Galápagos Islands – In Darwin’s Footsteps Plus Machu Picchu (Eastern Route)

Galápagos Islands – In Darwin’s Footsteps Plus Machu Picchu (Eastern Route)

Galápagos Islands – In Darwin’s Footsteps Plus Machu Picchu (Eastern Route)

13 Days Starting in Lima, Peru and ending in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Visiting: Lima, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Quito, Baltra Island, Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado, Mockingbird, Punta Pitt, Santa Fé Island, South Plaza Island, Puerto Ayora, Española Island, Isla El Edén, North Seymour Island, Guayaquil, South America

Ship Name:
Santa Cruz II
Ship Capacity:

90

Age range:

5-99

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

Cultural, Island Hopping

From:
$6548
$6220 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$327

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

South America land adventure 

The first part of our adventure takes place on land. Setting off from Lima, Peru’s vibrant capital, we’ll fly to Cusco, the ancient centre of the Inca empire, and discover its many cultural and architectural wonders. Next, we travel up the Sacred Valley on a luxury train to the incredible mountain citadel of Machu Picchu before heading back to Cusco and then flying to charming Quito – the ‘City of Eternal Spring’.  

Awe inspiring Galápagos Islands 

After exploring Quito´s historic centre and visiting the Equator, we’ll head to the Galápagos Islands for an unforgettable sea adventure. We’ll be on the lookout for iconic animals such as giant tortoises, marine iguanas and Blue-footed Boobies. On this active cruise, and with an onboard Expedition Team of local guides, you'll get closer to the many natural wonders in our small panga boats, kayaks and glass-bottom boat.  

Highlights

  • Visit magnificent Machu Picchu and?the UNESCO-protected Galápagos Islands, discovering their unique wildlife, flora and fauna on this land and sea adventure combination

  • Join us on a journey of ecological discovery as we travel in Charles Darwin's footsteps, seeing the natural wonders that so inspired him

  • Explore the islands of San Cristóbal Sante Fe, Santa Cruz and Española, and spend two nights in Quito, one of South America's most charming cities

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Your Land Adventure Begins
Location: Lima

Welcome to Peru, one of the most fascinating countries in South America!

If you have time after your arrival in Lima, we suggest you simply wander the streets to begin to acquaint yourself with the city and see what catches your eye.

Or why not walk along the oceanfront boardwalk in the upmarket Miraflores district. Here, you’ll find many restaurants and cafés, as well as shops if you need to purchase anything ahead of your adventure. Lima is considered the food capital of Latin America, so be sure to try local dishes like ceviche, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice with onion and chilli.

Day 2 : Discover The City Of Lima
Location: Lima

After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a Lima City Tour, including lunch, which will introduce you to Lima´s historical centre, which is packed with elegant Spanish colonial architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and other interesting sites in Lima. You’ll also visit the fascinating Larco museum, which holds the best private collection of Pre-Columbian art in the country.

After this half-day excursion, you’ll have more time to take in this multifaceted city. People watch in one of the city’s grand plazas or seek out a restaurant for another dinner of regional specialities before settling in at your hotel for another overnight stay.

Day 3 : City Of The Incas And A Cultural Gem
Location: Cusco

In the morning, you’ll take a flight to Cusco, the ancient seat of the Inca Empire. A local guide will take you to check in at your hotel, before inviting you on a guided tour of this enigmatic city.  

You’ll see impressive Inca structures contrasted with ornate buildings from Spanish colonial times. Visit the 15th century ceremonial compound of Sacsayhuaman, or admire the architecture of the Spanish Santo Domingo church, a convent built on the ruins of Koricancha, the Inca Sun Temple. After your tour of the highlights of this cultural and architectural gem, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 4 : Back In Time To A Lost World
Location: Ollantaytambo, Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Cusco

An early morning transfer will take you to Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, from where you’ll catch a train along the narrow-gauge line to Machu Picchu, passing through stunning highland scenery along the way.

After around two hours, we’ll stop at the small town of Aguas Calientes and take the short bus ride to Machu Picchu – the so-called Lost City of the Incas.    

You’ll enjoy a guided tour of this once-hidden settlement, marvelling at the stonewalls, terraces and ramps that are carved into the mountain. You’ll love the peaceful atmosphere of Machu Picchu as you gaze at the lowland jungle from this city in the clouds.

After lunch, we’ll return to Cusco where you’ll enjoy your final night at the hotel.

Day 5 : Quito – City Of Eternal Spring
Location: Cusco, Lima, Quito

The day begins with breakfast at your hotel. We’ll then drive to the airport in Cusco for the morning flight via Lima to Ecuador. You´ll arrive in Quito in the afternoon.

Your journey begins on the Equator in the lush Andean foothills. At 9,350 feet, Quito is the second-highest capital city in the world, and its main draw is the exquisite Old Town which was founded on an ancient Inca settlement. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s packed with well-preserved colonial architecture as evidenced in colourful plazas, magnificent churches and handsome monuments. Settle into your hotel, then head out to explore.

Day 6 : Visit Historic Quito
Location: Quito

Today you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Quito’s remarkable Old Town – one of the largest and best-preserved colonial-era quarters in South America. Wander through cobblestone streets as you admire the architecture – and sample some delicious chocolate made from finest Ecuadorian cacao along the way.

Next, you’ll head to the iconic ‘Middle of the World City’, located around 16 miles north of Quito. After lunch, you’ll visit the famous monument that delineates the imaginary line of the Equator. Have your camera ready to capture the moment you stand with one foot in each hemisphere.

Day 7 : Your Cruise Begins
Location: Baltra Island

After breakfast, a short flight will take you to Baltra Island in the spectacular Galápagos archipelago. A transfer brings you straight to the port where your comfortable expedition ship MS Santa Cruz II awaits.

