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father and daughter in yellow kayak with their paddles raised above head

Overview

Unforgettable moments for the whole family

Experience the ultimate outdoor classroom cruising among the enchanted islands of the Galápagos aboard the 54-cabin Galápagos Legend, chartered exclusively for Stanford families and ideally suited for exploring the Galápagos archipelago. Get up close and personal with the incredible wildlife that Charles Darwin observed as he developed his revolutionary theory of evolution.

Visit six of the Galápagos’ volcanic islands, snorkeling amid sea lions and spinner dolphins in the clear waters. Sit face to face with giant tortoises and marine iguanas and learn the dances of the blue-footed boobies and waved albatrosses. Adults enjoy lectures from Professor Bob Siegel, ’76, MA ’77, MD ’90, while kids have fun learning from their zany Young Explorer leaders, all recent Stanford graduates.

Dates

June 21–30, 2022

Duration

10 days

Price

From $7,695 per person

Trip size

92 participants

Minimum age

6 years

Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Bob Siegel

Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Siegel, ’76, MA ’77, MD ’90, credits his first (of many) Stanford Travel/Study trip to the Galápagos with teaching him to “see the world with new eyes.”

Share the joy of learning

Meet our Young Explorer leaders

These razor-sharp recent Stanford grads and former Stanford Sierra Camp counselors love interacting with families and are experts at adapting to the personalities and interests of each Young Explorer. They fuel creativity with thought-provoking discussions and mind-bending games that keep the kids entertained while adults attend lectures. In addition, Young Explorer leaders bring the whole family together for activities such as family Olympics, trivia night and disco bingo.

Itinerary

Exploring a living classroom with the whole family

Explore colonial Quito and stand with one foot on each side of the equator. Watch marine iguanas spray salt from their nostrils and sit face to face with a giant tortoise in the Santa Cruz Highlands.

  • Quito, Ecuador

    Upon a late-evening arrival in Quito, transfer to our hotel.

    Accommodations:

    Swissotel Quito

  • Quito

    After a welcome orientation at our hotel, walk the streets of colonial Quito, stopping at Independence Plaza, the Presidential Palace and the Monastery of San Francisco, one of the most impressive religious buildings in the New World. Stand with one foot on each side of the equator at Mitad del Mundo. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at our hotel.

    Accommodations:

    Swissotel Quito

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Quito / Baltra Island / Embark / Bartolome Island

    Transfer to the airport to board our flight to Baltra Island in the Galápagos. Embark our ship, then head out on our first excursion. Considered the most iconic landscape of the entire archipelago, the view from the top of Bartolome Island, overlooking the famous Pinnacle Rock and the austere Santiago Island beyond, is well worth the climb up the wooden boardwalk. This volcanic scene has often been likened to a lunar landscape. Our subsequent snorkel might put us face to face with Galápagos penguins, white-tipped reef sharks and playful sea lions.

    Accommodations:

    M/V Galápagos Legend

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • South Plaza Islet / North Seymour Island

    Sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls and land iguanas are all present at the landing site. The small island is covered with a carpet of a red succulent studded with Opuntia cacti. Venture to the cliff’s edge, where we spend time watching birds fly past at eye level in the up draught—see frigate birds, flocks of Galápagos shearwaters and red-billed tropicbirds. Return to sea level, where we once again encounter land iguanas, some of which have hybridized with their resident marine cousins. In the afternoon, visit the flat, uplifted island of North Seymour. This is an important spot to see both magnificent and great frigate bird males courting the females by clicking, bill-clapping, shuddering and flapping their wings, all while showing off their inflated, bright red gular pouch. We will also likely see courting blue-footed boobies displaying their unique feet while 'dancing' to a prospective mate. Sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, crashing surf and distant views of the Daphne Islands top off a great visit.

    Accommodations:

    M/V Galápagos Legend

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • San Cristóbal Island

    Sea lions may greet us as we land on the beach at Punta Pitt and prepare for our climb to a high point on the steep eroded tuff cone. This is the only place in the islands where we may see all three of the booby species in the same place. Frigate birds will be all around, and the views are breathtaking. Following lunch and a rest, head out on a dinghy ride to Cerro Brujo, during which we take in the immensity of the stunning cliffs of “Sorcerer's Hill.” Simply share the beach with the sea lions, snorkel from shore or take a walk to a hidden lagoon where to look for black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels and white-cheeked pintails.

    Accommodations:

    M/V Galápagos Legend

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • San Cristóbal Island

    In the moist highlands of San Cristóbal, we visit the giant tortoise breeding center, La Galapaguera, to witness the most iconic creature of the archipelago in its various life stages. The tortoises wander in a semi-natural habitat which lends itself to prime photographic opportunities. The reserve aims to help restore populations of the threatened San Cristóbal tortoise back into the wild. In town, peruse shops for local handicrafts and souvenirs. Following lunch, a visit to the interpretation center is full of interesting information and offers the perfect overview to the formation of Galápagos, its significance in the world, threats and conservation efforts.

