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Galapagos Expedition with Tom O’Neal, Nov 2017

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You are invited to join Master Photographer Tom O’Neal on a photo-expedition to the Galapagos Islands.  Silver Galapagos, your home for the week, is the most luxurious expedition ship in the islands.  You’ll be pampered by the ratio of guides to guests, and enjoy the local Ecuadorian cuisine, and the wood-fired pizzas on board.  Life is casually elegant on this 100 passenger ship.  Shore excursions, lectures, and flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are all included.  Tom O’Neal will be offering guests of MmMmTravel workshops and pointers onboard, helping make this, and all the photographic evidence of your future travels, even better. Review Tom’s Invitation Video for a brief overview of this cruise.

Itinerary

2017 Date Port
Nov 9, Th Quito Pre-Cruise hotel
Nov 10, F Evening tour of Quito
Nov 11, Sa Flight from Quito to San Critstobal, Ecuador to board Silver Galapagos
  Roca Leon Dormido, Ecuador
  Welcome Reception, Lecture & Dinner with Tom O’Neal*
Nov 12, Su Bartolome, Ecuador
  Playa Espumilla, Santiago, Ecuador
  Hands-on photography workshop ashore*
Nov 13, M Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela, Ecuador
  Punta Espinoza, Fernandina, Ecuador
Nov 14, Tu Caleta Tagus, Isabela, Ecuador
  Bahia Elizabeth, Isabela
  Tom O’Neal Photography Seminar*
Nov 15, W Post Office, Floreana, Ecuador
  bring something to mail, but forget the stamps!
  Islote Campeon, Floreana, Ecuador
  Punta Cormorant, Floreana, Ecuador
Nov 16, Th Cerro Dragon, Santa Cruz, Ecuador
  Las Bachas, Santa Cruz, Ecuador
Nov 17, F Los Gemelos, Santa Cruz, Ecuador
  Estacion Darwin & Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Ecuador
  Farewell Reception & Dinner with Tom O’Neal*
Nov 18, Sa Baltra, Galapagos
  Flight from Baltra to Guayaquil, Ecuador, day room if needed before flight to United States.

 

Pricing

MmmmTravel Fares are per person based on double occupancy.  Guests paying in full by June 30, 2017 will receive an additional 10% savings.  Single supplement and third berth rates available upon request.

Suite Silver
Privilege Fare
Pay in Full by
June 30 for
10% savings
Silver $12,600 $11,340
Deluxe Veranda $10,500 $9,450
Veranda $9,900 waitlisted
Terrace $9,700 $8,730
Explorer $7,800 $7,020

For a limited time, you can make your Galapagos vacation even more inclusive by adding economy airfare from select US gateways.  East coast fares from $199 per person round trip, West coast fares from $299 Roundtrip.

Silver Privilege Fares: All Silver Privilege Fares shown are cruise-only, in US dollars, per guest, based on double-occupancy. Fares are capacity controlled, and subject to change at any time without notice. Availability of all suite categories cannot be guaranteed. Fares for single guests are available upon request. Additional restrictions may apply.

The Silversea Galapagos Package conveniently includes flights to/from Quito/San Cristobal/Baltra/Guayaquil with airport check-in assistance, the Galapagos National Park entrance fee and the Galapagos Immigration fee.

 

Detailed Itinerary

voyage-mapNovember 9 & 10 — Quito, mainland Ecuador: Arrive in Quito for your 2-night pre-cruise program at the JW Marriott,  On November 10, an evening tour of Quito will be offered. 

November 11 — included flight from Quito to San Cristobal; evening in Roca Leon Dormido: You have an early morning flight from Quito to San Cristobal, where you will first encounter Silver Galapagos and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition – Western Galápagos.  After settling in and  setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team. During the late afternoon Silver Galapagos will circumnavigate Kicker Rock. We will be looking for frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Nazca Boobies. The geological formation and its impressive height can best be seen from the ship and conditions permitting we will be able to observe one of the most beautiful sunsets of the Galapagos Islands.

November 12 — Bartolomé & Playa Espumilla, Santiago: Some of the most spectacular landscapes in the islands come into view. Just off the coast of Santiago, Bartolomé boasts some of the most magnificent landscapes in the islands including the famous Pinnacle Rock, a towering obelisk at the edge of the ocean. Go snorkelling or take a walk along the beach to look for playful Galápagos Penguins, perched on rocks or zooming underwater. Beautiful Espumilla Beach is an important nesting site for the East Pacific green sea turtle. We’ll walk through the arid vegetation zone of the interior where we’ll see the largest palo santo trees in the Galápagos, the perfect habitat for several species of Darwin’s finches. At times of year when conditions aren’t ideal at Espumilla, you’ll enjoy a visit to Buccaneer’s Cove.  This protected cove was once a safe harbour for pirates as they repaired their ships and replenished their stores. Today, it offers a wealth of water-based activities, including snorkelling with an array of tropical fish, whitetip reef sharks, fur seals and even eagle rays.  You can embark on a kayak or Zodiac tour and spy some of the beautiful geologic features of the area—red cliffs, natural caves and unique rock formations—while perhaps spotting native sea birds (like the Brown Noddy) that nest in the cliffs.

