TORONTO — With its inaugural Galapagos expedition cruise set to depart next month, Hurtigruten Expeditions is already looking to expand in the region with three new itineraries planned for 2023 and 2024.
With the expansion, guests will be able to choose from four different small-ship expedition cruises ranging from 4-8 nights. These cruises will essentially cover the full span of the remote 19-island archipelago, considered one of the most unique and bio-diverse places on Earth.
The line’s inaugural voyage in the destination, the six-night ‘Eastern Galápagos,’ will depart on Jan. 7, 2022. It will be complemented with a four-night Northern Galapagos cruise, a four-night Western Galapagos cruise, and an eight-night combination covering Northern and Western Galapagos. All four options are now available to book for travel in 2023 and 2024.
“The iconic Galapagos can be considered a planet within planet Earth due to its distinct wildlife and pristine landscape … We are exceptionally proud to offer even more chances to sustainably connect with this adventure travel treasure,” said Asta Lassesen, CEO of Hurtigruten Expeditions.
In addition to the new itineraries, Hurtigruten Expeditions is expanding its land-based pre- and post-program, adding the award-winning Mashpi Lodge, located a few hours northwest of Quito, as a unique three-night pre- or post-tour for any Galapagos cruise.
In preparation for its inaugural voyage next month, the 50-cabin MS Santa Cruz II has been fully upgraded with refreshed public areas, cabins and suites. Besides the spacious Darwin Suites, the ship also features dedicated family and single cabins, all of which now offer new mattresses and beddings. A separate upgrade is the dining menu, which now boasts vegan and more vegetarian options at breakfast, lunch and dinner. A Science Corner was also added in line with Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Science Program.
The launch of new Galapagos itineraries follows Hurtigruten Expeditions’ long-term partnership with Ecuador’s metropolitan Tourism, which effectively founded expedition cruising in Galapagos more than 70 years ago. This, says the cruise line, gives guests unique access to local experiences and the best landing sites in the archipelago.
Added Lassesen, “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 Galapagos, which are all distinctively different from each other, offering guests an otherworldly experience combined with incredible wildlife.”
To view all Galapagos itineraries go to hurtigruten.com/destinations/Galápagos-islands.