Galápagos Islands Wildlife Expedition Cruise

Price from £8,882
£6,982

Departure Dates
29 departures between Feb 2023 and Mar 2024
Duration
13 days

Galápagos Islands Wildlife Expedition Cruise

Join us on a journey of ecological discovery as we set out from historical Quito to experience the natural wonders of the Galápagos Islands.

Beautiful Quito and volcano adventure 

Begin your adventure with two nights at a hotel in Quito, one of South America’s most charming capitals. This World Heritage city of graceful Spanish-era architecture is packed with cosy restaurants and small artisanal shops. From here we’ll journey to an active volcano and go on a nature walk in stunning surroundings, stopping to pay a visit to a vibrant traditional open-air market.  

Darwin’s islands of evolution 

The Galápagos Islands are famed for their association with the evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin. Our comprehensive itinerary calls at the centrally-located Santa Cruz Island, the volcanic island of Fernandina, Isabela and Floreana - two of the four islands visited by Darwin - and balmy Baltra, before continuing to Santiago, the adjacent islands of Rábida and Bartolomé, and isolated Genovesa. The landings take in a wide variety of ecosystems and picturesque landscapes, and provide great opportunities for seeing wildlife such as sea lions, turtles, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, flamingos and iconic Darwin’s Finches. 

Your expedition ship – MS Santa Cruz II 

MS Santa Cruz II’s crafted itineraries give you some of the best island coverage and wildlife viewing opportunities in the Galápagos. Many excursions take place at exclusive visitor sites, meaning we’ll often have entire areas to ourselves. Having multiple naturalist guides aboard Santa Cruz II also means you’ll be able to choose from a wider range of activities each day.  

Your ship is also one of the few vessels operating in Galápagos that comes equipped with a full range of exploration tools, including dinghies, kayaks, snorkelling gear and paddleboards. There's even a glass-bottom boat. Of course, safety and sustainability are paramount throughout your cruise, and there’s a 24-hour Medical Officer onboard at all times.

What's included

Take a look at what you can look forward to on this 11-day expedition cruise.

Flights

  • Return flights in economy class from Amsterdam to Quito and back from Guayaquil including all taxes
  • Return flights in economy class between Quito and Baltra, and Baltra and Guayaquil  

Hotel

  • Three nights in Quito before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and dinner on DAY 2 and 3. 

Transfers

  • All transfers in Quito, transfers between Baltra Airport and ship 

Excursion

  • Full day Cultural Tour of Quito, including lunch
  • Full day Nature Tour to Cotopaxi National Park, including lunch

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice   
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water)  
  • Complimentary tea and coffee  
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board   
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who guide activities and provide educational information on board and ashore   
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails  

Onboard Activities

  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has a library, microscopes and samples  
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research  
  • Professional onboard photographer gives tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos  
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs and gym   

Landing Activities

  • Landings, hikes, coastal exploration, and activities including kayaking, snorkeling, and our glass-bottom boat    
  • Complimentary wetsuit rental

What's not included

  • Travel insurance  

  • Luggage handling

Route overview

We'll help you plan where to go, when to visit and how long to stay

Fly to the city of eternal spring, get your bearings and relax after your journey.

Day 1

A day of wandering in Quito as you adjust to the sights and sounds of South America.

Day 2

Get a taste for rural Ecuador with a visit to a traditional market and a trip to Cotopaxi Volcano.

Day 3

Fly away from the mainland to the Galápagos Islands and have your first wildlife encounter.

Day 4

Explore the coast by dinghy and set foot on the island of the marine iguanas.

Day 5

Meet the famous giant tortoises of Galápagos at the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Day 6

Discover a bit of Galápagos history and look out for some underwater wildlife.

Day 7

Relaxation day at Santa Cruz. Recharge your batteries and lounge on Las Bachas beach.

Day 8

Explore Santiago Island and see its wild residents and impressive rock formations.

Day 9

See some amazing wildlife and beautiful landscapes, and try out the glass bottom boat.

Day 10

Start the morning with a climb to really see this paradise for birdlife.

Day 11

It’s the end of your cruise, so enjoy a slow goodbye at the giant tortoise sanctuary.

Day 12

Land back in the UK at the end of your epic adventure.

Day 13

Ships on this expedition

Take a closer look at our ships typically used on this expedition