Santa Cruz II Galápagos Cruise
The luxuries of a cruise ship, with the personal service of a yacht
A Galápagos Cruise on board the Santa Cruz II
Single cabin without supplement
100% CO2 carbon footprint offset
Kayaks on board
Doctor on board
-25% for children ≤ 12
- Purpose-built adventure vessel, perfect for Galápagos;
- One of the most family-friendly cruises;
- Cordon-Bleu trained chefs offer some of the best cuisine afloat;
- Exclusive excursions - visit places other boats simply can’t.
The Santa Cruz II is a large, modern and purpose-built ship for adventurous travel to remote places. With only 50 cabins spread over 5 decks she’s one of the top 5 vessels in the region for passenger space, and this means you can have all the modern amenities of a larger boat and yet still have an intimate and personal adventure. With a 3:2 guest to crew ratio and an enviable reputation for superb food, you’ll experience the very best levels of service on board. This also extends to your excursions, where the Santa Cruz II typically takes guests in groups of 11 or 12 per naturalist guide, rather than the Galápagos standard of 16. On Santa Cruz II you simply get more of everything.
Modern Sophistication The Santa Cruz II is simply stunning. Her contemporary decor is heavily influenced by Scandinavian design - clean lines, light-colored woods, bright neutral fabrics can furnishings. Despite taking a maximum of only 90 guests, the Santa Cruz II looks and feels like the quality you’d expect from a full size cruise liner.
The Panorama Bar and Lounge is filled with light from floor-to-ceiling windows along all sides allowing you to relax with a pre-dinner drink in comfort and still see everything the Islands offer. The Expedition Lounge and Library is an oasis of calm, with cozy leather sofas and rich decor for you to sink into. The beautiful teak-decked solarium features 2 superb Jacuzzi hot tubs and offers breathtaking views and a place to soak up the sun or gaze at the stars. Even the ship’s gym has stunning wood paneling and amazing views.
Ultimate family friendly adventure If you want to travel as a family we don’t believe there’s any better choice than the Santa Cruz II. Every expedition hosts dedicated children’s events in an open multi-purpose room at the starboard side of the ship. Every young adventurer gets to join the “Pirates Aboard” program which includes their very own kit with multiple family-friendly activity ideas. The ship’s library contains several family games and puzzles, and child-sized meals are served to a kid-friendly schedule.
But beyond that, Santa Cruz II offers the chance for younger explorers to get fully involved. Children have an opportunity to learn to snorkel thanks to the extra naturalist guide on board. The ship also lays on special panga rides just for the youngest adventurers. And for the best behaved, the Captain will give a guided tour of the bridge!
Fine dining in fine surroundings Aboard the Santa Cruz II food is an experience, not just a fuel. Her dedicated Director of Gastronomy Byron Rivera (a graduate of the Cordon-Bleu school) guides the preparation of delicious and elegant Ecuadorian and international cuisine. The menus always feature fresh local fish and locally grown fruit and vegetables. As much of the food as possible is sourced locally, and where possible it’s organic. The chefs are all passionate about what they do, and that’s reflected in the beautiful presentation. You have the option of enjoying your meals indoors in the tasteful Beagle Dining Room or outside in the ocean air on the Panorama Deck.
Activities and excursions for a lifetime of memories Santa Cruz II’s team of experienced Guides build fantastic itineraries to make sure that you always see the very best of the wildlife and local habitats. Snorkeling and sea kayaking are available, as are trips on the ship’s own glass-bottomed boat. Land excursions include some exclusive destinations not available to 99% of the other boats in the Galápagos fleet.
Home away from home A range of cabins and suites are available, including single occupancy cabins. All feature picture windows, air conditioning, en suite bathroom with shower, hair dryers and Scandinavian-inspired decor. Family cabins are also available. Generous suites offer more space, double windows and luxurious fittings and furnishings, with extra touches like bathrobes and slippers for your comfort.
