GALAPAGOS WESTERN ISLANDS ABOARD
SANTA CRUZ II

6 days, A state-of-the-art vessel for the best Galapagos experience

GALAPAGOS WESTERN ISLANDS ABOARD
SANTA CRUZ II

6 days, A state-of-the-art vessel for the best Galapagos experience

Conceived for operations in remote areas, our state-of-the-art expedition vessel evinces the perfect infrastructure for Galapagos exploration. Carrying its crew’s heritage of decades of experience working in the islands and just over 70 metres long, the generous, five-deck craft holds 50 cabins for 90 guests and features ample, luxury-sized social areas indoors and out that allow guests to make the most of their Galapagos cruise experience.

What´s the tour like?

Travel Style: Natural Wonders
Nature wonders, Awe-inspiring views, extraordinary biodiversity and natural discovery like nowhere else. Unforgettable experiences to connect with nature at its purest.

Service Level: Luxury
The very best you can get. Live it at full splendor

Age Requirements:
Suitable for all ages. All travelers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Group Size: Large
Large group experience. Over 30 people

Physical Requirement: Average
Itineraries include light and moderate physical activities like walking and hiking. Accesible to most healthy travellers.

Itineraries:

Western Islands Wednesday /Monday

Note: The following itineraries aboard Santa Cruz II are also available

Northern Islands Monday/Friday 5D/4N

Eastern Islands Saturday/Wednesday 5D/4N

6 days

Galapagos Western Islands

From:

$ 4235USD



Special Offers

Last Minute: Northern Islands October 16th-20th $1500 p.p.
Last Minute: Western Islands October 25th-30th $1800 p.p.
Quito and Galapagos Enchantments package 7d/6n from $3560 p.p.

What´s included?

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Island sightseeing
  • Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages – French, Italian – is available upon request for groups larger than 10 guests and for German groups is a minimum of 4 guests)
  • Snorkelling gear
  • Luggage handling
  • Medical care on board (not including the cost of medication)
  • Taxes
  • Transfers in the islands
  • Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton, Unipark) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers, we must have guests’ hotel contact information.

AccommodationExplorer Cabins / Explorer Family Cabins / Darwin Suites

Meals
All meals on board are included. Special dietary available on request.
Drinks and tips on board are not included

Transportation
Plane, Yacht, Sea kayaks, private vehicles.

Activities
Land excursions, Island trekking, sea kayaks, glass-bottom boat, natural history lectures and briefings, snorkeling (optional) and more.

“So wonderful to be able to get up sooo close to the wildlife that I had hoped to see. The boat is very comfortable & makes for a soft adventure. We had families of 3 generations on board & everyone was well catered for. The food was excellent & of course the crew & guides!! Very friendly & helpful. The highlight was snorkelling with sealions frollicking all about us!! – Wellington, New Zealand - Tripadvisor

Itinerary: 6 days / 5 nights Quito - Baltra - Quito

Day 1: Wednesday

Baltra Airport

We arrive by plane at Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II where we receive our welcome introductory briefing, boat drill and lunch.

North Seymour Island

This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife, full of bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, two species of frigatebirds, swallow tailed gulls, as well as Galapagos sea lions and marine iguanas.

Day 2: Thursday

Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)

After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area and shows us a nesting place for a Galapagos highlight: Flightless cormorants. Depending on weather conditions, we can snorkel along the cliffs of this area rich in marine life, seasonally-visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola).

Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)

The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina Island, which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorants.

Day 3: Friday

Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)

After breakfast, we land at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of a crater, where we can observe Darwin Lake, filled with salt water, and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, we take a panga ride to spot local wildlife, with the possibility of swimming or snorkelling.

Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)

After lunch we disembark at Urbina Bay, the fascinating result of an uplifting of the ocean floor in 1954. Here we can admire corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. First we enjoy a snorkel from the beach, with the chance of swimming with flightless cormorants. This area is also home to large and very colorful Galapagos land iguanas, and occasionally to Galapagos giant tortoises. We return back on board for our expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.

Day 4: Saturday

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)

In the morning, we disembark (dry landing) for our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Centre 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. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.

Santa Cruz Island

We have several midday and afternoon options available (mountain biking, kayaking in Tortuga Bay, hiking), which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II.

Day 5: Sunday

Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)

A short walk leads us to the historic barrel where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. Near Post Office Bay, we explore the north shore of Floreana Island along narrow channels teeming with life. We then head back on board for lunch.

Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)

Following lunch and a siesta, we take to the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkelling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s on to Cormorant Point, beginning with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species such as American flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather. We continue our walk to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).

Day 6: Monday

Baltra Island

We disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.

