Eastern Galapagos Cruise- Santa Cruz II

Icy FPO

This comfortable ship has expert guiding and offers outstanding wildlife viewing in the Galapagos. Great for families!

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SPECIAL OFFER

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9.1*

ECO SCORE

90

PASSENGERS

7

DAYS

3/5

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Galapagos: Drink It In

Welcome Aboard the

 

Santa Cruz II

This comprehensive journey, starting and ending in Baltra, takes us to the oldest islands in the archipelago. We visit the sea lions of Mosquera Islet before heading to see the red-footed boobies in San Cristobal, the island where Darwin first set foot in the Galapagos. Meet the endemic land iguanas of Santa Fe, observe the colors of South Plaza, and stop in at the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz, before heading on to top-rated Española and North Seymour, with an in-between stop at Eden Islet.
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    • Marvel at wondrously exotic animals who aren't afraid of humans and stand helpfully so you can admire them.
    • Snorkeling, kayaking, and viewing the undersea through a glass bottom boat are all available on this program.
    • Travel on a meticulously well-organized journey with a veteran Galapagos operator with over 60 years of experience in this region.

Travel Curator’s Insights:

SPECIAL OFFER:

Rates:
From $5,514 per person
Adapting protocols and procedures to reduce risk in every step of the operation. Policies and protocols provided before you book.

Year-Round Departures
Operates Fridays to Thursdays

Year-Round Departures
Operates Fridays to Thursdays

Departures:

Trip Sustainability Awards 

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Conservation

Owns and preserves ~3,200 acres of tropical rainforest

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Energy

Has invested in and implemented several forms of alternative energy

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Carbon

Utilizes physical and bio sequestration to off set their carbon footprint

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Itinerary 

Day 1: Baltra Island & Mosquera
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 sandbank 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 meters of flat sandy dunes. This will also be a great opportunity for an introduction to snorkeling.

Day 2: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal & Punta Pitt

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 center 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 snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking.

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Day 3: Santa Fe & South Plaza Islands
After breakfast, we take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by many sea lions (wet landing). The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Snorkeling and swimming from the panga rounds off our rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass bottom boat is available for non-snorkelers. Opportunity 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 one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals.

Day 4: Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island

 In the morning, we disembark (dry landing) 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.  At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II. 


Day 5: Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay, Española Island
(Dry landing) – An exciting walk awaits at this site, where we enjoy its unique sea bird colonies, including Galapagos albatross (April-December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls as well as a view of the Galapagos’ famous “blow-hole”. Also, look out for red-green- black marine iguanas. Back on board for lunch.


(Wet landing) 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 snorkeling in this area. Opportunity for swimming and kayaking as well.

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Day 6: Eden Islet, Santa Cruz Island & North Seymour Island
After breakfast, a panga ride takes us to 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 conditions permit, 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 silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing (dry landing), usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. Look for a plethora of wildlife as North Seymour is chock full of bird colonies of blue footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.


Day 7: Baltra Island
On our last day, we disembark at Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent.

Please Note: Itineraries for reference only. Routes and programmes may vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety and operational reasons, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Wetsuit Rental: $70 per person for the 7-day itinerary.


Galapagos Air: Air transportation to / from Galapagos and airport taxes are not included. Rates given at time of booking.


Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee: US$ 100 (subject to change without prior notice)


Special Offer: Book last minute and get the following for free! Valid for departures within the next 60 days on the 7 Days/6 Nights program:

-Free private transfer from the airport to your hotel in Quito
-Free 2-nights of accommodation at a premium hotel in Quito
-Free Scenic Tour of Quito
-Free Shared airport transfers in Galapagos
-Free Domestic airfare to/from the Galapagos Islands

Starting at $3,790 USD per person

Santa Cruz II

Known by many as “The Champion of the Galapagos”, Santa Cruz II has become a world-famous leader in sustainability efforts. Celebrated by many for her low guest-to-guide ratio, her sleek design and for her amazing dedication to sustainability. Fitting a max total of 90 guests in 50 comfortable cabins across her three decks, guests can choose from luxuriously appointed single, double and triple cabins and are guaranteed the full attention of her highly competent and experienced naturalist guides, all lead by expedition leaders who are world-famous as some of the most talented and qualified experts in the entire
archipelago.

Cabins: 50
Guests: 90
Specialists: Naturalist Guides, Expert Crew

ACHIEVEMENTS 

2020 Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Award
World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Award

"The Santa Cruz II is a spacious, attractively decorated, extremely well-run ship ready to transport you to the wonderful world of Galapagos scenery and wildlife. She's great for families with children and multi-generational groups. She's not a luxury ship, yet she is comfortable and a great value. This operator was one of the pioneers in bringing visitors to this region, and they have over 60 years' experience there. You can rely on the Santa Cruz II to offer you a wonderful Galapagos adventure."

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Life On Board

Deck Plan

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Santa Cruz II Deck Plan
Santa Cruz II Deck Plan
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Questions?

Rates

 

Questions?

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HORIZON FAMILY

191.9 sq. ft., large windows, double or twin beds, sofa sleeper for triple.

From in USD:

$5,514pp

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EXPEDITION EXPLORER

163.2 sq. ft.,large windows and beds that can convert from double to twins.

From in USD:

$6,096pp

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HORIZON EXPLORER

163.2 sq. ft., large windows and beds that can convert from double to twins.

From in USD:

$5,868pp

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PANORAMA EXPLORER

163.2 sq. ft., large windows and beds that can convert from double to twins.

From in USD:

$6,282pp

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HORIZON SOLO CABIN

127 sq. ft., Horizon deck, one large window and a very comfortable single bed.

From in USD:

$6,768pp

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PANORAMA DARWIN STE.

325 sq. ft., double picture windows, double or twin beds, can connect to Explorers.

From in USD:

$7,122pp

I've sent so many happy travelers with this operator. If you're looking for a well run program at a great value, especially for a family with kids, this would be a ship I'd strongly recommend.

Joy Martinello, Founder

Questions?

 

What’s Included & Cancellation Policy:

WHAT'S INCLUDED
All meals; Island sightseeing; Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages – French, Italian – is available upon request for groups larger than 10 guests and for German groups is a minimum of 4 guests); 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 (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Wyndham, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers, we must have guests’ hotel contact information.; Fuel surcharge*