Our comment The experienced crew is led by Captain Christian, who we discovered worked for many years in Germany previously. Looking after your every need will be hotel manager Macario, one of the most experienced in the Galápagos with over 10 years operating on cruises. Heading up the kitchen is chef Marco, from Austria, we leads a brigade of 7, including a dedicated pastry chef! Marco's team serve up delicious breakfast and lunch buffets, and for dinner you will have a choice of up to 4 options per course from the menu.
You get lots of extra facilities on this vessel including two clothes dryers for guests to use and, unusually, internet connection is available for $46 per device - although worth noting that premium cabins include this service in their pricing. When we were there, they had just finished converting the sun deck into a beautiful and bright lounge area.
One thing we did like is the fact that guide briefings are held in different languages, each with its own room. You can choose one in your language and not have to wait for everything to be translated 2 or 3 times as happens on other boats. A nice touch.
For family adventuring, this is the ship to choose. Younger members of your party will be treated like princes and princesses and they will have plenty of space and activities to keep them happy all day. For couples or solo travelers, the Santa Cruz II offers unbeatable amenities, wonderful food, exclusive adventure excursions and superb service levels. Our favorite of the larger boats in Galápagos.
Pictures and Deckplans of Santa Cruz II
Cabins categories on board the Santa Cruz II
The sailing routes of Santa Cruz II
Amenities on board the Santa Cruz II
Transfers to and from ship
Gym on board
Glass Bottom Boat
Snorkel gear (free of charge)
Single cabin without supplement
French guide possible
100% CO2 carbon footprint offset
Scuba outing possible
Kayaks on board
Air conditioning & private bathroom
Doctor on board
Water, Coffee, Tea & fresh juices
German guide possible
-25% for children ≤ 12
Sundeck with jacuzzi
Sustainability on board the Santa Cruz II
At Galapatours we love and respect the pristine ecosystems and fascinating wildlife of the Galápagos Islands, and we insist that our cruise partners do too. To protect the archipelago all our cruise vessels must have sophisticated water filtration systems, modern efficient engines, and strict maintenance schedules to minimize pollution.
The Galápagos National Park authority also defines exact cruising routes that dictate which ships can visit highlights at specific times, as well as limiting passenger numbers. These measures ensure that animals and habitats are not disturbed by too many visitors.
But at Galapatours we like to go even further. We voluntarily offset all the CO2 emissions of every cruise we sell - at no cost to you. And you can also play your part by traveling responsibly and following our Eco Guidelines during your stay. Click here to find out more about these guidelines, our commitment to sustainable tourism, and the Galápagos National Park rules.
Technical details of Santa Cruz II
Small Ship (<121 Guests)
Food & Drinks on board the Santa Cruz II
The food on our Galapágos Cruises is among the very best you will find in South America. Most of the on-board chefs are internationally trained and have prior experience working in the best hotels and restaurants in Ecuador and indeed around the world.
You can expect a first-class selection of food, including a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, locally sourced poultry and fish/seafood, rice and pasta dishes. Most boats will always include some typical Ecuadorian dishes on the menu during your cruise. If you have specific dietary requirements then these can usually be accommodated by the chef providing you have given advance notice. Please make sure you tell us about any allergies or dietary requirements you have at the time you book with us. If you leave it until you arrive at the dockside, then it may well be impossible to accommodate your needs.
Most boats serve a range of options at meal times in a relaxed buffet-style. At the first class and luxury end of the market, some boats have more formal dining where you will be served at your seat. However the atmosphere is always relaxed on board our cruises, and never stuffy or formal.
Reviews of Santa Cruz II
Great ship and staff Excellent staff and cabins..........great time..........did the 5 day, 4 nights April 2017........plan to return in the future for a longer stay...If you want a great ship and staff book the Santa Cruz II........... Feedback from: https://goo.gl/hRBSdh
Fabulous cruise! I highly recommend this cruise. The staff and naturalists are outstanding. The food is top notch all 3 meals per day and some of the dinners were truly works of art--coconut fish and crab stuffed fish, for example. The desserts were not at the same level and way too heavy on the mouses, but the meals were so satisfying, it didn't matter. The Galapagos are a treasure and seeing the wildlife was unforgettable. The excursions are well organized and there are often several options (panga ride vs kayak vs snorkel). You really can't get the most out of the trip if you can't walk on uneven ground (including climbing large stone steps, hopping over lava crevices, and dealing with loose gravel) and/or snorkel. This is not a criticism of the cruise, just a warning for those with mobility issues that this might not be the optimal choice. For those of us lucky enough to still have 2 good knees, it was a blast. We saw birds and animals present nowhere else right up close and had plenty of time to take it all in. I hope to come back someday!
