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Galapagos Islands Cruise 2013
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CRUISE
July 18 to 30, 2013 

A Victor Emanuel Nature Tour (VENT)

Register by February 1, and receive a $500 discount!

For every registration received, VENT will donate an additional $500 to NJ Audubon.


GENERAL INFORMATION
Experience the thrill of a Galapagos Islands cruise aboard one of the most comfortable ships available; visit the most important islands and view the famous wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, albatrosses, penguins, and Darwin's finches.
 
Straddling the equator some six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a captivating place. This volcanic archipelago exists as a timeless and legendary destination, steeped in the history of Darwin. From the moment you set foot on the islands and experience sea lion pups playing at your feet, cross paths with your first marine iguana, admire the fancy footwork of the Blue-footed Booby, or examine the clues to the islands' fiery past, you will be under the irresistible spell of the place the early Spanish called Las Encantadas, the Enchanted Islands.

The best way (the only way) to experience the Galapagos is by ship. For this exciting departure, VENT has reserved space aboard the 40-passenger Isabela II, one of the loveliest ships in the Galapagos. The itinerary promises visits to the most important islands—Española, Fernandina, Floreana, Genovesa, Isabela, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Santiago—where you will have the opportunity to see nearly all the birds and animals for which these islands are so revered.

Among the diversity of seabirds occurring here are the world's northernmost penguin, the only equatorial albatross, the strange Flightless Cormorant, and Lava and Swallow-tailed gulls. The comical and absurdly tame Blue-footed Booby is one of the most abundant birds here, while Nazca and Red-footed boobies fish the deeper waters farther offshore. Elegant Red-billed Tropicbirds are a frequent sight, and cruising between the islands yields pelagic species like Galapagos Shearwater, Galapagos Petrel, Elliot's Storm-Petrel, and Great Frigatebirds. Outstanding among the landbirds are the famous Darwin's finches, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, and the Galapagos mockingbirds among others.

In addition to observation of the islands' special birdlife, any trip here should be thought of as a complete natural history experience.

ACTIVITY LEVEL:  EASY TO MODERATE
             
TO

PACE, WEATHER and TRAVEL CONDITIONS
Working with expert local guides, you will visit the best landing sites, walk the best trails, and snorkel in some of the richest waters, coming face to face with Waved Albatrosses, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos fur seals, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, lava lizards, and a marvelous array of colorful tropical fish. Inter-island cruises aboard the Isabela II, Zodiac excursions to picturesque tropical beaches, and walks across incredible lava fields will further enhance your experiences.  Please refer to the VENT website for more details and to register.

The Isabela II is among the highest quality vessels available for a Galapagos cruise. Spacious outside cabins feature private bathrooms and air-conditioning; the yacht's three decks offer plenty of public space including a bar, library, lounge, dining room, and sun deck.

All meals and accommodations aboard a handsome small cruise ship; mild sea conditions; walking on shore excursions easy to moderate; mild weather with cool mornings and warm to hot days. 

DATES:  Thursday, July 18 to Tuesday, July 30, 2013  Trip departs from and ends in Quito, Equador.

PRICE:  Price for this tour is $7,695 per person, based on double occupancy from Quito, Equador.  Contact 800-328-VENT for details or questions on pricing.  When registering, make sure you notify VENT that you are a NJ Audubon or Cape May Bird Observatory member, and VENT will donate $500 to NJ Audubon.  NOTE:  Register by February 1 and receive a $500 discount.

INCLUDED
:  Accommodations in hotels and on board the Isabella II as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals; all group meals on land; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities. 

NOT INCLUDED
: Air transportation, excess baggage charges, transfers for independent arrivals/departures; passport and/or visa fees, items of a personal nature; baggage/trip cancellation insurance.  Please call 800-328-VENT for details.

SEND DEPOSITS AND PAYMENT TO:  All arrangements are made through Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT).  For questions about pricing or to register, please contact the VENT office by phone, 800-328-VENT (8368), or email info@ventbird.com 

TOUR LEADERS
The Galapagos Islands Cruise will be led by Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis, both Cape May residents and well known to NJ Audubon and Cape May Bird Observatory members and program attendees.


Note:  Photos by Michael O'brien (Galapagos Tortoise, Waved Albatross and Blue-footed Booby)