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Santa Cruz II - Eastern Islands

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Overview

A journey from San Cristóbal Island, through to Santa Fe, South Plaza, the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, Española Island with its remarkable visitor site of Punta Suárez and its lovely beach at Gardner Bay. A journey to remember.

The Santa Cruz II Experience

Santa Cruz II is explicitly designed to run in remote areas, enabling you to discover the beautiful and isolated Galapagos Islands. Due to its modern engine technology, the consumption of fuel is reduced, and onboard water desalination and treatment plants protect the waters around the Galapagos. This consequently protect the delicate and unique ecosystem that makes the destination so worthwhile.
Sleek and modern, The Santa Cruz II is ready to send you on an epic exploration of the Galapagos Islands in contemporary style. Perfect for groups of any size, it’s numerous and large social spaces will give you the ability to enjoy peaceful moments: by yourself or in groups, as you wish. Galapagos land and aquatic activities abound in the form of hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling, coastal explorations, and even a glass-bottom boat (for those looking to witness the underwater world of the Galapagos Islands without getting wet)! Exceptional service and exquisite gastronomy await to complement the fascinating journey you’re destined to experience during your Galapagos vacation aboard the Santa Cruz II, be it with family, friends, or on your own!
Cabins on the Santa Cruz II Galapagos Cruise have been designed to offer its guests the perfect space to relax, rest, and unwind after an unforgettable day of exploration. Modern and comfortable layouts will make your time onboard an incredibly enjoyable experience.

Santa Cruz II also offers a  5 day cruise and 5 day cruise.

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Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ESTSSC2E

Travel Style: Small Ship Cruise

Location: Galapagos Islands - Ecuador

Ship: Santa Cruz II

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • You will encounter the unique and extraordinary wildlife of the Galapagos including blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, seals, rays, turtles and the legendary Galapagos tortoise. 

  • The landscapes of the Galapagos are different on each island, one will contain lush highlands, another will contain pristine beaches of white sand that clash with jet black volcanic surfaces. Every landscape is different to the last. 

  • This itinerary is easily combined with other areas of Ecuador or perhaps the greater South America. Visit the colonial town of Quito, explore the cultural heritage on an authentic hacienda or even take hike the legendary trail to Machu Picchu. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

We arrive by plane at Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II where we receive our welcome introductory briefing and lunch.

After lunch and your introductory briefing on board, Santa Cruz II will relocate only four nautical miles from Baltra, next to Mosquera Islet, a small volcanic uplift between Baltra and North Seymour. The island is a long and narrow sand bank surrounded by lava reefs. Our groups will approach the island from its western shore, a long shallow reef, the perfect rookery for young sea lions. After a wet landing, our guides will lead you past the sea lion colonies, where you will learn more about the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Galapagos. The walk is easy as it is restricted to a few hundred metres of flat sandy dunes.

Baltra & Mosquera

After breakfast, we disembark (dry landing) at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island's capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding centre for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island endemics.

In the afternoon, we disembark (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone, whose trail provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together. We can walk or enjoy a panga ride along the coast. Opportunity for snorkelling and swimming activities.

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno & Punta Pitt

After breakfast, we take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by many sea lions. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Snorkelling and swimming from the panga rounds offer a rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass bottom boat is available for non-snorkelers as well as opportunities for kayaking.

Following lunch and a rest, we disembark (dry landing) in this channel, whose turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Beyond, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline you can finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide overhead.

Santa Fe & South Plaza

In the morning, we disembark 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.

We have several options available for the afternoon, which can be organised with your expedition leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II.

Puerto Ayora & CharlesDarwin Research Centre

In the morning we land at Punta Suarez. An exciting walk awaits at this site, where we enjoy sightings of unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatross, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls as well as a view of Espanola's most famous 'blow hole'. Make sure you are on the look out for red-green-black marine iguanas.

In the afternoon, the picture-postcard white coral beach of Gardner Bay and the nearby islet of Osborn provides a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches as we relax. We can expect great snorkelling in this area. Opportunity for swimming and kayaking as well.

Espanola Island

In the morning you will arrive at Eden Islet a small islet located off the coast of Santa Cruz, where we can observe blue-footed boobies diving into the water, reef sharks and frigates. There’s a chance to snorkel and, if weather condition permits, ride in the glass-bottom boat and kayak.

North Seymour was lifted from the ocean floor by a volcanic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. A tiny forest of the endemic silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing (dry landing), usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife. North Seymour is inhabited by bird colonies such as blue-footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. Last chance to practice snorkelling or ride in our glass-bottom boat.

Santa Cruz & North Seymour

On our last day, we disembark at Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent.

Baltra Island

Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Experience unique Andean lifestyles and Ecuadorian culture on an authentic and historic Hacienda. Hacienda Zuleta has been owned by the same family for over 100 years. Enjoy Ecuadorian cuisine from the Haciendas organic garden, visit a cheese factory, take a horse ride to an Andean Condor reserve. This offers an intrinsic cultural experience to any Ecuadorian itinerary. Find out more.

  • Amend you itinerary to include a stay in Quito. Discover the incredible blend of colonial architecture as well as a modern, pulsating Latin city. Visit indigenous markets, some of which are the largest in South America, all at the base of beautiful snow-capped peaks. Find out more.

  • Upgrade your Ecuadorian Amazon experience to include a unique luxury lodge. Mashpi lodge is located on a scenic plateau. The lodge experience uniquely interweaves Ecuadorian history with exotic wilderness experiences. Enjoy sightings of nocturnal animals and witness the jungle come to life in one of National Geographics Unique Lodges of the World. Find out more.

Pricing & date

Santa Cruz II - Eastern Islands from USD 0
 Saturdays
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Important Information

  • All accommodation and meals on board 
    Sightseeing with local English-sepaking guide 
    Transfers from airport 
    Other meals where stated
    Snorkelling Gear 
    Panga rides

    Exclusions

    Flights to/from embarkation and disembarkation cities
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel Insurance 
    Beverages
    Personal Expenses
    Galapagos Transit Control Card (USD$20 per person subject to change) 
    Galpagos National Park Entrance Fee (USD$100 per person subject to change) 
    Gratuities for crew/guides
    Any items not mentioned as included
    Wet suit rental

  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

  • Departure date, season and availability.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

Santa Cruz II cruise contributes to a number of sustainability initiatives in line with Galapagos park policy and their own unique contribution philosophy. Single-use plastic is eliminated throughout the Galapagos, naturalist guides provide in depth education and respect for ecosystems when undertaking tours, and suppliers are chose from locally-owned organisations and operators to ensure economic sustainability within the region. While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE