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Galapagos Cruises

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A Destination. An Adventure. An Experience of a Lifetime

You'll always remember the islands that time forgot. In the Galapagos, modern explorers come eye to eye with ancient tortoises, comical birds, and other amazing beasts—plus landscapes as fantastical as the animals—for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

For seven glorious days, you'll follow in the footsteps of Darwin, viewing this realm through the eyes of certified naturalists, making discoveries on shore excursions—two per day included—in small groups of travelers who share your interests.

Each evening, you'll come home to one of three vessels that are as extraordinary as the islands. The luxurious, 100-guest, all-suites Celebrity Flora—the first and only resort at sea in the region to receive a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Rating. The popular 48-guest Celebrity Xpedition. Or the intimate 16-guest Celebrity Xploration. Everything you want or need will be included—stunning accommodations, inspired food and drink, unlimited Wi-Fi—all delivered with superlative service.

Plus, after 17 years of award-winning Galapagos cruises and vacations, we can open your world even wider with all-inclusive packages of 10–16 nights in South America. Explore lofty Quito, capital of Ecuador; mystical Machu Picchu, high in the Andes Mountains; historic Lima, seaside capital of Peru; and charming Cuzco, ancient city of the Inca—complete with air transfers, five-star accommodations, and tours.

Join us for a rare, life-changing experience. 

A Truly All-Inclusive Galapagos Experience

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Flights between Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands on all Packages 10 Nights or greater.

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Twice-daily Galapagos National Park certified Naturalist guided excursions, including equipment.

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All Gratuities, Park Fees and Daily Briefings are on us.

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Always stay connected, no matter where you are, with complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi.

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Enjoy your favorite beverages throughout your voyage with with unlimited drinks onboard.

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All meals onboard with menus crafted by our Michelin-star chef.

What's Included on your Galapagos Vacation

7 night galapagos cruise.

During Your Cruise

  • 7 Night Galapagos cruise on one of our luxury vessels
  • Some of the world's most up-close and stunning wildlife encounters
  • Gourmet dining onboard featuring locally sourced cuisine and Michellin Star chef menus
  • All drinks onboard including beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks, coffee, and teas 
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • All Gratuities, Park Fees and Daily Briefings are on us
  • Galapagos Meet & Greet service by Naturalist
  • Twice-daily guided excursions
  • Daily Galapagos National Park certified Naturalist briefings and expert discussions
  • Entrance to Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Tourist Card
  • Complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, mini-wet suits, binoculars and walking sticks
  • Complimentary room service upon request
  • Premium bedding & stateroom amenities

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10/11 Night Galapagos & Quito Package      

  • All services and amenities applicable to a 7 Night Galapagos Cruise

Before and After Your Cruise

  • 2 Night pre-cruise luxury accommodations at JW Marriot Quito
  • Full-day guided tour of historical Quito, including a visit to the Equator Line at the Intinan Solar Museum
  • Round-trip flights between Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
  • 1 or 2-Night post-cruise luxury accommodations at JW Marriot Quito or EB Hotel (depending on guest flight schedules and/or package length)

View 10/11 Night Packages

16 Night Galapagos & Machu Picchu Package

Before Your Cruise

  • Full-day guided tour of historical Quito, including a visit to the Equator Line at the Intinan Solar Museum 
  • Round-trip flights between Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

After Your Cruise

  • 2 Nights at the Westin Lima upon arrival and 1 or 2 nights at Weston Lima for departure based on return flight schedule
  • 2 Nights in The Sacred Valley at Tambo del Inca Hotel
  • 2 Nights in Cuzco, the center of the former Inca Empire at either Hotel Belmond Monasterio or Hotel Belmond Palacio Nazarenas

View 16 Night Packages

Three Great Reasons to Visit The Galapagos

Once in a lifetime, you can walk in the footsteps of Darwin, getting closer to the natural world than you ever have or ever will, coming home with a radically new understanding of the planet. With us, you'll encounter flora found nowhere else, come face to face with fauna that has not learned to fear humans, and hike moonscapes that barely resemble Earth.

While the animals of the Galapagos Islands get the glory, the evolution and adaptation of plant life here is equally important. Check out the beautiful lava Cactus, which only grows on barren lava fields. The Prickly Pear Cactus found only on these islands. And, the magnificent Scalesia, which grows up to sixty feet tall.

Since the animals here don’t fear humans, you can truly get up close and personal, looking into the eyes of a Galapagos marine iguana, and walking among penguins – the only penguin species north of the equator. Here, you’ll discover creatures whose very existence forms the basis for one of the most famous scientific theories in history.

The Adventure

Nature lovers flock to this exotic terrain born of fire. Once, volcanos spat and lava flowed, creating an archipelago of 19 islands with a marine reserve that serve as a living museum of evolution. Extreme isolation and the convergence of three ocean currents developed the most unusual wildlife.

Expand Your Comfort Zone

On our award-winning Galapagos adventures, you'll meet amazing wildlife, trek unearthly landscapes, and see it all through the eyes of experts. You'll relax in spacious accommodations, savor globally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients, and be treated to exquisite service. All while treading lightly and supporting local communities.

Leave the World a Better Place

We work hard to minimize our footprint, and Ecuador’s secretary of tourism has acknowledged our efforts. We support the community by sourcing fresh seafood from local fishermen and pillow treats from local chocolatiers. Guests have donated $1.5 million to the Galapagos Fund and helped plant 50,000 trees. Celebrity Flora, our newest ship here, features dynamic positioning to protect the seabed, silicone paint to glide with less fuel, solar panels to make electricity, and no single-use plastics.

Balance Exploration With Relaxation

A few million years ago, volcanos erupted, creating these moonscapes where lumbering tortoises, comical birds, and other wildlife evolved in isolation. Today, you can experience this wondrous environment on shore excursions led by naturalists—two each day—as active or leisurely as you choose. Climb the hills to find colonies of red-footed boobies, hike the coast to spot colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs, watch the sea lions go surfing, or just relax and enjoy the sandy beaches and deck-side bars.

Service: Little Things Make a Big Difference

All of our ships feature service so attentive, so intuitive, yet so unobtrusive, that the things you want tend to appear before you even realize you want them. On our luxurious new Celebrity Flora ® , for instance, your personal suite attendant—yes, every stateroom is a suite—helps you unpack when you arrive, brings the rich morning coffee just the way you like it, restocks your minibar seamlessly, and so much more. These islands may be primitive, but your time with us will be anything but.

Certified Experts Lead the Way

Sailings include two shore excursions per day, each the adventure of a lifetime. Onboard naturalists, certified by Galapagos National Park, lead small groups of no more than 12 explorers. Activities are curated by our highly trained team of experts and each night we brief you on upcoming adventures. On the top deck of Celebrity Flora, you can even join optional Galapagos Glamping—stargazing with the naturalists and waking to a private breakfast.

Savor Globally Inspired, Locally Sourced Cuisine

One thing makes our world-renowned cuisine, with menus crafted by a Michelin-starred chef, even better. It's the locally sourced ingredients. From the robust coffee grown on Ecuadoran plantations to the fresh local seafood, almost everything was grown, raised, or caught nearby. Then we make culinary magic in venues such as the upscale Seaside Restaurant and alfresco Ocean Grill on Celebrity Flora. In every restaurant on every ship, fine dining will be the highlight of every evening.

A Typical Day in the Galapagos

The morning.

Start the day with a leisurely breakfast, the perfect combination of coffee and fresh air. Then, get suited up with wetsuits for the day’s adventures. Get comfortably seated in your tender for your morning’s commute to your first island where you’ll find yourself surrounded by hundreds of marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and so much more. Relax at the beach, snorkel, or take in a guided hike as you get to know the incredible habitants of this island up close.

Exploring works up an appetite. Return to the ship for a freshly-prepared lunch as you recall the morning’s adventure. As you dine, your ship gently moves to your next island destination. After lunch, suit back up, hop into your tender and get ready for another afternoon of excursions. From white sand beaches to black fields of lava flows, each island presents unique discoveries.

As the evening sun begins to lower, meet at the bar to unwind and talk with fellow explorers about your experiences. Take in a briefing about what the next day holds before settling down for a gourmet dinner, full of fresh seafood and incredible local flavors. Relax, and get ready to rest up in the haven of your room for tomorrow’s adventures.

Extraordinary Yachts for an Extraordinary Destination

Choose from three amazing vessels to experience these amazing islands. The luxurious 100-guest mega yacht Celebrity Flora®, acclaimed as best small ship, rivals any boutique resort—and with better scenery. The popular 48-guest Celebrity Xpedition® is the ship that put us on the map in the Galapagos. The intimate 16-guest Celebrity Xploration® is the most personal way to explore here. 

Featured Galapagos Itineraries

10&11-night outer loop cruise with quito, ecuador.

on Celebrity Flora

10&11-Night Inner Loop cruise with Quito, Ecuador

16-night inner loop cruise with machu picchu, peru.

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Your All-Inclusive Galapagos Adventure Awaits

Learn more about the galapagos, galapagos cruise loops: which one is best, incredible things to do on a machu picchu & galapagos cruise, why are the galapagos islands important, view all galapagos cruises & packages.

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The Best Galápagos Island Cruises

A cruise is one of the best ways to see all that this remote Ecuadorian archipelago has to offer.

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There's no better way to cover ground on your trip to the Galápagos Islands than to sail on a multiday cruise.

Galápagos National Park regulates the number and type of tourist boats that are allowed to operate in the famously biodiverse area. This helps with overcrowding, conserving the environment, and minimizing stress on the amazing wildlife of the Galápagos. Many tourist boats in the area offer five- to seven-day all-inclusive itineraries that are strictly monitored by the national park officials. There are also cruises operating illegally, so you have to take care when choosing a tour.

To help you find a cruise fit for your wildest dreams, we've rounded up 14 of the best options, whether you prefer a small ship or bigger vessel, an action-packed itinerary or a casual drift around this remote archipelago in the Pacific.

Small Galápagos Cruises

Most of the cruise ships in the Galápagos Islands carry fewer than 20 passengers. These vessels, typically motor yachts, can't provide some of the luxurious amenities available on larger ships, but they do ensure personalized service, a more intimate experience, and quicker trips on and off the boat.

Quasar Grace

The 18-passenger Grace was once owned by Grace Kelly. She and Prince Rainier spent part of their honeymoon on the motor yacht, and now you can sleep in their bedroom, the Grace Kelly Suite, which is one of nine rooms aboard. The ship sails three routes, taking eight to 15 days, and guests get plenty of snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, and panga rides along the way.

Ecoventura Letty

The Letty is one of the best full-service motor yachts in the Galápagos for value. This 20-passenger boat is a solid option with great service and comfortable accommodations. A trip on the Letty promises a 10 guest-per-guide ratio, as well as dinner with the captain. You get a choice between two seven-day itineraries, each including opportunities to snorkel, hike, and learn about the local wildlife from knowledgeable guides.

Ecoventura Origin

The 20-passenger Origin is like a floating boutique hotel. All 10 cabins are on the same deck, there’s an open-bar policy, and Wi-Fi is available on board. A unique hull design means this ship is also one of the most fuel-efficient in the Galápagos. Like the Letty , Ecoventura's Origin sails two routes around the archipelago, each lasting eight days and providing plenty of chances to get up close to nature.

