Adventure cruises in Galapagos
Explore the beautiful Galapagos Islands with a cruise. Different cruises are offered with different lengths (4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and even up to 15 days). Discover the birthplace of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
A Galapagos cruise is high on many bucket lists. For many people, the Galapagos Islands are a source of mystery.
With its raw, natural beauty and beautiful wildlife, the isolated Galapagos Islands are most visited by boat. Exploring the Galapagos with an adventurous cruise ensures that you get access to some of the best visitor sites. To preserve the natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands, the Galapagos National Park has reduced the number of guests to the visitor sites by adjusting the routes of the different boats.
This means that most boats offer alternate routes to cover as many Galapagos sites as possible. Escape the crowds and explore the islands on a Galapagos Cruise in small groups and with experienced nature guides. All Galapagos boat cruises have between 12 and 100 passengers, giving all experiences a personal touch.
The Galapagos Islands first became famous when British scientist Charles Darwin based his ‘Theory of Evolution’ on his findings on the island. Consisting of a cluster of approximately 13 volcanic islands, approximately 95% of this area is now part of the Galapagos National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For more information on the main islands, see our Galapagos Information page.
Best time to take a Galapagos Cruise
Due to the proximity of the equator, the Galapagos Islands see very little rainfall and there is no “best” time to visit the Galapagos Islands.
The area has 2 main seasons; the warm wet season from late December to June, or the cool dry season from July to early December. This means that there are great Galapagos boat routes all year round.
From January to May you can see green sea turtles, sea and land iguanas nesting, while in June you can admire California sea lions and August pied seals. Turtles therefore lay their eggs in the wild on Santa Cruz. Nutrient-rich waters were carried in August by the strong Humboldt Current and this offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling with sea lions and their pups. Dolphin, whale and penguin spotting is very common from June – September and November at Fernandina Island, and December is known as the start of the warm season in the Galapagos, bringing out a lot of wildlife. Many bird species can be found here all year round, such as cormorants and large flamingos.
Travel to the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Islands are located in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 1000km off the coast of Ecuador in South America. International flights arrive at the international airports of Quito or Guayaquil, located on the Ecuadorian mainland. A domestic flight from Quito or Guayaquil is required to travel to the Galapagos Islands.
Where do Galapagos Cruises depart?
From Quito or Guayaquil you can fly to Baltra Island or San Cristóbal Island in the Galapagos Islands, depending on which island the cruise starts from. If you are not going on a cruise or land tour, and want to visit the islands on your own, you can choose which island you fly on to start your Galapagos visit.
Galapagos Cruise Tips
There are some things to keep in mind when planning your Galapagos trip. Below are some tips to help you make the most of your trip.
Plan ahead to avoid disappointment: -It is wise to plan your Galapagos cruise ahead. Often there are good last minute cruise offers; these are offered approximately two months before a cruise departure, if sufficient seats are available.
Arrive early: – It is recommended to arrive in Ecuador at least 1 to 2 days before your departure date. It would be a shame to miss your cruise due to delays or have to plug in later, which comes at an extra cost.
Choose the right trip: – As mentioned before, yachts can only visit certain parts of the islands once every 14 days. For that reason you can choose from many different routes. Regardless of which route you choose, it will be an unforgettable experience!!
Galapagos cruises can be between 4 and 8 days long. Cruises of 10, 11, 12 and even 15 days (2 x 8 days) are also offered. The best way to see the Galapagos and all that the islands have to offer is to take two 8-day cruises (7 nights). Various boats, in different boat classes, are available for cruising the Galapagos Islands.
Cruises vs Island Hopping – You can explore some of the Galapagos visitor towns and islands by hopping from island to island. However, there are some islands in the Galapagos National Park only accessible by day boat. That’s why taking a cruise is THE way to get to know the Galapagos islands.
What to bring?
There are some things you should not forget to take with you on the Galapagos expedition.
A good, comfortable pair of walking shoes are essential for the hiking trails, and a pair of water sandals are recommended for water landings and beach walks. With regard to clothing, you don’t have to worry too much. It is recommended to bring a light raincoat or poncho, sunglasses, hat, light sweater for cool evenings, mosquito repellent and some long, light clothes against the sun. Since the Galapagos Islands are so close to the equator, a good SPF is essential.
Snorkeling Equipment – Most Galapagos yachts have full snorkeling equipment on board, but it is recommended that you bring your own. Especially when you have your own mask or need one on prescription. Wetsuits are usually not included in the cost of the trip and it may be a good idea to rent one on the boat to keep you warm in the water and to protect you from the sun.
Galapagos Travel Advice:
You need a valid passport to visit the Galapagos which is valid for at least 6 months on departure. You don’t need a visa from most countries to stay in Ecuador, but it’s a good idea to check with your local embassy. The local currency is the US dollar. It is recommended to bring cash to the Galapagos Islands. Keep in mind that you take small bills of 20 dollars and smaller.
To pay for the entrance to the Galapagos National Park, you can only pay in cash; this is possible with a $ 100 bill. It is also recommended that you tip the guides and crew on board your Galapagos cruise at the end of the cruise.
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