Galápagos Islands Expedition – Nine of the Best Isles

with Hurtigruten

Setting out from beautiful Quito
Quito is one of South America’s most alluring capitals and a World Heritage City of graceful Spanish-era architecture, packed with cosy restaurants and artisanal shops. With two overnights here, you’ll have time to taste delicious Ecuadorian specialities and stroll through colourful markets brimming with local handicrafts. On the second day, you’ll visit Quito’s historic centre on a guided tour.

Awe inspiring Galápagos Islands
After your stay in Quito, we’ll head to the Galápagos Islands for an unforgettable sea adventure. This itinerary calls at nine incredible islands – Baltra, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, Santiago, Rábida, Bartolomé and Genovesa. Here, you’ll visit picturesque landscapes showcasing a range of ecosystems and see many of the species which made these islands so famous. On this active cruise, and with an onboard Expedition Team of local guides, you’ll get closer to the many natural wonders in small panga boats, kayaks and glass-bottom boats.

Galapagos Islands 23 departures between May 2024 and March 2025 From $13,075 pp

About Hurtigruten
In business since 1893, where they began they sailed north and south along the scenic Norwegian coast connecting 34 key communities year round, Hurtigruten set out on their first expedition to Svalbard in 1896.  The principal they live by is that exploring and learning about our beautiful planet should go hand-in-hand. The fleet of modern expedition ships is designed to travel to even the most challenging of destinations while providing a comfortable and stylish setting to absorb the wonders of nature. Ships are small enough to dock at local ports, and all cabins are stylish, and designed for comfort and relaxation.

Hurtigruten Expeditions cruises feature a group of hand-picked experts who make up the Expedition Team, and they’ll deliver fascinating talks and lead guests on shore landings, kayaking excursions, expedition boat adventures and much more. Science is key to understanding the world, and that’s why some of the team are scientists. If you want to learn more, teams are available to help use the onboard scientific equipment and will guide  you on Citizen Science projects which help ongoing global research.

Committed to sustainable travel and protecting the places visited means guests help pioneer a greener way of cruising. With diverse and unique expedition cruises to 15 global destinations, and stopping at over 230 ports and landing sites from major cities to isolated islands, Hurtigruten help people to unleash their inner explorer.

Those who travel on an expedition cruise with Hurtigruten can expect the unexpected and to be prepared for life-changing experiences!

Day 1: Quito
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.

If you have time, why not come a few days earlier and join one an optional pre programme.

Day 2: Quito
Today you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Quito’s remarkable Old Town and you will also 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 3: Fly Quito to Baltra Island, board your ship
After breakfast, a short flight will take you to Baltra Island in the spectacular Galápagos archipelago and you will embark your ship. In the afternoon, begin exploration of the Galápagos Islands following the north shore of Santa Cruz towards the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón – Dragon Hill – where you will explore ashore. Encounter shorebirds and American Flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as a chance to get a first look at some land iguanas.

Day 4: Isabela Island & Fernandina
Start your day at Punta Vicente Roca, on the north-western tip of Isabela Island. After breakfast, explore by panga boat, learning about the dramatic geology from your naturalist guides.  This site is a nesting place for several bird species, so look out for Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, and boobies. Weather permitting, you’ll get to snorkel alongside the cliffs, where you might find green sea turtles, oceanic sun fish, and fur seals.  In the afternoon,  explore Fernandina, an island with a unique ecology and a big population of marine iguanas. Scan the coast for sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hawks and penguins.

Day 5: Santa Cruz Island
Today visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. 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. 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, including mountain biking or visiting a sugar plantation.

Day 6: Floreana
After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a panga boat ride among the channels on Floreana’s north shore, before taking in the incredible views of the island from Baroness Cove. Later, land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries.  After lunch, you’ll explore the wonders around Champion Islet in a panga boat or aboard a glass-bottom boat. Here, you can snorkel in one of the best spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s onwards to Cormorant Point, where you will walk from an olivine-crystal beach to a brackish lagoon, where you can commonly see American Flamingos, Pintail Ducks and more.

Day 7: Relax in Baltra
A day onboard to recharge for the days ahead, or in the afternoon, head ashore for a relaxing swim or snorkelling at Las Bachas beach.

