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How to choose a Galapagos Cruise

Expert advice for planning your Galapagos cruise

With so many cruise options available you might find yourself overwhelmed and unsure about choosing a Galapagos Cruise. Here is where we come in, we know what yachts will match your Galapagos travel needs, budget, and sought after experience. We will guide you through the booking process, finding availability for you, letting you know about new yachts, explaining what itinerary would best suit you, and helping you make the best and most educated decision. 

Plan in advance for your Galapagos Cruise

Most Galapagos yachts can hold 16-20 passengers with about 6 vessels with a capacity for 30-100 passengers. This means there are limited spaces which fill up quickly. Furthermore, most spaces on yachts get filled-up months in advance. On the other hand, high season spaces (X-mas, New Year and Easter) are usually sold-out at least 1 year in advance. Thus, planning ahead and securing your cabin for your sought after dates is crucial.

How many days should I spend in the Galapagos Islands?

Galapagos Cruises can be 4,5,6 and 8 days long. Cruises can be extended to a complete 15-day itinerary which combines two 8-day itineraries together. I recently went on a 4-day cruise onboard the Alya and had a wonderful time. Nevertheless, at the end of the cruise, I wanted to stick around for more time. On the other hand, an 8-day cruise or longer might be too much time on a boat for some visitors.

CONNOISSEUR TIP: Keep in mind that a 4-day cruise is short. You arrive in the afternoon on the first day and depart early in the morning on day 4, so you really have 2 full days on the cruise.

Consider your budget

When choosing a Galapagos Cruise, you should always consider your budget, how much holiday time you have and what you want to get out of your trip to the Enchanted Islands. If you have a specific visitor site you want to check-out, a specific activity you want to partake in or a special animal you want to spot let us know.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a Galapagos Connoisseur who has been to the islands before and knows which itineraries and yachts provide the best experiences.

Galapagos is an expensive and exclusive destination and its best to set apart a good budget to be able to truly enjoy your trip.

How to choose a Galapagos Cruise

Size does matter

There are pros and cons when considering what size Galapagos cruise to choose.

A small ship (16 pax) provides a very intimate and personalized experience. On the other hand, a slightly larger yacht (20 pax) will be a bit more stable and will have 2 guides on board. This translates to a 10 to 1 ratio of passengers to guide.

Nevertheless. some travelers prefer to have more people on board. If they don’t get along with someone they won’t have to see them every day and at every meal.

Family Travel to the Galapagos Islands

If you travel with kids, a bigger yacht has more things to do for the kids on board. Bigger boats are more stable, have a doctor on board and provide a great experience on the islands.

Traveling with your family and kids is great but can get complicated on board a Galapagos cruise. If you travel with young children you have to understand that yachts have a minimum age limit. The age limit ranges from 2 to 6 years of age. Additionally, you will have to accommodate to double cabin configuration, which most yachts have on board.

Interconnected, Triple and Quadruple cabins on a Galapagos cruise

A family of 2 adults and 2 kids is not a challenge when it comes to accommodation on a yacht. But, you can opt for a yacht that has interconnected cabins to have a hassle-free experience on board. Yachts with interconnected cabins are now readily available. They include; the Cormorant, Coral I and II, La Pinta, Petrel, Ocean Spray, the Legend, Sea Star Journey, Santa Cruz, Tip Top II, Galaxy II, and Infinity.

Odd numbered family (eg: 2 adults and 1 child or two adults and 3 children) have trouble finding availability. You will have to search for triple or single cabins.

Triple cabins can be found on: La Pinta, the Beluga, Coral I and II, the Origin, Isabella II, Reina Silvia, the Odyssey, and Solaris.

How to choose your Galapagos Cruise

Single cabins (some with no surcharge) can be found on: the Solaris, the Beagle, the Samba, Ocean Spray, Passion, Tip Top II, Mary Anne, and Petrel.

The Ocean Spray offers single cabins

Can children board a Galapagos cruise?

The minimum child age in most boats is 6 years old. Additionally, only children under the age of 12 qualify as children on a Galapagos yacht. On the plus side, children are eligible for discounts ranging from 10%-30%. Furthermore, children will get a 50% discount on their Galapagos National Park entrance fee and discounted airfare.

When choosing a Galapagos Cruise, take into consideration that every child should be accompanied by an adult in each cabin.

Choosing your Galapagos Cruise

Chartering a boat for your family or friends

If you are traveling with a big family or friend group of 8-16 passengers, chartering a small yacht would be a great option. This way you can choose how you accommodate your family. Furthermore, you can choose who gets the master suite and you can make special requests for your group’s needs.

Contact us for information on charter options and instructions on how to charter a yacht and which yacht would best suit your family.

Free Connoisseur Galapagos Travel Advice

Speaking with a Galapagos Travel Connoisseur is incredibly important and will help you plan your trip according to your needs. Contact us, for free Galapagos Travel advice and help with planning your Galapagos trip.

It’s always nice to have a friendly and experienced customer service rep who will answer any questions you might have while planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Bound