Cruise Type
Ship
Date
Days
Destination
Information
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Soléal
10.07.2020
22.07.2020
12
Russia, Asia, Alaska, Magnificent Volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands - with National Geographic
Fare from € 8.060
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Petropavlovsk - Kamtchatski

Petropavlovsk, the oldest town in the Russian Far East, was established in October 1740, when the ships Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul, captained by Vitus Jonassen Bering, the Danish explorer working for the Russian Navy, first entered the bay. The Military Glory Museum, found in the town centre, is the most important in all of northern Russia. Keep your camera at the ready, though, as nearby is the picturesque Petrovskaya Hill, which also has some surprises in store for you - don’t forget to admire the sumptuous views across the Bay of Avacha from its summit. The bay’s circular shape creates a natural protection against the impetuous wind, all the while providing ships with easy access into port.

Day 2

At sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3

Attu Island, Aleutian Islands

Located at the western edge of the Aleutian Islands, Attu Island, belonging to the Near Islands group, also represents the westernmost part of the United States. Caught in a vice between the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, it has to contend with a difficult climate, characterised by storms and often violent winds. During the Second World War, it was the scene of a forgotten battle. In June 1942, the Japanese landed on the island in order to occupy it. On 11 May 1943, it was the Americans’ turn to disembark on Attu and drive out their enemy after a fierce battle lasting several days that left very few survivors on the Japanese side.

Day 4

Kiska Island & Amchitka Island

Kiska belongs to the Rat Islands group, located to the west of the Aleutian Islands. It is home to a cone-shaped active volcano, culminating at over 1,200 metres. Along with Attu Island, some kilometres further west, it makes up the only two American territories to have been occupied by the Japanese during the Second World War. During the summer of 1943, American troops disembarked in order to bring this enemy occupation to an end. They discovered, to their surprise, that the Japanese had already fled the island, under the cover of bad weather.

Day 5

Atka Island, Aleutian Islands

Day 6

Yunaska Island & Chuginadak Island, Aleutian Islands

Day 7

Dutch Harbor, Unalaska

During your cruise, discover an exceptional site: Unalaska Island and its port, Dutch Harbor. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, on the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor is the only deep water port in the archipelago. As for the island itself, it offers you unique landscapes: volcanic summits swept by the wind and surrounded by the sea, lush green valleys, sometimes covered with bright summer flowers, sometimes with deep winter snow… Unalaska is not only an island with astonishing nature and very varied wildlife, it is also rich in history, where ancient indigenous cultures and remains from World War II can be seen and their tales be told.

Day 8

Chankliut Island, Alaska

Off the Alaska Peninsula hides a small gem: Chankliut. From mountainous terrain to flowery moors and valleys covered in sea lyme-grass, this island, which is part of the Aleutian archipelago, offers landscapes with a unique charm. During your walk around a lake, you will cross a sumptuous meadow where beautiful aconite and willowherb vie for attention. The more courageous will venture onward to the neighbouring valley and its ancient calderas to admire the splendour of the scenery. This totally uninhabited island bears no trace of any past settlement. Small, curious heads will catch your attention, however: crested puffins and horned puffins bask on the water near spotted seals…

Day 9

Geographic Harbor, Hidden Harbor, Kinak Bay, Alaska

Here you are in the heart of Katmai National Park and Preserve. Here, the rocky cliffs are punctuated with white marks. These are the remains of ash deposits that accumulated following a volcanic eruption in the past. Board your Zodiac® and, a little further south, explore every part of Geographic Harbor and its tall cliffs covered in vegetation and plunging into the sea. Along the sandy beach, grizzly bears improvise hunting sessions, in search of fish and clams. In the thickets, these omnivores eat berries, roots and grasses. Brown bears are at home here and the presence of humans doesn’t seem to disturb them. This makes for a fascinating and unforgettable show. In the heart of the stunning Katmai nature reserve, renowned for its bewitching landscapes of rivers and lakes, discover Kinak Bay. This bay is more sheltered than Geographic Harbor. At the end of a narrow passage where strong currents flow, it leads to a few small beaches that are each more charming than the next. You have arrived at Hidden Harbor. Stay alert: a large colony of brown bears reigns here. They love to wander along the coast and dip their paws in the clear currents in the hope of catching a salmon. As for the bear cubs, they prefer to catch seabirds on the beach. Look up and you might spot two or three bald eagles, proudly perched on the cliffs.

Day 10

At sea

Day 11

Tsaa fjord, Icy Bay, Alaska

Formed by the retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse and Tyndall glaciers over the past 100 years, Icy Bay is one of those timeless places where silence reigns supreme. Let yourself be enthralled by landscapes of breathtaking beauty, enhanced by magnificent views over the Saint Elias Mountains, visible in the background. The bay, several kilometres wide, is often scattered with icebergs sliding on clear and deep waters. It will let you access several sounds, among which are the Tsaa fjord, very close to the Guyot glacier. Many marine mammals and sea birds have chosen to live on this territory with very few visitors in the south of Alaska, where one can sometimes see bear paw prints on the sand.

Day 12

Inian Islands & Elfin Cove, Alaska

Located in the heart of the fresh waters of the Icy Strait, between Chicagof Island and the Glacier Bay National Park, the Inian Islands offer a concentration of nature in its raw state. This small group of picturesque islands boasts a particularly rich ecosystem, on land as in the sea. Covered in dense and humid forests, the islands bravely endure the action of the wind and the tides in order to offer their visitors a unique spectacle. During your Zodiac® outing, you will probably be welcomed by a cacophonous orchestra of Steller sea lions. From the rocky islets, they dive into the sea to treat themselves to fresh salmon. Seagulls, Tridactyl gulls, cormorants and sea otters complete this happy scene.
At the tip of an island in the Alexander Archipelago, not far from the Canadian border, peaceful Elfin Cove shelters a fishing community that’s only linked to the rest of the world by the sea. There is just a dozen wooden houses, a long wooden pontoon and a tiny port surrounded by crystalline waters… It doesn’t get any quainter than this. Choose from a network of hiking paths that weave through a pristine forest, to lead you to secret beaches where silence reigns. The wonders of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, accessible by a short boat trip, are many.

Day 13

Juneau

Disembarkation.
In 1880, gold diggers flocked here, and it didn't take long before Juneau was singled out, getting itself a solid reputation and henceforth becoming the capital of Alaska. Along the Gastineau Strait, in the heart of the spectacular Inside Passage, the 31,000 or so inhabitants of Juneau enjoy some of the world’s most incredible fauna and scenery every day of their lives. Perhaps you’ll even be able to watch the antics of humpback whales against a backdrop of majestic glaciers. Culture and shopping are certainly not lacking; the city is full of places to experience, enjoy and relax in.

Overview

Magnificent Volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands – with National Geographic

Join a fabulous sea journey between Russia and Alaska, along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Board Le Soléal for a unique 13-day expedition cruise and prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the Aleutian Islands.

This elongated archipelago that marks the boundary between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea forms a natural bridge between Kamchatka and Alaska, extending in an arc over nearly 2,000 km.

You will board your ship in Petropavlovsk, the oldest city in the Russian Far East, before heading eastward.
Over the course of your cruise, you will get up close to the most active volcanoes in the world and you’ll be able to see for yourself the exceptional diversity of wildlife that reigns in these parts.

Surrounded by waters that are particularly rich in nutrients, the string of Aleutian Islands is home to an incredibly rich fauna. It is common to see whales, orcas and seabirds here.

Le Soléal will then continue to sail eastward to reach the sublime landscapes of Alaska, including glaciers, old-growth forest, luxuriant vegetation and superb bays where grizzlies roam.

Please note: your voyage prices include Flight Seoul / Petropavlosvk + transfers + flight Juneau / Seattle.

Discover the World from your temporary “private yacht”.

Highlights

A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert specialised in the destination onboard • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with your naturalist guides • An exceptional cruise to discover the northern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire • Landscapes: volcanic islands, glaciers, old-growth forest • Wildlife: whales, orcas, seabirds, grizzlies • Kiska Island, dominated by a 1,000-metre-tall volcano • Unga Island, home to the vestiges of a village and a great variety of seabirds • Elfin Cove, a charming little fishing port that can only be reached by boat or hydroplane

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Ship information

Le Soléal

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 142 meters
Passenger Capacity: 264
Built: 2013
Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, with balconies, joined in 2013. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the luxury yachting world, with fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white.
A refined ambience is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat's hull, while the central sculpture of enameled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea. In the lounge bar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolizing a certain idea of cruising, one synonymous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Galapagos
11.07.2020
18.07.2020
7
Pacific and Oceania, Latin America, North Central Galápagos
Fare from € 7,750
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Baltra & Isla Daphne Grande

Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is the gateway through which most people enter and depart the Galapagos Island. Upon arrival and once through immigrations procedures, visitors are transferred directly to a nearby dock to join the ship by Zodiac. The runway was first constructed here during World War II when the island was used as a US Army Air Base. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos, the island itself is small, flat and arid. Daphne Major is a volcanic tuff crater island, located to the north of Santa Cruz Island not far from Baltra International Airport. Circumnavigating the island by ship will reveal the rocky outcropping from all angles as it rises approximately 120 meters (390 feet) above sea level. Usually only scientists are allowed to land on Daphne, so it will be a special event to come in close with the ship and watch for Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, frigatebirds, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies, Brown Pelicans, and Swallow-tailed Gulls riding the sea breezes swirling around this rugged landmass.

Day 2

Bahia Darwin (Genovesa) & El Barranco (Genovesa)

At Genovesa Island the ship tucks into Darwin Bay, an ancient volcanic crater now flooded by the sea. Zodiacs land on a picturesque sandy beach where Galapagos sea lions often rest on the fine, white sand. Explorations along the shore may reveal marine iguanas looking like prehistoric dinosaurs in miniature. By heading inland a short distance visitors could encounter seabirds of all shapes and sizes nesting in the vegetation. Scores of immature Red-footed Boobies perch on branches within an arm’s reach of the path. From Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island explorers can access an area known as El Barranco or the “Prince Philip’s Steps”. A brief scramble up the stone steps brings you to the plateau of the island. From here, on flat ground, a small trail wanders past Red-footed Boobies, perching frigate birds, Galapagos Mockingbirds, Nazca Boobies, and Galapagos finches. The highlight however, is arriving on the windward side of the island to see hundreds of Wedge-Rumped Storm Petrels flying around in a frenzy of activity above the lava field where they nest.