Medium Galápagos Ships

If you're stuck between whether to book your cruise on a small ship or a large vessel — both have their advantages — one of these medium-sized boats accommodating 20 to 50 passengers could be the best of both worlds. You'll enjoy more space, a larger group to mingle with, and sometimes a wider variety of activities and services to accommodate more people.

Quasar Evolution

The 32-passenger Evolution was designed by Adriana Hoyos, a furniture and interior designer renowned for her work on luxury hotels across the Americas. Its cabins have a contemporary boutique-hotel aesthetic. There are indoor and outdoor lounges, a bar, and a library. Passengers can choose between three itineraries, ranging from eight to 15 days and taking different routes around the Galápagos.

Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Islander II

All cabins on the 48-passenger National Geographic Islander II have windows, and some even have private patios. The ship offers deck hammocks, Wi-Fi, and food made with ingredients sourced from farms in the Galápagos whenever possible. Itineraries range from seven to 12 days and include cultural experiences in addition to wildlife viewing and water sports.

Large Galápagos Ships

Galápagos National Park officials have set a maximum of 100 passengers per vessel, so these are some of the largest ships in the archipelago. Travelers may opt for a larger-capacity cruise ship for more space (such as bigger hallways and staircases for easier movement around the ship) and increased services like an onboard doctor. The downside of traveling on a large ship is the time it can take to complete transfers by zodiac from the boat to the islands. Also, some areas of the Galápagos may be off limits to larger ships.

Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Endeavour II

The 96-passenger National Geographic Endeavour II has Wi-Fi, a doctor, SUP gear, a clear-bottom zodiac, a free digital photo kiosk with iMacs, and a spa. Like the Islander II, food brought from the mainland is carefully prepared and packaged to prevent the introduction of invasive species to the Galápagos Islands.

Celebrity Flora

The 100-passenger Celebrity Flora features all of the design elements, amenities, and services of its sibling ships and then some. It has two 1,288-square-foot penthouse suites (the largest in the Galápagos), naturalist-guided stargazing sessions, and outdoor cabanas that you can reserve for a unique glamping experience.

Silversea Silver Origin

The 100-passenger Silver Origin is an all-suite ship with accommodations up to 1,722 square feet, some with in-room espresso machines and mini-bars, private verandas, and butler service. Tips are included in the price. The ship also has a fitness center, a spa, a communal fire pit, and two restaurants. There are more than 100 cruise options, some lasting as long as 18 days.

Galápagos Catamarans

These small boats have a unique hull design, like the dual parallel runners of a sled, that many believe makes catamarans more stable in the water.

Celebrity Xploration

The 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration is arguably the most luxurious catamaran in the Galápagos. Its eight suites and junior suites feature extras like binoculars, personal refrigerators, a pillow menu, and room service. The catamaran cruises two routes, a northern route and a southern route, both lasting seven nights.

Anahi Yacht Catamaran

The Anahi has eight rooms accommodating up to 16 passengers, including two spacious suites. Travelers can expect traditional yacht design details, like polished wooden floors and portrait windows. There are multiple itineraries to choose from, each stopping off at different islands and exploring different parts of the Galápagos. The cruises range in duration from four to 15 days.

Royal Galapagos Cormorant II

The Cormorant II can carry 16 passengers in nine cabins, all with private balconies. Some of the suites even come with walk-in closets and their own Jacuzzi tubs. Travelers can opt for a four- to eight-day cruise with inclusive excursions such as snorkeling, kayaking, and glass-bottom boat tours.

Live-aboard Dive Boats

If you’re a certified scuba diver, a live-aboard dive boat might be for you. These boats are built to accommodate the specific needs (and gear) of divers, and they navigate special routes and itineraries that include top dive sites. The Galápagos is home to whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays, manta rays, sunfish, and many other marine creatures.

Explorer Ventures Humboldt Explorer and Tiburon Explorer

Explorer Ventures ' two live-aboard vessels, the Humboldt Explorer and Tiburon Explorer , accommodate 16 passengers each. The Humboldt has a large dive deck, which makes it easier to get into and out of your dive gear. The eight-day excursion includes up to 19 dives and the 11-day excursion includes up to 28.

Galápagos Nortada

The 84-foot Nortada has only four cabins and can sleep eight guests. Passengers can congregate on the bridge, the galley, or in the dining room and lounge. Dive trips last either seven or 14 nights, and itineraries include up to four dives a day.

Galápagos Aggressor III

The Aggressor ships have been cruising around the Galápagos Islands since 1993. The Galápagos Aggressor III accommodates 16 passengers. Charters last a week and include four dives a day plus two land excursions.

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  • Galapagos Wildlife & Safari Exploration: Delve into the heart of the Galapagos' diverse ecosystems. Witness an array of iconic wildlife, from giant tortoises to blue-footed boobies, while exploring both by sea and land.
  • Galapagos Small Ship Cruises: Join a wide array of expedition cruise ships designed for avid explorers. These cruises offer in-depth insights into the archipelago's unique flora and fauna. Expert naturalists guide you through iconic sites, providing a comprehensive Galapagos experience.
  • Galapagos Private Yacht Charter: Enjoy an exclusive adventure with a private yacht charter. Tailor your itinerary, explore secluded spots, and indulge in personalized service, creating an intimate and unforgettable Galapagos experience.
  • Galapagos Luxury Cruises and Tours: Experience the Galapagos Islands in opulence. Luxury cruises and land tours offer premium accommodations, gourmet dining, and curated experiences, ensuring a lavish exploration of this natural wonder.
  • Galapagos Family Cruises and Tours: Create lasting memories with family-friendly tours and cruises. These specially crafted journeys cater to all ages. Enjoy interactive learning experiences and a chance for families to bond amidst the incredible landscapes.
  • Galapagos Solo Travel: Embark on a solo adventure in the Galapagos. Join group tours or cruises that cater to independent travelers, providing opportunities to meet like-minded explorers while enjoying the freedom of solo exploration.
  • Galapagos Land Tours: Discover the Galapagos Islands through land-based adventures. Immerse yourself in the unique landscapes, visit conservation sites, and witness the endemic wildlife on guided tours.
  • Galapagos Honeymoon Tours and Cruises: Celebrate love amidst the enchanting Galapagos scenery. Honeymoon tours and cruises offer romantic escapes, combining exploration, breathtaking landscapes, and intimate experiences.
  • Galapagos Active Trips: Satiate your adventurous spirit with active trips that combine exploration with thrilling activities. From snorkeling in pristine waters to hiking volcanic landscapes, these tours cater to active travelers.
  • Galapagos Beaches: Whether on a land tour or a Galapagos cruise, you will visit several beaches during your stay. Bask in the sun, admire the different-colored sands of the archipelago, and go snorkeling with sea turtles and sea lions. Enjoy relaxation and water-based activities while exploring the unique coastal environments.
  • Galapagos Most Popular Cruises and Land Tours: Opt for the tried-and-true experiences with Adventure Life’s most popular cruises and land tours. These journeys cover must-visit sites, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of the Galapagos Islands.
  • Luxury Galapagos Cruises  have the top-rated naturalist guides, superb cuisine, and spacious, stylish cabins.
  • Galapagos Catamarans  may have the best of both worlds. Catamarans are small 16-passenger yachts that are stable in the water and the most luxurious vessels to sail the Galapagos. 
  • Galapagos Cruise Ships   have spacious cabins and public areas. Some have doctors onboard and may be a good choice for physically challenged travelers. 
  • Budget Cruises make it possible to experience Galapagos on a budget. One should be very careful when choosing a low-price Galapagos cruise, but we only work with the best boats and take the risk out of choosing a trip that won't break your budget.
  • A  4-day cruise is too short as the first and last days are used to fly from the mainland of Ecuador, so you only have two full days on the islands, which is not enough!
  • A 5-day cruise (with three full days on the islands) will be sufficient for some travelers.
  • An 8-day cruise is the perfect balance of enough time on the islands vs. cost.  
  • The 15-day cruises offer complete circumnavigations of the islands for those with ample time and budget.

A Typical Day Aboard a Galapagos Cruise

Galapagos travel tips & cruise guide, best times of year to visit the galapagos, galapagos weather & climate.

  • Limiting the number of visitors to most sites, 
  • Prohibiting non-native species introduction.
  • Requiring park-certified guides on expeditions and during all activities to ensure visitor safety and wildlife protection. 
  • No feeding or touching the animals under any circumstances.
  • No drones and flash photography that could disturb the local wildlife.
  • Forbidding the purchase of products or souvenirs made from local flora or fauna.

Island-by-Island Galapagos Guide

Galapagos animals & wildlife, top galapagos species.

  • Blue-Footed Booby: This colorful bird can be found throughout the archipelago. Recognized for their striking blue feet, these seabirds engage in captivating courtship displays and impressive diving skills.
  • Waved Albatross: Española stands as the exclusive habitat for the Waved Albatross, showcasing its impressive wingspan of up to 8 feet. Witness the captivating courtship dance during the breeding season, a truly unique spectacle.
  • Flightless Cormorant: Isabela and Fernandina host the unique Flightless Cormorant. This endemic species sacrificed flight for enhanced diving abilities. Witness their distinctive swimming style near volcanic shores.
  • Nazca Booby:  Encounter this masked booby on Genovesa and Española, respectively. Marvel at their distinctive features and behaviors.
  • Red-Footed Booby: Distinguished by its vibrant red feet, this seabird is recognized for its striking appearance and adept aerial dives. These sociable birds create captivating colonies against the backdrop of the Galapagos seas.
  • Galapagos Hawk: Observe the Galapagos’ apex predator soaring over the islands, showcasing its adaptability and role as the archipelago's apex predator.
  • Frigatebirds: Witness large colonies of magnificent Frigatebirds on North Seymour and Genovesa, displaying their aerial prowess. These seabirds with iconic inflated throat pouches contribute to the archipelago's unique avian spectacle.
  • Galapagos Flamingo : Spot this elegant bird in Floreana and Isabela, showcasing their unique pink hues in the archipelago's lagoons. These graceful birds add to the Galapagos' diverse avian population.
  • Galapagos Finches: Encounter diverse Galapagos Finches on various islands, witnessing their distinct beak adaptations. These iconic birds played a pivotal role in Darwin's theory of evolution.
  • Giant Tortoise: Once inhabitants of most of the Galapagos Islands, this endemic species are now found only in a few places on the archipelago, such as Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Floreana. These gentle giants display diverse shell shapes based on their island of origin.
  • Marine Iguana: Galapagos is the only place in the world that harbors the unique Marine Iguana, a land iguana that adapted to life in the ocean. Basking on the archipelago’s black lava rocks, these iguanas dive into the sea to feed on algae, displaying a fascinating blend of terrestrial and marine behaviors.
  • Land Iguana: North Seymour and Isabela host the distinctive Land Iguana, with North Seymour renowned for its population of yellow land iguanas. Isabela showcases both pink and yellow variants, illustrating the species' adaptability to different environments.
  • Green Sea Turtle: Swim alongside the graceful Green Sea Turtles in the waters around Española and Isabela. However, these ancient mariners can be found throughout the Galapagos waters and add to the islands' marine wonder.
  • Sea Lion: Each Galapagos Island offers vibrant encounters with this charismatic species. San Cristóbal's beaches are bustling with playful sea lions, providing fantastic opportunities for observation.
  • Galapagos Penguin: Isabela, Fernandina, and Bartolomé are havens for this unique animal, the only penguin species near the equator. Thriving in nutrient-rich waters, Isabela and Fernandina offer prime locations to observe these agile birds.

