Galapagos Islands | February 27 - March 5, 2024

Ecuador & Galápagos Island Cruise

Encounter the inspirational beauty of one of the most pristine natural places on Earth.

Encounter the inspirational beauty of one of the most pristine natural places on Earth. From azure blue seas to green highlands to magnificent underwater seascapes, the area known as the Galápagos Islands boasts some of the most exotic and unusual wildlife in the world.

Join Our State as we explore the wildlife inhabiting the Galápagos Islands including sea lions, iguanas, penguins, green turtles, giant tortoises, fur seals, and the bizarre, flightless cormorants, all against a backdrop of extreme beauty.

February 27-March 5, 2024


Package Includes:

  • Round-trip airfare — Raleigh-Durham International Airport or Charlotte Douglas International Airport
  • Three Nights’ Hotel Accommodations
  • Inner Tour Flights
  • Four-Night Galápagos Islands Cruise in Sea View Cabin
  • 17 Meals: seven breakfasts, five lunches, and five dinners
  • Professional Tour Director
  • Naturalist Guide on Ship
  • Two Excursions per Day/Cruise
  • Motorcoach Transportation
  • Admissions per Itinerary
  • Sightseeing per Itinerary
  • Baggage Handling


Itinerary Highlights:

  • Four-night Galápagos Islands cruise in sea view cabin
  • Two excursions per day on the cruise
  • Santiago Island, black volcanic beach
  • Rabida Island, distinctive red-sand beach
  • Tagus Cove, visited by Charles Darwin in early 1800’s
  • Fernandina Island, “marine iguana capital of the world”
  • Santa Cruz Island, Highlands Tortoise Reserve
  • Naturalist guide on the ship
  • Guided tour of Quito, Ecuador
  • Visit to the Equator


Overnight Accommodation:

  • Two Nights – Swissôtel, Quito, Ecuador
  • Four Nights – Aboard MV Galapagos Legend
  • One Night – Swissôtel, Quito, Ecuador




Arrive in Quito, Ecuador, located more than 9,000 feet above “seal level.” Meet your tour director at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport and transfer to your hotel. Get acclimated to the elevation and settle in tonight.

Overnight: Quito



Following breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of Quito, the first UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Enjoy the eclectic architecture built over the last five centuries. See the Gothic Basilica of the Heart of Jesús (Basilica Corazon de Jesus) and the Metropolitan Cathedral (known simply as “la Catedral”), featuring an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from Moorish to Baroque and Neoclassical. Also see Independence Square flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop’s palaces. Visit the Jesuit Church of the Society of Jesus (“La Compañía de Jesús”), Quito’s most ornate church and one the most significant Spanish Baroque architecture in South America. Also see San Francisco Plaza, a vast complex of religious art. Next visit the Middle of the World (“Mitad del Mundo”) where the Earth’s equator passes through Ecuador at 0°0’0” latitude and stand with one foot in each half of the world. The 98-foot monument is built on the historic site where a French explorer calculated the line of the equator in 1736. Also see the colonial church and bull-fighting ring. Tonight enjoy a Wine & Beer Reception with your fellow Our State travelers.

Meals: B, L
Overnight: Quito



After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra Island in the Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival, meet your naturalist guide and transfer to the MV Galápagos Legend for your four-night cruise. Your cruise departs for Mosquera Islet, a tiny, low-lying islet covered in coral sand, located between North and South Seymour Islands. It is home to a group of sea lions that come to laze on the soft, white sand. It is a good spot to observe shorebirds, herons, lava gulls, and boobies. Rays, barracudas, and sharks can also be seen while snorkeling.

Meals: B, L, D
Overnight: MV Galápagos Legend



This morning visit Santiago Island. A wet landing puts you on Egas Port, a black volcanic beach once visited by Charles Darwin. This unique and dramatic shoreline hosts a variety of species that live between land and sea. Among these are the endemic Galápagos fur seals which maintain a small colony at the end of our walk. Other species of note include American oystercatchers, sea lions, waders, herons, lava lizards, and even Galápagos hawks. Our afternoon adventure lies at the heart of the archipelago, with a visit to Rabida Island with its distinctive red-sand beach. This island is home to sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, endemic Galápagos doves, and more. A walk takes us to a beautiful overview of the bay. Snorkeling here can be a highlight, often with sea lions, ubiquitous turtles, and black-striped salema.

Meals: B, L, D
Overnight: MV Galápagos Legend



After breakfast our day begins with a wet landing on the beach at UrbinaBay. At the far end of a level hike we arrive at a phenomenon where large blocks of coral lie completely exposed after a dramatic geological uplift during the 1950’s. Located at the western base of Alcedo Volcano, be on the lookout for impressive land iguanas as well as some of the volcano’s endemic Galápagos giant tortoises. Excellent snorkeling today in the clear blue waters with an opportunity to see beautiful marine life up close. This afternoon we visit Tagus Cove, one of the few sites visited by Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle in early 1800’s and a well-known hideout in the days of pirates. A beautiful hike leads us past an overview of Darwin Lake and on to a stunning volcanic landscape revealing Isabela Island’s dramatic northern volcanoes. Once back at sea level, we have an opportunity to snorkel with fish, penguins, turtles, and other sea and wildlife.

