Galapagos: Santa Cruz II | 5 days Western

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

Have a journey to remember with M/V Santa Cruz II that offers comfortable accommodation for up to 90 passengers. Start your cruise on Santa Cruz Island and visit Dragon Hill home to the Galapagos land iguanas. From there continue to Isabela Island, where you can go on a snorkelling adventure at Punta Vicente Roca. Take pictures of unique sea bird colonies, blue-footed boobies and hopefully you will spot a Galapagos penguin. In the afternoon visit Fernandina Island, this is the perfect place to observe marine iguanas. Cruise overnight and arrive in the morning on Santa Cruz and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the tortoise breeding program. There will be time to visit the cooler highlands of the island. The Island of Floreana is the final stop where you can stop at post office bay - make sure you write a postcard to send a message home from the Galapagos!

Enjoy walking, snorkelling, kayaking and glass bottom boat excursions, plus great food onboard.

Viva's Best Bits...

Visit Post Office Bay on Floreana Island where you will find the historic barrel that served as a post office for over two centuries.

Go on a snorkel adventure, or alternatively this vessel offers a Glass-bottom boat to see the wildlife below the water.

"Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is the best place to see hundreds of marine iguanas. When I visited there were so many you almost tripped over them, they blend perfectly into the natural habitat!" Pia, Team Viva

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

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.

Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). The first part of our walk passes a brackish-water lagoon frequented by shorebirds, ducks and flamingos, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance of observing land iguanas.

Day 2
Isabella & Fernandina Island

Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, a nesting place for several Galapagos highlights: flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, boobies, etc. 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)

Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, 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
Santa Cruz Island

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
In the morning, we disembark (dry landing followed by a brief bus ride) 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.

Santa Cruz Island
We have several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. Options include beach walks, kayaks, walks along the tortoise reserve, etc. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II.

Day 4
Floreana Island

Baroness Tower – Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)
After breakfast, panga ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can be enjoyed. We follow this visit by continuing to Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views of Floreana. We land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries and where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. Snorkeling off the beach. We then head back on board for lunch.

Champion Islet – Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Following lunch and a siesta, we take the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s on to Punta Cormorant, 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 over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).

Day 5
Baltra Island Depart

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

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 Transfers in the islands/ Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito /Guayaquil
  • Included Copy 20 Taxes
  • 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 Blue footed booby and Nazca Booby
  • Included Swimming and snorkelling
  • Included Excursions by dinghy or glass-bottom boat
  • Included Photography opportunities – Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is the best for marine iguanas
  • Included Human History visit on Floreana Post Office Bay
  • Included Walk, hike or kayaking in the Galapagos
  • Included Bird watching - flamingos, Frigate birds, Galapagos hawks and more
  • Included Visit a Giant Tortoise Reserve and the Charles Darwin Research Station
Click here for dates & prices

5 days

Price from

$4,376 USD

Per person, twin share

Departs on select Thursdays