4 night Galapagos Expedition (Monday/Friday) Northern Islands
Galapagos explorers can enjoy a unique expedition adventure, with comfort and safety, aboard the 90-guest M/V Santa Cruz's 4 or 5 night voyages.
The expedition includes daily outings to explore the wonders of the islands on nature hikes, boat rides, glass-bottom boat trips as well as swimming and snorkeling activities; daily lectures and briefings and the most modern equipment to enhance the voyage's experience.
Itinerary / Map
Click here por view a interactive map
||Prince Phillip Steps
||Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
- 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), snorkeling 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.
- Wet Suits available for rent, NET rate $ 15 + VAT per guest for 5- or 6-day expeditions
- Air transportation to / from Galápagos please see rates below.
- Galápagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice).
- Migration Control Card (US $ 10 subject to change without previous notice).
- Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverage, gratuities, gifts and additional items.
- Internet / Wi-Fi
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.
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
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 snorkelling gear and techniques. Welcome Cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.
Buccaneer Cove (James Island)
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 the “Elephant Rock”, “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkelling too! Lunch on board.
Puerto Egas (James Island)
Wet landing 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 snorkelling and swimming from the beach after the walk. Expedition plan for Wednesday and dinner.
Rábida Island (Jervis)
Disembark at Rábida Island (wet landing) on a red-coloured 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 our 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 time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and some snorkelling, 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.
Prince Philip's Steps (Tower/Genovesa Island)
The morning starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) 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.
Darwin Bay (Tower/Genovesa Island)
In the afternoon, a wet landing 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 snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour, or join us in a Glass Bottom boat ride. Farewell Cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island)
After breakfast, optional departure to see the breeding programme of giant tortoises at Cerro Colorado. Learn about his endangered species, and its promising recovery. This site is 45 minutes by bus, on the south shore of San Cristóbal Island. Return to town and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
- Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
- Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
PACKING CHECK LIST
- 1 Small backpack (waterproof)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sneakers with rubber soles
- Long pants
- Long and Short sleeved shirts
- Wind breaker
- Bathing suit -wetsuit for snorkeling in cold months
- Hat or cap
- Toilette kit (biodegradable shampoo please)
- Sun block
- Camera & camcorder
- Any medicine you may be taking
- Book/ Notebook
- Santa Cruz
- San Cristóbal
- Galápagos sea lion
- Galápagos fur seal
- Giant tortoises
- Marine iguanas
- Blue-footed boobies
- Nazca boobies
- Red-footed boobies
- Galápagos doves
- Galápagos mockingbirds
- Chatham mockingbirds
- Darwin finches
- Greater flamingoes
- Galápagos hawks
- Short-eared owls
- Brown pelicans
- Greater frigates
- Magnificent frigates
- Galápagos penguins
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Lava gulls,
- Lava (striated) herons
- Pinnacle Rock
- Kicker Rock.
- Buccaneer Cove
- Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
- Itineraries and programme are subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes or safety reasons.
View Tour 2012 - 4 night Galapagos Expedition (Monday/Friday) Northern Islands in a larger map
||Rates per Person (US$)
|Main Deck Twin Standard
||Prices per person
|Boat Deck Master Suite Double
|Boat Deck Junior Suite Twin
|Boat Deck Superior Twin/ Double
|Boat Deck Single Standard*
|Boat Deck Standard Plus Twin
|Boat Deck Twin Standard/Double**
|Upper Deck Twin Standard
|Main Deck Twin Standard
Peak season dates 2013:
- There will be a GROSS surcharge of US$ 130.00 per adult and US$ 100.00 per child
- No discounts apply
- Twin / Double Cabins for single use have a surcharge of 100% of the price.
- Children under 12 sharing cabin with parents, 25% off. (Applies only to one child per adult paying full fare)
- Minimum age 6 years old
- *Only 1 cabin is available for single use
- ** Two double matrimonial Boat Deck Estándar + Four Boat Deck Twin Standard
- Twin / Double Cabins for single use have a surcharge of 50% of the price.
NOTE: For combined itineraries 2013, some discounts will be offered. Please contact us.
M/V Santa Cruz Information
Our flagship, 90-guest M/V Santa Cruz emerged from its period in dry dock refreshed, revamped and ready to give its passengers an experience of the Galápagos Islands they'll never forget. The Santa Cruz has gained worldwide recognition for its excellent standards, including superb service, expert crew, the most knowledgeable multilingual naturalist guides and menus that feature the very best international cuisine and celebrated Ecuadorian dishes. Its capacity is for ninety guests.
Our Expedition Team consists of a Chief Naturalist and five Naturalists. All will delight guests with diverse natural history explanations, superb on-deck talks and eye-catching lectures regarding natural history issues. Their multimedia presentations and recaps will complement the day's activities. Together with the Captain, they will plan every day's program. They are masters of Galapagos' knowledge. Soon enough, our Naturalists will become the highlight of your voyage. At night, when pitch-dark starry skies are seen, stargazing is an amazing nocturnal activity. The southern skies are beautifully arranged with awesome constellations.
On the Boat Deck, there are two master suites with double beds (plus a sofa bed for a child) and a private balcony, and two junior suites with twin beds (plus a sofa bed for a child). Six Superior-Class cabins have twin or double beds and, the remaining Standard Cabins on the Upper and Main decks, offer a variety of accommodations, all meeting the same high standards for comfort and style. Family guests have ample choices to opt among single, double and triple accommodations.
The Sun Deck features a bar and Jacuzzi, along with the observation platform for dolphin and whale watching. The dining room, lounge and bar are elegantly appointed, as is the well-stocked library/reading room. As an alternative to snorkeling, the glass-bottom boat offers another opportunity to observe the marine life.
