MS Roald Amundsen
13 days

Diverse Cultures of South America with Galápagos Islands

Price from
$ 9353
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
MS Roald Amundsen
13 days

Diverse Cultures of South America with Galápagos Islands

Price from
$ 9353
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Diverse Cultures of South America with Galápagos Islands
Departure
3 April 2022
  • Visit a range of unique, characterful communities along South America´s Pacific Coast
  • Discover wondrous wildlife in the biologically diverse Galápagos Islands

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Itinerary

Start your expedition cruise in UNESCO-listed Valparaíso before journeying north to scenic seaside communities La Serena, Iquique, Arica and Paracas. From Callao, you’ll fly to Ecuador’s capital of Quito and then continue to the famed Galápagos Islands. With Santa Cruz Island as your base, explore two further islands in the archipelago, seeing the incredible diversity of wildlife here.
Day 1
Valparaíso, Chile

3 April 2022

Estimated time of departure is 4:00 PM

Vibrant hilltop city
Colorful houses in front of the blue Ocean in Valparaiso, Chile.
Photo: shutterstock

Your hybrid-powered expedition ship MS Roald Amundsen awaits you in Valparaíso in central Chile. Built on steep hillsides overlooking the ocean, the UNESCO-listed city is a maze of monuments, churches, historical funicular lifts, trendy barrios, cobblestone alleys, colourful houses and charming plazas. Cerros Alegre and Concepción have probably the best views while the historic port district boasts colonial architecture, bustling mercados, and the maritime and modern art museums. You also have the option to a

Once on board the ship, you’ll be busy picking up your complimentary expedition jacket, settling into your cabin, exploring the ship and attending a mandatory safety drill. After dinner and a welcome toast by the Captain, you’ll meet your Expedition Team who run through important health and safety aspects with you.

Colorful houses in front of the blue Ocean in Valparaiso, Chile.
Photo: shutterstock
Church with big tress in front in La Serena, Chile.
Photo: Camille Seaman
Day 2
La Serena, Chile

4 April 2022

Neo-colonial and classy
Church with big tress in front in La Serena, Chile.
Photo: Camille Seaman

Perched on ocean terraces, La Serena is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches all along Avenida del Mar and beyond. You’ll find that Chile’s second-oldest city has a distinct and purposeful neo-colonial look and feel to it. Modern buildings sit interspersed with classic architecture, such as the 30 or so carefully restored stone churches, some of which are 350 years old. If the churches, while charming, start to look the same to you, a helpful hint is to distinguish them by their different styles of belfries.

Aside from wandering the beaches, promenades and plazas, you can also stroll through manicured public gardens like the Japanese-inspired Jardín del Corazón or shop for arts and crafts at Recova Market. The archaeological museum houses pre-colonial artefacts while the hidden lane of Patio Colonial near Balmaceda is the place to go for chilled-out cafés and eateries.

Day 3
At Sea

5 April 2022

Relax on board
4 people standing on the outdoor deck, looking into the water.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

Enjoy the serenity of this day at sea, relaxing and admiring the scenery from the observation deck or over in the lounge.

Throughout your journey, the Expedition Team will be running lectures in the Science Center to share their extensive knowledge of the region with you. Topics could include periods of pre-Columbian history, the geology of the surrounding mountains and islands, folklore of local communities, and so on. But not all lectures are confined to indoors. If the ship attracts seabirds who come to fly alongside us, the Expedition Team might also help you spot and identify these feathered followers out on deck.

4 people standing on the outdoor deck, looking into the water.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Old mine in the desert, Iquique, Humberstone.
Photo: Shutterstock
Day 4
Iquique, Chile

6 April 2022

Chile’s Premier Beach Resort
Old mine in the desert, Iquique, Humberstone.
Photo: Shutterstock

Welcome to a slice of paradise by the Pacific, complete with palm trees and promenades. As one of Chile’s top seaside cities, Iquique is a hive of activity all year around. Shoppers stream to the duty-free Zofri Mall while maritime enthusiasts will be enthralled by a tour of La Esmeralda corvette that hails from the War of the Pacific. Our main plan here is a visit to the nearby abandoned saltpeter mining town of Humberstone in the Atacama Desert, a UNESCO site and history you can literally walk through.

