Santa Cruz II

capacity
90 guests
year built
2002
remodeled
2015
crew members
60 crew members
length
235 feet
beam
43 feet
cruising speed
10.5 knots

Designed to operate in remote areas, the state-of-the-art, 90-guest Santa Cruz II boasts the perfect infrastructure for Galapagos exploration. Built with modern technology and style to preserve the islands’ delicate ecosystem, she operates with the latest in sustainable sailing and promises an intimate and active small ship cruising experience.

Santa Cruz II Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Santa Cruz II review includes a detailed description of the small ship including a deck plan and a photo gallery. Our Galapagos experts have been aboard the Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz II’s predecessor and sister ship, firsthand. Please read our Santa Cruz II review below then contact our experts to compare the Santa Cruz II with other small cruise ships, yachts and catamarans offering Galapagos cruises.

Choose the Santa Cruz II for her uniquely low guest-to-guide ratio, her sustainable practices and thoughtful ship design. Every aspect of the Santa Cruz II enhances guest experiences: the itineraries are created by guides who know the islands best, the ship is designed so that no cabin is near an engine or other disruption and the dining room is on sea level for the least amount of movement. Built and operated to explore the archipelago, the Santa Cruz II is a champion for the Galapagos Islands, offering sustainability and active itineraries for every style. She’s an excellent choice for single travelers, couples and families alike.

History of Santa Cruz II

The Santa Cruz II took the baton from its predecessor, the MV Santa Cruz, in October 2015. Launched by Metropolitan Touring, Ecuador’s travel company that pioneered small ship expeditions in the Galapagos Islands in the 1960s, the Santa Cruz II has a 58 percent increase in passenger space ratio than its predecessor, and a 31 percent reduction in fuel consumption, resulting in a lower environmental footprint per guest.

Sustainability Aboard Santa Cruz II

Environmentally responsible efforts are a major focus of the Santa Cruz II, including modern engine technology and generators for lower fuel consumption, onboard water production (desalination plant) and water treatment plant to reduce each guest’s environmental impact. Sustainable cruise efforts also include drinking water and electricity efficiencies and outdoor deck lights to limit insect dispersal from island to island. Plastic consumption has been greatly reduced, and as many purchases as possible are made from local producers to reduce the demand for imports from mainland Ecuador and encourage the local communities to believe in the presence of a sustainable tourism industry.

Common Areas Aboard Santa Cruz II

The Santa Cruz II boasts five spacious decks, with modern interiors designed by renowned ship designer Richard Nilsson, created with the ethos of stylish simplicity. With an intelligent layout, including wide hallways and broad stairwells, guests will immediately know their way around.  Relax in the beautifully designed communal areas and viewing platforms, including indoor and outdoor dining options, a lounge bar, a well-stocked library, two indulgent ocean view hot tubs and a state-of-the-art gym. Separate lecture areas allow for simultaneous presentations. And there is a medical doctor on board, with a fully equipped infirmary, free of charge.

WiFi is available on board for a charge, but note that it is only available in the ship’s social areas or at designated computer stations. Due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low bandwidth.

Dining Aboard Santa Cruz II

Creative Ecuadorian and international cuisine are prepared under the creative lead of the Santa Cruz II’s gastronomic director, a Le Cordon Bleu chef. Freshly caught fish and seafood and locally grown organic fruit and vegetables will feature heavily on menus served in the colorful Beagle Dining Room on the Ocean Deck and al fresco on the Panorama Deck. Guests who wish to bring their own bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard are subject to corkage fees.

Activities Aboard Santa Cruz II

The Santa Cruz II guests are accompanied by exceptionally knowledgeable guides plus an expedition leader in charge of making the most of each day’s outings. An onboard photographer supports guests in learning to capture the best photographic memories. Small activity groups ensure the most enriching, educational experience and individual attention, with an average of 11 guests per guide. Activities can be tailored to each guest’s personal interests and range from daily land expeditions to a host of aquatic activities, including ocean kayaking, panga coastal exploration, swimming, snorkeling and glass-bottom boat expeditions—all of the options permitted by the Galápagos National Park. Snorkeling and kayak gear is provided; wetsuits are available for rental.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Santa Cruz II

Santa Cruz II cabins are designed with the goal of a good night’s sleep. No cabins are located at sea level or near engines or generators. She sleeps 90 guests in 50 contemporary-designed cabins across three decks. Guests can choose from luxuriously appointed single, double and triple cabins, or opt for one of the three even more exclusive Darwin Suites, an exceptional standard of accommodation on the Panorama Deck, with elevated service and carefully refined extras such as a take-home Galápagos coffee table book, complimentary drinks and VIP lounge access at the Galápagos Islands airport. 90 percent of all cabins include convertible beds, and 36 of the 50 cabins can be interconnected.