Santa Cruz II

This sleek, spacious ship has a layout that allows you to enjoy your cruise from start to finish. Enjoy delicious food in the elegant restaurant, increase your knowledge of the Galápagos Islands with your fellow travellers in the Science Center or maybe mingle out on the multiple decks. With carbon-neutral operations, MS Santa Cruz II is environmentally-sustainable and socially conscious with the local community. Premium Expedition Comfort, 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. MS Santa Cruz II's amenities easily appeal to all world explorers.                              

Accomodation Types

Onboard the ship, there are fifty cruise cabins that provide ample space for each and every guest. Each cabin has a private bathroom. There are options available for single travelers, couples, groups and families.

Darwin Suite, Panorama Deck

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.

Explorer cabin, 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 3 Explorer cabins located as on the Panorama deck.

Beds convert from double to twin upon request.

Explorer cabin, 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 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.

Explorer Cabin, Horizon 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 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.

Explorer family cabin, Horizon 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 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).

Voyager single cabin, Horizon deck

With comfortable spaces and large picture windows to illuminate the interior spaces and allow guests to take in the views, these cabins offer single bed, and plenty of space for solo travelers. There are 2 Voyager cabins located on the Horizon deck.

Deck Plans

Onboard the ship, there are fifty cruise cabins that provide ample space for each and every guest. Each cabin has a private bathroom. There are options available for single travelers, couples, groups and families.

Deck 5

  • Observation Deck
  • Fitness Room

Deck 4

  • Observation Deck
  • Panorama Lounge & Bar
  • Toilets
  • Cabins

Deck 3

  • Hot Tubs
  • Observation Deck
  • Science Corner
  • Discovery Room
  • Expedition Lounge & Bar
  • Library
  • Toilets
  • Cabins

Deck 2

  • Reception
  • Medical Center
  • Shop
  • Toilets
  • Cabins

Deck 1

  • Beagle Restaurant
  • Expedition Launch


Mouthwatering meals and creative cocktails await you aboard MS Santa Cruz II. With creativity and dedication, our cheerful staff draw inspiration from everything from the weather to the region’s flavours and local ingredients.

Beagle Restaurant

Experience complimentary · Cuisine varies

Mouthwatering meals and creative cocktails await you aboard MS Santa Cruz II. With creativity and dedication, our cheerful staff draw inspiration from everything from the weather to the region’s flavours and local ingredients.


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.

Sky Deck

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.

Outdoor Terrace

The Outdoor Terrace is located on Deck Three.

Panorama Bar & Lounge

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.


Located at the main intersection on the ship, the reception is the place where you will find the central bulletin board with daily program and other valuable information on the expedition experience. 

Discovery Room

The Discovery Room is located on Deck Three.

Expedition Lounge & Bar

The Expedition Lounge & Bar with Science Corner and Library is located on Deck Three.

Our Natural History Library is located on the Expedition Lounge in the Expedition Deck. Please check with the naturalists for books to read during the voyage. After reading, guests are kindly requested to please return the books to the library. A selection of general subject books and natural history books are found, but for anything related to Natural History of Galápagos, please ask the Expedition Leader for advice. 

Panorama Deck

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.

Evolution Hall

Evolution Hall is located on Deck Three.

Gift Shop

The Gift Shop is located on Deck Two.


Expedition Launch Pad

The Expedition Launch Pad can be found on Deck 1.

Shore Excursions

We offer every day, in addition to the core activity (generally, a hike), a variety of activity options approved by the national park:

  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Coastal explorations (aboard our inflatable dinghies, otherwise known as pangas)
  • Glass-bottom boat rides
  • Biking (on Santa Cruz island only)

These activities will be explained in advance by the Expedition Leader and guides. A sign-up sheet is placed in the expedition room, Expedition deck. These activities cannot be booked in advance and are all free of charge. Please note the number of the participants per activity is limited. 