You'll get your first glimpse of the islands' incredible wildlife on Mosquera Islet, home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in the archipelago. We'll take our small panga boats ashore to get a closer look.

As you stroll across flat and sandy dunes, look out for Blue-footed Boobies and Sally Lightfoot crabs, and learn about the marine and terrestrial ecosystems from your naturalist guides.

Day 8 : San Cristóbal's Tortoises
Location: Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado, Mockingbird, Punta Pitt

Your first stop today is the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve – a breeding centre for the endangered giant tortoise. It's also home to other endemic species, including the San Cristobal Mockingbird and lava lizard.

The giant tortoise is probably the most iconic of all Galápagos wildlife, with a lifespan of over 100 years. Here, they thrive, ambling around forests similar to their natural habitat.

Our small panga boats will then take you to Punta Pitt, the only site in the Galápagos Islands where you might see three species of boobies. Enjoy a nature walk, explore the coastline by boat, or snorkel and swim in the crystal-clear water.

Day 9 : Santa Fe And South Plaza
Location: Santa Fé Island, South Plaza Island

We start the day with a scenic nature walk on the blissful beaches of Santa Fe, home to the endemic Barrington land iguana and a colony of sea lions.

You can swim or snorkel from our small panga boats, take a kayak for a paddle around the island, or join a trip in our glass-bottomed boat to observe the marine life below. After a delicious lunch, prepared by our onboard chefs, we head to South Plaza Island.

Keep an eye out for frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Galapagos Shearwaters gliding on the breeze. Here, among a dazzling array of flora, land iguanas laze by the shore while marine iguanas slip in and out of the water.

Day 10 : Explore Santa Cruz
Location: Puerto Ayora

Today we pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora

A giant tortoise breeding centre, here you can see recently hatched tortoises and Darwin’s famous finches – the birds he used as a basis for his theory of evolution by natural selection. There’s also an impressive forest of prickly pear cacti that’s home to many land birds.

Enjoy a cooler climate over lunch in the lush highlands, where giant tortoises shuffle about munching on grass and wallowing in pools.

You'll have time for another activity, such as mountain biking or visiting sugar plantation.

Day 11 : Dramatic Española
Location: Española Island

Your Galápagos Islands cruise reaches Española, the archipelago's most southerly island. Birdlife here is truly extraordinary – look out for Nazca Boobies, Blue-footed Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls, and the mighty Waved Albatross on cruises April through December.

It’s also a chance to spot red Española lava lizards and marine iguanas, as well as see the famous blowhole, El Soplador, blasting water 75 feet into the air.

After lunch on board the ship, we'll head to the picturesque coral beach of Gardner Bay and nearby Osborn Islet, to seek out sea lions, mockingbirds and finches. If you're feeling active, you can go snorkelling or kayaking.

Day 12 : Reef Life On Eden Islet
Location: Isla El Edén, North Seymour Island

The wealth of wildlife watching opportunities continues at Eden Islet, where we hope to see Galapagos green turtles, rays and friendly reef sharks. On the shore, look out for distinctive frigatebirds with their rubbery, red throats.

You can swim or snorkel to explore the reefs. Alternatively, see the reefs from our glass-bottomed boat or by kayak. After lunch, we'll sail to North Seymour.

The island is a great site for spotting colonies of Blue-footed Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls. Sea lions and marine iguanas also congregate here, attracted by the bountiful sea life in its waters.

Day 13 : The Galápagos Islands Back To Guayaquil
Location: Baltra Island, Guayaquil

Your expedition cruise draws to a close as you disembark at Baltra Island. A transfer will take you to the airport in Baltra for your flight to Guayaquil to connect to your international flight, or if you prefer, continue to Quito for another adventure. 

To explore more of Ecuador, why not extend your stay and join one of our optional Post-Programmes.

As you leave this fascinating region, you'll take with you incredible memories of amazing wildlife and wonderful experiences few have the privilege of seeing.

Ship Details

Santa Cruz II

Image Of Ship

This sleek, spacious ship has a layout that allows you to enjoy your cruise from start to finish. Enjoy delicious food in the elegant restaurant, increase your knowledge of the Galápagos Islands with your fellow travellers in the Science Center or maybe mingle out on the multiple decks. With carbon-neutral operations, MS Santa Cruz II is environmentally-sustainable and socially conscious with the local community. Premium Expedition Comfort, While exploring the Galápagos, you'll have the ability to actively engage in activities and encounters. After a day in Darwin's footsteps, you will enjoy coming home to a casual atmosphere with the best service there is. MS Santa Cruz II's amenities easily appeal to all world explorers.                              

Ship Name:

Santa Cruz II

Adults Only Areas:

adults only

Ship Children Facilities:

none

Smoking Areas:

some

Ship Size:

boutique

Ship Style:

luxury

Ship Type:

ocean

Ship Currency:

USD

Ship Language:

en

Ship Capacity:

90

Number of Decks:

5

Number of Cabins:

48

Ship Launch Year:

2002

Ship Refit Year:

2021

Ship Gross Tonnage:

2664

Ship Length (Meters):

71.8 M

Ship Width (Meters):

13.4 M

Ship Speed (Knots):

10 Kn

Deck 1

Beagle RestaurantExpedition Launch

Deck 2

ReceptionMedical CenterShopToiletsCabins

Deck 3

Hot TubsObservation DeckScience CornerDiscovery RoomExpedition Lounge & BarLibraryToiletsCabins

Deck 4

Observation DeckPanorama Lounge & BarToiletsCabins

Deck 5

Observation DeckFitness Room

Onboard the ship, there are fifty cruise cabins that provide ample space for each and every guest. Each cabin has a private bathroom. There are options available for single travelers, couples, groups and families.

Darwin Suite (Grade DS )

Our three Darwin suites on the Panorama deck, featuring double picture windows, will provide superb comfort and deluxe amenities for more discerning guests. Available in twin or double bed and if more space is desired, they can be interconnected with an Explorer cabin.

