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.
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.
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 cruise, you’ll learn
about Darwin’s discoveries and make a few of our own.
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.
your safety, we always sail with a Medical Officer onboard.
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||Explorer Cabins||Darwin Suites|
|May 25, 2022||Jun 02, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Jun 08, 2022||Jun 16, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Jun 22, 2022||Jun 30, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Jul 06, 2022||Jul 14, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Jul 20, 2022||Jul 28, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Aug 03, 2022||Aug 11, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Aug 17, 2022||Aug 25, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Aug 31, 2022||Sep 08, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Sep 14, 2022||Sep 22, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Sep 28, 2022||Oct 06, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Oct 12, 2022||Oct 20, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Oct 26, 2022||Nov 03, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Nov 09, 2022||Nov 17, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Nov 23, 2022||Dec 01, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Dec 07, 2022||Dec 15, 2022||8,878||12,124|
|Dec 21, 2022||Dec 29, 2022||10,172||13,988|
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||(Starting from)|
|May 25, 2022||Jun 02, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Jun 08, 2022||Jun 16, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Jun 22, 2022||Jun 30, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Jul 06, 2022||Jul 14, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Jul 20, 2022||Jul 28, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Aug 03, 2022||Aug 11, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Aug 17, 2022||Aug 25, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Aug 31, 2022||Sep 08, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Sep 14, 2022||Sep 22, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Sep 28, 2022||Oct 06, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Oct 12, 2022||Oct 20, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Oct 26, 2022||Nov 03, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Nov 09, 2022||Nov 17, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Nov 23, 2022||Dec 01, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Dec 07, 2022||Dec 15, 2022||8,878||12,124||12,124|
|Dec 21, 2022||Dec 29, 2022||10,172||13,988||13,988|
1: QUITO, ECUADOR
cruise of discovery begins in Quito, a city that straddles the equator,
and where spring is always in the air. Beautifully situated at 9,350
feet above sea level in a high valley, Quito is the second-highest
capital city in the world. Views of the nearby mountains are a constant
reminder of your location in the Andes.
was founded on an ancient Inca settlement and today is a bustling and
modern city. But you don't need to look too far beneath the
contemporary façade to find the past, and the Old Town, for
example, is a showcase of classical Spanish architecture. In fact, the
city's diligent preservation of its history warranted it to be declared
a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1978.
you have time in the evening, we recommend you visit the Calle La
Ronda, an ancient pedestrian street with links to poets and other
artists who have lived here. It's full of shops and café,
and there are also plenty of handicrafts for sale.
in the sparkling city lights that extend into the surrounding hills and
mountains at night—a truly mesmerizing sight! Experience
another highlight of South America and discover the lost civilization
of the Inca people, including the breathtaking mountain stronghold of
Machu Picchu. This optional four-day Pre-Program before your cruise
starts in Lima and ends in Quito.
2: QUITO, ECUADOR
see one of Ecuador's natural wonders up close as we visit an active
volcano and walk to a height of almost 12,800 feet.
we'll stop in at the photogenic Sangolqui open-air market, where you
can sample different Andean specialties. The local indigenous people
sell their produce here, and you´ll see colorful legumes,
fruits, and vegetables. At the market you can also purchase clothing
and other handicrafts, which will give you the opportunity to chat with
the friendly stallholders.
National Park, set amid gorgeous mountains, is only an hour-and-a-half
drive from Quito. This mostly treeless landscape is characteristic of
the Andean moorlands, or páramo—you might even see
herds of llamas roaming wild. Birdlife includes the Andean Gull,
several species of hummingbird, and with some luck, the majestic
condor. We'll walk to Limpiopungo Lagoon, a beautiful lake that mirrors
the dramatic surrounding peaks.
‘Neck of the Moon' in the local Quechua language, at 20,000
feet high, Cotopaxi has an almost perfectly conical form and is one of
the highest volcanoes in the world. Its yawning crater measures 2,620
feet and features one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world. The
first recorded eruption of Cotopaxi was in 1534, terrifying both locals
and conquistadors alike, and the last major one occurred in 1904.
lunch, you'll enjoy delicious traditional dishes prepared by some of
the region's best chefs in San Agustin del Callo. In the late
afternoon, we'll return to the hotel and enjoy a nice dinner before
calling it a night.
3: GALÁPAGOS, ECUADOR
breakfast, we'll go to the Quito Airport for our morning flight that
takes us across the Pacific Ocean to our adventure. After only a couple
of hours, we land at the Galápagos Ecological Airport on
Baltra Island. This airport runs on renewable power and is said to be
the world's ‘greenest'—most environmentally
landing in the spectacular Galápagos Archipelago, you'll
head straight to the port and your home away from home for the next few
days: our comfortable expedition ship, Santa Cruz II.
start our oceanic expedition with a short, mandatory safety briefing.
