Tauck Bridges Family Travel

Galapagos: Wildlife Wonderland

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Year

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Days
8
From (per Person)
£6,070
Includes On-Tour Air
Journey Type
Tauck Bridges
Time of Year
Mar - Apr, Jun - Aug
Cities & Landmarks
Guayaquil, Quito, Bartolomé Island, Genovesa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Rábida Island
Galápagos Islands

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Uniquely Tauck

Experience with TAUCK

4 nights aboard the 90-guest Santa Cruz II, designed especially for Galápagos Islands cruising; dry and wet landings

 

Licensed Naturalist Guides of Galápagos National Park accompany shore excursions and hold briefings aboard ship, offering hands-on natural history lessons

 

Private Tauck Shore Excursions with experts, averaging two daily, for wildlife sightings and exciting activities

 

TAUCK VALUE INCLUDES

 

All gratuities to Tauck Directors, local guides, drivers, naturalists, and ship staff

 

On-Tour Air included (2 flights)

 

Your cruise may be a shared ship experience with non-Tauck guests onboard as well; all Tauck guests will be accompanied by one Tauck Director for approximately every 40 Tauck guests, and your itinerary will always be highlighted by exclusive, private Tauck shore excursions

Activity

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Active components such as hiking, bicycling and walking longer distances may be included, and hills and/or uneven terrain may be encountered on several days. Guests should be able to walk two to three miles and stand for long periods of time with no difficulty.

Pace

2
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Moderately paced, and may include some early morning hotel departures, one or two on-tour flights, and extended motor coach travel.

View Full Itinerary

World Travel. Family Discovery.

Mysteries of the "enchanted islands" that time forgot, a virtual wildlife wonderland... but how did the birds, reptiles and small mammals, found nowhere else on Earth, first make their way here... what is the real story behind the disappearance of the Galápagos Tortoise... how did naturalist Charles Darwin miss the pink iguana – discovered 150 years after his visit but millions of years old... Get ready to sleuth!

This eight-day family adventure takes guests to the exotic Galápagos Islands, a region rich with a variety of local wildlife, flourishing flora and on-island excursions. Sailing through the four-island system by panga and by expedition ship, Santa Cruz II, as you and your family take in the beautiful views on both land and sea. Across this island society; explore the lagoons on Baltra Island that have a variety of birds within its ecosystem including pintail ducks, flamingos and stilts. Snorkel in Santiago Island in Buccaneer Cove where local sea lions may sneak up alongside you and surprise you. Hike up Bartolomé Island accompanied by incredible views at the summit. See the intricacies of the island firsthand! From the red sand of Jervis Island to the marine iguanas who forage for food in the sea, even the crabs are different here, with their bright red and yellow shells that provide quite a contrast to the black-lava rocks of these volcanic islands. Learn from Galápagos naturalists who travel with you... take walks on lave terrains... travel ashore via pangas... swim and snorkel... And much more!

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Wildlife of the Galápagos Islands

Visit a tortoise conservation reserve

Day 7

Meet the giant tortoises...

A visit to the tortoise reserve on Santa Cruz Island provides a unique opportunity to observe a rare form of wildlife that continues to thrive in the Galapagos archipelago – the giant tortoise. You'll learn about the amazing conservation efforts to preserve and protect these magnificent creatures in their natural environment on the islands and have an opportunity to see them first-hand.

The Galápagos' "Big 15"

Introducing the "Big 15" of the Galápagos Islands

When it comes to wildlife, no place on Earth compares to the Galápagos Islands. The vast diversity of animal life is what attracts visitors to this remote, far-flung paradise, spread out over 138,000 square kilometers (3,040 square miles). The "Big 15" list was created to identify the archipelago's most unique and fascinating wildlife... so on your journey, your family may spot Galapagos Albatross, Blue-Footed Booby, Nazca Booby, Red-Footed Booby, Flightless Cormorant, American Flamingo, Great and Magnificent Frigatebirds, Galapagos Hawk, Land Iguana, Marine Iguana, Santa Fe Land Iguana, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Sea Lion, Galapagos Fur Seal and the Galapagos Giant Tortoise.

