Galápagos 2014: Darwin's Enchanted Islands

No summer vacation plans yet? Due to a cancellation, we have TWO cabins available to cruise the Galapagos with ASU's Lawrence Krauss and Bill Kimbel. Don't wait or this once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel with these experts will be gone. Read more below—

GALÁPAGOS: DARWIN’S ENCHANTED ISLANDS

Taking reservations for a June 8–17, 2014 voyage 

Experience one of the world’s natural treasures in an extraordinary private cruise hosted by experts in human origins and the origins of the universe.Reserve now for this high demand adventure!

Set out on this expedition with paleoanthropologist Bill Kimbel and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss. Kimbel is the Director of the Institute of Human Origins and, as a two-time leader of this tour, is the ideal guide to the Galápagos’ “laboratory of evolution.” As Director of the The Origins Project at ASU and author of both scientific and popular books on the origins of the universe, Lawrence Krauss will fascinate travelers with an understanding of the heavens and the earth’s place within it.

The Galápagos Islands will forever be linked with Charles Darwin and his groundbreaking ideas about evolution. As in Darwin’s time, this remarkable archipelago amazes visitors with its diverse array of animal and plant life and volcanic landscape. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, it is that rare wilderness where animals have no instinctive fear of humans, and the night sky is untouched by city lights. It remains one of the world’s last wild places.

Trip Highlights                                                                                                   

  • Retrace part of Darwin’s Galápagos voyage
  • Cruise the pristine islands and explore the Galápagos waters by kayak or Zodiac
  • Walk among colonies of animals and birds unfazed by your presence and observe rare giant tortoises, fur seals, blue-footed boobies, flamingos, and Darwin’s finches
  • Snorkel shimmering waters teeming with fish, sea turtles, penguins, and playful sea lions
  • Gaze into the unfamiliar night sky of the southern hemisphere to view our galaxy and learn about the cosmos in which we live
  • A paradise for bird-watching, star gazing, and photographers!
  • View a photo gallery of the 2009 Galapagos trip, at this link

Tour Experience                                                                                                

Share the voyage aboard the 40-passenger Isabella II, a 125-foot luxury cruise ship built in 2000 especially for exploring the Galápagos archipelago. The ship features delicious cuisine, excellent facilities, and rooms with private showers/bathrooms. The cruise itinerary allows travelers to take advantage of this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. You will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists and swim, snorkel, or explore the waters by kayak or Zodiac. A fitness room, sundeck, and Jacuzzi feed your need to relax after a day exploring the islands. An onboard chef provides scrumptious meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for the group each day of the cruise, and the captain and crew make sure that travelers have every amenity at their fingertips. Each evening during the cruise, our two experts will lead informal talks about Darwin and the Galápagos, human origins and evolution, and the origins of the universe. Learn about Darwin’s voyage and understand Darwin’s discoveries and the effect this new knowledge had on him and the history of the world through short evening discussions by Bill Kimbel. Lawrence Krauss will guide discussions of the night sky, current ideas about the origins of the universe, and how our home, the Earth, fits into understanding the cosmos.

Families with children over aged 10 are welcome.

Double occupancy cost: $6,659 per person,* plus a $2,500 gift per adult to the Institute of Human Origins and The Origins Project at ASU.**

Single supplement is an additional $5,117.

A deposit of $1,000 is requested immediately to hold your reservation or by April 1, 2013 (see payment schedule below).***

For more information or to secure your space on this adventure of a lifetime: iho.asu.edu/Galapagos2014 or contact Julie Russ at jruss@asu.edu or 480.727.6571.

*Cost is based on current exchange rates. Single supplement is an additional $5,117 (due to the ship size and availability of berths). If you are a single traveler and would like to share a cabin to avoid paying the single supplement, please let us know and we will make every effort to match you with another single traveler.

**Your gift will be deposited with the ASU Foundation for a New American University, a separate nonprofit organization that exists to support ASU. Gifts in support of ASU are subject to foundation policies and fees. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of charitable contributions.

***Your reservation is not confirmed until the deposit has been paid. Due to the high demand for this trip, all travelers are first-come, first-served by payment of deposit.

