Santa Cruz II Galapagos Cruise - Northern or Western Islands

Luxury-class cruise of the Northern or Western Galapagos islands for
5D/4N Starting at $3910.00 per person

Specialized for operations in remote areas, the Santa Cruz II is a state-of-the-art expedition vessel offering the perfect infrastructure for Galapagos exploration.

At just over 70 meters long, the spacious, 5-deck Santa Cruz II holds 50 cabins for 90 guests and features ample, luxury-sized social areas indoors and out.

Santa Cruz II Galapagos Kayaking

The crew offers decades of experience working in the islands allowing guests to make the most of their Galapagos cruise experience.

7-Day Eastern Islands cruises are also offered.

  • Santa Cruz II Facilities and Amenities Include:
  • Santa Cruz II Galapagos Snorkeling
  •  Bar and Lounge
  •  Restaurant
  •  Outdoor terrace and grill
  •  Gift shop
  •  Fitness Room
  •  Reading room and natural history library
  •  Hot tubs (2)
  •  Air conditioned throughout
  •  Satellite telephone
  •  Wi-Fi hotspot (intermittent/ low bandwidth connection)
  •  24/7 coffee station (free coffee, tea, and water)
  •  Safe deposit boxes (in each cabin)
  •  Hair dryer
  •  Snorkeling equipment
  •  Wetsuit rental
  •  Glass bottom boat
  •  Kayaks
  •  Pangas (inflatable dinghies for coastal exploration)

Itinerary Maps:

 

Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.

5-Day Northern Islands itinerary

Day 1: Baltra Island / Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)

Upon arrival at the Baltra Airport you will be met by cruise staff and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II, where you receive a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill and lunch.

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 snorkelling at this beach too. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.

Day 2: Santiago Island - Buccaneer Cove / Puerto Egas

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 snorkelling, and a ride on the panga or glass-bottom boat.

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 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 seals. After the visit, we had some time for swimming and snorkeling.

Day 3: Rabida Island (Jervis) / Bartolome Island

Some groups will go for a fascinating panga ride along the shores while others will disembark on Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach, 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 to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. During navigation to our next island, we can sometimes spot dolphins!

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 group: the first lands for a hike to the summit of this diminutive island that boasts 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.

Day 4: Genovesa Island - Prince Philip Steps / Darwin Bay

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.

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.

Day 5: Tortoise Reserve – Baltra airport

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 directly to Baltra airport. Farewell to Galapagos.

5-Day Western Islands itinerary

Day 1: Baltra Island / Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz Island)

Upon arrival at the Baltra Airport you will be met and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II, where you receive a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill and lunch.

The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragon (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 of observing land iguanas.

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 snorkelling, and a ride on the panga or glass-bottom boat.

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 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 seals. After the visit, we had some time for swimming and snorkeling.

Day 2: Punta Vicente Island (Isabela Island) / Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)

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 sun fish (Mola mola)

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.

Day 3: Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island) 

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.

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.

Day 4: Baroness Tower / Post Office Bay / Champion Islet / Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island) 

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. Snorkeling off the beach. We then head back on board for lunch.

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 snorkelling spots in the archipelago.

From there, it’s on to Punta Cormorant, beginning with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes 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).

Day 5: Baltra airport

Disembark at Baltra Island and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.

 

Price from $3,910.00 per person, based on double occupancy
Days 5
Nights 4
Includes:

 

  • Cabin accommodations - Horizon Deck Explorer Family Cabin
  • All meals
  • Island sightseeing
  • Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish 
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Luggage handling
  • Medical care on board (not including the cost of medication)
  • Taxes
  • Transfers in the islands
  • Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito and Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Wyndham, Sheraton) to airport 
  • Fuel surcharge
Excludes:

 

  • International and domestic airfare 
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100 per person, subject to change without prior notice)
  • Migration Control Card ($20, per person subject to change without prior notice)
  • Wetsuits - available for rent
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Internet / Wi-Fi 
  • Gratuities
  • Gifts and additional items
  • Travel insurance

"We had a wonderful time on our recent vacation with our travel agency to Peru and Ecuador."

The most memorable part of our trip was the time we spent in the Galapagos. The most enjoyable part of our trip was traveling with our guides in Ecuador.

- Mary W, Dec 2015

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Travel Tips
Snacks such as nuts, granola, or jerky go a long way, whether for the airplane journey or to share with guides or new friends.
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