Day 3

Seymour Norte & Santiago (Bahia Sullivan)

The landing at North Seymour Island is onto black lava rock. After a short climb, visitors arrive on the island’s flat plateau where a number of sea lions nurse pups and frigatebirds nest. The island is dry, and so the predominant tree is the prickly pear cactus favored by the yellow Conolophus land iguanas that live here in number. The undulating terrain is littered with red-brown volcanic boulders and large male Magnificent Frigatebirds can be seen inflating their vivid red gular sacs in hopes of impressing females flying overhead. The lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island will inevitably remind visitors of the surface of the moon. As brilliant red Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle along the black volcanic shores, learn about the formation of the islands through geological forces from your guides. The lava flows here are just over one hundred years old and date back to 1897. The lava took on a rope-like appearance and geologists have adopted a Hawaiian word, pahoehoe, as the technical name for this kind of volcanic rock.

Day 4

Rabida & Santa Cruz (El Eden)

Rabida Island has received accolades for being one of the most exotic spots on earth and while it is small in size, the island is dramatic in scale. Rugged red cliffs rise from the sea and Zodiacs land onto a beach of dark red sand colored by iron ore. Ghost crabs and Galapagos sea lion pups often rest on the russet sands. Further inland, the rusty sand gives way to shrubby coastal vegetation dominated by prickly-pear cactus. Common Cactus Finches feed on the yellow flowers while Darwin finches and lava lizards skitter across the path in search of food. Just off Santa Cruz, Eden Islet offers up a thick coastal mangrove forest growing on black volcanic boulders peppered with tall prickly pear cactus. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone from an ancient volcano, and is an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galápagos. The shallow waters around the island are ideal for spotting Pacific green sea turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, sea lions, marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Day 5

San Cristobal (Galapaguera) & Punta Pitt (San Cristobal)

Giant tortoises are emblematic of the Galapagos Islands. To experience these ancient animals firsthand, the Silver Galapagos anchors off San Cristobal Island and Zodiacs take all ashore to the pretty little town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. From here we set out by bus for the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve in the highlands of the island. The trails of the reserve lead to encounters with large, lumbering adult tortoises as well as small juveniles that could fit in the palm of a person’s hand. On the northern shore of San Cristobal Island is a peninsula known as Punta Pitt. The point is made up of two coalesced volcanoes and is much younger than the rest of the island. Some of the lava flows are only a few centuries old. From a sandy beach Zodiac landing leads a long walk following a twisting red gravel path that runs through black basalt lava rocks, and between craggy peaks. The vegetation along the way is low and scrubby, and attractive blue-gray lichen grows on the rocks.

Day 6

Gardner Bay & Punta Suárez (Espanola Island)

Isla Champion is a small islet off Floreana Island’s northeast coast. To cruise by it reveals a bare, rocky island without much allure, but to enter the infinitely blue waters around this small landmass is to discover a spectacular underwater realm. The visibility is generally impressive and thanks to this water clarity snorkelers often spot reef sharks patrolling the reef wall, cruising Pacific green turtles, and playful Galapagos sea lions. Encounters in the blue with thousands of small silver minnows, large tuna fish, or oceanic sunfish are not unheard of either. Punta Suárez lies at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds and you may spot Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies on the breeze. The largest seabird to nest in the Galapagos Islands is the Waved Albatross. These ocean wanderers can be seen seasonally here from April through December, when pairs reunite on Española, going through an elaborate pair-bonding display. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be seen on the point, along with sea lions and colorful marine iguanas.

Day 7

Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) & Plazas Sur

Silver Galapagos will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés. South Plaza is a serene island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. This small island is sprinkled with giant prickly pear cactus, carpeted with a reddish mat of ground-cover succulents, and is home to a large nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls, along with marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions. Seabirds crowd the island’s shores including Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Pelicans, and frigatebirds. However, the birds, seals and marine iguanas share the spotlight with brilliant yellow land iguanas of the island.

Day 8

San Cristobal

Disembarkation. Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.
Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Ship information

North Central Galápagos

Enjoy the north-central region of Galapagos on this 7-day cruise. Feel the thrill of seeing wildlife that is completely unafraid: from lava lizards to giant tortoises. Gaze upon Pinnacle Rock as Darwin once did, take a Zodiac® boat along the picturesque coast, discover natural lava tunnels and snorkel in a stunning underwater world.
Please note: your voyage prices include flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Transfers, pre cruise Hotel in Quito (2 nights), National Park fees
Highlights

Visit “Bird Island” home to over 30 bird species • Climb Prince Philip’s Steps through a thriving seabird colony • Observe sea lion families and the famed giant tortoises • Search for the Galápagos Short-Eared Owl • Admire the antics of Red-footed and Blue-footed Boobies • Find corals and bones on raised North Seymour Island • Explore natural underground lava tunnels and hike across lava flows • Hike up the sides of an extinct volcano • See spectacular water-spouting “blowers” • Swim and snorkel in tranquil, clear waters • Photograph colourful marine iguanas • Marvel at the fearless behaviour of wildlife • Cruise by Zodiac along scenic coastlines • Learn about conservation efforts at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center

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Ship information

Silver Galapagos

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 88 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100
Crew: 75
Built/Refurbished: 2012 / 2017

The newest addition to Silversea's fleet of ultra-luxury ships: the 100-guest Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waterways throughout the Galápagos Islands, she is naturally suited for in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. She offers all the intimate conviviality and elegant sophistication that has made Silversea the preferred choice for today's discerning travellers.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Galapagos
18.07.2020
25.07.2020
7
Pacific and Oceania, Latin America, Western Galápagos
Fare from € 7,400
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

San Cristobal & Roca Leon Dormido

Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s. The Silver Galapagos will circumnavigate Kicker Rock, one of the most iconic features of the Galapagos Islands. The small landform is formed by two tall towers of lava rock and when viewed from the south, resembles a sleeping lion. This phenomenon is reflected in the Spanish name “Leon Dormido” or literally, Sleeping Lion. As the ship steers around the islands, your Expedition Team will point out seabirds, such as Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and frigatebirds.

Day 2

Bartolomé & Playa Espumilla (Santiago)

Our ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Zodiacs bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance. Playa Espumilla is located on the northwestern side of Santiago Island and is home to a variety of wildlife including nesting green sea turtles, and plentiful birds such as flamingos, White-cheeked Pintails, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Hawks, Whimbrels, and American Oystercatchers. Zodiacs will land you at the center of the white-sand beach to join a trail that passes by a seasonal lagoon hosting a variety of bird life.

Day 3

Punta Vicente (Roca Isabela) & Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)

The agile Silver Galapagos can anchor in deep water right up against the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on the northwest side of Isabela Island. From our anchorage Zodiacs set out to cruise beneath the imposing volcanic coastline. The cliffs support endemic Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos fur seals, Blue-footed Boobies, and marine iguanas. The waters below hold scores of Eastern Pacific green sea turtles swimming all around the Zodiacs. With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another. Galapagos sea lions and their pups also take shelter here, resting on the beach and playing in the shallow tide pools sprinkled along the coast.

Day 4

Caleta Tagus (Isabela) & Bahia Elizabeth (Isabela)

Tagus Cove is a sheltered area southwest of Volcán Darwin on Isabela Island. The protected waters of this cove are home to sea turtles, marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins. In addition, the cove has offered safe anchorage to visiting ships through the ages. Here you can choose to kayak, snorkel or head ashore to discover centuries-old names of vessels that were painted or carved onto the rock near the landing site. After landing by Zodiac, you may hike through the forest of Palo Santo trees to access the upper reaches of a volcanic cone. The tranquil inlets of Elizabeth Bay are the perfect spot for a Zodiac cruise. First pass the “Las Marielas” islets, which are home to Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Then journey on into the bay flanked by the massive volcanoes of Sierra Negra and Alcedo and continue past fresh and desolate lava fields heading towards tall green mangrove trees growing out of black lava shores. In the easternmost embayment lies a hidden inlet.

Day 5

Post Office Bay (Floreana) & Islote Campeon (Floreana) & Punta Cormorant (Floreana)

Post Office Bay is steeped in history and received its name thanks to a post box that was placed ashore before 1813. Ships that were visiting the Galapagos on multi-year voyages would leave letters here to be collected and delivered by vessels on their way home. Visitors today can keep the tradition alive by leaving their own postcards in the post box (now a barrel) and looking for any they can deliver by hand back at home. Activities at Post Office Bay can include exploring a cave created by lava that runs underground towards the ocean. Isla Champion is a small islet off Floreana Island’s northeast coast. To cruise by it reveals a bare, rocky island without much allure, but to enter the infinitely blue waters around this small landmass is to discover a spectacular underwater realm. The visibility is generally impressive and thanks to this water clarity snorkelers often spot reef sharks patrolling the reef wall, cruising Pacific green turtles, and playful Galapagos sea lions. Encounters in the blue with thousands of small silver minnows, large tuna fish, or oceanic sunfish are not unheard of either. Floreana Island’s northernmost point is called Punta Cormorant – named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point.

Day 6

Cerro Dragón (Santa Cruz) & Santa Cruz (Las Bachas)

Cerro Dragón’s land iguanas once played an important part in a conservation program headed by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. When the reptiles’ numbers declined in the 1970s, some animals were taken to breed in captivity and were released back into undeveloped areas. Today, it is an honor to see the success of this program firsthand at Cerro Dragón. Walk inland on a trail past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos, to see the reintroduced animals. On the northern shore of Santa Cruz stretch the Las Bachas beaches. The two beaches together span a full kilometer. A short track leads visitors inland towards a shallow pond with the opportunity to spot flamingos, migratory birds in season, and scavenging shorebirds. The name “Las Bachas” derives from the mispronounced term “barges” –which the American forces had left behind after World War II. On our visit to Las Bachas there will be the chance to swim from one of the two sandy beaches and to look for sea turtles that use Las Bachas as one of their major nesting sites in the islands.

Day 7

Santa Cruz (Los Gemelos) & Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz)

Los Gemelos is Spanish for “the twins” and true to the name, Los Gemelos are twin sinkholes, one on either side of the road running from Puerto Ayora to the north side of the island. The mammoth scale of the landmarks often elicits exclamations of wonder from visitors at first sight. The vertical walls of the sinkholes fall deep into the ground covered in a veil of greenery hiding the bottom of the pit. Walk along the craters’ edges before stopping at Rancho El Manzanillo to see giant Santa Cruz tortoises in the wild. Silver Galapagos will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.

