Galapagos Santa Cruz Ship
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Santa Cruz II

A spacious, state-of-the-art Galapagos ship with exceptional service to indulge every type of traveler.

Overview

The luxury M/V Santa Cruz II has 50 cabins for 90 guests across five spacious decks, indeed it has one of the highest guest to space ratios in the islands. With gorgeous chic interiors from the distinguished ship designer, Richard Nilsson, this stylish ship has it all: restaurant, indoor and outdoor social areas, hot tubs, a gym, entertainment room … the list is endless.

Life On Board

Picture yourself taking in the beauty of the Galapagos as you sunbathe on Sky Deck or unwind in one of the twin hot tubs on board. Happy Hour anyone? Make your way to the stunning outdoor terrace and adjacent bar & lounge on Panorama Deck. If you’re not there enjoying freshly barbequed snacks, there’s always the Beagle Restaurant to treat your tastebuds to exquisite international and Ecuadorian cuisine from the Cordon Bleu-trained Gastronomy Director.

Fitness your thing? There’s a gym for you. A little bored? Head to the Discovery Room for entertainment. In need of quiet time? The Expedition Deck’s namesake lounge, with its refreshment station and library, is a fantastic chillout zone with spectacular views. Feeling ill? Reassuringly there is an onboard infirmary with resident Medical Officer on call 24/7.

Flexible & Exclusive Excursions

With her 8 expert naturalist guides (including an Expedition Leader to help coordinate activities), her on-shore excursions truly stand out from others, as on overage you will only have 11 guests per guide, much lower than the typical 16 guests per guide you see on other vessels, and with more groups, excursions can also be more tailored to the language, interests, abilities and age of guests, meaning a more intimate and rewarding learning experience for all.

What’s more, 99% of the visitor sites you explore won’t be shared with any other vessel, so you will be able to discover the islands much the same way Darwin himself did, with no other boats in sight. The ship has all the facilities you’d expect for aquatic activities like kayaks, masks, fins and snorkels (wetsuits are available for hire), but additionally guests have the great option to use the glass-bottom boat, ideal if you are tired or not too fond of snorkeling.

Family Favorite

The vessel is rightly popular with families, and not just because of the tailored excursions or numerous interconnectable and dedicated family cabins on board. The Santa Cruz II offers a “Pirates Aboard” kit with multiple activities for younger children as well as snorkeling lessons and panga rides designed for young adventurers. Parents and kids alike will appreciate the kid-sized meals served on a kids’ friendly schedule.

Whether you are a family, large group, couple or a solo traveler, with a variety of cabin options to choose from – there are single, double and family cabins available, many of which can be interconnected – the flexible and fun Santa Cruz II is a remarkable vessel with an excellent crew committed to making your Galapagos experience extraordinary.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 2
5-Day N
5-Day W

5 Day - Northern Islands

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon your arrival to Baltra Island in the morning, we will greet you to transfer you to the dock, all ready to board the Santa Cruz II! You will receive a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, and your first lunch onboard.

PM: This beautiful visitor site is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, a glorious white beach with a couple of brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. You may enjoy swimming and or snorkeling at this beach too. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday, and dinner.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day One - Embarkation.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 5

Buccaneer Cove & Puerto Egas

AM: After breakfast, we explore the coastline along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, learning about the area’s distant and recent history. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the “Elephant Rock”, “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. Opportunity for snorkeling, and a ride on the panga or glass-bottom boat.

PM: Once we disembark at the beach, we can enjoy a swim or snorkel amid a rocky shoreline, usually in the company of marine turtles. From here, we head off to our walk, a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and we can also observe a colony of fur-sea lions. After the visit, we had some time for swimming and snorkeling.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Two - Nazca Booby Sighting.
Location
Santiago
Day
2 / 5

Rabida Island & Bartolome Island

AM: Some groups will go for a fascinating panga ride along the shores while others will disembark on Rabida Island’s red-colored beach. The color here is caused by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. Our walk brings us close to a colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond occasionally hosts American flamingos. This is a great place for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers to snorkel straight from the shore. During navigation to our next island, we can sometimes spot dolphins!

PM: Today’s afternoon activities begin with a wet landing on the golden beach of this famous island, dominated by the imposing Pinnacle Rock. There’s great snorkeling and swimming from the beach plus the chance to ride the glass-bottom boat. After returning to the ship, we split into two groups: the first lands for a hike to the summit to see fantastic views of the archipelago. This is a moderately steep climb aided by a wooden staircase, resting platforms, and handrails – the view from the top is worth the effort! The second takes to the pangas to explore the rugged and volcanic shoreline. The groups then swap so that each one experiences the full beauty of this island.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Three - Panga Ride.
Location
Jervis - Bartolome
Day
3 / 5

Prince Philip's Steps & Darwin Bay

AM: The morning starts with a steep climb (only 90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat rocky plateau. Along our walk, we can observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigate birds, and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Kayaking is optional.

PM: In the afternoon, we land at this beautiful beach to enjoy some swimming and/or snorkeling. Following our dip, we take an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds. Opportunity for snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Four - Frigatebird Sighting.
Location
Genovesa
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: We start our last morning at the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. After breakfast, your luggage will be taken to the airport, while you visit the Tortoise Reserve. A dry landing at a passenger’s wharf and a bus ride to the loftier region of the island will provide the last highlight of the cruise: giant tortoises in the wild. The windward slopes of the island are home to two species of giant tortoises. These lush highlands include dense forests of Galapagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads, and several endemic land birds. After this visit, we will transfer you directly to Baltra airport to assist you with your departure flight, and bid you a final farewell. 

