Have questions? We're here.
Sea lion coming in from a swim

Galápagos Islands Nature and Wildlife Expedition Cruise

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard Santa Cruz II
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Galapagos trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
On this voyage, you will explore fascinating sites on Santiago Island: Buccaneer Cove, home to a number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms, and Puerto Egas, with its great walk-along pools, snorkeling and swimming. The next day you will visit the red-sand beach of Rabida Island, a popular spot for aquatic activities, with some of the best snorkeling in the Galapagos! Stop at Bartolome Island, which offers a volcanic viewpoint with room for hiking, swimming, and exploring the beach and the coast. Cross the equatorial line, to the sunken crater of Genovesa Island, home to thousands of marine birds. Finish with an opportunity to witness the giant Galapagos tortoises at a private reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island before making your way back to the airport at Baltra.
Snorkeling in the GalapagosA close up look of the Sally Lightfoot Crab.Punto Egas, Santiago Island, GalapagosGalapagos penguin RabidaSea lion coming in from a swim
  • Hike along the red beaches and volcanic cliffs of Rabida Island
  • Visit famous Pinnacle rock and snorkel off of its white sand beaches
  • Cruise to Buccaneer Cove and learn about its history of pirates
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Quito

Your journey of discovery begins on the equator in the lush Andean foothills. At 9,350 ft, Quito is the second-highest capital city in the world, and its main draw is the exquisite Old Town which was founded on an ancient Inca settlement. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s packed with well-preserved colonial architecture, including colorful plazas, magnificent churches, and handsome monuments. If you have enough time in the evening, make sure to visit the Calle La Ronda, an ancient pedestrianized street with links to the poets and artists who’ve lived here. It’s lined with shops and cafes, and there are many handicrafts available to buy.

If you have time, it is recommended to come a few days earlier and join one of the optional Pre-Programs.

Day 2: Quito

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, enjoy a guided tour of Quito’s remarkable Old Town, one of the largest and best-preserved colonial-era quarters in South America. Wander through cobblestone streets as you admire the architecture and sample delicious chocolate made from the finest Ecuadorian cacao along the way.

Next, head to the iconic ‘Middle of the World City’, located around 16 miles north of Quito. After lunch, visit the famous monument that delineates the imaginary line that is the Equator. Have your camera ready to capture the moment you stand with one foot in each hemisphere.

Day 3: Baltra | Embark | Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As your South American land adventure draws to a close, it is time to embark on the next stage of your journey. After breakfast, a short flight takes you to Baltra Island, a part of the spectacular Galápagos Archipelago. A transfer takes you straight to the port, where your comfortable expedition ship MS Santa Cruz II awaits you.

Begin your afternoon exploration of the Galápagos Islands by following the north shore of Santa Cruz to the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón, or Dragon Hill, where you’ll land. On the first part of your walk, pass a brackish lagoon frequented by shorebirds and American flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as your first chance to encounter some land iguanas.

Day 4: Buccaneer Cove | Puerto Egas, Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, explore Santiago Island’s pristine beaches and picturesque landscapes. Take in the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove on the northwest coast, home to a large number of marine birds and sea lions. Immerse yourself in the scenery through a range of water activities and marvel at fantastic rock formations such as ‘Elephant Rock’ and ‘The Bishop.’ 

In the afternoon, head to Puerto Egas, one of the best visitor sites on the island. You’ll have the opportunity to see a colony of fur-sea lions and exotic birdlife on an excursion. Or you could just swim or snorkel along the rocky shorelines, typically, in the company of marine turtles.

Day 5: Rabida | Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your day starts on tiny Rábida Island, located off the southern shore of Santiago. You can go for a thrilling dinghy ride along the coast or join an excursion exploring the island’s mesmerizing, red-colored beach. Soak up the sights and sounds made by a colony of sea lions, and spot marine iguanas, mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, and several species of Darwin’s Finches. 