A Grand Adventure As anyone who has travelled on this vessel can tell you, this is not a traditional cruise. It is a port intensive, early wake-up call, adventure to some very unique islands. First, embarkation does not involve issuance of your cruise card -there are none. Instead you are transferred to the dock by very helpful ship-based staff members. Once at the dock, you don your life jacket and head to the ship via "panga." Pangas are zodiacs boats- rubber vessels with flexible flooring and an outboard motor. These pangas, you will soon learn, are an essential part of the cruise. Virtually all the islands lack docks or even approachable landing areas other then some rock formations that allow for a rubber boat to beach. Without the pangas, there is no cruise. In fact, all the ships supplies, and your luggage as well, will be transported via panga. The adventure begins within hours. Each time we boarded a panga in groups (by language) and headed ashore with our naturalist who walked us through the trails and let us know what we were seeing. Each shore visit lasts from about 2.5 hours to about 3.5 hours and there are no bathrooms on most of the islands. Meals are served in the main dining room, buffet at breakfast and lunch, and waiters at dinner. The captain and his staff always have a table in the dining room as well. There are several choices at each meal. At about 300 feet with about 100 cabins, the Santa Cruz II is one the largest vessels in the Galapagos, but you can be back in your cabin from any part of the ship in a matter of seconds. There are no elevators and the stairs are quite steep. Hold on please! Now the magic. Since the animals in the Galapagos are protected by law from people, and since they have no natural predators and are isolated, they have absolutely no fear of people. As a result, the seal will lie in your path and not move. The iguanas will not bite you or even pretend to be aggressive. The birds will not fly away on your approach.
Unser Urlaub war etwas ganz Besonderes Der Besuch der Galapagos Inseln war eines der lang ersehnten Once-in-a-lifetime Erlebnisse für mich. Die Crew und der Naturreiseführer von Santa Cruz II haben es zu einem ganz besonderen Urlaub gemacht. Sie haben sich stets bemüht, dass es Allen gut geht und jeder das Beste aus der Zeit auf Galapagos, einem ganz außergewöhnlichen Ort auf dieser Welt, mitnhemen kann. Quelle: https://goo.gl/XEau6E
Santa Cruz II made our trip special Visiting the Galápagos Islands was one of those significant and pivotal lifetime events for me and the staff, crew and naturalists of the Santa Cruz II made it all the more special. They went out of their way to ensure everybody got the most out of every aspect of the cruise and this very special part of the world. Feedback from: https://goo.gl/XEau6E
Adam Coulter, UK
CruiseCritic Review Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015. The five-deck ship looks and feels brand new, from the public areas to the cabins and bathrooms, all of which have been given a stylish, contemporary design by experienced ship designer Richard Nilsson. Santa Cruz II is an expedition ship, not a "cruise" ship in the traditional sense, so do not expect a cruise director, a show every night or a casino. The emphasis is on what you see and experience off the ship. Having said that, you certainly won't be roughing it; the ship offers very high comfort levels, superb food, outstanding guides and excellent facilities. One of the real stand-out aspects is the service, which is unfailingly polite and friendly. It might be a cliche, but the atmosphere is like that of an extended family that welcomes you in. It's not surprising: Most of the crew have been with the company for 10 to 20 (and in one or two cases, 30-plus) years, and all served onboard Santa Cruz. The ship's eco-credentials are second to none. Metropolitan Touring pioneered recycling both on land and at sea, with a program set up in 1979. The environmental message is emphasized at every briefing, there are different bins for recycling in all the public areas, water is all recycled and you are encouraged to reduce and reuse as much as possible.