxuriously cozy staterooms, each with a window or veranda that offers personal views of the stunning Galapagos Islands.
In addition to an indoor dining room and lounge, the Celebrity Xploration provides ample outdoor space, including a large sun deck with comfortable sun loungers, Jacuzzi, and an Al Fresco dining area, where you can take in the islands spectacular scenery.
Celebrity Xploration features 7-night itineraries with ports of call Celebrity has never before visited, including El Barranco, Espumilla Beach, Chinese Hat, Walls of Tears and Puerto Villamil - the small town that is home to the Galapagos Giant Tortoise Center.
Guests can book individual staterooms, but for the ultimate experience in the Galapagos, guests can also charter the Celebrity Xploration for a private, all-inclusive vacation. Up to sixteen guests will be indulged with seamless service and every creature comfort possible. This intimate ship is perfect for family get-togethers, getaways with friends, and small groups who want to explore together.
In addition to the 7-night Galapagos Island itineraries, guests can customize their vacation with a wide variety of pre- and/or post-cruise land tours. Each offers something different, so guests can make their vacations exactly what they want them to be.
Customized itineraries vary in length from 10-16 nights and include an extended stay in Quito, Ecuador. On a 13-night itinerary, guests can interact with the islands' communities and visit local farms on Puerto Ayora. A 16-night itinerary includes a post-cruise visit to Lima, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
If you are interested in chartering the Celebrity Xploration, please contact us.
More cruises featuring Celebrity Xploration
An alternate itinerary, departing every other week is also available: 11-Night Galapagos Northern Loop Itinerary #1
Quito, (pronounced 'kito) is the capital city of Equador, and at an elevation of 9350 feet (2.800 meters) above sea level, is the highest official capital city in the world. Quito is home to a well-preserved colonial center, the café lined streets of "New Town", and stunning views of the Andes Mountains - all yours to discover.
The JW Marriott is located in the heart of the capital city and about 25 miles from Quito International Airport. From the comfortable and safe "La Mariscal District", the hotel is a quick cab ride or about a 20 minute walk to the central area. Here you'll find plenty of dining options offering delicious Ecuadorian food.
The hotel also has a well equipped Fitness Center, a beautiful outdoor pool and several wonderful dining options plus comfortable, well appointed guest rooms.
During a guided tour of the capital of Ecuador, situated at an altitude of 9,350 feet, you'll stand on the equatorial line at the Middle of the World Park and Museum, and marvel at the monastery of San Francisco and La Compaia Church. Your Tour Director will escort you throughout your Quito stay and serve as your personal concierge. Lunch with a spectacular view of the city, and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local gourmet restaurant.
The flight from mainland Ecuador lands on the island of Baltra. As you approach by air, you'll observe the rocky plateau of Baltra emerging from the blue waters of the Pacific. The terrain is flat and arid, specked with red volcanic rock and sparse growth of cactus.
During World War II, Baltra served as a U.S. military base protecting the Panama Canal. Now the cactus-strewn landscapes of Baltra are home to the region's main airport and where you will be greeted by park guides and Celebrity staff. After just a short bus and zodiac ride you will be aboard the ship. Your luggage will be delivered straight to your stateroom, giving you the opportunity to explore the ship and your home for the week.
Chinese Hat Islet This small volcanic islet near the southeastern coast of Santiago Island is shaped amazingly like a Chinese Hat, which in Spanish means "Sombrero Chino". It is formed of hardened lava and spatter cones, which make for excellent scenic photos. Several species of Darwin's finches are found on the island and along the coast you will find the very colorful Sally light-foot crabs and sea lions. Excursion options: Walk and zodiac.
Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragon) Located on Isla Santa Cruz, Dragon Hill, or "Cerro Dragon," is named after its population of land iguanas. The site offers a beautiful view of the landscape and two small brackish lagoons where flamingos and other shore birds occasionally feed. Along the trail, we'll cross a beautiful "white forest" of Palo Santo (incense) trees and Galapagos cotton plants. Excursion options: Walk and swim.
