This sleek, spacious ship has a layout that allows you to enjoy your sailing in all aspects. Enjoy delicious food in the nice restaurant, learn with fellow travellers in the Science Centre or maybe mingle out on the many decks? While exploring the Galápagos, you´ll have the ability to actively engage in activities and encounters. After a day in Darwin´s footsteps, you will enjoy coming home to a casual atmosphere with the best service there is. The MS Santa Cruz II´s amenities easily appeal to all world explorers.
MS Santa Cruz II is environmentally sustainable and socially conscious with the local community, the operation is carbon neutral.
Children below the age of 6 need to present at embarkation a release form signed by their parents or guardians to board a Galapagos cruise. Children under the age of 18 that are travelling that come accompanied by just one parent/legal guardian must have a minor consent form signed by the other parent or, in the case of a legal guardian, both parents.
An English-speaking physician and nurse are on board always. The ship has a small medical facility with essential equipment and medication to handle small emergencies. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Medical consultations are free of charge while some medicines will be charged to the passenger. All guests must have personal travel/health insurance.
If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage, properly labelled, and with clear instructions for its use. If you depend on vital medication, please inform the ship’s doctor upon arrival.
Weather in Galapagos is good year-round. January to April, showers can be expected, so make sure you have a light rain jacket or poncho with you. These rains are usually not long and may be followed by strong sun and high humidity. It is best to wear light, cotton clothing in layers. June to October is dryer but cooler. A light windbreaker comes handy as well as the rule of cotton clothing in layers. Months not mentioned here are transitional, showing a blend of the two conditions described above and vary from year to year.
The climate in Quito is characterized by a constant temperature year-round. Most rainfall (rainy season) is in April, warmest month is September with a maximum average temperature of 22°C (72°F), the coldest month is September with a maximum average temperature of 21°C (69°F), July is the driest month, August is the most sunny month.
The climate in Cusco (starting point for Machu Picchu) is marked by two seasons: Rainy (from November to April) and dry (from May to October). During the rainy season the temperature is higher (between 7° and 21° C) and during the dry season, lower (between 0° and 20° C).
Year round- good walking shoes are recommended (tennis or trainers) for the hikes. Trails vary in difficulty, but most are of volcanic nature. In some trails, and for wet landings, some guests appreciate aqua-shoes.
Lightweight, breathable cotton trousers, convertible to shorts have proven to be useful for all seasons. Make sure you bring one or two bathing suits. When travelling in high altitudes (Quito and Cusco) bring a warm sweater, gloves, scarf and rain jacket.
Hat with a broad rim and a strap are advisable year-round.
For the cooler months, wetsuits (2mm shorties) are available for rent at a cost of $17 USD + tax per guest for the entire cruise.
All cabins have the same size window and private facilities.
The tap water in your cabin is desalinized, but not potable. For your convenience, chilled drinking water dispensers are available in the Horizon, Expedition, and Sun decks.
You may experience some noise and vibration in some of the cabins. This varies depending on the location of your cabin. Also, noise affects people differently and what may be a problem for one guest may not be a problem for others.
Santa Cruz II equipment includes sit-on-top kayaks, paddle board, a glass bottom boat, and snorkelling gear (mesh-bags, masks, fins, tubes and buoyancy vests). The use of all these are free of charge. These activities are regulated by the National Park and must always be under the supervision of a licensed naturalist guide.
Guests must attend a short safety briefing before these activities are held. Safety briefings and release documents are mandatory for participation in these activities.
Wetsuits are available for rent in all sizes, from XXS to XXL for around $17 USD + tax per guest for the entire cruise. These are 2mm shorties.
All gear provided by the ship is cleaned and disinfected under the medical officer´s supervision. A brand-new mouthpiece is given to each snorkeler when using the ship´s gear.
Wi-Fi Internet connection is available onboard for an added cost of $40 USD + tax for the duration of the cruise, but due to the Galapagos’ remote location, please be aware that internet connection is intermittent and low-bandwidth. Limited complimentary wi-fi access is available for suite guests.
Internet is only available in public areas.
All cell phones must be on AIRPLANE MODE for all trails within the National Park.
Cellular coverage is patchy, very low and restricted to the vicinity of populated Islands (Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands).
Santa Cruz II complies with GALAPAGOS BIOCONTROL AGENCY (ABG) AND ISPS (International Ship and Port Security System) regulations, where all luggage is subject to X-ray/metal and organic/biosecurity inspection prior to boarding the aircraft in mainland Ecuador. These inspections include carry-on screening before and after the Ecuador-Galapagos flight.
Santa Cruz complies with international safety requirements and is a modern vessel suitable for sailing in Galapagos.
The first day´s programme includes a short but complete mandatory safety briefing about safety on board and during landing operations. This briefing is followed by the compulsory boat drill exercise.
A separate safety briefing is held prior to the first snorkelling, kayaking or paddle boarding opportunity.
During the sailing, special safety regulations will apply on landings with the Expedition boats. Please follow the instructions given by the Expedition Leader and crew/staff. Special lifejackets for use during landings will be provided to all passengers
Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel, and the world’s largest expedition cruise company. This comes with a responsibility to ensure that sustainability is integrated across all of our operations. With the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, we focus on innovation, technology and concrete measures to explore as responsibly as possible.
Hurtigruten has been operating in and exploring some of the most challenging waters in the world since 1893; our roots go back to the Norwegian polar heroes. Today we are facing the greatest and most difficult challenges in our more than 125-year history. Climate change, plastic waste and unsustainable mass tourism, which are all altering vulnerable ecosystems and threatening wildlife.
As we enter a new era of expedition cruising and adventure tourism, Hurtigruten aims to raise and set new standards for the entire travel industry.
That is why we
Our three Darwin suites on the Panorama deck, featuring double picture windows, will provide superb comfort and deluxe amenities for more discerning guests. Available in twin or double bed and if more space is desired, they can be interconnected with an Explorer cabin.
With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant relaxation areas after a day of active exploring. There are 3 Explorer cabins located as on the Panorama deck.
With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant relaxation areas after a day of active exploring. There are 17 Explorer cabins located as on the Expedition deck.
With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant relaxation areas after a day of active exploring. There are 2 Explorer family cabins located on the Horizon deck. Cabins are equipped with twin beds and a sofa bed (ideal for children under 12).
The social areas located across the MS Santa Cruz II allow travellers to converse about their passion for travel. There are multiple decks, including the Ocean, Horizon, Panorama, Expedition, and Sky Decks. Each space offers guests a comfortable seating area and an immaculate view of the nearby islands. Every social space is exquisite.
Facing the front of the ship, the Expedition Lounge – complete with a refreshment station and library – is a fantastic place to admire the beauty of the Galápagos’ Islands from inside. The Science Corner includes a glass cabinet, a microscope and a whale vertebrae clone, a perfect learning zone about our science activities.
This large and well-lit area is not only the main bar, but also the place where most ship events will take place (welcome and farewell cocktail), and doubles as an ideal place for lectures. It’s the ideal site to chill and relax with Wi-Fi hot spot and direct access to our al fresco terrace.
The Sky deck offers spaces where guests can relax and enjoy their Galápagos expeditions basking in the sun at the very top of the ship. The sun deck and fitness room are located here.
Guests can relish the Galápagos Islands landscapes at the rear terrace, which also doubles as an area for enjoying Happy Hour specials or freshly barbecued snacks. On the same deck, guests are also welcome to hang out at the indoor Expedition lounge & bar or visit our state-of-the-art bridge.