Meals: B, L, D
Overnight: MV Galápagos Legend



Today we visit Espinosa Point on Fernandina Island with a dry landing. The youngest island of Galápagos Islands and one of the most pristine in the world. Fernandina Island is referred to as the “marine iguana capital of the world.” This volcanic backdrop is home to a huge concentration of these enigmatic reptiles. Sharing the same shoreline we can find pelicans, the diminutive Galápagos penguins, sea lions, and fur seals all offering amazing photo opportunities. Here we also have the exciting opportunity to snorkel with marine iguanas feeding underwater, penguins, turtles, and the bizarre, flightless cormorants, the only place this species is found in the world. This afternoon visit Vicente Roca Point on Isabela Island. This spectacular site is surrounded by immense cliffs of the eroded volcano. Studded with resting sea birds such as brown noddies and Nazca boobies, view them in close proximity from your dinghies. A marine-only visitor area, snorkeling here is superb and one of the richest marine havens in the Galápagos Islands with certain species of fish only found in the west of the archipelago. Here we have the opportunity to snorkel and swim with sunfish, sea horses, penguins, and green turtles.

Meals: B, L, D
Overnight: MV Galápagos Legend



Today your Galápagos Islands cruise ends as you look back on all the highlights, sights, marine life, and wildlife encountered on your adventure. After a dry landing, disembark the ship and travel by coach into the central highlands of Santa Cruz Island to the Highlands Tortoise Reserve. Here have you an opportunity to interact with wild, Galápagos giant tortoises. A short walk among these huge, 600-pound reptiles offers great photo opportunities and the chance to see several species of the famed finches. Continue to the Baltra Island airport for your flight to Quito. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers and new-found friends.

Meals: B,D
Overnight: Quito



Today transfer to the airport for your return flight home with amazing memories of your Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise.

Meal: B

Please note: The Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise is a very active tour. You must be able to experience wet and dry landings from dingy boats, able to walk on uneven terrain and able to handle a fair amount of walking.


Tour Rates:

Pricing starts at $7,249 per person based on double occupancy in a Standard Plus Cabin.

Standard Cabins along with Balcony Suite Cabins are limited.

The location of your selected stateroom determines price.

For a detailed itinerary with cabin locations click here.


For reservations or more information:

Premiere World Discovery
Melissa Grant
(877) 953-8687, ext. 238 (Pacific Time)


Additional Information:

What to expect on an Our State trip:

Traveling with a group of Our State readers is an enriching, enjoyable, and safe way to experience new cultures, people, and places. In addition to the informative narration from the tour director and local guides, an Our State host will be available to assist in making your trip successful.

We usually fly to our destination, then travel by a comfortable motor coach with anywhere from 35 to 50 people who appreciate learning about new regions. Your entire trip will be guided, planned, and arranged for your upmost enjoyment. Many activities are things you can only do because you are traveling with Our State. There is some free time built in for you to explore on your own.

You can also choose not to attend an activity if you prefer something different. Please let your tour director know if you are not coming on a scheduled day.

Many meals are included. Where you have meals on your own, suggestions will be provided.

Most of the motor coaches have restrooms but every effort will be made to make regular rest stops.

One of the best parts of traveling with Our State is that you will meet new people, many of whom you will already have much in common with since most travelers read the magazine. Many guests often develop friendships that go on long after the tour is finished. Our State trips are generally filled with dynamic and friendly people.

Physical requirements:

Our tours are physically active but not meant to be strenuous.

Please be aware you will be on your feet, walking and standing for much of the day, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions and terrains. There will also be extended time on the motor coach when we travel from place to place. If there are any mobility issues you will need to have an able-bodied traveling companion to accompany and assist you.

Most days are moderately paced with approximately two to three total miles of walking, possibly including some hills and stairs.

We regret that we’re unable to provide individual assistance to guests with walking difficulties or other personal needs. The responsibility of the Trip Director who accompanies your trip is to ensure that the larger group enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing individual assistance to any one guest. Guests requiring such individualized assistance must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who can provide it.

If you have additional questions, please call Our State’s Travel Director Amy Wood Pasquini at 336-286-0600, or email


COVID-19 Travel Precautions – Update:

Effective January 1, 2023, Our State highly encourages, but no longer requires COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters for travelers on our domestic tours. This policy goes into effect for international travelers on April 30, 2023. We will keep all participants updated of any changes to these requirements.