Santa Cruz II

Tour Guide Ecuador > Santa Cruz II

SANTA CRUZ II YACHT

Tour Guide Ecuador > Santa Cruz II

New way to explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands in style and comfort.

The Santa Cruz II will boast five spacious decks, with modern interiors designed by renowned ship designer, Richard Nilsson. Created with the ethos of stylish simplicity at its heart, the new boat will ensure sumptuous surroundings from which to take in the magnificent vistas of the enchanted islands.

The new boat will sleep 90 guests in 50 contemporary designed cabins across three decks. Guests can choose from luxuriously appointed single, double and family cabins, or opt for an exceptional standard of accommodation on the Panorama Deck, where guests will receive elevated service and carefully refined extras such as a take-home Galapagos coffee table book, a tablet loan for each cabin, amenities L’Occitane, and more.

While aboard the new Santa Cruz II, guests can relax in the beautifully designed communal areas and viewing platforms, including indoor and outdoor dining options, lounge bar, a well-stocked library, two indulgent ocean view hot tubs and a gym.

Creative Ecuadorian and international cuisine will be prepared under the watchful eye of the Santa Cruz II’s Cordon-Bleu trained Gastronomy Director, Byron Rivera. Freshly caught fish and seafood and locally grown organic fruit and vegetables will feature heavily on menus served in the colourful Beagle Dining Room indoors or al-fresco on the Panorama Deck.

The Santa Cruz II will take guests on four, five and nine night itineraries in the Northern, Eastern and Western Galapagos Islands and each expedition will be accompanied by seven of our company exceptionally knowledgeable guides plus an Expedition Leader in charge of making the most of each day’s outings. Activities can be tailored to each guest’s personal interests and range from daily land expeditions to a host of aquatic activities free of charge, including ocean kayaking, snorkelling with sea lions and glass bottom boat expeditions – all of the options permitted by the Galapagos National Park.

ITINERARIES

The Santa Cruz II has depratures for  4, 5, 6, or more days. 

Please keep in mind that all itineraries are subject to change due to park regulations or weather conditions

DAY 1: MONDAY
AM: Baltra Island

We land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II, where we receive a welcome introductory briefing and lunch. 

PM: Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)

This beautiful visitor site is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, a glorious white beach with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, including stilts and flamingos. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkelling gear and techniques. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.

DAY 2: TUESDAY
AM: Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island)

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. This is a great site for snorkelling or a panga ride along the coast.

PM:  Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
Once we disembark at the beach, we can enjoy a swim or snorkel along 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 a 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 Galapagos fur seals. Non-snorkelers can enjoy a longer walk.

DAY 3 WEDNESDAY

AM: Rabida Island 
After breakfast, we land on Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach, coloured by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. Our walk brings us close to a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond hosts American flamingos at certain times of the year. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners and experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Non-snorkelers will enjoy a ride on the glass bottom boat or a panga ride. During navigation to our next island, dolphins are often spotted!
PM: Bartolome Island

We land at Bartolome 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 with handrails and rest platforms. The view from the top is worth the effort! Following our walk, we take to the pangas and the glass-bottom boat for a ride around the colossal Pinnacle Rock, and then land at the beach to enjoy some swimming, snorkelling or just relaxing (possibly with Galapagos penguins in attendance).

DAY 4 THURSDAY
AM: Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)

The morning starts with a panga ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island, followed by a landing with a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat 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). After the walk, we can snorkel along the dramatic cliffs where there are chances of spotting a huge variety of fish, and possibly Galapagos fur seals.

PM: Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)
After a wet landing at James Bay onto a black beach, an easy stroll takes you near the coast line to observe tidal pools, marine birds, iguanas and sea lions, and often migratory birds are present in this area. This is also a good place to observe the Galapagos hawk. The trail ends at the fur sea lion grottos and, being nocturnal feeders, the fur seals sleep in and around the grottos during the day. On returning to the beach visitors may snorkel or swim. After lunch The Beagle will start navigating to the west side of Isabela Island.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno & Tortoise Breeding Centre (San Cristobal Island)

After breakfast, there’s an optional departure to see the giant tortoise breeding programme at Cerro Colorado. Here, we learn about this endangered species and its promising recovery. Following the visit, we return to town and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.