Back in Iquique, head along the boardwalk of La Costenera next to the sands of Playa Cavancha and admire the scenery of the city skyline on one side and parasailors and surfers on the other. Baquedano Street showcases 19th century Georgian architecture and leads to Astoreca Palace and a photogenic clock tower at the centre of town. You’ll also find many a chic café where you can indulge in local coffee culture or sip on a traditional creamy mango sour. A Chinatown has sprung up around the mercado, marrying Peruvian and Chinese flavours to invent unique chifa cuisine. Aside from a variety of seafood dishes, you’ll definitely want to try chumbeque, a dessert that blends fried thin dough with fruity caramels.

Day 5
Arica, Chile

7 April 2022

‘City of Everlasting Spring’
Bird stands on beach in Arica at sunset.
Photo: Shutterstock

Unusually for a city by the sea, Arica enjoys a constant desert climate and is classed as one of the driest cities in the world. This also means that it is bathed in glorious sunshine almost every day of the year, and residents proudly like to refer to Arica as enjoying a never-ending spring season. The beaches are popular with sunbathers and surfers alike and the views from the tall, sandy El Morro cliff are well worth the 15-minute hike to the fluttering Chilean flag at the top.

Another hotspot for visitors is San Marcos Cathedral, designed by Gustave Eiffel of Parisian fame and inaugurated in 1876. Calles 21 de Mayo and Bolognesi are lively, pedestrianised areas with plenty of eateries and artesanía stalls while El Agro market and food court is full of sights and scents. Over at the local San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum, you can peruse artefacts from the Chinchorro culture and marvel at mummies which are older than even ones found in Egypt. Head to the south of the city to trek the more rugged Playa Corazones and explore the Caves of Anzota. You’ll also have the opportunity to see geolyphs in Lluta Valley and Lauca National Park on an optional excursion.

Bird stands on beach in Arica at sunset.
Photo: Shutterstock
Woman and man on outdoor deck looking for birds, pointing and looking in binoculars.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Day 6
At Sea

8 April 2022

Fresh sea air
Woman and man on outdoor deck looking for birds, pointing and looking in binoculars.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

As we sail further north toward Peru, continue to enjoy the Expedition Team’s lecture programme, the healthy salt-tinged breeze and views out on deck, and all the facilities the expedition ship has to offer. These waters are also part of the Humboldt Current, a cold-water current that cools the climate in the region and creates clear skies. It also sustains a highly productive marine eco-system in the region, stimulating the growth of sardines, anchovies, and mackerel in huge quantities.

If you’re someone who likes to keep active, there are well-equipped gyms on board, both indoor and outdoor and each with great views. Swimmers aren’t left out either and the ship has a heated infinity pool for you to enjoy. If you tire of the treadmill, take your trainers on the outdoor running track. The scenery and the sea breeze will spur you on to do a few miles more.

Day 7
Paracas, Peru

9 April 2022

Birds and brandy
Birds sitting on a rock, Ballestas Islands.
Photo: Shutterstock

Positioned on a bay behind a peninsula, the small and sleepy resort town of Paracas is surrounded by brown-sugar cliffs and beaches. Known to most as El Chaco, the town has an array of restaurants along the main shorefront and boulevard where you can tuck into jalea, a mishmash of fried seafood with salsa criolla and yuca root. Peruvian silverside fish, known as pejerry, is also a local speciality, best washed down with a glass of pisco – grape brandy which is produced at tourable distilleries in the region. Be careful though, pisco can pack quite the punch!

Opposite Paracas harbour is a mysterious local geoglyph of a candelabra that possibly dates back to 200 BCE. It could be related to the famous Nazca Lines which you can visit in the Pisco valley a short drive away to the south as part of an optional excursion. The Nazca Lines themselves could be older than the candelabra but new ones are still being discovered, prompting all sorts of theories as to their (extra-terrestrial?) origin.