Rabida Island (Isla Rabida) Also known as Jervis Island, is a small island south of Santiago, and best known for its red sand and eroded volcanic landscape. The high amount of iron contained in the lava at Rabida give a distinctive red color to the sand of its beach. Flamingos and white-cheeked pintail ducks live in a salt water lagoon close to the beach, where brown pelicans and boobies have built their nests. Nine species of finches have been reported in this island.
A nesting colony of pelicans makes its home here, along with sea lions and some seabirds. Snorkeling along the rocks at the east end of the beach may reveal many of the reef fish common to these waters, and the ever-present sea lions.
Excursion options include a zodiac ride and short walk, swimming and snorkeling from the beach, and a deep water snorkel for more experienced snorkelers. This is a wet landing.
Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island Welcome to the small, laid-back island town of Puerto Villamil. An interpretive trail, approximately 1.5 km from town, takes you around secluded wetland lagoons to the Tortoise Center. The Center was created to protect baby tortoises from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys, as well as to educate visitors and locals about the importance of the Galapagos giant tortoise. Visitors can see both hatchling tortoises and the older breeding animals. The wetlands of Isabela Island are home to a variety of bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintail ducks, gallinules, and flamingoes. Excursion options: Walk and swim.
Wall of Tears, Isabela Island The Wall of Tears is 15 to 20 feet (5-6m) high, 10 feet (3 m) wide, and approximately 300 feet (100 m) long. When jailed in a penal colony here between 1944 and 1959, prisoners were forced to build the wall, stone by stone, in isolation, only to be asked to tear it down again and start over. It is a lesson in history and a remnant of a cruel and intolerant time. Excursion options: Walk.
Post Office Bay Rich in history, Post Office Bay is home to the post office barrel established in about 1793 where whalers and others could leave their mail to be picked up by outbound ships. Over the years thousands of ships have stopped to send and receive mail at Post Office Bay. Many have posted a sign of driftwood or other materials memorializing their visit. This is the only area in the Galapagos were graffiti is still acceptable.
Arriving at Post Office Bay you will wet land on a brown sand beach, passing the sea lions lying in the sun. At the post barrel the guide will pull a hand full of letters for the group. Continuing the tradition, the letters are brought home with the traveler and then mailed to the addressee. During your short visit, post your own letter or postcards at this early mail stop.
Baroness Outlook 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.
Cormorant Point Cormorant Point was once the penal colony for Ecuador, the first capital of the Galapagos and where Charles Darwin met the viceroy of Galapagos. Its small brackish lagoon is often home to flamingos, stilts, and white-cheeked pintail ducks, and one of its beaches is a highly used nesting site for sea turtles. The visit to Punta Cormorant offers two contrasting beaches. Arriving on shore you will encounter a green sand beach (the green sand is caused by the olivine crystals derived silicates or magnesium and iron). From here you will follow the trail leading to a lagoon where pink flamingoes and other shore birds can be seen in the distance making their home. Looking into the mud of the lagoon there appears to be 'cracks' in the mud. These cracks are not caused from dryness but are actually the footpaths of flamingos. This is also a good spot for seeing large-billed flycatchers, small-ground finch, medium-ground finch or cactus finch. Excursion options: Zodiac, walk.
Champion Bay Champion Bay 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.
San Cristobal Island (Isla San Cristobal), also known as Chatham Island, is the fifth largest of the Galapagos Islands in terms of size, and has the second largest human settlement, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. It is the second most popular island after Isla Santa Cruz.
Warlock Hill (Cerro Brujo) Warlock Hill is named for its distinctive shaped mountain that resembles a witches hat. White sand juxtaposed with black volcanic rocks makes this beach another of the Galapagos' most spectacular. Brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, and marine iguanas are all found here. Excursion options include a beach walk, swimming, or snorkeling. This is a wet landing.
Kicker Rock (Len Dormido) Kicker Rock or Len Dormido, named for its characteristic shape like that of a boot or sleeping lion, is a dramatic sight with the remains of a volcanic tuff cone rising almost 148 m straight up out of the ocean. Erosion has split the rock into two parts, forming a narrow channel between. Circumnavigation provides the visitor with the best views of the rock. Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, and sea lions line the shore. Excursion options: Circumnavigation.
