We created our last minute Galapagos guide for travelers that want to visit the Galapagos Islands but don’t want to spend a fortune.
What is a Last Minute Galapagos deal?
Last minute deals are discounts and promotions on Galapagos cruises usually available 1 month prior to cruise departure. At least that was how it used to work. Nowadays, last-minute deals can be available up to 3 months prior to the cruise date. You can also take advantage of other discounts for advance booking, but no discount compares to a true last-minute deal. Discounts get better as you get closer to the departure date and range from 30%-50% OFF the regular rate.
Steps for booking a Last-Minute Galapagos cruise
Step 1: Do your research
Pick your travel dates
You should know what time frame you have for traveling to the Galapagos Islands. Keep in mind that you will have to fly out from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands in the morning and you return in the late afternoon. This means, you have to have at least 2 extra days for transit in Ecuador. So if you want to take a 6-day cruise you would need at least 8 days in Ecuador. My recommendation is to allot about 4 extra days, that way you have room to find several last minute options to choose from.
Regarding when to inquire about last-minute deals, you should do so about 1-2 months prior to your trip. A month or two before, you will have plenty of options to choose from at a great price. Granted, if you wait till a day or two before departure to book, you might get an outrageous discount. On the other hand, if you book too late, the boat might be sold-out.
Keep in mind that booking a last minute Galapagos deal is a complicated endeavor. You will need a dedicated travel agent helping you search for available options, giving you recommendations and placing courtesy holds on your preferred choice.
Last-minute deals are exciting, I love the challenge of the hunt and booking process. It’s a great feeling when I can help a client find an amazing last minute deal and get back their positive reviews and beautiful pics.
What type of Galapagos boats have the best last-minute deals?
Budget-friendly boats usually don’t have last-minute deals. If they do, the deals you can find on budget boats are not great. The reason for this is that budget boats already have a low price point and cannot lower the price further. Nevertheless, one of the main reasons to look for a last-minute deal is to get a higher class boat at the price of a budget boat or better. It’s a similar feeling to getting bumped up to business on your flight.
Mid-range and First-Class yachts
Mid-range and First-Class yachts provide some of the best last-minute deals in the Galapagos. You can get great discounts such as $1000 USD OFF or 2 for 1 deals on these comfortable boats. These deals are not available for too long, especially if its a quality itinerary. I´ve been able to find and book amazing Galapagos cruise deals for my clients. Last summer I got a call from a client who wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands with his girlfriend but didn’t want to break the bank. I did a quick search and he was able to book a 5-day cruise on the beautiful Anahi catamaran at the price of a budget boat. Needless to say, my client was thrilled, they had a wonderful time in the Galapagos and loved the First-Class experience.
Luxury yachts have some of the best last-minute deals. These can include 2 for 1 deals, $1000-2000 USD OFF, free roundtrip flights to the islands, free cabin upgrades, etc. While some of the best deals can be found on luxury yachts, it still might be over budget for certain travelers. The original price of luxury yachts is quite high and even a 50% discount might not be enough to entice clients.
Diving yachts are usually booked solid months in advance. You will have a hard time finding availability for these liveaboard yachts, worse off if you are looking for a last-minute deal. There is one diving yacht that offers discounts and deals – the Aqua diving yacht. I recently sent a client on board the Aqua and she loved the experience.
Choose an itinerary
First you should decide how many days you want to cruise for. Galapagos cruises offer 4,5,6, and 8-day long cruise itineraries. Eight day cruises usually follow one of two routes. The Western route that includes Isabela, Fernandina and sometimes the northernmost Genovesa or the Southeastern route which includes Española, Floreana, San Cristobal and Bartholomew. If you want to learn more about the difference between the two itineraries and which is the ¨best¨ Galapagos itinerary click here.
Having a good idea of what you want to see and do in the Galapagos and how long you want to cruise for is fundamental when searching for a last-minute cruise deal.
