Galapagos Legend

Former names: Galapagos Discovery, Helgoland, Stena Finlandia, Baltic Star

Galapagos Legend current position

Galapagos Legend current location is at South America West Coast (coordinates -0.25836 S / -90.24105 W) cruising at speed of 11.9 kn (22 km/h | 14 mph) en route to LA TRANCA. The AIS position was reported 1 minute ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Galapagos Legend

Year of build1963  /  Age: 61
Flag state Ecuador
Builder(HDW) Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (Kiel, Germany)
Classexpedition ship
Speed17 kn / 31 km/h / 20 mph
Length (LOA)92 m / 302 ft
Beam (width)14 m / 46 ft
Gross Tonnage2890 gt
Passengers112 - 162
Decks with cabins4
Last Refurbishment2017
Former namesGalapagos Discovery, Helgoland, Stena Finlandia, Baltic Star
OwnerGalatours Ecuador
OperatorKleintours Galapagos

Galapagos Legend Review

Review of Galapagos Legend

The 1963-built MV Galapagos Legend cruise ship is owned by the Ecuadorian shipping company Galatours and operated by Kleintours. The vessel was formerly sailing under the names Baltic Star, Stena Finlandia, Helgoland, Galapagos Discovery. Galapagos Legend itinerary program offers voyages in the Galapagos Archipelago exclusively. The ship was extensively drydock refurbished and reconstructed twice - in 2002 and in 2017.

Galapagos Legend cruise ship

Established by Maria Augusta Klein in 1983, Kleintours is a family-owned and operated cruise company ranked one of the biggest in the Galapagos region by annual passenger volume. Kleintours started to change its branding by introducing "Go Galapagos Ecuador". However, whether the company is popular as Kleintours or Go Galapagos, passengers can expect the same value and service established by the Klein family decades ago. Kleintours cruises offer good value for money, with custom-designed itineraries raging 4-5-8-10-11-15-days and priced from USD 1800 (~EUR 1500/GBP 1300) per person with double occupancy.

The vessel (IMO number 5404964) is Ecuador-flagged (MMSI 735057603) since 2018. This luxury expedition ship is fitted with 22x liferafts (each with capacity 25 passengers), 6 dinghies (small boats with capacity 20 passengers each), 1 glass-bottom boat, 5 sea kayaks (4 double, 1 single).

The total 60 crew-staff includes also 7 tour guides (multilingual naturalists) and 1 Expedition Leader. All tour guides speak Spanish and English, but other languages can be requested in advance. Guides accompany cruise tourists on all island tours, educational and sports activities. Stargazing presentations are themed on the constellations used for navigation.

Decks and Cabins

Galapagos Legend staterooms (56 total) are mainly outside. Only 3 Inside cabins lack windows (Standard Interior) while the rest (7x Standard Plus) are with two Portholes (small round-shaped, non-opening windows). Most are Junior Suites (each with 2 large windows). Balcony Suites (18 total) are all with private step-out balconies accessed via sliding floor-ceiling glass doors.

The boat has 5 decks, of which 4 are passenger-accessible and all with cabins. Deck 1 houses the machinery. Staff-crew cabins are aft on Deck 2.

All cabins offer as standard/complimentary amenities two lower single beds (or 1 double bed, luxury bedding, pillow menu with 3 types of pillows), bedside tables (1-drawer), underbed storage (for suitcases), wall-mounted reading lamps, seating area (comfortable furniture, black-out curtains), smart LCD TV (Infotainment system), direct-dial phone (intercom and international satellite connections), electronic safe box and lifejackets (in the closet), en suite bathroom (WC-toilet, shower, washbasin, towels, hairdryer), air-conditioning.

Suites are with double-triple-quadruple occupancy and additionally have premium bathrobes, luxury-brand bath products, sofas, mini-bars/refrigerators, Champagne (upon arrival), large verandas with deckchairs and tables.

Galapagos Legend cruise ship

Shipboard facilities and amenities

The 110-passenger ship Galapagos Legend was constructed in Kiel Germany (by HDF-Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft) and converted totally at Ecuador's shipyards in December 2001-2002.

Designed specifically for cruising in the Galapagos Islands, MV Galapagos Legend offers all large-ship amenities yet still features the intimate feel of a family-style private yacht vacation - with modern hotel amenities, comfortable bar and quality dining experiences.

On Sea Deck are located Lonesome George Restaurant (dining room with ), adjacent Galley/kitchen and storage rooms for food and beverages), the ship's both Embarkation Areas (portside and starboard), Medical Clinic (Infirmary/Hospital), Sauna Room, Snorkeling Equipment Room (storage) and Auditorium (lecture hall/meeting room with 2 large HDTVs, PC desk, armchairs). Lonesome George Restaurant has full-seating capacity, comfortable furniture, wooden finishes. here are served complimentary buffet-style breakfasts and lunches while dinners are waiter-served. Menus include both Ecuadorian and international dishes (meats, salads, desserts) prepared from fresh, locally-sourced products.

On Earth Deck (Lobby Deck) are located Kid's Corner (indoor playground with an interactive table, books, board games), Interpretation Center/Library (small room with 4 armchairs, 1 low table, books on shelves, 4 porthole windows with hallway views), Boutique Shop (sportswear, perfumes, cosmetics, sunglasses, travel essentials, hand-made souvenirs, logoed merchandise, Ecuadorian handicrafts and products), Front Desk (Reception providing guest services between 6:30 am - 10 pm), Science Corner. Aft is the Fitness Center (Gym Room with floor-ceiling windows and modern training equipment / exercise bikes, rowing machine, free weights). From the Gym is accessed a small Sundeck (sunbathing area with padded loungers, massage chairs) and a large Jacuzzi (outdoor whirlpool hot tub).

