SANTA CRUZ II GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR
Santa Cruz II
Date of Creation
Luxury Expedition Cruise in the Galapagos
Our Santa Cruz II was conceived for operations in remote areas as it was originally commissioned for expedition cruises in Patagonia/Chile, it offers the perfect mix of comfort, style and safety for a remote area like the Galapagos Islands. The vessel provides 90 guests with the optimal means for exploring the islands in contemporary style. Flexible cabin arrangements work for any type of group –including solo travellers – and its intelligent and ample public areas give you room to find your own space on your Galapagos journey. Enjoy all Park-approved aquatic activities, including a proper glass-bottom boat!
SANTA CRUZ II
History & Story
At Metropolitan Touring, we´re proud of our legacy as the pioneers of cruise travel in the Galapagos Islands. Way back in 1969, our Lina-A became the first locally based cruise ship; a decade later, we had the Santa Cruz custom built as an expedition vessel, which then again, after an incredible legacy of several decades of formidable expedition cruising, was replaced in October 2015 by the top modern, luxurious Santa Cruz II. Our state-of-the-art expedition vessel offers the perfect infrastructure for Galapagos exploration and benefits from its crew’s decades-long heritage of traversing the islands. At just over 70 metres long, the generous, 5-deck craft accommodates 90 guests and features ample, luxury-sized social areas indoors and out that allow guests to make the most of their Galapagos cruise experience.
May 2017, Santa Cruz II primarily used this dry dock for routine maintenance in the kitchen, interiors, exteriors in the hot-tub area, as well as general maintenance – paint, floors, electrical work – and some tender loving care for our dinghies and glass-bottom boat.
Main Strengths, Special Touch
• Exclusive island visits: 99% of visitor sites are not shared with other vessels;
• Small groups: On average, approximately 11 guests per guide versus 16 permitted by the National Park authorities;
• Expedition expertise: Our itineraries, carefully planned by our on-staff specialists, provide the best opportunities to see Big 15 wildlife on each trip;
• All aquatic activities authorised by the National Park: Glass-bottom boat, kayaks, snorkelling, swimming, and panga-based coastal exploration;
• Privacy: One of the top 5 Guest-Space Ratios of all Galapagos passenger vessels (29.6:1) with numerous social areas for private contemplation, educational activities and socializing;
• Separate lecture rooms: Available for simultaneous presentations;
• Flexible accommodation arrangements: 90% of all cabins include convertible beds and 72% of cabins are interconnected;
• Service: A guest/crew ratio of 3:2 provides the basis for an impeccable journey;
• Fine dining: A Cordon Bleu-educated gastronomy director;
• Health care: A well-equipped infirmary with a Medical Officer (M.D.) on board (24/7) offering consultations free of charge;
• Environmentally responsible: Modern engine technology for lower fuel consumption, on-board water production (desalination plant) and water treatment plant to reduce each guest’s environmental impact.
The Santa Cruz II navigates within the Galapagos Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, that belongs to the country of Ecuador, in South America.
Key sites/activities in the area
The far-flung archipelago consists of 19 islands – 13 large and 6 small – and dozens of islets and rocks. A full 97% of the Islands is protected by the National Park, accessible only via a cruise. Explore volcanic craters, fascinating lava flows, forests of bizarre cacti or fragant palo santo trees, barren deserts and beaches in all sorts of colours. The Santa Cruz II offers all of the aquatic activities approved by the Galapagos National Park, including snorkelling, kayaking, swimming/beach, and a proper glass-bottom boat. At visitor sites, guests enjoy expert-guided excursions (hiking) where they are able to observe Galapagos’ famous intrepid wildlife up close. On board, they can also take advantage of numerous activities and facilities: nature talks and briefings with our Expedition Leader and top notch guides, stargazing, hot tub, library with Galapagos-related material, and a gym.
On board of Santa Cruz II, we have our “ Young Pirates Program”.
When we do receive young visitors (+6 years onwards is recommended) , we go all out when it comes to making the little ones have their best time ever. This is why we have designed the Pirates Aboard! programme that will keep them entertained, whilst teaching them about flora, fauna, conservation, navigation and the comings and goings of life aboard a ship.
On their first day aboard, the Expedition Leader will introduce himself to the parents and hand the kids a “pirate kit” and an activity calendar. There is at least one 30-minute activity scheduled every day, except on arrival day, departure day and the day spent in Puerto Ayora. Parents will have many opportunities to unwind in the Santa Cruz’s and Yacht La Pinta´s spacious public areas while the kids are enjoying activities such as an explanation of how the animals got to the Galapagos, a visit to the bridge with the Captain, an early dinner and movie night. These are all just a day’s worth of planned activities. And yes! Kids also get special meals at a table decorated just for them! Other activates the kids will love are handicrafts, watercolour painting, cooking and photography classes, zodiac rides, karaoke, and board games, to name a few. Check with your Expedition Leader to see which activities will be available as some do require a group of at least three kids. These special activities, combined with the outdoor family excursions, explorations and itineraries that take place on the live laboratory that are the Galapagos Islands, will make for an out-of-this-world experience the kids will never forget.
• Number of suites:
• 3 Darwin Suites
• Number of Luxury rooms:
• 47 Explorer Cabins
• Number of rooms (keys) in all:
•50 Cabins on three decks, all outside cabins, Explorer Cabins ( 47 ) and Darwin Suites (3)
The Santa Cruz II’s Swedish-designed cabins reflect the latest in cruise trends. Comfortable spaces feature single picture windows that illuminate the interior and allow guests to take in the views and relax after a day of active exploring. Our three Darwin Suites on the Panorama Deck, with spectacular double picture windows, will provide superb comfort and deluxe amenities for more discerning guests.
Restaurants & Bars
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 each Restaurant on board – as well al fresco – weather-permitting! – 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. Breakfast and Lunch are generous buffets, for Dinner we serve a 4-course meal, always including a vegetarian option as well. We are happy to accommodate special dietary needs including lactose-free, gluten-free, and allergies. Just let us know in advance!
Santa Cruz II has a fabulous bar of course – and all international drinks are served, as well as Signature cocktails, that have been elaborated by our Peruvian Beverage & Cocktail specialist, integrating Ecuadorean herbs and fruits!
All meals and snacks are included, as well as soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages are extra.
In Santa Cruz II, we have a gym and two Jacuzzi´s
Corporate & Celebration Events
The vessel has the facility to use either partially or completely the Restaurant, sun deck, Expedition lounge and library, or the discovery room for celebrations or events :
Capacity : Restaurant ; Expedition Lounge ; Panorama Bar – full capacity, meaning 90 guests.
Discovery Room : capacity for 16-20 guests ( lets nsay for a private celebration).
The vessel may be chartered for Incentive groups, or special interests.
Extra Notable Features
Own Glass Bottom boat; Medical Doctor on board Free of Charge
Number of employees