Step 2: Contact Us
Now that you know when you want to visit the Galapagos, how long you want to cruise for and have an idea of your ideal itinerary you can reach out to us for help with booking your ideal Galapagos cruise.
If you have any questions or run into a problem along the way, contact us. I will be happy to guide you through the entire booking process.
If you can plan in advance – do it
Since last-minute deals are now available about 2 months prior to departure you can plan your trip in advance and still get a great deal. Let us know your possible travel dates about 2 months in advance to your trip. This way we can start talking over the phone, email or chat about your trip and monitor availability and place some courtesy holds for you until you are ready to book your cruise. This way you have access to the best deals, and you can schedule your flights and trip to Ecuador with ease.
Last-minute Galapagos planning is our specialty
True last-minute Galapagos planning is exciting. If you are planning a trip to the Galapagos in less than a month you have to move swiftly. You need a Galapagos Last-minute deal expert. I will help you find the best deal for you on the cruise that best fits your request.
How to book a last-minute Galapagos deal
How to get things started
To get things started you can contact me with your basic request.
Let me know
- Your time frame for visiting the Galapagos
- If you have already booked your flights to Ecuador and to the Galapagos Islands
- If you already have an ideal Galapagos itinerary
- The size of your group or if you are traveling on your own.
All this information will help me find the perfect cruise for you.
What happens after you contact us
Once you contact Galapagos Connoisseur, you will get in direct contact with me, the owner Andres. I will personally help you get the best deal and Galapagos experience possible.
With the information provided I can start looking for options that match you request and will reply to you with an intro email and some questions to get to know you better. We can continue on email or chat or we can schedule a phone call. I have always thought speaking on the phone is the best way to begin your Galapagos cruise planning. With a phone call I can understand your request better and really focus on finding and suggesting options that match your needs.
Personalized Galapagos Cruise Options
Once I know a bit more about your personal request, I will send you options via email for you to consider. I will include my personal recommendations and advice on each option and pick out my favorite options. You will get personalized recommendations that truly match your request when you work with Galapagos Connoisseur.
When we narrow down your personalized options, I will place a courtesy hold on 2 or 3 of your favorite options. This way we have time to make the final confirmation on your cruise of choice. We also don’t risk losing those precious spaces while making a final decision. Courtesy holds usually last about 3 or 4 days, but if the cruise departs in a week’s time you only get 24 hour holds. This means we have to move swiftly during the booking process.
Once you have made a decision on what cruise you want to confirm, I will request your travel information to reserve the cruise for you.
Full payment for Galapagos cruises is required 60 days prior to departure. This means that all last-minute Galapagos bookings require a full payment. We offer payment options with PayPal, USA Bank transfer and cash if you are already here in Ecuador.
Once the payment is made, I will send you your service vouchers which will be your ticket onboard. If you purchased flights with the boat operator I will send you e-tickets for the flights. If there are any add-ons like a free hotel night, I will send you all the pertinent information for those services.
Galapagos Connoisseur will make the planning and booking of a last-minute Galapagos cruise as hassle-free as possible.
Last-Minute Galapagos Tips
When should you book your Galapagos flights
You should definitely wait to book your Galapagos flights until you have booked your cruise. Some cruise operators charge a surcharge fee for not booking your flights with them. Sometimes you can get a great deal for your flights and sometimes flights are included at a discounted price when you book your cruise. And most importantly, there are two airports in Galapagos so you have to make sure you get the correct flights going and departing from the correct island.
Questions you could ask us
- How many passengers on board the boat?
- What is the tipping guideline for a cruise?
- Are wetsuits and snorkeling equipment included in the price?
- Can I choose a double or twin bed?
- What is the food like? Can the boat cater to my special food requests?
- What is the flight itinerary?
- Can I see a day-by-day itinerary for this boat?
- What is a typical day like on board a Galapagos cruise?
- What are the entry fees for Galapagos?
- What should I pack for a Galapagos trip?