Health & Fitness

Fitness Room

Our fitness center is equipped with yoga mats, set of weights, 2 treadmills, 2 stationary bikes, and an elliptical trainer for those guests who do not want to let their routine slide.

Hot Tubs

For a nice relaxing time our two hot tubs with capacity for 5 guests each. Located on the Expedition deck are ideal.

Kids & Teens

All guests must be 18 years old on or before the day they are scheduled to embark on their cruise; we do not maintain facilities or services on board for younger individuals.

No Hurtigruten Expedition ships feature children’s playrooms.

Useful Information


Children below the age of 6 cannot take part in cruises with MS Santa Cruz. For children under the age of 12 that board MS Santa Cruz a release of responsibility will need to be signed by the parents or guardian of the minor upon arrival to the vessel since cruise facilities are not adapted for children and there are no child-care facilities nor child-minders on board.

Disabled Cabins / Mobility

Travel to Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands is not suitable for wheelchair users. Santa Cruz II has no wheelchair friendly ramps, cabins or elevators.

Medical Facilities

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. 

What to Wear

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. 

Alcohol Policy

Guests who wish to bring bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard Santa Cruz II, will be charged a corkage fee of US $27+taxes.


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.


Drones are not allowed in Galapagos. Flash photography is not allowed on wildlife. Professional photography of filming requires a special permit of the National Park Directorate.

Equipment Loans

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 sails under Ecuadorian flag; the working language on board is Spanish. Announcements for guests are given in English, and may also be given in German, French, Spanish or Italian depending on guests travelling. Lectures are held in different languages in different rooms.


Laundry service is not available on board Santa Cruz II. Two domestic-type washer/dryers are available 24hours on the entrance to the Expedition Deck for free, together with instructions, baskets and biodegradable detergent. 

Lifesaving Equipment, Life vests and Safety on Board

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 life jackets for use during landings will be provided to all passengers

Smoking Policy

On board, smoking is only permitted in designated areas on outside decks, where ashtrays are available. Smoking is not permitted in cabins. Throwing cigarette butts overboard is strictly prohibited.

Special Requests

If you have special requests (e.g. dietary or medical), please inform us as soon as possible, and no later than 8 weeks prior to your cruise departure. We will do our best to meet such requests but cannot guarantee to do so, and under no circumstance will any such request be accepted by us so as to form part of a contractual agreement.

Suite Service

Welcome greeting

On embarkation day, all guests will receive a complimentary Galapagos wildlife book and a reusable water bottle. Suite guests will receive an additional welcome gift in their cabin.

Turn-down service

Suite guests will receive a daily turn-down service, including fresh towels and chocolate or similar on the pillow.


Suite guests will receive limited complimentary Wi-fi access. Additional wi-fi is available for purchase, but due to the Galapagos’ remote location, please be aware that internet connection is intermittent and low-bandwidth.

Wetsuit rental

Wetsuit rental is complimentary for suite guests on request. 

Walking on board

We kindly remind you to take care when walking on board the ship while at sea, especially when venturing out on deck, observing the signs for warnings of wet and slippery decks.

Small Boat Landings

Guests are respectfully reminded that our expedition boats enable both water-based exploration and safe landings in Galapagos. Should the ocean conditions be rough, our Expedition leader and the Officer on duty may do a scouting of the landing site to determine the safety of the programme. In the very rare event of a change in programme, the Expedition leader will announce the best alternative to all guests via PA system.

You will need to be fairly agile to board the Expedition boats, but there is otherwise no need to worry about travelling in them. The crew will show you what to do and, as long as you follow their instructions, after a few times it will become second nature.

For our glass-bottom boat outings, guests will transfer from the Expedition boats (pangas). Please follow the instructions of the expedition team to ensure everyone´s safety.

In some sites, snorkelling is done from the expedition boats (pangas) into the sea. To come back, a ladder is placed over the boat´s pontoon. Follow the instructions of the expedition team, as for all activities.