Los Lobos Named after its large colony of sea lions, this island usually allows visitors to observe and potentially interact with sea lion pups, especially while snorkeling. In addition, we may see blue-footed boobies, frigates, and even a glimpse at the second type of sea lion species found in Galapagos: the Fur Sea Lion. It is a seasonal nesting location for the blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Excursion options: Walk, zodiac, snorkel.
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island This is the main population center of the islands, home to the National Park Tortoise Breeding Center and the Charles Darwin Research Station. After Darwin's studies and surveys, the Galapagos Archipelago remained untouched except for occasional landings for water and meager supplies mustered from the uninhabited islands. Many tortoises were taken for food and oil.
Unknowingly, these ships left behind non-indigenous animals like rats and cats. This, along with human settlement and the further introduction of non-indigenous animals like goats, pigs, and dogs, had a devastating effect on many native species. Once-domesticated animals escaped and became feral, and the islands suddenly were overrun with predators never seen before. They competed for available food, eating tortoise eggs, baby iguanas, and the plant base, which led to massive erosion. The Galapagos tortoises are still in danger of extinction. Famous Lonesome George, a Pinta Island tortoise, was considered the "rarest creature on earth" before his death in 2012.
In 1930, an expedition from the US arrived to create a wildlife sanctuary for the entire archipelago, and finally, in 1935, the first laws were passed to protect these islands. In 1959, the Ecuadorian government declared the Galapagos a national park, the catalyst needed to promote scientific research, restoration, and preservation of the ecosystem. That year saw the creation of the Charles Darwin Foundation, which funds the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz. Eradication of all invading species, capping or reduction of human population, and perhaps even stronger limits on tourism may be the future of the Galapagos Archipelago as scientists work to save this spectacular place and return it to its pristine, natural beauty.
Excursions include a visit to the Tortoise Breeding Center as well as walk through the Charles Darwin Station. You will also have the opportunity to take a bus ride to the Highlands to observe giant tortoises in the wild and walk through a lava tunnel. There will also be free time available for shopping.
Gardner Bay Located on the northeastern side of the Isla Espanola, Gardner Bay has a beautiful long white sandy beach perfect for relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the area. There is also a sea lion colony here. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkeling. If you happen to visit here between October and December, you will find Green Sea Turtles mating just off shore. Gardner Bay is home to some of the most inquisitive mockingbirds in the Galapagos.
Excursion options include beach walking, swimming, or snorkeling. The landing at Gardner Bay is wet.
Punta Suarez The terrain across the Suarez Point (Punta Suarez) is highly diverse. The hike will begin on the jetty, where the immediate terrain is low, flat savannah, slightly sloping up from the shore, with low grasses and plants and sandy beaches dotted with smooth rocks. You will be amazed at the colorful sally lightfoot crabs and sunning marine iguanas covering the rocks. The trail slowly is rockier toward the ocean side of the island, where enormous waves crash huge cliffs.
The highlight of this visitor site - and perhaps one of the highlights of the Galapagos Islands - is strolling along the edge of the Waved Albatross breeding colony. The 10,000 to 12,000 pairs of waved albatross on Espanola represent the vast majority of this species on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals in the animal world.
Farther around the island is its famous blowhole. The basalt rock at the sea edge has cracked, creating a fissure that, at high tide, fills with pressurized seawater. The resulting geyser can reach 70 feet in the air. Photo opportunities here are outstanding.
Daphne Island (Isla Daphne) is a satellite volcanic cone located north of Santa Cruz island. The crater floor is an important breeding site for the blue-footed boobies. The presence of these sea birds makes this an exceptional island to visit. The cliff shore of the island is home for sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies and tropic birds. In addition, large schools of fish can be observed from the zodiac rides.
Nearing the crater rim red-billed tropicbirds nest in the cliffs. These elegant birds with long white tail feathers and a coral-red bill, nest in the over hanging ledges and crevices of the steep slopes. Magnificent frigate birds build their nests in the little vegetation that occurs on the island's slopes and near the crater rim. Finches, masked boobies, short eared owls and Galapagos Martins are also visible.