Go snorkeling... and see what lives under the sea

Ever wondered what it's like to swim with sea lions?

Chances are, while you're snorkeling in the warm Galápagos waters you'll find yourself splashing around in the water with a few of these whiskered locals for company – they're sociable, and as curious about you as you are about them.

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Deck Plans

Welcome Aboard

Sky Deck

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Panorama Deck

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Darwin Suite

Explorer Double Cabin

Expedition Deck

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Explorer Double Cabin

Horizon Deck

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Explorer Double Cabin

Explorer Triple Cabin

Ocean Deck

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Your journey

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Includes On-Tour Air

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Deposit & Booking Information

Deposit Information:

The deposit and the fees for the optional Protection Plan or Cancel Fee Waiver [CFW] coverage are due at time of booking. Your deposit is £750.

Terms and Conditions:

For additional information pertaining to our Tauck Journeys, including Cancellation Information and Booking Conditions, click here to learn more.

At the time of booking, please have the following information ready:

  • Tour Name and Departure Date Desired
  • Traveler Name(s):  Please have first and last names as they appear on the passport or driver's license.
  • Traveler's Address(es)
  • Traveler's Phone Number(s)
  • Emergency Contact Information: This would be a relative or friend whom we could contact during the tour in the event of an emergency. Please provide their name and phone number(s).
  • Interest in purchasing a travel protection product (US and Canada)
  • Interest in extending your trip by staying in a Tauck recommended hotel before your trip begins or after it ends
  • Interest in our specially negotiated airfares.

Regarding your final payment:

Final Payment is due as specified on the invoice. Bookings without full payment at this time may be subject to cancellation without notice. 

Protect Your Travel Investment

Customer Protection: Our UK-based agents comply with the bonding requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority and provide full financial protection for the package holidays that we sell in the UK. For flight-based holidays, this is through the Air Travel Organiser's Licence (details of which are available from the UK-based agent with whom you book). When you buy a package holiday that doesn't include a flight, protection of your monies paid to our UK-based agent will be provided by way of a bond.

Travel Requirements For This Tour

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Travel Documents

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling internationally, you will need a passport valid for six months beyond the completion of your Tauck journey for entry into Ecuador. You will not need a visa for the short duration of this tour.

If you are a citizen of another country traveling internationally, you should contact a consulate or embassy of Ecuador to determine what travel documentation is required.

If you are traveling with children 11 years old or younger, you must bring two photocopies of each child's passport – in addition to the copies we suggest you bring for safekeeping – as they must be provided on the first morning of the tour for proper ticketing for the flight to the Galápagos Islands on Day 3.

Please note that longer stays abroad for any purpose may require additional travel documentation.

You will be issued a boarding card, which you must present before embarking the ship in each port. This security measure also ensures that only Tauck guests are permitted onboard.

We recommend that you make at least two photocopies of all the travel documents that you bring with you. Include copies of the photo page of your passport that contains the date of issuance, the date of expiration and your citizenship. Secure one set of copies in the safe in your room while traveling and leave one set behind with someone at home who will assist you in the event your documents are misplaced, lost or stolen.

To facilitate Travel Requirements, destinations are increasingly utilizing online forms that require digital proof that you've successfully completed your submission (via an email, QR code, etc.) To ensure smooth travels and peace of mind, we strongly recommend all guests carry a personal smart phone and sign up for international data plans before traveling overseas.

Note: For activities marked with an asterisk (*) in day-by-day descriptions, participation is at your own risk; a signed liability waiver will be required.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN AS A GUARDIAN: If you are traveling as the guardian of a child/children, we strongly suggest that you carry a letter from both parents of the child authorizing emergency treatment in the event of illness or accident. For travel abroad, many foreign countries have specific entry requirements for children under 21 who are traveling internationally without BOTH parents. (These requirements are in response to the increased incidence of children being abducted and taken abroad.) PLEASE NOTE THAT TAUCK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the disruption of travel caused by improper documentation for children traveling without both parents.