You may also take a boat tour of the nearby Ballestas Islands, which are considered to be the lesser Galápagos Islands. The Ballestas support a range of wildlife, including Humboldt penguins, turtles, Peruvian boobies, cormorants, pelicans, sea lions, dolphins, Inca terns and humpback whales. There’s also Paracas National Reserve nearby, covering a rare combination of desert and marine ecosystems in its territory. The Martian-like yellow dunes and red-sand beaches hide more than 100 archaeological sites of the Paracas culture and grant otherworldly views to birds such as the Andean condor and Chilean flamingo.

Birds sitting on a rock, Ballestas Islands.
Photo: Shutterstock
Beautiful building from below, in Lima.
Photo: Shutterstock
Day 8
Callao / Lima, Peru / Quito, Ecuador

10 April 2022

On a high
Beautiful building from below, in Lima.
Photo: Shutterstock

We dock in Callao and travel a short distance to Lima airport for your flight to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. After you arrive and the transfer brings you to your hotel, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore at your leisure, with dinner served at the hotel. 

Originally settled by the Quitu tribe in the first millennium, Quito was eventually integrated into the Inca Empire before being refounded in 1534 by Spanish conqueror Sebastian de Benalcásar. Take a walk in the city’s historic centre to see splendidly restored period buildings and colonial-era churches lining the narrow, cobbled streets. You’ll understand why Quito’s historic centre is described as the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved historic areas in the Americas. For those reasons, it was among the first places to ever be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. 

Don’t be surprised if you should feel a little short of breath when exploring the city though. At 2,850 metres above sea level, Quito is the second highest capital in the world after La Paz in Bolivia which is about 650 metres higher. 

Day 9
Quito, Ecuador

11 April 2022

Views from the Middle of the World
Sun statue at museum in Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Shutterstock

Once you have enjoyed your breakfast, we’ll take you to Inti Ñan Museum in the aptly named City in the Middle of the World which claims to be built right on the equator. Here, you’ll see a range of totem poles and observe gravitational effects that can only occur at the equator. You’ll also learn about the traditions of rural life, including the customs and rituals of indigenous Quechua-speaking tribes of the Amazon.  

We then ascend the Teleférico, one of Quito’s most popular attractions that connects the city centre to Cruz Loma hill on the east side of the Pichincha volcano. The ride lasts only 10 minutes, but you’ll shoot up to an altitude of 4,050 metres for an incredible view of Quito, the surrounding valleys and the snow-covered volcanoes. It can get chilly up there so remember to bring something warm to wear! 

When we return in Quito, we’ll have lunch in the charming colonial quarter before enjoying a sightseeing tour of the area. Dinner will be served at the hotel and the evening is spent at your leisure. 

Sun statue at museum in Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Shutterstock
Square with some trees and people, surrounded by white buildings in Quito City, Ecuador.
Photo: Shutterstock
Woman on Galapagos taking a selfie with giant land tortoise in the background.
Photo: Shutterstock
Birds, sea lions and fishermen at a fish market in Santa Cruz in the Galapagos Islands.
Photo: Shutterstock
Woman walking behind a giant tortoise on Galapagos.
Photo: Shutterstock
Day 10
Quito/Baltra Island/Santa Cruz Island

12 April 2022

Arriving at Santa Cruz Island
Birds, sea lions and fishermen at a fish market in Santa Cruz in the Galapagos Islands.
Photo: Shutterstock

You’ll start your day with breakfast at the hotel before we drive to Quito Airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands (via Guayaquil).  When we arrive at Baltra’s airport, our local representative will transfer you to Itabaca Channel where a small ferry brings you to the island of Santa Cruz.  

We’ll travel through a rural agricultural area surrounded by wild landscapes and many different species of flora and fauna. If you are lucky, you might spot a few of the famous finches which inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution. The highlands are one of the best places on the island to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Easy to spot, they lumber around eating grass and leaves and wallow in the small, muddy rain-formed pools. Younger ones tend to be smaller with shinier carapaces while the larger, older ones wear weathered and worn shells like the distinguished armour of a long life – over 100 years in the wild. 

Once you’ve settled into your hotel in the town of Puerto Ayora, we’ll walk to the nearby Charles Darwin Research Station. The station hosts educational museums on both the history and development of the Galápagos Islands and the range of protections given to this natural heritage. Native giant land tortoises can also be observed here, and the station is the only place in the Galápagos where most of the different species reside at one site.   

