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Cruising the Galapagos islands is by far the best way of getting to know the Archipelago. Galapagos cruises emerged as a result of limited access to land in the archipelago, making it difficult to offer land based tours. Fast forward to the present day & the islands feature full grown fleets of ships, yachts, catamarans & cruises that offer guests an experience of a lifetime. Perfected over the years, Galapagos cruises provide an all inclusive experience ranging from short to long programs, covering most corners of the islands. An unparalleled experience like no other in the world, catering guests with an unprecedented approach to wildlife & nature.

Truly a paradise to behold, walk alongside untamed wildlife & invigorate your every sense, the islands are waiting to enchant you.

Deciding Factors For The Best Cruising Experience

Cruise Duration
The perfect amount of time in the islands varies greatly from one person to another, while some may find a 4 day tour fulfilling and long enough, others might find a 15 day tour to short, wherever you may find yourself in it is important to have a clear idea of how much actual time you will have partaking in your scheduled activities and have a better judgment when deciding what tour package works best for you. Applicable for all cruises: all tour packages include the days you enter and exit the islands, both the first and last day will be for the most part operational, and will only have a short activity to fill in the remaining of the day.
Big or Small Cruise
Both big & small vessels are available in the islands, each one having their own distinctive benefits, over 90% of vessels found in the Galapagos are small in capacity (12 to 16 passengers), the perfect amount of passengers to get to know your fellow travelers. This has proven to be the perfect way of approaching the islands with a more personalized service. Cruise Ships cannot exceed 100 passengers in capacity in compliance with park regulations and are somewhat restricted to certain visit points as they cannot disembark due to their size, but have major benefits in security, on-board facilities, stability & spaciousness which may be deciding factors for some.
When To Travel
What makes the islands so special is their never ending state of paradise, you can visit the islands any time of the year and landscapes, wildlife and sea life will always have something in store for you. Adjusting to the seasonal changes that mark the end and beginning of the Galapagos Cycle called the warm & dry season, are a great guideline to know when to visit. Warm Season (Jan to June) means warmer water & weather, clear skies, short rains, green lush vegetation, calm seas, nesting & breeding season, less marine life. Dry Season (July to Dec) means colder waters and dry weather, stronger sea currents, great snorkeling with rich marine life, new wildlife and off-springs, full on bird life.
An important part of your tour, this will be a deciding factor for many as it provides a layout of the activities, wildlife & different islands you can expect to see in your tour. Regulated by the Galapagos Park, yachts are only allowed to visit the permitted visit points once every 15 days, in order to lighten the visit load per site, so itineraries vary from one yacht to another. This plays in favor of travelers as they have an assortment of itineraries to choose from. Regular itineraries are the South-East loop, the oldest & most popular Islands for the abundant amount of wildlife. North loop offers amazing volcanic landscapes, abundant birdlife & good snorkeling and the West loop, the youngest islands, boost surreal volcanic sceneries and endemic unique species.
Cruises that offer diving in the islands are very few. These are not to be confused with regular naturalist cruises that offer snorkeling-exploratory treks, etc which are not allowed to offer diving. This is where diving live-aboards play their role for those looking to dive while cruising. Galapagos. Diving cruises main focus will be underwater, which is where you will be most of the time, taking you in most cases to islands unreachable by regular naturalist cruises (Darwin & Wolf Islands) among other sites. Diving permits for cruises in the Galapagos are quite expensive, so live-aboards are priced in the luxury price range and offer tours for 8 days only.
Guides in all cruises are required to be authorized by the park. Levels from 1 to 3 were the standard to measure guidance quality, but for the past few years no licenses have been issued making guidance levels inaccurate, guides nowadays will be paired with the cruise category, Luxury Cruise = Better guidance. There is a common misconception that a major drawback of cruising the islands on a big ship is getting lost in the crowd & having poor guidance during your tour. Guidance quality is a deciding factor for many and fortunately the Galapagos Park takes this very seriously and enforces 1 guide for every 16 passengers for all vessels the islands, some have gone the extra mile an offer 1 guide for every 12 passengers (Eclipse) to ensure the highest quality of guidance.

Basic Cruises

With no extra amenities or additional services to rank up the price, our Basic Cruises are the most reliable and affordable Galapagos yachts you will find in the market. Offering you all the necessary services to have a comfortable and enjoyable tour. Yachts in this category will be small in size, accommodation could be in bunk beds, cabins will have private bathrooms with showers, toiletries and air conditioning. Itineraries are great and equally as good with higher categories. Recommended for: priority in wildlife and itineraries rather than comfort / travelers looking for a small yacht / travelling on a budget.

Superior Cruises

Superior Cruises are the perfect balance between comfort and a reasonably priced tour. Over 50% of cruises found in this category offer lower beds instead of bunk beds thanks to the more roomy cabins offered onboard; some even have double beds which make them perfect for honeymoons or anniversaries. Itineraries are varied and range from 4 to 8 days, offering you an array of combinations and loops. Recommended for: a good sized cabin / comfort somewhat higher than basic / lower twins or double beds at a good price.

First Class Cruises

Bordering in the realm of luxury by Galapagos standards, First Class Cruises are the best way of cruising the Archipelago in great comfort without having to pay for a luxury price tag. Most boats found in this category are Catamarans which are fantastic for a steady tour, big lounge areas, spacious cabins and wide ample sundecks, making your stay a pleasant and memorable one. All boats will not exceed 16 passengers in capacity, offering you the perfect balance of comfort and a small group for a more personalized service. Recommended for: spacious yachts / great cruising stability in catamarans / added affordable comfort / top notch guidance quality.

Cruises, in general, need to be reserved well in advance to have the best choice of available vessels.
Let us know your travel dates and category of cruise you wish to travel in so we can ascertain which cruises are available for your consideration.

We will send you comprehensive information on the vessels available, including photos, so you can make an informed decision.
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