On Sky Deck are located Dolphin Observation Deck (forward-facing sundeck area with loungers), Charles Darwin Bar Lounge (with panoramic windows, comfortable furniture, 24-hour Coffee and Tea Station), Naturalist Guide Center. The aft-located Sun Deck has a Swimming Pool and Sun Terrace (sunbathing area with loungers, low tables, 2 daybeds, hammocks). Sun Deck is served with beverages and light snacks by the outdoor Fisherman's Bar. At Charles Darwin Lounge can be also purchased made-to-order food. Fisherman's Bar offers beers, wines by the glass, cocktails, soft drinks. Beverages can be purchased via drink packages or a la carte.

On Moon Deck are the Navigation Bridge (Wheelhouse) and adjacent Captain's Suite and Officers' Room. Aft is located an outdoor mini-deck (called Stargazing Area) - an open-air area housing the Al Fresco Restaurant and Lifeboat Dinning. Curiously, both lifeboats (portside and starboard) are used as dining venues. Once-per cruise, on Moon Deck is held an outdoor party (ice cream- or BBQ-themed).

Galapagos Legend cruise ship

Several water bottle filling stations are dispersed throughout the ship. Lobby's Reception Desk provides guest services between 6:30 am and 10 pm. Smoking is allowed only in outdoor areas.

All off-ship activities (landings, tours, coastal boating) end with snacks and beverages. Snorkeling equipment is provided complimentary to all passengers. Wetsuits and glass-bottom kayaks are optional and can be rented, as well as scuba diving. Fun activities in the evenings include karaoke, live piano performances, salsa dancing, movie nights in the Auditorium), playing table games, Neptune Party.


Disney Galapagos cruises 2022

In March 2021, DCL-Disney Cruise Line (via Adventures by Disney) announced a Galapagos program starting in 2022 and based on the chartered boat Galapagos Legend.

DCL's Galapagos deals are inclusive of a 9-day/8-night package (roundtrip cruise itinerary with two domestic flights Quito-Baltra-Quito), 23 meals (8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 7 Dinners), 1-night Quito hotel stay (pre-cruise). International flights (to/from Wyndham Quito Airport) are not included in cruise fares.

Disney Galapagos cruise itinerary includes Quito City (hotel/Day1), Baltra Island (ship embarkation/Day2), South Plaza Island (Day3/morning guided Wildlife Walk), North Seymour Island (Day3/guided hiking tour and snorkeling), San Cristobal Island (Day4/Pitt Point debarkation, guide Coastline Tour-hiking-sea kayaking-snorkeling, Cerro Brujo Beach), San Cristobal Island (Day5/visit to Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve's breeding center, hiking to Cerro Tijeretas Hill, visit to Organic Farm & Restaurant), Espanola Island (Day6/Gardner Bay debarkation, guided hiking-swimming-snorkeling, hiking Suarez Point), Floreana Island (Day7/morning Walk Tour, guided swimming-snorkeling, visit to Post Office Bay, playing soccer with the cruise ship's crew, guided tour to Cormorant Point, Devil's Crown nad Champion Islet), Santa Cruz Island (Day8/visits to Charles Darwin Research Station, Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Centro de Educacion Basica Oswaldo Guayasamin, Quiman Valle Coffee Farm, guided boat tour to Ballena Bay and Eden Islet), Baltra Island (ship debarkation, flight to Quito).

Galapagos Islands cruise itinerary map

Disney Galapagos cruise prices started at USD 6300 (EUR 5290/GBP 4518) for adults and USD 5600 (EUR 4700/GBP 4016) for children, with double occupancy. Adventures by Disney limits Galapagos bookings with a min age 12-years-old.

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During its service, the vessel was named Helgoland (1963-1972/by HADAG), Stena Finlandica (1972-1975, by STENA LINE/Stena Reederei GmbH), Baltic Star (1975-2000, by KG Seetouristik, and FRS Group via Forde Reederei Seetouristik GmbH/Fast Reliable Seaways/German ferry company) and Galapagos Legend (since 2000).

The first shipowner (HADAG Seetouristik und FAhrdienst AG) is a Hamburg-based transport company (1888-founded) that owns and operates ferries on Elbe River. HADAG stands for "Hafen-Dampfschifffahrt AG" (translated as "harbor steamship travel")

In the period 1966-1971, the vessel Helgoland was chartered to DRK (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz/German Red Cross) and operated as the hospital ship Helgoland. It was fitted with 150 hospital beds, 3 operating rooms, 4 medical departments (surgery, internal medicine, gynecology, radiology). The ship's med staff (out of 30 crew) included 8 doctors, 18 nurses, 4 med technicians, 4 administrators. When operated by West Germany (during the USA-Vietnam War), between September 1966 and June 1967 on the hospital ship were conducted ~21000 med treatments (including 850 major surgeries) and handled ~6700 patients.

In 1972, the initial shipowner HADAG sold the vessel to Stena Reederei GmbH. Renamed "Stena Finlandica", the ferry started regularly scheduled passenger shipping services on the Sweden-Finland route Stockholm-Mariehamn (Aland), and also on the Germany-Denmark route Kiel-Korsor.

In 1975 the ferry was chartered to Forde Reederei Seetouristik GmbH, renamed "Baltic Star" and deployed on the Germany-Denmark route Travemunde-Rodbyhavn. In 1976 the ship was acquired by KG Seetouristik (Flensburg Germany). In the period 1993-1999, when owned by FRS, the 1500-passenger ship served the German brand "Butter Cruises".

In 2000 the ship was acquired by Latin Cruises, drydock-converted into the 100-passenger cruise ship "Galapagos Legend" and deployed year-round in Ecuador's Galapagos Archipelago. In 2006, the vessel was acquired by the Guayaquil Ecuador-based shipping company Galatours.