Day 8

Baltra

Disembarkation. Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is the gateway through which most people enter and depart the Galapagos Island. Upon arrival and once through immigrations procedures, visitors are transferred directly to a nearby dock to join the ship by Zodiac. The runway was first constructed here during World War II when the island was used as a US Army Air Base. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos, the island itself is small, flat and arid.
Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Overview

Western Galápagos

The Western Islands are home to the only active volcanoes in the archipelago and are known both for their spectacular volcanic landscapes as well as penguin spotting; over 95% of Galapágos Penguins live in these islands. It’s also the only area to see the endemic Flightless Cormorant. Other key sites include the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Post Office Bay with its human history and Champion Islet with some of the best snorkelling in the archipelago.
Please note: your voyage prices include flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Transfers, pre cruise Hotel in Quito (2 nights), National Park fees
Highlights

Walk across spectacular lava fields • Explore tidal pools, lush mangroves and scalesia forests • See pelicans and penguins along the beach • Swim and snorkel with green sea turtles, sea lions and manta rays • Hike through fragrant forests of Palo Santo “Incense” trees • Encounter the largest colony of marine iguanas • Watch for a unique species of flightless cormorant • Visit one of the most volcanically active places on Earth • Discover a saltwater lagoon within a volcanic tuff cone • Read cave inscriptions from the 1800s • Learn of the islands’ whaling history and early Norwegian settlers • See wild flamingos (in season) and nesting sea turtles • Observe giant tortoises and sea lion colonies • Photograph iconic Pinnacle Rock

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Ship information

Silver Galapagos

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 88 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100
Crew: 75
Built/Refurbished: 2012 / 2017

The newest addition to Silversea's fleet of ultra-luxury ships: the 100-guest Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waterways throughout the Galápagos Islands, she is naturally suited for in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. She offers all the intimate conviviality and elegant sophistication that has made Silversea the preferred choice for today's discerning travellers.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Bougainville
19.07.2020
28.07.2020
9
The Mediterranean, In the heart of the Aegean Sea
Fare from € 5,210
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Istanbul

Embarkation. Located on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is one of the most beautiful of all Turkish cities. Named Byzantium when founded by the Greeks, and then Constantinople under the Roman Empire, this city is steeped in history and, for this reason, is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on Sultanahmet hill, the great Blue Mosque, the mysterious Hagia Sophia and the vast Topkapi palace and its countless mosaics, dominate the Marmara Sea. In the Beyazit district, the Grand Bazaar allows to discover elegant covered passages. A little further away, delicate aroma of loukoum and spices will draw the visitors’ attention at the Egyptian Bazaar.

Day 2

Sailing in the Dardanelles - Lemnos Island

A volcanic island located near the Dardanelles Strait, Lemnos was venerated during Antiquity. Legend has it that Hephaestus, the god of fire, had his forge here. Now one of Greece’s major seaside resorts, Lemnos offers its visitors many superb sandy beaches. It is also home to several archaeological sites, such as the towers of Kastro, an ancient acropolis fortified by the Venetians, or the neolithic site of Poliochni and the city of Hephaestia. Renowned for its olives, fruits, wheat and honey, and for the authenticity of its inhabitants, Lemnos is also known for the quality of its restaurants, ideal for tasting typical Greek dishes.

Day 3

Syros

Located to the west of Mykonos, Syros is an attractive island in the Cyclades. It has been inhabited since early antiquity, as you’ll discover by visiting the archaeological museum in Ermoupoli, its capital built in the shape of an amphitheatre and stretching out over two hills. Don’t miss the historical district, where the beautiful houses are evidence of the island’s strategic location for trade, between the East and the West. Admire the superb Agios Nikolaos Church or the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Further on, in the medieval town of Ano Syros, succumb to the charms of its stairways and arched passageways, the small, white houses decorated with bougainvilleas, and the sweetness of the ambient air.

Day 4

Patmos

Patmos is one of the legendary must-see islands in the Dodecanese. This is where Saint John resided, presumed author of the last book in the Bible. The cave of the Apocalypse and the Saint-John-the-Theologian Monastery are dedicated to him. These sites, which are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, are located at the top of a hillside planted with vines and orchards. On the shore, the crystalline coves of Kambos and Lampi offer absolutely gorgeous swimming areas. You’ll be drawn to the bustle in Skala harbour and its taverns, famous for their fish soup and tiropita, which is a type of pasty filled with fresh Patmos cheese.

Day 5

Symi

A simply ravishing gem in the Dodecanese, Symi is located north-west of Rhodes. This island of cypress forests, vineyards and olive orchards, possesses a capital city of the same name that is as colourful as the surrounding countryside. The charm of the port district of Gialos is not to be missed: its quaysides are lined with picturesque houses with multi-coloured facades. You can get to the upper town by car or climb the 500 steps up the Kali Strata ramp. The second option offers superb viewing points of the coast and gorgeous turquoise waters.

Day 6

Bodrum

Bodrum is located one of the bays of Mugla on the west coast of Turkey. At the harbour entrance, you’ll can’t miss The Bodrum Castle of The Knights of St. John, the town’s emblem. Here you will be able to visit the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology housed within the castle precincts. In the centre, the passages shaded by arbours abound with diverse craft shops and ice-cream cafés where you can sit out and enjoy refreshing citrus fruit sorbets. A few streets away, the archaeological site of the Halicarnasse mausoleum invites you to experience the old town’s past, just as the old theatre does, built on the slopes of the hillside looking out over the bay of Bodrum.

Day 7

Kos

A captivating gem in the Dodecanese, the island of Kos is located north-west of Rhodes. Its capital, named after the island, emanates a subtle oriental atmosphere. Take a look at the mosque in Eleftherias square, stroll in the shade of the palm trees along Foinikes street and admire the boats moored in the port. For a bird’s-eye view of the coastline, you can climb to the top of the towers of Neratzia castle. You will also have the opportunity to chill out on one of the island’s superb Blue Pavilion beaches. Wafts of sweet-smelling aromas from the beach-huts will whet your appetite; try the xerotiganas, a kind of honey-covered donut.

Day 8

Amorgos

It’s no accident that the island of Amorgos was chosen as a shooting location for Luc Besson’s film, The Big Blue. You too will fall under the charm of this island as your ship edges closer. Amorgos is the most easterly island in the Cyclades and stands out for its rocky inlets with crystal-clear water and its small, picturesque villages. This port of call will be your chance to visit one of the prettiest villages in the Cyclades, Chora, and discover its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses overlooked by a castle. Byzantine churches, windmills and courtyards brimming with flowers complete this typical tableau of timeless Greece.

Day 9

Kamares, Sifnos

Nestling in the Cyclades, the harmonious and much less crowded island of Sifnos is home to many treasures. Exploited since antiquity for its gold and silver mines, this little-known pearl boasts gentle landscapes and is a botanical paradise. The rich endemic flora can be admired along the island’s mountain paths that have been trodden for thousands of years. From the main port of Kamares, set off to discover the nearby sandy beach which runs along a lagoon and whose dunes are covered in sea daffodils. The picturesque fortified village of Kastro is another of the island’s wonders. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea, this spot, where people have lived since prehistoric times, is very much an open-air museum.

Day 10

Athens

Disembarkation. The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.

Overview

In the heart of the Aegean Sea

In partnership with Revue du Vin de France.
Sail the Aegean Sea with PONANT and set off to discover Greece and its famous islands: the Cyclades and the Dodecanese Islands. From Istanbul, Le Bougainville will take you to exceptional sites during a new 10-day Mediterranean cruise.
You will discover the volcanic island of Lemnos, near the Dardanelles Strait. Protected during Antiquity by Hephaestus, the god of fire, this green and lush island has now become one of Greece’s major seaside resorts.
After visiting Syros, a cosmopolitan island with a rich history, you will head for Patmos. Known as the “Jerusalem of the Aegean Sea”, this island, where Saint John is said to have written the Apocalypse, offers unique landscapes combining white sandy beaches and rocky coves.
You will then reach Symi. Covered with vines, olive trees and cypress trees, this island is one of the most beautiful in the Dodecanese archipelago.
Amorgos, the easternmost Cyclades island, is sure to win your heart. Wild and mountainous, Amorgos is a stunning, protected island which has been used for many things including filming Le Grand Bleu.
Sifnos in the Cyclades will be your last port of call. This harmonious island exploited since Antiquity for its gold and silver mines, offers gentle landscapes, mountains paths and a rich endemic flora. From the main port of Kamares, set off to the picturesque fortified village of Kastro, sitting atop a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Your cruise will end in Athens, the mythical city dominated by the Acropolis and its monuments that form the most extraordinary architectural and artistic collection bequeathed by Ancient Greece to the rest of the world.
Highlights
In partnership with Revue du Vin de France, French leader magazine about wine • A cruise in the heart of the Aegean Sea, discovering the Greek islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Patmos, the Acropolis in Athens (disembarkation port) • The port of call at Bodrum, an elegant seaside resort sometimes known as “the Turkish Saint-Tropez” • Discovering Patmos and Sifnos, two unspoilt Greek Islands • Kos, the island of Hippocrates, is a new port of call • Possibility to visit Athens after your cruise

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Ship information

Le Bougainville

Vessel Type: Luxury
Length: 127 metres
Passenger Capacity: 184

Crew Capacity: 110

Built: 2019

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
Part of Ponant's new explorer ship series, Le Bougainville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Restaurants
As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Bougainville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism.
In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts.
To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals.
Public Areas
Like Le Boréal and its sister ships, Le Bougainville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger.
A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, an excursions desk, the ship’s administrative services, the sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility.
A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding.
A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, an outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas.
A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening.
Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.

Contact
Booking
Tall Ship Luxury Sailing
Sea Cloud II
21.07.2020
31.07.2020
10
Northern Europe, Steinway Piano Cruise / The North’s Charming South: Travemünde – Edinburgh (Leith)
Fare from € 7.635
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Travelroute
Day 1

Travemünde

The Baltic spa town of Travemünde is the finest borough of Lübeck and since 1329 has provided the Hanseatic city's access to the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the Trave. At the front, the old façades of the promenade along the River Trave are the external face of this former fishing and seafaring village, whose pretty old 16th century town houses nestle in alleys surrounding the church of Saint Lorenz. The legendary casino and spa hotel between the spa gardens and seafront are testament to over 200 years as a seaside resort. Whether it's exploring the wild beach beneath the Brodtener Ufer cliffs, the long white spa beach or the Priwall peninsula opposite, admiring the four-masted 'Passat' barque - a standing testament to past times - or watching as the huge ferries and cruise ships sweep past within touching distance on their way up or down the Trave - there is plenty to see and do in Travemünde.

