SANTA CRUZ II, 11D 10N GALAPAGOS

Eastern + Western Galapagos Day by Day

Day 1

BALTRA AND MOSQUERA ISLAND

Day 2

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

Day 3

SANTA FE & SOUTH PLAZA ISLANDS

Day 4

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Day 5

ESPAÑOLA ISLAND

Day 6

SANTA CRUZ & NORTH SEYMOUR ISLANDS

Day 7

BALTRA & SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS

Day 8

ISABELA & FERNANDINA ISLANDS

Day 9

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Day 10

FLOREANA ISLAND

Day 11

BALTRA ISLAND

Galapagos Itineraries

The Santa Cruz II’s excellently-crafted itineraries allow for some of the best-in-class wildlife and island coverage in Galapagos. Around 99% of excursions take place at exclusive visitor sites too, meaning guests will often have entire areas to themselves.

Multiple naturalist guides on the Santa Cruz II also means that guests have the added freedom to choose from a wider range of activities on each day of their itinerary. Safety and sustainability are both at the forefront of the Santa Cruz II, with a 24-hour onboard Medical Officer onboard and its own water treatment plant.

This is also one of the few vessels in Galapagos that comes equipped with plenty of definitive exploration tools (dinghies, kayaks, snorkeling gear, paddleboards, etc.) that you’ll need to experience Galapagos properly, including a glass-bottom boat!

Day 1

Baltra Island

  • Guests land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and then transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II. After an introductory briefing onboard, guests will partake in an emergency boat drill, be assigned to their cabins and then be invited to lunch.

Mosquera Island

  • After lunch, the Santa Cruz II will sail and relocate just four nautical miles away from Baltra Island, right beside Mosquera Island – a small piece of volcanic uplift that sits between the larger islands of Baltra and North Seymour. Mosquera Island is a long and narrow sand bank that’s surrounded by lava reefs. The excursion group will approach the island from its western shore, which consists of a long shallow reef and acts as the perfect nook for young sea lions. After a wet landing, naturalist guides will lead guests past the sea lion colonies, where they will get the chance to learn more about the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Galapagos. The walk is easy here, as it only involves walking across a few hundred meters of flat and sandy dunes. This visitor site also allows guests to give snorkeling a go!

Day 2

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

  • After breakfast, guests will disembark (dry landing) at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the archipelago’s capital, and take a 40-minute drive over to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, they’ll get to visit the Breeding Center for highly endangered giant tortoises that amble around under the cover of a fantastic deciduous forest. This forest also happens to be home to dozens of bird species (including the San Cristobal mockingbird) and the San Cristobal lava lizard – both of which happen to be endemic species on this island!

Punta Pitt

  • In the afternoon, guests will disembark (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt, which consists of an eroded tuff cone and a trail that provides spectacular views of the coastline. This is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together. Guests are welcome to enjoy the walk or a dinghy ride along the coast. Snorkeling, swimming and kayaking activities are available here.

Day 3

Santa Fe Island

  • After breakfast, guests will ride a dinghy and disembark (wet landing) over at this idyllic white sand beach that’s home to plenty of sea lions. The endemic land iguana, which is exclusive to this island, may be spotted during the morning walk, typically sitting among the giant prickly pear cactus. Snorkeling and swimming from the dinghy rounds out this supremely rewarding experience. Alternatively, guests can also opt to hop aboard the Santa Cruz II’s glass-bottom. Kayaking is also offered here.

South Plaza Island

  • Following lunch and a break, guests will disembark (dry landing) along the channel here, where turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Nearby, 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 their prickly-pears to drop. Along the coastline, guests will have the chance to spot sea lion colonies, all while frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide around, playing with the currents.

Day 4

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station

  • In the morning, guests disembark (dry landing) in Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Station consists of a giant tortoise Breeding Center and an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest that is home to many land birds. The Station also serves as the headquarters for scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following this visit, guests will board a private transport to head up and enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, which is an entirely different ecosystem.

Highlands

  • Guests will have several options to choose from in the afternoon, these of which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, guests will return to Puerto Ayora and hop aboard the Santa Cruz II.

Day 5

Punta Suarez

  • An exciting walk awaits at this site, where guests are sure to enjoy the unique variety of sea bird colonies present. Galapagos albatross (April-December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls are all present here. Guests will also get to experience the Galapagos’ famous “blowhole” geological phenomenon. Red-green-black marine iguanas are also present here. Afterwards, guests will head back on board for lunch.

Gardner Bay – Osborn Islet

  • In the afternoon, the postcard-worthy coral beach of Gardner Bay and the nearby Osborn Islet provide a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches as guests take their time to simply relax or take a dip in the water for some excellent snorkeling. Kayaking activities are available here too.