Air Information and Luggage Restrictions

AIRFARE: Airfare to and from this destination is not included in the journey cost. If purchasing your air elsewhere, it is very important to provide us with your confirmed arriving and departing flight information no later than 3 weeks before your arrival date. Flight information can be submitted to Tauck (or verified, if you've already provided it) in the My Account section of Tauck.com.

TAUCK AIRPORT TRANSFERS are included at the start and end of the journey between the airport and the Tauck hotel. Airport transfers are available for any pre tour or post tour hotel stays immediately consecutive to the tour, providing flight information is received in the Tauck office no later than three weeks in advance. Details on locating your transfer upon arrival to the tour start city will be included in your final documents.

AIRLINES and CHECKED LUGGAGE: Due to space limitations during your Tauck journey, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one average-size suitcase per person. Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and are free to revise luggage policies without notice. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies. PLEASE NOTE that if you are booked on a tour that includes on-tour flights, the checked luggage weight restrictions for these flights may be lower than the weight restrictions for your international flights.

 

Special Luggage Restrictions for this Tour

Due to the casual nature of this tour and climate conditions, we request that you bring only one piece of checked luggage on this trip. Additionally, flights to and from the Galápagos Islands restrict each passenger to no more than 50 lbs (23 kg) of luggage. If you exceed this limit, you will be charged 1% over the net rate of the intra-tour airfare.

If you are taking a carry-on piece of luggage with you it must weigh no more than 17 lbs (8 kg) and the dimensions can not exceed 24 x 15.5 x 8 in (61 x 39 x 20 cm).

Checked Luggage – General

Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and luggage exceeding airline standards for size or weight may result in expensive overage fees or other consequences.

Airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice, and certain airlines have different baggage allowances for different classes of service. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies.

Tauck luggage tags will be provided by your Tauck Director on Day 1 of your itinerary. Please do not attach a Tauck luggage tag to any carry-on items, as the Tauck tags designate luggage that is to be handled and transferred by ground operators and hotel staff during your journey.

Carry-on Luggage - General

Although oversize bags and wheeled, carry-on luggage are popular for airline travel, they are often not convenient or appropriate for motor coach travel or for many on-tour flights. Most modern sightseeing motor coaches offer limited space for numerous or larger items. Space under seats or in the overhead rack is typically small, and designed to accommodate items like coats, hats, purses, and small camera bags, etc.

For your day-to-day travel while on tour, we recommend that you limit your hand luggage to a small, soft-sided carry-on piece, and that you bring only those items you need handy during the day such as make-up, medications, cameras, film, etc. Items too large to fit under the motor coach seat or on the overhead rack must be stored in the luggage bays beneath the motor coach, and may be inaccessible during daytime travel.

Health, Safety and Mobility

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS

Some of the countries visited on this itinerary may require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against certain diseases in order to enter the country. These requirements are subject to frequent change as outbreaks occur and subside in different areas, and it is therefore crucial that you obtain the very latest information on entry requirements as you prepare for your journey.

For the most current information, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here and the World Health Organization (WHO) by clicking here. You may also wish to visit the web sites for the embassies of the countries you will be visiting. Besides providing details on vaccination requirements, these sites can also provide information on vaccinations that may be recommended (but aren't required) and other potential health issues for which no vaccines are available.

Any decisions relating to your health, of course, should not be based solely on information provided by a web site. It is critically important that you consult with your personal physician prior to your journey to obtain any required vaccinations and to review any optional recommendations offered by the CDC or other sources.

Please be sure to discuss your journey with your physician at least four to six weeks in advance of your departure, as certain vaccinations take time to become fully effective. Also, be certain to ask your physician for proof of any vaccinations you receive, and to pack this proof along with your other travel documents in your carry-on luggage (not in your checked luggage).

 

VACCINATIONS 

Researching and complying with vaccination entry requirements for the countries visited on this itinerary is the responsibility of the traveler and not Tauck. Tauck is therefore not responsible for any expenses incurred or disruptions to travel caused by improper or incomplete vaccinations, or by the failure to provide proof of required vaccinations.

