• a large ship in a body of water

Galapagos Extension - Santa Cruz II Cruise

Come aboard the world famous Santa Cruz II for our enchanting extension tour of the Galapagos Islands. On the 335 feet luxury vessel, you’ll be met with a first class service, immaculate facilities and an expert crew to guide you through these phenomenal islands.

The tour begins in Baltra Island, where you’ll be treated to a fine lunch aboard the Santa Cruz and a welcome session. The first stop of our Galapagos Islands Extension Tour is Las Bachas on the north shore. You’ll discover the velvety soft sandy beaches and fascinating structures. The Galapagos is the epicentre of wildlife watching and here you’ll spot bright pink flamingos and migratory ducks. 

Our tour continues to Santiago Island, where Charles Darwin stayed for some time to explore the fascinating species. Discover hidden coves and lava flows among rich wildlife like fur seals and marine iguana. Then, it’s Bartholomew and Genovesa Islands. Discover striking red beaches, swim with playful penguins and ride glass bottom boats. Find vibrant seabird colonies nesting in high cliffs along the way. We’ll also head out on long panga rides to discover the corners of the islands unreachable by larger vessels. At Santa Cruz, we can meet the Giant Tortoise both in protected spaces and out in the wild. All this and more awaits on the Galapagos Extension Tour - speak to one of our Destination Specialists to bring it all to life.

 Please see 2020 group tour departure dates below.

  • 06,20 January
  • 03 February
  • 16, 30 March
  • 13, 27 April
  • 11,25 May
  • 08, 22 June
  • 06, 20 July
  • 03,17,31 August
  • 14, 28 September
  • 12, 26 October
  • 09 November
Duration
5 days
Options
Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Galapagos Islands

Trip highlights

  • Dive into the emerald waters at Santa Cruz Island
  • Ride glass bottom boats and get close to the Giant Tortoise at Santiago Island
  • Go snorkelling and watch sunbathing sea lions on Bartholomew Island
  • Spot Darwin’s Finches and Red Footed Boobies at Darwin Bay
a close up of a crab
a rocky island in the middle of a body of water

Welcome aboard our Galapagos Extension Santa Cruz II Tour. You’ll land at Baltra Island in the morning and board the Santa Cruz II at the dock. Expect a warm welcome introduction from the Captain and crew, followed by an exquisite organic lunch prepared by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained Gastronomy Director.

The first stop on our cruise is Las Bachas on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. This beautiful island is home to a fascinating cluster of steel spires that protrude from the creamy white sands. Revealing more of itself with the tide, the dark orange and black structures frame this intriguing island.

The lagoons of Las Bachas are also home to bright pink flamingos and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Spot the migratory birds and White Cheeked Pintail Ducks along the tide - you’ll have to approach them slowly and quietly, though, as these are nervous birds who become easily disturbed.

Las Bachas is a nature lover’s paradise and is one of the main sea turtle nesting areas on the island. Go for a refreshing dip in the waters beyond the coral sands away from the ocean swells. 

An expedition plan will be presented to you by your Captain, followed by a dreamy dinner on the ship’s deck.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Santa Cruz II
a seal swimming in a body of water

Begin the morning with a delicious breakfast on the Santa Cruz II. You’ll explore the coastline among the majestic cliffs of Buccaneer Cove. Discover the rich history of the cove, where Charles Darwin camped for nine days in 1835. 

We’ll go through the cove to find marine birds and sea lions in their natural habitat. Discover natural formations like the ‘Elephant Rock’ and ‘The Bishop’. In the rocky shoreline of Puerto Egas, go for a warm swim or snorkel to find marine turtles. The day continues with a walk along the shore to see lava flows and marine birds. At low tide, we’ll have a chance to see marine iguanas and a colony of fur seals.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Santa Cruz II
a seal swimming in a pool of water
Giant tortoise
moorish idols

On day three of our Galapagos Extension tour, enjoy a panga ride along the shores. These motorised, inflatable dinghies are a much more personal way to see the islands. Get up close to wildlife and discover the hidden corners that large boats and ships can’t.

Stumble across the striking ‘red island’ - Rabida Island, unpopulated and washed over with deep red sand. Nicknamed ‘Mars on Earth’, you’ll find hundreds of sea lions and a nesting colony of pelicans here. In the little salty lagoons, spot bright fuchsia flamingos, too. In a wonderful snorkelling area, as we head toward our next island, we might spot dolphins along the way.

The afternoon continues with a wet landing on the golden sands on Bartholomew. This is one of the best snorkelling spots in the Galapagos Islands. Underwater, you’ll spot some of the most colourful fish species, like parrotfish and angelfish. If you go deep enough, look out for the shy orange and pink squirrelfish that gather under the rocks, in the dark. There are plenty of the Galapagos Penguin here - they’re quite playful and have made themselves a reputation for swimming with visitors.

Ride the glass bottom boat and feel as though you’re swimming side by side with giant turtles, vibrant fish species and marine iguanas. Later, we’ll venture on for a hike to the crown of Bartholomew for a breath taking vista. It’s a steep climb - 374 steps through lava rocks and peculiar volcanic formations, equipped with staircases, resting platforms and handrails. The picture from the top is worth every step, with views of not only Pinnacle Rock but Daphne Major, Daphne Minor and Santiago Island, too. The day draws to a close with a panga ride to explore the rugged and volcanic shoreline of the island.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Santa Cruz II
Blue footed boobies on the Galapagos Islands
golden rays

On day four of our Galapagos Extension Tour, we’ll start with an early morning trip to the Prince Phillip’s Steps. On this steep path, you’ll meet vibrant seabird colonies and 25 meter high cliffs. As you journey towards the top, you’ll pass more seabird colonies and storm petrels. If you prefer to explore the waters, enjoy long panga rides along the cliffs to discover more hidden paths. Kayaking activities are also available here.

After lunch, we’ll land at Darwin Bay, fondly known as ‘a bird paradise’. Enjoy an easy afternoon on this small sand and coral beach - go for a swim or go snorkelling and see more of the fascinating underwater world. After, we’ll explore the Bay and enjoy some bird watching. There are hundreds of birds here – including red footed and Nazca boobies, frigates, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Santa Cruz II
a turtle lying in the grass
a turtle swimming under water

It’s the last day of our Galapagos Extension Tour. After a buffet breakfast, the morning begins on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. At El Chato Tortoise Reserve, we’ll meet giant dome shaped tortoises roaming in a sanctuary protected from predators. 

Then, we’ll head towards the loftier region of the island to find more giant tortoises but this time in the wild. Among green mangroves and leafless Palo Santo trees, we’ll find rows of the tortoises either lounging or journeying towards wet grass to feed on.

The day is almost at a close but not before a final stroll to enjoy the lush highlands of this corner of the island. Daisies, orchids and bromeliads are in full bloom and local birds circle above. It’s time to say our goodbyes to the remarkable Galapagos Islands and be on our way to Baltra Airport.

Included

  • All meals while on board
  • Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito and in Quayaquil to the airport for flights to/from Galapagos
  • Transfers in Galapagos
  • Guided excursions on the island in English

Not included

  • Galapagos Islands National Park entrance fee ($100 per person, subject to change without prior advise).
  • Transit Control Card in Galapagos ($20 per person).
  • Beverages
  • Domestic flights to/from Galapagos
  • Tips for guides and crew
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel