Santa Cruz II – Western Galapagos Islands

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Please Note: Our website packages are here to provide you with a guide on what we can offer. If this package does not suit your requirements we can easily cutomise your trip to suit your needs and preferences.

OVERVIEW:

Our Western Galapagos itinerary begins in Baltra, where we will board the ship and sail towards Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island for an interesting hike through palo santo forests that are full of the Galapagos’ famed land iguanas. Overnight, we sail around the seahorse-shaped Isabela Island to two great visitor sites: Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island (with the fascinating geology of the collapsed Ecuador volcano) and then wild and pure Punta Espinoza on Fernandina (one of the most pristine islands in the world, with one of the archipelago’s biggest colony of marine iguanas and opportunities to see flightless cormorants). From there, we sail back around to Santa Cruz Island to visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station, where scientists are involved in research and conservation efforts, the most well-known of which involves a captive breeding program for giant tortoises. After that, we’ll spend the afternoon enjoying a range of activities. The following day finds us on Floreana Island, exploring its human history and stunning wildlife at both Post Office Bay and Cormorant Point. The next day we say goodbye to the islands after an amazing journey!

ITINERARY IN BRIEF:

Day 1: Arrive Baltra - Dragon Hill 
Day 2: Isabela Island - Fernandina Island
Day 3: Santa Cruz Island
Day 4: Champion Islet - Floreana Island
Day 7: Baltra Airport

NOTE: Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise.

  • Baltra Island - Santa Cruz Island

    AM: Baltra Island
    You will arrive at Baltra Island via plane in the morning and then transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II Galapagos Cruise. After an introductory briefing onboard, we will partake in an emergency boat drill, after which you will be assigned to your cabin and then be invited to lunch.

    PM: Dragon Hill
    The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragon (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 Galapagos, as well as a chance to check out some land iguanas. (L. D.) (Private Transfer) (Shared Guide)

  • Isabela Island - Fernandina Island

    AM: Punta Vicente Roca
    After breakfast, we will get to explore the coast by dinghy, all while your naturalist guides explain the dramatic geology of the surrounding area. This site is also a nesting place for numerous, iconic Galapagos species, such as: flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, and boobies. Weather permitting, you will get the chance to snorkel alongside the cliffs of this area that are rich in marine life, oftentimes visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola).

    PM: Punta Espinoza
    The afternoon is dedicated to exploring Fernandina, the youngest island in the archipelago. The complete absence of introduced animals is one its biggest draws, as Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas. Other Galapagos creatures found here include sea lions, Sally lightfoot crabs, hawks, penguins and flightless cormorants. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)

  • Santa Cruz Island

    AM: Puerto Ayora & the Charles Darwin Research Station
    In the morning, we will disembark (dry landing) at 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, we 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.

    PM: Highlands
    You 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. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)

  • Floreana Island - Champion Islet

    AM: Baroness Tower + Post Office Bay
    After breakfast, a dinghy ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can be enjoyed. Afterwards, you will get to experience Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views of Floreana Island. Later on, we 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 you will be invited to leave your very own postcard and/or take postcards that have been left by other visitors (for you to hand-deliver to their addressee)! Snorkeling activities are offered right off the beach. Afterwards, we will head back aboard for lunch.

    PM: Champion Islet + Cormorant Point
    Following lunch and a break, you 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, we will continue our walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May). (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)

  • Depart Baltra Airport

    AM: Baltra Island
    The journey ends at Baltra Island, where you will be transferred to the airport to take your flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its tectonically uplifted origin) is the reason for why this island was chosen back in the 1940’s as the location for building an airport. (B.) (Shared Guide)

SPECIFICATION

  • Refurbishment: 2015
  • Construction: 2002
  • Gross Tonnage: 2664 tonnes
  • Passenger Space Ratio: 29.6
  • Type of Vessel: Expedition Vessel
  • Capacity: 90 guests / 50 cabins
  • Length: 71.8 metres / 235 feet
  • Beam: 13.4 metres / 43 feet
  • Speed: 10.5 knots
  • Electricity: 440V – 220V – 110V throughout ship
  • Engines: 2 Cummins engines KTA 38 – MO of 850 HP each
  • Fire Detector: Fire detectors throughout
  • Life Jackets: In each cabin
  • Life Rafts: 14 (27 passengers each)
  • Landing Boats: 6
  • Owner: ETICA (METROPOLITAN TOURING)
  • Decks: 5
  • Crew: 52
  • Naturalist Guides: 8 (Includes Expedition Leader)
  • Guest-Crew Ratio: 3 to 2
  • Medial Officer: Permanently on board
  • Certifications: ABS – SOLAS – ISM by resolution IMOA788(19)
  • Panorama Deck: 3 Darwin Suites, 3 Explorer Double Cabins
  • Expedition Deck: 17 Explorer  Double Cabins
  • Horizon Deck: 2 Voyager Single Cabins, 2 Explorer Triple Cabins, 23 Explorer Double Cabins, infirmary.

CABINS DETAILS:

Explorer Family Cabin

17.8m², 3 single beds, located on the horizon deck, includes large picture window, air conditioning, private bathroom with hair dryer, electrical outlets & safety deposit box.

Explorer Cabin – Horizon Deck

15.2m², 2 single beds or 1 double bed, large picture window, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, electrical outlets & safety deposit box.

Explorer Cabin – Expedition Deck

15.2m², 2 single beds or 1 double bed, large picture window, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, electrical outlets & safety deposit box.

Explorer Cabin – Panorama Deck

15.2m², 2 single beds or 1 double bed, large picture window, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, electrical outlets & safety deposit box.

Voyager Cabin

11.8m², located on horizon deck, 1 single bed, large picture window, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, electrical outlets & safety deposit box.

Darwin Suite

30.2m², located on the panorama deck, 1 double bed, 2 large picture windows, L’Occitane-en-Provence bathroom amenities, bathrobes, take-home coffee table book, air conditioning, hair dryer, electrical outlets, safety deposit box, reading lights, internet access, wetsuit usage & expedition photos and videos on a CD.

Layout: 3 decks / 50 cabins
Horizon deck: 2 Voyager single cabins
Horizon deck: 2 Explorer triple cabins
Horizon deck: 23 Explorer double cabins
Expedition deck: 17 Explorer double cabins
Panorama deck: 3 Darwin suites
Panorama deck: 3 Explorer double cabins
Beds layout: TWIN, DBL, TPL & SGL
Interconnected Cabins: 36 cabins in 3 decks
Rooming: Private & Shared cabins
Sharing: Same gender guaranteed

DECKPLAN

 

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Activities
  • Bilingual naturalist guides
  • Conferences and lectures
  • Visits to the islands mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transportation to/from the airport in Galapagos on cruise arrival and departure dates
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Kayaks
  • Glass-bottom boat
  • Paddleboards
  • Onboard Medical Assistance
  • Luggage handling
  • 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.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • International and National (Ecuador-Galapagos-Ecuador) flights
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance, US $ 100 (To be paid upon arrival, in cash)
  • Transit Control Card, US $ 20 (To be paid upon departure from the mainland to Galapagos, in cash)
  • Galapagos Airport Transport, if the flight has not been booked together
  • If necessary, single room supplement
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses, extras & gratuities
  • Travel insurance

NOTE: Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise.

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