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Fantastic treasures await you on this 8-cabin, very small group cruise vacation to Peru and the Galápagos Islands. Enjoy a walking tour of Lima; guided sightseeing in Quito, where you can have your photo taken at the “Center of the World,” and also in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire; and an excursion to Otavalo’s famous Indian market, where you can shop for beautiful textiles, artwork, and other unique souvenirs. Also, visit the fascinating Inca constructions of ancient Puca Pucara, which translates to “Red Fortress,” the magnificent Temple of Sacsayhuaman, which overlooks the city of Cusco, the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, and mystical Machu Picchu. Then, fly to San Cristobal Island for a fantastic 4-night Galápagos Islands cruise onboard the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. In the company of a local Naturalist, you’ll encounter indigenous plants and animals found only in the Galápagos Islands, such as giant tortoises, Galápagos fur sea lions, and marine iguanas—just to name a few. Also, enjoy an amazing opportunity to snorkel in the turquoise waters and see the colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps a penguin or shark! For travelers who want to see ancient ruins, learn about new cultures, and be awed at the amazing natural world, this cruise adventure is not to be missed!
March 14-28, 2021
Avalon Waterways Discover Galapagos & Peru 8-Cabin with Balconies
Special Pricing From $6952 per person* -- Limited to 16 passengers; double occupancy
*Port charges $120, gratuities $180, domestic airfaire $1208 not included
$250 deposit upon booking**
2022 departures include January 30, February 27, March 13, March 27, April 24, May 22, June 5, July 3, August 14, September 11, September 25, and November 20, 2022 from $8,297
2023 departures include January 29, February 12, February 26, March 12, and March 26 to date from $8,937
Welcome to Lima—Cosmopolitan, Colonial, and Pre-Columbian Culture
Enjoy free time today before your Peruvian Andes and Galápagos adventure begins. Explore the fascinating Peruvian capital—where high-rises tower above ancient temples and colorful colonial architecture.
Peruvian Treasures, Presidential Palaces, and Pizarro’s Conquests
Take a Guided Walking Tour of Lima—to see the colonial Old Quarter, Plaza de Armas, the presidential Government Palace, and the ornate Cathedral—founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Visit the San Francisco Monastery and see its famous catacombs.
This evening, join a Guided Tour of Lima’s Larco Herrera Museum—on the site of a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. With the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian art, see 5,000 years of art, artifacts, and archaeological treasures. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner in the beautiful Peruvian café here.
(B, L, D)
Alpacas, Llamas, and Ancient Andes Villages
Fly to the ancient Andean city of Cusco—former capital of the Inca Empire—on your way to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Take a Guided Tour of Awanakancha to encounter llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos and learn about their vital role in Peruvian culture. Continue to the old mountain village of Pisac to browse the local market and colorful stalls for alpaca sweaters, woven blankets, and handmade jewelry.
This evening, enjoy dining on Andean and Western dishes with wine.
Stone Temples and Formidable Fortresses
Join a Guided Tour of the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo to visit the ruins including the Sun Temple and Princess Baths fountain.
Join an Escorted Visit to a native Incan home in the village of Ollantaytambo to experience the way of life enduring since the 13th century.
Andean Heights and Hidden Secrets of the Inca’s Lost City
All aboard the 360° train to Aguas Calientes enjoying spectacular views of the lush countryside of Urubamba Valley along the way from the panoramic windows or the open-air carriage. From Aguas Calientes, take the winding road to Machu Picchu.
Take a Guided Walk of Machu Picchu to explore the “Lost City of the Incas” high atop the Andes. Your Local Guide will bring you closer to the lives and mysteries still hidden in these amazing structures built by the pre-Columbian masters of this sacred land.
Enjoy your overnight stay at the foot of the mountain with a gourmet dinner including wine.
A Miraculous Sanctuary in a Tropical Mountain Forest
Take a second included Guided Excursion to Machu Picchu. Set out early to see the sunrise over the ruins, and wander through perfectly assembled stone walls and terraces amid the natural landscape as a hidden sanctuary.
After lunch, return to the Sacred Valley by train and continue to Cusco.
Conquistadors, Churches, and the Colorful Culture of Peru
A Guided Walking Tour of Cusco reveals more on the struggle between the Incas and the invading Spaniards. Visit the imposing Cathedral and the Santo Domingo Monastery. Next, see the semi-circular Kenko Amphitheater with its stone altars and labyrinth of passages and the ancient site of Puca Pucara before reaching the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, perched on a hillside overlooking Cusco. It remains unfathomable how and when this fortress of gigantic stones—with some blocks weighing more than 350 tons—was built.
Tonight, enjoy dinner inspired by Peru’s eclectic mix of cultures.
Bienvenido a Ecuador! South America’s Most Biodiverse Country
Fly to Quito, capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, and begin the Ecuadorian portion of your vacation.
Tonight, enjoy dinner with delicious regional cuisine.
Quito. Excursion to Otavalo
Traditions Woven through Generations in the Andean Highlands
Join a Guided Excursion to Otavalo’s Indian market—brimming with colorful woven textiles, traditional Ecuadorean apparel, produce, and craftwork.
Visit the town of Peguche—famous for its exquisitely handcrafted weavings. Take an Escorted Tour of local homes to observe the handiwork in creating woven blankets and clothing that are so important to life in the Andes highlands.
Enjoy an authentic Andean Dining Experience with lunch served in a local hacienda.
A Gold Altar, Artistic Avenues, and Two Hemispheres at One Time
Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Quito that showcases the colonial city’s historic sites, including the impressive Legislative Palace with its enormous sculpted mural of Ecuadorean history. You’ll also see Independence Plaza and visit the 16th-century San Francisco Monastery, and La Compañía Church—the exquisite Jesuit cathedral with its spectacular Spanish baroque architecture—more than 160 years in the making.
