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Ultimate Guide To Galapagos Islands Cruises

Choosing the perfect Galapagos Islands cruise can seem overwhelming. We get it; with over 70% of visitors taking to the seas to marvel at these magical islands, the pressure is on to pick just the right adventure.

That’s why we’ve poured our heart and soul into crafting an ultimate guide that streamlines your decision-making process. Our guide cuts through the confusion of selecting a Galapagos cruise, offering valuable insights and tips along the way.

Let’s embark on this journey of discovery together!

Key Takeaways

  • The Galapagos Islands offer cruises for every budget, from luxury yachts with gourmet dining and private balconies to affordable options that still provide a great experience.
  • You can choose from various cruise durations, including 8-day, 7-day, 6-day, 5-day, and 4-day itineraries to fit your schedule and interests.
  • Excursions led by expert naturalist guides enhance the adventure, allowing close-up encounters with unique wildlife and ecosystems. Activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and trekking let travelers explore the islands’ beauty up close.
  • Liveaboard diving cruises are available for those interested in exploring the rich marine life around the Galapagos Islands through scuba diving.
  • Our interactive quiz helps match travelers with their ideal Galapagos cruise based on personal travel needs and preferences, simplifying the selection process.

Options for Galapagos Islands Cruises

Explore a range of Galapagos Islands cruises to match every travel style and budget. Find your perfect adventure, from luxury voyages to more affordable journeys.

In reality there are 3 types of cruises you can take in Galapagos:

  • Naturalist Cruises: Expedition style cruises that take guests to park authorized visitor sites. Visitors on these cruises are allowed to disembark and walk on nature trails in the company of a naturalist guide. Activities permitted include Hiking, Zodiac rides, snorkeling and sea kayaking. Naturalist cruise operators cannot offer scuba diving. Visitors sleep on board.
  • Scuba Diving Cruises: Liveaboard dive cruises allow visitors to explore the marine reserve in the Galapagos Islands archipelago. Travelers on a scuba diving cruise cannot disembark on land visitor sites. It is scuba diving only.
  • Day Cruises: This activity takes place on day tour yachts and small boats. Usually for 12 – 16 guests. Can be either a Scuba diving or Naturalist outing. Day cruises depart from populated islands and return to port every day. Visitors stay at island hotels.

Types of Ships Cruising in Galapagos

  • Liveaboard Yacht Cruises: Monohaul yachts. Most of these cater to 16 – 20 guests, there are exceptions that cater to 26 and 32 guests on board.
  • Catamaran Cruises: Twin hulled catamarans purpose built for Galapagos, offer private balconies and more deck space 16 guests in average
  • Expedition ships: Somewhat an oversized yacht, ships in this category cater to 48 – 100 guests on board
  • Sailboats: The fact there is no ongoing wind in the Galapagos has made it difficult for sailboats to succeed, there are 2 operating sailboats currently, each of them carries between 14-16 guests.

Comfort Levels and time frame on board Galapagos cruises

The different yachts and ships offer everything from basic bunk bed cabins up to private balcony suites. The different categories go from:

Santa Cruz Cruise | Galapagos Islands

First Class

Choosing first class cruises offers us the perfect blend of comfort and adventure on the Galapagos Islands. We find them more affordable than luxury options, yet they still deliver a high-end experience that makes our vacation unforgettable.

First class boats provide deluxe island cruises with premium amenities. These include spacious cabins with ocean views, excellent dining options, and personalized services that elevate our journey to the elite cruise experiences category without breaking the bank. First class options offer great value.

On these superior Galapagos cruises, we enjoy exclusive boat trips led by expert guides who share insightful knowledge about the islands’ unique ecosystems. High-quality sailing adventures come with opportunities for kayaking, snorkeling, and trekking—allowing us to explore the rich biodiversity up close in a way that’s unmatched.

Each excursion is carefully planned to ensure we get the most out of every visit while respecting the natural habitats.

Traveling in such style also means experiencing top-tier vacation packages tailored for smaller groups. This ensures a more intimate exploration of this iconic archipelago. From witnessing giant tortoises roam freely to swimming alongside playful sea lions, first-class cruises turn these dreams into reality with an unparalleled level of service and access to pristine locations far from crowded tourist spots.

Floreana Cruise

Mid-range

We have found that mid-range Galapagos Islands cruises strike a perfect balance between cost and comfort. These options offer travelers quality accommodations and exciting itineraries without breaking the bank.

Prices are more reasonable than those of luxury and superior cruises, making them accessible to a wider range of adventurers looking for an unforgettable experience in this unique archipelago.

Our trips on these vessels included comfortable cabins, delicious meals, and engaging tours led by knowledgeable guides. We appreciated having all the essential amenities while saving money compared to higher-end tours.

This value allows us to explore more within the islands or even allocate funds towards other travel experiences. For us, choosing a mid-range cruise was about maximizing both our budget and our time in one of the most extraordinary places on earth.