Day 2

Copenhagen

With its countless canals, lakes and harbour basin, water is an essential part of this city. The Inderhavnen (inner harbour) runs through the royal capital of Denmark like a wide river before flowing into the Sound. Once the boundary between the western and eastern districts, the harbour quays have now become the heart of the city. Streets, alleyways, parks and squares all remain from the days when kings had them built. Each period of history has left its mark on the magnificent cityscape which includes several castles. In the midst of modern-day life, you can take a ride on a carousel in the Tivoli Gardens, follow the royal bodyguards with their bearskin hats as they march through the streets or visit the city's famous magical landmark, the little mermaid in the harbour.

Day 3

Aarhus

Day 4

At Sea

Day 5

Oslo

With its idyllic islands and summery beaches, the 75-mile long Oslofjord forms a picturesque entrance to the Norwegian capital. Up in Holmenkollen there is a gigantic ski jump offering the best views of the city, while below on the banks of the fjord is the futuristic Oslo Opera House, which was modelled on a glacier. The city-centre harbour with its monumental city hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year, is flanked by the imposing medieval Akershus fortress and the post-modern architecture of the new Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen districts, including a new promenade along the fjord. Areas of this trendy city are changing, as part of a new harbour front development, there are plans to build a new boulevard and a Munch museum.

Day 6

Risoer

The 'Norwegian Riviera' stretches some 124 miles along the coast between Sandefjord in the east and Kristiansand in the west. Its mild climate comes courtesy of the craggy mountains in the north while thousands of small rocky islands protect it against rough seas. The charming little coastal town of Risør was christened 'the white town on the Skagerrak' during the great Dutch wood export boom around 1500. It is one of Europe's best-preserved 19th century wooden settlements and is considered to be the country's most beautiful wooden town. There are also three fjords and an archipelago on the doorstep.

Day 7

Arendal

Spread across seven islands, originally interspersed with a network of canals and partly built on stilts, the provincial capital of Arendal has often been compared to Venice. The widest of the town's canals protected the Tyholmen peninsula against devastating fires in the 19th century. Much of the pretty old town is listed as a heritage site and is famous for its outstanding restaurants. It takes you back to the heyday of sailing vessels when Arendal had the largest sailing fleet in Norway and was a flourishing centre for shipbuilding and exports of wood and iron ore. Magnificent views of the harbour and islands are to be had from the narrow streets lined with colourful wooden houses which surround the striking Trefoldighetskirken (Trinity Church) on the west side of the Pollen dock.

Day 8

Stavanger

The port of Stavanger spans an area of mainland and several islands in a spectacular location between the skerries to the south and the fjord landscape to the west. The picturesque old town, with a cathedral dating back to around 1125 when Stavanger was founded, and the brilliant white 18th and 19th century wooden houses are overlooked by the glass and metal façades of international oil companies. Initially, Stavanger was an important fishing and seafaring centre. Subsequently, it became the world's biggest producer of tinned sardines before the extraction of black gold from the North Sea made it a rich oil centre and Norway's fourth largest city. Stavenger reinvented itself again as European Capital of Culture in 2008. Nearby are the 612-metre high Månafossen waterfall, the longest sandy beach in Norway known as the Sola beach and the Lysefjord with the imposing Preikestolen cliff.

Day 9

Stavanger

Day 10

At Sea

Day 11

Leith (Edinburgh)/ Scotland

Disembarkation.
Three vantage points offer fantastic views of this beautiful capital on the southern bank of the Firth of Forth. The historic castle is impossible to miss atop Castle Rock high above the narrow and sometimes very steep medieval streets. The Royal Mile, a mile-long parade of Victorian buildings in the old town, connects the two royal residences of Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. The imposing outline of Arthur's Seat, a mountain which would look more at home in the Highlands, looms over Holyrood Park. The New Town, a masterpiece of Georgian urban architecture with a grid-like street pattern, stretches toward the harbour from Prince's Street, at the eastern end of which you will find a small Greek temple looming atop Carlton Hill. The Old Town and New Town, both UNESCO world heritage sites, are divided by Princes Street Gardens, the green lungs of the city and venue for the loudest music and festival events.

Overview

The North’s Charming South: Travemünde – Edinburgh (Leith)

A sailing cruise on board the SEA CLOUD, SEA CLOUD II or SEA CLOUD SPIRIT is all about the romance of tall ship sailing. The sailing vessels offer a uniquely pleasing mix of elegance and informality while cruising under white sails.

Theme Cruise: young talents, exclusive piano concerts, and sunny days of sailing – the Steinway cruise for lovers of music.

The impressive Norwegian fjords
Over several ice ages, the incredible force of Mother Nature carved narrow valleys in the rocks of southern
Norway, leading to the formation of spectacular landscapes: the majestic fjords. Each and every one of them is definitely worth seeing: In the Oslofjord you will sail past small landing stages and colourful wooden houses, and the Lysefjord boasts the impressive Preikestolen plateau, towering at an altitude of over 600 metres (1,970 feet).
Oslo, a trendsetting royal metropolis
Our tall ship glides past small rocky islands and dark-red wooden houses through the majestic Oslofjord
to the Norwegian capital city. Besides historical buildings such as the Royal Palace, the fortress and the huge cathedral, the trendy modern quarter is also worth visiting – home to a young generation of artists, architects and restaurateurs where you can discover a new side to the city. The flagship project of creative Oslo is the spectacular opera house: a concrete, marble and glass iceberg that glistens in the sun.
Edinburgh – capital of tradition
From the narrow cobbled streets of the medival Old Town to the generous airy layout of the Gregorian
New Town, in Edinburgh you literally walk through the ages. Take bagpipe traditions, spooky stories or pub
culture – ancient customs are kept alive in Scotland’s capital.
Please Note: more sailing cruises are available, not all of them are listed online. Please contact us for more details.

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Ship information

Sea Cloud II

Vessel Type: Tall Ship (Sailing)

Length: 105 meters

Passenger Capacity: 94

Crew Capacity: 65

Built: 2001

Launched in 2001, Sea Cloud II is a stunning vessel, built along traditional lines, but offering deluxe accommodation. She combines timeless elegance of sailing ships of the past with the highest safety standards and the luxurious comfort of modern cruise ships. Just like her legendary sister ship Sea Cloud, the 2,750 m² of sails is set by hand which is a truly magical sight.
Built to accommodate 94 passengers in five-star luxury, she offers a range of 47 beautifully appointed suites and cabins which are furnished with great style. All accommodations have outside views and the bathrooms, in light marble, are unusually spacious and extremely comfortable. The finest, carefully chosen fabrics, combined with leather, rattan and other materials, brass and gold, precious woods and marble together create an impressive ensemble.

No expense has been spared to create a sympathetic ambiance in both the accommodations and public areas and this is reflected throughout the vessel. Public areas include an elegant lounge, library, fitness center, boutique, lido bar and hospital. The single sitting dining room is airy and modern and the quality of the cuisine and service will be to the highest of standards, as one would expect on a Sea Cloud cruise. Relax on the Lido deck and experience the natural grandeur of travelling under sail, rekindling memories of a bygone age.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Galapagos
08.08.2020
15.08.2020
7
Pacific and Oceania, Latin America, North Central Galápagos
Fare from € 7,750
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Travelroute
Day 1

Baltra & Isla Daphne Grande

Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is the gateway through which most people enter and depart the Galapagos Island. Upon arrival and once through immigrations procedures, visitors are transferred directly to a nearby dock to join the ship by Zodiac. The runway was first constructed here during World War II when the island was used as a US Army Air Base. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos, the island itself is small, flat and arid. Daphne Major is a volcanic tuff crater island, located to the north of Santa Cruz Island not far from Baltra International Airport. Circumnavigating the island by ship will reveal the rocky outcropping from all angles as it rises approximately 120 meters (390 feet) above sea level. Usually only scientists are allowed to land on Daphne, so it will be a special event to come in close with the ship and watch for Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, frigatebirds, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies, Brown Pelicans, and Swallow-tailed Gulls riding the sea breezes swirling around this rugged landmass.

Day 2

Bahia Darwin (Genovesa) & El Barranco (Genovesa)

At Genovesa Island the ship tucks into Darwin Bay, an ancient volcanic crater now flooded by the sea. Zodiacs land on a picturesque sandy beach where Galapagos sea lions often rest on the fine, white sand. Explorations along the shore may reveal marine iguanas looking like prehistoric dinosaurs in miniature. By heading inland a short distance visitors could encounter seabirds of all shapes and sizes nesting in the vegetation. Scores of immature Red-footed Boobies perch on branches within an arm’s reach of the path. From Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island explorers can access an area known as El Barranco or the “Prince Philip’s Steps”. A brief scramble up the stone steps brings you to the plateau of the island. From here, on flat ground, a small trail wanders past Red-footed Boobies, perching frigate birds, Galapagos Mockingbirds, Nazca Boobies, and Galapagos finches. The highlight however, is arriving on the windward side of the island to see hundreds of Wedge-Rumped Storm Petrels flying around in a frenzy of activity above the lava field where they nest.

Day 3

Seymour Norte & Santiago (Bahia Sullivan)

The landing at North Seymour Island is onto black lava rock. After a short climb, visitors arrive on the island’s flat plateau where a number of sea lions nurse pups and frigatebirds nest. The island is dry, and so the predominant tree is the prickly pear cactus favored by the yellow Conolophus land iguanas that live here in number. The undulating terrain is littered with red-brown volcanic boulders and large male Magnificent Frigatebirds can be seen inflating their vivid red gular sacs in hopes of impressing females flying overhead. The lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island will inevitably remind visitors of the surface of the moon. As brilliant red Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle along the black volcanic shores, learn about the formation of the islands through geological forces from your guides. The lava flows here are just over one hundred years old and date back to 1897. The lava took on a rope-like appearance and geologists have adopted a Hawaiian word, pahoehoe, as the technical name for this kind of volcanic rock.

Day 4

Rabida & Santa Cruz (El Eden)

Rabida Island has received accolades for being one of the most exotic spots on earth and while it is small in size, the island is dramatic in scale. Rugged red cliffs rise from the sea and Zodiacs land onto a beach of dark red sand colored by iron ore. Ghost crabs and Galapagos sea lion pups often rest on the russet sands. Further inland, the rusty sand gives way to shrubby coastal vegetation dominated by prickly-pear cactus. Common Cactus Finches feed on the yellow flowers while Darwin finches and lava lizards skitter across the path in search of food. Just off Santa Cruz, Eden Islet offers up a thick coastal mangrove forest growing on black volcanic boulders peppered with tall prickly pear cactus. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone from an ancient volcano, and is an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galápagos. The shallow waters around the island are ideal for spotting Pacific green sea turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, sea lions, marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Day 5

San Cristobal (Galapaguera) & Punta Pitt (San Cristobal)

Giant tortoises are emblematic of the Galapagos Islands. To experience these ancient animals firsthand, the Silver Galapagos anchors off San Cristobal Island and Zodiacs take all ashore to the pretty little town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. From here we set out by bus for the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve in the highlands of the island. The trails of the reserve lead to encounters with large, lumbering adult tortoises as well as small juveniles that could fit in the palm of a person’s hand. On the northern shore of San Cristobal Island is a peninsula known as Punta Pitt. The point is made up of two coalesced volcanoes and is much younger than the rest of the island. Some of the lava flows are only a few centuries old. From a sandy beach Zodiac landing leads a long walk following a twisting red gravel path that runs through black basalt lava rocks, and between craggy peaks. The vegetation along the way is low and scrubby, and attractive blue-gray lichen grows on the rocks.