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Five - Disembarkation.
Location
Santa Cruz - Baltra
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

5 Day - Western Islands

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon your arrival to Baltra Island in the morning, we will greet you to transfer you to the dock, all ready to board the Santa Cruz II! You will receive a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, and your first lunch onboard.

PM: The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). The first part of our walk passes a brackish-water lagoon frequented by shorebirds, ducks, and American flamingos, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance of observing land iguanas.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day One - Flamingo Sighting.
Location
Santa Cruz Island
Day
1 / 5

Punta Vicente Roca & Punta Espinoza

AM: After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, a nesting place for several Galapagos highlights: flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, boobies, etc. Depending on weather conditions, we can snorkel along the cliffs of this area rich in marine life, seasonally-visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sunfish (Mola mola).

PM: The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins, and the flightless cormorants.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Two - Galapagos Scenery.
Location
Isabela - Fernandina
Day
2 / 5

Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station

AM: In the morning, we disembark (dry landing followed by a brief bus ride) for our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Centre within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest, home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation, and the National Park administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.

PM: We have several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. Options include beach walks, kayaks, walks along the tortoise reserve, etc. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Three - Galapagos Giant Tortoise.
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
3 / 5

Baroness Tower, Post Office Bay & Champion Islet

AM: After breakfast, enjoy a panga ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore. We follow this visit by continuing to Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views of Floreana. We land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Traditionally this is where postcards are left for guests to be hand-delivered to their destinations. We will stay here to snorkel from the beach. We then head back on board for lunch.

PM: Following lunch and a siesta, we take the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s on to Punta Cormorant. Beginning with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach we begin an easy walk. Here you will find a brackish-water lagoon where bird species such as American flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather. We continue our walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Four - Exploring the Galapagos Islands.
Location
Floreana
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: After breakfast, we will transfer you directly to Baltra airport to assist you with your departure flight, and bid you a final farewell.

Santa Cruz II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Five - Sally Lightfoot Crab Sighting.
Location
Baltra
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

Accommodations

Social Areas

Clinic
Dining Room
Discovery Room
Jacuzzi
Library
Gym
A woman getting checkup at the clinic onboard
Dining room onboard the Sant Cruz
Mother and daughter reading a book at the table
A woman in the jacuzzi
The library with colourful seats
Woman jogging at the gym onboard Santa Cruz II

Suites & Cabins

Santa Cruz II's Explorer Family Cabin - Horizon Deck.
2 Cabins

Explorer Family (Horizon Deck)

Guests
2
Size
18 m² / 192 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

The Explorer Family Cabins are 20% larger than standard Explorer Cabins and, as the name suggests, ideal for families, especially considering they are connectable with the neighboring Voyager or Explorer Cabins. They can be found towards the rear of the Horizon Deck.

Santa Cruz II's Explorer Cabin - Horizon Deck. Santa Cruz II's Explorer Cabin - Horizon Deck - Twin.
23 Cabins

Explorer Cabin (Horizon Deck)

Guests
2
Size
15 m² / 163 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

The Explorer Cabins can be found on Horizon, Expedition and Panorama Decks, but are all the same size so any price differential is due to deck choice. The Horizon Deck houses the gift shop, reception area, as well as the medical office.

Santa Cruz II's Explorer Cabin - Expedition Deck. Santa Cruz II's Explorer Cabin - Expedition Deck - Twin.
17 Cabins

Explorer Cabin (Expedition Deck)

Guests
2
Size
15 m² / 163 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

The Explorer Cabins can be found on Horizon, Expedition and Panorama Decks, but are all the same size so any price differential is due to deck choice. This deck features twin hot tubs at the rear, and the Expedition Lounge at the front of the ship.

Santa Cruz II's Explorer Cabin - Panorama Deck. Santa Cruz II's Explorer Cabin - Panorama Deck - Twin.
3 Cabins

Explorer Cabin (Panorama Deck)

Guests
2
Size
15 m² / 163 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

The Explorer Cabins can be found on Horizon, Expedition and Panorama Decks, but are all the same size so any price differential is due to deck choice. This deck features a rear terrace, holds the state-of-the-art bridge, and an indoor bar.

Santa Cruz II's Darwin Suite - Panorama Deck. Santa Cruz II's Darwin Suite - Panorama Deck - Bathroom.
3 Cabins

Darwin Suite (Panorama Deck)

Guests
2 - 3
Size
20 m² / 215 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

The Darwin Suites offer an exceptional standard of accommodation on Panorama Deck, in close proximity to the Bar & Lounge and Outdoor Terrace. At twice the size of an Explorer Cabin, with a sitting area, larger bathroom and other perks, for the price these are arguably the best value cabins.

Santa Cruz II's Voyager Suite - Horizon Deck.
2 Cabins

Voyager Single (Horizon Deck)

Guests
1
Size
12 m² / 127 ft²
Beds
Twin

The two Voyager or 'single' cabins on board can be found towards the rear of the Horizon Deck, next to the Explorer Family Cabins and Infirmary. If they are sold out, 5 Explorer Cabins may be made available for single use with a low single supplement so you may get more space for the same price.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Features

  • Connecting cabins
  • Air conditioning
  • Deck shower
  • Pool / Jacuzzi
  • Excercise room
  • Lecture room
  • WIFI available
  • Kosher Meals
  • Medical staff

Equipment

  • Diving gear
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Wetsuits
  • Stand up paddleboard
  • Kayaks / Canoes
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details