Budget-priced

Finding budget-priced cruises to the Galapagos Islands is easier than many think. With options under $399 per day, we make sure you experience the mesmerizing beauty of the Galapagos without breaking the bank.

Our affordable cruises pack in incredible value, ensuring that thrifty travelers still enjoy cozy accommodations and unforgettable adventures.

We believe in making your dream trip to the Galapagos not just possible, but also affordable.

Our low-cost options do not skimp on experiences. Each cruise offers access to stunning wildlife, picturesque landscapes, and guided explorations led by expert naturalists. Being wallet-friendly means more people can witness the wonders of these islands first-hand.

We’ve been there; saving where it counts allowed us to soak up every moment without worry about costs adding up. Cabins are a tad smaller and social areas are shared, but all in all the islands are the reason you are visiting any way.

Cruise Itineraries and Inclusions

Explore our cruise itineraries to find all-inclusive options and choose from 8-, 7-, 6-, 5-, or 4-day adventures.

All-inclusive packages

We offer all-inclusive packages that take care of most travel needs. These deals include accommodations, meals, and excursions. Travelers don’t have to worry about planning every detail of their journey.

Our all-encompassing deals provide a comprehensive experience for those looking to explore the Galapagos Islands without the hassle.

From luxurious stays to guided tours by expert naturalists, everything is covered. Guests enjoy delicious meals and adventurous activities like kayaking and snorkeling, all within the package price.

This means more time enjoying the islands’ beauty and less time dealing with logistics.

Each package is crafted to offer a complete cruise itinerary that showcases the best of the Galapagos. With these comprehensive packages, travelers can fully immerse themselves in the unique ecosystems and vibrant marine life of the islands without any hidden costs or surprises along the way.

8-, 7-, 6-, 5-, and 4-day options

Exploring the Galapagos Islands by cruise offers unique experiences that cater to every traveler’s schedule and interests. We have found that the 8-, 5-, and 4-day options are perfect for fitting a world-class adventure into various vacation timeframes.

1. 8-Day Cruise Itineraries

  • These are the most comprehensive tours available, giving you ample time to immerse yourself in the islands’ remarkable landscapes and wildlife. Expect to visit multiple islands, each with its own ecosystem.
  • You’ll enjoy all-inclusive packages that cover meals, accommodation, and excursions guided by expert naturalists.
  • Activities include snorkeling among vibrant marine life, kayaking next to breathtaking coastlines, and trekking through unique ecological terrains.
  • These itineraries cover the entire western islands or a combination of central and south or central and northern islands.

2. 7-, 6-, 5-Day Cruise Itineraries

  • A bit shorter than the 8-day cruises but still packed with adventure, these itineraries offer a balanced experience of what the Galapagos has to offer.
  • They typically include visits to fewer islands but ensure enough time for meaningful encounters with wildlife and nature.
  • Packages usually come with most of the same amenities as longer cruises, including expert-led excursionsand a variety of onboard comforts.

3. 4-Day Cruise Itineraries

  • Perfect for those with limited time or looking for a brief introduction to the Galapagos Islands before perhaps exploring more of Ecuador.
  • These short-term cruises focus on key highlights of the archipelago, providing swift access to some of its most iconic spots.
  • Even within these condensed trips, guests can expect high-quality service and engaging activities like swimming alongside sea turtles or exploring volcanic landscapes.

Each option varies in terms of travel itineraries, holiday packages, cruise amenities, and getaway choices. Our firsthand experience assures us that no matter which duration you choose for your Galapagos adventure—be it an extensive 8-day journey or a quick 4-day escape—you will encounter unforgettable sights and sounds that make every moment worthwhile.

Individual Bookings or Full Yacht Charter

Excursions and Activities

Explore the wonders of Galapagos Islands with our excursions and activities. Read more to discover your next adventure.

Galapagos Naturalist Guide

Expert Naturalist Guides

We always rely on expert naturalist guides during our excursions and activities in the Galapagos Islands. These guides are appointed by the Galapagos National Park, bringing a wealth of historical and natural knowledge to every adventure.

They’re not just skilled ecologists; they’re passionate storytellers who turn every nature trip into an unforgettable educational tour. Through their insights, we learn about the unique ecosystems and get up close with wildlife in a way that respects both nature and visitor curiosity.

Our experiences with these environmental experts have deepened our appreciation for the islands’ biodiversity. On one unforgettable guided walk, we learned how to spot different bird species while receiving insights into their migratory patterns—a testament to the depth of understanding these professional ecological interpreters bring to each tour.

It’s this level of expertise that transforms a simple hike into an informative nature walk, enriching our journey beyond mere sightseeing.

Their knowledge turns walks into vivid tales of survival and symbiosis.