Explorer cabin, Expedition deck (Grade EE )

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant areas to relax after a day of active exploring. There are 17 Explorer cabins located as on the Expedition deck.Beds convert from double to twin upon request.

Darwin Suite, Panorama Deck (Grade DS )

Our three Darwin suites on the Panorama deck feature double picture windows, and offers superb comfort and deluxe amenities.Available with a twin or double bed, and if more space is desired, these suites can be interconnected with an Explorer cabin.

Explorer Cabin, Horizon Deck (Grade EH )

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant areas to relax after a day of active exploring. There are 23 Explorer cabins located on the Horizon deck.Beds convert from double to twin upon request.

Explorer family cabin, Horizon deck (Grade FH )

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant areas to relax after a day of active exploring.There are 2 Explorer family cabins located on the Horizon deck. Cabins are equipped with twin beds and a sofa bed (ideal for children under 12).

Explorer cabin, Panorama deck (Grade EP )

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant relaxation areas after a day of active exploring. There are 3 Explorer cabins located as on the Panorama deck.Beds convert from double to twin upon request.

Explorer cabin, Panorama deck (Grade EP )

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant relaxation areas after a day of active exploring. There are 3 Explorer cabins located as on the Panorama deck.

Voyager single cabin, Horizon deck (Grade VH USP )

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer single bed, and plenty of space for solo travelers. There are 2 Voyager cabins located on the Horizon deck.

Voyager single cabin, Horizon deck (Grade VH )

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer single bed, and plenty of space for solo travelers. There are 2 Voyager cabins located on the Horizon deck.

Mouthwatering meals and creative cocktails await you aboard MS Santa Cruz II. With creativity and dedication, our cheerful staff draw inspiration from everything from the weather to the region’s flavours and local ingredients.

Beagle Restaurant

Mouthwatering meals and creative cocktails await you aboard MS Santa Cruz II. With creativity and dedication, our cheerful staff draw inspiration from everything from the weather to the region’s flavours and local ingredients.

Beagle Restaurant

On the lowest level is the magnificent and large Beagle Restaurant – a space to pamper your senses and delight your palate with all of the exquisite culinary offerings.

The social areas located across the MS Santa Cruz II allow travellers to converse about their passion for travel. There are multiple decks, including the Ocean, Horizon, Panorama, Expedition, and Sky Decks. Each space offers guests a comfortable seating area and an immaculate view of the nearby islands. Every social space is exquisite.

Discovery Room

The Discovery Room is located on Deck Three.

Evolution Hall

Evolution Hall is located on Deck Three.

Expedition Lounge & Bar

The Expedition Lounge & Bar with Science Corner and Library is located on Deck Three.Our Natural History Library is located on the Expedition Lounge in the Expedition Deck. Please check with the naturalists for books to read during the voyage. After reading, guests are kindly requested to please return the books to the library. A selection of general subject books and natural history books are found, but for anything related to Natural History of Galápagos, please ask the Expedition Leader for advice. 

Expedition lounge & bar with Science Corner and library

Facing the front of the ship, the Expedition Lounge – complete with a refreshment station and library – is a fantastic place to admire the beauty of the Galápagos’ Islands from inside. The Science Corner includes a glass cabinet, a microscope and a whale vertebrae clone, a perfect learning zone about our science activities.

Expedition lounge with Science Corner and library

Facing the front of the ship, the Expedition Lounge – complete with a refreshment station and library – is a fantastic place to admire the beauty of the Galápagos’ Islands from inside. The Science Corner includes a glass cabinet, a microscope and a bone clone collection, a perfect learning zone about our science activities.

Gift Shop

The Gift Shop is located on Deck Two.

Library

The Library is located on Deck Three.

Outdoor Terrace

The Outdoor Terrace is located on Deck Three.

Panorama Bar & Lounge

This large and well-lit area is not only the main bar, but also the place where most ship events will take place (welcome and farewell cocktail), and doubles as an ideal place for lectures. It’s the ideal site to chill and relax with Wi-Fi hot spot and direct access to our al fresco terrace.

Panorama Deck

Guests can relish the Galápagos Islands landscapes at the rear terrace, which also doubles as an area for enjoying Happy Hour specials or freshly barbecued snacks. On the same deck, guests are also welcome to hang out at the indoor Expedition lounge & bar or visit our state-of-the-art bridge.

Reception

Located at the main intersection on the ship, the reception is the place where you will find the central bulletin board with daily program and other valuable information on the expedition experience. 

Sky Deck

The Sky deck offers spaces where guests can relax and enjoy their Galápagos expeditions basking in the sun at the very top of the ship. The sun deck and fitness room are located here.

Expedition Launch Pad

The Expedition Launch Pad can be found on Deck 1.

Lecture Library

The Lecture Library is located on Deck 3.

Science Corner

Facing the front of the ship, the Expedition Lounge – complete with a refreshment station and library – is a fantastic place to admire the beauty of the Galápagos’ Islands from inside. The Science Corner includes a glass cabinet, a microscope and a whale vertebrae clone, a perfect learning zone about our science activities.

Shore Excursions

We offer every day, in addition to the core activity (generally, a hike), a variety of activity options approved by the national park: Snorkeling Kayaking Paddleboarding Coastal explorations?(aboard our inflatable dinghies, otherwise known as?pangas) Glass-bottom boat rides Biking (on Santa Cruz island only) These activities will be explained in advance by the Expedition Leader and guides. A sign-up sheet is placed in the expedition room, Expedition deck. These activities cannot be booked in advance and are all free of charge. Please note the number of the participants per activity is limited. 

All guests must be 18 years old on or before the day they are scheduled to embark on their cruise; we do not maintain facilities or services on board for younger individuals.

