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An expedition ship perfectly suited for stability, comfort and daily visits ashore

Conceived for operations in remote areas, the Santa Cruz II  is the perfect ship for stability in the ocean with a very experienced crew to manage operations in and out, catering, cabins, hospitality and view the wildlife that make the Galapagos Islands such a special place on earth.

The M/V Santa Cruz II has a maximum of 90 guests with four and five nights itineraries (that can also be combined), greater stability and guided walks on the islands in small groups, staggered along the narrow trails.

Santa Cruz II
Cabins & Suites

Explorer Cabin

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Darwin Suite

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Santa Cruz II Deck Plan

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Santa Cruz II
Cruise Itineraries

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Each of these cruises itineraries can be integrated into our tailor-made tours.

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  • Northern Route

    4 Nights

    Go swimming and snorkelling, get up close to the varied bird-life of the Galapagos and admire its craggy coastline.

    Santa Cruz II Northern

    Monday to Friday

    DAY 1  Baltra airport, Las Bachas

    Board the vessel on the island of Baltra and enjoy a welcome lunch, before disembarking at Las Bachas. Here we visit the beautiful beaches of the area, populated by marine iguanas and watch flamingos and stilts in the shallow lagoons. You'll then have the opportunity to practice a little snorkelling 

    DAY 2 Buccaneer Cove, Puerto Egas

    The day kicks off with the sea lions and sea birds of Buccaneer Cove on Santiago Island, as well as the dramatic steep cliffs and remarkable natural rock formations of the former pirate anchorage. The coastline around here and Puerto Egas provides a great place to snorkel and swim, often in the company of turtles. Heading in-land, we find more interesting bird life and can observe marine iguanas and fur seals.

    DAY 3 Red Beach, Bartolomé

    Visit the red sand beach at Rabida, frequented by sea lions, marine iguanas, finches, warblers and mockingbirds, as well as the occasional flamingos. Dolphin sightings are possible whilst travelling towards Bartolomé, a small island with a steep climb to the summit, from which magnificent views await. Further exploration around the impressive Pinnacle Rock follows, in a glass-bottom boat and then pangas, before you are invited to relax on the beach or swim in the waters, hoping to be joined by some friendly Galapagos penguins!

    DAY 4 Prince Philip Steps, Darwin Bay

    The next day focuses on Genovesa Island, disembarking from the panga boats to climb the steps to a flat plateau, from where we can observe Nazca and red-footed boobies, as well as frigate birds and storm petrels. Further snorkelling opportunities follow, in the company of various schools of fish, and the chance to spot fur seals on a longer panga ride (weather dependent).

    We continue to Darwin Bay, starting with a swim and more snorkelling, before walking through the many species of birds that make their home here, including mockingbirds, herons, finches, gulls, frigate birds and red-footed and Nazca boobies. Later on will be the chance to walk over the lava flows to enjoy some fantastic panoramic views, relax on the beach or take a panga ride to further observe the sea life here.

    DAY 5 Puerto Baquerizo Moreno , Tortoise Breeding Centre

    The experience ends with a morning visit to the giant tortoise breeding programme at Cerro Colorado, offering the chance to see these majestic creatures at close quarters and understand about the ongoing efforts to boost the population. Guests are then returned back to the town and transferred to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.

  • Eastern Route

    4 Nights

    Observe sea lions, iguanas, boobies, waved albatrosses and many more in the volcanic islands of the Galapagos.

    Santa Cruz II Eastern

    Saturday to Wednesday

    DAY 1 Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Punta Pitt

    Transfer to the Santa Cruz II, followed by introductory talk and welcome lunch. In the afternoon visit Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island, offering spectacular views and the only place in the archipelago where you can see all three types of boobies. Ride in a small panga dinghy and snorkel or swim in the clear waters.

    DAY 2 Santa Fe, South Plaza

    Morning visit to the white sandy beaches of Santa Fe Island to observe a colony of sea lions up close. See the endemic land iguanas, unique to this island and discover the colourful marine life in the seas around the island. Afternoon visit to South Plaza Island and its beautiful beaches, interesting flora and black lava landscape. Watch brightly coloured land iguanas, marine iguanas, sea lions and frigatebirds amongst many others.

    DAY 3 Charles Darwin Station, choice of activity

    Visit the giant tortoise breeding centre on Santa Cruz Island to observe these majestic creatures and understand the conservation efforts undertaken here. This is followed by a trip to the verdant highlands of Santa Cruz to spot giant tortoises in the wild.

    There is a choice of activities in the afternoon, including hiking, mountain biking or kayaking.

    DAY 4 Punta Suarez, Gardner Bay

    Discover the birdlife of Punta Suarez on Española Island, depending on the time of year you can watch blue-footed and Nazca boobies, swallow-tail gulls and the extraordinary waved albatross mating dance. See crimson marine iguanas and the dramatic Galapagos blow-hole.

    An afternoon visit to Gardner Bay on Española affords the chance to relax on its white sandy beaches in the company of sea lions and finches, spot the Galapagos hawk and snorkel in the spectacular coral.

    DAY 5 Baltra airport

    Transfer to Baltra airport for flight back to the mainland.

  • Western Route

    5 Nights

    Enjoy intimate wildlife encounters and stunning views as you explore the western side of the archipelago.