Check in and get settled before meeting for lunch in the restaurant,
where the captain will propose a toast and wish everyone an exciting
adventure. The cruise gets underway right after lunch.
first stop is only four nautical miles away, at the southern tip of
Mosquera Islet. This small piece of volcanic uplift sits between the
larger islands of Baltra and North Seymour. A long, narrow sandbank is
surrounded by lava reefs, home to one of the largest colonies of sea
lions in the Galápagos.
take a small boat (RIB) to land ashore, where you'll see sea lions
basking in the sun. This will be your first glimpse of the amazing
wildlife diversity and richness of these islands, and the islet is
filled with many seabirds, including Blue-footed Boobies, as well as
Sally Lightfoot crabs.
walk is easy—only a few hundred yards across flat, sandy
dunes. As we explore, you'll learn more about the fragile marine and
terrestrial ecosystems of the Galápagos.
4: SAN CRISTÓBAL ISLAND
we´ll dock in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the archipelago's
capital. It's a 40-minute drive to Cerro Colorado, where you'll visit a
breeding center for the highly endangered giant tortoise. This
Galápagos icon has a natural lifespan estimated at over 100
Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve is working to boost the numbers of
these giant reptiles and bring them back from the brink of extinction.
They live in conditions similar to their natural habitat and are able
to thrive here. The tortoises amble around under the cover of a 15-acre
forest, which is also home to dozens of other endemic species,
including the San Cristobal Mockingbird and the San
Cristóbal lava lizard.
the afternoon, our small boats (RIBs) take you to Punta Pitt at the
eastern tip of the island. This unusual point consists of an eroded
volcanic cone. Take the trail here for spectacular views of the
coastline. Punta Pitt is the only site in the Galápagos
where you might see three species of boobies. The Blue-footed Boobie is
easily recognized blue feet!
a nature walk on land or explore the coast aboard one of our small
boats (RIBs). The snorkelling and swimming are excellent in the clear
water here. You might see sea lions performing underwater acrobatics
over the reef, so remember to bring your swimsuit and some good walking
5: SANTA FE ISLAND & SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND
breakfast, we´ll head for an idyllic white-sand beach on the
island of Santa Fe for a scenic nature walk. A colony of sea lions
calls this island home, as well as the endemic Barrington land iguana,
which is usually spotted sitting among giant prickly pear cacti or
lounging on rocks in the sun.
island has a blissful feeling about it, and we further enjoy by
swimming or snorkeling offshore from our small boats (RIBs). If you
want to get a peek at the underwater world, consider joining a ride in
a glass-bottomed boat. Or, take out a kayak and explore this beautiful
and wild island at your own pace.
our excellent onboard chefs whip up a nice, long lunch, we'll head to
our next destination: South Plaza Island. On the way, we'll pass
through a channel where turquoise waters line the white-sand beaches,
which in turn contrast sharply with the black lava rocks. Along the
shore, we might spot frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and
shearwaters, gliding on the breeze.
Plaza Island may be very small, but it hosts a stunning array of flora,
particularly the flowering succulent sesuvium and dense patches of
prickly pears. Land iguanas laze sleepily by the shore, while marine
iguanas slip in and out of the water. If you're lucky, you might even
spot a hybrid of the two—the result of intergeneric breeding
between the two subspecies—evolution in action!
6: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
morning we'll head ashore at Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the
archipelago, situated on Santa Cruz Island. Here, we drop in on the
Charles Darwin Research Station, where over 200 scientists and
volunteers are working to conserve the wildlife of the
the breeding enclosures where you can see baby tortoises in incubators,
and look upon Darwin's famous finches with your own eyes—the
birds he used as a basis for his theory of evolution.
can try your hand at using a trapiche, a sugarcane grinder used to
extract the juice, which you can drink or ferment into liquor. To visit
the sugar–cane mill you can take a bus or ride a bicycle, if
you're feeling more active!
after experiencing the forest of Opuntia Cactus Forest, sometimes
called the Galápagos prickly pear, we'll enjoy lunch in the
highlands. This ecosystem is entirely different from the coastal
plains, with green foliage and a moist, cooler climate. It's also where
the most giant tortoises roam. You'll have the opportunity of seeing
these giants in their natural habitat. They are certainly not hard to
spot as they lumber around,?munch on?grass, and wallow in pools.
lunch, you can continue to seek out tortoises in the region or choose
from several different activities, including mountain biking or
kayaking in Tortuga Bay. You could also hike the 1.3 miles to a
beautiful bay and stop at Playa Brava, a beautiful
snow-white–sand beach that's a nesting site for green turtles.
the same walk, Playa Mansa is a secluded natural mangrove cove, with
clear and tranquil waters ideal for swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking.
Or simply enjoy the view from the shade of a mangrove!
measures limit the number of guests in Tortuga Bay, so be sure to
coordinate your interest in attending with the Expedition Team.
