Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:
Day 1 ARRIVE IN LIMA, PERU
Arrive in Lima where you will be met by your Local Guide.
Day 2 LIMA–PISCO–PARACAS & NAZCA LINES.
Drive south along the scenic Pan-American Highway to Pisco, the wine capital of Peru, and take a guided two-hour flight over the Nazca Lines—a series of drawings of animals and geometric figures etched into the parched soil—some up to 1,000 feet long—believed by some to be the astronomical calendar of the ancient Peruvians.
Day 3 PARACAS–BALLESTAS ISLAND CRUISE–LIMA
This morning, head to the Bay of Paracas and take a cruise to the Ballestas Islands—home to a wide variety of sea mammals and exotic birds. See the huge Candelabro, a candelabra-shaped etching on the Paracas cliffside. Later, return to Lima where you will have free time to explore the fascinating Peruvian capital – where high rises tower above ancient temples and colorful colonial architecture.
Day 4 LIMA
Peruvian Treasures, Presidential Palaces, and Pizarro’s Conquests
Take a Guided Walking Tour of Lima to see the colonial Old Quarter, Plaza de Armas, the presidential Government Palace, and the Lima Cathedral. Visit San Francisco Monastery to see the famous catacombs followed by the Larco Herrera Museum—with the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian art.
Later, enjoy a Culinary Experience with an authentic Peruvian welcome dinner in the exquisite, historic mansion—Casa Garcia Alvarado.
Day 5 SACRED VALLEY
Alpacas, Llamas, and Ancient Rituals of the Andes
Fly to Cusco, the ancient Andean city and former capital of the Inca Empire. A Guided Excursion into the Sacred Valley reveals the hillside Temple of Sacsayhuaman. Marvel at the remarkable Inca stonework of this 15th-century fortress that was once the site of the largest battle between the Incas and the Spanish. The Spanish were ultimately victorious in 1536, disassembling part of the site to build homes in Cusco and leaving behind the ruins we find today. You will also see the Inca military post of Puca Pucara and visit the ceremonial site of Kenko where ancient Peruvian rituals and sacrifices were performed.
Take a Guided Tour of Awanakancha to encounter llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos and learn about their vital role in Peruvian culture. Continue to the old mountain village of Pisac. Take time to shop in Pisac’s large Indian market for treasures such as alpaca sweaters, woven blankets, and handmade jewelry.
This evening, enjoy dinner featuring Andean and Western dishes with wine.
Day 6 SACRED VALLEY
Stone Temples and Formidable Fortresses
Join a Guided Tour of the adobe village of Ollantaytambo this morning to visit the ruins of an Inca fortress. See the massive stones and amazing engineering design, including the Sun Temple and Princess Baths fountain.
Join an Escorted Visit to a native Incan home to experience the way of life that has endured since the 13th century.
Andean Heights and Hidden Secrets of the Inca’s Lost City
Join a Guided Excursion aboard the 360° Machu Picchu Train boasting spectacular panoramic views of the lush countryside of Urubamba Valley from its panoramic windows and an observation outdoor carriage. Travel by rail to Aguas Calientes to take the winding road to legendary Machu Picchu.
Take a Guided Walk to explore the “Lost City of the Incas” high atop the Andes once overlaid with dense forest. Learn about the lives and mysteries still hidden in this ancient citadel and the amazing structures built by the pre-Columbian masters of this sacred land.
Enjoy your overnight stay at the foot of the mountain where Machu Picchu is found with a gourmet Peruvian dinner.
Day 7 MACHU PICCHU
A Miraculous Sanctuary in a Tropical Mountain Cloud Forest
Take a second included Guided Excursion to Machu Picchu. Set out early to see the sunrise over the ruins, explore the terraces or perhaps venture up to see the Sun Gate, once used as the ancient entrance to the Sanctuary.
After lunch, return to the Sacred Valley by train and then continue on to Cusco.
Day 8 CUSCO
Conquistadors, Churches, and the Colorful Culture of Peru
Take a Guided Walking Tour of Cusco and learn about the Inca culture and the Spanish invasion that threatened their way of life and very existence. Visit Santo Domingo Monastery, originally called Koricancha and built by the Incas as a Temple of the Sun with extraordinary engineering and masonry design. Continue to the Plaza de Armas to visit the Cusco Cathedral.