No Hurtigruten Expedition ships feature children’s playrooms.

Whenever you feel the need to get your body moving, exercise facilities are on hand to get your pulse up. And whether you’re relaxing after a day of fascinating lectures, or a long hike, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to relax your body and mind. Our fitness center is equipped with yoga mats, set of weights, 2 treadmills, 2 stationary bikes, and an elliptical trainer for those guests who do not want to let their routine slide. For a nice relaxing time our two hot tubs with capacity for 5 guests each. Located on the Expedition deck are ideal.

Fitness Room

Our fitness center is equipped with yoga mats, set of weights, 2 treadmills, 2 stationary bikes, and an elliptical trainer for those guests who do not want to let their routine slide.

Hot Tubs

For a nice relaxing time our two hot tubs with capacity for 5 guests each. Located on the Expedition deck are ideal.

It is not common practice to tip on Hurtigruten ships on the coastal voyage, but if you feel that crew members should be rewarded for providing exceptional service, tip boxes are placed in the restaurant together with envelopes.

Alcohol Policy

Guests who wish to bring bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard Santa Cruz II, will be charged a corkage fee of US $27+taxes.

Cabins

All cabins have the same size window and private facilities. The tap water in your cabin is desalinized, but not potable. For your convenience, chilled drinking water dispensers are available in the Horizon, Expedition, and Sun decks. You may experience some noise and vibration in some of the cabins. This varies depending on the location of your cabin. Also, noise affects people differently and what may be a problem for one guest may not be a problem for others.

Children

Children below the age of 6 cannot take part in cruises with MS Santa Cruz. For children under the age of 12 that board MS Santa Cruz a release of responsibility will need to be signed by the parents or guardian of the minor upon arrival to the vessel since cruise facilities are not adapted for children and there are no child-care facilities nor child-minders on board.

Cruise Card

Santa Cruz II will not provide keys to your cabins, nor a cruise card. Cabins may be locked from the interior. Each cabin has a safety box, and corridors are monitored by closed-circuit cameras. Upon check-in, a shipboard account (SA) will be opened for you. You may register your credit card at this time to facilitate and speed up check-out procedures on your last day. Credit Cards accepted in Ecuador include: Diners Club, Visa, American Express and Master Card. Our staff will request you to sign a receipt to acknowledge your consumption before charging it to your shipboard account. The local currency in Ecuador is the US DOLLAR, and ATMs are available at the mainland airports, as well as in Baltra airport and in the towns of Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. No gratuities are expected onboard. Suggested gratuities for services on land will be shared in your travel documents.

Disabled Cabins / Mobility

Travel to Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands is not suitable for wheelchair users. Santa Cruz II has no wheelchair friendly ramps, cabins or elevators.

Drones

Drones are not allowed in Galapagos. Flash photography is not allowed on wildlife. Professional photography of filming requires a special permit of the National Park Directorate.

Equipment Loans

Santa Cruz II equipment includes sit-on-top kayaks, paddle board, a glass bottom boat, and snorkelling gear (mesh-bags, masks, fins, tubes and buoyancy vests). The use of all these are free of charge. These activities are regulated by the National Park and must always be under the supervision of a licensed naturalist guide. Guests must attend a short safety briefing before these activities are held. Safety briefings and release documents are mandatory for participation in these activities. Wetsuits are available for rent in all sizes, from XXS to XXL for around $17 USD + tax per guest for the entire cruise. These are 2mm shorties. All gear provided by the ship is cleaned and disinfected under the medical officer´s supervision. A brand-new mouthpiece is given to each snorkeler when using the ship´s gear.

Food & Beverage

All meals are designed by our Le Cordon Bleu-certified Gastronomic Director. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are buffet-style in the Beagle Restaurant on the Ocean deck. No reservations are required and the attire is always casual. We only ask our guests not to enter the dining area in bathing suit or barefoot. Please provide information regarding special requests for seating arrangements and dietary requirements to Hurtigruten Expeditions or your travel agent before your cruise. House beer, wine, and soft drinks are available at lunch and dinner. Coffee, tea, and potable water that has been purified on board is included throughout the day. Complimentary still and sparkling water is provided for all meals. Other beverages, including cocktails, and an upgraded beverage package is also available for purchase.

Hurtigruten App

The Hurtigruten APP is your digital guide onboard, it is recommended to download it before you come onboard, To be able to follow the activities on board, make restaurant reservation, book tours and find A-Z info here from the minute you step onboard. The App will only work while you are on board as it is connected to the ship’s Wi-Fi.  

Language

Santa Cruz II sails under Ecuadorian flag; the working language on board is Spanish. Announcements for guests are given in English, and may also be given in German, French, Spanish or Italian depending on guests travelling. Lectures are held in different languages in different rooms.

Laundry

Laundry service is not available on board Santa Cruz II. Two domestic-type washer/dryers are available 24hours on the entrance to the Expedition Deck for free, together with instructions, baskets and biodegradable detergent. 

Lifesaving Equipment, Life vests and Safety on Board

Santa Cruz II complies with GALAPAGOS BIOCONTROL AGENCY (ABG) AND ISPS (International Ship and Port Security System) regulations, where all luggage is subject to X-ray/metal and organic/biosecurity inspection prior to boarding the aircraft in mainland Ecuador. These inspections include carry-on screening before and after the Ecuador-Galapagos flight. Santa Cruz complies with international safety requirements and is a modern vessel suitable for sailing in Galapagos. The first day´s programme includes a short but complete mandatory safety briefing about safety on board and during landing operations. This briefing is followed by the compulsory boat drill exercise. A separate safety briefing is held prior to the first snorkelling, kayaking or paddle boarding opportunity. During the sailing, special safety regulations will apply on landings with the Expedition boats. Please follow the instructions given by the Expedition Leader and crew/staff. Special life jackets for use during landings will be provided to all passengers

Mail

Mailboxes and stamps are available at the Baltra Airport, and in Puerto Ayora. Be aware that the delivery may take a long time.

