An escorted journey with the Zoological Society of London to the Galapagos Islands 17-26 March 2017

High50 has teamed up with globally acclaimed travel experts  cazenove+loyd to offer this incredible escorted journey. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel in the company of leading conservationists and wildlife experts, to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders – the Galapagos Islands. cazenove+loyd have privately chartered their favourite boat in the Galapagos, the MV Eclipse, in order to deliver an extraordinary balance of luxury, adventure and first class guiding. Departing in March, it is the optimum time of the year for guests to discover these remarkable islands through the eyes of those who have dedicated a lifetime to understanding their intricate ecosystems and, most importantly, how to protect them for future generations

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A cabin on board the MV Eclipse

cazenove+loyd have partnered with the Zoological Society of London, whose history with the Galapagos goes right back to Darwin, who was a ZSL Fellow and famously visited the islands in Sept – Oct 1835. The bird specimens he collected were given to John Gould, ZSL’s taxidermist and Curator of Birds. Gould’s work is mentioned as a reference for Darwin’s book on the Origin of Species.

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Birdlife on the Galapagos

The snorkelling will be spectacular at this time of year; where else can you say that you have swum nose-to-nose with sea lions, penguins and dolphins all in one day? On land the action continues as iguanas, turtles and boobies are busy nesting.

The full itinerary can be seen at cazenove+loyd, but here are a few of the highlights:

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Flights are to Ecuador’s busiest port, Guayaquil.

On arrival in Guayaquil you stay at the Hilton Hotel for a night before flying onto Baltra Island. From Baltra airport you will be driven to the harbour to  board the MV Eclipse.

The first stop is North Seymour Island to spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and frigate birds. All excursions will be carried out in small groups of about 12 guests per guide.

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The Galapagos’s famous Iguana

Next stop is South Plaza and Santa Fe Island where you will walk through the cactus forest, spot land iguanas, sea lion, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and finches. Santa Fe Island is home to the Galapagos hawk, the Galapagos snake, various finches and the Galapagos mockingbird.

Sea lions on San Cristobal
Sea lions on San Cristobal

You will also visit San Cristobal Island, Floreana Island and Isabela Island and Santa Cruz Island.

You will enjoy special access to the Charles Darwin Research Station and meet the scientists and researchers working to protect these islands.

On Española Island, Gardner Bay gives you one of the most picture-perfect sandy beaches in the Galapagos which is also a nesting site for sea turtles and home to one of the most important colonies of sea lions in the archipelago.

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Dolphins around Mosquera Islet

The final visit is to the Mosquera Islet home to a huge population of sea lions as well as many shorebirds.  There are even occasional reports of dolphins and orcas around Mosquera.

Quote High50 when booking a holiday through Always Extraordinary Holidays | cazenove+loyd