Download the Full Itinerary (1.4 mb pdf) or the 

mini-brochure card (350k pdf).


Full Itinerary                                                                                                        

Trip dates: June 8–17, 2014

Cruise dates: June 10–16, 2014

June 8

Arrival day! Check in to the hotel for registration.
Transfer from airport on your own to the Swissotel, Executive Rooms
Meals on your own.

June 9

Swissotel, Executive Rooms
Private breakfast for our travelers.

Exploring the Colonial City of Quito

After breakfast, take a ride to the historical part of Quito for a guided tour of the city and have lunch at Theatrum Restaurant. In the 13th century, Quito was the prosperous center of the Kingdom of Quitus. Later, it became the northern capital of the Inca Empire. In the 16th and 17th centuries, colonial architects built formidable temples, monasteries, and mansions here. Today, the colonial sector preserves over 400 years of Spanish heritage. In 1978, UNESCO designated this urban jewel as a World Heritage Site.

This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner.

June 10

Fly to Galápagos and transfer to M/Y Isabela II
Isabela II www.yachtisabela.com

(Breakfast and airport transportation from hotel to airport provided. All shipboard meals provided.)

The flight from Quito to the Galápagos is approximately 2.5 hours. 

Upon arrival, travelers pass through a Galápagos National Park inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (prepaid for our travelers). Guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts, called Pangas, will transport you to the M/V Isabela II, and the crew will welcome you onboard. After the ship departs, lunch will be served. Your first island visit will be in the afternoon.

Islands visited by Darwin are indicated by an asterix (*).

Visit Galápaguera Cerro Colorado, San Cristobal Island*

A statue of Charles Darwin marks the original site where he first disembarked in the Galápagos Islands during the voyage of the Beagle on September 16, 1835. La Galápaguera, near the largest fresh water lake in the islands, is a breeding station and sanctuary for giant tortoises.

June 11

Visit Prince Phillips’ Steps and Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island

El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock that leads to a plateau full of bird life amongst a Palo Santo forest. You will see Nazca boobies, Galápagos doves, mockingbirds, and petrels. With some luck, you may spot a short-eared lava owl. 

Darwin Bay’s soft, coralline 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 locals include sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigates, and more. Snorkeling is a must here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays, and tortoises are common.

June 12

Visit Buccaneer Cove and Puerto Egas, Santiago Island*

Puerto Egas (James Bay) is located on the northwest side of Santiago Island. The landing is on a black beach with eroded rock formations in the background. The trail crosses the dry interior, where the remains of a salt mining enterprise can still be seen, and then continues along the coast. Tidal pools are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus, and starfish. You will also see marine iguanas, finches, oyster catchers, and possibly the Galápagos hawk. The trail leads to the Fur Sea Lion Grottos, one of the only places in the islands where these unique animals can be seen.

After the walk, you will have time to swim or snorkel off the beach, where you will see sea lions, fish, and maybe some turtles, rays, and maybe some reef sharks.

June 13

Visit Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island

Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine ecosystems in the entire world and also one of the most dynamic. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009 and also dominates the landscape with lava fields stretching towards the ocean from its base. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen, including the flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins, and the Galápagos hawk.

Visit Tagus Cove, Isabela Island*

Tagus Cove was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers, and whalers. Here you will see the names of hundreds of ships painted on the high ridges (a practice now forbidden). On the hike, the trail goes through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin volcano. At the top of the trail, you will enjoy an incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake. Early morning activity is followed by kayaking or a panga ride, where you will have the opportunity to see a large number of blue-footed boobies perched on the ledges of the cliffs, as well as marine iguanas, penguins, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns, and swallow-tailed gulls. While exploring the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Islands, we, sometimes, encounter dolphins and whales.

June 14

Visit Urbina Bay and Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island*

Urbina Bay is located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo volcano. After a wet landing on a beautiful black-sand beach, you may be able to observe sea turtle nesting sites. This area is also known for penguin and flightless cormorant sightings and is one of the best places to see Darwin’s finches as well as large land iguanas. Also, be on the lookout for Galápagos tortoises, which like to feed within the site’s dense vegetation.