Medical Facilities

An English-speaking physician and nurse are on board always. The ship has a small medical facility with essential equipment and medication to handle small emergencies. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Medical consultations are free of charge while some medicines will be charged to the passenger. All guests must have personal travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage, properly labelled, and with clear instructions for its use. If you depend on vital medication, please inform the ship’s doctor upon arrival. 

Payments on board

We accept Visa, American Express, Diners or MasterCard and regret that our system does not support Maestro Card. Please note that when using your credit card onboard the ship, your account will be debited in EUR. The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company.Only credit card is accepted on Expedition voyages however, MS Nordstjernen does not accept American Express. The credit card must be valid more than three months after your stay on board. Please note that when using your credit card onboard the ship, your account will be debited in EUR (except MS Nordstjernen which will be debited in NOK). The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company.For your convenience, we also offer a Cruise Card system onboard all our ships. This system allows you to charge all onboard purchases to your cruise card. Cruise card accounts can be created at all points of payment on board the ship. We accept VISA, Master Card, Diners, American Express or cash (NOK, EUR, GBP, USD) as deposit. The itemised statement will be sent by email. Please contact reception if you require a printed version. The cruise card account needs to be settled by 22:00 on your last night on board.For your convenience, your cruise card charges will be billed automatically to your credit card. The credit card must be valid for at least another three months. Any discrepancies must be reported before disembarkation. This also applies if you want to pay part cash and part credit card. The currency used onboard is as outlined above. Exchange rates are similar to those in a hotel. Please check with the reception for methods of payment. Please note that a PIN code may be required when paying with your personal credit card onboard.

Seasickness

If you are prone to seasickness, it is recommended that you bring pills that you are familiar with. A local brand of motion sickness pills is always available free of charge at the reception in the Horizon Deck. 

Small Boat Landings

Guests are respectfully reminded that our expedition boats enable both water-based exploration and safe landings in Galapagos. Should the ocean conditions be rough, our Expedition leader and the Officer on duty may do a scouting of the landing site to determine the safety of the programme. In the very rare event of a change in programme, the Expedition leader will announce the best alternative to all guests via PA system. You will need to be fairly agile to board the Expedition boats, but there is otherwise no need to worry about travelling in them. The crew will show you what to do and, as long as you follow their instructions, after a few times it will become second nature. For our glass-bottom boat outings, guests will transfer from the Expedition boats (pangas). Please follow the instructions of the expedition team to ensure everyone´s safety. In some sites, snorkelling is done from the expedition boats (pangas) into the sea. To come back, a ladder is placed over the boat´s pontoon. Follow the instructions of the expedition team, as for all activities. Visits to Galapagos may have one of these 3 possible landings: NO LANDING: There is no trail on shore. Visitors are restricted to the expedition boats (pangas). You may wear water shoes, sandals or go barefoot. WET LANDINGS: This type of disembarking process is commonly made right on the edge of the beach, with the panga operator moving the small craft up against the sandy shores to have guests slide off the pontoons near the stern of the zodiac. Consequently, guests will almost always get their feet wet in the process. Some guests prefer to wear water shoes for this type of landing, dry their feet at the beach with the special beach towels we provide (free of charge) and put on the sturdier footwear for the trail. Upon return the process is reversed. DRY LANDINGS: There is a dock or solid surface available for our guests to step off the dinghy without getting their feet wet. you’ll always count on the helping hands of the naturalist guides and/or the dinghy operator to safely disembark at the visitor site. You can wear your sturdy footwear right out of your cabin. Due to the fragility of the archipelago, guides will request all guests to knock-off any dirt attached to the soles of your footwear or dip them in the water before boarding the zodiac. Upon boarding Santa Cruz, this will be enhanced with the fresh water hoses available at the stern platform.

Smoking Policy

On board, smoking is only permitted in designated areas on outside decks, where ashtrays are available. Smoking is not permitted in cabins. Throwing cigarette butts overboard is strictly prohibited.

Special Requests

If you have special requests (e.g. dietary or medical), please inform us as soon as possible, and no later than 8 weeks prior to your cruise departure. We will do our best to meet such requests but cannot guarantee to do so, and under no circumstance will any such request be accepted by us so as to form part of a contractual agreement.

Suite Service

Welcome greeting On embarkation day, all guests will receive a complimentary Galapagos wildlife book and a reusable water bottle. Suite guests will receive an additional welcome gift in their cabin. Turn-down service Suite guests will receive a daily turn-down service, including fresh towels and chocolate or similar on the pillow. Wi-fi Suite guests will receive limited complimentary Wi-fi access. Additional wi-fi is available for purchase, but due to the Galapagos’ remote location, please be aware that internet connection is intermittent and low-bandwidth. Wetsuit rental Wetsuit rental is complimentary for suite guests on request. 

Sustainability

Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel, and the world’s largest expedition cruise company. This comes with a responsibility to ensure that sustainability is integrated across all of our operations. With the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, we focus on innovation, technology and concrete measures to explore as responsibly as possible.Hurtigruten has been operating in and exploring some of the most challenging waters in the world since 1893; our roots go back to the Norwegian polar heroes. Today we are facing the greatest and most difficult challenges in our more than 125-year history. Climate change, plastic waste and unsustainable mass tourism, which are all altering vulnerable ecosystems and threatening wildlife.As we enter a new era of expedition cruising and adventure tourism, Hurtigruten aims to raise and set new standards for the entire travel industry.That is why weare building the first ever hybrid-electric powered expedition cruise shipsare the first major travel company to have removed single-use plastic from all our entire fleet and our hotelsinvest in educating our guests and creating ambassadors for every destination on every voyage through actively engaging guests in the cultures we visit, the ecosystems we explore, and the consequences of climate change we observe