Tonight, an elegant dinner includes wine and a menu inspired by Peru’s eclectic mix of cultures.
Day 9 IQUITOS
Turn-of-the-Century Barons and the House that Eiffel Built
Today, you’ll travel by air to Lima and then onto Iquitos where you take a Guided Orientation of this 19th-century boom town with ornate homes built by the “rubber barons” of the day, such as La Casa de Fierro (The Iron House) designed by architect Gustave Eiffel.
NAUTA–PERUVIAN AMAZON RIVER (EMBARKATION)
Travel to Nauta and embark the luxurious vessel, the Delfin III, to cruise the Peruvian Amazon in comfort and convenience. Settle in to your spacious suite before meeting your onboard Naturalist and Cruise Director.
Attend an onboard Welcome Reception to gain an overview of your upcoming Amazon experience. Your Naturalist Guide will offer information about the animal species of the Amazon ecosystem, the native villagers you’ll meet, and the spectacular plant life that thrives in this astonishing environment. See the two powerful Amazon tributaries—the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers—which converge to create the mighty Peruvian Amazon.
Later, on board, enjoy an unforgettable dinner featuring Peruvian cuisine with the freshest local ingredients.
Day 10 PERUVIAN AMAZON
Spider Monkeys, Pink Dolphins, and Peru’s Favorite Cocktail
Rise early this morning for your first glimpse of the majestic Amazon at sunrise to experience the sights and sounds. After breakfast, take a Guided Panga Ride down one of the Amazon’s tributaries in search of the incredible wildlife. Your Naturalist Guide helps to spot capuchin, howler, tamarin, and spider monkeys, as well as iguanas, sloths, freshwater pink dolphins, and a stunning array of birdlife. Watch for the extraordinary giant Amazonian water lily.
This afternoon, a Guided Excursion to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve allows you to witness the activity of exotic birds, including trogons, macaws, parrots, falcons, and jacamars.
Take a refreshing Swim in this unique area of the Amazon—with the chance to encounter the Amazon’s amazing pink dolphins.
Join in an onboard Cooking Class to learn about native fruits, vegetables, and fish. You’ll learn about local ingredients for delicious recipes. In the evening, enjoy a Mixology Lesson to create Peru’s famous cocktail, the Pisco Sour.
Day 11 PERUVIAN AMAZON
Exotic Birds, Night Creatures, and Natural Remedies
Join a morning Naturalist Guided Walk to explore tropical flora, including epiphytes, orchids, and indigenous jungle vegetation below the rainforest’s canopy.
Attend an onboard Nature Presentation about indigenous and medicinal plants, fruits, and vegetation used in the Amazonian culture for centuries.
This afternoon, a Guided Excursion to the Amazon community of San Francisco introduces you local villagers who have called Amazonia their home for generations.
Join a Night Safari Excursion to spot nocturnal creatures, including caiman, frogs, bats, and boa constrictors. You will also have the chance to try fishing for piranhas!
Later tonight, enjoy Live Entertainment by the Delfin III crew of local performers to celebrate your Amazon adventure with music and dance.
Day 12 IQUITOS (DISEMBARKATION)
A Manatee Introduction and an Amazon Farewell
This morning, disembark and bid your ship’s crew farewell. On the way to Iquitos, join an Escorted Visit to the Manatee Rescue Center to learn about these endangered Amazon species and the conservation efforts to save these gentle giants before flying to Lima.
Day 13 LIMA–QUITO
Fly from Lima to Quito. Take free time today to relax and prepare for your upcoming Galápagos adventure, or walk through the historic city to sample ceviche or helado (Latin-American ice cream). Dine out tonight or ask about the best clubs for music and dancing.
Day 14 QUITO
A Gold Altar, Artistic Avenues, and Two Hemispheres in One Day
Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Quito that showcases the colonial city’s historic sites, including the impressive Legislative Palace with its enormous sculpted mural of Ecuadorean history. You’ll also see Independence Plaza and visit the 16th-century San Francisco Monastery, and La Compañía Church—the exquisite Jesuit cathedral with its spectacular Spanish baroque architecture—more than 160 years in the making.