Introduction

Conceived for operations in remote areas, our state-of-the-art expedition vessel evinces the perfect infrastructure for Galapagos exploration. Carrying its crew’s heritage of decades of experience working in the islands and just over 70 meters long, the generous, five-deck craft holds 50 cabins for 90 guests and features ample, luxury-sized social areas indoors and out that allow guests to make the most of their Galapagos cruise experience.

From the very beginning, Santa Cruz II is designed to please with its sophisticated simplicity. Its intelligent distribution of spaces and contemporary design make it a very versatile cruise, capable of pleasing all its guests’ requirements. Santa Cruz II combines comfort and expedition to make your journey in the Islands, an unforgettable experience.

During your trip, you will visit the following Western Islands:

  • Baltra
  • North Seymour Island
  • Isabela Island
  • Fernandina Island
  • Santa Cruz Island
  • Floreana Island

Rates

Calendar

What´s Included

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Island sightseeing
  • Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages – French, Italian – is available upon request for groups larger than 10 guests and for German groups is a minimum of 4 guests)
  • Snorkelling gear
  • Luggage handling
  • Medical care on board (not including the cost of medication)
  • Taxes
  • Transfers in the islands
  • Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton, Unipark) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers, we must have guests’ hotel contact information.

Exclusions

  • Air transportation to / from Galapagos and airport taxes (subject to change without previous notice)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice)
  • Migration Control Card (US$ 20 subject to change without previous notice)
  • Fuel surcharge if any
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage
  • Wet Suits: Available for rent, NET rate US$ 15 + VAT per guest for 5- or 6-day expeditions
  • Internet / Wi-Fi
  • Gratuities
  • Gifts and additional items
  • Travel insurance

Highlights of the tour

World-class expeditions

  • Exclusive island visits: 99% of visitor sites are not shared with other vessels
  • Small groups: On average, 11 guests per Naturalist Guide
  • Expedition expertise: an ideal Galapagos Big 15 wildlife experience
  • Aquatic activities: Glass-bottom boat, kayaks, snorkeling, swimming, and panga-based coastal exploration
  • Separate lecture rooms: Available for simultaneous presentations
  • Wildlife contemplation and educational activities

Note: The Big 15 refers to the most iconic species you see on the Galapagos

Accommodation

The Santa Cruz II’s Swedish-designed cabins reflect the latest in cruise trends. Comfortable spaces and large picture windows illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, offering elegant relaxation areas after a day of active exploring. The ship has 50 cabins for 90 guests. Families and groups benefit from the flexible design, which allows 36 of the cabins to be interconnected. Solo travelers can occupy a double room with a mere 15% surcharge, down from the Galapagos standard 100%. Explorer Cabins are located on the Expedition, Horizon, and Panorama Decks.

  • 43 Explorer Cabins (163.2 sq ft / 15.2 m2)
  • 2 Explorer Family Cabins (191.9 sq ft / 17.8 m2)
  • 2 Voyager Cabins (127.0 sq ft / 11.8 m2)
  • 3 Darwin Suites (325.0 sq ft / 30.0 m2)

Cabin Features

Explorer Cabin / Explorer Family / Voyager Cabin

  • Air conditioning
  • Picture window
  • Hair dryer
  • Numerous electrical outlets
  • Public address system
  • In-room safe
  • Reading lights
  • Internet available for an additional fee
  • 43 Explorer Cabins(163.2 sq ft / 15.2 m2)
  • 2 Explorer Family Cabins(191.9 sq ft / 17.8m2)
  • 2 Voyager Cabins(127.0 sqft / 11.8m2)

 

Darwin Suites

  • Inset tablet in each suite available for use throughout the duration of the trip
  • L’Occitane-en-Provence amenities in bathrooms
  • Bathrobes (available for purchase)   /   Deluxe extra pillows
  • Special edition take-home coffee table book  / Air conditioning
  • Large picture windows   /   Hair dryer
  • Numerous electrical outlets   /    Public address system
  • In-room safe   /   Reading lights
  • Free intermittent and low bandwidth Internet access in ship’s hot-spots (one access code per room)
  • Wetsuit usage included   /   Turn-down service
  • In-cabin national & international magazines
  • Expedition photos and videos on CD

Our three Darwin Suites on the Panorama Deck, each measuring 30 m2 (325 sq ft) and featuring double picture windows, will provide superb comfort and deluxe amenities for more discerning guests. Available in double or separate beds. If more space is desired, they can be interconnected with an Explorer cabin to expand by another 15 m2 (163 sq ft).

Facilities & Services

From top to bottom, the Santa Cruz II features ample, welcoming spaces. Modern, generous social areas laid out with choice contemporary materials feature prominently on four of its five decks. With an intelligent layout, including wide hallways and broad stairwells, guests will immediately know their way around. From dining areas indoors and out, the fitness room and hot tubs to the elegant bar and lounge, not to forget the well-stocked library, the ship is designed to please with sophisticated simplicity. Luxury ratios of crew and guides to passengers guarantee quality individual attention.

