Hurtigruten Expeditions is adding The Galapagos Islands to its global offering from January 2022 in what is being described as a “significant milestone” for the cruise line.
Sailings to the archipelago will take place onboard the newly upgraded 90-guest MS Santa Cruz II, adding to Hurtigruten Expeditions’ growing fleet of small purpose-built expedition cruise ships.
Starting from January 5, 2022, Hurtigruten Expeditions will offer nine-day Galapagos adventures, including two nights in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito before the six-night cruise.
It is also possible to add a four-day tour of Machu Picchu in neighboring Peru before embarking on the Galapagos adventure.
“We are extremely excited to expand our South America offering to one of the most spectacular destinations on the planet,” said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
He added: “We have seen a clear trend of travellers seeking out truly unique and meaningful travel experiences, with a sharp increase in demand for the type of small ships / big experiences we offer. The pandemic has dramatically pushed this development forward. There is huge pent-up demand for travelling right now, and we are responding with this breathtaking new destination.”
Home to 9,000 species of wildlife, The Galapagos Islands is an isolated archipelago located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
Hurtigruten Expeditions has teamed up with Ecuador-based Metropolitan Touring to offer guests unique experiences with the islands’ wildlife.
Cruise highlights include exploring the Giant Tortoise breeding centre, getting up-close with sea lions and land iguanas, bird watching, kayaking, and snorkelling, as well as daily lectures to better understand the islands and their wildlife.
MS Santa Cruz II will feature all suites and cabins, an explorer lounge, a dining room, a bar and a Science Area.
Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen: “This is a significant milestone in our 125-year history of exploring. The Galapagos is one of the world’s ultimate expedition cruise destinations.”