Galapagos FAQs

  • Santa Cruz Island is the centrally located "main island" in the Galapagos and serves as the biggest port for cruises and base for land-tours . The town of Puerto Ayora has a growing population of 18,000 people and a number of restaurants, shops, bars, and hotels. It is accessed by Baltra Island Airport.
  • Isabela Island is the westernmost, biggest, and youngest of the inhabited Galapagos Islands. There are six active volcanoes here that can be explored and some of the best snorkeling opportunities as well. The quiet town of Puerto Villamil has managed to maintain its fishing village atmosphere despite the growth in tourism to the Islands.
  • Floreana , in the southern part of the archipelago, is one of the most historic islands in the Galapagos, home to centuries-old legends and tales of betrayal and romance, pirates, whalers, and artifacts that remind us how real this period was in the Galapagos Islands.
  • San Cristobal in the far east of the Galapagos Islands is the administrative capital of this Ecuadorian province from the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and is home to some of the best surfing and land-based exploration sites, like the giant El Junco freshwater lagoon, geological formations, Cerro Brujo & Lobos Island and more.
  • Galapagos & the Amazon: The  Ecuadorian Amazon   has the most easily accessible area of the Amazon Rainforests, and one of the most diverse. It's usually experienced from an eco-lodge. If you love the idea of another cruise, then visit Peru's Amazon  to take a river cruise from the town of Iquitos .
  • Galapagos & Machu Picchu : Check off another wonder of the world by visiting Machu Picchu to see this impressive architectural landmark of the Inca empire. From here you can look out over the Sacred Valley and stop in the colonial city of Cuzco en route.
  • Galapagos & the Andes : Whether you're taking in history and culture in the the colonial Ecuadorian capital city of Quito , exploring the active glaciated Cotopaxi Volcano , or enjoying national parks and colonial streets in the southern Andean city of  Cuenca , these towering peaks and volcanoes seem to put the whole world in perspective. 

Galapagos Ecotourism - Have a Positive Impact on the Islands

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  • Prioritize conservation! Travel to the Galapagos Islands is heavily monitored and fairly restricted by Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and the Galapagos National Park. Those who have the privilege to visit this fragile archipelago also have to play their part and practice responsible tourism by booking with operators committed to "green" travel practices (like the ones that we feature). It's also up to you to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines and make sure to respect all of the rules that your guides tell you (like not feeding the animals and staying on the trails). 
  • Plan your trip around your interests. From kayaking and scuba diving to hiking and photography, activities offered on most itineraries are varied and entertaining. Most cruises try to fit in at least two daily excursions and activities to maximize your experience. If you're an avid kayaker or photographer, for example, make sure that your itinerary allows for plenty of time for these options.
  • Experience the marine life by snorkeling! Even if you've never been snorkeling or don't consider yourself a particularly strong swimmer, it is worth it to take the plunge in Galapagos and explore the fantastic rainbow of coral and marine life hidden underwater.
  • Plan longer trips. While you might find a 4- or 5-day cruise for a much more economical price, we recommend staying at least 8 days. This will not only allow you to see more of the Galapagos Islands and experience more activities, but longer stays also help the local economy and community.

Top Activities & Things to Do in Galapagos

Galapagos scuba diving, main highlights of the top galapagos islands.

Santa Cruz Island  

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station for a deeper understanding of Galapagos conservation efforts.

Explore the lush highlands, home to the famous giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Discover the picturesque Tortuga Bay, a pristine white-sand beach with excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Isabela Island  

Hike to the rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano, boasting one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world.

Visit the Wall of Tears, a historical site built by prisoners during this inhabited island's former penal colony.

Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Los Tuneles, a unique underwater landscape formed by lava tubes.

Fernandina Island  

Witness the exceptional marine and birdlife, including the flightless cormorant and marine iguanas.

Explore Punta Espinosa, a hotspot for wildlife sightings, with unique lava formations.

Experience pristine nature with minimal human impact on the island's untouched landscapes.

San Cristobal Island  

Visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the natural history and conservation efforts in the Galapagos.

Explore Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking beach with opportunities to spot sea lions and seabirds.

Snorkel at Kicker Rock, a distinctive geological formation rich in marine life.

Baltra Island  

Begin or conclude your Galapagos journey at Baltra, the main airport gateway.

Explore the remnants of a World War II military base, highlighting the island's historical significance.

Witness unique flora and fauna adapting to the arid environment.

North Seymour Island  

Encounter the famous blue-footed boobies engaged in their intricate courtship dances.

Observe frigatebirds displaying their inflated red throat pouches during the breeding season.

Enjoy a picturesque landscape with endemic plants and rocky terrain.

South Plaza Island  

Marvel at the vibrant flora, including the distinctive red Sesuvium plants and Opuntia cacti.

Spot land iguanas, a unique species distinguished by their yellowish coloration.

Witness the incredible acrobatics of sea lions along the rocky shores.

Genovesa Island  

Explore Darwin Bay, a pristine white-sand beach surrounded by cliffs and rich birdlife.

Encounter the iconic red-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as other seabird species.

Hike to Prince Philip's Steps for panoramic views and the chance to spot short-eared owls.

Floreana Island  

Visit Post Office Bay, where an 18th-century tradition of leaving and picking up mail continues.

Snorkel at Devil's Crown, a submerged volcanic crater teeming with marine life.

Explore the highlands to see the unique vegetation and historical sites.

Española Island  

Witness the Waved Albatross during their mating rituals on Española's rocky cliffs.

Explore Gardner Bay's pristine beach, home to sea lions and marine iguanas.

Snorkel at Suarez Point to encounter diverse marine species, including colorful fish.

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Best Galapagos cruises for an epic wildlife adventure of a lifetime

Fran Golden

About 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador , in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are a remarkable place to visit for wildlife sightings. You can see flightless Galapagos penguins, Galapagos sea lions, giant Galapagos tortoises, marine iguanas and hundreds of other species found nowhere else on Earth.

The islands are also one of the places in the world that are best explored by cruise ships.

To get close to Mother Nature in the mostly unpopulated islands, you need to get on the water — and land on islands in the company of a licensed Ecuadorian naturalist guide. Galapagos National Park tightly controls who comes in and where ships can explore.

All the ships are Ecuadorian flagged, Ecuadorian crewed and owned by Ecuadorian companies, sometimes in partnership with leading cruise companies. Excursions, often twice a day, are included in cruise fares. The sailings are year-round, and routes are always subject to change based on park control.

Related: My first cruise to the Galapagos: The good, the bad and the absolutely adorable

The cruise companies use various descriptors of where they go, but basically, if your ship heads north and west, you'll see more volcanic landscapes; if you go south or central, you'll explore more beaches and bays. Wildlife sightings on both routes are thrilling, both above and under the sea — where you may find yourself snorkeling with sharks and sea lions.

Bird-watchers may want to do a full 14-night trip to touch every corner and add many species to their life list. For the rest of us, a week or less can provide enough brag-worthy wildlife encounters to last a lifetime.

Choosing a ship will depend on how long you want to explore, how much you want to pay and what level of luxury you expect. It's not uncommon for travelers to combine a Galapagos cruise with land exploration in Quito, Ecuador, the Ecuadorian Amazon or Machu Picchu in Peru. Most cruise lines offer add-on land-based itineraries.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Here are our picks for the best Galapagos cruises.

Short cruises on La Pinta

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Metropolitan Touring operates this intimate, 48-passenger yacht and offers popular four- and six-night itineraries. These are a good option if you are short on time.

Cabins are spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows so you can take in the views even when getting ready for the day or relaxing in bed. Four cabins can be connected for families or friends traveling together (some sleep three). The entire ship sports a comfortably upscale ambience, and a favorite hangout is the sun deck with its hot tub and bar.

An expedition leader, along with onboard naturalists, will guide you through your trip. The ship is equipped with kayaks for guest use, and a glass-bottom boat provides views for those who aren't into snorkeling.

Cost : Four-night cruises start from $5,812 per person; six-night cruises start from $7,789 per person. Small-ship expedition specialist UnCruise Adventures also charters La Pinta. Seven-night packages that combine a pre-cruise hotel stay in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with a six-night cruise start from $10,900; they are available on select dates from April through December.

Related: Galapagos cruise guide: Best itineraries, planning tips and things to do

Hurtigruten expedition experience on Santa Cruz II

Also operated by Metropolitan Touring, the 90-passenger Santa Cruz II is an expedition ship with contemporary decor and comfortable single, double and triple cabins.

When you aren't in your cabin you might catch views from the ship's two hot tubs. Activity equipment includes snorkeling gear (with wet suits available to rent), a glass-bottom boat and kayaks, plus a top-deck fitness room.

The ship, which is operated on a carbon-neutral basis, is under charter to the well-regarded expedition company Hurtigruten for select dates from now through March 2025 and some dates in 2026.

Cost : Eight-night packages combining a six-night cruise with two hotel nights in Quito are available from $11,227 per person. Other options include 11-night cruises from $10,171 per person and six-night itineraries from $5,734 per person.

Related: Short on time? You can do this Galapagos cruise in just 1 week

Yachting with Quasar Expeditions' Grace

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Quasar Expeditions has the most historically prestigious ship in the Galapagos market. The 16-passenger Grace is a classic yacht from the 1920s that carried Princess Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco on their honeymoon in 1956 (in the Mediterranean).

Reflective of the golden age of travel, it's all about luxury on board — polished woodwork, gourmet meals and service from a crew of 10, plus two naturalist guides.

Cost : Seven-night cruises start from $9,950 per person.

Island exploration with Adventures by Disney on Galapagos Legend

Adventures by Disney offers sailings in the Galapagos on the 100-passenger Galapagos Legend in June, July, August and December in 2024 and March, June and July in 2025.

The minimum age is 7, and the recommended age is 8 and older. The comfortable ship has the rare-in-the-Galapagos feature of a swimming pool, plus a hot tub. When Disney is on board, its trained Adventure Guides lead special Junior Adventurers activities for kids in addition to the usual snorkeling, kayaking and glass-bottom boat rides. Select sailings invite special guest experts on board to give workshops and presentations in their area of expertise.

Cost : Fares for eight-night trips beginning with two hotel nights in Quito followed by a six-night cruise in 2024 start at $8,999 (adults) and $8,499 (children). Rates for the same itinerary in 2025 start from $8,999 (adults) and $8,099 (children). Other companies, such as Go Galapagos, offer three-night cruises on Galapagos Legend starting from $2,113 per person.

Relais & Chateaux experience on Origin, Theory and Evolve

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Ecoventura's 20-passenger, all-suite yachts, Origin, Theory and Evolve, are recognized by the prestigious Relais & Chateaux gourmet restaurant and luxury hospitality association, and intimate and luxurious exploration is their calling card.

The crew of 13 includes a French-trained chef, a concierge and two naturalists.

Pampering ensues — even for young guests who are on board select family departures, during which added activities include a cultural exchange with local students. Check out the rare Galapagos publications in the library when you're not in the outdoor Jacuzzi, on the kayaks or on paddleboards.

