Discover Galapagos - A travel guide to Galapagos cruises, tours, boats and yacht charters

Galapagos Islands tours - fun for the whole family!

A travel guide to Galapagos tours, boats, cruises & yacht charters

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Santa Cruz II
Galapagos Cruise Ship

Santa Cruz Galapagos cruise and tour

Smart Voyager Certification

As one of Ecuador's leading conservation organizations, Conservacion y Desarrollo developed the Smart Voyager sustainable tourism certification program, which awards its seal of approval to tour boat operators and hotels in Ecuador who meet a set of strict conservation standards for protecting the environment, wildlife and the well-being of workers and local communities.

Conceived for operations in remote areas, our state-of-the-art expedition vessel evinces the perfect infrastructure for Galápagos exploration. Carrying its crew’s heritage of decades of experience working in the islands and just over 70 metres long, the generous, five-deck craft holds 50 cabins for 90 guests and features ample, luxury-sized social areas indoors and out that allow guests to make the most of their Galápagos cruise experience.

With our new expedition vessel, Santa Cruz II, we again set the gold standard for Galápagos cruise travel. Her new facilities enable a fun-filled educational adventure that will connect our guests with the archipelago’s fabled wildlife like never before.


- A vessel designed and built for wildlife exploration in remote areas
- Small groups – average just 11 guests per guide
- 99% of visitor sites are not shared with other vessels
- Glass-bottom boat, kayaks, snorkelling, swimming, panga ride (all aquatic activities permitted by the national park)
- A 58% increase in Passenger Space Ratio (29.6)
- BBQ and al-fresco dining
- Separate lecture areas for simultaneous presentations
- 90% of all cabins include convertible beds and 72% (36) are interconnected cabins
- No cabins at sea level, near engines or generators
- A Cordon-Bleu gastronomy director
- A medical doctor on board, with a fully equipped infirmary, free of charge
- Sustainable cruise technology, including a wastewater treatment plant
- 31% reduction in fuel consumption compared with its predecessor, resulting in a lower environmental footprint per guest

Fine dining aboard the Santa Cruz II

Relax and enjoy the cruise in the bar

Relax in the jacuzzi aboard the Santa Cruz II

Top 5 reasons to cruise Santa Cruz II

1. Expedition Staff: Our team of Naturalist Guides led by an Expedition Leader seeks for the ideal guest distribution into small groups (up to eight groups), considering language, interests, abilities or age (families may prefer to travel with other families). While the maximum allowed by the National Park authorities is 16, our average in the past years has been less than 11 guests per guide. In addition to small groups, Santa Cruz Passengers are always alone during the visits to the National Park: 99% of the time, Santa Cruz is assigned alone to the visiting sites. This way, the expedition leader organizes the visits, according the interests, abilities and, very important, seasonal activities.

2. Flexibility: For your Galapagos voyage, don´t take any chances! Having more guides per guest, for your excursions, means you can opt among various options to make your experience ideal for you and for your travel mates. Some Guides are birdwatchers, others love the ocean, and others can make the stones talk. These seasoned individuals will broaden your understanding and appreciation for the destination, while their on board natural history lectures will enhance the educational value of each voyage. On sites with longer or more demanding trails, we offer shorter walks, swimming is an option, but some prefer to be more active and sign up for the (free-of-charge) snorkelling or kayaking options. Non-snorkelers can take a Glass bottom boat ride (a bit more than a hand-full of ships in Galapagos offer this priceless alternative). Flexibility is not limited to the on-shore activities, but on board too. For starters, you have activities to choose, like lectures, star gazing (weather permitting) early wake up calls for coastal exploration, etc. A talk about the volcanoes of Galapagos or checking your social media pages with a glass of wine one deck bellow? With several chefs lead by our Cordon Blue Gastronomy Director, guests can find in all meals plenty of options: Breakfast and lunch consist of generous buffet arrangements, while dinner is served directly to the tables from a menu of options. On our two days spent visiting Santa Cruz Island, we offer guests alternative activities, including trekking in the highlands through the impressive Scalesia forest; biking; visiting an organic coffee plantation; and walking to Tortuga Bay to kayak or simply enjoy some down-time.