If you do not obtain the necessary vaccinations and proper documentation, you may be denied entry into one or more countries, or temporarily quarantined until the necessary vaccinations are administered, or until proper documentation is provided.

 

MOBILITY

To enjoy this cruise, participants must be in good health. This is a rigorous tour and you need to be in good physical condition with good balance as the terrain varies from sandy beaches to uneven lava and rocks. Comfortable walking shoes with ankle support are essential. There are some walking sticks available on board the ship, but you may want to bring your own. The walks range from 1 to 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 km) in length and last from 1½ to 2½ hours.

All ship-to-shore transfers use Zodiacs or "pangas" (capacity 9 to 12 persons). Occasionally you will get wet with spray. Some wet landings require guests to wade through knee-high deep coastal water.

There are five decks on the Santa Cruz II; however, there is no elevator.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN AND MOBILITY ISSUES: This Tauck itinerary cannot accommodate oxygen tanks, wheelchairs or motorized scooters. Oxygen tanks are strictly prohibited in many foreign countries on regional flights aboard small aircraft, such as those intra-tour flights featured on this Tauck journey. Likewise, the very limited cargo capacity on such flights prohibits the transport of wheelchairs or motorized scooters.

Guests should also bear in mind that the infrastructure in many foreign countries, particularly in developing countries, often presents severe and even insurmountable challenges for those with walking difficulties or other mobility issues. The responsibility of the Tauck Director is to ensure that the larger group enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing individual assistance to any one guest. Guests requiring such individualized assistance must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who can provide it. The Santa Cruz II does not have mechanical stabilizers because the water around the Galápagos Islands is very calm. We travel between the various islands so the areas in which we cruise are sheltered. If you are prone to seasickness, bring a non–drowsy, over-the-counter, anti-nausea medication. Anti-nausea wristbands are also a good idea. The anti-nausea patch is not recommended for use in the islands as it tends to impair vision in direct sunlight.

Complimentary bottled water is provided throughout the trip, both on board and for onshore excursions.

The Santa Cruz II does not permit smoking in any interior space. Smoke and open fire will activate the smoke detectors. Smoking is allowed on outside decks only. Please refrain from smoking onshore, in shore excursion vehicles and zodiacs. Please do not throw your cigarettes overboard, as it is a violation of international maritime pollution laws and they can easily be blown back onto the ship. There are ashtrays placed in specific exterior deck areas. Smoking is also not permitted on the motor coaches.

The only islands with bathroom facilities are Baltra, and Santa Cruz Island where the airport and a visitor center are located. Meals are served on board the Santa Cruz II, so we will be returning to the ship for lunch and dinner. Zodiacs or Pangas will travel back and forth to the ship during shore excursions.

The infirmary on the Santa Cruz II is staffed by a licensed Ecuadorian doctor. The infirmary visit is free of charge. The ship is registered in Ecuador. Please check with your health insurance provider to determine if coverage applies while you are traveling, and purchase appropriate travel insurance if necessary.

If you are traveling as the guardian of a child or children, we strongly suggest you bring along a letter from both parents of the child authorizing any emergency treatment, as medical facilities may require permission from the child's parent or parents.

If you have a medical condition which might limit your participation in activities, please consult your physician for pre-departure health advice and notify us as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. We will advise your Tauck Director accordingly.

 

SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS

The restaurants, hotels, caterers and numerous other partners we work with all do their best to accommodate special dietary requests from Tauck guests. However, given the diverse nature of those food providers (from small wineries to grand hotels to world-famous restaurants in more than 70 countries worldwide), some of our partners are better able than others to accommodate such requests. We therefore cannot guarantee that all dietary requests can be accommodated at every meal. Also, please note that where dietary requests can be accommodated, choices will frequently be limited.

 

Airline Disinsection

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a guidance letter that requires airlines and travel agents to disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines. Please click here for more information.