Cost : Seven-night cruises are available from $9,950 per person. Charter the entire yacht starting at $199,000.

Superyacht sailing with Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expeditions is well known in luxury circles for its superyachts in the Peruvian Amazon and Asia. The company bills its 16-passenger, all-suite, all-inclusive Aqua Mare as the "first true superyacht in the Galapagos Islands."

The interior decor is by Italian superyacht designer François Zuretti. Also, the Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine is by chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, famed for his "rainforest to table cuisine," which features ingredients grown only in the Amazon jungle and focuses on sustainable culinary practices.

Among the spacious suites, the top Owner's Suite is 861 square feet. The Jacuzzi is big enough for six guests. The yacht is also stocked with kayaks and paddleboards for guests to use.

Cost : Seven-night cruises start from $10,500 per person. Charter the entire yacht starting at $218,500.

Galapagos with Avalon Waterways

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River cruise line Avalon Waterways is known for sailings in Europe and on the Mekong. However, it's also in the Galapagos, chartering the 16-passenger small ship Treasure of Galapagos for seven-night sailings in August and December in 2024 and 2025.

All cabins on the ship, including the 430-square-foot master suite, have balconies and are done up in welcoming, contemporary decor. The ship's design is outdoor-focused, with alfresco dining and a bar near the Jacuzzi.

Indoors is a small lounge and dining area. Wine and beer are included with meals.

Cost : Seven-night cruises (beginning with two nights in Quito) start from $6,003 per person.

Expedition sailing with Lindblad's National Geographic Endeavour II

Top expedition company Lindblad Expeditions has been sailing in the Galapagos for more than 50 years, evident by the seasoned team of naturalists and the experiences they deliver, including exploring the sea thanks to innovative underwater equipment.

This 96-passenger ship is a spacious base camp. Passengers can explore with Zodiacs, kayaks, glass-bottom boats and stand-up paddleboards.

Select expeditions feature guest National Geographic biologists, authors and photographers who can help you get the perfect wildlife photos. The cruises are popular with families, and a diving program is available for advanced divers.

Cost : Fares for a 10-night cruise (including two nights in Guayaquil) start from $6,605 per person. Lindblad also has a 52-passenger, all-suite luxury yacht in the market, the National Geographic Islander II, with as many crew members as guests. Fares for its seven-night cruises start from $6,864 per person.

Ultra-luxury experience on Silver Origin

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Ultra-luxury line Silversea Cruises delivers everything on a silver platter on the 100-passenger Silver Origin.

Request Champagne from your butler while you lounge in the hot tub. Guests will likely also appreciate the high-tech walls that feature touch-controlled high-definition screens, allowing you to zoom in on exclusive wildlife videos shot by drone in Galapagos National Park.

There is also the luxury of space to spread out, indoors and out, amid gorgeous contemporary furnishings. Everyone stays in a large butler-serviced suite.

Additionally, the cuisine is extraordinary — the Ecuadorian executive chef even takes time to explain the local ingredients he uses. The staff includes one naturalist guide for every 10 guests.

Cost : Fares for seven-night cruises start from $10,900 per person.

Related: 5 best Silversea Cruises destinations

All-suite megayacht cruising on Celebrity Flora

With a design similar to Silver Origin, Celebrity Cruises ' Flora delivers a first-class experience.

Suites include either a step-out balcony or an "infinite veranda" created when you push a button to open the top half of a wall of glass.

Menus are crafted by chef Cornelius Gallagher, who has helmed Michelin-starred restaurants. Personal suite attendants cater to your needs, while experienced naturalists lead stargazing sessions.

Guests on a 10-, 11- or 16-night itinerary can reserve a glamping experience on the top deck and spend the night under the stars in a cabana equipped with a double bed.

Cost : Fares for seven-night cruises start from $6,539 per person, and a 10-night cruise with two overnight stays in Quito starts from $8,139 per person. Celebrity Cruises also offers sailings on the 48-passenger Celebrity Xpedition, a small luxury ship. Seven-night cruises start at $5,571 per person. Additionally, seven-night sailings aboard the even more intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration start from $5,615 per person.

Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Celebrity Cruises ship

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Galapagos Cruises

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Why Cruise the Galápagos?

Embark on a Galápagos cruise and experience the evolutionary oddities and breathtaking scenery of an astonishing archipelago famed worldwide for its wildlife-viewing opportunities. A haven hewn from lava and hidden from humanity for centuries – the Galápagos lie some 600 miles (nearly 1,000 km) off the Ecuadorian Pacific coast – this enchanting collection of islands and islets is home to a veritable menagerie of miraculous and marvelous wildlife waiting to meet you. Beneath the spectacular volcanic vistas, delve into an underwater wonderland, a nutrient-rich cocktail of currents conducting an oceanic opera of teeming marine life.

Aboard only the best Galápagos cruise ships available, explore the remote reaches of this otherworldly realm, and discover the pristine, protected visitor sites of the Galápagos National Park with the help of hand-chosen guides, naturalist oracles who will passionately impart their expert knowledge about the fascinating flora and fearless fauna you will encounter. Prepare yourself for one of the wildest of wildlife safaris imaginable on an unforgettable Galapagos Islands cruise, as you follow in Darwin’s footsteps to a world where tortoises are as big as boulders, marine iguanas span surf and shore, and blue-footed boobies perform mesmeric mating dances.

Our hand-picked portfolio of Galápagos cruise ships has been carefully chosen to include remarkable vessels operated by only the most trusted of partners, preeminent pioneers in the region who offer exceptional itineraries, unrivaled knowledge, and utmost levels of service.

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Cormorant II

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Galaxy Sirius

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Origin, Theory & Evolve

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Galapagos Horizon

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Tribute Yacht

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Galapagos Angel

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Galapagos Experiences

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Luxury Cruises

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Family Cruises

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Adventure Cruises

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Honeymoon Cruises

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Charter Cruises

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Solo Cruises

Private charters.

For those seeking the ultimate exclusivity traveling as a group or with family, a Galapagos yacht charter provides a private escape to explore the Enchanted Islands, with an entire crew to cater to your every need, and allows for activities to be more tailored to your party’s desires.

Cruise Packages

Our custom Galápagos tours are the ultimate in Galápagos Islands cruise packages, seamlessly combining Galápagos cruises with bespoke land tours featuring private expert-led excursions and curated accommodations. Browse our best-selling Galápagos vacations below and begin an unforgettable journey tailored uniquely to you.

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Machu Picchu & Galapagos

13-day tour from $9,050 usd.

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Galapagos & Amazon

14-day tour from $8,675 usd.

people hiking around ecuador highlands

Galapagos & Andes

10-day tour from $7,725 usd.

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Quito & Galapagos Adventure

7-day tour from $5,250 usd, travel guide.

Want to know more about cruising Galápagos? Our destination specialists have compiled the definitive Galápagos Islands travel guide to help you plan your cruise. Find out when and where to go, what to see and do, where to eat and sleep, and more below.


When Is The Best Time To Visit Galapagos?


Difference Between the Eastern and Western Galapagos Islands


Scuba Diving Galapagos: The Ultimate Guide


What To Pack For Galapagos: The Ideal Galapagos Packing List


Galapagos Islands Weather

Port town in Galapagos

How To Get To (And Around) The Galapagos Islands

What our customers are saying.


How Much Does A Galápagos Cruise Cost?

This typically depends on cruise length, comfort level of your boat and choice of cabin category, although seasonal and single supplements may also apply. On average, short cruises of 5 days or less cost from $2,500 pp, and longer cruises of 8 days or longer from $5,000 pp based on double occupancy.

Prices typically exclude the cost of flights to the islands (around $500) and the National Park entrance fee (currently $100, soon to be $200 starting 1 Aug 2024). Most cruises are all-inclusive with the exception of alcoholic beverages and tips. To help reduce the cost, keep apprised of last minute Galapagos Islands cruise deals or consider a private Galapagos cruise charter which often prove more cost effective if traveling in a group.

Do I Need A Visa For The Galápagos Islands?

You do not need a visa for the Galapagos Islands per se, but you may require a visa for entry into Ecuador dependent upon your nationality. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Ecuador for stays less than 90 days in any 12-month period, however your passport must be valid for at least six months at the date of entry and have one blank page for your entry stamp. There are, however, several entry requirements for the Galapagos (see below).

Are There Any Galápagos Entry Requirements?

To enter Galapagos, travelers must present the following documents at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil before their flight to the islands:

  • Return air tickets between the mainland and Galapagos
  • Private travel health insurance
  • Transit Control Card, which is available at the airport for a cost of $20 (cash only)

Upon arrival at the airport in Galapagos, travelers must then present their Transit Control Card, and pay the requisite National Park entry fee before they are allowed to enter.

We will happily organize your pre-registration of the Transit Control Card and pre-payment of the National Park entry fee (where possible) to smooth this process.

How Many Days Should You Spend In Galápagos?

We always recommend a minimum of 5 days to adequately experience the Galapagos Islands and strongly advise 8 days to truly appreciate their incredible endemic species and otherworldly landscapes. To comprehensively explore every major island of the archipelago, consider an epic 15 day Galapagos cruise .

What Is The Food Like On A Galapagos Cruise?

The cruises offer a wide selection of international and Ecuadorian food , including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, rice and pasta, as well as fish and seafood which, as you might imagine, is abundant and fresh. The most famous local dish is the ceviche, made with freshly-caught lobster, octopus, squid, or shrimp.

Most cruises will serve meals in a relaxed buffet-style. However, high-end vessels may offer more formal dining arrangements. Please let us know beforehand of any specific dietary requirements or allergies for us to inform the chef on board.

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6 Best Galapagos Cruises For Every Kind of Traveler

By Meena Thiruvengadam

View from Bartolom Island GalÃpagos Islands

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Galapagos cruises are the best way to experience the collection of remote, mostly uninhabited islands about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. But cruises in the Galapagos Islands aren’t like cruises anyplace else. The ships here are smaller, with some carrying as few as 16 passengers. There are no water slides, elaborate Broadway shows, casinos, or wild nightclubs. And don’t expect big bus tours in port either. 

Galapagos cruises are about experiencing nature and wildlife while limiting environmental impact as much as possible. Ships are built for sustainability and toting items like kayaks, paddleboards, and scuba gear. Itineraries may feature two active excursions a day, limiting downtime on board the ship. Instead of museums and historic sights, you’ll visit uninhabited islands to encounter marine iguanas, sea lions, unspoiled beaches, and the adventures of a lifetime. 

Trips to the Galapagos Islands are logistically complicated, making cruises an especially good way to experience the area. Travelers to the Galapagos Islands must first fly to Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador, for a night before flying to the Galapagos to board their ships. All travelers must also be accompanied by National Parks Guides who can help them navigate these largely undeveloped islands. 

Galapagos cruise itineraries are typically a week long and cover a portion of the islands, sometimes more. Here's everything to know about cruising in the Galapagos, from frequently asked questions to the best itineraries to book now.

  • Best luxury Galapagos cruise
  • Best Galapagos cruise for stargazing  
  • Best Galapagos cruise for adventure seekers  
  • Best Galapagos cruises for solo travelers  
  • Best small ship Galapagos cruise  

Best Galapagos cruises for families

When is the best time to cruise the galapagos islands .