Day 8: Santiago Island
Today you’ll explore Santiago Island’s pristine beaches and picturesque landscapes. Take in the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove on the northwest coast, home to a large number of marine birds and sea lions. Immerse yourself in the scenery through a range of water activities and marvel at fantastic rock formations such as ‘Elephant Rock’ and ‘The Bishop.’   In the afternoon, we’ll head to Puerto Egas, one of the best visitor sites on the island. You’ll have the opportunity to see a colony of Galápagos fur seals and exotic birdlife on an excursion. Or you could just swim or snorkel along the rocky shorelines, typically, in the company of marine turtles.

Day 9: Rabida Island & Bartolome Island
Today you can go for a thrilling panga ride along the coast explore the island’s mesmerising, red-coloured beach. Soak up the sights and sounds made by a colony of sea lions, and watch for marine iguanas, mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers and several species of Darwin’s Finches.  In the afternoon, sail to the golden sands of Bartolomé Island, dominated by the imposing Pinnacle Rock. You can swim or snorkel off the beach here, discover colourful marine life from our glass-bottom boat, or watch for Galápagos Penguins on the shore. Hike up to the summit of the island for fantastic views.

Day 10: Genovesa Island & Darwin Bay
The morning starts with a steep but short climb – only 90 feet – up Prince Philip’s Steps – El Barranco – to reach flat and rocky plateau. Once there, you can walk along comfortably and look out for large colonies of Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, Great Frigatebirds and Storm Petrels. Afterwards or instead, hop into a kayak for some aquatic adventuring.  In the afternoon, enjoy Darwin Bay for a swim. Take a stroll and observe hundreds of island birds, or alternatively just take it easy on the beach.

Day 11: Disembark on Santa Cruz Island, transfer to Baltra Airport to Guayaquil and home
Say goodbye to your ships crew, and take bus ride to the loftier region of the island will provide a final highlight: giant tortoises in the wild.  The windward slopes of the island are set aside as a reserve that’s home to two species of giant tortoise. These lush highlands also feature dense forests of Galápagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads. After this visit we’ll transfer directly to the airport in Baltra for your flight to Quito.

* 2 nights pre cruise in Quito including breakfast and dinner on day 2
* Return economy class flights between Quito and Baltra
* Transfers from hotel in Quito to Quito Airport before cruise, plus transfers Baltra Airport to ship
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 Galápagos Islands
* Access to airport lounge at Guayaquil or Quito airport upon return from Galápagos Islands for guests flying internationally on the day of disembarkation

Expedition Cruise
* A stay in a cabin of your choice
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages*
* Complimentary tea and coffee
* Complimentary Wi-Fi on board†
* Complimentary reusable water bottle
* English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
* Range of included activities
* Welcome and farewell cocktails

Onboard Activities
* Full use of our Science Center, extensive library and advanced biological and geological equipment
* Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research
* Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional photographer
* Use of ship’s hot tubs and gym

Landing Activities
Landings, hikes, coastal exploration, and activities including kayaking, snorkeling, and glass-bottom boat
* Complimentary wetsuit rental


Travel dates
23 departures between May 2024 and March 2025

Price shown is based on departure date of 04 March 2025. Please call us for alternative dates and pricing.

Price per person NZD
From $13,075 pp pp share twin, based on an Explorer cabin, Horizon Deck


Book by
Until further notice

Terms & Conditions
Prices shown unless otherwise stated are in NZ$, and are subject to currency fluctuations and are for payment by cash, Eftpos, direct deposit or cleared cheque only.  Credit Card payments are also accepted but will incur a small surcharge, please enquire.   Price includes all discounts.  Price includes your cruise fare and inclusions as shown based on a share twin/double basis in NZ$, based on cabins as shown and known Port Taxes & Govt Fees. Gratuities are not expected.  A deposit of 25% for your Cruise Tour is due immediately upon booking confirmation. Additional deposits or full payment for other services such as airfares may also be due at time of confirmation, please discuss with us. Final payment for your Cruise Tour is due no later than 100 days prior to departure from NZ.  Other conditions may apply.HoTC.



Prices correct as at 13 May 2024, subject to change without notice. We encourage you to check the most current price with our team, in particular any offers including flights and/or accommodation. Whilst we endeavour to keep our website up to date at all times, please understand if price changes may not be reflected immediately. Other conditions may apply. E&OE.