Visits to Galapagos may have one of these 3 possible landings:

NO LANDING: There is no trail on shore. Visitors are restricted to the expedition boats (pangas). You may wear water shoes, sandals or go barefoot.

WET LANDINGS: This type of disembarking process is commonly made right on the edge of the beach, with the panga operator moving the small craft up against the sandy shores to have guests slide off the pontoons near the stern of the zodiac. Consequently, guests will almost always get their feet wet in the process. Some guests prefer to wear water shoes for this type of landing, dry their feet at the beach with the special beach towels we provide (free of charge) and put on the sturdier footwear for the trail. Upon return the process is reversed.

DRY LANDINGS: There is a dock or solid surface available for our guests to step off the dinghy without getting their feet wet. you’ll always count on the helping hands of the naturalist guides and/or the dinghy operator to safely disembark at the visitor site. You can wear your sturdy footwear right out of your cabin.

Due to the fragility of the archipelago, guides will request all guests to knock-off any dirt attached to the soles of your footwear or dip them in the water before boarding the zodiac. Upon boarding Santa Cruz, this will be enhanced with the fresh water hoses available at the stern platform.


If you are prone to seasickness, it is recommended that you bring pills that you are familiar with. A local brand of motion sickness pills is always available free of charge at the reception in the Horizon Deck. 


Mailboxes and stamps are available at the Baltra Airport, and in Puerto Ayora. Be aware that the delivery may take a long time.

Hurtigruten App

The Hurtigruten APP is your digital guide onboard, it is recommended to download it before you come onboard, To be able to follow the activities on board, make restaurant reservation, book tours and find A-Z info here from the minute you step onboard. The App will only work while you are on board as it is connected to the ship’s Wi-Fi.  

Food & Beverage

All meals are designed by our Le Cordon Bleu-certified Gastronomic Director. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are buffet-style in the Beagle Restaurant on the Ocean deck. No reservations are required and the attire is always casual. We only ask our guests not to enter the dining area in bathing suit or barefoot.

Please provide information regarding special requests for seating arrangements and dietary requirements to Hurtigruten Expeditions or your travel agent before your cruise.

House beer, wine, and soft drinks are available at lunch and dinner. Coffee, tea, and potable water that has been purified on board is included throughout the day. Complimentary still and sparkling water is provided for all meals. Other beverages, including cocktails, and an upgraded beverage package is also available for purchase.

Cruise Card

Santa Cruz II will not provide keys to your cabins, nor a cruise card. Cabins may be locked from the interior. Each cabin has a safety box, and corridors are monitored by closed-circuit cameras.

Upon check-in, a shipboard account (SA) will be opened for you. You may register your credit card at this time to facilitate and speed up check-out procedures on your last day. Credit Cards accepted in Ecuador include: Diners Club, Visa, American Express and Master Card. Our staff will request you to sign a receipt to acknowledge your consumption before charging it to your shipboard account.

The local currency in Ecuador is the US DOLLAR, and ATMs are available at the mainland airports, as well as in Baltra airport and in the towns of Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

No gratuities are expected onboard. Suggested gratuities for services on land will be shared in your travel documents.

Taking Sustainability Seriously

Exploring our blue planet for more than a century has taught us the importance of being green.

Meaningful Change

As a result, we are now supporting 41 environmental, cultural and social projects in 11 different countries. These range from helping endangered orcas in the Pacific Northwest and protecting Galápagos seabirds, to securing safe spaces for vulnerable Greenlandic children and enabling community storytelling for the Itquamavit elders in Canada’s frozen north. We hope that the ripples we create today will one day turn into the waves of the future.

With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as our compass, our cruises to the planet’s most stunning corners are where explorers can truly feel at home.

After all, it’s not about us, it’s about all of us.

