The Galapagos Islands are a sought after destination. Furthermore, there is no limit of reasons to visit the Enchanted Islands. Nevertheless, you might be wondering how much a Galapagos Cruise can cost.
Galapagos is an expensive destination
First and foremost, you have to understand that the Galapagos Islands are an expensive destination. There really is no way around it. Nevertheless, it’s such an amazing destination that I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Moreover, I have been to the Galapagos many times in different ways and I’ve always had a spectacular time.
If you have made up your mind that you want to visit the Galapagos Islands, you have to plan ahead. This way you will be able to book the right cruise for your requested dates and you will have some time to save up some money for the trip.
Galapagos Cruise Costs
Lets check out average rates on this table below:
|6 -day cruise
Last Minute Galapagos Cruise Deals
Galapagos Last Minute cruise deals are great. I have personally helped many travelers find a great last-minute option. There are lots of positive aspects regarding last minute deals. You get to save money and could get a really luxurious yacht for the price of a budget yacht. Expect discounts to range from 30% – 50% off the rack rate. On the other hand, last minute deals can be tricky. If you visit the Galapagos Islands during high season dates it will be almost impossible to find a last minute deal. Furthermore, high season dates usually only allow for booking 8-day cruises, have a high season surcharge and are usually fully booked at least a year in advance.
You can get lucky and can find last minute deals during the high season when a group or a couple cancel their trip or the boat is brand new and is just beginning to sail the Galapagos seas.
Add-on Expenses for a Galapagos Cruise
Roundtrip Flights to the Galapagos
The biggest add-on expense to worry about are your roundtrip Galapagos flights. Furthermore, most cruise operators request you book your flights with them. This is a good option because if you book the flights on your own you might not be able to find the exact flights used by the cruise. Moreover, if you travel on a flight which is not the same flight used by the boat operator, you might not be able to board the cruise. Reason for this is that your flight could be canceled or delayed and the boat operator might not be able to wait for you to arrive. Additionally, most boat operators charge a fee ($50-$100 USD) if you don’t book the flights with them.
On the other hand, if you book the flights with the cruise operator you will arrive with the group and if for some reason your flight is delayed or canceled the boat operator will step in and get you to the islands and will have the boat wait for the group. Additionally, you get some perks if you book your flights with the cruise operator. Some operators provide a free transfer to the airport and some offer a free night at a 5-star hotel prior to your flight to the Galapagos.
The cost of roundtrip flights to the Galapagos Islands for foreigners ranges from $500 – to $550 USD per person.
Last minute Galapagos deals usually are the exception to the rule when it comes to flights. Since there is not much time left before the cruise departure, cruise operators tend to waive the surcharge for not booking flights with them. Thus, the tricky thing in this situation is finding flights with such short notice.
Additionally, if you are trying to decide whether to book your flights yourself or with the boat operator, contact us for some advice. We can see how much the surcharge or fee will be and if you get a great deal online you can book your flights and pay for the surcharge and still save some cash.
Galapagos Park Entrance Fee and TCT
Transit Control Card (TCT) explained
The Transit Control Card or TCT has a cost of $20 USD (cash only). You pay for it at a special counter in the Quito or Guayaquil airport prior to your Galapagos bound flight. Additionally, you go through a second-screening of your bags and person. The information entered on your TCT will be used by the Ecuadorian Government to monitor the visitors traveling to the islands.
Don’t misplace your TCT card while in the Galapagos Islands. Keep it in a safe place. You will need to present it prior to your outbound flight at the airport. If you don’t have it handy or lost it you will have to purchase another one.
Galapagos Park Entrance Fee explained
The second compulsory expense is your Galapagos Park entrance fee. The entire Galapagos archipelago is an Ecuadorian National Park and as such requires an entrance fee. The entrance fee for foreigners is $100 USD and for locals its $6 USD per person. Moreover, this entrance fee is collected upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands and can only be paid in cash.
Make sure to take out some cash for your Galapagos stay and to cover both the TCT and Park Entrance fees. ATMs in the islands are not too dependable.
Miscellaneous Expenses during your Galapagos Cruise
Snorkeling Equipment and Wetsuits
Most First-Class and Luxury-Class cruises include the price of snorkeling and wetsuits. Nevertheless, tourist superior and budget friendly class cruises will charge for wetsuits and snorkeling equipment. In this case expect to pay the following:
- Shorty Wetsuit $40 / Snorkel and Fins $30 per week
Personal expenses aboard the yacht can include:
- Soft drinks like sodas or iced tea
- Alcoholic drinks from the bar
- Corkage fee, if you take along your own bottle
- Items from the on board boutique or shop
Tips for the Crew and Guide
Tips are not an obligation. Nevertheless, if you get great service and have a wonderful experience on board, you will probably want to show your gratitude.
A tipping guideline for a Galapagos cruise would be:
Budget Friendly/Tourist Superior cruises
$8-10 per day for the guide / $10-12 per day for the entire crew.
$10-15 per day for the guide / $15-20 per day for the entire crew