Galápagos Islands Expedition Cruise – In Darwin’s Footsteps Plus Machu Picchu

Galápagos Islands Expedition Cruise – In Darwin’s Footsteps Plus Machu Picchu

From AUD $16,369


South America land adventure The first part of our adventure takes place on land. Setting off from Lima, Peru’s vibrant capital, we’ll fly to Cusco, the ancient center of the Inca empire, and discover its many cultural and architectural wonders. Next, we travel up the Sacred Valley on a luxury train to the incredible mountain citadel of Machu Picchu before heading back to Cusco and then flying to charming Quito – the ‘City of Eternal Spring’. 
Awe-inspiring Galápagos Islands After exploring Quito´s historic center and visiting the Equator, we’ll head to the Galápagos Islands for an unforgettable sea adventure. We’ll be on the lookout for iconic animals such as giant tortoises, marine iguanas and Blue-footed Boobies. On this active cruise, and with an onboard Expedition Team of local guides, you’ll get closer to the many natural wonders in our small panga boats, kayaks and glass-bottom boat. 

Trip Name
Galápagos Islands Expedition Cruise – In Darwin’s Footsteps Plus Machu Picchu
Vessel Type: Expedition Vessel Length: 71.8 meters Passenger Capacity: 90 Built / Refurbished: 2002 / 2015 / 2018 / 2021 When you are exploring the Galápagos islands with us onboard the MS Santa Cruz II, you will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in high quality surroundings. The small size - with a guest capacity of maximum of 90 allows for a cozy yet classy environment. You´ll easily feel at home on board. Gastronomic delights 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 - Incredible Dining Experience The MS Santa Cruz II has a team of trained staff members that utilize locally-sourced organic food to prepare every dish. This ship provides a Le Cordon Bleu (a trained Gastronomy Director) and a wide variety of culinary experiences that encompass all diets and preferences. Each and every meal served onboard is exquisite. 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. Luxury living Your ship gives you everything you could wish for in a home away from home: places for stimulation, relaxation, and meetings with your fellow guests. With a Scandinavian-inspired décor and all modern conveniences, MS Santa Cruz II does it in comfort and style. Expedition lounge & bar with Science Corner and library 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. 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. Wellness and workouts Whenever you feel the need to get your body moving, exercise facilities are on hand to get your pulse up. And whether you’re relaxing after a day of fascinating lectures, or a long hike, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to relax your body and mind. 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 Tub For a nice relaxing time our two hot tubs with capacity for 5 guests each. Located on the Expedition deck are ideal.


