A Galapagos cruise is a unique experience as well as a holiday of a lifetime, it’s not only for birdwatchers or wildlife obsessives but for every traveller who has any interest in seeing the incredibly diverse and often unique species of birds, reptiles and mammals. The isolation of the islands and the minimal contact with humans has made the wildlife almost totally unafraid and allows visitors to see them at closer quarters. Over the last five years many new and luxury ships have been built to operate in this wondrous destination. Standards are high; cuisine is excellent, your expedition/naturalist guides are extremely knowledgeable and offer a rewarding and informative experience. Ships range in size from just 16 guests up to 100 guests. There are benefits to both small and large ships and we’ll happily discuss the options with you.
On a luxury or first-class Galapagos cruise you will visit many of the islands where you will participate in short walks, snorkelling, Zodiac (locally referred to as a Panga) cruising and kayaking as well as visiting a Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre.
Here we give an overview of the ships including a couple of sample itineraries (please note each vessel has its own distinctive itineraries) and the best place to find out more is on the South America Tailor-Made Travel web site.
South America Tailor-Made Travel is a sister company of Luxury & Expedition Cruises specialising in creating unique and tailor-made itineraries in all of Latin America, specifically for you, including a Galapagos Island cruise and any additional exploration in Ecuador that suits your interests. Our expert travel consultants have firsthand experience of many Galapagos ships and will create the perfect Galapagos holiday for you and your travel companions.
We recommend a Galapagos voyage of a least 4 nights (5 days), ideally 7 nights (8 days). The reasons are; the first and last day of any trip are largely taken up with flights and transfers to or from the airport/ship and any shorter duration would likely not afford the opportunity to see a wide range of Galapagos’ unique wildlife (additionally it’s a very long way to for just a few nights).
As above each ship has its own itineraries set and agreed with the Galapagos National Park to ensure ships and guests are evenly spread across all sites and to give each site 1 traveller free day every two weeks.
As we have a dedicated South America web site you will be taken to this site where you’ll find a significant amount of information about a range of first-class and luxury Galapagos boats that we have first-hand knowledge of.
The shortest duration Galapagos Cruise we recommend. Ideal for those with limited time.
Shorter duration cruises are offered and it’s our very strong view that they offer less value – the few clients who have ever gone against our advice have said they wished they had more time, or that the value offered is less.
With 6 full days to explore a number of islands and environments there is a good chance you will see a high percentage of Galapagos’ endemic species.
The harder to see wildlife includes;
Galapagos flightless Cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Waved albatross and red-footed booby.
All of the above species are site or island dependent (i.e. they are not found everywhere).
Most ships offer an itinerary ‘A’ and itinerary ‘B’ which can often be combined to afford seeing all of the key species as these longer cruises will include more Islands. With Isabela (flightless cormorant and Galapagos penguin), Genovesa (red footed booby) and Espanola (Waved albatross) being necessary inclusions (and at the right time of year) to increase your chance of seeing all key species.