Join us on a journey of ecological discovery as we travel from Quito to experience the natural wonders of the incomparable Galápagos Islands while traveling in Charles Darwin’s footsteps.
We offer unique expedition cruises to sail in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. Our Eastern itinerary explores San Cristobal, the first of the four Galapagos island visited by Darwin in 1835 and the easternmost landmass in the archipelago. We will also call at Mosquera Islet, see the land iguanas of Santa Fe and South Plaza, the giant turtles of Santa Cruz, and the amazing bird colonies of Española, Eden Islet, and North Seymour. The landings cover a wide array of ecosystems and spectacular landscapes. You will have great opportunities to see unique wildlife, including most of the iconic animals of Galapagos.
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 Quito, we pay a visit to an active volcano, embark on a nature walk among stunning surroundings, and stroll through a vibrant open-air market.
After we fly to the Galápagos, embark Santa Cruz II, our comfortable and stylish expedition vessel ideally suited for remote adventures. Take part in an unforgettable cruise and experience the very best the UNESCO-protected Galápagos has to offer. The onboard facilities are excellent. Look forward to delicious dishes prepared by our chefs, as well as comfortable cabins for relaxing after each exciting day of exploration.
When the English naturalist Charles Darwin visited here aboard the H.M.S. Beagle in 1835, he discovered that several species—including tortoises and land iguanas—evolved differently depending on their habitat. His seminal work, On the Origin of Species, proved revolutionary. On this science-oriented expedition, you’ll learn about Darwin’s discoveries and make a few of our own.
You’ll get closer to the natural wonders with the use of our small boats (RIBs), kayaks, snorkeling gear, and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs). You can choose from a wide range of included activities and the Expedition Team will guide you on landings. Safety and sustainability are always at the core of our operations, and our aim is to leave the smallest possible footprint wherever we go.
For your safety, we always sail with a Medical Officer onboard.
Day 1Quito, Ecuador
Day 2Quito, Ecuador
Cotopaxi Volcano trip
Day 3Galápagos, Ecuador
Your cruise begins
Day 4San Cristóbal Island
Visiting the giants
Day 5Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island
Blissful beauty and evolving iguanas
Day 6Santa Cruz Island
Giant tortoises & island activities
Day 7Española Island
A conservation success story
Day 8Santa Cruz Island & North Seymour Island
A small slice of Eden
Day 9Baltra Island, Ecuador
End of the expedition
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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.