In the afternoon, sail to the golden sands of Bartolomé Island, dominated by the imposing Pinnacle Rock. You can swim or snorkel off the beach here or discover colorful marine life from the glass-bottom boat, and spot Galápagos Penguins on the shore. Hike up to the summit of the island for fantastic views.

Day 6: Genovesa Island | Darwin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, explore Genovesa Island. The morning starts with a steep but short climb – only 90 ft – up a flight of steps to reach a flat and rocky plateau. Once there, you can walk along comfortably and check out large colonies of Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, Great Frigatebirds, and Storm Petrels. Afterward or instead, hop into a kayak for some aquatic adventuring!

In the afternoon, land at the beautiful beach that fringes Darwin Bay for a swim. Following this refreshing dip, take a stroll and observe hundreds of island birds, or just take it easy on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking.

Day 7: Disembark | Tortoise Reserve | Baltra Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
Start your last morning on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. After a dry landing at a passenger wharf and a bus ride to the island’s higher region, you’ll see a final highlight of your expedition cruise: giant tortoises in the wild.

The windward slopes of the island are set aside as a reserve that is home to two species of giant tortoise. These lush highlands also feature dense forests of Galápagos daisies, orchids, and bromeliads.

After this visit, take a transfer directly to the airport in Baltra for your flight to Quito, and connect to your international flight. Flight to Quito must be requested at the time of booking. Please contact us at the time of booking to continue to Quito at the end of your tour. If you prefer, you can continue to Guayaquil for another adventure.

To explore more of Ecuador, it is recommended to extend your stay and join one of the optional Post-Programs.


Santa Cruz II

Evolution Hall Santa Cruz II

Quito - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date


Save up to 40%
Book your all-inclusive trip to Antarctica, Galápagos, and more in 2025 and 2026 and save up to 40% off selected sailings departing April 1, 2025, and March 31, 2026. Take advantage of the Price Promise for all HX departures on or after April 1, 2025. If you find the same cabin for a lower price after you book, just let us know. This offer is subject to availability for new bookings and cannot be combined with other discounts. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Click for departure dates

Per person starting at
Select a Date
Explorer Cabin - Horizon deck (EH)
With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant areas to relax after a day of active exploring. There are 23 Explorer cabins located on the Horizon deck. Beds convert from double to twin upon request. Cabin code: EH
Select a Date
Explorer Cabin - Expedition deck (EE)
With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant areas to relax after a day of active exploring. There are 17 Explorer cabins located as on the Expedition deck. Beds convert from double to twin upon request. Cabin code: EE
Select a Date
Explorer Cabin - Panorama deck (EP)
With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant areas to relax after a day of active exploring. There are 3 Explorer cabins located on the Panorama deck. Beds convert from double to twin upon request. Cabin code: EP
Select a Date
Explorer Family Cabin - Horizon deck (FH)
With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer elegant areas to relax 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). Cabin code: FH
Select a Date
Darwin Suite - Panorama deck (DS)
Our three Darwin suites on the Panorama deck feature double picture windows, and offers superb comfort and deluxe amenities. Available with a twin or double bed, and if more space is desired, these suites can be interconnected with an Explorer cabin. Cabin code: DS


Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

Rates and availability subject to change without notice until a firm booking has been made.

Child Discount

Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Shore Excursions, Swimming and Snorkeling 
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling and kayaking equipment is included in the cruise cost and available for your use on board.
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $200 per adult, $100 per child under 12 (fees of $100 per adult and $50 per child valid on arrivals through Aug 1, 2024). Payable upon arrival to the Galapagos, only in cash dollars. Subject to increase by Galapagos Park Service.
  • Wetsuits are not included but are available to rent on board - $22 for 5-day tours, and $41 for 7-day tours.
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately



* By providing your phone number, you consent to receive direct phone calls or SMS messages from our Trip Planners to get the process started. We do not share your information with third-parties.
Travel Agents

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
Chat Now
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By