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: 13-Night Galapagos Southern Loop Itinerary #2
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.
Mosquera Islet This small, flat, sandy islet sits in the channel between Baltra and North Seymour. It is almost devoid of vegetation, but has one of the largest populations of sea lions in the islands. Its sandy expanse offers visitors the perfect opportunity to observe sea lion behavior. It is also a beautiful site to observe lava gulls, coastal birds, and Sally lightfoot crabs. Keep your eyes peeled for occasional sightings of dolphins and orcas. Excursion options: Walk.
Santiago Island (Isla Santiago), also known as James Island or Isla San Salvador, actually consists of two coalesced volcanos: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end. Subtle differences in lava chemistry confirm that there are two volcanos here, and indicate that each has its own plumbing system and each taps a different melting zone in the mantle.
Sullivan Bay During a volcanic eruption in the early 1900's, this area of Santiago was covered with flowing lava. Today, the hardened fields of black rock create a geologic wonderland. The glazed black rock gives the impression of the still-molten lava, as every ripple, swirl, and bubble in its surface has been preserved. Only the occasional pioneering Mollugo plant gives a clue of the time needed for species to colonise such an expanse.
Sullivan Bay is especially fascinating for those who are interested in geology and volcanology. You can take a spectacular walk over the uneroded, black lava flow covered with lava bubbles and tree-trunks mold in the surface. There are two small beaches where turtles come for nesting.
Bartolome Island (Isla Bartolome) is a small island that offers beautiful white sand beaches fringed by luxuriant green mangroves. A recently volcanically active island, Bartolome Island has a moon-like landscape and volcanic cones. The tall, leaning spike known as Pinnacle Rock is the eroded remains of an old tuff cone. The view from the top of Pinnacle Rock is perhaps the most famous in the Galapagos, with the opportunity to see up to 28 islands if visibility allows.
On the beach, watch for the endemic Galapagos penguins, the only penguins in the world found north of the equator. As you walk along the white sand beach, you might catch a glimpse of them swimming alongside marine turtles, a variety of brightly colored tropical fish and white-tipped reef sharks, while the Galapagos Hawk flies overhead. Marine turtles come ashore to nest here between January and March.
Excursion options include a hike, swim, beach and snorkel. This is a dry landing, except for the optional beach swim and snorkel, which is a wet landing.
Isabela Island (Isla Isabela) is the largest island in the Galapagos, is in the shape of a sea horse and was named by Christopher Columbus in honor of Queen Isabela of Spain. It is home to five active volcanoes. The Wolf Volcano erupted in May, 2015 after 33 years of inactivity.
Urvina Bay Here we will see large land iguanas, finches, and if lucky, a giant tortoise or two. In 1954, the intrusion of magma below one of the island's volcanoes caused part of the bay to be uplifted some 6 meters. Today, we can walk through the remains of what was once a thriving underwater reef. Excursion options include a long, faster-paced hike with some rock climbing required, followed by an optional snorkel (if conditions allow), a short walk, or swim. This is a wet landing.
Caleta Tagus (Tagus Cove), Isabela Historically an anchorage for pirates and whalers was named for the British naval vessel that moored here in 1814. The names of those old ships are carved into the rock above the landing. Tagus Point offers a breathtaking view of Isabela, its volcanoes, and a saltwater lagoon
The coves quiet waters make for an ideal zodiac ride beneath its sheltered cliffs, where blue-fitted boobies, brown noddies, pelicans and noddy terns make their nests, and flightless cormorants and penguins inhabit the lava ledges. Along the shore seabirds, penguins, sea lions, sea turtles and nesting flightless cormorants can often be found Excursion options include a scenic zodiac ride for wildlife viewing, a long, faster-paced walk, snorkeling, and kayak. This is a dry landing.
Punta Espinoza (Isla Fernandina) Fernandina Island is the youngest Galapagos island due to its volcanic activity. As Darwin wrote, it is "covered with immense deluges of black naked lava."
With its extraordinary black lava rocks, Punta Espinoza hosts the largest colony of marine iguanas in the Archipelago, along with sea lions and a nesting site for flightless cormorants. Located on the northeast part of Fernandina the visit begins with a dry landing. If the tide is right it is possible to use a dock, otherwise the landing is made on to volcanic rock and it can be slippery. The trail to the shore can be filled with interesting obstacles including marine iguanas and mangrove branches. Excursion options include a walk, deep water snorkel, or hike. This is a dry landing.
Punta Vicente Roca Looking at Isabela as being the shape of a sea horse, Punta Vicente Roca is at the horse's mouth. Here an ancient volcano formed a protected bay and two coves, all protected from the ocean swells. Punta Vicente Roca is one of the most fascinating marine sites in Galapagos. Divers come to explore the underwater caves and incredible marine life including rays, mula mula and horn sharks.
While no landings are permitted here, the half-collapsed remains of an ancient volcano make for a spectacular setting at this site. Awe-inspiring cliffs, tranquil blue waters, and abundant wildlife create a zodiac ride to remember as we search for sea turtles, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, the flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and the oddly-shaped form of the elusive sunfish. Optional deep water snorkel.
Puerto Egas, Santiago With its sandy beach, black rocks, and blue-water grottos, Puerto Egas offers a taste of Galapagos geology, great snorkeling, and an opportunity to see shorebirds and Galapagos fur seals.
The wet landing on the dark sands here leads to one of the more rewarding visits in the Galapagos, the Fur Seal Grotto. Here one can get very close views of both fur seals and sea lions in a series of rocky pools. For many, this is the only opportunity to see the Galapagos fur seal, once thought to be on the verge of extinction. In addition to the fur seals. This site also offers the best opportunity for tide-pooling in the Galapagos.