With pleasant temperatures all year long, the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands is whenever you’re ready to go. Several cruise lines sail to the Galapagos Islands all year long. While you can see wildlife all year, December is hatching season for the giant tortoises, and July is mating season for blue-footed boobies and short-eared owls. Sea turtles lay their eggs early in the year and fully formed marine iguanas typically hatch in April and May. 

Are Galapagos cruises expensive?  

The Galapagos Islands aren’t a bargain destination. Expect to pay somewhere between $5,000 and $12,000 per traveler depending on the ship, itinerary, and length of the voyage. 

One thing’s for sure: Whatever your preference, there’s a Galapagos Islands cruise for you. These are six of the best Galapagos cruises for every type of traveler.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Silver Origin cruising the Galapagos Islands.

A suite on board Silver Origin comes with butler service.

Best luxury Galapagos cruise 

There’s no more luxurious way to sail the Galapagos Islands than on  Silversea's Silver Origin , a ship custom-built for cruising these islands. Silver Origin is Silversea’s first destination-specific ship and includes several features meant to minimize its environmental impact. The all-suite ship can carry up to 100 passengers, is all-inclusive down to the premium spirits in your stateroom's minibar, and includes the luxury cruise line’s signature butler service. There’s also a salon and fitness center on board, a rarity for ships sailing in this region. Most itineraries on the Silver Origin are seven nights, but longer cruises are typically scheduled around winter holidays. The Silver Origin sails the north, central, and western loops of the Galapagos Islands.

Best Galapagos cruise for stargazing 

This region may be better known for its landscapes and wildlife, but the Galapagos Islands are also an excellent place for stargazing. And there’s no better Galapagos cruise ship for stargazing than the  Celebrity Flora . The 100-passenger vessel feels more like a luxury yacht than an expedition ship. It has a stargazing platform on its top deck and provides binoculars to help guests spot constellations as the ship cruises along the equator. The modern expedition ship also offers a glamping experience that includes a naturalist-guided stargazing session and a luxurious night of glamping under the stars. Prefer to sleep in your bed on board? Have dinner under the stars at the ship’s restaurant before heading back to your suite. The Celebrity Flora ’s Galapagos itineraries range from seven to 16 nights. 

Best Galapagos cruise for adventure seekers 

Lindblad Expeditions has been cruising the Galapagos Islands for more than 50 years. It now sails to the Galapagos year-round in partnership with National Geographic, giving guests the chance to encounter giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, and more. A staff of expert guides is on board to help travelers spot wildlife and better understand the volcanic landscapes, mangrove thickets, and seagrasses they encounter. Activities include unforgettable snorkeling adventures, hikes through pristine wilderness, and walks along remote beaches. Lindblad’s newest Galapagos Islands cruise ship, the National Geographic Islander II , feels more like a boutique hotel than an expedition ship and carries just 48 passengers in 26 suites. Some itineraries offer advanced divers the chance to commune with a variety of marine life. And while rugged adventures may await travelers off the ship, each suite offers travelers plenty of comfort: They come equipped with flat-screen TVs, in-room espresso machines, and bathrooms with double sinks.

Best Galapagos cruises for solo travelers 

Galapagos cruises aren’t cheap, especially if you’re sailing solo. Hurtigruten makes cruising the Galapagos Islands more affordable by waiving the single supplement on several of its Galapagos cruises. Hurtigruten Galapagos cruises range from seven to 14 days in length and take place on the MS Santa Cruz II , a ship that comes equipped with panga boats, kayaks, snorkeling gear, paddleboards, and a glass-bottom boat for viewing marine life. The ship carries a maximum of 90 passengers, and its operations are carbon-neutral. There’s a small gym and a hot tub on board. Regular prices start around $8,500 for a one-week cruise. Look for sales to bring your price down even further.

Best small ship Galapagos cruise 

Avalon Waterways may be better known for its European river cruises , but it also sails the Galapagos Islands. Avalon sails this region on two ships, the Treasure of the Galapagos and the Delfin III . The Delfin III , which also sails the Amazon in Peru, is its newest and most luxurious Galapagos cruise ship. The ship has just 22 suites, almost guaranteeing you’ll make new friends along the journey. The Treasure of the Galapagos is even smaller, carrying a maximum of 16 guests. And while there’s no long list of restaurants on board either ship, there are creative, locally inspired menus featuring seasonal ingredients and lots of vegetarian options. On board both ships, you’ll find daily natural history lectures, a team of multilingual naturalists, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, and plunge pools.  

For an adventure your kids will never forget, hop on board an Adventures by Disney cruise of the Galapagos Islands. Just be sure to wait until your kids are at least seven years old. This is the minimum age for most Galapagos cruises, though Disney recommends this itinerary for children eight and older. This isn’t your typical Disney cruise. It’s a small ship expedition itinerary with a hint of Disney magic in a setting fit for a fairy tale. Adventures by Disney's Galapagos itineraries span nine days and visit about 15 sites. 


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The Best Galapagos Cruises for Intrepid Travelers

Explore this far-flung corner of the globe by boat.

By Irenie Forshaw

Silver Origin explorer lounge

“The natural history of this archipelago is very remarkable: it seems to be a little world within itself,” wrote Charles Darwin during his visit to the Galapagos Islands in 1835.

What the young geologist found here was astonishing: a unique population of birds, plants and reptiles had developed in total isolation from the neighboring islands. It was this extraordinary setting that would inspire his groundbreaking theory of evolution and capture the imagination of naturalists around the globe.

The best way to explore this secluded corner of the planet is by boat. Darwin arrived onboard the HMS Beagle, but today there is a range of Galapagos cruises offering intrepid travelers the chance to see the archipelago’s giant tortoises and colorful marine iguanas for themselves.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean around 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador it isn’t easy to get here so you’ll want to ensure you travel in comfort – and style. From luxury catamarans to expedition vessels with expert marine scientists onboard, these are the best Galapagos cruises.

[See also : The Best New Cruise Ship Journeys for 2022]

Silver Origin Galapagos Islands cruise

Kicking off our list of the best Galapagos cruises is Silversea . The ultra-luxury cruise line’s 100-passenger Silver Origin expedition ship was built specifically for exploring the archipelago and is installed with dynamic positioning which allows the vessel to hover over the seabed’s delicate ecosystem without causing any damage.

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Onboard, there’s an observation and stargazing deck for soaking up the views, as well as a cozy lounge complete with a firepit for whiling away the evenings. The suites are extravagant in the best way with wraparound balconies, ocean-view marble bathrooms and around-the-clock butler service.

The seven-day cruises are packed with excursions and activities including hiking, kayaking and deep water snorkeling. Expert guides are on-hand to take you to the best spots for catching a glimpse of the archipelago’s incredible wildlife from the lava fields and black sandy shores of Sullivan Bay to the prickly pear cactus forests of Santa Fe.


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Golden galapagos.

Elite Golden Galapagos cruise ship

If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate, Golden Galapagos’ state-of-the-art mega catamaran, Elite , is worth considering. The 123-foot luxury yacht hosts just 16 passengers and features a semi-covered sky deck for dining al fresco.

The sleek twin-hulled catamaran boasts a 180-degree view salon on the main deck, as well as a bar and Jacuzzi sun terrace. Everything is taken care of by the attentive staff including impeccably planned itineraries. During the three, five or seven-night trips, you’ll have the chance to paddle board near Rabida Island to spot white-tipped sharks and rays, explore Bartholomew Island’s breathtaking Pinnacle Rock, and visit the Giant Tortoise’s Reserve off San Cristobel.

As you would expect, Golden Galapagos has taken the utmost care to preserve this precious environment, reducing plastic bottle usage by 85%, fitting its catamarans with efficient fuel-saving systems and working with Sigma Ecuador to neutralize its carbon emissions.


Angermeyer Cruises

galapagos cruise options

Also offering incredible experiences onboard smaller ships is Angermeyer Cruises. The family-run business is helmed by Fiddi Angermeyer who was born and raised in the Galapagos and learned his craft from his boatbuilding father, Fritz.

The boutique cruise line operates Mary-Ann , an elegant three-masted schooner that accommodates just 16 passengers, and the exclusive 12-passenger charter yacht , M/Y Passion.

Angermeyer Cruises has made significant efforts to protect the marine life, partnering with WildAid to create the Galapagos Conservation Fund to help tackle illegal fishing and the threat of invasive species.


Metropolitan Touring

Kayaking Galapagos Islands

Metropolitan Touring operates a fleet of three ships – La Pinta, Santa Cruz II and Isabella II – that are kitted out with glass-bottom boats, kayaks and dinghies for exploring even the most difficult-to-get-to islets.

Expert naturalists lead small expedition groups of around 12 guests. Highlights from the jam-packed itineraries include a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz to learn about the fascinating ongoing conservation efforts, spotting red-footed boobies in San Cristobel, and watching colonies of nesting birds on Genovesa Island.

The cruise line has taken considerable eco-friendly steps, fitting its ships with modern engine technology to minimize fuel consumption, onboard water desalination systems and offsetting its carbon footprint through forest conservation in the Choco Bioregion – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Colombia and Northern Ecuador.


Audley Travel

Sea lions on the beach Galapagos Islands

If you prefer the idea of a longer cruise, Audley Travel offers an unforgettable 16-day tour on Yolita II of the Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica, setting sail from Quito and returning to Playa Portrero on the northwest Pacific coast of Guanacaste.

The ship only has capacity for 16 passengers with just eight cabins, and a crew of nine to take care of your every need. After touring the Galapagos for four days, there’s a night in Guayaquil before flying up to San Jose to explore the San Ramon cloud forest and hike through the breathtaking lava fields in the Arenal National Park.

a udleytravel. com

Abercrombie & Kent

Elite Galapagos Cruise deck with hot tub

Our list of the best Galapagos cruises would not be complete without mentioning Abercrombie & Kent. Our favorite trip is the 12-night Classic Ecuador & the Galapagos voyage, which begins in Ecuador’s capital city high in the foothills of the Andes before a flight to Balto Island where your Galapagos adventure starts.

Small ships make it easier to spot even the shyest wildlife – expect to glimpse everything from sea lions and orcas to yellow-crowned herons, flightless cormorants and Darwin’s finches. And you won’t have to sacrifice comfort; the suites are seriously luxurious and there’s a hot tub on the sun deck.

a b ercrombieken t.com

National Geographic

Finally, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive, action-packed trip than National Geographic’s 10-day Galapagos Voyage onboard the purpose-built Endeavour II expedition vessel.

The state-of-the-art ship hosts 96 guests in 53 cabins and is equipped with a range of exploration equipment including kayaks, a Zodiac landing craft, a glass-bottomed Zodiac and snorkeling gear. When you’re not out exploring the archipelago, there’s a fitness center, spa, library and even a gallery to keep you entertained.

Perhaps most exciting of all are the expert photographers, naturalists and marine biologists that accompany you on the trip to share their fascinating insights into the wildlife and landscape. The itineraries are flexible so you can do as much (or as little) as you like, but you’ll have the option to take part in some incredible activities including swimming with Galapagos penguins and photographing giant tortoises in the wild.  


