The Northern Galapagos cruise aboard the Santa Cruz is a 5-day, 4-night adventure to the famed Galapagos Islands. On this itinerary you'll visit the Northern Galapagos, including the islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santiago, Rabida, Bartolome and Genovesa, as well as key sites like Buccaneer Cove, Red Beach and the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Tortoise Breeding Center.
2013 - 5 Day/4 Night Cruise Only
*Only one cabin available for single use
Main Deck Twin Standard
Upper Deck Twin Standard
Boat Deck Twin Standard
Boat Deck Twin Standard Plus
Boat Deck Single Standard*
Boat Deck Superior Twn/Dble
Boat Deck Junior Suite Twin
Boat Deck Master Suite Double
Price per person based on double
Fuel Surcharges May Apply
High Season Surcharge: Add $130 per adult, $100 per child; Mar 25-29, Mar 27-Apr 1, Mar 29-Apr 3, Dec 20-25, Dec 23-27, Dec 25-30, Dec 27-Jan 1, Dec 30-Jan 3
Includes 3 nights hotel, transfers, city tour, internal flights, park fees and taxes. See trip notes for details.
May 20 - May 24, 2013
Jun 03 - Jun 07, 2013
Jun 17 - Jun 21, 2013
Jul 01 - Jul 05, 2013
Jul 15 - Jul 19, 2013
Jul 29 - Aug 02, 2013
Aug 12 - Aug 16, 2013
Aug 26 - Aug 30, 2013
Sep 09 - Sep 13, 2013
Sep 23 - Sep 27, 2013
Oct 07 - Oct 11, 2013
Oct 21 - Oct 25, 2013
Nov 04 - Oct 08, 2013
Nov 18 - Nov 22, 2013
Dec 02 - Dec 06, 2013
Dec 16 - Dec 20, 2013
Dec 30 - Jan 03, 2014
Prince Philip’s Steps
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
The Santa Cruz offers active itineraries, with numerous activity options. For instance, for one morning excursion you may have the choice between a light hike along the coast combined with a panga tour, or a fast-paced hike to a view point, also with a panga tour. Snorkeling is available for all levels. There is ample time to relax on board after meals or opt out of activities, but note that this is an expedition-cruise style itinerary, so you will be kept busy if you choose!
Most Galapagos cruise travelers will require pre- and post-cruise accommodations in Ecuador, round-trip flights, National Park entrance fees & transit cards etc. Choose our Galapagos Cruise Package or work with our experts on a custom Galapagos tour. See trip notes for more details.
The Santa Cruz Northern Islands Cruise can be combined with the Eastern or Western Islands Cruise to create a 10-day/9-night or 11-day/10-night itinerary. View the Northern Islands Cruise details below or click on the links to view details of other Santa Cruz Galapagos cruises.
Western Galapagos Islands 6 days/5 nights
Eastern Galapagos Islands 5 days/4 nights
Santa Cruz Galapagos Cruise Main Page
Day 1 - MON - Embark Baltra to Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)
Morning arrival to Baltra Island by plane and immediate transfer to the dock to board the M/V Santa Cruz. Welcome introductory briefing and lunch. In the afternoon, disembark at Las Bachas. After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Locals referred to the beach as the barges beach, a name that morphed to “Bachas.” Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach (wet landing), with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkeling gear and techniques. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.Accommodations: Santa CruzIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - TUE - Buccaneer Cove & Puerto Egas (Santiago)
After breakfast, enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer 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 “Elephant Rock,” “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling too! Lunch on board.
In the afternoon, make a wet landing on Puerto Egas for a mid-length walk. 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 snorkeling and swimming from the beach after the walk. Expedition plan for Wednesday and dinner.Accommodations: Santa CruzIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - WED - Rábida Island & Bartolomé Island
Disembark at Rábida Island (wet landing) on a red-colored 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’s 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 snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Non-snorkelers will enjoy a ride on the glass-bottom boat. During navigation to the next island, dolphins are often spotted. Lunch on board.