Day 6

Gardner Bay & Punta Suárez (Espanola Island)

Isla Champion is a small islet off Floreana Island’s northeast coast. To cruise by it reveals a bare, rocky island without much allure, but to enter the infinitely blue waters around this small landmass is to discover a spectacular underwater realm. The visibility is generally impressive and thanks to this water clarity snorkelers often spot reef sharks patrolling the reef wall, cruising Pacific green turtles, and playful Galapagos sea lions. Encounters in the blue with thousands of small silver minnows, large tuna fish, or oceanic sunfish are not unheard of either. Punta Suárez lies at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds and you may spot Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies on the breeze. The largest seabird to nest in the Galapagos Islands is the Waved Albatross. These ocean wanderers can be seen seasonally here from April through December, when pairs reunite on Española, going through an elaborate pair-bonding display. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be seen on the point, along with sea lions and colorful marine iguanas.

Day 7

Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) & Plazas Sur

Silver Galapagos will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés. South Plaza is a serene island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. This small island is sprinkled with giant prickly pear cactus, carpeted with a reddish mat of ground-cover succulents, and is home to a large nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls, along with marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions. Seabirds crowd the island’s shores including Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Pelicans, and frigatebirds. However, the birds, seals and marine iguanas share the spotlight with brilliant yellow land iguanas of the island.

Day 8

San Cristobal

Disembarkation. Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.
Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Ship information

North Central Galápagos

Enjoy the north-central region of Galapagos on this 7-day cruise. Feel the thrill of seeing wildlife that is completely unafraid: from lava lizards to giant tortoises. Gaze upon Pinnacle Rock as Darwin once did, take a Zodiac® boat along the picturesque coast, discover natural lava tunnels and snorkel in a stunning underwater world.
Please note: your voyage prices include flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Transfers, pre cruise Hotel in Quito (2 nights), National Park fees
Highlights

Visit “Bird Island” home to over 30 bird species • Climb Prince Philip’s Steps through a thriving seabird colony • Observe sea lion families and the famed giant tortoises • Search for the Galápagos Short-Eared Owl • Admire the antics of Red-footed and Blue-footed Boobies • Find corals and bones on raised North Seymour Island • Explore natural underground lava tunnels and hike across lava flows • Hike up the sides of an extinct volcano • See spectacular water-spouting “blowers” • Swim and snorkel in tranquil, clear waters • Photograph colourful marine iguanas • Marvel at the fearless behaviour of wildlife • Cruise by Zodiac along scenic coastlines • Learn about conservation efforts at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center

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Ship information

Silver Galapagos

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 88 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100
Crew: 75
Built/Refurbished: 2012 / 2017

The newest addition to Silversea's fleet of ultra-luxury ships: the 100-guest Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waterways throughout the Galápagos Islands, she is naturally suited for in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. She offers all the intimate conviviality and elegant sophistication that has made Silversea the preferred choice for today's discerning travellers.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Galapagos
15.08.2020
22.08.2020
7
Pacific and Oceania, Latin America, Western Galápagos
Fare from € 7,400
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Travelroute
Day 1

San Cristobal & Roca Leon Dormido

Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s. The Silver Galapagos will circumnavigate Kicker Rock, one of the most iconic features of the Galapagos Islands. The small landform is formed by two tall towers of lava rock and when viewed from the south, resembles a sleeping lion. This phenomenon is reflected in the Spanish name “Leon Dormido” or literally, Sleeping Lion. As the ship steers around the islands, your Expedition Team will point out seabirds, such as Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and frigatebirds.

Day 2

Bartolomé & Playa Espumilla (Santiago)

Our ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Zodiacs bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance. Playa Espumilla is located on the northwestern side of Santiago Island and is home to a variety of wildlife including nesting green sea turtles, and plentiful birds such as flamingos, White-cheeked Pintails, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Hawks, Whimbrels, and American Oystercatchers. Zodiacs will land you at the center of the white-sand beach to join a trail that passes by a seasonal lagoon hosting a variety of bird life.

Day 3

Punta Vicente (Roca Isabela) & Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)

The agile Silver Galapagos can anchor in deep water right up against the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on the northwest side of Isabela Island. From our anchorage Zodiacs set out to cruise beneath the imposing volcanic coastline. The cliffs support endemic Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos fur seals, Blue-footed Boobies, and marine iguanas. The waters below hold scores of Eastern Pacific green sea turtles swimming all around the Zodiacs. With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another. Galapagos sea lions and their pups also take shelter here, resting on the beach and playing in the shallow tide pools sprinkled along the coast.

Day 4

Caleta Tagus (Isabela) & Bahia Elizabeth (Isabela)

Tagus Cove is a sheltered area southwest of Volcán Darwin on Isabela Island. The protected waters of this cove are home to sea turtles, marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins. In addition, the cove has offered safe anchorage to visiting ships through the ages. Here you can choose to kayak, snorkel or head ashore to discover centuries-old names of vessels that were painted or carved onto the rock near the landing site. After landing by Zodiac, you may hike through the forest of Palo Santo trees to access the upper reaches of a volcanic cone. The tranquil inlets of Elizabeth Bay are the perfect spot for a Zodiac cruise. First pass the “Las Marielas” islets, which are home to Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Then journey on into the bay flanked by the massive volcanoes of Sierra Negra and Alcedo and continue past fresh and desolate lava fields heading towards tall green mangrove trees growing out of black lava shores. In the easternmost embayment lies a hidden inlet.

Day 5

Post Office Bay (Floreana) & Islote Campeon (Floreana) & Punta Cormorant (Floreana)

Post Office Bay is steeped in history and received its name thanks to a post box that was placed ashore before 1813. Ships that were visiting the Galapagos on multi-year voyages would leave letters here to be collected and delivered by vessels on their way home. Visitors today can keep the tradition alive by leaving their own postcards in the post box (now a barrel) and looking for any they can deliver by hand back at home. Activities at Post Office Bay can include exploring a cave created by lava that runs underground towards the ocean. Isla Champion is a small islet off Floreana Island’s northeast coast. To cruise by it reveals a bare, rocky island without much allure, but to enter the infinitely blue waters around this small landmass is to discover a spectacular underwater realm. The visibility is generally impressive and thanks to this water clarity snorkelers often spot reef sharks patrolling the reef wall, cruising Pacific green turtles, and playful Galapagos sea lions. Encounters in the blue with thousands of small silver minnows, large tuna fish, or oceanic sunfish are not unheard of either. Floreana Island’s northernmost point is called Punta Cormorant – named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point.

Day 6

Cerro Dragón (Santa Cruz) & Santa Cruz (Las Bachas)

Cerro Dragón’s land iguanas once played an important part in a conservation program headed by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. When the reptiles’ numbers declined in the 1970s, some animals were taken to breed in captivity and were released back into undeveloped areas. Today, it is an honor to see the success of this program firsthand at Cerro Dragón. Walk inland on a trail past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos, to see the reintroduced animals. On the northern shore of Santa Cruz stretch the Las Bachas beaches. The two beaches together span a full kilometer. A short track leads visitors inland towards a shallow pond with the opportunity to spot flamingos, migratory birds in season, and scavenging shorebirds. The name “Las Bachas” derives from the mispronounced term “barges” –which the American forces had left behind after World War II. On our visit to Las Bachas there will be the chance to swim from one of the two sandy beaches and to look for sea turtles that use Las Bachas as one of their major nesting sites in the islands.

Day 7

Santa Cruz (Los Gemelos) & Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz)

Los Gemelos is Spanish for “the twins” and true to the name, Los Gemelos are twin sinkholes, one on either side of the road running from Puerto Ayora to the north side of the island. The mammoth scale of the landmarks often elicits exclamations of wonder from visitors at first sight. The vertical walls of the sinkholes fall deep into the ground covered in a veil of greenery hiding the bottom of the pit. Walk along the craters’ edges before stopping at Rancho El Manzanillo to see giant Santa Cruz tortoises in the wild. Silver Galapagos will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.

Day 8

Baltra

Disembarkation. Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is the gateway through which most people enter and depart the Galapagos Island. Upon arrival and once through immigrations procedures, visitors are transferred directly to a nearby dock to join the ship by Zodiac. The runway was first constructed here during World War II when the island was used as a US Army Air Base. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos, the island itself is small, flat and arid.
Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Overview

Western Galápagos

The Western Islands are home to the only active volcanoes in the archipelago and are known both for their spectacular volcanic landscapes as well as penguin spotting; over 95% of Galapágos Penguins live in these islands. It’s also the only area to see the endemic Flightless Cormorant. Other key sites include the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Post Office Bay with its human history and Champion Islet with some of the best snorkelling in the archipelago.
Please note: your voyage prices include flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Transfers, pre cruise Hotel in Quito (2 nights), National Park fees
Highlights

Walk across spectacular lava fields • Explore tidal pools, lush mangroves and scalesia forests • See pelicans and penguins along the beach • Swim and snorkel with green sea turtles, sea lions and manta rays • Hike through fragrant forests of Palo Santo “Incense” trees • Encounter the largest colony of marine iguanas • Watch for a unique species of flightless cormorant • Visit one of the most volcanically active places on Earth • Discover a saltwater lagoon within a volcanic tuff cone • Read cave inscriptions from the 1800s • Learn of the islands’ whaling history and early Norwegian settlers • See wild flamingos (in season) and nesting sea turtles • Observe giant tortoises and sea lion colonies • Photograph iconic Pinnacle Rock

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Ship information

Silver Galapagos

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 88 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100
Crew: 75
Built/Refurbished: 2012 / 2017

The newest addition to Silversea's fleet of ultra-luxury ships: the 100-guest Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waterways throughout the Galápagos Islands, she is naturally suited for in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. She offers all the intimate conviviality and elegant sophistication that has made Silversea the preferred choice for today's discerning travellers.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Dumont-d'Urville
22.08.2020
31.08.2020
9
Northern Europe, Russia, Historic Cities of the Baltic Sea
Fare from € 5,110
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Stockholm

Embarkation. The capital of Sweden occupies an archipelago in the east of the country at the junction of Mälar Lake and the Baltic sea. In Gamla stan, meaning “old town” in Swedish, you can stroll at your leisure in picturesque medieval streets until you reach the majestic Royal Palace. On the green island of Djurgården, you can visit several very different kinds of cultural centres: the Vasa museum is dedicated to a 17th century three-mast, the ecomuseum of Skansen presents traditional customs, and the ABBA museum is dedicated to the legendary pop group. For a fantastic, all-encompassing view of Stockholm, you can take a ride in SkyView, a glass-encased sphere gondola that takes you to the top of the world’s largest building, the Ericsson Globe, a Stockholm landmark.

