Ecuador’s foremost travel company that pioneered expeditions to the Galápagos Islands back in the 1960’s, announces the launch of its newest expedition vessel in the Galápagos Islands, the Santa Cruz II.

Scheduled to take up the baton from its legendary predecessor, the MV Santa Cruz, in October 2015, the 50-cabin Santa Cruz II will bring with it a chic new way to explore the wonders of the Galápagos Islands in style and comfort. The new boat will offer guests the unrivalled guiding Metropolitan Touring is famous for while ensuring the utmost care is taken to preserve the islands’ delicate ecosystem via the latest in sustainable sailing technologies.

The Santa Cruz II will boast five spacious decks, with modern interiors designed by renowned ship designer, Richard Nilsson. Created with the ethos of stylish simplicity at its heart, the new boat will ensure sumptuous surroundings from which to take in the magnificent vistas of the enchanted islands.

The new boat will sleep 90 guests in 50 contemporary designed cabins across three decks. Guests can choose from luxuriously appointed single, double and triple cabins, or opt for one of the three even more exclusive Darwin Suites, an exceptional standard of accommodation on the Panorama Deck, where guests will receive elevated service and carefully refined extras such as a take-home Galápagos coffee table book, a tablet loan for each cabin, complimentary drinks and extra amenities.

While aboard the new Santa Cruz II, guests can relax in the beautifully designed communal areas and viewing platforms, including indoor and outdoor dining options, two lounge bars, a well-stocked library, two indulgent ocean view hot tubs and a state of the art gym.

Creative Ecuadorian and international cuisine will be prepared under the watchful eye of the Santa Cruz II’s Cordon-Bleu trained gastronomic director, Byron Rivera. Freshly caught fish and seafood and locally grown organic fruit and vegetables will feature heavily on menus served in the colourful Beagle Dining Room and al fresco on the Panorama Deck.

The Santa Cruz II will take guests on four, five and nine night itineraries in the Northern, Eastern and Western Galápagos Islands and each expedition will be accompanied by seven of Metropolitan Touring’s exceptionally knowledgeable guides plus an expedition leader in charge of making the most of each day’s outings. Activities can be tailored to each guest’s personalr interests and range from daily land expeditions to a host of aquatic activities, including ocean kayaking, snorkelling with sea lions and glass bottom boat expeditions – all of the options permitted by the Galápagos National Park.

Paulina Burbano de Lara, Metropolitan Touring’s executive president, commented, “We are delighted to announce the launch of our new Galápagos Islands expedition boat. Our company has a long history working to preserve, maintain and showcase the fascinating ecosystem of these islands to sustainably conscious travellers from all over the world. The Santa Cruz II signifies the start of a new era of cruising in the Galápagos Islands and allows us to continue evolving the standard of accommodation, service and expert guiding that we offer our customers.”

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