Day 1 - DAY 1 Your land adventure begins
Start your adventure in ancient and modern Lima  Welcome to Peru, one of the most fascinating countries in South America!  If you have time after your arrival in Lima before settling in at your hotel for an overnight stay, we suggest you wander historical centre, which is packed with elegant Spanish colonial architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or why not walk along the oceanfront boardwalk in the upmarket Miraflores district. Here, you’ll find many restaurants and cafés, as well as shops if you need to purchase anything ahead of your adventure. Lima is considered the food capital of Latin America, so be sure to try local dishes like ceviche, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice with onion and chilli.
Day 2 - DAY 2 City of the Incas and a cultural gem
Explore the ancient seat of the Inca Empire In the morning, you’ll take a flight to Cusco, the ancient seat of the Inca Empire. A local guide will take you to check in at your hotel, before inviting you on a guided tour of this enigmatic city.   You’ll see impressive Inca structures contrasted with ornate buildings from Spanish colonial times. Visit the 15th century ceremonial compound of Sacsayhuaman, or admire the architecture of the Spanish Santo Domingo church, a convent built on the ruins of Koricancha, the Inca Sun Temple. After your tour of the highlights of this cultural and architectural gem, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 3 - DAY 3 Back in time to a lost world
 Discover the lost city of the Incas   An early morning transfer will take you to Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, from where you’ll catch a train along the narrow-gauge line to Machu Picchu, passing through stunning highland scenery along the way. After around two hours, we’ll stop at the small town of Aguas Calientes and take the short bus ride to Machu Picchu – the so-called Lost City of the Incas.      You’ll enjoy a guided tour of this once-hidden settlement, marvelling at the stonewalls, terraces and ramps that are carved into the mountain. You’ll love the peaceful atmosphere of Machu Picchu as you gaze at the lowland jungle from this city in the clouds. After lunch, we’ll return to Cusco where you’ll enjoy your final night at the hotel.
Day 4 - DAY 4 Quito – city of eternal spring
Discover the vibrant city of QuitoToday you’ll 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 some delicious chocolate made from the finest Ecuadorian cacao along the way. Next, you’ll head to the iconic ‘Middle of the World City’, located around 16 miles north of Quito. After lunch, you’ll visit the famous monument that delineates the imaginary line of the Equator. Have your camera ready to capture the moment you stand with one foot in each hemisphere. 
Day 5 - DAY 5 Visit historic Quito
  Straddle the Equator at the Middle of the World City Today you’ll 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 some delicious chocolate made from finest Ecuadorian cacao along the way. Next, you’ll head to the iconic ‘Middle of the World City’, located around 16 miles north of Quito. After lunch, you’ll visit the famous monument that delineates the imaginary line of the Equator. Have your camera ready to capture the moment you stand with one foot in each hemisphere.
Day 6 - DAY 6 Your cruise begins
Get ready to explore the spectacular Galápagos Islands After breakfast, a short flight will take you to Baltra Island in the spectacular Galápagos archipelago. A transfer brings you straight to the port where your comfortable expedition ship MS Santa Cruz II awaits.  You'll get your first glimpse of the islands' incredible wildlife on Mosquera Islet, home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in the archipelago. We'll take our small panga boats ashore to get a closer look. As you stroll across flat and sandy dunes, look out for Blue-footed Boobies and Sally Lightfoot crabs, and learn about the marine and terrestrial ecosystems from your naturalist guides.
Day 7 - DAY 7 San Cristóbal's tortoises
Meet the famous giant tortoises Your first stop today is the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve – a breeding centre for the endangered giant tortoise. It's also home to other endemic species, including the San Cristobal Mockingbird and lava lizard. The giant tortoise is probably the most iconic of all Galápagos wildlife, with a lifespan of over 100 years. Here, they thrive, ambling around forests similar to their natural habitat.  Up to August 2024 we’ll call at Cerro Brujo, on the island’s west coast. With its white coral beaches, you’ll literally be walking in Darwin’s footsteps as the naturalist visited here in 1835. There are plenty of sea and shore birds to look out for here, as well as sea lions.     After August 2024* we’ll instead likely explore Punta Pitt in our small panga boats. This is the only site in the Galápagos Islands where you might see three species of boobies. Enjoy a nature walk, explore the coastline by boat, or snorkel and swim in the crystal-clear water.    *Note – this is dependent on local authority restrictions.
Day 8 - DAY 8 Santa Fe and South Plaza
Spot wildlife against idyllic backdrops We start the day with a scenic nature walk on the blissful beaches of Santa Fe, home to the endemic Barrington land iguana and a colony of sea lions.  You can swim or snorkel from our small panga boats, take a kayak for a paddle around the island, or join a trip in our glass-bottomed boat to observe the marine life below. After a delicious lunch, prepared by our onboard chefs, we head to South Plaza Island. Keep an eye out for frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Galapagos Shearwaters gliding on the breeze. Here, among a dazzling array of flora, land iguanas laze by the shore while marine iguanas slip in and out of the water.
Day 9 - DAY 9 Explore Santa Cruz