November 13 — Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela & Punta Espinoza, Fernandina: Five (originally six) majestic shield volcanoes up to 500,000 years old pierce the arid landscape of Isabela, the largest and youngest island in the Galápagos. Snorkelling is probably the best (and coldest) in the islands at Punta Vicente Roca, located at the base of Ecuador Volcano (North-west Isabela). Half of this volcano collapsed about 100,000 years ago—meaning that visitors now get a spectacular cutaway view of the caldera. Aboard a Zodiac, we’ll look for an array of seabirds including Flightless Cormorants and penguins. The largest colony of marine iguanas in the Galápagos can be seen sunning on the black lava shores of Punta Espinoza at the north-eastern corner of Fernandina. One of the most pristine islands in the world, Fernandina hosts an impressive array of wildlife including sea lions, colourful Sally Lightfoot crabs and the rare endemic Flightless Cormorant.

November 14 — Caleta Tagus, Isabela & Bahía Elizabeth, Isabela: A short cruise across the Bolivar Strait brings us to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. Yellow Warblers and Galápagos Mockingbirds may escort our hike between palo santos and yellow cordias, passing the briny Darwin’s Crater lake along the way. Join the snorkelling tour to look for penguins, cormorants and the  Brown Noddy along the sheltered cliffs. You may also explore the area on a kayak. The tallest red mangrove trees in the Galápagos are found in Elizabeth Bay, an idyllic mangrove lagoon and a fascinating place to observe marine life. We’ll take a Zodiac through the mangroves where sea turtles swim close to the surface, and pelicans and herons stalk for fish or crab. Sea lions and penguins are also prevalent in this marine sanctuary. (No landings permitted.)

November 15 — Post Office Bay and Punta Cormorant or Champion, Floreana: Floreana has been luring visitors since the 18th century when whalers hunted the island for tortoises and pirates sought shelter in its caves. Sailors established a rustic mailing system here: a barrel nailed to a pole where they would drop letters hoping they would be delivered by other mariners sailing home. You can continue the tradition if you choose. Then take a walk along the lovely beach, or go snorkelling in an underwater world as colourful as Floreana’s history. You’ll have an opportunity to get to know the flora and fauna of this island. On the northern coast (between Punta Cormorantand Post Office Bay), a sea lion rockery has developed. Amid lava rocks that are dotted with prickly pear cacti and sesuvium, a small colony of the creatures thrives. Pups are particularly curious when visitors arrive—they love to go in the water and investigate Zodiacs as they pass through their waters. As you travel along the coast, you may find many other creatures that shelter amid the red and white mangroves: eagle rays, marine turtles, Brown Pelicans and resting Cattle Egrets. Kayaking through the turquoise waters here is a true pleasure, inviting a sense of peaceful solitude and an invigorating feeling of connection to nature. There is so much to explore in Floreana. Where in the world can you see an olivine beach, deciduous vegetation and pink flamingos all in one place? Only at Punta Cormorant, one of the most interesting sites in the islands. We will learn about the formation of beaches as we land on the olive-green sand and walk to Flour Beach, a favourite nesting site for green sea turtles. Floreana also offers some of the best snorkelling sites in the Galápagos.

November 16 — Cerro Dragón and Las Bachas, Santa Cruz: Cerro Dragon’s land iguanas have played an important part in the conservation program by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park.  When their numbers declined in the 1970s some animals were taken to breed in captivity, others were put onto the neighbouring islet Venecia. As these programs were successful, we will be heading inland on a trail leading past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos to see the reintroduced animals. Once at the hill, we will circle Cerro Dragon, looking for the land iguanas and their burrows. There might also be the possibility to snorkel near the landing site if time and tides permit. Silver Galapagos will relocate to the northern shore of Santa Cruz during the early afternoon. At Las Bachas there will be the chance to swim from one of the two beaches, see White-cheeked Pintails and flamingos at a lagoon behind the beach and look for sea turtles -Las Bachas is one of the major nesting sites for them.

