Galapagos luxury cruise

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Date
Price
Basis
20 Jul 2017
£ 7259
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Jul 2017 departure
27 Jul 2017
£ 7259
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Jul 2017 departure
10 Aug 2017
£ 7199
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Aug 2017 departure
12 Oct 2017
£ 6999
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Oct 2017 departure
26 Oct 2017
£ 6999
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Oct 2017 departure
09 Nov 2017
£ 6999
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Nov 2017 departure
21 Dec 2017
£ 7899
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Dec 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Galapagos luxury cruise

Accommodation & Meals:
The majority of the trip is spent sleeping on a luxury class, expedition vessel called the Evolution, with only three nights in a hotel on the mainland. Whilst expedition cruising in the Galapagos there are tight regulations in place to prevent ecological damage to the National Park. For instance, glass is recycled and plastic waste, burnt oils and other non-biodegradable waste is sent back to the mainland for disposal. The cruise has been carefully planned to utilise the least amount of plastic and non-biodegradable waste as possible. These waste management efforts helps to protect the islands fragile eco-system. Staff are also employed locally both in Quito and the Galapagos, therefore providing benefit to the community.

Community:
The Galapagos is renowned for its incredibly unique wildlife and conservation efforts. We try to make as little negative impact on the environment and wildlife as possible, but also to leave a positive impact in terms of community and local economy. We hire guides and drivers from the area, meaning that the state of local employment and economy benefits. Although much of this tour is spent on board the boat or in nature, wherever the opportunity arises clients are encouraged to use local businesses and to engage with people they meet in order to promote positive cultural exchange.

Conservation:
We visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre on Santa Cruz Island after driving to the highlands to look for wild tortoises. This centre is dedicated to protecting and conserving the ecology of the islands and carries out educational projects in support of conservation of the Galapagos Islands. Our entry fees help contribute to all the work going on here by improving demand, facilities and creating employment opportunities for scientists. We are also careful to adhere to National Park guidelines, which, amongst other things, ask that we keep a safe distance from wildlife at all times.
Established in 1959, the Galapagos National Park is the oldest National Park in Ecuador. About 97% of the entire area of the Galapagos Islands are part of the National Park system and remain uninhabited. Since its existence, the Galapagos National park has developed a series of rules and regulations to protect the Islands and minimize the impact of tourists on the Islands. All tourists who visit the islands on a cruise, or who take daily tours out to the islands, must be accompanied by Galapagos National Park certified guide on every visit.

The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) is a non-profit association of travel companies, conservation organizations, and other groups that are dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos. For every client on this tour a donation is made to IGTOA.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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