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Overview

A totally immersive experience

One of Travel/Study’s goals has always been to look at the world as a “virtual classroom,” where lessons in history, culture, nature and science can be absorbed in the best way: firsthand. Within our unique Field Seminar format, Travel/Study joins forces with Sophomore College to provide an incredible academic experience for a mix of undergraduates and alumni.

Our adventure begins with two days on the Stanford campus for an intensive crash course led by Professor Bill Durham on Darwin, evolution and the remarkable “living laboratory” of the Galápagos Islands. We then fly to South America and travel aboard the newly refitted National Geographic Islander II to explore alongside some of the brightest young minds at Stanford today.

Dates

September 12–25, 2022

Duration

14 days

Price

From $12,995 per person

Trip size

29 participants

Minimum age

12 years

Chasing wonder

Want to see what travel looks like when Travel/Study combines forces with the university’s Sophomore College program? Watch these travelers and students exploring together and pondering evolution and sustainability.

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.

Bill Durham

Anthropology and Human Biology

An enthusiastic and innovative educator, Bill's lectures cover the ecology, evolution, and conservation of the world's most unusual flora and fauna in Galápagos.

Itinerary

Following in Darwin’s footsteps

Enjoy two days of on-campus workshops before traveling to Ecuador with Stanford sophomores. Delve into the topics of evolution and conservation aboard the sleek National Geographic Islander II, well-appointed with a variety of tools for exploration, ideal for cruising the Galápagos in comfort.

  • Stanford, California

    Alumni participants arrive on campus in time for a welcome reception, casual dinner and orientation with students and staff.

    Included meal: Dinner
  • to

    Stanford University

    Attend lectures on campus given by Professor Bill Durham, who leads discussions on key aspects of evolution, wildlife and environmental history in the Galápagos Islands. Join students for lunch between lectures.

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • San Francisco / Guayaquil, Ecuador

    Head to San Francisco International Airport for our early-morning flight to Ecuador and transfer to our hotel upon arrival late this evening.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel del Parque

  • Guayaquil / Baltra Island / Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island

    Depart the mainland for the Galápagos on a morning flight to Baltra Island, then transfer across Santa Cruz Island to the port town of Puerto Ayora, where we embark our ship. After settling into our cabins, gather for dinner and the first of our student-led presentations.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

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

    Today we disembark at the eastern tip of San Cristóbal Island for a hike offering spectacular views of the shoreline, where all three species of boobies are found. Observe frigate birds fluttering their red gular pouches and catch sight of a colony of bachelor sea lions. Following lunch enjoy a panga ride along shores lined with banks of tuff-stone layers to reach Cerro Brujo's wide white coral beach. These are the very same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon in September 1835.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

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

    This morning continue our exploration of San Cristóbal Island, passing by the oft-photographed Leon Dormido islet. After lunch, we land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and drive to Cerro Colorado on the island’s southern shore to visit the breeding center of endangered giant tortoises. The surrounding deciduous forest is home to dozens of bird species, including two species that are endemic to this island, the San Cristóbal mockingbird and San Cristóbal lava lizard.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Española Island

    Our morning stop at Gardner Bay on Española Island includes a short walk to observe sea lions, mockingbirds and finches with plenty of time to enjoy the beach. Partake in the area’s great snorkeling or explore the water by kayak or paddleboard. This afternoon at Punta Suárez, take a walk on lava and boulder terrain to visit seabird colonies, including the waved albatross, boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and the famous “blowhole,” a geological formation.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Floreana Island

    Venture to the olivine-tinted beach at Punta Cormorant this morning for a walk across the isthmus past a shallow lagoon frequented by flamingos. Later take a panga ride around Champion Islet, snorkel, kayak or paddleboard. In the afternoon visit Post Office Bay, where you can drop postcards in the historic barrel that has served as a de facto mailbox for more than two centuries. Learn about the colorful history of the area, as well as the story of how mail is taken from the barrel and delivered all over the world today.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

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

    Today we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about programs dedicated to breeding and rearing giant tortoises and to understand the efforts and results of Galápagos biology fieldwork. Enjoy free time to stroll the streets of Puerto Ayora before traveling to the highlands to observe giant tortoises roaming in the wild. Look for the emblematic Darwin’s finches and the endemic Scalesia trees that thrive in this area before returning to the ship.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Plaza Sur / Santa Fe Island

    Sea lions greet us at South Plaza, an uplifted block carpeted in salt-loving succulents and teeming with wildlife, including a noisy group of bachelor sea lions and a population of land iguanas. Thread your way across the island through an impressive forest of cactus trees, and thrill at aerial displays of the nocturnal, cliff-nesting swallow-tail gulls and red-tailed tropicbirds. After lunch continue to Santa Fe Island and its sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Take a nature walk and look for Galápagos hawks and Santa Fe land iguana. Following our walk, snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Santiago Island

    Visit the tiny Chinese Hat Islet to hike a trail that begins at a crescent-shaped white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities to see white-tipped reef sharks and sometimes even Galápagos penguins. After lunch, board the pangas to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago Island. Hike across the impressive lava flows or head for the coast to swim, snorkel or just relax.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Genovesa Island

    Begin an exploration of Genovesa Island with a walk to observe its marine and land birds along the shore of Darwin Bay. Take an optional hike over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views or return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at the island’s beautiful natural harbor. Visit Prince Philip’s Steps this afternoon for a short but steep climb up a wooden staircase. Once at the top, walk on flat terrain to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of Nazca boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and the elusive short-eared owl. Gather for a farewell reception before dinner aboard our ship this evening.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Baltra Island / Disembark / Guayaquil, Ecuador / U.S.

    After breakfast, disembark our ship on Baltra Island and fly to Guayaquil, where we check in to our day rooms. Rest and relax before flights home.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel del Parque

    Included meal: Breakfast

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.

Category A

Suites on Main Deck with two large windows, seating area with sofa and lounge chair, convertible king/twin beds, ample closets marble double-sink bathroom, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 280
Cabins: 203, 205-208, 210, 211, 212, 215, 220

  • Double: $12,995 per person

Category B

Suites on Bridge Deck with two large windows, seating area with sofa and lounge chair, convertible king/twin beds, ample closets marble double-sink bathroom, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 280
Cabins: 301, 302, 306, 308, 310, 311, 312, 316

  • Double: $14,645 per person

Category C

Single suite on Main Deck with two large windows, seating area with sofa and lounge chair, convertible king/twin beds, ample closets marble double-sink bathroom, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 280
Cabins: 217, 222

  • Single: $19,235 per person

Category D

Single suite on Bridge Deck with two large windows, seating area with sofa and lounge chair, convertible king/twin beds, ample closets marble double-sink bathroom, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 280
Cabins: 315, 318

  • Single: $20,641 per person

Category E

Islander Suite on Main or Bridge Deck with four windows, separate living room with sofa, two lounge chairs, marble double-sink bathroom with rain shower and tub, convertible king/twin beds, ample closet, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 515
Cabins: 209, 218, 303, 309

  • Double: $16,945 per person

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