A new and exciting booking came through!..

This photo clearly illustrates the vast difference in the size of a male kudu and a male impala. They cohabitate well in the bush.

When Heather, our Vacations-to-Go rep, notified us that she’d be out of town until the 15th, she would book our cruise when she returned. We weren’t worried about losing our spot when she explained she’d reserved a cabin for us, with only two left on the popular Celebrity Galapagos cruise and tour.

When the cruise confirmation arrived by email last night, we were thrilled to see she’d made time to firm up the booking using our credit card on file for the US ZAR 900 155721 deposit. It is a pricey cruise; we’d put it off for some time in the future, figuring eventually, we would book it.

This dung beetle made an enormous ball of dung that he could barely move. His mate may be on the right side of the ball, trying to help him bury it.

But, as price increases have occurred for many cruises and cruise lines since the pandemic, we felt the time was right, especially when we plan to spend about ten months in South America in the latter part of 2023 and the first half of 2024. That sounds far away, but it really isn’t. The cruise/tour begins on October 12, 2023, a mere eight months from now.

Gosh, we are making many plans for the next 18 months, and it’s exciting again. Of course, we make these plans with a bit of trepidation after so many plans went awry in the past three years since the onset of the pandemic while we were in India on a country-wide tour in February 2020.

This little frog croaks so loud it practically shakes the house!

About a week ago, we wrote a post explaining why we still considered ourselves world travelers when we haven’t traveled much since 2020. See that post that describes all the cancellations and changes we experienced in the past few years. It’s unbelievable, even to us! But we are world travelers, and we want to return to touring the world again after using South Africa as somewhat of a base since we returned here in January 2021.

But now, feeling more confident about traveling, we’re ready to get back out there. Yesterday, we began preparing a new itinerary for the first time in a few years, which we’ll post once we firm up more bookings. It’s looking good already.

Two female kudus and our newest male warthog friend, whom we’ve named Tusker, a name we had used at the Orange house in 2018.

Once we start booking, we both get enthused about the future and the beautiful places we’ll visit, and touring the Galapagos was on our desired list due to its fascinating history and unique wildlife. Here are the details about the cruise and a photo of the ship below.

FastDeal # 37576

11-Night Quito & Galapagos Southern Loop
4-night land tour plus 7-night cruise departing October 12, 2023
Celebrity  Celebrity Xploration

Brochure Balcony$34,396
Our Balcony$9,054
You Save74%
Brochure Suite$34,396
Our Suite$9,054
You Save74%

Click for additional rates: Singles
Email or Print this FastDeal
Prices include gratuities, unlimited internet, and select alcoholic beverages during the cruise portion only.

Captain’s Club Benefits! Your current status is Level Elite. Book this cruise and receive a free upgrade in select categories, an invitation to the Captain’s Club welcome celebration, priority tender service (where available), private disembarkation lounge, free daily cocktail hour from 5-7 pm, an invitation to the senior officer’s party, a free wine tasting, a free backstage tour, a 15% discount on drink packages and spa, a 20% discount on wine, a 30% discount on wifi packages, a 40% discount on photo packages, and one free bag of laundry (wash, dry and fold).

Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.

Prices are in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy. Prices are subject to change without notice by cruise lines until a deposit has been made, and must be reconfirmed at the time of booking. Prices include port charges but do not include airfare or (where applicable) airport or government taxes or fees. Prices and promotions are for new bookings only, in accordance with cruise line policies. Click any price to convert to other currencies.

Covid-19 Requirements: Travel insurance with medical and evacuation coverage for Galapagos is a government requirement, and guests may be asked to show printed or digital proof upon arrival in Baltra.

Date Port Arrive Depart
Thursday, October 12 Tour begins in Quito, Ecuador
On the first day of your journey, you’ll be greeted at the airport by a Celebrity Cruises® representative and transferred to the JW Marriott hotel. Enjoy free time to relax and settle in.
Friday, October 13 Quito, Ecuador
During a guided tour of the capital of Ecuador, situated at an altitude of 9,350 feet, you’ll stand on the equatorial line at the Middle of the World Park and Museum, and marvel at the monastery of San Francisco and La Compañia Church. Your Tour Director will escort you throughout your Quito stay and serve as your personal concierge. Breakfast is served at the hotel. Lunch with a spectacular view of the city, and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local gourmet restaurant.
Saturday, October 14 Quito, Ecuador / Baltra, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra, Galapagos. During World War II, Baltra served as a U.S. military base protecting the Panama Canal from enemy attack. Now the cactus-strewn landscapes of Baltra are home to the region’s main airport and where you will meet the ship. From the airport, it is just a short bus and Zodiac ride to the ship.
Saturday, October 14 Cruise begins in Baltra, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 2:00pm
Saturday, October 14 Mosquera Islet, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 4:00pm 6:00pm
Sunday, October 15 Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Dragon Hill) 7:30am 11:30am
Sunday, October 15 Rabida, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 2:30pm 6:00pm
Monday, October 16 Isabela, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Puerto Villamil) 7:30am 11:30am
Monday, October 16 Isabela, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Wall of Tears) 2:00pm 6:00pm
Tuesday, October 17 Isla Floreana, Ecuador (Post Office Bay) 8:00am 11:30am
Tuesday, October 17 Isla Floreana, Ecuador (Cormorant Point / Champion Bay) 3:00pm 6:00pm
Wednesday, October 18 San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Cerro Brujo / Kicker Rock) 8:00am Noon
Wednesday, October 18 San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Los Lobos) 3:00pm 5:30pm
Thursday, October 19 Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Puerto Ayora) 8:00am 6:00pm
Friday, October 20 Espanola, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Suarez Point) 8:00am 11:00am
Friday, October 20 Espanola, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Gardner Bay) 2:30pm 6:00pm
Saturday, October 21 Daphne Islands, Galapagos 6:00am 7:00am
Saturday, October 21 Baltra, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Baltra is home to the region’s main airport and where you will fly out. You will have a zodiac and bus ride to the airport.
Saturday, October 21 Tour begins in Baltra, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador / Quito, Ecuador
Upon your arrival in Quito, a Celebrity Cruises® representative will escort you to the JW Marriott hotel. Dinner is served at the hotel.
Sunday, October 22 Quito, Ecuador
Day at your leisure. Breakfast is included.
Monday, October 23 Quito, Ecuador
Your Celebrity Cruises® representative will once again escort you to the airport for your return. Breakfast is included.
This is a small ship with only eight cabins. As Elite members of Celebrity, we’ll enjoy some extra perks, but everything is included on the cruise: tips, taxes, WiFi, and beverages.

This price is high but always has been for these particular cruises with so few passengers. But, the intimate nature of this cruise is an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a small ship, including fine food, service, and socialization, which we always appreciate.

We’re taking off shortly for a small gathering of friends to celebrate a birthday but staying only a few hours since I’d already prepared our dinner for tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow with more.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 5, 2022:

We were worried about Gordy when we saw this O-bone stuck on his foot. Fortunately, a few days later, it was gone. For more photos, please click here.

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