Many people dream about going on a cruise. For some this may not have been a plan at all, but when considering a journey to one of the world´s most beautiful places, doing it the right way may lead you to analyse what a cruise is all about.
Cruising on our Santa Cruz II Galapagos small ship is a fantastic opportunity to experience this but with a long list of relevant advantages. As a company, we have decades of experience in providing expedition cruises in this extraordinary National Park. We know the best sites on the best islands, and the best combination of these. We know where the best wildlife is, the best views and how to get planned for the best way to visit these.
Our Galapagos tours give you a unique opportunity to visit these islands, the Galapagos Islands emerged only a few million years ago from the bowels of the submarine plates. Born of fire, these young islands received only very few species- those who could endure a lengthy trip across over a thousand kilometres of open sea. Some flew, some swam and many where washed off by pure chance on floating vegetation rafts. In the young archipelago, genetic isolation produced new species. Galapagos has among the highest degrees of endemism in the world- species not found anywhere else in the planet. The absence of large terrestrial predators has contributed to one of the most astonishing features of Galapagos behaviour: the absence of fear.
You don´t have to be a nature enthusiast to enjoy fully a Galapagos experience. Jaw dropping volcanic landscapes, turquoise blue calm waters, lush highlands and beaches that range from jet black, green, golden, crimson red to pristine white sand. No island resembles to previous, nor are its inhabitants the same. Galapagos is the right destination for couples, families, single travellers of all ages. Families can enjoy special activities and kid friendly meals at kid friendly times upon request.
Santa Cruz II has five spacious decks, but cabins start at the horizon deck, two decks above engines, generators or props. This way no cabin is immediately above or next to these noise producing elements of the vessel. Guests board/disembark at sea level, in a safe but swift procedure. The expedition leader divides into small groups, based on language, interest, desire to be more active or take things at a more relaxed pace. While most vessels operate with a single guide for 16 guests, Santa Cruz II has an average of 11 guests per guide. Not only are our groups smaller and divided by affinity, but we share the national park visiting sites with no other vessel. On shore, when visiting more demanding trails, our expedition leader provides, if necessary, shorter hikes. For those who don´t feel like snorkelling, we are one of the very few ships that offer glass bottom boat rides. You are not deprived from experiencing the amazing under-water unique Galapagos wildlife.
Back on board, the Santa Cruz II ensures great service with a Passenger/staff ratio of 1.5; for every 3 guests, we have two crew members. The ship counts with experienced international accredited marine officers, in addition of a hotel manager, a purser, an expedition leader, adding to 60 crew members. We also have a permanent medical doctor on board. Our guests perceive her as a living insurance policy: should a medical emergency arise, remember Galapagos is a remote archipelago with remote islands. Some sites may be up to 150 nautical miles away from the nearest hospital or airport.
Choose from one of the two four-night itineraries, or the longer 5 night itinerary with two full days in the western realm of young volcanoes and the richest waters of Galapagos. If you are considering Galapagos because the unique wildlife, look at the BIG15 list of species and choose the best itinerary. If you are really keen on this list, take the eastern and western itineraries so you can complete a full 15 of the BIG 15 top species.
You can make it a romantic trip, a family trip or go with a group of friends. Whoever you travel with, you will be sure to have a memorable trip with lots of fantastic memories to take away with you.