Santa Cruz II is a luxury cruise in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. It offers four- and six-night itineraries that venture into the Western, Northern, and Eastern regions of the Galapagos Islands. Each route gives guests the best wildlife viewing opportunities in each distinct area of the Galapagos. Insightful Naturalist Guides will accompany and lead each Galapagos excursion group. In addition to all this, Santa Cruz II offers consultations with a Medical officer, on-call 24/7.
The 5-days Western Islands itinerary includes a visit to Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island. It exciting hike takes you through palo santo forests full of Galapagos’ famed land iguanas. Then, visit Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island with the fascinating geology of collapsed Ecuador volcano. Then continue to Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, one of the most pristine islands in the world. It is home to one of the islands’ densest colonies of marine iguanas and flightless cormorants. Next, visit Santa Cruz’s Research Centre before heading to Floreana Island. This site holds human history and stunning wildlife at both Post Office Bay and Punta Cormorant.
5-days Northern Islands starts with a visit to the glorious white beach of Las Bachas. Then, explore two fascinating visitor sites on Santiago Island: Buccaneer Cove and Puerto Egas, home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. You can walk-along pools full of life, go snorkelling or swimming. Next, visit the red-sand beach of Rabida Island. It has a lovely trail around cliffs and some of the best snorkelling in Galapagos! Then visit Bartolome Island, which offers a volcanic viewpoint with room for hiking, swimming, and exploring the beach and the coast. Then sail north to Genovesa Island, home to thousands of marine birds. Return to Santa Cruz where you will encounter giant Galapagos tortoises at a private reserve.
On the 7-day Eastern Island cruise, you’ll first visit Mosquera Islet- a great spot to see sea lions before sailing towards San Cristobal. A stop at the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Breeding Centre will open our eyes to the beauty of the Galapagos giant tortoise and the essential scientific work done on the islands. Then travel to Punta Pitt home to red-footed boobies. Continue to Santa Fe’s beautiful tranquil bay before arriving at South Plazas famed by the land iguanas and stunning marine birds. Then visit Punta Suarez on Española Island, voted the #1 island by guides and expedition leaders. It is home to hundreds of marine iguanas, sea lions, marine birds, and even albatross. Then, visit Eden Islet and North Seymour, famous not only for its land iguanas and sea lions but the large colonies of blue-footed and Nazca boobies and frigatebirds.
About the vessel:
Santa Cruz II ‘s eco-friendly design is perfect to sail in remote areas. This state-of-the-art expedition vessel affords the ideal infrastructure for Galapagos exploration. At just over 70 metres long it holds 50 cabins for 90 guests and features ample, generous social areas indoors and out.
It features a restaurant, bar and lounge. On the outdoor deck, there is a terrace, BBQ area and two hot tubs. There is also a fitness room and a reading room with a natural history library available. During your outings, scout the island sites in search of the ‘Big 15’ -most iconic Galapagos wildlife. You can explore not only on a zodiac, but also on a glass-bottom boat, kayaks, snorkelling, or swimming. A highlight is their small groups – on average, just 12 guests or fewer per guide. Have a look at a short video of Santa Cruz II in action.