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A cruise visiting several islands is the best way to see a wide range of wildlife and the diversity of the Galapagos Islands. This allows you to visit different islands, including the more remote ones, as well as visiting the islands early in the morning, one of the best times for observing the wildlife.
Galapagos Cruises vs Hotels
If you prefer to be based on land, then staying on an island allows you to experience the wildlife during the day but return to the comforts of a good hotel in the evening.
We offer cruises on boats ranging from 14-berth sailing yachts to 90-berth expedition ships. In all cases you have land and sea excursions in small groups of a maximum of 16 people, and the opportunity to go snorkelling. There is usually a morning excursions and an afternoon excursion every day, with lunch on the boat. On some days you will visit two different islands, and on other days you will visit different visitor sites on the same island. All boats visit a range of islands, offering you the chance to see the wildlife in the different parts of the Galapagos Islands.
The smaller boats (14 – 16 passengers) are more intimate, so you will get to know your guide and shipmates better. However, they do not necessarily have the same on board comfort as the larger ships. Sea movement is felt more, and there may be some engine noise when sailing at night.
The larger ships (48 - 90 passengers) have better on board facilities, larger cabins and the most experienced guides. The excursions are carried out in small groups, but it does take longer to disembark and embark for the excursions. The ships are also more stable, helpful if you are prone to sea sickness. Expected tips are higher.
All cruise ship itineraries are designed around creating opportunities for observing wildlife.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, the Galapagos Finch Bay offers the opportunity to have an excursion per day, returning to the comfort of your hotel in the late afternoon, in time for a swim in the pool.
Solaris Motor Yacht
Comfortable 16 berth yacht (16-person capacity)
8 day cruise offered
The Beagle Sailing Yacht
7 cabins with a total capacity of 14-18 people
8 day cruises offered
Odyssey Motor Cruiser
8 cabins with a total capacity of 16 people
5 day cruise offered
24 cabins with a capacity of 48 people
5 or 8 day cruises offered
Treasure of Galapagos
9 cabins with a capacity of 16 people
7 day cruises offered
Finch Bay Hotel
27 room eco-hotel
5 days in the Galapagos
Galapagos Suites Hotel
6 room hotel
5 days in the Galapagos
A Typical Day on a Galapagos Cruise
Although each boat has a slightly different routine on board (e.g. some have buffet meals and some have served meals), all follow a similar pattern.
Days on the Galapagos start early with breakfast from around 7am, and by 8.30am your group will be assembled for the morning activity. You will visit one of the individual islands (usually by small boat). Upon arrival you’ll have either a wet landing, where you step out of the boat into shallow water and wade up to the beach, or a dry landing, where you step off the boat onto rocks.
On each island your guide will explain the unique characteristics of its fauna, flora and geology, highlighting different aspects depending on the island. Generally speaking, each island in the Galapagos offers something different for visitors to see, be it specific bird species, an impressive view of the other islands, interesting volcanic rock, or mangrove swamps.
You will usually explore the islands by foot and often an island stop is followed by the opportunity to snorkel – getting to see some of the Galapagos’ marine life, including tropical fish, dolphins, small sharks and marine iguanas.
After the morning activity, you will return to the boat for lunch and have a few hours to relax, perhaps bird or dolphin-watching from the deck. In the afternoon you will once again set out on an activity, returning late afternoon. You can then enjoy a drink before dinner is served. During the meal, your guide will explain the following day’s itinerary and afterwards you can relax before bed. The boats sail at night, meaning that you wake up in the morning at the next island, and thus not wasting any valuable wildlife-spotting time.
Click here to read our blog about how much you can expect to pay for a holiday to the Galapagos.
- Population: 30,000 (all islands)
- Altitude: Sea level
- Climate: December to May is the hottest time of year with temperatures during the day between 25-30°C, with warmer sea temperatures. It can rain at this time of year. June to November is cooler and the weather can be misty with day temperatures ranging between 20-25°C. The sea is also cooler at this time. It rarely rains at this time of year.