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Deal watch: Get up to 40% off Galapagos cruises and free air with exclusive offer

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Thinking about a Galapagos Islands cruise? You can save a serious sum if you book a trip in the very short term with Quasar Expeditions.

The Galapagos Islands cruise specialist is offering up to 40% off published rates for select sailings in September and October on its two small Galapagos vessels. It’s throwing in free air to reach the destination, to boot.

In addition, in an exclusive offer to TPG readers, Quasar is extending the promotion to sailings scheduled for November through mid-December.

Specifically, as part of the offer:

  • Seven-night Galapagos sailings on Quasar’s 32-passenger Evolution start at $4,800 per person, a 40% discount to the published starting rate of $8,000 per person.
  • Seven-night Galapagos sailings on the brand’s 16-passenger Grace start at  $6,500 per person, a 30% discount to the published starting rate of $9,350 per person.

In both cases, the offer price includes a credit for international air from the United States to the Galapagos Islands, up to a limit of $1,500 per person.

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For sailings on Evolution, the offer is available for sailings between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, with an extension for TPG readers to sailings through Dec. 16.

For sailings on Grace, the offer is available for sailings between Sept. 1 and Nov. 7, with an extension for TPG readers to sailings through Dec. 19.

To book the offer, customers should head to Quasar’s special promotion landing page.

Quasar’s two small vessels offer safari-style adventures around the Galapagos Islands, where small-ship travel is the norm.

Related: The ultimate Galapagos cruise guide | The best Galapagos cruises for an epic wildlife adventure 

By law, all cruise vessels operating in the Galapagos must carry just 100 or fewer passengers and operate in the destination year-round. Still, Quasar’s vessels are on the smaller side of those operating in the Galapagos, offering an intimate and personal experience.

The smaller of the company’s two vessels, Grace, comes with a larger-than-life backstory. It was built as a private yacht for a tycoon, was later put into service for the British government in World War II (Winston Churchill traveled on the vessel during the war) and eventually was given to Grace Kelly and Monaco’s Prince Rainier as a wedding gift in 1956.

The Quasar yacht Grace once was the private yacht of Grace Kelly. QUASAR

Princess Grace, as she came to be known, used the vessel as a private yacht for years, which is the origin of its current name.

The company’s second ship, Evolution, has the look of a luxury steamer from the golden age of steamship travel in the early 1900s but actually dates to 2005.

While relatively small as cruise vessels go, Quasar’s vessels are filled with all the creature comforts.

The bigger of the vessels, Evolution, has 16 passenger cabins, an indoor lounge, an outdoor lounge and bar, an outdoor dining area, an indoor dining area, a boutique and an outdoor Jacuzzi at its bow.

Grace has eight passenger cabins, an interior lounge, an outdoor lounge, an outdoor dining area, a top-of-the-ship sunbathing area, and an outdoor Jacuzzi at its bow.

The fine print

As is typical for Quasar sailings, all meals and snacks on board the ships are included in the fares above, though alcoholic beverages cost extra.

In addition, all activities and explorations are part of the price. This means kayaking with sea lions, snorkeling with penguins and exploring remote islands to see endemic bird life such as blue-footed boobies with some of the best guides in the Galapagos are all part of your up-front cost.

Among the fine print:

  • The offer is valid for bookings only and is not retroactive to existing bookings
  • The offer cannot be combined with any other discounts or specials available

Some sailings scheduled during the eligible months for the offer already are sold out. As of Thursday, sailings on Evolution on Sept. 2, 9 and 16 were sold out, as were sailings on Grace scheduled for Aug. 29 and Oct. 17 and 24.

All other sailings during September and October still had cabins available, though in some cases, it was just one or two cabins.

Note that the Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador, which has been experiencing political unrest in recent days in the wake of the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio on Aug. 10. Villavicencio was assassinated at an election rally in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The assassination prompted the declaration of a state of emergency across Ecuador for 60 days.

The unrest is in isolated parts of Ecuador and has not affected the Galapagos Islands. The U.S. Department currently has a Level 2 advisory in place for Ecuador, which recommends exercising increased caution when traveling to Ecuador. (A Level 3 advisory recommends reconsidering travel, while Level 4 advisory comes with a recommendation not to travel.)

Related: How to check the safety of your next travel destination

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