Showing 2021 season
Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:
Day 1 LIMA, PERU
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.
Day 2 LIMA
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.
Day 3 CUSCO–SACRED VALLEY
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.
Day 4 SACRED VALLEY
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.
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.
Day 5 MACHU PICCHU–CUSCO
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.
Day 6 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.
Day 7 QUITO, ECUADOR
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.
Day 8 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.
Day 9 QUITO
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.
Day 10 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.
Day 11 ESPAÑOLA ISLAND
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.
Day 12 FLOREANA ISLAND
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.
Day 13 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.
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.
Day 14 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.
Day 15 QUITO, ECUADOR
Enjoy a free day to explore Quito.
Day 16 QUITO–COCA–AMAZON
Fly to Coca and travel by boat down the Napo River. Then, take a dug-out canoe to your Amazon lodge. Floating along the narrow river, discover the Ecuadorian Amazon, the world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest, where more life hums, buzzes, chatters, and bubbles than anywhere else on the planet.
Day 17 AMAZON
Follow your Naturalist Guide to see parrots, macaws, and parakeets. Walk through the jungle to learn of the medicinal plants and natural biodiversity of the Amazon. Join your guide on a night walk or canoe ride to observe nocturnal creatures.
Day 18 AMAZON
Take a Napo River cruise through flooded forest. Watch for indigenous squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys, and 3-toed sloths. Next, visit a village community and school to to learn about the native culture and way of life. Later, fish for piranha or even take a refreshing swim in the same waters—the less brave can send their guide in first.
Day 19 AMAZON–COCA–QUITO
Depart by canoe to search for wildlife, including monkeys, giant otters, and rare birds on your return to Coca for your flight to Quito.
Day 20 QUITO
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.