Day 2

Visby, Gotland

This old Hanseatic city lies to the west coast of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic sea. Pass through the spectacular Visby fortifications at Dalmans gate and visit the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll discover the grand Visby homes of rich merchants as well as the lovely low wooden houses in the little cobbled streets. Don’t miss Saint Mary’s cathedral with its octagonal steeples, as well as Powder tower along the fortifications. Make sure you stop over in one of the rose-adorned cafés; indeed roses abound in this town where you can taste one of the island’s specialities, namely saffron pancakes with red fruit.

Day 3

Helsinki

Seated in the southern peninsula of Finland, Helsinki offers the buzz of a cosmopolitan city that has opted for both elegance and beauty. Explore its historical centre where the soft hues of neoclassical buildings are juxtaposed with spectacular modern constructions. The bustling Kallio district is teeming with boutiques and restaurants where you can taste some local specialities like graavilohi - a sweet, marinated, aromatic salmon dish. Keskuspuisto park, a stone’s throw from the centre, is a good place to sit and unwind.

Day 4

Saint Petersburg

Founded in 1703 by Tzar Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg has kept its original aura and is still one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Bathed by the waters of the Neva, the “Venice of the North” boasts an impressive wealth of historic and artistic features. From the emblematic Nevsky Propect, the city’s main thoroughfare, exploring the city by foot is a pleasure. With its baroque cathedrals, imperial palaces, suspended bridges, theatres and museums, Saint Petersburg is a jewel of a city. To make the experience even quainter, take a boat ride along the canals though the ancient capital of the Czars.

Day 5

Saint Petersburg

Day 6

Saint Petersburg

Day 7

Tallinn

Opening onto the Baltic sea, to the far north of Estonia, the town of Tallinn will win you over with the picturesque charm of its architecture. You can meander through its little streets in the heart of the medieval centre where its gothic town hall has been standing since 1404. To get a taste of this town’s rich past, you can also visit the Kiek in de Kök tower, the Orthodox Alexander Nevski cathedral, or Toompea castle. Try some of the local dishes, such as the smoked herring, roast elk and salmon with wild berries.

Day 8

Day at sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 9

Copenhagen

Connected to the far eastern side of Sealand island, a few kilometres away from the Swedish coasts, Copenhagen offers you the high colour of Scandinavian capitals. You can discover the city's riches that weaves through the canal networks through the historical districts of Christiansborg and Nyhavn. Many palaces provide an apercu of Danish history. For eating, you can try out the smorebrod, a traditional dish composed of several kinds of smoked fish.

Day 10

Copenhagen

Disembarkation.

Overview

Historic Cities of the Baltic Sea

In partnership with Christie’s.
PONANT invites you to discover St Petersburg and other cities steeped in history of the Baltic Sea.
From Stockholm, embark for a 10-day cruise, including 3 exceptional days in the former capital of the Tsars.
Your first port of call will be Visby, a site that was important for the Hanseatic League in the Baltic Sea around the 13th century. UNESCO Heritage Site, this once opulent city still has remarkably well-preserved ramparts, public buildings, merchant houses and warehouses.
Your ship will then head to Helsinki. Located on a peninsula surrounded by almost 300 islands, the verdant capital of Finland will charm you with its Art Nouveau architecture.
You will then visit St Petersburg. Architectural gems in the Baroque style, churches with domes so elaborate they seem otherworldly, palaces, gardens, canals, and the famous “perspectives” that criss-cross the city: at each street corner a new theatrical decor is revealed. We invite you to visit this colourful city where the atmosphere is rich with the splendour of the Tsars and the traces of the Russian Enlightenment.
After a final port of call in Tallinn, your ship will head for Copenhagen, your disembarkation port.
Highlights
From Stockholm to Copenhagen, discovering the most precious treasures of the Baltic Sea • Cultural and artistic conferences held on board, in partnership with Christie’s auction house • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: from Helsinki, the sea fortress of Suomenlinna, the historic centre of Saint Petersburg and its many monuments, the old town of Tallinn, the Hanseatic town of Visby • Discover four European capitals on the same cruise: Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia) and Copenhagen (Denmark) • Visit the colourful and opulent city of Saint-Petersburg, where the atmosphere is still rich with the splendour of the Tsars and the traces of the Russian Enlightenment

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Ship information

Le Dumont-d’Urville

Vessel Type: Luxury
Length: 127 metres
Passenger Capacity: 184

Crew Capacity: 110

Built: 2019

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
Part of Ponant's new explorer ship series, Le Dumont-d'Urville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.
Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Restaurants
As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Dumont-d'Urville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism.
In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts.
To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals.
Public Areas
Like Le Boréal and its sister ships, Le Dumont-d'Urville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger.
A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, an excursions desk, the ship’s administrative services, the sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility.
A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding.
A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, an outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas.
A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening.
Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Lapérouse
26.08.2020
08.09.2020
13
Australia and NZ, Exploring the Kimberley - with Nat Geo
Fare from € 12,480
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Broome

Located in the northwest of the Kimberley region and in the far north of Western Australia, the town of Broome is reputed for its history and its glorious pearling era. Start your visit in the fascinating Chinatown district and then discover the history of Japanese immigrants in Broome’s famous Japanese Cemetery, which dates from 1896. Your visit will perhaps involve an unusual encounter at Gantheaume Point, where dinosaur footprints more than 130 million years old can be seen. Broome is also famous for the “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sand banks at low tide, like a staircase climbing up towards the sky, a unique spectacle provided by nature…

Day 2

Rowley Shoals

Regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling locations, the Rowley Shoals lie 260 kilometres west of Broome in the Timor Sea. The three coral atolls of Mermaid, Clerke and Imperieuse reefs rise, near vertical, from the surrounding crystal-clear waters on the edge of the continental shelf. The shallow lagoons inhabited by a diverse array of corals and abundant marine life are ideal for exploration by snorkellers and divers. To take full advantage of the location, Le Lapérouse will spend one and a half days at the Rowley Shoals, allowing you to swim and snorkel from Zodiac®.

Day 3

Rowley Shoals

Day 4

Lacepede Islands

The Lacepede Islands are Western Australia’s most important breeding habitat for Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), and have been named by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The breeding colony of Brown Boobies is possibly the largest in the world. Up to 20,000 Roseate Terns have also been recorded here. Other birds breeding on the islands include Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds, Eastern Reef Egrets, Silver Gulls, Crested, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns, Common Noddies, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers. Join your expedition team for a guided zodiac tour to view the prolific wildlife. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.

Day 5

Collier Bay

Collier Bay is located on the rocky and deserted coast of one of the most remote region of the Kimberley, that visitors can only approach by ship. The tidal movements, amongst the largest range of anywhere on the planet create amazing phenomena as seawater comes in or out: the “Horizontal Waterfalls”, a waterfall up to 4m high between the narrow passages of the vertiginous cliffs in Talbot Bay or Montgomery reef, a spectacular example of the impact of these tides cascading in mini-waterfalls as the entire reef appears to rise from the turquoise-blue waters of the bay. Containing large areas of shallow lagoon, seagrass beds and corals, Montgomery reef is Australia’s largest inshore reef. In this majestic landscape, you enter an aboriginal area. Some outstanding open air painted caves galleries alluding to their myths of creation can be observed after a hike on the hills. As we are at the mercy of weather and tide conditions in this region, the activities mentioned below are only possible experiences and can’t be guaranteed.

Day 6

Collier Bay

Day 7

Careening Bay

Careening Bay was named by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King after his ship, HMC Mermaid, was careened there during his third voyage of discovery in 1820. King surveyed the western coast to complete the map initiated by Flinders 20 years earlier. The Mermaid had been leaking badly and King needed to find a shallow sandy bay where he could careen his boat to undertake repairs. At a high tide, on a warm September afternoon, he ran the Mermaid onto the sands. For ten days the Mermaid crew worked hard before refloating the vessel. The ship’s carpenter carved the name of the vessel and the year into a conspicuous boab tree. The famous boab tree is now 3 metres wide and National Heritage listed. A reminder of a by gone era of exploration!

Day 8

Hunter River & Mitchell Falls

Arguably one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River are lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs. They are considered to be some of the most pristine mangrove forests in the world, containing up to 18 different species, supporting a rich and diverse fauna. The sandstone escarpment at the river mouth, known as “Kampamantiya” rises over 200 metres high before giving way to extensive mud banks and mangrove forests home to numerous bird species and the iconic saltwater crocodile. Our expert Expedition Team will share their knowledge with you as you explore this pristine mangrove environment by Zodiac® keeping a constant lookout for wildlife.

Day 9

Browse Island

The 14-hectare uninhabited Browse Island lies 180 kilometres of the north west Kimberley coast. It is surrounded by extensive coral reefs and is an important nesting site for Green turtles as well as numerous species of seabirds. Join your expedition team to explore this pristine, remote, seldom visited destination by Zodiac®.

Day 10

Ashmore Reef

Located in the Timor Sea, the Ashmore Reef Marine Park is a sanctuary for many marine species. Each year, more than 100,000 seabirds breed here, including crested terns, white-tailed tropicbirds and greater frigatebirds. It was recognised as a wetland of international importance in 2003 for its vital role in providing a haven for the tens of thousands of migratory shorebirds which turn up to feed each year. In addition to the prolific birdlife, the lagoons of Ashmore reef are a haven for snorkellers whishing to explore the spectacular coral reef systems, home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life: a magical moment that you may experience during a full day dedicated to snorkelling, unless you prefer to have a refreshing swim.

Day 11

Jar Island

Jar Island contains ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion style unique to the Kimberley region. Mainly neglected by, or unknown to, the early European researchers of Aboriginal culture in the Kimberley in favour of the dominant & more dramatic Wandjina art, Gwion Gwion art has in recent years gained world prominence. It is generally thought that this art may extend back to over 30,000 years BP & represent the first wave of seagoing colonisers of the Australian continent. As it is, these are the oldest detailed depiction of human figures in the world. Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.