Punta Vicente Roca is a wonderful snorkeling site, where you can usually see turtles as well as all kinds of fish. For those who do not snorkel, a panga ride will give you the opportunity to study some of the Galápagos’ spectacular geological rock formations. Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and penguins are often seen in the area.

June 15

Visit Rabida Island

Rábida is a small island with red volcanic rocks surrounding a beautiful red sand beach, where there is a colony of sea lions and a pelican nesting site. The trail leads to a salt water lagoon where shore birds can be seen. Rábida is considered to be one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galápagos Islands, and you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling, kayak, or cruise in the panga.

Visit Cerro Dragon, Santa Cruz Island

The name Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) stems from the fact that it was one of the few sites on Santa Cruz Island where a healthy population of land iguanas were found in 1975. After landing at a pier, a hike takes to you to a salt water lagoon behind the beach, frequented by common stilts, pintail ducks, and occasionally flamingos. A short walk up the hill leads you to a land iguana nesting site, with breathtaking views of the bay. You will have the chance to go swimming after the walk.

June 16

Fly from Galápagos to Quito

Return to gracious, luxury accommodations at Swissotel, Executive Rooms
Dinner and transfer

June 17

Breakfast at Swissotel
Transfer arranged to take your international flight to U.S./home 

Itineraries: Itineraries and programs are subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the Galapagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, or safety reasons. 

Galápagos Tour includes

  • Galápagos arrangements
  • Airfare from Quito to Galápagos
  • Six nights aboard the Isabela II private charter
  • Double cabins
  • All meals, water, coffee, and tea while on board
  • Transfers between the airport in San Cristobal/Santa Cruz and the dock
  • Local naturalist guide
  • Programmed visits to the islands
  • Snorkel gear (mask, snorkel, and flippers)
  • Land arrangements
  • Five-star accommodation at Swissotel, Executive Rooms
  • Private guide and land transportation for tours and transfers
  • Sightseeing and entrance fee according to the itinerary
  • Meals according to the itinerary

Galapagos Tour does not include

  • International flights from U.S. to Quito, Ecuador
  • Travel/baggage/accident/cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • Gratuities to local guides, drivers, Galapagos guides, crew, and escort guide
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry, alcoholic beverages, excess baggage charges, phone, and email
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary and bottled beverages
  • Wetsuit rental fee
  • Passport or visa expenses
  • Anything not specifically mentioned in "Galápaos Tour includes"
  • Ecuadorian Departure Taxes (US$40.80 per person, rate subject to change, but should be included on the international air ticket)

Costs and Payment Schedule                                                                       

Double occupancy: $6,659 per person,* plus a $2,500 gift per adult in support of the Institute of Human Origins and The Origins Project at ASU.**

Due to the ship size and availability of berths, the single supplement is an additional $5,117. If you are a single traveler and would like to share a cabin to avoid paying the single supplement, please let us know and we will make every effort to match you with another single traveler.

A deposit of $1,000 is requested immediately to hold your reservation or by April 1, 2013.***

Families with children over aged 10 are welcome.

All payments are nonrefundable.

First Deposit                $1,000     Due by April 1, 2013 or at time of reservation***

Second Payment         $1,300      Due December 1, 2013

Third Payment             $1,900      Due January 1, 2014

Final Payment             $2,459       Due February 1, 2014

Charitable Gift             $2,500       Due May 1, 2014

Prices: Please note that all prices are 2013 and include taxes. All rates are subject to change, without prior notice, due mainly to readjustment of government policies and regulations.

*Cost is based on current exchange rates. Single supplement is an additional $5,117 (due to the ship size and availability of berths). If you are a single traveler and would like to share a cabin to avoid paying the single supplement, please let us know and we will make every effort to match you with another single traveler.

**Your gift will be deposited with the ASU Foundation for a New American University, a separate nonprofit organization that exists to support ASU. Gifts in support of ASU are subject to foundation policies and fees. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of charitable contributions.

***Your reservation is not confirmed until the deposit has been paid. Due to high demand for this trip, all travelers are first-come, first-served by payment of deposit.

For more information or to secure your space on this adventure of a lifetime: iho.asu.edu/Galapagos2014 or contact Julie Russ at jruss@asu.edu or 480.727.6571.