Cruise Regulations

International maritime security guidelines require that your passport information be provided to us prior to your embarkation. You need to provide this information to us as soon as you book your cruise or boarding may be denied. Once you board the cruise ship, your passport will be held by the purser until you disembark.

Reading List

We have compiled a reading list of recommended books to give you more information about the destinations you will be traveling to on your upcoming journey!

You can view the reading list here.

Weather

WEATHER

In the Galápagos, temperatures range from 75° to 86°F (24° to 30°C) year round. The weather is hot and sunny in the islands and sea temperatures average 67° to 72°F (19° to 22°C). For guests planning on swimming, most swimming takes place at midday hours.

The Galápagos Islands lie almost on the equator about 650 mi (1,046 km) west of the coast of Ecuador. The islands have an unusual climate in view of their proximity to the equator; rainfall is low and temperatures are lower than would be expected. There are no extremes of heat or cold. Although there is more rain on the larger islands which are hilly (such as Seymour Island), rainfall is low at sea level and comes during the months of January through April. Light drizzle and even fog, however, are not uncommon at other times of the year.

To read about current weather conditions, we suggest you log on to the Internet website by clicking here.

 

What To Pack

Bringing the right clothing for your trip is important – we've partnered with Necessary Gear who provide an "easy-to-use, one-stop shop" for your Tauck travel needs, specifically selected for this trip. Click here to visit their site.

Your adventure in the Galápagos is informal and casual. Essentials include bathing suit(s), tee-shirts, short and long pants, long and short-sleeve lightweight shirts, and a windbreaker, sweater or light jacket for evenings.

The hotels in Quito and Guayaquil provide valet laundry services. There are no laundry facilities on board the  Santa Cruz II; however, a dryer is located on the sun deck to dry wet clothing. Irons and ironing boards are available in your guest room at both hotels.

Most importantly, bring comfortable, rubber-soled walking shoes with adequate ankle support. You will also need reef shoes or aqua shoes for beach landings and walks over rocky, uneven lava terrain. Your feet will get wet when you transfer from ship to shore on many landings.

Wetsuits and snorkel gear is available on board the ship; however, if you have prescription lenses you should bring them. You may also wish to bring an underwater camera. Scuba diving is not available.

We recommend that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medication in its original container to last through your entire journey, together with a copy of your doctor's prescription (or a letter from your health-care provider on office stationery explaining that the medication has been prescribed for you), a list of the generic names of your medication, your travel documents and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag to avoid any inconvenience in the event that your flight or luggage is delayed.Following is a list of recommended items to pack for travel to the Galápagos Islands:

  • Casual daytime wear
  • Short and long pants
  • Short and long sleeve shirts
  • A light sweater or jacket for the evenings
  • Comfortable, rubber-soled walking shoes with adequate ankle support
  • Aqua shoes or reef shoes
  • Bathing suit(s)
  • Lightweight waterproof slicker
  • Collapsible umbrella
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards and chargers
  • Camcorder
  • Travel alarm clock/cell phone with alarm function (many hotels do not have clocks in the rooms)
  • Small backpack for long walks
  • Adequate personal toiletries and sundries
  • Reusable zippered plastic bags or other waterproof bags for protecting valuables
  • Copies of your travel documents that should be secured in your in-the safe in your room while traveling

Each child 17 and under will be sent a complimentary backpack from Tauck Bridges! If the child resides in the continental United States, the backpack will be sent to his or her home approximately two weeks prior to the tour departure date (please note backpacks cannot be sent to P.O. boxes). If the child resides outside of the continental U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, the backpack will be waiting on arrival at the first hotel on your itinerary.

The Tauck Experience

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Tauck Directors – Simply The Best

Never Settle For Ordinary

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Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin

Discover The World

Call us, or call your travel advisor, to book your preferred departure date today – and explore our beautiful brochures to find your inspiration for your next journey.

Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin

Discover The World

Call us, or call your travel advisor, to book your preferred departure date today – and explore our beautiful brochures to find your inspiration for your next journey.

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