    Accommodations:

    M/V Galápagos Legend

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Española Island

    One of the most stunning beaches in all of the Galápagos is located at Gardner Bay. The long, white, sandy beach, lapped by turquoise waters, is home to a colony of Galápagos sea lions, indifferent to the humans that walk among them. The Hood mockingbirds, endemic to this particular island, will be eager to inspect the visitors and satisfy their innate curiosity. Darwin's finches may also join the throng. We can snorkel here from the beach, in the shallows of the bay. This afternoon visit Punta Suarez, a naturalist's paradise. A slew of marine iguanas and sea lions may greet us at the landing site from where our walk continues with close encounters of boobies, endemic lizards, gulls and even a dramatic blow hole. The oldest extant island in the archipelago, it provides our only opportunity to commune with the endemic waved albatross. With luck, we can watch their complex courtship display.

    Accommodations:

    M/V Galápagos Legend

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Floreana Island

    A very short walk from the beach leads us to the famous Post Office Barrel. Claimed to have been first setup in 1793 by Captain James Colnett, it remains the oldest functioning “post office” in the Pacific. Back then, whalers and fur sealers would leave addressed letters in the barrel to be picked up by homeward bound colleagues. In the spirit of maintaining tradition, visitors today often take letters and hand-deliver them back in their home countries. Arrive in Punta Cormoran this afternoon and take in the beach’s subtle green hue, which is due to olivine, a volcanic crystal. Walk past island-endemic Scalesia plants to a large, shallow lagoon that is often inhabited by shockingly pink greater flamingoes. Continue through a forest of palo santo trees to arrive at a powdery white beach, where green turtles nest. As we paddle barefoot in the shallow water, look for diamond stingrays and white-tipped reef sharks. We may also spot a small colony of penguins that resides on Floreana. Later snorkel at Devil’s Crown, an eroded volcanic cone that is home to an abundance of fish and marine animals and one of the favorite snorkeling sites in the islands. Swim with big schools of yellow-tailed surgeonfish, salemas and creole fish and, with luck, spot turtles, spotted eagle rays, parrotfish and even hammerhead sharks! In addition, the jagged ‘crown’ is a roosting area for boobies, noddies, tropicbirds and frigates.

    Accommodations:

    M/V Galápagos Legend

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Santa Cruz Island

    Disembark on Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and its giant tortoise pens, located in an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest that’s home to many land birds. The research station is the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration in the Galápagos. Later this afternoon, Ballena Bay is the perfect spot to enjoy water activities–snorkeling, kayaking or the glass-bottom boat. Expect to see lots of fish species including king angelfish, surgeonfish, parrotfish, damsels, rays and sharks. On the land portion of the visit we see sea lions and basking marine iguanas with herons and turtles in the mangrove areas. We might even discover some antique ceramic relics left behind by previous settlements.

    Accommodations:

    M/V Galápagos Legend

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Baltra Island / Disembark / Quito / Home

    After breakfast, enjoy one last island excursion. Take a dinghy ride to the entry of the Itabaca Channel in a lagoon with turquoise water, where we observe sharks, blue-footed boobies and different kinds of fish. Disembark our ship and transfer to the airport for our flight back to Quito. Upon arrival, transfer to the nearby airport hotel and have time to relax and refresh before returning this evening to the airport for departing flights, arriving back in the U.S. on Friday.

    Accommodations:

    Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

landscape view of island with sea in distance

Pricing

Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

top view of ship at sea
Category A

Standard interior cabin without windows on the Earth Deck adjoining to Junior Suite Plus cabin #2

Average square feet: 172 sq. ft.

Cabin: 11

Adult Double: $7,695 per person

Child Double: $7,195 person

Adult or Child Single: $8,695 per person

Note: Available as a triple cabin at the double rate, per person, with a $500 (per cabin) discount

Category B

Standard plus cabins on the Sea Deck with portholes or the Earth Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 118

Cabins: 22A, 23A, 34–38

Adult Double: $8,195 per person

Child Double: $7,695 person

Adult or Child Single: $9,195 per person

Category C

Junior suites on the Earth Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 148

Cabins: 3–10,14–23, 24–29

Adult Double: $9,395 per person

Child Double: $8,895 per person

Adult or Child Single: $10,395 per person

Note: Triple cabins are available at the double rate, per person, with a $500 per cabin discount.

Category D

Junior plus suites on the Earth Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 213

Cabins: 1, 2,30, 31

Adult Double: $9,795 per person

Child Double: $9,295 per person

Adult or Child Single: $10,795 per person

Category E

Balcony suites on the Sky Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 231

Cabins: 40–45

Adult Double: $10,495 per person

Child Double: $9,995 per person

Adult or Child Single: $11,495 per person

Note: Triple cabins are available at the double rate, per person, with a $500 per cabin discount.

Category F

Balcony plus suites on the Sky Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 285

Cabins: 46, 47

Adult Double: $10,995 per person

Child Double: $10,495 per person

Adult or Child Single: $11,995 per person

Category G

Balcony suite on the Moon Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 231

Cabins: 50–53

Adult Double: $10,695 per person

Child Double: $10,195 per person

Adult or Child Single: $11,695 per person

Category H

Balcony plus suite on the Moon Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 282

Cabins: 54, 56, 58, 59

Adult Double: $11,295 per person

Child Double: $10,795 per person

Adult or Child Single: $12,295 per person

Note: Triple cabins are available at the double rate, per person, with a $500 per cabin discount.

Category I

Legend balcony suite on the Moon Deck with picture windows

Average square feet: 355

Cabin: 55

Adult Double: $11,995 per person

Child Double: $11,495 per person

Adult or Child Single: $12,995 per person

Note: Available as a triple cabin at the double rate, per person, with a $500 (per cabin) discount.

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