Taking Sustainability Seriously

Exploring our blue planet for more than a century has taught us the importance of being green.Meaningful ChangeAs a result, we are now supporting 41 environmental, cultural and social projects in 11 different countries. These range from helping endangered orcas in the Pacific Northwest and protecting Galápagos seabirds, to securing safe spaces for vulnerable Greenlandic children and enabling community storytelling for the Itquamavit elders in Canada’s frozen north. We hope that the ripples we create today will one day turn into the waves of the future.With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as our compass, our cruises to the planet’s most stunning corners are where explorers can truly feel at home.After all, it’s not about us, it’s about all of us.Saying Goodbye to PlasticWe announced our war on plastics in 2018 when we were the first expedition company to ban non-essential single-use plastic throughout our entire operation. That means you won’t find items like plastic cups, plastic straws or plastic cutlery on board our ships. You also won’t see our shops selling microplastic-made fleeces but stocking natural wool clothing instead.Absent too are plastic water bottles. We provide all our guests on an expedition cruise with a complimentary high-quality reusable bottle for use at water refill stations dotted around the ship. This simple act saves at least 1,000 plastic bottles a day on some of our larger ships.Inspiring Environmental AmbassadorsWitnessing the beauty of our planet is sure to leave a lasting impression on you, and you’ll talk enthusiastically about these stunning destinations with friends and family for decades to come. To make sure you can speak informatively when you return home, every one of our expedition cruises has a focus on the environment.The Expedition Team give lectures that raise awareness of climate change, ocean plastic, and the measures we can all take to help ease these issues. It is our hope that engaging with nature on our expedition cruises will inspire you to do all you can to cherish and protect the precious world we all share.Connecting With CommunitiesWe are dedicated to supporting the local communities we visit, and to creating beneficial ripple effects that continue long after we’ve left. By trading locally and sourcing services such as food produce and excursions from local suppliers, we contribute to the livelihood and welfare of people.We strive not only to connect with these communities, but to share genuine friendship with them while always respecting their values and customs. As guests in their home, our emphasis is on appreciating their unique culture and ensuring our interactions are positive and upbuilding for all. You can therefore enjoy authentic experiences knowing your visit is doing good, both for you and for them.A Footprint We’re Proud OfYou’ll likely encounter a range of wildlife during your expedition, doing so from a safe distance. We’ll be sure to never get too close to them, out of respect for their welfare as much as yours. By not disturbing wildlife with our presence, you’ll be able to observe their natural behaviour, in their natural habitat. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! In fact, in many of the areas we visit in Antarctica, we even specifically wipe out our footprints so as to prevent penguins tripping and falling into them.Working Together As OneSustainability isn’t something we can do alone. Everyone in our industry needs to work together for a greener future. We are therefore founding members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). These trade member organisations work to establish sustainable tourism in polar regions, fighting mass tourism by limiting ships and shore visits, and creating guidelines that protect fragile environments and rare wildlife.We’ve also committed ourselves to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These guiding principles will take us steps ahead of current regulations to offer you greener and more sustainable expedition cruises on and for the planet.Serving Planet-Friendly Plant-Based FoodWe offer full menus of delicious plant-based dishes that will impress even those yet to be convinced by this way of eating. These meals not only have low or even zero CO2 footprints, they also promote healthier living and prove conclusively that vegan and vegetarian cuisine can still taste great. We’ve also put in place food management waste programmes on all our ships, aiming to reduce food waste by at least 30%.Investing in Green TechBuilding our two new hybrid-powered expedition ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, represents the biggest investment in our almost 130 years of history. They are packed with ground-breaking green technology, such as battery packs, heat recovery systems, and a cutting-edge hull design. These innovations combined reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 %, compared to other cruise ships of the same size.Hurtigruten stopped using heavy fuel oil more than a decade ago and campaign for its worldwide ban. To set a new standard, we are also considering a range of new, green fuel options, including biofuels made from organic waste.Doing Your PartThere are a range of simple things you can get involved in during your cruise to do your bit. Help out on a beach clean-up where the refuse we collect is brought back onto the ship to be recycled. Citizen Science projects get you to observe our natural world closely and contribute to current research.Even hanging a tag on your cabin door to say your towels and bed sheets don’t need changing can save energy and water. You also have the option to donate to the Hurtigruten Foundation which funds projects around the world.We are setting a new, more sustainable standard for expedition cruising. You can be sure we will continue with our commitment to sustainability; leading the way with green tech, protecting our planet, supporting local communities, and inspiring more to action.With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as our compass, our cruises to the planet’s most stunning corners are where explorers can truly feel at home.

Walking on board

We kindly remind you to take care when walking on board the ship while at sea, especially when venturing out on deck, observing the signs for warnings of wet and slippery decks.

What to Wear

Weather in Galapagos is good year-round. January to April, showers can be expected, so make sure you have a light rain jacket or poncho with you. These rains are usually not long and may be followed by strong sun and high humidity. It is best to wear light, cotton clothing in layers. June to October is dryer but cooler. A light windbreaker comes handy as well as the rule of cotton clothing in layers. Months not mentioned here are transitional, showing a blend of the two conditions described above and vary from year to year. The climate in Quito is characterized by a constant temperature year-round. Most rainfall (rainy season) is in April, warmest month is September with a maximum average temperature of 22°C (72°F), the coldest month is September with a maximum average temperature of 21°C (69°F), July is the driest month, August is the most sunny month. The climate in Cusco (starting point for Machu Picchu) is marked by two seasons: Rainy (from November to April) and dry (from May to October). During the rainy season the temperature is higher (between 7° and 21° C) and during the dry season, lower (between 0° and 20° C). Year round- good walking shoes are recommended (tennis or trainers) for the hikes. Trails vary in difficulty, but most are of volcanic nature. In some trails, and for wet landings, some guests appreciate aqua-shoes. Lightweight, breathable cotton trousers, convertible to shorts have proven to be useful for all seasons. Make sure you bring one or two bathing suits. When travelling in high altitudes (Quito and Cusco) bring a warm sweater, gloves, scarf and rain jacket. Hat with a broad rim and a strap are advisable year-round. For the cooler months, wetsuits (2mm shorties) are available for rent at a cost of $17 USD + tax per guest for the entire cruise. 