    Santa Cruz II Western

    Wednesday to Monday

    DAY 1 Baltra airport, North Seymour

    Our itinerary together begins straight from the airport of Baltra, where we'll sail to the island of North Seymour, a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife. Watch blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, sea lions and marine iguanas amongst many others.

    DAY 2 Punta Vicente Roca, Punta Espinoza

    Sail around the seahorse-shaped Isabela Island to Punta Vicente Roca and then Punta Espinoza on Fernandina. Spend exploring the coastline in small panga boats, learning about the geology of Isabela island and spotting the many flightless cormorants that nest here. This is also a great spot for snorkelling, particularly when the Green Sea turtles come.

    Later we head to Fernandina, the youngest of the Galapagos Islands. Large numbers of sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas and flightless cormorants are found here on the lava rocks.

    DAY 3 Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay

    We continue our exploration of Isabela at the beautiful pirate bay of Tagus Cove, taking in the stunning views across the turquoise lake which fills the crater of the volcano here. This is followed by exploration in panga boats with optional water activities. 

    We then continue on to Urbina Bay, where the land rose sharply over 16 foot in 1954, leaving behind corals and shells from the stranded marine life, which can be studied by visitors. On the land we can see colourful iguanas and the occasional tortoise, whilst the crystal-clear waters are a great place to snorkel.

    DAY 4 Charles Darwin Research Station, El Chato Tortoise Reserve

    Sail back round to Santa Cruz to visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station and the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz, to spot giant tortoises. You can then spend the afternoon enjoying a range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking and kayaking.

    DAY 5 Post Office Bay & Baroness Cove, Punta Cormorant & Devil's Crown

    The following day finds us on Floreana, exploring its human history and stunning wildlife. Post Office Bay is a bizarre, yet functioning concept whereby visitors and inhabitants traditionally leave letters and postcards for other guests to take and hand-deliver upon their return home, or on their further travels.

    Explore the dazzling coastline of Floreana before a glass-bottom boat and panga trip to see the marine life around Champion Islet, one of the very best snorkelling opportunities in the Galapagos. This is followed by a walk to a lagoon at Cormorant Point where pintail ducks, herons and flamingos can be frequently seen. The visit is rounded off with a visit to a white sandy beach where sea turtles nest.

    DAY 6 Baltra airport

    Return to Baltra airport for your flight back to the mainland.

Santa Cruz II
Useful Information

Boat Description

The Santa Cruz II is the newest expedition vessel in the Galapagos Islands, and was built with modern technology and style to preserve the islands' delicate ecosystem via the latest in sustainable sailing.

The Santa Cruz II took the baton from its predecessor, the MV Santa Cruz, in October 2015. It has a 58 percent more space for passenger than its predecessor, and a 31 percent reduction in fuel consumption, resulting in a lower environmental footprint per guest. Sustainable cruise technology onboard also includes a waste water treatment plant.

The Santa Cruz II boasts five spacious decks, with modern interiors designed by renowned ship designer Richard Nilsson, created with the ethos of stylish simplicity. With an intelligent layout, including wide hallways and broad stairwells, guests will immediately know their way around.  Relax in the beautifully designed communal areas and viewing platforms, including indoor and outdoor dining options, two lounge bars, a well-stocked library, two indulgent ocean view hot tubs and a state of the art gym. Separate lecture areas allow for simultaneous presentations. And there is a medical doctor on board, with a fully equipped infirmary, free of charge.

WiFi is available on board for a charge, but note that it is only available in the ship's social areas or at designated computer stations. Due to the Galapagos' remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low bandwidth.

Deck Plan

Santa Cruz II sleeps 90 guests in 50 contemporary-designed cabins across three decks. Guests can choose from luxuriously appointed single, double and triple cabins, or opt for one of the three even more exclusive Darwin Suites, an exceptional standard of accommodation on the Panorama Deck, with elevated service and carefully refined extras such as a take-home Galápagos coffee table book, a tablet loan for each cabin, complimentary drinks and VIP lounge access at the Galápagos Islands airport. 90 percent of all cabins include convertible beds, and 36 of the 50 cabins can be interconnected. No cabins are located at sea level or near engines or generators, ensuring a relaxing cabin experience.

Horizon Deck Explorer Triple

2 cabins, measuring 192 square feet, are available for triple occupancy on the Horizon Deck. Located on the same deck as the reception area, gift shop and infirmary.

Horizon Deck Explorer

23 cabins, measuring 163 square feet, on the Horizon Deck feature the option of twin or double beds. Located on the same deck as the reception area, gift shop and infirmary.

Horizon Deck Voyager Single

2 cabins, measuring 127 square feet, are available for single occupancy on the Horizon Deck. Located on the same deck as the reception area, gift shop and infirmary.

Expedition Deck Explorer

17 cabins, measuring 163 square feet, on the Expedition Deck feature the option of twin or double beds. Located between the hot tubs on the stern and the Expedition Lounge & Library on the bow.

Panorama Deck Explorer

3 cabins, measuring 163 square feet, on the Panorama Deck feature the option of twin or double beds. Located between the Panorama Bar & Lounge and the Bridge.

Panorama Deck Darwin Suite

3 suites, measuring 325 square feet, on the Panorama Deck feature the option of twin or double beds and include elevated service and carefully refined extras such as a take-home Galápagos coffee table book, a tablet loan during cruise, complimentary drinks and VIP lounge access at the Galápagos Islands airport. Located between the Panorama Bar & Lounge and the Bridge.

IATO independent reviews of Veloso Tours

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