Kayak in Galapagos Islands

Kayaking, snorkeling, and trekking

We love sharing our adventures from the Galapagos Islands, where kayaking, snorkeling, and trekking are part of our daily excursions. Exploring these islands offers unforgettable interactions with nature and marine life in one of the most pristine environments on Earth.

  • Kayaking allows us to paddle through crystal clear waters, coming face-to-face with sea lions and marine turtles. It’s an exhilarating way to explore the coastline and access secluded spots not reachable by larger boats.
  • Snorkeling excursions lead us into a vibrant underwater world full of colorful fish, rays, and sometimes even playful penguins. Each dive reveals something new about the rich biodiversity of the Galapagos.
  • Trekking through volcanic landscapes opens up panoramic views of the archipelago, introducing us to unique flora and fauna found nowhere else. These hikes vary in difficulty but always promise adventure and discovery.
  • Our expert naturalist guides enhance each activity, sharing insights about the islands’ ecosystems and conservation efforts. Their knowledge makes every excursion more meaningful.
  • We ensure that all necessary gear for kayaking and snorkeling is provided, making these activities accessible to adventurers of all skill levels.
  • Safety is our top priority during these activities, with briefings and instructions given beforehand to ensure everyone feels confident and secure.
  • Finally, participating in these outdoor adventures not only connects us more deeply with nature but also with each other as we share these incredible experiences.

Let’s move on to discussing the types of Galapagos boats that can make this adventure possible for you.

Liveaboard Diving Cruises

Explore the underwater world with Liveaboard Diving Cruises and discover the rich marine life of Galapagos Islands.

Scuba Diving in Galapagos

Scuba diving opportunities

We offer incredible scuba diving opportunities for those eager to explore the world’s most pristine waters. Our liveaboard cruises are specifically designed to cater to divers who dream of underwater adventures.

Join us as we plunge into dive tours that bring you face-to-face with breathtaking marine life and untouched coral reefs. Each excursion promises an unforgettable exploration of the underwater world, guided by experts who share your passion for adventure.

Our diving vacations aren’t just trips; they’re expeditions into the heart of the Galapagos’s extraordinary seascape. With our liveaboard diving trips, participants wake up each day in a new, dazzling location ready to don their scuba gear and jump into another day of discovery.

We’ve experienced these underwater expeditions firsthand, and we’re excited to share these adventures with you. Dive charters take you beyond the ordinary, offering a chance to engage in dive safaris that leave lasting memories long after you’ve surfaced.

Choosing the Best Galapagos Cruise

Find your perfect Galapagos cruise with our quiz. Match your preferences to the ideal cruise today.

Quiz for travel needs and preferences

We can narrow down the best cruise options for you. Whether you prefer luxury or budget-friendly travels, our quiz pinpoints exactly what suits your style.

Contact and Payment Information

Reach out to our Galapagos experts for personalized help. Explore payment options with our trusted partners today.

Payment options and partners

Travel advisors we recommend offer several payment options to make your booking process as smooth as possible. You can use Stripe, We Travel, Paypal, Wire Transfers, or even mail in an old fashion check, a secure and easy-to-use payment processing solution.

Our partners and sponsors are carefully selected to enhance your cruise experience in the Galapagos Islands. While we don’t dive into specifics here, please know each partner organization contributes significantly to the quality and enjoyment of your journey with us.

Contact information for Galapagos experts

Need expert advice for your Galapagos tour? Reach out to us directly. You can call us at the provided phone numbers or use WhatsApp for quick queries. Prefer a call-back? Simply request one, and we’ll get back to you promptly.

Our team of Galapagos experts is ready to guide you through every step of planning your adventure, ensuring you have all the travel information needed.

Discuss payment options or dive deeper into excursion details by contacting our knowledgeable staff. We partner with trusted operators to make your trip unforgettable. Now, let’s explore selecting the perfect Galapagos cruise for you.

Final Details and Bookings

We’ve explored every aspect of Galapagos Islands cruises, from luxury options to budget-friendly choices. Our guide aims to make your planning process easier by detailing cruise typesitineraries, and activities.

We provide expert advice on selecting the best cruise that fits your adventure needs. Reach out for personalized assistance or dive into our resources online. Your unforgettable Galapagos journey starts here!

FAQs

The best time for a Galapagos Islands cruise is year round. The islands are located in Ecuador at the Equator line, they boast a mild climate year round.

Choose a cruise that lasts at least 7 days to fully experience the islands and their unique wildlife.

Yes, kids can enjoy a Galapagos Islands cruise, making it an ideal choice for family vacations.

Tourists can engage in various activities such as snorkeling with sea lions, sea turtles, cormorants and marine iguanas or exploring areas where commercial fisheries and long-liners do not reach—thanks to conservation efforts led by organizations like IUCN to protect this biodiversity hotspot.

Expect activities like snorkeling, hiking, wildlife viewing, and guided tours to explore the islands’ unique ecosystems.