  • Bar & Lounge   /   Restaurant
  • Outdoor terrace for dining and BBQ
  • Reading room and natural history library
  • 24/7 Infirmary (medical doctor on board)
  • Multiple purpose room   /   Hot tub (2)
  • Gift Shop   /   Gym
  • 24/7 Coffee station (coffee, tea, chocolates and chilled water)
  • Satellite telephone   /   PA system
  • Wi-Fi hotspot (intermittent/low bandwidth)
  • Air conditioned throughout
  • Safe deposit box (in cabin)
  • Hair dryer   /   iPod/MP3 docking station
  • Glass bottom boat   /   Sea kayaks
  • Coastal exploration boats (pangas)
  • Snorkelling equipment   /   Wetsuit rental

Additional Information

Packing List

  • 1 small backpack
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sneakers with rubber soles
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • T-shirts
  • Long and short sleeved shirts
  • Wind breaker
  • Bathing suit or a wetsuit for snorkeling in cold months
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunblock and repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Camera & video recorder
  • Any medicine you may be taking
  • Book/Notebook

Health


TopExperiencesEC understands that in order to take a trip, the passenger is in perfect physical and mental health. By booking a cruise and by boarding the ship the guest will comply at all times with applicable rules and regulations of the ship and orders and instructions of the ship’s officers and medical staff.

We reserve the right without liability to require a guest to disembark and/or to refuse to board and transport a guest who, in the judgment of the tour operator or the ship’s Captain, is unfit to travel or may require care beyond that which the operator is reasonably able to provide.

The tours we offer range from sea level up to 4000 meters above sea level. If you have a condition that is aggravated by altitude, ask your health care professional before deciding to take a trip.

General Conditions


Flights
TopExperiencesEC will not be held responsible or compensate for any flight delays that may affect your participation in our tours. Flights booked with different airlines are subject to their own Terms and Conditions, and Limitations of Liability.

Fees
TopExperiencesEC reserves the right to pass on to its guests (including fully paid and deposited guests) any taxes and fees imposed by government or quasi-government agencies that relate specifically to a guest’s itinerary. “Taxes and fees” include any and all fees, charges, surcharges, tolls and taxes imposed by governmental or quasi-governmental authorities including, but not limited to, customs fees, per person berth taxes or fees, embarkation and/or disembarkation fees at ports, airline transportation fees, dockage fees, and wharfage fees.

Fuel supplements and surcharges
TopExperiencesEC reserves the right to charge a per person fuel supplement if the price of fuel increases any time prior to sailing up to and including the day of embarkation.

We may collect any taxes, government fees/quasi government fees and fuel supplement (the “Surcharges”) at the time of booking, prior to sailing or on board the vessel, even if the cruise fare has been paid in full. Surcharges will be invoiced accordingly.

General Itinerary or Vessel Changes
All fares, offers, savings, programs and itineraries are subject to change without notice.

Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is compulsory for all TopExperiencesEC tours. Travelers need to show proof of their travel insurance before participating in the tour. If you need help booking a travel insurance, please email us at info@topexperiences.ec

Important Notes

  • Galapagos itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions, logistics or operational reasons and changes in the National Park Regulations
  • During high season we reserve the right to prioritize the assignation based on payments and confirmation dates
  • Twin and Double Cabins for single use have a 15% surcharge
  • Child policy: Children under 12 sharing cabin with their parents 25% discount. Applies for 1 child per adult paying full fare
  • During peak dates (December 21st – January 4th) a surcharge of USD159 per adult and USD 117 per child applies. No child policy applies during peak season. Minimum
  • Please note, we charge guests who wish to bring bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard our vessels a corkage fee of US$ 25+taxes.
  • Internet connections onboard consist in computer stations and wifi in the vessel’s social areas; due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low-bandwidth.

Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee
The Islands are part of the Ecuadorian National Parks system. There is an entrance fee of US$ 100 for adults and $50 for children under 12. The fee is collected on arrival in the airport in the Galapagos Islands and is ONLY payable in cash. Credit card or travelers checks are not accepted. Your guide will meet you immediately after you have paid the fee and take you to the boat.

Note: At your request, we can include the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 and migration control card fee of US$20 (subject to change). However, please note that, due to administrative and operational reasons, these fees can only be included when guests travel on the operation departure date. This service does not apply for guests who travel before a departure date (even if the departure is with us).

Food
We always receive great reviews about the food on board. There is a varied menu onboard, including international and local cuisines, designed to accommodate a variety of dietary needs including vegetarians. There is always a choice and at least one vegetarian option. If you have any special dietary needs please let us know in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements. All meals on board are included in the cruise price.

Booking and Reservation Policies

TopExperiencesEC understands that its clients accepts the terms and conditions of the tour to proceed with booking.

