Santa Cruz II – Galapagos Cruise
Metropolitan Touring, the leading travel company in Ecuador, has been guiding expeditions through the Galapagos Archipelago since the 1960’s, but today it is further enhancing its tours with the release of its newest Galapagos cruise ship, the Santa Cruz II.
On 10th October 2015, the Santa Cruz II took up the baton from its legendary prodecessor, M/V Santa Cruz, and brought with it a chic new way to explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands in style and comfort. On top of Metropolitan Touring’s unrivalled expeditions, this ship guarantees that the utmost care will be given to the Galapagos Islands by implementing the newest sustainable advances in sailing, thus protecting their delicate ecosystem.
With five spacious decks and gorgeous chic interiors designed by the distinguished ship designer, Richard Nilsson, the Santa Cruz II offers tours that are better than ever. Based on the principle of stylish simplicity, our new vessel guarantees its guests a luxurious ambience from which they can appreciate the breath-taking views of the enchanted islands.
The three decks of Santa Cruz II host 90 guests throughout 50 modern cabins. Guests may choose from a variety of options, which include single, double and family cabins. However, if they desire something more lavish, we also offer the exclusive Darwin Suites, which meet an exceptional standard of accommodation on the boat’s Panorama Deck. These suites provide guests with enhanced service, as well as particularly selected details such as a take-home Galapagos coffee table book and a tablet loan for each cabin.
When they are not exploring the islands’ treasures, guests can kick back in the elegantly designed communal spaces or viewing platforms. These include indoor and outdoor dining, a lounge bar, complete library, two sumptuous hot tubs overlooking the ocean and a gym.
The Santa Cruz II’s Gastronomy Director, Byron Rivera (a graduate of Cordon-Bleu), guides the preparations of our delectable and elegant Ecuadorian and international cuisine. Our menus predominantly feature fresh food such as fish from the surrounding waters, and locally grown fruit and vegetables. Guests have the option of enjoying these meals indoors in the tasteful Beagle Dining Room or outside in the fresh air on the Panorama Deck.
Metropolitan Touring offers guests four, five and nine night Galapagos cruises, exploring the Northern, Eastern and Western Islands of the Galapagos. Throughout each of these excursions, seven of our remarkably knowledgeable naturalists will be available to guide visitors, along with an Expedition Leader who is responsible for ensuring that the outings fully exploit the wonders of the Galapagos. We adjust daily expeditions to the personal needs and interests of the guests, with activities ranging from land treks to free-of-charge aquatic activities such as kayaking, snorkelling with sea lions, and glass-bottom boat excursions. All of these are included within the limits of the Galapagos National Park.
On Santa Cruz II, each expedition will be accompanied by seven of Metropolitan Touring’s exceptionally knowledgeable guides plus an Expedition Leader in charge of making the most of each day’s outings. Activities can be tailored to each guest’s personal interests and range from daily land expeditions to a host of aquatic activities free of charge, including ocean kayaking, snorkelling with sea lions and glass bottom boat expeditions – all of the options permitted by the Galapagos National Park.
We source as much of our food locally as possible – this means freshly caught fish and seafood and organically grown fresh vegetables and fruit, all prepared by a team passionate to provide sybaritic delights through Ecuadorean and international cuisine under the creative lead of our Gastronomic Director, a Le Cordon Bleu chef. Meals are served in the Beagle Dining Room and snacks are served after expeditions, whether in the bar, in the library or on the outdoor terrace, where you can take in the fabulous vistas and marine breezes of the Galapagos. A 24-hour coffee station located in the library provides free coffee, tea, and water.
Santa Cruz II information
We have an excellent staff camera with an underwater housing so that we can record guests’ thrilling adventures while in the ocean water. Expedition photos are displayed on the last night of the trip and are uploaded online so that visitors can view and share them as they please.
Children’s programs and other events are held in an open multi-purpose room at the starboard side of the ship’s deck.
Here at Metropolitan Touring, we believe that the Santa Cruz II is the best option for family excursions and so we have strengthened our commitment to provide families with unique and prized opportunities to share, adventure and learn together, and enjoy each others company. Each expedition includes:
- A “Pirates Aboard” program, which includes a kit with multiple family-fun activities.
- Kid-sized meals on a kids’ friendly schedule.
- Several family games and puzzles that can be found in the boat’s library.
- Panga rides, designed specifically for young adventurers.
- An opportunity for kids to learn to snorkel with our extra naturalist.
- Bridge tours led by the Captain.
Every time that Metropolitan Touring visits Santa Cruz Island (twice a fortnight), we offer several alternatives to main activities such as downhill biking in the highlands, treks to the famous Tortuga Bay, kayaking or merely taking a break from the busy schedule to enjoy some downtime. Metropolitan Touring is one of the very few companies that offers these alternatives.
We form our expedition groups according to the personal needs of the guests, offering flexibility regarding the language, physical abilities and/or personal interests of our visitors (e.g. length of the walks, extent of the water activities, panga rides for children). Whether you are an experienced adventurer, family, underwater aficionado or nature lover, we have something to please everyone. As a result of this and the impassioned service that the crew offers, we believe that each and every guest returns home with an enhanced, invigorated and inspired sense of being.
Our Galapagos Travel Team is made up of seven Guides and an Excursion Leader, every one of which will enchant guests with their in-depth and assorted explanations of natural history, developed on-board presentations and arresting talks on issues of natural history. Every night, expedition crewmembers offer multimedia expositions that supplement the activities carried out that day. Additionally, the schedule for each day is designed between the naturalists, Expedition Leader and the Captain – experts in Galapagos voyages.
These expeditions also provide a rich presentation of our Galapagos BIG15. Before you know it, our experienced and passionate Naturalists will be the best part of your journey on Santa Cruz II. At night, guests visit the deck to gaze at the beautiful constellations, bright amongst the dark enchanting equatorial skies.
|Gross Tonnage||2664 tonnes|
|Passenger Space Ratio||29.6:1|
|Type of Vessel||Expedition Vessel|
|Capacity||90 guests / 50 cabins|
|Lengh||71.8 metres / 235 feet|
|Beam||13.4 metres / 43 feet|
|Electricity||440V – 220V – 110V throughout ship|
|Engines||2 Cummins engines KTA 38 – MO of 850 HP each|
|Fire Detector||Fire detectors throughout|
|Life Jackets||In each cabin|
|Life Rafts||14 (27 passengers each)|
|Owner||ETICA (METROPOLITAN TOURING)|
|Naturalist Guides||8 (Includes Expedition Leader)|
|Guest-Crew Ratio||1:5 (3 guests per 2 crew members)|
|Medial Officer||Permanently on board|
|Certifications||ABS, SOLAS 74, ISM, ISPS, MARPOL|
|Panorama Deck||3 Darwin Suites, 3 Explorer Double Cabins|
|Expedition Deck||17 Explorer Double Cabins|
|Horizon Deck||2 Voyager Single Cabins, 2 Explorer Triple Cabins, 23 Explorer Double Cabins, infirmary|