Antarctica & Arctic
Discover the dramatic landscapes of the Galapagos Islands on this carefully planned itinerary including the main highlights plus a flexible program.
Destinations > Ecuador > M/V Santa Cruz II
Four nights cruise accommodation in an outside cabin, meals as indicated, Galapagos Transit Control Card, guided excursions and Galapagos transfers.
Mondays & Thursdays
NOTE: A seven day itinerary is also available.
The 50 cabin Santa Cruz II brings a chic new way to explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands in style and comfort. The new boat offers guests unrivalled guiding experiences.
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Witness spectacular landscapes and unique geology such as the natural formations of the Elephant Rock and the Bishop.
Enjoy marine life encounters and unique birdlife viewing - watch for iguanas, sea turtles, sea lions and many more.
Explore the many beaches from Las Bachas to Rabida Island where you can enjoy snorkelling to glass bottom boat rides.
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Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, all travellers pass through an airport inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, and to pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US100 cash per person. This is a compulsory requirement for all travellers visiting the Galapagos Islands and can only be paid on arrival. You will be met by a guide who will help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbour to board your vessel. Welcome introductory briefing and lunch.
This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkelling gear and techniques. Welcome Cocktail, expedition plan for the following day and dinner. (L)(D)
After breakfast, enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneers Cove. Learn about the history of Santiago Island, its relevance for the whalers, pirates and early researchers, including Darwin’s epic voyage in 1835, and the conservation projects aimed at eradicating feral species (a fence stretched along the rocky outcrop is visible to save native plants from the once existing enormous goat population). Today the island is free of feral goats, and the cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the Elephant Rock, The Bishop and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkelling too. Lunch on board.
Wet landing for a mid-length walk at Puerto Egas. Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. This is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and there is a colony of fur-sea lions. Opportunity for snorkelling and swimming from the beach after the walk. Expedition plan for following day and dinner. (B)(L)(D)
Disembark at Rabida Island (wet landing) on a red-coloured beach, due to the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island (1.9 sq. mi.) allows the observation of a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin finches. Very close to the beach, hidden behind a strip of green saltbush, is a salt pond where at times greater flamingos migrate. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkellers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Non-snorkellers will enjoy a ride on the glass bottom boat. During navigation to our next island, dolphins are often spotted. Lunch on board.
Disembark (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. This is a moderately steep climb aided by a wooden staircase resting platforms and handrails; the view from the top is worth the effort. Dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, then time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and some snorkelling, possibly with Galapagos penguins, or else a ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Expedition plan for the following day and dinner. (B)(L)(D)
The morning starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing for a stimulating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Lunch on board.
In the afternoon, a wet landing for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour, or join us in a Glass Bottom boat ride. Farewell Cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.(B)(L)(D)
Today there's an optional visit to see the breeding programme of the giant tortoises at Cerro Colorado. Following the visit, transfer to the airport for the flight back to the mainland. (B)
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