[See also: The Most In novative Cruise Lines of the 21 st Century]

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Irenie Forshaw

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16 of the best Galapagos cruises

Ecuador’s galapagos islands are still best explored on a cruise, whether that’s aboard a modern high-tech yacht or an old-fashioned sail ship.

galapagos cruise options

W ith the rapid rise of land-based tours, there are more options than ever for exploring the Galapagos Islands , but no serious person would deny that cruising is still the best way to go. The routes once sailed by buccaneers, adventurers and eventually scientists are now patrolled by dozens of small cruise ships, each with its own character, itinerary and ethos, but all drawn here by the islands’ elemental magnetism.

From wallet-friendly cruise lines to almost unbelievable opulence aboard luxury yachts, the choices of how best to traverse the Galapagos can feel overwhelming. However you absorb it, there’s no mistaking the fact that this is one of the world’s most special and singular destinations – make sure you see it at its best with one of the best Galapagos cruises.

Main photo: Silver Origin approaching Kicker Rock at sunset

Metropolitan Touring leads a small party whale watching

1. Metropolitan Touring

With a fleet of three ships, Metropolitan Touring offers variety to match its hard-won experience in the Galapagos. In operation since the early 1950s, the company has adapted its tourism product over the decades to get the most out of the islands. The ships — the much-loved La Pinta, Santa Cruz II and Isabella II — broadly provide the same service, with expert guides leading landings and conducting lectures on board. While it’s possible to do longer cruises, one of the most popular options is to split time between cruising and spending a few nights in their excellent Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, just outside Puerto Ayora.

Best suited to 6+ Family-friendly Y Price ££



Ecoventura’s Origin

2. Ecoventura

If you want to sail to this unique destination in style, then Ecoventura’s ships are a cut above their nominal rivals. Offering sweeping tours of the east or west islands, ships Origen and Theory marry excellent cuisine and comfort with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. The evening cocktails are outstanding and the generous cabins are as comfortable as any you’ll find in the region. Nonetheless, if a superpod of dolphins turns up, don’t be surprised if you’re summoned out of bed to see them.

Best suited to 6+ Family friendly Y Price £££


The Santa Cruz II, operated by Hurtigruten

3. Hurtigruten Expeditions

Originally known for its scenic voyages up and down the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten has branched out into expedition cruising, including to this corner of South America. The ship it’s using for its Galapagos tours is the refurbished Santa Cruz II, in partnership with Metropolitan Touring. With 90 passengers, this is one of the bigger vessels sailing in the islands, close to the maximum capacity of 100 passengers allowed by local law. A science centre has been added, as well as Hurtigruten livery. Each seven-night expedition is preceded by two nights in Quito, including a trip to the smouldering Cotopaxi volcano.

Best suited to 12+ Family friendly Y Price ££


A deluxe veranda suite on board Silver Origin

4. Silversea

Silversea’s dedicated Galapagos ship Silver Origin may be one of the largest legally allowed to sail in these protected waters, but it aims to show that quantity need not mean quality is sacrificed. The ship, which was built specifically to sail around this archipelago, takes in all the major sites, with options for seven or 10-day cruises covering everything from the oldest island, Española, to the youngest, Fernandina. On board, there’s a choice of restaurants, a small spa and a private balcony for every cabin.

Best suited to 12+ Family friendly Older children only Price £££

Sea lions on Sante Fe island

5. G Adventures

G Adventures seeks to be a bit different with its G For Good project. In the Galapagos that means a chance to visit the locals in a small community on Floreana, some descended from eccentric German settlers who tried to set up a utopian society on the island in the 1930s. The ships vary depending on the length of time you’re looking to spend on the islands, but the Eden and Reina Silvia Voyager, each carrying 16 passengers, are two of their most frequently used.

Best suited to 16+ Family friendly N Price ££

6. Audley Travel

If you prefer the idea of shorter cruises combined with other wildlife experiences, Audley offers tailor-made tours of the islands on a number of expedition ships, which can be combined with wider exploration of Ecuador. One idea is to spend four days on the Yolita II. The ship has a capacity of just 16, meaning you’ll be exploring in small groups. Once you’ve toured these extraordinary islands, you could then move on to the Amazon to track primates and river otters, or go bird-spotting in the cloud forest.

Best suited to 12+ Family friendly N Price £££


7. Avalon Waterways

By South American standards, Ecuador and Peru are pretty amicable neighbours. They’re also in possession of two of the continent’s greatest assets: the Galapagos and breathtaking Machu Picchu. Avalon’s ambitious 20-day programme covers both in style, as well as a voyage on the Peruvian Amazon and the mind-bending Nazca Lines, a series of vast pictograms created around 1,500 years ago with the apparent goal of impressing anyone with a god’s-eye view of the land. Out in the islands, accommodation is on board the smart, 16-passenger Treasure of Galapagos, which hits up all the classic landings.

8. Galapatours

With a vast network of cruise ships and almost every imaginable option for a Galapagos vacation, Galapatours works with dozens of locally owned ships in the region. One of the most remarkable is The Master, for a trip to some of the world’s greatest dive sites at far-flung Wolf and Darwin islands. These distant islets are uninhabited and it’s not possible to make landfall but there’s no shortage of compensation in the water. It’s here that underwater photographers get those famous shots of hundreds of hammerhead sharks swimming in eerie, synchronised circles, waiting for their next meal.

Best suited to 16+ Family-friendly N Price ££


9. Royal Galapagos

With a maximum of 16 passengers, Cormorant II is a luxury catamaran that offers highly personalised levels of service as you sail classic four-, five- or-eight-day cruises around the islands. It’s just one of six ships Royal Galapagos runs in the archipelago. The longer itineraries are impressively comprehensive, especially the eight-day “B” itinerary, which covers a lot of ocean, to make sure you see the wilder parts of Isabela and Fernandina Islands but get all the way out to Española at the opposite end of the archipelago, too.


A blue-footed booby (Getty Images)

10. Journey Latin America

Journey Latin America has several itineraries that include time around the islands, many of them aboard the motorised catamaran Treasure of Galapagos. On one meandering itinerary, as well as an eight-day islands cruise, you’ll have the same amount of time touring some of the Ecuadorian highlands, including visits to Quito and the mighty Cotopaxi, as well as the Las Cajas National Park near Cuenca. All that before laying eyes on blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises.

Best suited to 6+ Family friendly Y Price ££


11. Abercrombie & Kent

Abercrombie & Kent may keep its prices high, but the ships are small, guaranteeing generous landings and maximum flexibility when it comes to wildlife encounters. Most itineraries include a trip to the lesser-visited Genovesa Island in the north of the archipelago. As well as red-footed boobies, you won’t fail to notice the bold, brash frigate birds, piratical creatures that plunder the catch of other birds with the ruthlessness of the buccaneers who first settled these islands.

Best suited to 12+ Family friendly Y Price £££


12. AdventureSmith

To varying degrees, everyone comes to the Galapagos looking to follow in the pioneering wake of Charles Darwin. It’s perhaps easier to feel that sense of historic exploration aboard the Mary Anne, a three-mast beauty as handsome as any vessel in the region. Travelling under sail and motor, it covers the entire archipelago on eight-day itineraries. Holding just 16 passengers, it’s popular with groups and anyone who wants to feel the power of the ocean during their visit to this singular destination.


National Geographic’s Endeavour II off Santiago Island

13. National Geographic

In some ways, the Galapagos Islands are a perfect National Geographic destination: rich history of naturalist pioneers, flabbergasting wildlife, a delicate and fascinating ecosystem. Cruises on the 96-passenger Endeavour II or its predecessor, Endeavour, have been operating here for years and as you might expect, often place a big focus on photography. This is easier in the Galapagos than most destinations — having evolved without people, the animals here are curious to the point of naivety. There’ll be no excuse for coming away with bad shots, especially having learned from some of the experts on board.


If you’d like to experience the Galapagos like royalty, the Grace will catch your eye. Once used by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco for part of their lavish honeymoon, today it’s available for anyone with fine tastes and deep pockets. The owner has done little to update the ship’s satisfyingly dated look, giving it a different feel to the increasingly homogenised product offered by its nominal rivals — few others offer a wooden decking and classic helm. For a slightly different feel, sister ship The Evolution is a retro beauty, too. Choose from eight- or 15-day itineraries.

Best suited to 16+ Family friendly N Price £££


Celebrity Cruises’ newest vessel, the Flora

15. Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity have taken a Russian doll approach to their Galapagos fleet. Is the 100-berth Celebrity Flora too big for you? OK, how about the 48-berth Celebrity Xpedition? Still not petite enough? Well, then the 16-berth Celebrity Xpedition will be the one for you. While the mechanism of delivery can vary, each of their itineraries combines shore landings with motorised dinghy rides and snorkelling trips for scarcely believable wildlife experiences. Questions about what you’ve seen in the field can be put to expert guides during nightly briefings.

16. Aqua Expeditions

If you’re especially fond of that new superyacht smell, then the good news is that the Aqua Mare is only launched in 2022. Up to 16 passengers are carried in fine style around the archipelago, with specialised guides and inevitably plenty of Galapagoan fauna for company. The Mare was built in Italy in 1998, but is now almost unrecognisable thanks to its refit. There are gorgeous dark wood finishings and polished brass throughout, calling to mind a long since lost era of opulent cruising.


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The Best Galapagos Cruises for 2023

In this article, you will find a list with the best Galapagos cruises for each category and type.

These Galapagos cruises will allow you to explore the archipelago with comfort and security. Prioritizing a minimal to nonexistent impact on the delicate environment of the Galapagos, these getaways embrace the style and charm of truly nautical experiences, like in days past.

We are pioneers in the cruise industry of the Galapagos Islands. Today, there are over 70 live aboard tourist vessels in the waters around the Islands. We know all the Galapagos cruises and operators in the Archipelago, and leverage this knowledge to provide our guests with incomparable experiences. That´s why, here, we’re unveiling a trusted list of the Best Galapagos cruises with great value.

When selecting the best Galapagos cruises, our main goal is ensuring that you make the most of your vacation. We believe that better boats, manned by our highly-qualified and friendly crew, will result in an incredible experience.



The cruise category does not impact the quality of the itineraries; however, you can find the best guides on the highest category ships. The degrees of comfort found in your accommodations throughout the trip will also depend on the ship you choose. Learn the differences here.

My Passion





We have selected only small-ship Galapagos cruises. Why?

For us, the best Galapagos cruises (independent of their categories) are those which allow you to avoid overcrowding, lessen the environmental impact, and minimize stress on the amazing animals of the Galápagos. As such, you can gain the most out of each visit and proceed through visiting sites without the pressure of other groups behind you!

Additionally, many larger Galápagos cruise ships have a maximum capacity of 100 passengers, but vessels of this size cannot visit certain areas when operating in the Galápagos.

Avenue of volcanoes

M/C Ocean Spray

One of the Galapagos’ preferred yachts, due to its generous spaces in the social and private areas for guests.

North of Ecuador itineraries

M/C Tip Top II

First-class experience with high-end accommodations and services at very competitive rates

galapagos cruise options

S/C Nemo II

This vessel allows you to travel through the Galapagos with the stability of a catamaran and the grace of a sailboat.

galapagos cruise options

Barefoot luxury, unexpected details, elegant decoration, and ample space for making the catamaran your own home for a few days.

Avenue of volcanoes

Treasure of Galapagos

This spacious catamaran offers the experience of a luxury hotel on the sea, complete with private balconies.