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi Internet connection is available onboard for an added cost of $40 USD + tax for the duration of the cruise, but due to the Galapagos’ remote location, please be aware that internet connection is intermittent and low-bandwidth. Limited complimentary wi-fi access is available for suite guests. Internet is only available in public areas. All cell phones must be on AIRPLANE MODE for all trails within the National Park. Cellular coverage is patchy, very low and restricted to the vicinity of populated Islands (Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands).

Wi-Fi

WiFi is available on all ships and is included in your cruise.Please note depending on the vessel’s location, internet connectivity and telephone usage may be out of range or limited due to the remote locations in which we sail.

What's Included

  • Flights in economy class from Lima to Cusco, and from Cusco to Quito (via Lima), including all taxes

  • Flights in economy class between Quito and Baltra, and Baltra and Guayaquil, including all taxes

  • Two nights in Lima, two nights in Cusco, and two nights in Quito before the expedition cruise, including breakfast. Dinner on Day 3-6.

  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel, and the hotel to the airport, in Quito before the expedition cruise

  • Transfers between the airport and the ship in Baltra

  • Lima City Tour, including lunch, before the expedition cruise

  • Tour package: Cusco and Machu Picchu as described, including excursions with lunch, train tickets, entrance fees, transfers from the hotel to the airport in Lima and within Cusco, before the expedition cruise

  • Full-day excursion: Historic Quito & Middle of the World, including lunch, before the expedition cruise

  • Galápagos Islands National Park admission fee

  • Transit control card for the Galápagos Islands

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What's Not Included

  • International flights

  • Additional overnight(s) if required due to international flight timings

  • Travel insurance

  • Luggage handling

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Check out our Q&As

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Only Transfer from the airport to the hotel, and the hotel to the airport, in Quito before the expedition cruise and transfers between the airport and the ship in Baltra

  • Is free Wi-Fi available in the accommodation used?

    Wi-Fi Internet connection is available on-board MS Santa Cruz II but due to the Galapagos’ remote location, please be aware that internet connection is intermittent and low-bandwidth. Limited complimentary Wi-Fi access is available for suite guests.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Flights in economy class from Lima to Cusco, and from Cusco to Quito (via Lima), including all taxes and flights in economy class between Quito and Baltra, and Baltra and Guayaquil, including all taxes

  • What is the tipping policy

    No gratuities expected

  • What else do I need to know?

    All planned activities are subject to weather conditions, Your flight from Baltra will be to Guayaquil. If you wish to end your expedition in Quito, please advise your booking agent, The land programme in Peru and Quito, Ecuador takes place at high altitudes. At 11,100 ft and 9,350 ft above sea level, respectively, you might experience mild altitude sickness.,The land-based tour in Peru involves long stretches of active travel and walking over uneven terrain. Be prepared for a climate that varies from high altitude to tropical weather., Excursions and activities are subject to change, Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements , No gratuities expected, Depending on your flight times, an additional overnight might be needed (not included)

  • What happens if there are changes to my itinerary?

    Every expedition cruise is unique. All routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change due to weather, sea, and/or ice conditions, amongst other factors that can cause our itineraries to change without prior notice. These decisions are taken with guest safety in mind. In the event this happens whilst we are at sea, we will inform guests as soon as possible with the updates regarding the alternative route and change of plan. If we need to cancel a port of call, we will aim to substitute this with an equal or better alternative.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Parents with children below the age of 6 need to present at embarkation a release form signed by their parents or guardians to board a Galápagos cruise. If children between the ages of 6-18 are accompanied by one parent/legal guardian, a minor consent form signed by the other parent, or both parents if the minor is accompanied by a legal guardian, must be presented on boarding.

  • What languages are spoken onboard?

    The working language on board is English. Announcements and written information are also given in German, and may also be given in French and Chinese on selected departures. In order to be able to accommodate lectures in a language other than English, we offer an “in-ear” translation into German. Lectures will be streamed into the cabins. Whilst Santa Cruz II sails under the Ecuadorian flag; Announcements for guests are given in English, and may also be given in German, French, Spanish, or Italian depending on the guests traveling. Lectures and other presentations are held in different languages in different rooms.

  • Are expeditions suitable for children?

    We do welcome children onboard. However, Hurtigruten Expeditions doesn't allow children under the age of 5 to travel with us to Antarctica and South Georgia. For safety reasons, children under 12 years of age will be considered for participation in excursions at each landing. For those travelling to the Galápagos on Santa Cruz II only - Parents with children below the age of 6 need to present at embarkation a release form signed by their parents or guardians to board a Galápagos cruise. If children between the ages of 6-18 are accompanied by one parent/legal guardian, a minor consent form signed by the other parent, or both parents if the minor is accompanied by a legal guardian, must be presented on boarding.

  • Do I need my own equipement or can I borrow whilst onboard?