Day 6

Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)

  • After breakfast, a panga ride takes guests on over to Eden Islet – a small islet located off the coast of Santa Cruz. It is here that guests will have the chance to observe blue-footed boobies diving into the water, reef sharks swimming around and frigatebirds flapping about. There’s a chance to snorkel and, weather permitting, take a ride aboard the glass-bottom boat or do some kayaking.

North Seymour Island

  • North Seymour is the result of oceanic uplift that resulted from a volcanic event long ago. 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 site (dry landing). These trees are typically leafless, remain dormant for half of the year and waiting for the rains as their cue to burst into bloom. This is a great site to watch as bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, two species of frigatebirds, and swallow-tailed gulls fly around. Guests will also get the chance to experience sea lions and marine iguanas.

Day 7

Baltra Island

  • In the morning, guests are welcome to spend their time at their own leisure as we wait for our new guests to board the Santa Cruz II and receive their respective welcome briefing. Afterwards, we’ll have lunch.

Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) [Santa Cruz Island]

  • The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). The first part of the walk here passes by a brackish-water lagoon that’s frequented by shorebirds, ducks and American flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as a chance to check out some land iguanas.

Day 8

Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)

  • After breakfast, guests will get to explore the coast by dinghy, all while naturalist guides explains the dramatic geology of the surrounding area. This site is also a nesting place for several Galapagos highlights, such as: flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, and boobies. Weather permitting, guests will get the chance to snorkel alongside the cliffs of this area that are rich in marine life, often times visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola).

Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)

  • The afternoon is dedicated to exploring Fernandina, the youngest island in the archipelago. The complete absence of introduced animals is one its biggest features, as Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas. Other creatures found here include sea lions, Sally lightfoot crabs, hawks, penguins and flightless cormorants.

Day 9

Puerto Ayora & the Charles Darwin Research Station

  • In the morning, guests disembark (dry landing) in Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Station consists of a giant tortoise Breeding Center and an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest that is home to many land birds. The Station also serves as the headquarters for scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following this visit, guests will board a private transport to head up and enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, which is an entirely different ecosystem.

Highlands

  • Guests will have several options to choose from in the afternoon, these of which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, guests will return to Puerto Ayora and hop aboard the Santa Cruz II.

Day 10

Baroness Tower + Post Office Bay

  • After breakfast, a dinghy ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can be enjoyed. Afterwards, guests will get to experience Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views of Floreana Island. Later on, guests will land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. It is here that guests will be invited to leave their own postcard and/or take postcards that have been left by other vessels (to hand-deliver to their addressee!). Snorkeling activities are offered right off the beach. Afterwards, guests will head back aboard for lunch.

Champion Islet + Cormorant Point

  • Following lunch and a break, guests will be invited to hop aboard the dinghies (for snorkeling) or the glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet – an extinct shield volcano that’s regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s onwards to Cormorant Point, beginning with a wet landing on an olivine-crystal beach for a leisurely walk that includes a brackish-water lagoon where bird species such as American flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and other birds tend to gather. After this, guests will continue their walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).

Day 11

Baltra Island

  • Guests disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take their flight back to the mainland.

Departure Dates

Santa Cruz II departure dates 2019 2020 Magic Ecuador Quito Galapagos 2

Santa Cruz II departure dates 2019 2020 Magic Ecuador Quito Galapagos

The Vessel

The Santa Cruz II was conceived for operations in remote areas (as it was originally commissioned for expedition cruises in Patagonia/Chile). This vessel offers the perfect mix of comfort, style and safety for a remote area like the Galapagos Islands. As one of the newest vessels in Galapagos, the Santa Cruz II is capable of welcoming up to 90 guests with the optimal means for exploring the islands in contemporary style. Flexible cabin arrangements are available for any type of group –including solo travelers – and its intelligent and ample social areas give guests room to find their own space on their Galapagos journey. Guests will also get to enjoy all Park-approved aquatic activities, including a proper glass-bottom boat! Dine inside or grab a quick BBQ snack on the outdoor terrace. The crew aboard the Santa Cruz II loves to indulge guests with exceptional onboard service!

Decks

Santa Cruz II’s modern, generous social areas – laid out with choice contemporary materials – are found on four of its five decks. With an intelligent layout, including wide hallways and broad stairwells, guests will immediately know their way around this vessel. From dining areas indoors and out, the fitness room and hot tubs, to the elegant bar and lounge, not to forget the well-stocked library, the ship is designed to please with its sophisticated simplicity. Each passenger will find their own special space aboard, as the ship offers one of the top 5 (3:2) guest-space ratios of all Galapagos passenger vessels, guaranteeing quality individual attention.

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Ocean Deck

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