Hurtigruten Expeditions more than doubles Galápagos offering
Hurtigruten Expeditions is significantly expanding its Galápagos offerings. From 2023, the world leader in exploration travel will add three new, year-round itineraries.
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ inaugural Galápagos expedition cruise departs on January 7, 2022, but the company has already revealed an additional three new itineraries available for 2023 and 2024.
Guests will be able to choose from four different small-ship expedition cruises, ranging from four to eight nights – essentially covering the full span of the remote 19-island archipelago considered one of the most unique places on earth.
“The iconic Galápagos can be considered a planet within planet Earth due to its distinct wildlife and pristine landscape. This is one of the most distinct and pristine destinations there is. We are exceptionally proud to offer even more chances to sustainably connect with this adventure travel treasure,” said Asta Lassesen, CEO of Hurtigruten Expeditions.
The six-night Eastern Galápagos itinerary that launches this January will be complemented with a four-night Northern Galápagos cruise, a four-night Western Galápagos cruise, and an eight-night combination covering Northern and Western Galápagos. All four options are now available to book for travel in 2023 and 2024.
In addition, Hurtigruten Expeditions expands the land-based pre and post program, adding the award-winning luxury rainforest hotel Mashpi Lodge, located a few hours northwest of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, as a unique three-night pre or post-tour for any Galápagos cruise.
New small-ship experience
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Galápagos guests will be the first to experience the “new” MS Santa Cruz II. Custom built for small-ship exploration, and with only 50 cabins and suites, the ship offers guests an intimate and comfortable way of exploring Galápagos. Leading up to the 2022 season, MS Santa Cruz II has undergone a multi-million dollar upgrade, including all public areas, cabins and suites – effectively operating as a virtually brand new ship with a light and modern Nordic design.
Besides the spacious Darwin Suites, the ship also has dedicated family and single cabins to suit diverse needs better. All cabins have also been upgraded with new mattresses and beddings. A separate upgrade is the dining menu, which now features vegan and more vegetarian options at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
A Science Corner was also added during the upgrade in line with Hurtigruten Expeditions’ industry-leading Science Program, offering guests to even deeper explore the true wonders of the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
“Our guests are modern-day adventurers, eager to curiously explore the unparalleled beauty of our planet. There really is no other place like the Galápagos Islands. We therefore invite guests to participate in scientific activities to develop a deeper understanding of the region we are exploring together. We have installed a Science Corner onboard Santa Cruz II, and trained our knowledgeable and passionate guides on the two Citizen Science projects to help guests get a better understanding of what they will discover and experience in this remarkable destination,” said Dr. Verena Meraldi, Chief Scientist at Hurtigruten Expeditions.
While Hurtigruten Expedition’s maiden Galápagos voyage will be January 2022, the team behind the expedition cruises builds on the deepest experience in the region. Hurtigruten Expeditions has entered into a long-term partnership with Ecuador’s’ Metropolitan Touring, that effectively founded expedition cruising in Galápagos more than 70 years ago.
This gives Hurtigruten Expeditions guests unique access to the local experience and knowledge, as well as exclusive access to the best landing-sites in the Galápagos archipelago.
“The added itineraries and experiences are the result of what has proven to be a very fruitful partnership for the benefit of our valued guests. Our expanded offering will truly cover all the key areas of the Galápagos, which are all distinctively different from each other, offering guests an otherworldly experience combined with incredible wildlife, ” said Lassesen.