    On many of our expedition cruises, we are landing in areas covered with snow. The terrain might be muddy, uneven, wet, and very slippery. The weather may be inclement and cold. This is part of being an explorer. For settlement landings in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Norway, and other locations it is highly recommended to bring your own proper sturdy footwear. In Antarctica, South Georgia, and Svalbard, it is mandatory to use rubber boots for all landings as well as on nature landings in Arctic Canada, Greenland, and Iceland. In sailing areas where boots are mandatory for landings, they will be provided on board during your expedition free of charge. Boots are rinsed and declared clean from seeds and other biological material after every landing to avoid unintentionally spreading invasive species into fragile environments. We carry sizes from 32 to 50. If you need a smaller or larger size than this or prefer to wear your own boots, you are welcome to bring private rubber boots, but please be advised that our Expedition Team will have them checked before going ashore, to make sure they are suitable for landing. We also lend out walking sticks on board. If you are more comfortable using your own walking sticks, bring them along with you, but bear in mind that they must be properly cleaned and disinfected after every landing. For those guests onboard Santa Cruz II equipment includes sit-on-top kayaks, paddle boards, a glass bottom boat, and snorkeling gear (mesh bags, masks, fins, tubes, and buoyancy vests). The use of all these is free of charge. These activities are regulated by the National Park and must always be under the supervision of a licensed naturalist guide. Guests must attend a short safety briefing before these activities are held. Safety briefings and release documents are mandatory for participation in these activities. Wetsuits are available in all sizes, from XXS to XXL. All gear provided by the ship is cleaned and disinfected under the medical officer´s supervision. A brand-new mouthpiece is given to each snorkeler when using the ship´s gear.

  • Why do I need to pay a single supplement if I am travelling along?

    The voyage prices you see across the website and brochures are based on two people travelling together and sharing a cabin. Solo travellers may be required to pay an additional fee known as a Single Supplement, which can vary depending on the cabin selected or destination. However, we understand that in the true spirit of exploration - some guests like to travel solo. So we occasionally remove this additional Single Supplement fee across selected departures, voyages and destinations. This list of departures is often changing, so for the latest information, please contact us.

  • What is your gratuity policy?

    On board Hurtigruten Expedition Ships, it's not common practice or expected to tip. However, we have learned that many of our guests wish to give special thanks to our service crew on board. It is at the individual's discretion to honour the service provided by the crew in the bars, restaurants, cabins, and behind the scene. If you wish to leave a tip, you can do so by one of the following options: By seeing the reception and debit the amount to your cruise account. Or leave a tip in the tipping box located at the Reception, during the last days of the voyage. The money collected from these boxes will then be divided equally among all crew members after the voyage, we ask not to tip individual crew members during the voyage to ensure the people behind the scenes also are included. Please Note: Officers and Expedition Team are not included in this breakdown.

  • Can I use a drone whilst onboard?

    The use of passenger-operated drones is not permitted during your voyage. This is for general safety as well as the protection of vulnerable wildlife and other guests’ personal security. Drones are not allowed in Galapagos. Flash photography is not allowed on wildlife in the national parks. Professional video photography requires a special permit of the National Park Directorate.

  • What should I pack for my Expedition cruise?

    From the frozen Antarctic to the temperate Galapagos Islands and West Africa - the climate and conditions vary between the various destinations we explore. Regardless of the destination you visit, we recommend you bring suitable footwear for both wet and dry landings. It's possible to borrow boots, trekking poles, and other bits of equipment depending on the destination you travel to.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    We care deeply about your safety, health, and well-being. We’ve several procedures throughout all our ships, designed to keep you safe and healthy. We constantly review the global situation and ensure all our measures are following the latest guidelines from local authorities as well as our prevention measures.

Reviews of this Operator

JB37  

Fabulous Expedition Cruise

20-Feb-2024

This cruise was absolutely fantastic. The staff were friendly and helpful. The expeditions were super well organised and extremely interesting. The expedition crew were so knowledgeable, informative, funny and inspiring! Best science lessons I have ever experienced! Field trips are so exciting - for any age! The underwater drone was fascinating especially when looking at shipwrecks and the sea beds, watching starfish, lug worms and all forms of fish move etc. Plenty of interesting talks on the species of whale, birds and vegetation that we witnessed seeing in their natural habitats

Cruise Critic
Danko  

Perfect Antarctica Cruise

15-Dec-2023

We wanted a different experience and we got it ! Vessel completely fulfilled our expectations, from the accommodation, food and safety on board to the pre and post cruise arrangements. Hurtigruten did well in organising our flights and hotel accommodation in Buenos Aires before and after the Cruise. Nothing much to say about Antartica, this is a whole new and different planet, nature scenes are absolutely stunning. Expedition Team on board providing different workshops and lectures was just a cream on the top... Young and educated experts were not saving time in providing all scientific questions we had for them. All the landing points shore excursions were perfectly organised, what gave us a possibility to explore Antarctica deeper then we thought it will be possible. You can not choose weather, but even with weather we had a bit of luck, temperatures between -5 and +5 C, even a lot of clear blue sky ! All together, perfect Antarctica Cruse ! Thumbs up for Hurtigruten !

Cruise Critic
twototravel  

Trip of a Lifetime

10-Jan-2024

Our cruise only had about 300 passengers. The entire crew was fantastic! The expedition crew ensured we had as many outings as possible, and our several days we had landings and zodiac cruises. We had terrific weather up until the last landing. They issue boots and you get a complimentary jacket. Hiking poles in different heights are also provided. Food was delicious in the Aune restaurant and varied. Breakfast was especially good with crispy bacon! Everything is made from scratch in the kitchens which is amazing. We ate in the “fast food” Freidham a couple of times. Tried the 8.50 euro milkshake. Ship is beautiful with a 6 story digital screen behind the glass elevators. Lots of nooks to be by yourself looking out at the scenery. Scenery was breathtaking / the icebergs, the water, whales, penguins, seals and birds. No entertainment to speak of other than loads of lectures and art sessions. We did have two nights where the crew had a band and played music. There is a small pool and jacuzzi, a sauna, a spa, and small gym.

Cruise Critic

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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    HX Hurtigruten Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of hx hurtigruten expeditions charges.

    Up to 90 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 89 days before tour starts: Forfeit 40% of booking price.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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