Our tours are booked via bank transfer to the company’s bank account. Full payment must be made at the moment of booking.

Once we have confirmed the availability of the tour you requested, you have 48 hours to proceed with the payment. During that time we will block the spaces for your tour. Receipt of payment needs to be sent to info@topexperiences.ec

Once payment is confirmed, we will send you an email receipt of your payment and the details of your booking.

Means of Payment

TopExperiencesEC accepts the following bank transfer:

Wire Transfers in US dollars to:

 

USA

Bank of America

For domestic transfers:

  • Checking account
  • Wire Transfers: 026009593
  • Account Number: 229056664242
  • Account Name: Fausto Santiago Andrade

For international transfers:

  • Swift Code International Transfers: BOFAUS3N
  • Address: 401 Lincoln BLVD, FL 33139
  • Account Name: Fausto Santiago Andrade
  • Account Number: 229056664242

 

Ecuador

Banco Internacional

  • Swift Code: BINTECEQ
  • Address: Av. Patria y 9 de Octubre Quito – Ecuador
  • Account Name: TopExperiencesEC Cia. Ltda.
  • Account Number: 700628456

 

Cancelations


We may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel your trip, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternative start date or in circumstances where cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control; refunds will be given less any unrecoverable expenses. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including, but not limited to vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.

In the case of a cancellation due to medical reasons, we require a medical certificate. With this, we will provide a credit note of a value of 50% of the booking for the guest. This credit note is valid for another departure for one year from the cancellation date. This credit note will not be issued for departures during Peak Season.

In the case of cancellation due to death, we require a certificate. With this, we will provide a credit note of a value of 50% of the booking for a future departure by a friend or family member. This credit note is valid for another departure for one year from the cancellation date. This credit note will not be issued for departures during Peak Season.

The following cancellation policies apply to the Santa Cruz II tours:

  • If cancellation is received between the date of booking until 61 days prior the date our services are due to begin, we will charge (15%) as a cancellation fee. This deposit cannot be transferred to another booking.
  • If cancellation is received between 60 and 0 days prior the date our services are due to begin, we will charge 100% as a cancellation fee.

For departure dates during peak season

  • If cancellation is received between the date of booking until 121 days prior the date our services are due to begin, we will charge 25% as a cancellation fee.
  • If cancellation is received between 120 and 0 days prior the date our services are due to begin, we will charge 100% cancellation fee.

Limitations of Liability


TopExperiencesEC cannot be held responsible for any loss as a result of the failure of any third-parties (including tour operators, hoteliers, airlines); however, we will give every reasonable assistance in helping you resolve any dispute. Our responsibility as a tour agency is limited. We are not liable for any personal injury, death, damage, loss, accident or delay which may be occasioned by any vehicle, company or person engaged in conveying you or carrying out the arrangements of the tour or otherwise in connection therewith.

Aditional Resources


Galapagos National Park Rules
Ecuador established the Galapagos Islands National Park in 1959, covering 90% of Galapagos Islands area, all the lands are already included. The Galapagos Islands National Park service started in 1967 until today. The Galapagos Marine Reserve was opened in 1999 to preserve the marine wildlife in the sea near to the Galapagos Islands. For more, please visit: www.galapagospark.org

Our environmental policy, allow us to generate in our guests conscience towards protection of the ecosystems we visit. All our expedition staff will motivate guests to follow the good environmental practices of our operation.

The Galapagos National Park Service regulates all visitor activities within the park’s boundaries, including the vessels itineraries. Visits both within the National Park sites and the Marine Reserve, are led by licensed Naturalist Guides. By following these rules, you are directly contributing to the ongoing preservation efforts of local institutions. Take only photographs and wonderful memories; leave only footprints.

Please stay on the trails.
Please do not disturb any wildlife or remove any native plant or rock material.
Please make sure you do not accidentally transport any live material to the islands, or from island to island. Insular ecosystems are fragile biological units.
Please be cautious at approaching wildlife, and always follow your Naturalists´ advice.
Animals are not to be fed by humans. Particular attention should be given to water bottles.
It is prohibited to bring food to the visitor’s sites.
Please do not startle or chase any animal from its resting or nesting area.
Smoking is not allowed on the islands, nor is it in any boat (dinghy) during your visits. The use of cellular or satellite phones is prohibited on the visitor’s sites.
Please do not buy any souvenirs made from native Galapagos species (except for wood).
Conservation is everyone’s business. Please do not hesitate to show your conservationist attitude. Become a Galapagos supporter and ask us about our conservation programs that support sustainability on the islands.

Emergency Contact


Should you need to contact us during a situation or emergency please contact us at (593) 980588429 or (593) 983900784 or leave us a detailed message and contact information to info@topexperiences.ec

                                     

Galapagos Western Islands aboard Santa Cruz II |  5 days from 4235 USD 



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