Baltra Debarkation and Flight to Quito At the end of your cruise, you will return to Baltra. After a zodiac and bus ride, you'll arrive at the Baltra airport for your flight to Quito.
Quito, Ecuador In Quito, a Celebrity Cruises representative will escort you to the JW Marriott hotel. Your luggage will be transferred from the ship directly to the hotel. In the afternoon, join an optional excursion. Or, if you prefer, relax at the beautiful hotel pool. Dinner is served this evening in the hotel restaurant.
On Sunday, enjoy a day in Quito at your leisure. Breakfast is included.
After breakfast on Monday, your Celebrity representative will once again escort you to the airport.
|Day of Week||Day||Destination||Notes||Arrive||Depart|
|Thursday||1||Quito, Ecuador||transfer to hotel||(overnight)|
|Friday||2||Quito, Ecuador||city tour, equator park, welcome dinner|
|Saturday||3||Baltra, Galapagos||fly to Baltra, board Xploration||3:00PM|
|Saturday||3||Chinese Hat Islet, Galapagos||4:00PM||6:00PM|
|Sunday||4||Dragon Hill , Santa Cruz||7:00AM||11:30AM|
|Monday||5||Puerto Villamil, Isabella||7:30AM||11:45AM|
|Monday||5||Wall of Tears, Isabella||2:00PM||6:00PM|
|Tuesday||6||Bahia Post Office, Galapagos||8:00AM||11:30AM|
|Tuesday||6||Cormorant Point , Floreana||3:00PM||6:00PM|
|Wednesday||7||Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal||8:00AM||11:00AM|
|Wednesday||7||Kicker Rock, Galapagos||11:45AM||12:15PM|
|Wednesday||7||Los Lobos, San Cristobal||3:00PM||5:30PM|
|Thursday||8||Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz||8:00AM||6:00PM|
|Friday||9||Punta Suarez , Espanola||8:00AM||11:00AM|
|Friday||9||Gardner Bay, Espanola||2:30PM||6:00PM|
|Saturday||10||Baltra, Galapagos||disembark Xploration, fly to Quito, optional tour, farewell dinner||8:00AM|
|Sunday||11||Quito, Ecuador||on your own||(overnight)|
|Monday||12||Quito, Ecuador||transfer to airport|
|Departure Date||Special Offers||Price From|
|(Click for Availability and Pricing)||Galapagos |
Special Galapagos Offer
Captain's Club Members: Save up to $1,000 per stateroom when you book your next Galapagos Island vacation with us. Select from a wide range of 7-night voyages as well as 10-night or longer all-inclusive sailings.
|January 11, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|January 25, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|February 08, 2018||$6,499|
|February 22, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|March 08, 2018||$6,499|
|March 22, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|April 05, 2018||$6,799|
|April 19, 2018||$6,599|
|May 03, 2018||$6,599|
|May 17, 2018||$6,799|
|May 31, 2018||$6,699|
|June 14, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|June 28, 2018||$6,499|
|July 12, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|July 26, 2018||$6,199|
|August 09, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|August 23, 2018||$5,699|
|September 06, 2018||$6,299|
|September 20, 2018||$6,199|
|October 04, 2018||$5,999|
|October 18, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|November 01, 2018||$5,999|
|November 15, 2018||$6,199|
|November 29, 2018||$5,999|
|December 13, 2018||$5,999|
|December 27, 2018||$7,499|
|January 10, 2019||$7,549|
|January 24, 2019||$7,549|
|February 07, 2019||$7,549|
|February 21, 2019||$7,549|
|March 07, 2019||$7,549|
|March 21, 2019||$7,549|
|April 04, 2019||$8,549|
|April 18, 2019||$8,749|
|May 02, 2019||$8,549|
|May 16, 2019||$8,549|
|May 30, 2019||SOLD OUT|
|June 13, 2019||SOLD OUT|
|June 27, 2019||SOLD OUT|
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