7: ESPAÑOLA ISLAND
four million years old, Española is said to be one of the
oldest islands and is the farthest south in the archipelago. A magnet
for birders, almost the entire world population of Waved Albatross
breeds here between March and January. Be on the lookout for Nazca
Boobies, Blue-footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls, which are all
your eyes peeled for the Española lava lizard, which has a
strikingly red hue. You could also spot the very colorful marine
iguanas, which are an endemic subspecies found only here.
did have some very good wildlife news here in 2020 when a rare tortoise
was found to have sired over 900 children. Diego, who is over 100 years
old, was on loan from San Diego Zoo, and may have almost singlehandedly
saved his subspecies from extinction. His remarkable achievement earned
him retirement in Española with his extended family. He is
expected to live to around 150 years of age!
also get to witness the famous blowhole, El Soplador (meaning
‘the blower'), which blasts water 75 feet into the air. The
effect is caused by waves crashing into a lava fissure at high tide and
blowing the water out through a crevice. Afterward, we'll head back on
board the ship for another lovely and relaxed lunch.
the afternoon, we visit the postcard-worthy coral beach of Gardner Bay
and the nearby Osborn Islet. These are beautiful settings for observing
sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches, as you take time to relax or slip
into the water for some excellent snorkeling. Kayaking activities are
available here, too.
8: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND & NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND - A Small Slice of
Islet, off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, is a sliver of volcanic cone
poking up through the sea. The wildlife here is abundant. The clear,
shallow waters are great for spotting Galápagos green
turtles, rays, and friendly reef sharks.
bring the snorkeling gear, so remember your swimsuit if you want to do
some reef exploration. Weather permitting, you can also take a trip
aboard our glass-bottomed boat or paddle along the coast of Eden on a
kayak. Look out for the frigatebirds on shore and their characteristic
rubbery red throats.
after lunch on the ship, we'll head to the island of North Seymour.
This small and mostly flat piece of land was created when a volcanic
eruption lifted up the seabed, which is why it looks so smooth and
a small forest of silver-gray palo santo trees (also known as Saint's
Wood) just above the landing site. These trees are typically leafless
and remain dormant for half of the year, waiting for the rains as their
cue to burst into bloom. The wood is famously used to make
incense—see if you can detect the scent!
is a great site to observe colonies of Blue-footed Boobies,
frigatebirds, and Swallow-tailed Gulls. Sea lions and marine iguanas
also call North Seymour home—they are more than happy to
feast on the sealife found in the rich waters here. When a young Darwin
first laid eyes on marine iguanas, he described them as
‘clumsy lizards' and ‘hideous-looking'. We beg to
differ, but see for yourself!
9: BALTRA ISLAND, ECUADOR
your expedition cruise comes to a close, it's time to bid farewell to
the bounteous wildlife and amazing scenery of one of the world's most
incredible nature destinations. It's also time to say farewell to the
wonderful crew and Expedition Team as we disembark at Baltra Island.
be transferred to the airport. Your flight will bring you to Guayaquil.
Upon arrival in Guayaquil, a representative will assist with your
international flight connection. Or, you can continue from Guayaquil to
Quito to catch your international flight from there.
hope that you've had amazing experiences that will provide lifelong
memories. We'd love to welcome you aboard again.
MS Santa Cruz II (Expedition, 90-guests)
When you are exploring the Galapagos islands with us onboard the MS Santa Cruz II, you will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in high quality surroundings. The small size - with a guest capacity of maximum of 90 allows for a cozy yet classy environment. You'll easily feel at home onboard.
(Click image to view Ship details)
nights of hotel in Quito before the expedition cruise, including
breakfast and dinner on day 2.
flights in economy class (from Quito to Baltra, and Baltra to
from the hotel in Quito to the Quito Airport before the expedition
cruise, and transfers between the Baltra Airport and the ship
nature tour to Cotopaxi National Park, including lunch
Islands National Park admission fee
control card for Galápagos Islands
to the airport lounge at the Guayaquil or Quito airport upon return
from Galápagos Islands
cruise in a cabin of your choice
lunch, and dinner in the Aune restaurant, including beverages (house
beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water)
tea and coffee
complimentary Wi-Fi for suite guests. Wi-Fi is available for purchase,
but be aware that we sail in remote areas with very limited connection.
Streaming is not supported.
reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
Expedition Team to guide activities and provide educational
information, on board and?ashore?
and farewell cocktails
hikes, coastal exploration, and activities that include kayaking,
snorkeling, and our glass-bottom boat
wetsuit rental for suite guests. Wet suit rental available on request.
of the ship's Science Center, which has a library, microscopes, and
Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current
scientific research projects
onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking
the best landscape and wildlife photos
of the ship's hot tubs and gym
Included In Your Expedition
planned activities are subject to weather conditions
and activities are subject to change
ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
gratuities are expected on board
and dryers are available on board for guest use
- Please read
our health & safety guidelines
Landings, hikes, coastal exploration, and activities that include kayaking, snorkeling, and our glass-bottom boat. Complimentary wet-suit rental for suite guests. Wet-suit rental available on request.