3. Safety and Comfort: According to Ecuadorian naval regulations, all vessels above a certain tonnage must have a merchant marine certified officer as a captain, a first and second officer to cover a 24/7-on-duty scheme. We also have a hotel manager aboard, a purser, an expedition leader (with the same rank as the hotel manager and the 1st mate) and a medical doctor with a fully equipped infirmary. The ratio of guests to staff is 1.5, in other words, for every 3 guests we have 2 crew members on board. This translates in complete safety and superb service. Guests can enjoy ample public spaces on board. The Guest Space Ratio of Santa Cruz II is 30 (GSR: how much space is available on board, besides one´s cabin. International standards dictate vessels to be above a GSR of 25). Additionally, no passenger cabin is at the lowest, sea-level-deck. This means, no guest´s bed is located immediately above or next to the ship´s engines, generators or propellers. The ship´s sailing periods are virtually imperceptible. Great news, for anyone fearing motion sickness or restless nights (sailing distances at night vary between 2 and 120 nautical miles. The latter could take all night and part of the day).

4. Impact: The Santa Cruz II’s fuel consumption is divided by each of her 90 guests, this means a lower carbon footprint per guest. She has a waste water-treatment plant on board for black and grey waters, Organic waste processor and low-impact generators and engines. Water, a delicate item both for health as for the environment, is produced on board by desalination. Therefore, we have control on the quality and quantity of water used on board. Finally, all light of the vessel are specially acquired to limit attraction of insects, to avoid accidental dispersal of species.

5. Family Fun: Santa Cruz II is the fun vessel, if you travel alone, with your friends, couple or as part of a multi-generational group. Activities on board and on shore offer a wide range of “difficulty levels” and different interest. These include the “Pirates Aboard” programme, with material and activities for young travellers, topped with children friendly meals and meal schedules as well as special panga rides and bridge visits with the Captain; “Introduction to snorkelling for kids and parents” time with our extra naturalist.


2019 Rates
All rates are per person, in US dollars and subject to change at any time
Children under 12 receive a 25% discount when in same cabin with two adults
No discounts available over Easter and Christmas and New Years dates
Double cabins for single use have a 15% single supplement
No children under 6 years old allowed on board
M/V Santa Cruz II Northern Islands
5 day / 4 night
Eastern Islands
7 day / 6 night
Western Islands
5 day / 4 night
Panoramic Deck Darwin Suite (3)
Twin or Double
$4742 $6932 $4742
Panorma Deck Explorer (3)
Twin or Double
$4186 $6116 $4186
Expedition Deck Explorer (17)
Twin or Double
$4070 $5942 $4070
Horizon Deck Voyager (2) $4510 $6590 $4510
Horizon Deck Explorer (23)
Twin or Double
$3910 $5714 $3910
Horizon Deck Explorer Family (2) $3678 $5372 $3678

* Fuel tax may apply at any time depending on Government of Ecuador policy

Galapagos Reservations

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour
Other Amenities & Services

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour amenities


2019 itineraries
Eastern 7 day / 6 night cruise | Eastern day by day
Northern 5 day / 4 night cruise | Northern day by day
Western 5 day / 4 night cruise | Western day by day

Deck Plans and Cabin Distribution

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour deck plan

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour cabin distribution

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour Sky Deck

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour Panorama Deck

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour Expedition Deck

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour Horizon Deck

Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour Ocean Deck Dining Room


Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise and tour Technical Specifications

Galapagos Reservations

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Frequently Asked Questions
Galapagos Map
A Brief Introduction
What to Bring
Travel Insurance

Hotels in Quito & Guayaquil


The Galapagos Archipelago
Baltra (Arrival)
Santa Cruz - Caleta Tortuga Negra
San Salvador - Sullivan Bay
San Salvador - James Bay
Fernandina - Punta Espinoza
Isabela - Tagus Cove
Isabela - Urvina Bay
Isabela - Elizabeth Bay
Santa Cruz - CDRS and Highlands
Hood Island - Punta Saurez
Hood Island - Gardner Bay
Santa Fe
Baltra (Departure)


Family Travel Planner
Adventures of Little Miss Chievous
Evan's Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia 2000
Evan's Ecuador 1998

Follow this link to Evan's Ecuador...
Evan with Galapagos Tortoise




Hotels, Haciendas, & Jungle Lodges

Photo Journal

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Marine Iguana


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