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 a 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 journey to an active volcano, embark on a nature walk among stunning surroundings, and stop and visit a traditional open-air market.
Darwin’s islands of evolution
The Galápagos Islands are famously associated with the naturalist Charles Darwin. Our northern itinerary calls at Santiago, the adjacent islands of Rábida and Bartolomé, isolated Genovesa, and the centrally located Santa Cruz. The landings offer a wide variety of ecosystems and picturesque landscapes and provide great opportunities for seeing wildlife like sea lions, turtles, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, flamingos, Nazca and Red-footed Boobies, and Darwin’s iconic finches.
Your expedition ship: MS Santa Cruz II
MS Santa Cruz II’s itineraries offer some of the best island coverage and wildlife viewing opportunities in the Galápagos Islands. Many 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 gear, including panga-style boats, 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 the Cotopaxi Volcano.
Day 3Galápagos, Ecuador
Fly away from the mainland to the Galápagos Islands, where your encounter with wildlife awaits.
Day 4Santiago Island, Galápagos
Explore Santiago Island and see its wild residents and impressive rock formations.
Day 5Rábida Island and Bartolomé Island, Galápagos
See some amazing wildlife and beautiful landscapes, and try out the glass-bottom boat.
Day 6Genovesa Island, Galápagos
Start the morning with a climb to better see this paradise for birdlife.
Day 7Santa 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 hotel nights 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 Beagle 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 Corner, which has a library 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 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.