Located in the Pacific Ocean off the western coast of the South American country of Ecuador, the Galápagos archipelago straddles the equator. The region is renowned for its magnificent natural beauty, its teeming diversity of wildlife, and its place in history for its contribution to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
The Galapagos is home to six species of mammals, 40 species of aquatic birds, 450 types of fish, or 1,000+ insect species. Many of the 250K tourists visit the Galapagos every year to immerse themselves in exquisite scenery while island-hopping or relaxing on the beach.
The best way to fully enjoy what the Galapagos has to offer science needs, beach bums, and recreational seafarers is to take an island cruise. There are various sizes of boat and packages to suit all budgets.
In order to preserve the pristine beauty of the area, the Galapagos National Park, a World Heritage Site since 2010, has set a limit on cruise ships to 100 passengers and landing parties of no more than 20 people. Additionally, you can find yachts that can have 16, 20 and 40 passengers on board. The Galapagos Islands have something for everyone, whether you’re there for the diverse wildlife, sunny beaches, or you’re a veteran of cruise holidays and want to tick the exotic destination off your bucket list.
Large cruise ships: This ships accommodate from 20 to 100 passengers and offer different activities on board. Meals are served in a buffet style and the passengers are divided into groups for each visit excursion. If you are a traveler that is used to this experiences and is looking forward to meet a lot of people, then this is for you.
Medium and small cruise ships: This cruises can have from 8 to 16 passengers on board offering a personalized experience and all the passengers on board can get to share the excursions at the same time.
In the Galapagos Islands you can find different cruise categories and your choice will depend on budget and availability. The categories you will find in the Galapagos are the following:
Luxury yachts: This yachts usually fit from 12 to 18 passengers on board and are available for charters too. This yachts offer gourmet food, ample spaces, cruise director, cocktails and a selected bar menu. You can personalize your cruise by requesting additional services like a masseuse, personal photographer and a nanny.
First class: This yachts offer comfort and quality of service without breaking the bank. You can’t personalize your tour as in a luxury yacht but it is still a great choice If you are looking for adventure without sacrificing the comfort.
Tourist class: On this category you will find the accommodations to be a little bit on the small side and social areas too. The food will be a bit different but still good and the staff members will always assist you with your needs.
Overall, you will get to experience and visit unique sites in the Galapagos Islands If you go on a cruise, the only difference will be the type of accommodations and meals.
Things to see and do during your cruise:
During your cruise you will be able to enjoy many activities like kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, swimming, bird watching, photography, stargazing and learning many things about geology, biology and animal behavior.
Cruising the Galapagos is the best way to enjoy the islands as you can visit unique islands that are usually not visited on a regular day tour. –Besides, you will only have to think about enjoying each activity as everything else will be taken care of.