Galapagos: Santa Cruz II | 5 days North

From Baltra to Baltra
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Explore Northern Galapagos on this 5 day journey! Visit the highlights including the white beach of Las Bachas, Buccaneer Cove and Puerto Egas, the red beach of Rabida, Bartolome's Pinnacle Rock, Price Philips Steps, Darwin's Bay also called the sunken crater and the Giant Tortoise Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz.

Get up close and take pictures of unique Galapagos wildlife such as blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions. On Genoveva you will also be able to see the red-footed boobies. The ship is designed exclusively for exploring the Galapagos, the M/V Santa Cruz II offers comfortable accommodation for up to 90 passengers. This cruise offers a wide range of unique excursions to suit all travellers.

Viva's Best Bits...

"If you are keen to see the red-footed boobies, then this is a great cruise for you. The best place to spot these birds is on Genovesa Island. " Pia, Team Viva

As an alternative to snorkelling, this vessel offers a Glass-bottom boat which is a great alternative to see the wildlife below the water.

Besides exploring the fantastic nature of the Galapagos you will also experience Cordon-Bleu gastronomy on board.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Baltra Island

5 Day Northern Galapagos cruise: Monday to Friday - as below
Please ask us for 5 Day Western Galapagos cruise: Thursday to Monday

We land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz, where we receive a welcome introductory briefing and lunch.
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island) is a beautiful visitor site, 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, from stilts to flamingos. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkelling gear and techniques. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.

Day 2
Santiago Island

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 snorkeling or panga ride.
Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
Once we disembark at the beach, we can enjoy a swim or snorkel amid a rocky shoreline, usually in the company of marine turtles. From here, we head off for our walk, a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid 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 fur-sea lions. Non-snorkellers can enjoy a longer walk.

Day 3
Rábida Island & Bartolomé Island

Rábida Island
After breakfast, we land on Rábida Island’s red-coloured beach, caused 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 migrating greater flamingos at certain times of year. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkellers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Non-snorkellers will enjoy a ride on the glass bottom boat or a panga ride. During navigation to our next island, dolphins are often spotted!

We land at Bartolomé Island 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, resting platforms and handrails – 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 on the beach to enjoy some swimming, snorkelling or just relaxing (possibly with Galápagos penguins in attendance).

Day 4
Genovesa Island

Prince Philip Steps (Genovesa Island)
The morning starts with a panga ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island, followed by 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 lots of fish, including hammerhead sharks.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)
In the afternoon, we land at this beautiful beach to enjoy some swimming and/or snorkelling. Following our dip, we take an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. There’s an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else we can return to the beach or enjoy a panga ride.

Day 5
Santa Cruz Depart

Tortoise Reserve – Baltra airport
We start our last morning at the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. After breakfast, your luggage will be taken to the airport, while you visit the Tortoise Reserve. A dry landing at a passenger’s wharf and a bus ride to the loftier region of the island will provide the last highlight of the cruise: giant tortoises in the wild. The windward slopes of the island are home to two species of giant tortoises. These lush highlands include dense forests of Galapagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads, and several endemic land birds. After this visit we will transfer directly to Baltra airport. Farewell to Galapagos

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Cabin on board
  • Included Copy 20 All meals
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Island sightseeing
  • Included Copy 20 7 Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages on request)
  • Included Copy 20 Snorkeling gear, kayaks/ glass bottom boat
  • Included Copy 20 Luggage handling
  • Included Copy 20 Medical care / Doctor on board (not including the cost of medication)
  • Included Copy 20 Taxes
  • Included Copy 20 Transfers in the islands/ Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito /Guayaquil
  • Included Copy 7 Galapagos Islands National Park Entrance Fee USD$100 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Ingala Tourist Card USD$20 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Return flights to Galapagos Islands
  • Included Copy 31 Wetsuits: Available for rent
  • Included Copy 31 Internet / Wi-Fi additional charge

Santa Cruz II | Galapagos Cruise Ship

90 Passengers


  • Included Chances to see Galapagos penguins
  • Included Look out for 3 species of Boobies! Blue footed booby, Nazca Booby, Red-footed booby
  • Included Swimming and snorkelling
  • Included Excursions by dinghy or glass-bottom boat
  • Included Photography opportunities - Bartolome Island, one of the most iconic views
  • Included Walk, hike or kayaking in the Galapagos
  • Included Bird watching - flamingos, Frigate birds, Galapagos hawks and more
  • Included Visit a Giant Tortoise Reserve.
Click here for dates & prices

5 days

Price from

$4,376 USD

Per person, twin share

Departs on select Mondays