Avenue of volcanoes

Designed with a spacious interior and exterior to provide a premium cruise experience.

North of Ecuador itineraries

M/Y Golondrina

A great option for a Galapagos cruise on a budget, this vessel is low-cost without compromising on comfort, safety, or enjoyment.

North of Ecuador itineraries

M/Y Odyssey

This yacht offers unparalleled stability, comfort, and the guarantee of a tranquil, relaxed experience.

North of Ecuador itineraries

M/C Endemic

Ample spaces, sleek and modern decor, exceptional service, and a keen attention to detail.

Whether it's a quick getaway for yourself, the kids' first-time discovering a such an impressive destination or a private experience for your family or friends, we're here to guide you, to inspire you, to tailor an experience to your precise needs.

galapagos cruise options

We provide superior, personalized experiences with our Galapagos cruises. Private Charter Cruises.

galapagos cruise options

Family travel has never been so stress-free! Make the most of your family vacation with our Galapagos family guide.

galapagos cruise options

Discover top-quality vessels featuring single cabins with no added cost. Solo cruise guide.

Planning Your Galapagos Cruise Trip


How to choose the best Galapagos cruise for you?

Selecting your perfect cruise is the most important aspect of your itinerary. They each have fixed departures and limited spaces, so you will first need to know the dates of your ideal cruise. Then, you can book your flight tickets and trip extensions.

Don't worry about your flight to the Islands. All our recommended Galapagos cruises have fixed seats, reserved up to 30 days before the trip.

If you want greater options, we recommend communicating with an operator and explaining your budget, approximate travel dates, and number of passengers, as well as other details. Based on this, they can suggest the best Galapagos cruise to fit your request.

If you have flexible dates and you like a specific cruise, be sure to ask about that vessel’s availability.

Is there Wi-Fi in any of the Galapagos cruises?

Normally, Galapagos cruises have no internet connection. Because the connection is made via satellite, the use of internet is charged as an extra service for passengers on ANY CRUISE. These prices are quite high.

Many ships that do not have or have ceased using satellite equipment. Due to their high costs and low speed, their passengers never used it.

Nonetheless, you can enjoy internet connection on the largest cruises, with an extra cost of approximately $70 per electronic device.

What is no one telling you about the availability?

Many blogs and sites depict information on how to get last-minute offers to travel in the Galapagos. What they don't tell us is: there are times of the year when you have to request availability several months in advance.

The months of April and May are usually filled and occupied almost six months in advance. In the case of Christmas, many spaces are reserved one or two years prior.

There are some boats that allow more than 90% of their occupancy to be booked in advance. So, if you have a specific Galapagos cruise in mind, it is wise to start booking your vacation as soon as possible.

There are other times of the year, such as the first week of December, or the month of January, when it is easier to find availability.

Is a cruise a good option if I get dizzy frequently?

If you’re concerned that a cruise will negatively impact your potential dizziness, don’t worry. Cruises occasionally serve as a safer travel option than traditional, land-based vacations. After all, your accommodations and travel methods are built into one, so you can rest as necessary.

However, keep in mind that for navigable day-tours to nearby islands (in your Island Hopping programs), the crossings are made with small speedboats. So, if you’re prone to seasickness, we recommend you to opt for one of our larger recommended Galapagos cruises, which provide you with other activities to enjoy.

In either case, consider these tips prior to selecting a cruise option:

  • Opt for a modern boat with electronic stabilizers.
  • Look at the vessel’s size: the bigger it is, the more stable it will be.
  • If they do not have electronic stabilizers, catamarans are not as stable as expected.
  • Take that into account.
  • Cabins below the main deck are less prone to movement. Our recommended yachts have cabins on the lower deck.
  • Taking dizziness pills or other medication prescribed by your doctor for such cases may be helpful.

When is the best time to travel to the Galapagos?

Due to their position on the equator, the climate does not undergo significant temperature changes. Therefore, the Galapagos Islands can be visited all year round.

The only factor that may change tourists’ experience on the islands is rain. However, even during the so-called rainy season, rainfall in the Galapagos is minimal. The Galapagos Islands are very arid, meaning that, even in the rainy season, you can enjoy the equatorial sun, accompanied by short and light drizzles, known as garúa.

Rainy Season: December to April.

Dry Season: May to November.

The best time to travel to the Galapagos depends on the animals you want to see. You can view our wildlife calendar.


In addition to all this information, in our Galapagos guide, you can find the following:

A typical Galapagos cruise itinerary.

When to go on a Galapagos cruise.

Types of food services on-board.

Extra activities.

Packing list for your cruise.

Luggage restrictions.


Facilities and impediments for disabled people.

Coronavirus Travel Update & Risk-free booking policy

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We own three expedition ships in the Galapagos Islands: The M/V Galapagos Legend (for 100 guests), the M/Y Coral I and M/Y Coral II (for 36 & 20 guests respectively). We offer spacious decks, comfortable lounging areas and a wide variety of cabin and suites. Your comfort and enjoyment is our priority.

For us at GO Galapagos – Ecuador , safety is preponderant. Our fleet complies with the official requirements of the Galapagos National Park as well as local and international maritime authorities. We adhere to a strict policy of ethical treatment and protection towards the fragile environments in which we operate.

Among the international codes and certifications from International Maritime Organizations we do abide by: International Safety Management (ISM) Code, DOC Certificate (document of compliance) according to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Safety Management Certificate (SMC), International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC), MARPOL´s International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) and the Galapagos National Park license and certificate, enabling and categorizing  our operation as safe, eco-friendly and pollution-free.

[:en]Galapagos Legend[:es]Galápagos Legend[:]

[:en]Galapagos Legend[:es]Galápagos Legend[:]

[:en]This impressive vessel, with capacity for 100 guests, was extensively refitted in 2017 to better enhance your Galapagos experience. As well as being the fastest cruise ship operating in the islands, she remains the only vessel with an onboard pool.  Fast, sleek and beautifully appointed, she retains a cozy, homely and intimate atmosphere. Her classic, yet contemporary interiors perfectly balance the huge open deck space.[:es]Esta impresionante embarcación, con capacidad para 100 personas (capacidad máxima permitida en las Islas), fue ampliamente remodelada en 2017 para mejorar tu experiencia en las Galápagos. Además de ser el crucero más rápido que opera en las Islas, sigue siendo el único con piscina a bordo. Rápido, elegante y bellamente decorado, conserva un ambiente acogedor, hogareño e íntimo. Sus interiores clásicos y a la vez contemporáneos equilibran a la perfección el enorme espacio de la cubierta abierta.[:]

Coral I & Coral II

Coral I & Coral II

[:en]The Coral I & II are gorgeous, comfortable, sister yachts offering charming social areas distributed on three decks, with both outdoor and interior spaces allowing you to enjoy an intimate expedition experience in your own way. With a capacity for 36 and 20 guests respectively, the vessels offer open deck areas with a Jacuzzi to make the best of your relaxing time while cruising the islands. The interiors are thoughtfully designed to resemble a private yacht experience in a cozy ambiance. The restaurant serves delicious Ecuadorian and international cuisine even extending to a BBQ dinner on the open-air Moon Deck. They are the perfect cruise vessels for charter groups where the thrill and comfort are guaranteed.[:es]Los Coral I y II son yates gemelos espléndidos y cómodos que ofrecen encantadoras áreas sociales distribuidas en tres cubiertas. Ambos cuentan con espacios exteriores e interiores, lo que te permite disfrutar de una experiencia de expedición íntima a tu manera.   Con capacidad para 36 y 20 personas, respectivamente, estos barcos ofrecen áreas de cubierta abierta con jacuzzi para aprovechar al máximo tu tiempo de relajación mientras navegan por las islas. Los interiores están cuidadosamente diseñados para parecerse a un yate privado en un ambiente acogedor. El restaurante sirve deliciosa cocina ecuatoriana e internacional que incluso se extiende hasta una cena de barbacoa al aire libre en la Cubierta de la Luna. Son los cruceros perfectos para grupos chárter, donde la emoción y el confort están garantizados.. [:]

Services aboard our fleet

Onboard service and facilities.

  • Two guided excursions every day
  • Snorkeling and other optional activities every day
  • Snorkel equipment at no cost
  • Wetsuit rental available
  • Large variety of fresh, local and international cuisine.
  • Al fresco BBQ dinner & breakfast (breakfast Galapagos Legend only)
  • Coffee station available 24 hours
  • Wide selection of wines and local beers
  • Delicious snacks & beverages after excursions
  • Wi-Fi zones with internet service
  • Pool, Jacuzzi and sun beds
  • Beach & pool towel service
  • Drying machines available for complimentary use
  • Variety of on board activities
  • Briefings on the following day’s activities
  • Informative lectures about Galapagos
  • Fitness Center*
  • Naturalist Guide Center*
  • Glass bottom boat*
  • Medical attention 24 hours a day*
  • Cruise director*
  • Expedition leader*

Cabin service and facilities

  • Double and triple cabin options
  • Two types of pillows
  • Complimentary Go Galapagos thermos and bag
  • Organic shampoo, conditioner and soap
  • Housekeeping 3 times a day and turn down service
  • Hotel and Destination Guide in every cabin
  • TV entertainment system
  • Alarm clock / speaker
  • Air conditioning system
  • Reading light
  • Safety deposit box
  • Plentiful storage space

Go Galapagos - Eco Luxury

Eco Luxury Experience

Providing an ecologically sound cruise definitely does not mean that we have to compromise on luxury! Go Galapagos - Kleintours is acutely aware of the fragility and importance of the Galapagos National Park in which we have been operating and doing things right since 1983. Some of our eco-friendly practices include that all toiletries provided in our cabins are biodegradable and made from natural components as well as all the cleaning products used during housekeeping. As a complimentary gift, guests will find a thermos in each cabin to be refilled at one of our vessel’s potable water stations, thus reducing the use of plastic bottles. Our vessels are equipped with sophisticated water treatment plants to desalinate, filter and purify water for consumable use. The decor of our vessels is acquired from sustainable-certified teak plantations and all our food supply is carefully planned to reduce kitchen waste. We aim to live the present and protect the future. While being pampered on one of our 5-star, boutique cruises, with true local flavor and personalized service, we want you still feel good about yourself in the comforting knowledge that our sustainable practices will preserve the integrity of the islands for generations to come.

Crew & Guides

Every crew member is trained to provide a first-class service with exceptional professionalism. Genuinely friendly individuals, fully dedicated to providing the best hospitality services, with attention to detail and personalized assistance, our crew’s passion and commitment creates a one of a kind experience for our guests. We fully understand how important your Galapagos experience is to you and as such, our team of naturalist guides has been carefully selected and trained to make it complete. Having been certified by the Galapagos National Park Service, our expert guides are ready to conduct informative walks covering every aspect of biology, geology, oceanography and human history relevant to the islands. Our group size ranges from an average of 12 to a maximum of 16 clients per guide. English or Spanish speaking groups are standard with many other languages available on previous request. Go Galapagos - Kleintours runs a series of specialist conferences, delivered by renown experts, aimed at the naturalist guides to further expand their knowledge in different fields such as geology, biology, photography, ornithology, and other related studies.