Take a Guided Walk down Calle La Ronda—one of Quito’s oldest streets—with artist’s workshops and galleries. Later, visit a local chocolate factory to taste for yourself why Ecuador is one of the world’s finest chocolate producers.
Join a Guided Excursion to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo—the “middle of the world.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time at the exact location of the Earth’s Equator.
(B, L, D)
San Cristobal–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)
Protected Giant Tortoises and Highly Adaptable Birds
This morning, fly to the remote Galápagos island of San Cristobal where you’ll embark on a five-day cruise on the Treasure of Galápagos.
Take a Naturalist-Led Excursion to the highlands of San Cristobal to visit the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve. Learn about the island’s endangered giant tortoise population and the reserve’s conservation efforts.
Your expert Naturalist Guide will point out other wildlife on the island, including songbirds like the yellow warbler, Galápagos large-billed flycatchers, and the Chatham mockingbird (unique to this island), that put Darwin on track of his evolution theory.
Enjoy a Captain’s welcome dinner on board this evening.
NOTE: The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.
(B, L, D)
Sky-High Ocean Spray and Diverse Life In and Out of the Water
Take a Guided Excursion with your expert Naturalist to explore the southeastern part of the archipelago. Visit the glistening white coral beaches of Gardner Bay to see Galápagos sea lions, marine iguanas, seabirds, and hawks. Watch for three species of Darwin finches—a hallmark of his research.
Enjoy a prime snorkeling spot in Gardner Bay’s pristine waters to spot a kaleidoscope of multi-colored reef fish, reef sharks, and the amazing Pacific green turtles.
This afternoon, your Naturalist Guide takes you to the sheer cliffs of Punta Suárez to witness the spectacular spray from an ocean blowhole. Watch for the blue-footed and Nazca boobies, and other remarkable bird species, including the waved albatross. Be on the lookout for the male Christmas iguana that turns red and green during mating season.
(B, L, D)
Pink Flamingos, Gliding Rays, and a Message in a Barrel
Join a Naturalist-Led Excursion to Floreana’s Post Office Bay—with its historic 18th-century whalers’ postal service—consisting of a barrel—to drop mail with the hopes that future travelers will carry it back to the mainland.
Explore the island’s channels by panga boat, or take a swim with playful sea lions. This afternoon, join your Naturalist Guide for an easy hike at Cormorant Point in search of greater flamingos, blue-footed boobies, and sea turtles, or take another opportunity to snorkel with reef fish, turtles, and rays gliding through the crystal shallows.
(B, L, D)
Santa Fé island
A Prehistoric Volcano and Prickly Cactus Forest
Take a Naturalist Guided Hike to explore Barrington Bay—home to one of the most ancient volcanoes in the Galápagos, animal species found nowhere else in the world, and a forest of giant prickly pear cacti—mainstay of the land iguana, endemic only to Santa Fé Island. Keep an eye out for other species exclusive to the island, including the Galápagos hawk, snake, and mockingbird.
Take time to enjoy the inviting waters off Barrington Bay to snorkel with sea lions and vibrantly colored fish, before cruising to Santa Cruz Island.
You’ll also visit Tortuga Bay for a Naturalist Guided Excursion to Santa Cruz Island—the nesting place of the Pacific green turtle, marine iguanas, and the giant Galápagos tortoise.
This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner served especially for your final night on board.
Santa cruz island (disembarkation)
Guarding the Gentle Giants of the Highlands
Take a Naturalist Guided Excursion to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to visit El Chato Tortoise Reserve. You’ll have the opportunity to observe Galápagos tortoises in the wild and learn how these gentle giants are studied and protected across the archipelago.
Continue to the airport for your return flight to Quito.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Seeing the Galápagos Islands on board the 9-suite Treasure of Galápagos goes beyond traditional cruising and allows you a truly intimate experience with a maximum of 16 guests. Chartered exclusively for Avalon guests, the Treasure of Galápagos features spacious suites with balconies and takes you around the archipelago to explore the natural wonders of the region in privacy and comfort. Completely refurbished in October 2017, the Treasure of Galápagos is built to luxurious standards and features an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy all that the Galápagos is famous for intimate contact with the wildlife! Delve into this unique world with the Treasure of Galápagos' crew and expert Naturalist, who shares their passion for nature and conservation of this mysterious part of the world. The Treasure of Galápagos' non-smoking interior features elegantly appointed common areas including an indoor lounge & bar, dining area, shaded outdoor lounge, sun deck with Jacuzzi, and an observation area for whale or dolphin watching. Each of the seven outside suites offers a private balcony, which is rare in the Galápagos, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, and safe. In addition, the 430 square-foot Master Suite boasts two private balconies as well as a private living area.
PREMIER TOURS & TRAVEL NOTE: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, dining experiences, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. One glass of wine is provided with the Welcome Dinner; additional beverages will be the responsibility of each passenger at the time of service. Airfare is not included. **When purchasing the one-night extension package, transportation is provided to the hotel if your flight arrives during the designated time for group transfers; if not, transportation from the airport will be your responsibility. Luggage transfers from the hotel to the ship are provided for the one-night extension package participants and hotel-only participants.
Avalon Waterways Note: In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary. Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time. Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler. See Avalon Waterways for full terms and conditions: https://www.avalonwaterways.com/terms/.**Deposit is nonrefundable.
Premier Experiences, Premier Advantages
Small group limited to 16 passengers
English-speaking director and local Premier representatives
Airport meet and greet
15-Night tour, including Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu, Peru; Quito and Otavalo, Ecuador; and 4-night Avalon River Cruise in the Galapagos Islands
30 meals, including 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners with wine, beer and soft drinks
Internet (where available)
24/7 Premier support