Join us on a journey of ecological discovery as we set off from Quito, Ecuador, to experience the natural wonders of the incomparable Galápagos Islands.
Beautiful Quito and volcano adventure
Your adventure begins with two nights at a hotel in Quito, one of South America’s most charming capitals. This UNESCO World Heritage City, filled with graceful Spanish-era architecture, is packed with cozy restaurants and small artisanal shops. From here, we pay a visit to an active volcano, embark on a nature walk among stunning surroundings, and stop to visit a vibrant open-air market.
Darwin’s islands of evolution
The Galápagos Islands are famously associated with the evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin. Our comprehensive itinerary calls at the islands of Santa Cruz (centrally located), the volcanic Fernandina, Isabela, Floreana, and balmy Baltra, before continuing to Santiago, the adjacent islands of Rábida and Bartolomé, and the isolated Genovesa. This journey thus includes three of the four islands Darwin visited. The landings take in a wide variety of ecosystems and picturesque landscapes and provide great opportunities for seeing wildlife like sea lions, turtles, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, flamingos, and iconic Darwin’s Finches.
Your expedition ship: MS Santa Cruz II
MS Santa Cruz II’s itineraries provide the best island coverage and wildlife viewing opportunities in the Galápagos. Excursions take place at exclusive visitor sites, meaning we’ll often have entire areas to ourselves. Having multiple naturalist guides aboard Santa Cruz II also means you can choose from a wider range of activities each day.
Your ship is also one of the few vessels operating in Galápagos that comes equipped with a full range of exploration tools, including dinghies, kayaks, snorkeling gear, and paddleboards. There's even a glass-bottom boat. Safety and sustainability are paramount throughout your cruise, and the onboard medical officer is available 24/7.
Day 1Quito, Ecuador
Arrive in the city of eternal spring, get your bearings, and unwind after your journey.
Day 2Quito, Ecuador
Get a taste for Ecuador with a visit to a traditional market and a trip to Cotopaxi Volcano.
Day 3Galápagos, Ecuador
Fly away from the mainland to the Galápagos Islands, where your encounter with wildlife awaits.
Day 4Isabela and Fernandina Islands, Galápagos
Explore the coast by dinghy and set foot on the island of the marine iguanas.
Day 5Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos
Meet the famous giant tortoises of Galápagos at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Day 6Floreana Island, Galápagos
Discover Galápagos history and look for underwater wildlife.
Day 7Galápagos, Ecuador
Relaxation day at Santa Cruz Recharge your batteries and lounge on Las Bachas beach.
Day 8Santiago Island, Galápagos
Explore Santiago Island and see its wild residents and impressive rock formations.
Day 9Rábida Island and Bartolomé Island, Galápagos
See some amazing wildlife and beautiful landscapes, and try out the glass-bottom boat.
Day 10Genovesa Island, Galápagos
Start the morning with a climb to better see this birdlife paradise.
Day 11Santa Cruz & Baltra Island, Ecuador
Your cruise has come to an end, so enjoy a slow goodbye at the giant tortoise sanctuary.
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Included in Your Expedition
- Two nights of hotel in Quito before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and dinner on day 2.
- Roundtrip flights in economy class (from Quito to Baltra, and Baltra to Guayaquil).
- Transfer from the hotel in Quito to the Quito Airport before the expedition cruise, and transfers between the Baltra Airport and the ship
- Full-day nature tour to Cotopaxi National Park, including lunch
- Galápagos Islands National Park admission fee
- Transit control card for Galápagos Islands
- Access to the airport lounge at the Guayaquil or Quito airport upon return from Galápagos Islands
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Aune restaurant, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water)
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
- English-speaking Expedition Team to guide activities and provide educational information, on board and ashore
- Welcome and farewell cocktails
- Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has a library, microscopes, and samples
- The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
- An onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
- Use of the ship’s hot tubs and gym
- Landings, hikes, coastal exploration, and activities that include kayaking, snorkeling, and our glass-bottom boat
- Complimentary wetsuit rental
Not Included In Your Expedition
- International flights
- Travel protection
- Baggage handling
- All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
- No gratuities are expected on board
- Washers and dryers are available on board for guest use
- Please read our health & safety guidelines
MS Santa Cruz II
|Year of refurbishment||2021|
|Shipyard||ASENAV Shipyard (CHL)|
|Gross tonnage||2,664 T|
When you are exploring the Galápagos Islands with us aboard the Santa Cruz II, you’ll enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in premium surroundings. The ship’s small size (with a maximum guest capacity of 90) offers a cozy yet sophisticated environment. It’s easy to feel at home on board.