DAY 1: SATURDAY
AM: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno/Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island) 

Arrival by plane to San Cristobal Island and transfer to the Santa Cruz, anchored at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital of the Galapagos Islands. Cabin assignment, introductory talk, boat drill and lunch.

PM: Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island)

In the afternoon, we disembark 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.

DAY 2: SUNDAY
AM: Santa Fe Island/South Plaza Island

After breakfast, we take the panga 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 off our rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass-bottom boat provides an incredible view for non-snorkelers.

PM: South Plaza Island  

Following lunch and a rest, we disembark 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 prickly-pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide.

DAY 3 MONDAY

AM: Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (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. This station is the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park’s administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.
PM:  Santa Cruz Island

We have several options available for the midday and afternoon (hiking, mountain biking or kayaking in Tortuga Bay), 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 4 TUESDAY
AM: Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (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. This station is the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park’s administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.

PM: Santa Cruz Island

We have several options available for the midday and afternoon (hiking, mountain biking or kayaking in Tortuga Bay), 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 WEDNESDAY

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

DAY 1: WEDNESDAY
AM: Baltra Island/North Seymour Island 

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, boat drill and lunch.

PM: North Seymour Island

This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife, full of bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, two species of frigatebirds, swallow tailed gulls, as well as Galapagos sea lions and marine iguanas.

DAY 2: THURSDAY
AM: Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island) and Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)

After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area and shows us a nesting place for a Galapagos 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).

PM: Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)  

The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina Island, 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 FRIDAY

AM: Tagus Cove/Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)

After breakfast, we land at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of a crater, where we can observe Darwin Lake, filled with salt water, and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, we take a panga ride to spot local wildlife, with the possibility of swimming or snorkelling. 

PM: Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)  

After lunch we disembark at Urbina Bay, the fascinating result of an uplifting of the ocean floor in 1954. Here we can admire corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. First we enjoy a snorkel from the beach, with the chance of swimming with flightless cormorants. This area is also home to large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, and occasionally to Galapagos giant tortoises. We return back on board for our expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.

DAY 4 SATURDAY
AM:Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (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.

PM: Santa Cruz Island

We have several midday and afternoon options available (mountain biking, kayaking in Tortuga Bay, hiking), 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 SUNDAY

AM: Post Office Bay / Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)  

A short walk leads us to the historic barrel where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. Near Post Office Bay, we explore the north shore of Floreana Island along narrow channels teeming with life. We then head back on board for lunch.

PM: Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)

Following lunch and a siesta, we take to 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 Cormorant Point, 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 to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).

DAY 6 MONDAY

AM: Post Office Bay / Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)  

We disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.

RATES & BOOKING

Price varies on season and on the length of the tour. Please give us a call +17073403778  / +593991946532 or send us a message info@tourguideecuador.com to make your reservations to know about availability and price for your chosen cruise with the Santa Cruz.

CANCELLATIONS POLICIES

Scheduled tour bookings are not confirmed until payment is received ( by Paypal or wire transfer bank*).

In any event, Hidden Secrets strongly advises you to take out travel insurance… its well worth the piece of mind.

We always suggest a call, email or text the day prior to your tour to ensure all your details are as they should be. It is not obligatory, but it helps.

 

If confirmed standard departure tour bookings are cancelled the following fees apply:

More than 7 days in advance – 10% of original fee.

3-7 days in advance – 50% of tour cost.

Within 72 hours of     commencement – refunds will not be available.

If changes are made more than 6 days prior to original booking there is no charge.. the rebooked date must be within 2 months.

DEPARTURES:

      DATE            ¦       ITI.        ¦      PRICE

 Nov. 28 / Dec. 02            A (4D-3N)                $ 0000
 Nov. 28 / Dec. 02            A (4D-3N)                $ 0000
 Nov. 28 / Dec. 02            A (4D-3N)                $ 0000