Part of the
Hurtigruten Group

Galápagos Islands

Nature and Wildlife Expedition Cruise


Departure date
7 days

Cruise Overview

Nature & wildlife expedition Cruise

Join us on a journey of ecological discovery as we set out from Quito to explore the incomparable beauty and wildlife of the Galápagos Islands.

See the unique and diverse wildlife of the Galápagos.

Learn about the islands and Darwin’s research from the onboard Expedition Team.

Join us on a journey of ecological discovery as we set out from Quito, Ecuador, to experience the natural wonders of the incomparable 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 the Cotopaxi Interpretation Centre.

Darwin’s islands of evolution 

The Galápagos Islands are famed for their association with the naturalist Charles Darwin. Our northern itinerary calls at Santiago, the adjacent islands of Rábida and Bartolomé, isolated Genovesa, and the centrally-located Santa Cruz. The landings take in a wide array of ecosystems, picturesque landscapes, and give great opportunities for seeing wildlife such as sea lions, turtles, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, flamingos, Nazca and Red-footed Boobies, 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.

*Our current itinerary reflects adjusted access arrangements put in place by the Galápagos National Park to mitigate the impact of Avian Influenza (H5N1) on the Galápagos Islands. We are committed to protecting the incredible places we visit around the world and have amended our itinerary in line with these requirements to protect this diverse ecosystem. Please note that the current itinerary may change as these precautionary measures are lifted or change.

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Cabin 1
(2-15 years)

Available Dates

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

Arrive in the city of eternal spring, get your bearings and relax after your journey.

Day 1

Get a taste for Ecuador with a trip to Cotopaxi Volcano.

Day 2

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

Day 3

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

Day 4

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

Day 5

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

Day 6

Marchena Island

Day 6

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

Day 7

What's included


  • Return flights in economy class between Quito andBaltra, andBaltra and Guayaquil  


  • Two hotel nights in Quito before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and dinner on day 2. 


  • Transfer from the hotel inQuito to QuitoAirport before the expedition cruise, transfers between Baltra Airport and ship 


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


  • Galápagos Islands National Park admission fee 
  • Transit Control Card for Galápagos Islands
  • Access to airport lounge at Guayaquil or QuitoAirport upon return from Galápagos Islands 

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

  • International flights  

  • Travel insurance 

  • Luggage handling

Penguins perched on the ice of Cuverville Island, Antarctica. Credit: Espen Mills / HX Hurtigruten Expeditions

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