Disembark at Bartolomé Island (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 enjoy the beach (wet landing) and some snorkeling, possibly with Galápagos penguins, or else a ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Expedition plan for Thursday and dinner.Accommodations: Santa CruzIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - THR - Prince Philip’s Steps & Darwin Bay (Genovesa)
The morning starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) at Tower/Genovesa Island) 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 will be made at Darwin Bay 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 snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor, or join the crew in a glass-bottom boat ride. Farewell cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.Accommodations: Santa CruzIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - FRI - Cerro Colorado Tortoise Breeding Center (San Cristobal)
After breakfast, optional departure to see the breeding programme of giant tortoises at Cerro Colorado. Learn about this endangered species, and its promising recovery. This site is 45 minutes by bus, on the south shore of San Cristóbal Island. Located in the vicinity of Cerro Colorado, from which it derives its name, this area is one of the few places where you can see Calandrinia galapagosa, a plant endemic to San Cristobal in danger of extinction. Return to town and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.Accommodations:
breakfastGALAPAGOS CRUISE INCLUSIVE PACKAGE:
For your convenience we offer an Inclusive Package with three nights hotel accommodations in Quito or Guayaquil, all airport/hotel transfers, Galapagos flights, Galapagos National Park entrance fees and taxes, Galapagos migration card and your Galapagos cruise. View details of our Galapagos Cruise Inclusive Package
Travelers not interested in our inclusive package must purchase Galapagos flights in conjunction with their Galapagos cruise.
GALAPAGOS CRUISE CUSTOM PACKAGE:
If you are booking a cruise-only program our experts can assist with hotels, transfers, flights and tours. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations about customizing your tour or the possibilities of combining this trip with our Mainland Ecuador
and Peru: Machu Picchu
extensions. We are Galapagos cruise and Ecuador travel experts and our staff can help you customize the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour package.
Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.
Accommodations, all meals, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages upon request for groups larger than 10 guests: German, French, Italian), snorkel gear, taxes and transfers in the islands. Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galápagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers we must have guest's hotel contact.
International airfare; airfare from mainland Ecuador; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per adult, $50 for children under 12 years old. This can be paid directly by passengers [cash only] or it is included in our INCLUSIVE PACKAGE TOURS); Galapagos National Institute Migration Control Card (US $10 per person); departure tax ($40.80); gratuities for guides, crew, drivers or local staff; alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages; other personal expenses; internet/WiFi; medical services or insurance of any kind. Fuel surcharge may apply. Wet suits are available for rent for $15 + VAT per guest for 5- or 6-day expeditions.
The Santa Cruz offers one single cabin; advance reservations are required. On the Boat Deck there are two double matrimonial cabins and four twin standard cabins available. There are no share accommodations or roommate match available. Double cabins are available for single occupancy with a surcharge of 50% for normal dates, and 100% for high season. There are no triple cabins for three adults aboard the Santa Cruz. For travelers seeking triple cabins we suggest the Galapagos Legend.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 years old at the time of sailing receive 25% off when sharing the cabin with 2 adults (applies only to one child per adult, paying full fare). No discounts apply on Christmas and New Year's. Minimum child age is 6 years old. Galapagos family cruises are available, call for details.
Arrival & Departure:
Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 7:00am-9:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm-5:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador 2 days prior to their Galapagos cruise.
Payment & Cancellation:
A cruise deposit of $700 per person is required at the time of booking. For land packages a deposit of $300 per person is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. When a trip cancellation is received between 60 and 0 days from departure, the full trip price will be charged.
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
There are numerous opportunities to swim and snorkel. The underwater experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear is included for the duration of the cruise. Shortie wet suits are also available for rent and are recommended from June to December.
The Santa Cruz Northern Islands Cruise will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life. Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (dinghies). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are "wet," requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.
Multiple Cruise Discount:
Combine two consecutive Santa Cruz itineraries and receive a 10% discount on the lowest priced itinerary. Receive a 50% discount on the lowest priced itinerary when combining all Santa Cruz routes for a 15-day itinerary. Applies only to full-rate bookings; not applicable for promotional rates. Contact AdventureSmith for more information about extending your cruise.