Beyond Imagination

Black volcanic rocks, white-sand beaches, sapphire-blue waters, and sherbet horizons. Wake up to animals straight from your childhood dreams and swim with rainbow-coloured fish. Galápagos cruises with Hurtigruten Expeditions are beyond imagination.

Better Than A Dream

There are countless reasons why the Galápagos Islands are an extraordinary destination. This collection of remote islands is home to some of the most unique wildlife species on the planet. When you visit the Galápagos Islands with Hurtigruten, you will be submerged in breath-taking beauty, with the opportunity to encounter a diverse selection of flora and fauna. Winding through the volcanic terrain, you will be awe-struck by the iconic beauty and immense views.

Are you ready to dive into an experience that is beyond imagination?

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Galápagos with Hurtigruten Expeditions.
Photo: iStock

Experience More

When travelling to the Galápagos Islands with Hurtigruten Expeditions, you’ll have the chance to explore both land and sea, with daily excursions including:

  • Guided expeditions through National Parks on multiple Galápagos Islands
  • Kayaking and paddle boarding adventures through tropical waters
  • Whale and dolphin watching on small-boat excursions
  • Snorkelling amongst the immaculate marine life
  • Exquisite dining and shopping experiences in quaint yet cultured shops and restaurants
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Galápagos with Hurtigruten Expeditions.
Photo: iStock

On the Wild Side

One of the most defining factors of Galápagos is the wide selection of animal species that are endemic to the islands. The “Big 15” animals are the most iconic breeds across the archipelago including: Galápagos Giant Tortoise, Galápagos Albatross, Galápagos Penguin, Red Footed Booby, Blue Footed Booby, Galápagos Flamingo, and more. During your trip to Galápagos, you are likely to encounter many of these animals!

On the Wild Side

One of the most defining factors of Galápagos is the wide selection of animal species that are endemic to the islands. The “Big 15” animals are the most iconic breeds across the archipelago including: Galápagos Giant Tortoise, Galápagos Albatross, Galápagos Penguin, Red Footed Booby, Blue Footed Booby, Galápagos Flamingo, and more. During your trip to Galápagos, you are likely to encounter many of these animals!

Galápagos Giant Tortoise

Galápagos Flamingo

Galápagos Penguin

Blue Footed Boobie

Download our Big 15 (PDF)

Small-Ship Experience

After a long day of exploration, the Santa Cruz II offers an amazing ambiance that gives travellers the opportunity to unwind. In the evenings, guests can be found sipping cocktails on the sky deck, unwinding in the hot tub, or reading in the corner of the library. With five-star dining options and engaging sessions on offer, guests are consistently amazed by the quality of service offered on the ship. Each room is designed and customised to provide top-notch comfort to all travellers.

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young hiker walking along the shore
Photo: Shutterstock

Discover the Galápagos Islands with Our Experts

Our seasoned experts will serve as your invaluable hosts during your Galápagos expedition. They will guide you through a wide range of activities both ashore and onboard, and share their extensive knowledge on everything from marine biology and wildlife to local history, geology, and how to protect the pristine environment. Their knowledge and operational experience is second to none, and their passion and energy is contagious.

young hiker walking along the shore
Photo: Shutterstock
Machu Picchu, Peru
Photo: Bérenger Zyla, Getty-Images

Extend Your Expedition

Before embarking on your Galápagos Expedition Cruise, spend four days discovering the lost civilisation of the Incas, and visit the breathtaking mountain stronghold of Machu Picchu.  

In addition to seeing one of the most important archeological sites in South America, you’ll also visit Cusco, the historic city of capital of the Inca Empire, see the stunning Andean highland scenery during a train ride to Machu Picchu, and enjoy an overnight in the capital of Peru.

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Machu Picchu, Peru
Photo: Bérenger Zyla, Getty-Images

Fun Facts

The Galápagos Islands are an Archipelago and National Park. They are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galápagos Islands are formed of lava piles and dotted with shield volcanoes, many of which are periodically active. The Galápagos Islands consist of 13 major islands, 6 smaller islands, & scores of islets and rocks lying near the Equator.

The Galápagos Islands are part of Ecuador.