The entire ship is air-conditioned. A carefully planned itinerary includes the Galapagos' main highlights plus a flexible program allowing guests to enjoy several alternatives for their daily activities. In essence, an expedition to the most unique National Park, aboard the only ship exclusively built for exploring the Galapagos.
We have added an extra naturalist guide to the crew - an Underwater Naturalist - who will lead guests by the hand during swimming and snorkelling activities, helping them with masks, snorkels and techniques, and we've added new flotation aids, too. We're confident far more of our guests will enjoy the ship's snorkelling activities, revealing another world of wonder in the Galápagos that they might otherwise have missed.
In order for guests to get closer and understand more about the islands' marine world, the ship now has a hydrophone for listening to the calls of dolphins and whales, as well as a ‘splashcam' video camera which will let us film these creatures in action underwater from the pangas. To record our guests' fun in the water, our high-quality staff camera has an underwater housing - and photos of the expeditions are always shown on the last night before disembarking. The Santa Cruz also has a spotting scope for improved observation of wildlife.
We believe the M/V Santa Cruz to be the best option for family journeys, so we've reinforced our commitment to giving families precious moments to share, explore, learn and have fun together. As part of every journey, we include:
- Our "Young Pirates" programme on board with attractive kits full of materials.
- Kids' meals and times
- Board games and puzzles in the library
- Panga rides just for young explorers
- An "introduction to snorkeling for kids" time with our extra naturalist
- Bridge visits with the Captain
- Interaction with our multimedia tablet
Santa Cruz Island visits: great alternative activities
We have listened to our guests' feedback and have introduced more options for them when visiting Santa Cruz Island. As well as the ‘traditional' visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in the afternoon of this day (currently Thursday, but Monday and Saturday with the 2012 itineraries), guests can choose from the following activities:
- Trekking in the highlands
- Biking downhill to a secluded beach
- Visiting an organic coffee plantation
- Scuba diving
- Walking to Tortuga Bay beach where they can kayak or simply enjoy some down-time.
All of these activities are offered at no additional cost, except for scuba diving.
Refreshed accommodation, dining and relaxing!
We have given the M/V Santa Cruz a stylish make-over, including:
- New carpeting throughout the ship
- Renovations in Reception
- New armchairs in the Bar-Salon
- Renewed décor and furniture in the Dining Room - plus new crockery and cutlery
- A revamped library-internet room
- New sun loungers on the Sun Deck
- In the cabins, many shine with new wallpaper, while we have replaced all the desk tops, swapped curtains for blinds and brought in off-white sheets, pillow cases and blankets to give a lighter, more spacious feel.
Something for everyone
We are confident these changes and innovations will appeal to a wide range of Galápagos travellers: there are options for the active, fun for families, underwater explorations, expedition equipment... something for everyone. Combine these with the crew's deep sense of service and we feel each and every one of the M/V Santa Cruz's guests will return home enriched, revived and inspired.
Our Galapagos Travel Team consists of a Chief Naturalist and five Naturalists. All will delight guests with diverse natural history explanations, superb on-deck talks, and eye-catching lectures regarding natural history issues. Their multimedia presentations and recaps will complement the day's activities. Together with the Captain, they will plan the day's program. They are masters of Galapagos travel. Soon enough, our Naturalists will become the highlight of your voyage on santa cruz galapagos. At night, when pitch-dark starry skies are seen, stargazing is an amazing nocturnal activity. The southern skies are beautifully arranged with exuberant constellations.
- Construction : Bilbao, Spain, 1979
- Reconstruction : Talcahuano, Chile, 1998
- Category : First Class
- Gross Tonnage : 1675
- Capacity : 90 guests
- Length : 72.35 meters (237.3 feet)
- Beam : 11.85 meters (38.86 feet)
- Speed : 13 knots
- Electricity : 110 Volts in the cabins with 220 Volt sockets available in Reception and Dining area.
- Engines : 2 Sulzer engines, 1620 BHP each
- Navigation : Gyrocompass, auto pilot, radar, echo-sounders,
- Equipment : GPS and Radio Director Finder
- Safety Classification : ABS classification +A1E + AMS #7907 853 SOLAS (safety of life at sea) ISM certificate Complying with the IMO resolution A.788(19) Automatic fire controls
- Life Jackets : In each cabin
- Lifeboats : Two 66-man, two 25-man,
- Life Rafts : Two 16-man, two 10-man
- Zodiacs : 5 for ship to shore transportation
- Boston Whaler : 1 with glass-bottom for underwater observation
- Owner : ETICA / Metropolitan Touring
- Decks : 4 (Sun deck, Boat deck, Upper deck, Main deck)
- Crew : 52
- Naturalist : 6 multilingual (includes Chief Naturalist)
- Medical Officer : Permanently on board
Services and Facilities
- Bar - Lounge, Boutique
- Gift Shop
- Email, radio, telephone, and Fax communications.
- PA system.
- Snorkeling Equipment
- Multimedia natural history lectures
- Stargazing Program
- Glass bottom boat
- Reading Room and Natural History Library
- Air conditioned throughout
- Safety boxes
- Hair dryers
Bar and relax area
- 2 Master suites double bed + sofa bed
- 2 Junior suites twin beds + sofa bed
- 4 Superior cabins twin beds
- 2 Superior cabins double bed
- 5 Standard cabins twin beds
- 1 Standard cabin double bed
- 1 Standard single cabin
- 2 Standard Plus Twin beds
12 Standard twin cabins
12 Standard twin cabins