Day 12

King George River

The journey up the King George River is nothing short of breathtaking. The 80m high sides of the gorge display varying degrees of weathering of the ancient Warton sandstone. The colours and textures of the gorge change with the light as you travel further up the river creating a continual changing scenery that is simply stunning. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (80m or 260ft). Fed by wet season run-off the level of water cascading over the falls varies from year to year. Your Expedition Team will escort you in either the Zodiacs or ships tenders to the foot of the twin falls, and explain all about the stunning geological formations of the canyon.

Day 13

At sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 14

Darwin

Disembarkation. Darwin is located in Australia’s Northern Territory which is also known as the “Top End”. It is the capital city and the most populated town of the Northern Territory. Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures, over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. Discover the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture and Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids. You will also enjoy the bustling waterfront on the Timor Sea.

Please Note: this itinerary is given as an indication only. Based on tide times and weather conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader may need to switch the order of certain ports of call around to ensure guests have the best possible experience.

Overview

Exploring the Kimberley – with Nat Geo

In partnership with National Geographic Expeditions.
Set sail for the wild and grandiose landscapes of Kimberley, following this exceptional PONANT itinerary.
From Broome to Darwin, embark aboard Le Lapérouse for a 14-day expedition cruise.
At around two-thirds the size of France, Kimberley is one of the last unspoiled regions on the planet.
Off the coast, in the Timor Sea, the Rowley Shoals, Browse Island and the Ashmore Reef nature reserve will reveal you an extraordinary underwater life that abounds in beautiful coral reefs.
You will also be able to admire the Montgomery Reef, home to vast expanses of lagoons and immense coral reefs, and discover the history of the country, back in the time of the explorers, during an historic stopover at Careening Bay.
In one of the most picturesque parts of the region, the Hunter River, you will see wild mangrove forests where saltwater crocodiles live along with many species of birds.
The highpoint of this cruise will undoubtedly be the discovery of the King George River and the majestic Twin Falls, the highest falls in Western Australia.
Le Lapérouse will take you along one of the most spectacular coasts in the entire region.
With their falls, abrupt gorges, savannah, desolate mountain chains and incredibly rich seabed, the wild lands of Kimberley are the promise of an exceptional adventure.
Your voyage rates include Transfer in Broome from city to port.

Highlights

A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert specialised in the destination onboard • Join our highly qualified local expedition team • Enjoy regular Zodiac® outings & shore visits to get close to Kimberley nature • Discover billions of years-old landscapes & ancient rock art • Listen to stories of the dreamtime from the oldest continuous culture on the planet • Explore pristine mangrove environments, home to the world’s largest living reptile • Witness unique tidal phenomena such as the Horizontal Falls • Possibility of swimming or snorkeling

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Ship information

Le Lapérouse

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant's spirit, Le Lapérouse will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Dumont-d'Urville
31.08.2020
08.09.2020
8
Northern Europe, Russia, Historic Cities of the Baltic Sea
Fare from € 4,910
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Copenhagen

Embarkation. Connected to the far eastern side of Sealand island, a few kilometres away from the Swedish coasts, Copenhagen offers you the high colour of Scandinavian capitals. You can discover the city's riches that weaves through the canal networks through the historical districts of Christiansborg and Nyhavn. Many palaces provide an apercu of Danish history. For eating, you can try out the smorebrod, a traditional dish composed of several kinds of smoked fish.

Day 2

Day at sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3

Tallinn

Opening onto the Baltic sea, to the far north of Estonia, the town of Tallinn will win you over with the picturesque charm of its architecture. You can meander through its little streets in the heart of the medieval centre where its gothic town hall has been standing since 1404. To get a taste of this town’s rich past, you can also visit the Kiek in de Kök tower, the Orthodox Alexander Nevski cathedral, or Toompea castle. Try some of the local dishes, such as the smoked herring, roast elk and salmon with wild berries.

Day 4

Saint Petersburg

Founded in 1703 by Tzar Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg has kept its original aura and is still one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Bathed by the waters of the Neva, the “Venice of the North” boasts an impressive wealth of historic and artistic features. From the emblematic Nevsky Propect, the city’s main thoroughfare, exploring the city by foot is a pleasure. With its baroque cathedrals, imperial palaces, suspended bridges, theatres and museums, Saint Petersburg is a jewel of a city. To make the experience even quainter, take a boat ride along the canals though the ancient capital of the Czars.

Day 5

Saint Petersburg

Day 6

Saint Petersburg

Day 7

Helsinki

Seated in the southern peninsula of Finland, Helsinki offers the buzz of a cosmopolitan city that has opted for both elegance and beauty. Explore its historical centre where the soft hues of neoclassical buildings are juxtaposed with spectacular modern constructions. The bustling Kallio district is teeming with boutiques and restaurants where you can taste some local specialities like graavilohi - a sweet, marinated, aromatic salmon dish. Keskuspuisto park, a stone’s throw from the centre, is a good place to sit and unwind.

Day 8

Visby, Gotland

This old Hanseatic city lies to the west coast of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic sea. Pass through the spectacular Visby fortifications at Dalmans gate and visit the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll discover the grand Visby homes of rich merchants as well as the lovely low wooden houses in the little cobbled streets. Don’t miss Saint Mary’s cathedral with its octagonal steeples, as well as Powder tower along the fortifications. Make sure you stop over in one of the rose-adorned cafés; indeed roses abound in this town where you can taste one of the island’s specialities, namely saffron pancakes with red fruit.

Day 9

Stockholm

Disembarkation. The capital of Sweden occupies an archipelago in the east of the country at the junction of Mälar Lake and the Baltic sea. In Gamla stan, meaning “old town” in Swedish, you can stroll at your leisure in picturesque medieval streets until you reach the majestic Royal Palace. On the green island of Djurgården, you can visit several very different kinds of cultural centres: the Vasa museum is dedicated to a 17th century three-mast, the ecomuseum of Skansen presents traditional customs, and the ABBA museum is dedicated to the legendary pop group. For a fantastic, all-encompassing view of Stockholm, you can take a ride in SkyView, a glass-encased sphere gondola that takes you to the top of the world’s largest building, the Ericsson Globe, a Stockholm landmark.

Overview

Historic Cities of the Baltic Sea

In partnership with Cuisine et Vins de France magazine.
PONANT invites you to discover St Petersburg and other cities steeped in history of the Baltic Sea.
From Copenhagen, embark aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville for a 9-day cruise, including 3 exceptional days in the former capital of the Tsars.
Architectural gems in the Baroque style, churches with domes so elaborate they seem otherworldly, palaces, gardens, canals, and the famous “perspectives” that criss-cross the city: at each street corner of St Petersburg, a new theatrical decor is revealed. We invite you to visit this colourful city where the atmosphere is rich with the splendour of the Tsars and the traces of the Russian Enlightenment.
During your cruise, you will also visit two sites that were important for the Hanseatic League in the Baltic Sea around the 13th century: Tallinn and Visby. UNESCO Heritage Sites, these once opulent cities still have remarkably well-preserved ramparts, public buildings, merchant houses and warehouses.
Your ship will also call at Helsinki. Located on a peninsula surrounded by almost 300 islands, the verdant capital of Finland will charm you with its Art Nouveau architecture.
Le Dumont-d’Urville will then head for Stockholm, your disembarkation port.
Highlights
A cruise in partnership with the French leading Gastronomy magazine: gala dinners, cooking demonstrations and winetasting • From Copenhagen to Stockholm, discovering the most precious treasures of the Baltic Sea • Unesco World Heritage Sites: the old town of Tallinn; the historic centre of Saint Petersburg and its many monuments; from Helsinki, the sea fortress of Suomenlinna; the Hanseatic town of Visby • Discover four European capitals on the same cruise: Copenhagen (Denmark), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden) • Visit the colourful and opulent city of Saint-Petersburg, where the atmosphere is still rich with the splendour of the Tsars and the traces of the Russian Enlightenment

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Ship information

Le Dumont-d’Urville

Vessel Type: Luxury
Length: 127 metres
Passenger Capacity: 184

Crew Capacity: 110

Built: 2019

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
Part of Ponant's new explorer ship series, Le Dumont-d'Urville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.
Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Restaurants
As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Dumont-d'Urville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism.
In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts.
To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals.
Public Areas
Like Le Boréal and its sister ships, Le Dumont-d'Urville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger.
A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, an excursions desk, the ship’s administrative services, the sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility.
A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding.
A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, an outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas.
A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening.
Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Galapagos
05.09.2020
12.09.2020
7
Pacific and Oceania, Latin America, North Central Galápagos
Fare from € 7,150
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Travelroute
Day 1

Baltra & Isla Daphne Grande

Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is the gateway through which most people enter and depart the Galapagos Island. Upon arrival and once through immigrations procedures, visitors are transferred directly to a nearby dock to join the ship by Zodiac. The runway was first constructed here during World War II when the island was used as a US Army Air Base. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos, the island itself is small, flat and arid. Daphne Major is a volcanic tuff crater island, located to the north of Santa Cruz Island not far from Baltra International Airport. Circumnavigating the island by ship will reveal the rocky outcropping from all angles as it rises approximately 120 meters (390 feet) above sea level. Usually only scientists are allowed to land on Daphne, so it will be a special event to come in close with the ship and watch for Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, frigatebirds, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies, Brown Pelicans, and Swallow-tailed Gulls riding the sea breezes swirling around this rugged landmass.

Day 2

Bahia Darwin (Genovesa) & El Barranco (Genovesa)

At Genovesa Island the ship tucks into Darwin Bay, an ancient volcanic crater now flooded by the sea. Zodiacs land on a picturesque sandy beach where Galapagos sea lions often rest on the fine, white sand. Explorations along the shore may reveal marine iguanas looking like prehistoric dinosaurs in miniature. By heading inland a short distance visitors could encounter seabirds of all shapes and sizes nesting in the vegetation. Scores of immature Red-footed Boobies perch on branches within an arm’s reach of the path. From Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island explorers can access an area known as El Barranco or the “Prince Philip’s Steps”. A brief scramble up the stone steps brings you to the plateau of the island. From here, on flat ground, a small trail wanders past Red-footed Boobies, perching frigate birds, Galapagos Mockingbirds, Nazca Boobies, and Galapagos finches. The highlight however, is arriving on the windward side of the island to see hundreds of Wedge-Rumped Storm Petrels flying around in a frenzy of activity above the lava field where they nest.

