Northern Galapagos Day by Day

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


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.

Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)

  • This beautiful visitor site is located on the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island, where a glorious white beach awaits along with a couple of brackish lagoons that are just a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons actually serve as the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Guests are welcome to enjoy swimming and snorkeling activities at this beach, too. Afterwards, guests will head back aboard for a welcome cocktail and an expedition briefing on the following day. Dinner is served shortly after this.

Day 2

Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island)

  • After breakfast, guests will get to explore the coastline along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, all while learning about the area’s history. This cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. They’ll also get to marvel at the fantastic geological formations such as “Elephant Rock” and “The Bishop” as well as an impressive natural cave. Guests here will have the chance to go snorkeling, take a ride on the dinghy or the glass-bottom boat.

Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)

  • After disembarking at the beach here, guests will get to enjoy a swim or snorkeling along the rocky shorelines, typically in the company of marine turtles. From here, the excursion will head off on a walk that gives guests a great opportunity to see both land and marine birds as they skitter about a landscape consisting of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas can oftentimes be found grazing upon the algae beds nearby. Guests can also observe a colony of fur-sea lions. After the visit, the whole group will have some additional time for swimming and/or snorkeling.

Day 3

Rabida Island (Jervis)

  • Some groups here will opt to go for a fascinating dinghy ride along the shores while others may choose to disembark on Rabida Island’s mesmerizing, red-colored beach. The color of this beach is the result of the unusually high levels of iron that are found within its sand. The walk here will bring guests close to a colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Not far from the beach here, a saltwater pond is occasionally seen hosting American flamingos. This is also a great place to take a dip and snorkel along the beach, thanks in large part to the unique combination of underwater species and aquatic terrain. As the Santa Cruz II sails to the next island from Rabida, guests might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins!

Bartolome Island

  • Today’s afternoon activities begin with a wet landing on the golden beach of this famous island, dominated by the imposing Pinnacle Rock. This is another great place for guests to go for a swim and snorkel from the beach. A chance to ride the glass-bottom boat is also offered. After returning to the ship, guests will be split into two groups: the first group will go for a hike to the summit of this relatively small island, the viewpoint of which boasts fantastic views of the archipelago. This “climb” consists of a moderately steep incline that’s made even easier thanks to the presence of a wooden staircase, complete with resting platforms and handrails. The view from the top is well worth the effort! The second group, in the meantime, will get to explore the rugged and volcanic shoreline aboard the dinghies. The groups will then swap spots so that each one experiences the full beauty of this iconic island.

Day 4

Prince Philip Steps (Genovesa Island)

  • The morning starts with a steep climb (only 90 feet/28 meters) up a flight of stairs to reach a flat and rocky plateau. Once there, guests can walk along comfortably and check out large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs, weather permitting. Kayaking here is optional.

Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)

  • In the afternoon, guests will land at the beautiful beach that lines this bay to enjoy some swimming and/or snorkeling. Following this refreshing dip, the excursion will head out to take a stroll and observe hundreds of birds, mainly: frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking and swimming are available here.

Day 5

Tortoise Reserve

  • Guests will begin their last morning on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. After breakfast, guests’ luggage will be taken to the airport while guests themselves head out for one last visit at the Giant Tortoise Reserve. Following a dry landing at a passenger’s wharf and a bus ride to the higher region of the island, guests will get to experience the final highlight of this itinerary: giant tortoises roaming around in the wild. These lush highlands include dense forests consisting of Galapagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads as well as several endemic land birds.

Baltra airport

  • After this final visit, guests will take their transfer vehicles directly to Baltra airport and say farewell to Galapagos!

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

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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!


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.

Sky Deck

Panorama Deck

Expedition Deck

Horizon Deck

Ocean Deck


Facilities, flora, fauna, activities


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