Skip to main content

Santa Cruz II - Western Islands

map

Overview

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 7 day cruise and 5 day cruise.

 

Video

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ECTSSC2W

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?

  • A 5 day Galapagos itinerary is perfect for getting a quick taste of the islands that allows you to soak in the sights, relax, learn about this unique ecosystem and offers a good chance to see a large number of incredible wildlife. 

  • Have the opportunity to see unique wildlife of the Galapagos including sea lions, turtles, rays, marine iguanas, frigate birds, pink flamingos and the legendary Galapagos Tortoise. 

  • This itinerary is easily combined with other parts of Ecuador or perhaps even the greater South America, allowing you to combine the natural wildlife experiences of the Galapagos with historic city visits, unique cultural experiences and unbelievable natural vistas. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Arrive by plane at Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board the M/V Santa Cruz II where we receive our welcome introductory briefing, boat drill and lunch.

Santa Cruz

The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Dragon Hill. The first part of our walk passes a brackish-water lagoon frequented by shorebirds, ducks and 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 to see Galapagos land iguanas.

Baltra Island/Santa Cruz

After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, nesting place for a Galápagos highlight: flightless cormorants. 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 sun fish (Mola mola).

Punta Espinoza

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.

Punta Vicente Roca / Punta Espinoza

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.

Santa Cruz

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.

Puerto Ayoura/Charles Darwin Research Station

After breakfast, panga ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can be enjoyed. 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 and where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. This is followed by snorkelling along the beach and then we head back on board for lunch.

Champion Islet

Following lunch, 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 snorkelling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s onwards to Punta Cormorant. We’ll begin with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach followed by an easy walk to a brackish-water lagoon, where bird species such as greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather. We continue our walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles may emerge from the sea at night to nest.

Post Office Bay/Champion Islet

We disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland, where you may continue your onward journeys.

Baltra Island
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not add a trip to Peru onto this amazing itinerary? Experience the unique cultural and scenic offerings of one of South Americas most popular destinations. Visit amazing cities like Lima and Cusco where a unique blend of urban modernisation meets, undertake the incredible journey to the Sacred valley and of course, bare witness to the archaeological marvel that is Machu Picchu. Find out more.

  • 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.

  • Upgrade your Ecuadorian experience to include a unique Amazon 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 Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. Find out more.

Pricing & date

Santa Cruz II - Western Islands from USD 0
 Wednesdays 
Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Private airport transfers
    Accommodation with full board
    Sightseeing with local English-speaking guide
    Snorkelling gear

    Exclusions 

    Flights to/from embarkation & disembarkation cities
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Galapagos Transit Control Card (USD$20 per person subject to change) 
    Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (USD$100 per person subject to change)
    Beverages
    Gratuities for tour guides/crew
    Any items not mentioned as included
    Wetsuits 

  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • 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 contributes to many sustainability initiatives in line with Galapagos National Park Policy. Water is desalinated on the vessel, each passenger is given a reusable water bottle, and water and fuel use are minimised to lower negative environmental impacts. While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain 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