5 night Galapagos Expedition (Wednesday/Monday) Western 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 for view a interactive map
Punta Vicente Roca
Charles Darwin Research Station
El Chato Tortoise Reserve
Post Office Bay & Baroness Cove
Cormorant Point & Devil´s crown
- 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.
North Seymour Island
Afternoon disembarkation (dry landing) for a walk along the coast and the interior of the island, observing bird colonies of blue footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls and also sea lions and marine iguanas. Opportunity for snorkelling or coastal exploration. Expedition plan for Thursday, welcome cocktail and dinner.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by panga, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. This is the nesting place for flightless cormorants, the only existing marine birds in the world other than penguins that have changed their condition of flying birds to diving birds. Wildlife here also includes sea lions, Galápagos fur seals, Galápagos penguins, blue-footed and Nazca boobies and noddy terns. Depending on the conditions of the ocean, it will be possible to schedule a snorkelling outing along the cliffs of partly-sunken Ecuador Volcano, near the northern tip of Isabela Island. This area has a very rich marine life, and is seasonally visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola). Lunch on board.
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
Afternoon visit to the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Disembark (dry landing) for a one-mile walk over dark lava. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and a lot of wildlife. Having no introduced mammals, Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with the highest density of marine iguanas, sharing their space with sea lions, sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Snorkelling off the shore. Expedition plan for Friday and dinner.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, dry landing on the northwest of Isabela. Secluded Tagus Cove provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Old graffiti is still found carved on its walls. The vegetation in the area includes the fragrant palo santo trees. These white-barked trees are leafless and look dead most of the year. They leaf and spring back to life in the wet season.
An uphill hike takes guests to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. The view at the end of the trail is worth the climb. Darwin is one of Isabela’s six volcanoes, a remarkable contrast to the lower islands to the east of the archipelago. We include a panga ride along the volcanic shore of the cove to see boobies, penguins, flightless cormorants, terns, and sea lions. Possibilities to swim or snorkel. There is no beach in the area, so these activities are done from the pangas. Lunch on board.
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After lunch (wet landing) disembark at Urbina Bay, located at the foot of volcanoes Alcedo and Darwin, western Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colourful Galápagos land iguanas, giant tortoises (occasionally); a good spot to observe Darwin’s finches. Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkelling in this beautiful cove. Expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.
Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Morning disembarkation (dry landing) to visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Lunch at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
After lunch, a 30-minute bus ride to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enter the famous Giant Tortoise Reserve, and witness the impressive migrations these giant reptiles must endure every year for feeding and reproduction. Santa Cruz hosts one of the largest tortoise populations in Galápagos. The enclosure is framed with lush vegetation and many unique land birds can be seen, such as the rare woodpecker finch, one of the world’s few tool-using species. Return to Puerto Ayora and back on board. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.
Post office Bay and Baroness’s Tower (Floreana (Charles)Island)
Morning visit to Post Office Bay. A short walk leads us to the historic barrel where mail can be left for other guests from other vessels to be hand-delivered to its destination. This tradition of over two centuries is unique. Near Post Office Bay, we explore the north shore of Floreana along narrow channels teeming with life. Rays, turtles and sea lions can be seen gently swimming next to our pangas. After a wet landing and a short walk up to a volcanic cone, we reach the Baroness’s Tower, from where the entire northern shore of the island can be seen. Learn more about the fascinating past of this island. Lunch on board
Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)
Disembark at Cormorant Point (wet landing) on an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others may be observed. This outing also includes a white-sand beach where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May). Possibility of snorkelling or a glass-bottom boat ride close to Devil’s Crown. Farewell Cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.
Disembark at Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent.
- 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.
The itineraries and programme are subject to change without prior notice, due mainly to adjustments in the policies and regulations of the Galápagos National Park, weather conditions, seasonal changes and safety reasons.
- 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
- North Seymour
- Santa Cruz
- Galápagos sea lion
- Galápagos fur seal
- Giant tortoises
- Galápagos land iguana
- Marine iguanas
- Blue-footed boobies
- Nazca boobies
- Galápagos doves
- Darwin finches
- Greater flamingoes
- Brown pelicans
- Greater frigates
- Magnificent frigates
- Flightless cormorants
- Galápagos penguins
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Lava gulls
- Lava (striated) herons
- Post Office Bay
- Darwin Lake
- Urbina´s Upheaval
- Charles Darwin Research Station.
View Tour 2012 - 5 night Galapagos Expedition (Wednesday/Monday) Western 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