Learn about local conservation on Santa Cruz IslandToday we pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora A giant tortoise breeding centre, here you can see recently hatched tortoises and Darwin’s famous finches – the birds he used as a basis for his theory of evolution by natural selection. There’s also an impressive forest of prickly pear cacti that’s home to many land birds.  Enjoy a cooler climate over lunch in the lush highlands, where giant tortoises shuffle about munching on grass and wallowing in pools. You'll have time for another activity, such as mountain biking or visiting sugar plantation.
Day 10 - DAY 10 Dramatic Española
 Lava lizards and incredible birdlife Your Galápagos Islands cruise reaches Española, the archipelago's most southerly island. Birdlife here is truly extraordinary – look out for Nazca Boobies, Blue-footed Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls, and the mighty Waved Albatross on cruises April through December. It’s also a chance to spot red Española lava lizards and marine iguanas, as well as see the famous blowhole, El Soplador, blasting water 75 feet into the air.  After lunch on board the ship, we'll head to the picturesque coral beach of Gardner Bay and nearby Osborn Islet, to seek out sea lions, mockingbirds and finches. If you're feeling active, you can go snorkelling or kayaking.
Day 11 - DAY 11 Reef life on Eden Islet
Green turtles, sharks and rare bird colonies The wealth of wildlife watching opportunities continues at Eden Islet, where we hope to see Galapagos green turtles, rays and friendly reef sharks. On the shore, look out for distinctive frigatebirds with their rubbery, red throats.  You can swim or snorkel to explore the reefs. Alternatively, see the reefs from our glass-bottomed boat or by kayak. After lunch, we'll sail to North Seymour.  The island is a great site for spotting colonies of Blue-footed Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls. Sea lions and marine iguanas also congregate here, attracted by the bountiful sea life in its waters.
Day 12 - DAY 12 End of your expedition
From the Galápagos Islands back to Quito Your expedition cruise draws to a close as you disembark at Baltra Island. A transfer will take you to the airport in Baltra for your flight to Quito to connect to your international flight, or if you prefer, continue to Guayaquil for another adventure.  To explore more of Ecuador, why not extend your stay and join one of our optional Post-Programmes. As you leave this fascinating region, you'll take with you incredible memories of amazing wildlife and wonderful experiences few have the privilege of seeing.
Day 13 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-05-202515-05-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
04-05-202515-05-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
18-05-202529-05-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
18-05-202529-05-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
01-06-202512-06-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
01-06-202512-06-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
15-06-202526-06-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
15-06-202526-06-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
29-06-202510-07-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
29-06-202510-07-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
13-07-202524-07-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
13-07-202524-07-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
27-07-202507-08-2025AUD $17,238Explorer Cabin
27-07-202507-08-2025AUD $21,922Darwin Suite
10-08-202521-08-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
10-08-202521-08-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
24-08-202504-09-2025AUD $16,710Explorer Cabin
24-08-202504-09-2025AUD $21,394Darwin Suite
07-09-202518-09-2025AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
07-09-202518-09-2025AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
21-09-202502-10-2025AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
21-09-202502-10-2025AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
05-10-202516-10-2025AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
05-10-202516-10-2025AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
19-10-202530-10-2025AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
19-10-202530-10-2025AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
02-11-202513-11-2025AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
02-11-202513-11-2025AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
16-11-202527-11-2025AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
16-11-202527-11-2025AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
30-11-202511-12-2025AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
30-11-202511-12-2025AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
14-12-202525-12-2025AUD $17,562Explorer Cabin
14-12-202525-12-2025AUD $22,622Darwin Suite
28-12-202508-01-2026AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
28-12-202508-01-2026AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
11-01-202622-01-2026AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
11-01-202622-01-2026AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
25-01-202605-02-2026AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
25-01-202605-02-2026AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
08-02-202619-02-2026AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
08-02-202619-02-2026AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
22-02-202605-03-2026AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
22-02-202605-03-2026AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
08-03-202619-03-2026AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
08-03-202619-03-2026AUD $20,903Darwin Suite
22-03-202602-04-2026AUD $16,369Explorer Cabin
22-03-202602-04-2026AUD $20,903Darwin Suite


    • Travel from Cusco to the stunning ruins of Machu Picchu, experiencing the ancient Inca civilization.
    • Encounter giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and Blue-footed Boobies on an active cruise in the Galápagos Islands.
    • Explore Quito’s historic center and the Equator, enjoying the city's colonial charm and cultural richness.