Take a Guided Walk down Calle La Ronda—one of Quito’s oldest streets—with a wealth of artist’s workshops and galleries where you’ll meet local artists and learn about their original works. Later, visit a local chocolate factory for a tour and a tasting to discover why Ecuador is one of the world’s finest chocolate producers.
Your day in Quito ends with a Guided Excursion to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo—a monument to the Equator—the “middle of the world.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time at the exact location of the Earth’s Equator. Observe the equatorial effects of the dual-spiraling directions of water and balancing eggs on end.
This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with delicious regional cuisine.
Day 15 BALTRA–GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS (EMBARKATION)–SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
The Theory of Evolution—and Giant Babies
This morning, take a flight to the Galápagos island of Baltra where you’ll embark on your five-day cruise aboard the Treasure of Galápagos.
Join your naturalist on a Guided Excursion to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station— established to help conserve the Galápagos’ natural habitat and protect the famous giant tortoises. While here, learn about the tortoise-rearing program and see many of the various islands’ tortoises.
Later on board your ship, join in a briefing of the next day’s adventures, and enjoy a Captain’s welcome with cocktails and dinner.
NOTE: The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.
Day 16 SANTIAGO ISLAND
Volcanos, Marine Life, and Lunar Landscapes
This morning, you will find yourself anchored in the western-central part of the archipelago where volcanoes are still active, attributing to the dramatic scenery. Take a Naturalist Led Excursion of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island where you will walk on newly-formed (less than 100 years ago) lava flows reminiscent of the lunar landscape. You can catch sight of lava lizards, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and even the Galápagos penguin.
This afternoon, cruise to Bartolomé Island.
Hike the Summit, Snorkel, and Swim
Take a Guided Hike to Bartolome’s 114-meter summit for spectacular panoramic views of the region with two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows and spatter cones, including the iconic Pinnacle Rock. Later, take a snorkel and swim off the beach here—home to playful sea lions, Pacific green turtles, white tip reef sharks, and Galápagos penguins.
Day 17 NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND
Masterful Marine Iguanas and Birds of a Different Color
Take a Naturalist Led Excursion to see colonies of remarkable bird species, including blue-footed boobies, great frigate birds and magnificent frigate birds—with its inflated red chest and nearly 7-foot wingspread, and gulls and herons of all assortments.
Take a Guided Snorkeling Excursion in the aqua blue waters just off North Seymour Island’s shore—teeming with sea lions and amphibious marine iguanas—found only in the Galápagos.
This afternoon, cruise for the sandy island of Mosquera Islet.
A Sea Lion Haven of White Coral Sand
Take a Guided Walk on the white coral beaches to the islands’ largest congregation of Galápagos sea lions. You’ll see a wide variety of shore birds reflecting the island’s amazing biodiversity—from the deep-gray lava gull to the yellow-crowned night heron.
Day 18 SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND
Tracing Darwin’s Footsteps and Audubon’s Muses
This morning, take a Naturalist-Led Excursion to South Plaza Island to observe wildlife, including sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, and hybrid iguanas (only found on this island and a result of a cross between land and marine iguanas). You will see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon’s shearwaters, and many other species.
This afternoon, cruise to Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island.
SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
Blue Herons, Blue Lagoons, and a Sleeping Lion
Take a Guided Walk at the site where Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos. See the volcanic remains of magnificent Kicker Rock—also called León Dormido (Sleeping Lion). Walk beside one of the island’s blue lagoons to see a number of migratory birds, including pelicans and great blue herons.
Day 19 GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS (DISEMBARKATION)–SAN CRISTOBAL–QUITO
The Geological Genesis of a Magical Archipelago
This morning, cruise to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a Naturalist Guided Tour of the San Cristobal Interpretation Center. You’ll learn about the Galápagos’ fascinating volcanic origins, remote location, climate, and the arrival of diverse species that inspire both imagination and science.
Day 20 QUITO
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.