South America Galapagos Islands Cruise

Santa Cruz II Galapagos Cruises

The 90-guest Santa Cruz II expedition ship sails the Galapagos Islands and features first-class amenities, daily naturalist-led hikes and panga rides, snorkeling and a glass-bottom boat. A wide variety of cabins, many of them interconnected, and ample space on five decks make the Santa Cruz II a great option for family travel to the Galapagos. 

The Santa Cruz II operates three Galapagos cruise itineraries (two 5-day cruises and one 7-day cruise), which can be combined in various ways to create longer 9-, 11- or 15-day cruises. Contact our Galapagos small ship cruise experts for the inside scoop on which route is best for you. AdventureSmith Explorations’ award-winning crew has personal experience sailing in the Galapagos Islands and can recommend the best options to suit your travel interests and timeline.

Santa Cruz II itineraries are designed by guides who are passionate about wildlife and have created the best combination of wildlife viewing per route. No matter which Santa Cruz II itinerary you choose, expect a tailored experience that prioritizes the best of what the Galapagos has to offer.

Daily activity levels are chosen by the guests aboard Santa Cruz II. Your cruise can be as active as you want it to be, with several levels of excursions offered each day and a highly organized crew to keep all passengers on board engaged and enjoying the Galapagos Islands. A 1-to-1.5 guest-to-crew ratio ensures that no one is ever left behind and that each individual finds the right activity level to experience the Galapagos Islands.

On the Eastern Galapagos Islands itinerary, highlights may include Mosquera Islet, a small volcanic uplift perfectly situated as a sea lion rookery; Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone and the only site where Nazca, blue-footed and red-footed boobies can be found together; Suarez Point where the famous blowhole spouts and waved albatross nest; the perfectly white sandy beach of Gardner Bay; the Charles Darwin Research Station, headquarters for scientific investigation; La Galapaguera, where endangered giant tortoises are bred and returned to the wild; and North Seymour Island, a small, flat island covered in silver grey palo santo trees that wait for rains so they can burst into bloom.

On the Western Galapagos Islands itinerary, visit Floreana, one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos that’s rich with marine life and human history, and experience the youngest volcanically active western islands of Isabela and Fernandina.

On the Northern Galapagos Islands itinerary, swim in the company of sea turtles and discover the impressive cliffs and natural rock formations like Elephant Rock and The Bishop on Santiago Island. Leave footprints along the beaches of Rabida island where sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and Darwin’s finches contrast with the iron-rich, red sandy shores. Spot playful dolphins on the way to Genovesa, a true birder’s island, where Prince Philip’s Steps lead to a rocky plateau and a colony of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds and storm petrels. Enjoy time beneath the orchids and bromeliads on Santa Cruz Island in search for giant tortoises roaming in the wild.

The Santa Cruz II offers active itineraries, with numerous options. Enjoy active as well as mellow hikes, options for Zodiac or glass-bottom boat rides, plus swimming and snorkeling 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!

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Galapagos Islands cruises