Santa Cruz II – 4 nights Northern Galapagos, Monday to Friday
Northern Islands Galapagos Itinerary
Our itinerary together begins from the bay near Baltra airport, from where we’ll sail to the glorious white beach of Las Bachas with a pair of brackish lagoons only a few steps from the sea. These lagoons serve as feeding grounds for various wading birds, including stilts and flamingos. On Tuesday, we explore two fascinating visitor sites on Santiago Island: Buccaneer Cove, home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms, and Puerto Egas, with its great walk-along pools full of life and good snorkelling and swimming possibilities. The next day we visit the red-sand beach of Rabida Island, a lovely trail around some cliffs and a popular spot for swimming, followed by the volcanic viewpoint of Bartolome Island in the afternoon, combining a hike, a swim, a beach and coastal exploration – a top Galapagos day! From here we sail northeast to the sunken crater of Genovesa Island, a wild place that is home to thousands of marine birds and feels like a world a million miles from our own. We finish in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Galapagos Province.
Wherever we sail, whatever we do, the entire crew of the Santa Cruz II will do our utmost to ensure that your Galapagos experience is truly, deeply moving and memorable.
- Baltra Island
- Santa Cruz Island
- Santiago Island
- Rabida Island
- Bartolome Island
- Genovesa Island
- San Cristobal Island
- Bartolome’s Pinnacle Rock
- Darwin’s Bay Crater Anchorage
- Buccaneer Cove
- Giant Tortoise Reserve at Cerro Colorado
- Blue-Footed Boobies
- Nazca Boobies
- Red-Footed Boobies
- American Flamingos
- Great & Magnificent Frigatebirds
- Galapagos Hawks
- Marine Iguanas
- Galapagos Penguins
- Galapagos Sea Lion
- Galapagos Fur Seal
- Galapagos Giant Tortoises
- Galapagos Doves
- Galapagos Mockingbirds
- San Cristobal Mockingbirds
- Darwin Finches
- Short-Eared Owls
- Brown Pelicans
- Swallow-Tailed Gulls
- Lava Gulls
- Lava (Striated) Herons
Day by Day
We land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II, where we receive a welcome introductory briefing and lunch.
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
This beautiful visitor site is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, a glorious white beach with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, including stilts and flamingos. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkelling gear and techniques. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.
After breakfast, we explore the coastline along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, learning about the area's distant and recent history. 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 or a panga ride along the coast.
Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
Once we disembark at the beach, we can enjoy a swim or snorkel along a rocky shoreline, usually in the company of marine turtles. From here, we head off to our walk, a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and we can also observe a colony of fur seals. Non-snorkelers can enjoy a longer walk.
After breakfast, we land on Rabida Island's red-coloured beach, coloured by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. Our walk brings us close to a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin's finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond hosts migrating American flamingos at certain times of year. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners and experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Non-snorkelers will enjoy a ride on the glass bottom boat or a panga ride. During navigation to our next island, dolphins are often spotted!
We land at Bartolome for a hike to the summit of this diminutive island that boasts fantastic views of the archipelago. This is a moderately steep climb aided by a wooden staircase with handrails and rest platforms. The view from the top is worth the effort! Following our walk, we take to the pangas and the glass-bottom boat for a ride around the colossal Pinnacle Rock, and then land at the beach to enjoy some swimming, snorkelling or just relaxing (possibly with Galapagos penguins in attendance).
The morning starts with a panga ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island, followed by a landing with a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat plateau. Along our walk, we can observe 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). After the walk, we can snorkel along the dramatic cliffs where there are chances of spotting a huge variety of fish, and possibly Galapagos fur seals.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)
In the afternoon, we land at this beautiful beach to enjoy some swimming and/or snorkelling. Following our dip, we take an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. There's an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else we can return to the beach or enjoy a panga ride.
After breakfast, there's an optional departure to see the giant tortoise breeding programme at Cerro Colorado. Here, we learn about this endangered species and its promising recovery. Following the visit, we return to town and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
|Cabin||2017 Price per Person (US $)|
|Horizon Deck | Explorer Family Cabin||$ 3,388|
|Horizon Deck | Explorer Cabin||$ 3,604|
|Horizon Deck | Voyager Cabin||$ 4,156|
|Expedition Deck | Explorer Cabin||$ 3,748|
|Panorama Deck | Explorer Cabin||$ 3,860|
|Panorama Deck | Darwin Suite||$ 4,372|
* Explorer cabins for single use incur a 100% surcharge. Only 5 cabins are available for single use.
- All meals
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages – French, Italian – is available upon request for groups larger than 10 guests and for German groups is a minimum of 4 guests),
- Snorkelling gear
- Luggage handling
- Medical care on board (not including the cost of medication)
- Transfers in the islands
- Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers, we must have guests’ hotel contact information.
- Fuel surcharge*
*Fuel surcharge is included on the cruise rate, however, restrictions may apply.
- Wet Suits: Available for rent, NET rate US$ 17 + VAT per guest for 5- or 6-day expeditions;
- Air transportation to / from Galapagos and airport taxes (subject to change without previous notice)
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice)*
- Migration Control Card (US$ 20 subject to change without previous notice)*
- Alcoholic beverages**- and non alcoholic beverage
- Internet / Wi-Fi ***
- Gifts and additional items
- Travel insurance
* At your request, we can include the Galapagos National Park entrance fee and migration control card fee. However, please note that, due to administrative and operational reasons, these fees can only be included when guests travel on the operation departure date. This service does not apply for guests who travel before a departure date (even if the departure is with us).
** Please note, we charge guests who wish to bring bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard our vessels a corkage fee of $27+taxes.
*** Note: internet connections onboard consist in computer stations and wifi in the vessel’s social areas; due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low-bandwidth, fee of $40+taxes.
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