November 17 — Los Gemelos, Puerto Ayora and the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz: The second largest island in the archipelago is home to both the largest human settlement and the second largest wild tortoise population. We will visit Los Gemelos, two pit craters (similar to sink holes) in the midst of a forest of tall scalesia trees that look like giant daisies and are endemic to the Galápagos. Here there’s a good chance to spot land birds, especially one of the rare and endemic Galápagos Martins. Tortoises in the Galápagos occur in two different morphotypes: dome-shaped and saddle-backed. The smaller saddle-back tortoise was hunted virtually to extinction and just a handful of survivors remain. The Fausto Llerena Breeding Center gives us the opportunity to see both the domed tortoise and the iconic saddleback tortoise after which the islands were named.

November 18 — Baltra: Following breakfast, disembark Silver Galapagos for your included return flight from Baltra Airport, if your return flight to the United states departs Guayaquil after 10Pm, a day room will be provided for your use.

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

 

 

 

About Tom O’Neal

 

Tom OnealTom Gundelfinger O’Neal

As a young man with a profound fascination of all things creative, Tom immersed himself in the study of painting and design. He attended both the Chicago Art Institute and the University of Illinois. Near the end of his college career, Tom began to transition into photography. The application of design and composition theories from his prior studies to the process of film capture was a natural segue.  The world of the camera was particularly fascinating to Tom because of its mobility. He regarded this new medium as a portable canvas and never looked back at his easel. This developing passion became the focus of a lifelong career.

Along with his burgeoning talent as a photographer, Tom also had an instinct for timing. He immersed himself in the intense Los Angeles music scene that exploded in the sixties. He found himself in great demand by several high profile rock and roll stars. Ironically, he applied both his photographic and graphic design skills in the creation of over 72+ album covers, including the iconic Déjà Vu cover used by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  Other notable groups were the Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, Joni Mitchell, Poco, Crazy Horse, the Mamas and the Papas, B.B. King, and The Three Tenors. He developed relationships with entertainers that created opportunities for many years to follow. Two of Tom’s shots are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

The seventies found Tom searching for a change in genre. Perhaps his intuition once again was a factor, for he shifted his focus to photojournalism and set off to work in Africa. There he was hired worked for the Peace Corp with key shooting assignments in the Congo. From Africa he traveled to Paris and London where he absorbed and photographed the European art scene.  He experimented with light and shadow, developing techniques that remain innovative and contemporary in the current environment.

Ready to have a more permanent location Tom returned to the Monterey Peninsula where he has immersed himself in his commercial and art photography.  For the past 15 years Tom has worked with clients such as Rolex and The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers where he continues to travel the world shooting events, celebrities, and VIP’s   His illustrious experiences have led him into a key note speaking profession where he connects his photography experiences with a lively presentation:  Owning the Moment.  Through his entertaining stories he covers the  specifics regarding connecting with people, taking charge, creating your own circumstances, and manifesting your passion. Tom’s keynote, teaching and photographs are simply a reflection of his unbridled approach to life.

 

Silver Galapagos

ex1291-1The 100-guest Silver Galapagos is Silversea’s second Expedition ship. With sleek lines and a proven skill for navigating the waterways throughout the Galápagos Islands, she is naturally suited for in-depth explorations of this spectacular region.  A Galapagos cruise with Silversea Expeditions offers adventurous travellers who want to experience the life-enriching chance to discover a wild, pristine paradise that has long been regarded as a natural laboratory of evolution. On Galapagos tours, enjoy up-close encounters with an abundance of Galapagos wildlife, including sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colourful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin’s famous finches.

Join complimentary expeditions ashore guided by Silversea’s experienced Expedition Team for the most authentic and enriching of experiences possible. Observe unique highland ecosystems, hike through lush mangrove forests and across volcanic fields, explore natural lava tunnels, watch for wild flamingos (in season), read cave inscriptions from the 1800s, and learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Plus there will be many opportunities to swim and snorkel while learning more about the sealife found in the tranquil clear waters that surround the Galapagos Islands.

Aboard Silver Galapagos you will experience intimate conviviality and comfort. All accommodations are ocean-view suites, most feature private balconies – relax completely and sail away on your unforgettable adventure. Like-minded guests from across the globe are your travelling companions, and the intimate ambiance is much like a country club where conversations flow as easily as the complimentary drinks.

All Silver Galapagos accommodations have ocean views. Select suites even feature large private verandas or panoramic windows to take in even more of the stunning and diverse environment while onboard our Galapagos cruises. Every suite and stateroom includes a refrigerator and bar setup stocked with your beverage preferences, down duvets, the finest Pratesi linens, your choice of a firm or soft mattress, a marble bathroom with shower and local bath amenities, spa robes and slippers, on-demand movies and music. WiFi Internet access is available in all suites and staterooms (an additional fee applies).

 
 

We will respond to your request within 1 business day. Because our response to your query will contain attachments and you’ve likely not received email from us previously, our email to you may end up in your junk mail folder. To make a reservation please contact us directly at 831.659.0151 or 800.304.6838 access code 00.