The Galápagos Islands can be found 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador and 550 miles west of South America in the Pacific Ocean.

Galápagos penguins live and breed on the Galápagos Islands all year round. Visitors can find them on the Isabela & Fernandina islands. They can also be seen on the islands of Floreana, Santiago and Bartolome.

  • The Giant Galápagos tortoise is the world’s biggest tortoise species. They can be more than 5 feet long and weigh over 225 kg. They have one of the longest life spans of all known vertebrates. They often live to be over 100 years old. They are endangered.
  • Most people think of the Giant Tortoise when they think of the Galápagos Tortoise. In fact, it is a category of tortoise that has 12 species found on the different islands of the archipelago.
  • Galápagos Tortoises cannot swim and live their lives on the islands in the Galápagos Archipelago.

To truly experience the most isolated and beautiful islands of the Galápagos archipelago, as well as to ensure that you have the opportunity to see the unique wildlife that can be found close by, we believe that you need a minimum of 5 days.

There are 56 species of birds native to the Galápagos Islands. They can be found there throughout the year. Additionally, there are 29 species of migratory birds.

There are 56 species of animals that live in the Galápagos archipelago, 27 of which are native and can only be found in the islands. Six of these native species are critically endangered.

The Galápagos Islands are an all-year-round destination. The equatorial climate makes the Galápagos weather consistent from month to month. There are subtle differences in seasons. The ‘warm’ season occurs from December until May and is the best time of year for snorkelling. The ‘cool’ season occurs from June until November. This is the best season to view dolphins, whales and other large marine animals. Visiting during the crossover between the warm and cool seasons in May & November can result in the best of both worlds.

  • January: perfect for snorkelling and bird watching. Green sea turtles arrive on beaches to lay their eggs.
  • February: Perfect for kayaking & snorkelling. Flamingos & marine iguanas begin to nest.
  • March: the perfect time to snorkel with penguins and tropical fish. Waved albatrosses arrive on the islands.
  • April: one of the most popular times of the year to visit. Perfect for snorkelling. End of hatching season for the giant tortoises. Eggs of green sea turtles begin to hatch & babies emerge. Land iguanas’ eggs hatch.
  • May: dynamic weather & very active animals. Blue-footed boobies start their mating rituals, sea turtles start hatching, band-rumped storm petrels nest & Galápagos penguins are very active on the surface.
  • June: cooler season. Giant tortoises begin migration for nesting, southern migratory birds stop over on their migration north. Humpback whales can be seen migrating off the coast of the archipelago.
  • July: the seabird community is actively breeding, flightless cormorants perform beautiful courtship rituals, lava lizards begin mating rituals, whales & dolphins can be observed easily. This is also one of the best times to see the four life stages of the blue-footed boobies: eggs, chicks, juveniles & sub-adults.
  • August: cooler weather, perfect for hiking. Migratory shore birds arrive, giant tortoises return to the highlands of Santa Cruz, and the main birthing season for the sea lions begins.
  • September: coolest temperature of the year. Sea lions, penguins, & seabirds are the most active.
  • October: lava herons are nesting, fur seals begin mating, blue-footed boobies raise chicks, giant tortoises are still laying eggs & sea lion pups are all around.
  • November: the warm weather arrives, species of jellyfish can be seen throughout the archipelago, band-rumped storm petrels begin their second nesting period, and sea lion pups playfully watch snorkellers.
  • December: hatching of giant tortoise eggs, green sea turtles mate, marine & land iguanas start their mating season, and waved albatrosses fledge.

Hurtigruten aims to protect the delicate and beautiful ecosystem that we explore. Modern engine technology economises fuel consumption and our onboard water-desalination and -treatment plants protect the waters around the Galápagos Islands. Guests’ ecological footprints are minimised and their visits become part of conservation efforts thanks to a company-wide commitment to sustainability. The footprint caused by your visit to the Galápagos Islands isn’t just reduced, it is actually offset and cancelled out via our exemplary Carbon Neutral Programme. Additionally, all our ships are single-use-plastic free, and we work to ensure that we take every precaution to protect the places we visit.

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Pelican flying over shore

New destination

You can now discover the wonderful Galápagos Islands with Hurtigruten Expeditions.

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