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The dramatic coastline of the Shetland Islands

Galapagos and Antarctica: Equator to Pole

Example 21 Day Cruise aboard Evolution (QU)
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For an extraordinary 21 day journey of epic proportions, combine the unequaled wonders of the Galapagos Islands with the delights of a classic Antarctic Explorer expedition. Pair these itineraries to witness some of world’s rarest wildlife and scenery, Equator to Pole! 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Guayaquil, Ecuador
Day 2 : Embark|Playa Ochoa|Kicker Rock
Day 3 : South Plaza Island
Day 4 : Sombrero Chino Island|Santiago Island
Day 5 : Genovesa Island
Day 6 : North Seymour Island|Santa Fe Island
Day 7 : Floreana Island
Day 8 : Santa Cruz Island
Day 9 : Disembark|Guayaquil, Ecuador
Day 10 : Fly from Ecuador to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 11 : Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
Day 12 : Embark|Ushuaia
Days 13-14 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Days 15-18 : South Shetland Islands|Antarctic Peninsula
Days 19-20 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 21 : Diembark in Ushuaia

Highlights

  • Snorkel with sea lions, marine iguanas, and sea turtles
  • Walk among giant Galapagos tortoises
  • scout for humpback and minke whales
  • Visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge

Ship

Evolution (QU)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

The dramatic coastline of the Shetland Islands A humpback whale dives beneath the Antarctic waters Cruising the artic waters in the Zodiac Kicker rock Be prepared to take lots of pictures during your time in Tierra del Fuego!

Day 1 Arrive Guayaquil, Ecuador

Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the pre-expedition hotel.

Day 2 Embark|Playa Ochoa|Kicker Rock

Fly to the islands, landing on San Cristobal, and board the Evolution. Stroll along the beach at Playa Ochoa, where a nearby tidal lagoon plays host to flamingos, finches, and Chatham mockingbirds. At sunset, cruise around Kicker Rock.

Day 3 South Plaza Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At only 426 feet (130 m) wide, South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. Look for yellow land iguanas on a walk to a grove of pricklypear cactus. Non-hikers can enjoy a Zodiac cruise, watching for swallowtailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds and blue-footed boobies. Since there is no true trail on Mosquera Islands, you are able to stroll at your leisure.

Day 4 Sombrero Chino Island|Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The tiny uplifted island of Sombrero Chino – or Chinese Hat – features a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble and lava tubes. The “land” is made of a few adjacent craters and old, fragile pahoehoe lava flows. Vegetation is just starting to take hold, including colorful carpetweed plants. Enjoy a Zodiac cruise and swim before lunch. This afternoon, search the tide pools of Puerto Egas for sea life. During low tide, see marine iguanas feeding on algae. Your naturalists will point out the birdlife, including great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellowcrowned night herons.

Day 5 Genovesa Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Genovesa is often referred to as “Bird Island” for the vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest. And while Genovesa harbors one of the Galapagos’ largest and most diverse bird populations, there are no land reptiles — with the exception of some very small marine iguanas. This is due to the direction of the ocean currents, which couldn’t carry the terrestrial animals here. Climb Prince Philip’s Steps to an area with colonies of red-footed boobies. Watch for short-eared owls which feed on the petrels that fly about. Explore Darwin Bay, home to the rare lava gull. While anchored at Genovesa, enjoy an opportunity to swim, kayak and snorkel in the calm caldera of this partially eroded volcano.

Day 6 North Seymour Island|Santa Fe Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
North Seymour is the nesting site for a large population of magnificent frigate birds and the only place where you can always find males showing their red pouches to attract females. Plus, you are sure to see blue-footed boobies perform their comical courtship dance in the open areas. Hike to a scenic lagoon, where you may observe Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds and a variety of Darwin’s finches. You may kayak and snorkel from the beach.

Day 7 Floreana Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hike to Post Office Bay, once used by navigators to send mail with homebound messengers. Swim and kayak in the bay before a walk along the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant. After hiking to a flamingo lagoon, spot fish and sea turtles during a relaxing stroll along the beach. Enjoy superb snorkeling at Devil’s Crown, where sea water has filled the sunken cone of an extinct volcano.

Day 8 Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin at the Charles Darwin Research Station, learn about the work being done to preserve Galapagos wildlife. Head into the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see giant tortoises in their verdant habitat. Walk through the forest surrounding a pair of pit craters, an excellent place to spot vermillion flycatchers. Time permitting, walk underground to explore a lava tube.

Day 9 Disembark|Guayaquil, Ecuador

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy a Zodiac cruise through Black Turtle Cove, drifting silently through this area of mangroves. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the post-expedition hotel.

Day 10 Fly from Ecuador to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today you will be transferred back to the Guayaquil airport to board your independently booked flight to Buenos Aires. Once there, please make your way to your hotel (not included, must be booked separately).

Day 11 Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia

This morning, board a domestic flight to Ushuaia (not included, must be booked separately).

With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet has retained an easy going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early, you can spend time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy Argentinean wines and barbecues in the city, or visit the many boutiques and cafés before you leave for your expedition to Antarctica.

Day 12 Embark|Ushuaia

Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!

Day 13-14 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, while we’ll provide safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.

Day 15-18 South Shetland Islands|Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal.
The majesty of the Peninsula’s mountains will enchant you as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbour, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here you’ll have the choice between mountain hiking or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach enjoying the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets!

Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate you about this wonderful part of the world.

Day 19-20 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air.
Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.

Day 21 Diembark in Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning allowing for you to continue your adventure on land or catch your flights home.

Evolution (QU)

Per person starting at
$16,160
Evolution's Master Suite.
Select a Date
Category 1
At 263 sq. ft. (24 sq. m), a Category 1 Cabin is equipped with a queen sized bed. Located on the Albatross Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Select a Date
Category 2
Averaging 198 sq. ft. (18 sq. m), a Category 2 Cabin is equipped with either a queen sized bed or twin beds. Located on the Albatross Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Select a Date
Category 3
Averaging 183 sq. ft. (17 sq. m), a Category 3 Cabin is equipped with either a queen sized bed or twin beds. Located on the Cormorant Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Select a Date
Category 4
Averaging 142 sq. ft. (13 sq. m), a Category 4 Cabin is equipped with a queen sized bed. Located on the Cormorant Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Select a Date
Category 5
Averaging 177 sq. ft. (16 sq. m), a Category 5 Cabin is equipped with either a queen sized bed or twin beds. Located on the Darwin Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.

Notes

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. 

Inlcuded:
-All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
-Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person
-Arrival and departure transfers in Guayaquil
-One night pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Guayaquil, with breakfast
-Transfers to and from domestic flight to Galapagos

Excluded:
-Mandatory domestic flights and park fees*
-Passport and applicable visa expenses
-Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
-Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
-Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance
-Excess baggage charges
-Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
-Phone and internet charges
- Additional overnight accommodation

Please note:
In the Galapagos you will be sailing onboard the Evolution and in Antarctica you will be sailing onboard the Ocean Diamond.

Child Discount

Children under 12 receive a discount of $135 off adult flight rates, and discounted Galapagos Entrance Fee of $50

Included

  • Accommodations on board Evolution (QU) based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Equipment

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $595
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $540

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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