Saying Goodbye to Plastic

We announced our war on plastics in 2018 when we were the first expedition company to ban non-essential single-use plastic throughout our entire operation. That means you won’t find items like plastic cups, plastic straws or plastic cutlery on board our ships. You also won’t see our shops selling microplastic-made fleeces but stocking natural wool clothing instead.

Absent too are plastic water bottles. We provide all our guests on an expedition cruise with a complimentary high-quality reusable bottle for use at water refill stations dotted around the ship. This simple act saves at least 1,000 plastic bottles a day on some of our larger ships.

Inspiring Environmental Ambassadors

Witnessing the beauty of our planet is sure to leave a lasting impression on you, and you’ll talk enthusiastically about these stunning destinations with friends and family for decades to come. To make sure you can speak informatively when you return home, every one of our expedition cruises has a focus on the environment.

The Expedition Team give lectures that raise awareness of climate change, ocean plastic, and the measures we can all take to help ease these issues. It is our hope that engaging with nature on our expedition cruises will inspire you to do all you can to cherish and protect the precious world we all share.

Connecting With Communities

We are dedicated to supporting the local communities we visit, and to creating beneficial ripple effects that continue long after we’ve left. By trading locally and sourcing services such as food produce and excursions from local suppliers, we contribute to the livelihood and welfare of people.

We strive not only to connect with these communities, but to share genuine friendship with them while always respecting their values and customs. As guests in their home, our emphasis is on appreciating their unique culture and ensuring our interactions are positive and upbuilding for all. You can therefore enjoy authentic experiences knowing your visit is doing good, both for you and for them.

A Footprint We’re Proud Of

You’ll likely encounter a range of wildlife during your expedition, doing so from a safe distance. We’ll be sure to never get too close to them, out of respect for their welfare as much as yours. By not disturbing wildlife with our presence, you’ll be able to observe their natural behaviour, in their natural habitat. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! In fact, in many of the areas we visit in Antarctica, we even specifically wipe out our footprints so as to prevent penguins tripping and falling into them.

Working Together As One

Sustainability isn’t something we can do alone. Everyone in our industry needs to work together for a greener future. We are therefore founding members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). These trade member organisations work to establish sustainable tourism in polar regions, fighting mass tourism by limiting ships and shore visits, and creating guidelines that protect fragile environments and rare wildlife.

We’ve also committed ourselves to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These guiding principles will take us steps ahead of current regulations to offer you greener and more sustainable expedition cruises on and for the planet.

Serving Planet-Friendly Plant-Based Food

We offer full menus of delicious plant-based dishes that will impress even those yet to be convinced by this way of eating. These meals not only have low or even zero CO2 footprints, they also promote healthier living and prove conclusively that vegan and vegetarian cuisine can still taste great. We’ve also put in place food management waste programmes on all our ships, aiming to reduce food waste by at least 30%.

Investing in Green Tech

Building our two new hybrid-powered expedition ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, represents the biggest investment in our almost 130 years of history. They are packed with ground-breaking green technology, such as battery packs, heat recovery systems, and a cutting-edge hull design. These innovations combined reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 %, compared to other cruise ships of the same size.

Hurtigruten stopped using heavy fuel oil more than a decade ago and campaign for its worldwide ban. To set a new standard, we are also considering a range of new, green fuel options, including biofuels made from organic waste.

Doing Your Part

There are a range of simple things you can get involved in during your cruise to do your bit. Help out on a beach clean-up where the refuse we collect is brought back onto the ship to be recycled. Citizen Science projects get you to observe our natural world closely and contribute to current research.

Even hanging a tag on your cabin door to say your towels and bed sheets don’t need changing can save energy and water. You also have the option to donate to the Hurtigruten Foundation which funds projects around the world.

We are setting a new, more sustainable standard for expedition cruising. You can be sure we will continue with our commitment to sustainability; leading the way with green tech, protecting our planet, supporting local communities, and inspiring more to action.

With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as our compass, our cruises to the planet’s most stunning corners are where explorers can truly feel at home.