Espumilla Beach, Santiago Island Located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay, this beach is a sea turtle nesting site. The favored attractions here are the Palo Santo forest, beach, and the lovely landscape. The trail passes a small seasonal lagoon where flamingos and white-cheeked pintail ducks are sometimes seen. Continuing on, the trail loops through the arid zone, where some of the tallest Palo Santo trees of the entire archipelago are found. Also, look out for the Galapagos Hawk as well as Darwin's finches. Excursion options: Walk.
Buccaneer Cove, Santiago Island Buccaneer Cove is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. These pirates would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent site. Excursion options: Kayak, snorkel, zodiac.
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.
El Barranco Also known as Prince Philip's Steps, El Barranco was named for Prince Philip, who visited Galapagos in 1965 and again in 1981. The steep stairway leads up through a seabird colony full of Nazca and Red-footed Boobies. Once visitors reach the plateau, the trail continues inland and passes more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest. You will see Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and storm petrels. Lucky visitors with keen eyes may catch a glimpse of a Short-eared lava owl stalking petrel along the island's eastern cliffs. Excursion options: Hike, zodiac, deep water snorkel.
Darwin Bay Darwin Bay's soft white sand is only the beginning of a spectacular excursion. A trail from the beach takes you into lush mangroves where red-footed boobies nest. Other local wildlife includes sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds, and more. Snorkeling is a must here, as the nutrient-rich water attracts all types of marine life, including sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, and the occasional manta ray. Excursion options: Walk, swim, snorkel and kayak.
North Seymour (Isla 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 also see blue-footed boobies dancing in a timeless courtship ritual. Sea lions and large land iguanas also roam about this rocky terrain. Excursion options include a short easy walk. This is a dry landing.
Baltra Debarkation and Puerto Ayora Transfer Your short zodiac ride brings you to the Itabaca canal, where you will be greeted by your Celebrity Cruises representative and transferred to Puerto Ayora. On your way, you will visit the Manzanillo Ranch for a private tour to look for wild Giant Tortoises. Lunch will be served at the Ranch. After check in at the Angermeyer Hotel, you will have time to settle in and relax before dinner at a local restaurant.
Puerto Ayora Farming This morning, after breakfast, you will have an up close and personal encounter with the local agriculture. During your visit to the local farm or green house in the highlands, you will learn about historic and current agricultural challenges in the Galapagos due to restrictions for sustainability on the islands. The tour includes an opportunity for you to take part in the production process, gathering provisions that will later be used to prepare your exclusive dining experience with your professional chef. Lunch will be served on route.
After the farming experience, you will visit an old sugar estate called "El Trapiche," Spanish for sugar mill. A local family (natives of the islands), will introduce and walk you through the process of sugar cane production as it was when it was brought from the highlands of Ecuador in the 60's. After indulging in the island's premium fresh sugar cane products, you will head back to the hotel and meet with the chef to turn in the provisions and discuss your meal plan (pending fresh catch!). Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.
Puerto Ayora Fishing & Local Activities with Fisherman Today, after breakfast, we will explore the fantastic fishing opportunities in the Galapagos, where you will spend time with a savvy local fisherman in search of your special catch of the day to be brought back as part of the provisions for your dining experience with a chef later this evening. Throughout your fishing trip, learn about responsible tourism activities that fuel and help preserve the islands all while encountering wild species of fish. After fishing, you will visit a private beach where you can swim, snorkel, and enjoy a boxed lunch. After the beach experience, you will go back to your hotel to turn in your Catch of the Day and finalize your dinner plans with the chef for tonight's special dinner.
Puerto Ayora After breakfast, your naturalist will meet you and lead you through a short morning hike. There will also be time for a beach swim before hiking back to the hotel for checkout and transfer to the airport. Lunch will be served in Puerto Ayora.
Quito, Ecuador In the afternoon, you will transfer to the airport for the flight back to Quito. Upon your arrival in Quito, a Celebrity Cruises representative will escort you to the Wyndham Hotel. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
After breakfast on Wednesday, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight.
|Day of Week||Day||Destination||Arrive||Depart|
|Saturday||3||Mosquera Islet, Galapagos||4:00PM||6:00PM|
|Sunday||4||Sullivan Bay, Santiago||7:30AM||10:30AM|
|Monday||5||Urvina Bay, Isabela||8:00AM||11:00AM|
|Monday||5||Caleta Tagus, Isabela||3:00PM||5:00PM|
|Tuesday||6||Punta Espinoza , Fernandina||7:30AM||11:30AM|
|Tuesday||6||Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela||3:30PM||6:00PM|
|Wednesday||7||Puerto Egas , Santiago||7:30AM||11:00AM|
|Wednesday||7||Espumilla Beach, Santiago||3:00PM||6:00PM|
|Thursday||8||Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz||8:00AM||6:00PM|
|Friday||9||El Barranco, Genovesa||7:30AM||11:45AM|
|Friday||9||Darwin Bay, Genovesa||2:30PM||6:00PM|
|Saturday||10||North Seymour , Galapagos||6:00AM||7:00AM|
|Tuesday||13||Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz|
|Departure Date||Price From|
|(Click for Availability and Pricing)|
|May 24, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|June 07, 2018||$9,599|
|June 21, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|July 05, 2018||$9,799|
|July 19, 2018||$9,799|
|August 02, 2018||$9,199|
|August 16, 2018||$9,599|
|August 30, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|September 13, 2018||$8,799|
|September 27, 2018||$8,599|
|October 11, 2018||$8,799|
|October 25, 2018||$9,199|
|November 08, 2018||$8,999|
|November 22, 2018||SOLD OUT|
|December 06, 2018||$9,199|
|December 20, 2018||SOLD OUT|
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