The afternoon is at your leisure to explore the small, picturesque Puerto Ayora and its many local arts and crafts shops. See the colourful murals at the churches around town or take a short walk to Tortuga Bay to look for marine iguanas, crabs, and white tip reef sharks among the mangroves. Dinner will be served at the hotel´s restaurant.

Beautiful peninsula surrounded by blue water and mountains, Bartolome Island, Galapagos.
Day 11-12
Santa Cruz Island

13 April 2022 - 14 April 2022

Galápagos Island Hopping
Day 11-12
Santa Cruz Island

13 April 2022 - 14 April 2022

Galápagos Island Hopping
Beautiful peninsula surrounded by blue water and mountains, Bartolome Island, Galapagos.
Photo: Shutterstock

After breakfast, we'll begin to explore the islands that have become synonymous with the theory of evolution and hailed as a natural laboratory for natural selection. The range of wildlife on display in the islands is mind-boggling, full of endemic species and subspecies from the wonderful to the weird and everything in between. Over two days, you’ll visit two islands out of a possible six, going to one island each day by boat. Which ones you’ll see will be on the say-so of the park authorities who regulate and assign visitors a month beforehand. 

Will it be Bartolomé Island, famous for the dramatic Pinnacle Rock and the rare colony of Galápagos penguins at its base? Or perhaps, it’ll be North Seymour Island, site of large populations of the hilarious blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and magnificent frigatebirds? Santa Fe Island is known to have some of the most beautiful coves in the archipelago with beaches covered in lounging sea lions. Or maybe you’ll go to South Plaza Island where a growing colony of land iguanas roam among the prickly pear cactus trees. Perhaps it’ll be southernmost Floreana Island for the flamingo lagoon and, with some luck, signs of the bright green and red marine iguanas usually found here. Or will it be the largest of all the islands, Isabela, home to a variety of mangroves and more wild tortoises than anywhere in the archipelago? 

It’s clear that whichever two islands you get to set foot on and explore, you’re in for a real treat! You’ll go on walks ashore and learn about the island’s geology, human history, and the exceptionally diverse wildlife all around you. After two days, you’ll understand just why Darwin was so impressed by the islands and why they inspired his world-changing theory. 

Yellow and orange land iguane on Galapagos.
Photo: Shutterstock
The Twins volcanos on Galapagos - forest above and below mountain wall.
Photo: Shutterstock
Day 13
Santa Cruz Island/Baltra Island/Guayaquil

15 April 2022

Return to mainland Ecuador
The Twins volcanos on Galapagos - forest above and below mountain wall.
Photo: Shutterstock

After breakfast at the hotel, it’ll be time to make our way to Baltra airport to fly to Guayaquil and from there on to your connecting flight home. But, on the way to Baltra airport, we’ll have just enough time to squeeze in one last stop to see 'Los Gemelos' – a pair of sinkholes often mistaken for volcanic craters in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Keep an eye out for the striking vermilion flycatcher and the endemic short-ear owl of the Galápagos which are often seen in this area.

With that, your expedition is over. You’ll have journeyed from the marvel of human engineering at the Panama Canal and its complex lock system through to the Galápagos Islands, birthplace of Darwin’s radical biological theory of natural selection and a sanctuary for unique wildlife found nowhere else in the world.

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.
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What's included

Included in your voyage

Land-Programme Galápagos Island after the cruise 

  • Economy flight Lima to Quito and Quito to Baltra 
  • Two nights in Quito, including breakfast and dinner 
  • Three nights at hotel in Santa Cruz Island /Galápagos, including full board 
  • Economy flight Baltra to Guayaquil 
  • All transfers, excursions and meals as described, including English-speaking guide 
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee 

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim 
    À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • 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 organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track  
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings 

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team   
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area  

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements 
  • No gratuities expected 
MS Roald Amundsen
Science Center
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon
A small boat in a large body of water

Your ship

MS Roald Amundsen

Year built 2019
Shipyard Kleven Yards
Passenger capacity 530 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots
MS Roald Amundsen

In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.

Read more about MS Roald Amundsen

Aune Restaurant, MS Roald Amundsen
Photo: Espen Mills
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