Day 3

Seymour Norte & Santiago (Bahia Sullivan)

The landing at North Seymour Island is onto black lava rock. After a short climb, visitors arrive on the island’s flat plateau where a number of sea lions nurse pups and frigatebirds nest. The island is dry, and so the predominant tree is the prickly pear cactus favored by the yellow Conolophus land iguanas that live here in number. The undulating terrain is littered with red-brown volcanic boulders and large male Magnificent Frigatebirds can be seen inflating their vivid red gular sacs in hopes of impressing females flying overhead. The lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island will inevitably remind visitors of the surface of the moon. As brilliant red Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle along the black volcanic shores, learn about the formation of the islands through geological forces from your guides. The lava flows here are just over one hundred years old and date back to 1897. The lava took on a rope-like appearance and geologists have adopted a Hawaiian word, pahoehoe, as the technical name for this kind of volcanic rock.

Day 4

Rabida & Santa Cruz (El Eden)

Rabida Island has received accolades for being one of the most exotic spots on earth and while it is small in size, the island is dramatic in scale. Rugged red cliffs rise from the sea and Zodiacs land onto a beach of dark red sand colored by iron ore. Ghost crabs and Galapagos sea lion pups often rest on the russet sands. Further inland, the rusty sand gives way to shrubby coastal vegetation dominated by prickly-pear cactus. Common Cactus Finches feed on the yellow flowers while Darwin finches and lava lizards skitter across the path in search of food. Just off Santa Cruz, Eden Islet offers up a thick coastal mangrove forest growing on black volcanic boulders peppered with tall prickly pear cactus. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone from an ancient volcano, and is an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galápagos. The shallow waters around the island are ideal for spotting Pacific green sea turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, sea lions, marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Day 5

San Cristobal (Galapaguera) & Punta Pitt (San Cristobal)

Giant tortoises are emblematic of the Galapagos Islands. To experience these ancient animals firsthand, the Silver Galapagos anchors off San Cristobal Island and Zodiacs take all ashore to the pretty little town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. From here we set out by bus for the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve in the highlands of the island. The trails of the reserve lead to encounters with large, lumbering adult tortoises as well as small juveniles that could fit in the palm of a person’s hand. On the northern shore of San Cristobal Island is a peninsula known as Punta Pitt. The point is made up of two coalesced volcanoes and is much younger than the rest of the island. Some of the lava flows are only a few centuries old. From a sandy beach Zodiac landing leads a long walk following a twisting red gravel path that runs through black basalt lava rocks, and between craggy peaks. The vegetation along the way is low and scrubby, and attractive blue-gray lichen grows on the rocks.

Day 6

Gardner Bay & Punta Suárez (Espanola Island)

Isla Champion is a small islet off Floreana Island’s northeast coast. To cruise by it reveals a bare, rocky island without much allure, but to enter the infinitely blue waters around this small landmass is to discover a spectacular underwater realm. The visibility is generally impressive and thanks to this water clarity snorkelers often spot reef sharks patrolling the reef wall, cruising Pacific green turtles, and playful Galapagos sea lions. Encounters in the blue with thousands of small silver minnows, large tuna fish, or oceanic sunfish are not unheard of either. Punta Suárez lies at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds and you may spot Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies on the breeze. The largest seabird to nest in the Galapagos Islands is the Waved Albatross. These ocean wanderers can be seen seasonally here from April through December, when pairs reunite on Española, going through an elaborate pair-bonding display. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be seen on the point, along with sea lions and colorful marine iguanas.

Day 7

Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) & Plazas Sur

Silver Galapagos will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés. South Plaza is a serene island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. This small island is sprinkled with giant prickly pear cactus, carpeted with a reddish mat of ground-cover succulents, and is home to a large nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls, along with marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions. Seabirds crowd the island’s shores including Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Pelicans, and frigatebirds. However, the birds, seals and marine iguanas share the spotlight with brilliant yellow land iguanas of the island.

Day 8

San Cristobal

Disembarkation. Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.
Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Ship information

North Central Galápagos

Enjoy the north-central region of Galapagos on this 7-day cruise. Feel the thrill of seeing wildlife that is completely unafraid: from lava lizards to giant tortoises. Gaze upon Pinnacle Rock as Darwin once did, take a Zodiac® boat along the picturesque coast, discover natural lava tunnels and snorkel in a stunning underwater world.
Please note: your voyage prices include flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Transfers, pre cruise Hotel in Quito (2 nights), National Park fees
Highlights

Visit “Bird Island” home to over 30 bird species • Climb Prince Philip’s Steps through a thriving seabird colony • Observe sea lion families and the famed giant tortoises • Search for the Galápagos Short-Eared Owl • Admire the antics of Red-footed and Blue-footed Boobies • Find corals and bones on raised North Seymour Island • Explore natural underground lava tunnels and hike across lava flows • Hike up the sides of an extinct volcano • See spectacular water-spouting “blowers” • Swim and snorkel in tranquil, clear waters • Photograph colourful marine iguanas • Marvel at the fearless behaviour of wildlife • Cruise by Zodiac along scenic coastlines • Learn about conservation efforts at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center

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Ship information

Silver Galapagos

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 88 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100
Crew: 75
Built/Refurbished: 2012 / 2017

The newest addition to Silversea's fleet of ultra-luxury ships: the 100-guest Silver Galapagos. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waterways throughout the Galápagos Islands, she is naturally suited for in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. She offers all the intimate conviviality and elegant sophistication that has made Silversea the preferred choice for today's discerning travellers.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Explorer Cruise
Le Jacques Cartier
06.09.2020
13.09.2020
7
The Arctic, Northern Europe, Music at sea
Fare from € 3,240
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Travelroute
Day 1

Reykjavík

Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a large environmental structure located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical centre where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.

Day 2

Reykjavík

Day 3

Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar

This land seated off the southern coast of Iceland is the largest of the Vestmann islands, and is the only inhabited island in the archipelago. The steep Edfell volcanoes and the green prairies of Herjólfsdalur offer rich contrast of nature. On the Stórhöfði road, look out over grey sand beaches and cliffs carved out by the Arctic ocean. From here, you can also see the bronze landscapes of the mountaintops. You could visit Eldheimar, an ultra-modern and interactive museum which traces the volcanic eruption has experienced Heimaey in 1973.

Day 4

Day at sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 5

Stornoway, Hebrides

Discover Lewis, the largest island of the Hebrides, considered to be the cradle of Gaelic culture. Here, the peat- and heather- covered valleys and lochs stretch on to infinity, and numerous bird colonies have taken up residence in the long, jagged coastlines where. Not far from Stornoway, the island’s main town, built by the Vikings in the 9th century stands one of Scotland’s most prominent prehistoric sites: The Standing Stones of Callanish. Dating back to more than 3,000 years B.C., these imposing stones placed in a cruciform pattern were laid out according to the moon and stars and their main purpose was to keep track of seasonal cycles, as this was essential for farmers at the time.

Day 6

Portree, Isle of Skye

Nestling in the crux of a gorgeous bay, Portree reflects the magnificence of the grandiose Isle of Skye as well as being its main town. Apart from the charm of its colourful houses, the town’s outstanding location on the banks of a loch makes it a very pleasant place to be. From its colourful harbour bustling with local craftsmen’s shops, you can take in a stunning view of the surrounding hills. Before trekking through the wilderness and drinking in the natural beauty of the Isle of Skye, check out some of the beautiful images in the Aros Centre.

Day 7

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The capital city of Northern Ireland is located on the very tip of Belfast Lough, in the north-east of the Emerald Isle. Along the waterfront, the building shaped like a fragmented liner is non other than the Titanic Belfast, a homage to the famous transatlantic liner, with full-scale reconstructions making for an insightful experience of the Belle Epoque. In the historical centre, you’ll also travel back in time when you see the majestic Edwardian columns of the City Hall, and the imposing neo-gothic towers of Queen’s University for example. The carved wooden façades of the Victorian pubs will certainly entice you in for a pint of beer or chilled cider.

Day 8

Dublin

Disembarkation. The Irish capital stretches along the banks of the Liffey to Dublin bay, on the East coast of Ireland. Discover Ireland’s warm conviviality in the pedestrian district of Temple Bar. Its cobbled streets are brimming with fabulous shops, pubs and arts centres. Next to Trinity College, famous for its 18th century library, you can stroll along Grafton Street: in one of its famous tea shops, try a delicious scone and clotted cream served hot and melt-in-the-mouth with jam. Not far from here, the majestic O’Connell bridge leads you to the avenue with the same name, on which Spire, a luminous contemporary sculpture presides.

Overview 

Music at sea

PONANT invites you on a musical cruise with the exceptional presence of Alain Duault.
This 8-day circuit to discover the islands of Northern Europe will take you from Iceland to Ireland via the Hebrides and the Isle of Skye.
Reykjavik is the most northerly capital in the world, lying slightly above the 64th parallel. Houses with colourful roofs line its streets and this, coupled with the many ducks in its lake, produces a picture postcard setting. It boasts real cultural riches, particularly in contemporary art, notably with the Reykjavik Art Museum.
You will then discover Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the Westmann Islands. Fishing is the main source of income in this exceptional site. You can admire its volcanoes and its almost-desert like landscapes.
During your stopover in Belfast, you can visit the Giant’s Causeway. This massive geological formation is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features over 40,000 basalt columns.
You will disembark at Dublin, end of this beautiful cruise.
Highlights

A musical cruise in the presence of Alain Duault and with an exceptional selection of performers: Jodie Devos, voice – Eliane Reyes, piano – Elsa De Lacerda, violin – Marie Hallynck, cello and Michaël Tambour, trumpet • A cruise to discover Northern European islands • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: from Belfast, the mysterious Giant’s Causeway site, Dublin, city of literature (disembarkation port) • Heimaey Island provides a possibility to observe the colonies of puffins, the real treasure of this island off the Icelandic coast • Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland • After your cruise, discover Dublin, the Irish capital brimming with convivial atmosphere and authentic charm

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Ship information

Le Jacques Cartier

Vessel Type: Luxury
Length: 127 metres
Passenger Capacity: 184

Crew Capacity: 110

Built: 2019/2020

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
Part of Ponant's new explorer ship series, Le Jacques Cartier will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.
Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Restaurants
As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Jacques Cartier will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism.
In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts.
To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals.
Public Areas
Like Le Boréal and its sister ships, Le Jacques Cartier has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger.
A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, an excursions desk, the ship’s administrative services, the sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility.
A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding.
A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, an outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas.
A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening.
Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.

Contact
Booking