Go Galapagos - Eco Luxury

Have fun on the Galapagos Islands

These two yachts are the intimate experience guest are looking for, with their respective capacity of 19 and 12, their cabins offer a sense of an intimate and private yacht experience. In small spaces, the service is more personalized and meeting fellow travelers are easy to share the experience of the trip. All social areas are designed with style and comfort, as well as the cabins that include excellent amenities. The external open deck areas have perfect spaces designed to socialize, relax and enjoy the best of the Pacific sun.

A Typical Cruise Day

A soothing morning wakeup call signals a freshly prepared al fresco breakfast on deck. Armed with snorkel gear, sunblock and camera we then board our pangas and head towards shore for our morning adventure. Every excursion is different, but might include a visit where we squeeze past boobies nesting on the narrow trail, sit and watch endemic waved albatross absorbed in their intricate courtship ritual, or stare into the eyes of a curious sea lion underwater as it peers into our face mask.

Returning aboard for a sumptuous, buffet-style, lunch we are able to enjoy time to relax in the pool, jacuzzi or on deck looking for wildlife and watching the scenery change as we cruise to our afternoon destination.

With every new visitor site being different from the last, we can once again expect another uniquely Galapagos experience for the afternoon hike. This could quite possibly be followed by another fabulous snorkel with turtles, large schools of yellow-tailed surgeonfish or even penguins! Some might choose to follow the dramatic shoreline in a kayak or effortlessly glide over the sea bed from the comfort of our motorized glass-bottom boat.

Return to the vessel to enjoy a delicious BBQ on deck as the sun sets on the horizon or, a sophisticated a la carte dinner. After dinner is a time to enjoy one of our many onboard activities, relax or be outside stargazing.

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Go Galapagos by Kleintours

Go Galapagos Ltda. All rights reserved. 1980 - 2024

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What Is the Best Galapagos Cruise Itinerary?

A female traveler with her back to camera wears a backpack and hat sitting on a white sand beach looking at sea lions

What is the best Galapagos cruise itinerary? Which Galapagos Islands should you visit? How many days should you spend? With 13 major islands in the archipelago, each offering a unique mix of wildlife, it can be dizzying to figure out the best Galapagos cruise itinerary.

That’s where we come in. Below we share some tips to help you understand all the considerations that help us find your best match.

TIPS FOR FINDING THE BEST GALAPAGOS ITINERARY: How Long & Why Length Matters Wildlife Considerations Island Groupings: East vs. West, South, North & Central Traveler Favorites View Itineraries by Interest

How Long to Go? Why Length Matters

We’ll let you in on a secret: For 90 percent of travelers, we actually advise not getting too hung up on a particular itinerary but to instead focus on your cruise length and choosing your Galapagos ship . If you book at least a 6 or 8-day cruise, you are sure to see a great, wide variety of Galapagos habitats and species.

As one of our longtime Adventure Specialists likes to say, “When it comes to which islands are better, please know there are no superior or inferior Galapagos itineraries/regions. The only way to minimize the quality of your experience is to go for a shorter time. The best way to maximize your experience is to go for a longer time.”

And if you stay two weeks, you don’t have to really focus on the itinerary at all. Why?   The Galapagos National Park dictates sailing schedules and landing sites over a 15-day circuit to protect this treasured, pristine archipelago. Thus, among your choice of itineraries you will find more or less the same sites visited, just in different patterns.

Cruises shorter than 6 or 8 days will inevitably miss out on some species.

For the most comprehensive Galapagos cruise, choose a two-week, 15-day itinerary (all have no repeated landing sites), but there are a range of longer options between 8 and 15 days that are often sufficient for most travelers.

If you choose any cruise fewer than 6 days, carefully consider what islands and experiences are important to you. Shorter cruises will inevitably miss out on some species.


See the full list of Galapagos itinerary options & filter by trip length.

Honing in Your Route for Wildlife

If a particular native animal is your focus, consider what stage of life and which species you’d like to witness the most. Your own best Galapagos cruise itinerary may depend on what breeding, hatching or other animal activity interests you the most. While no species are guaranteed to be seen, one of our Adventure Specialists can guide you through which islands are right for your interests. Our  Galapagos Islands animals  and  Galapagos by Month: When to Go & Why blog  are also great guides, outlining which animals are doing what when.

galapagos cruise options


Ask our experts who’ve been.

Island Groupings Explained: East vs. West

We are often asked, “Which Galapagos loop is best?” That is impossible to answer since cruise lines don’t follow the exact same paths. For example, some so-called “Western Islands” routes include stops in more southern islands like Espanola or Floreana, and others do not.

And itineraries are subject to change year over year, pending permitting from the Galapagos National Park. Ask us which one might suit your interests since our Galapagos specialists are up to date on the latest routes and their nuances.

That said, Galapagos Island cruise routes are often generally referred to by general directions: northern, southern, eastern and western islands, and combinations thereof. Below is a very general guide to these groupings:

Eastern Galapagos Islands

The Eastern Galapagos Islands (example route map pictured below) are the oldest in the archipelago and are known for their white, sandy beaches. Eastern Galapagos itineraries often visit Lobos Island, San Cristobal Island and Espanola Island.

San Cristobal is the easternmost island of the Galapagos and is also home to one of the two airports in the archipelago. Many cruises embark or disembark here. Espanola is most notable to include for travelers seeking to spot the waved albatross. It can only be found on Espanola Island April through December.

galapagos cruise options

Western Galapagos Islands

Western Galapagos Island itineraries typically sail around the largest Isabela Island, and include stops at Santiago and Fernandina Islands. The western exposure means opportunities for spotting Galapagos penguins and exploring the youngest and most volcanically active islands in the archipelago.

Terrain here is more volcanic with cliffs on some parts of Isabela Island. Many visitor sites are by Zodiac only vs. landing on shore. And shore landings can have trickier footing due to lava terrain. But this remoteness is appealing due to less day-boat traffic and more wilderness areas.

Southern Galapagos Islands

Southern Galapagos itineraries often visit the southernmost islands of Espanola and Floreana. These are among the oldest islands and thus have the sandiest beaches and a lot of human history, including the whaling traditions of Post Office Bay. As noted above, Espanola is a draw for those seeking waved albatross spottings.

Central Galapagos Islands

Santa Cruz Island is a hub for most Galapagos cruise itineraries, no matter their other island groupings. And many itineraries utilize the airport out of nearby Baltra Island. So no matter which loop you choose, you’ll likely end up visiting a few central islands. Central Galapagos itineraries often visit Santiago, Baltra, Santa Fe, Bartolome Islands, Santa Cruz, South Plaza and/or Rabida Island.

Here you’ll find the most populated towns with infrastructure to support hotel-based travel, so landing sites here can feel less remote due to day-boat traffic. But note that the actual numbers of travelers at landing sites are regulated.

Northern Galapagos Islands

Northern Galapagos itineraries features the longest at-sea crossing, to include a special visit to the bird-lover’s Genovesa Island. Galapagos scuba diving itineraries also visit these northern reaches of the Galapagos. In fact, the isolated islands of Darwin and Wolf are only visited by diving cruises.

See the full list of Galapagos itineraries.

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The Best Galapagos Cruise Itineraries, Rated by Our Travelers

We have been wanting to go to the Galapagos for quite some time and we really like the idea of having a small ship, a spacious room with balcony and full size bathroom as well as good ratio of crew to guests. We chose the 5 day eastern itinerary because we really wanted to visit the other older islands in the archipelago. We  got exactly what we wanted by booking with AdventureSmith and choosing the Endemic. Wonderful crew, boat and experience!

It was a once in a lifetime bucket list travel experience...I would definitely recommend this trip to family and friends.

Best family trip we have been on! We did not realize we had booked a family cruise and it could not have been a more perfect fit - we met 11 life long traveling friends on this trip!

Was above expectations ... never any disappointments. I will certainly recommend this trip to others.

The trip experience was beyond our expectations! (I had a previous trip to the Galapagos, maybe 20 years ago, and this current trip on the Legacy was better in every way!)

Every island had something unique and special to them, but my favorite two were Española Island, for the Nazca boobies and the Waved Albatross doing their mating rituals, and Genovesa Island which was otherworldly for its quantity of birds flying about and nesting!

Everything more than met expectations - the boat was wonderful, the wildlife was abundant, the naturalists and crew were friendly and knowledgeable, and we saw penguins swimming, calling, and even mating!

Lauren was very attentive to our questions and concerns from initial inquiry through booking and up to the last minute before we departed for the trip.

Surreal & animals welcomed us everywhere! I'd been to the Galapagos before, but traveling with my 8 year old this time. It now seemed vital that I book with someone I trust. AdventureSmith Explorations really knows what kind of trip people desire and they only work with the very best world-wide!

We have been wanting to go to the Galapagos for quite some time and we really like the idea of having a small ship, a spacious room with balcony and full size bathroom as well as good ratio of crew to guests. We chose the 5 day eastern itinerary because we really wanted to visit the other older islands in the archipelago. We got exactly what we wanted by booking with AdventureSmith and choosing the Endemic. Wonderful crew, boat and experience!

Accommodations Review

Our room was exactly as pictured; bright, spacious and comfortable bed. Really liked having a full size bathroom and a balcony to enjoy coffee in the morning.

Meals Review

All of the meals were excellent. Delicious flavors, lots of options, beautiful presentations and accommodated food allergies very well. We had a couple of gluten-free passengers and I accidentally ate some of their food at the buffet a few times and their options were very tasty.

Crew & Guides Review

Our national park guide Morris was one of the best guides we've had on our travels. Wonderful attitude, great presentations and information while on excursions. Our cruise director Leo was also fantastic. Very attentive and always happy.

Itinerary Review

[We most enjoyed]...visiting Gardner Bay and getting to swim in the warm water. Also really loved getting to see the blue footed boobie birds do their mating dance and calls while on Isla Lobos. [We least enjoyed]...the Charles Darwin Center, it was just really drab and kind of sad looking.

Fellow Passengers Review

All of the folks aboard the cruise were wonderful and we had a lot of fun together.

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

All our docs were delivered with plenty of time to prepare. We found the travel planner very helpful in knowing what to pack.

Traveler Advice

In addition to your cruise, book transportation services through AdventureSmith. Having a car with guide take you to and from the airports made for such a smooth travel experience. The guides helped us check-in at the airports, meet our reps, check luggage and walked us all the way to the security.

Featured in this Traveler Review

  • Endemic Galapagos Cruises

It was a once in a lifetime bucket list travel experience. The trip itself was well organized, the naturalists/tour guides, the ship crew (wait service, doctor, everyone) were all very well knowledgeable, kind, and helpful. The location and islands that were visited of course were amazing as well. I would definitely recommend this trip to family and friends. Everyone was great! very amicable and easy to talk to but at the same time had their own personal polite separation.

The Isabella II boat was awesome! It was a good size for us and not too small. The rooms were very clean and cleaned promptly every day. We were also able to request a queen bed (originally were put in separate twin beds) and the ship accommodated us very easily. The dining room and other areas of the boat were great as well!

Meals were fantastic! The menus were well thought out and had many options. The food itself was delicious, especially as I love seafood and fish. I liked the efficiency of ordering the next meal at the prior meal. Our waiter Eduardo was also really great!

Dennis, Nancy, and Adriana were all great! They were extremely knowledgeable, spoke fantastic english and were patient when we tried to practice our spanish :-) They answered any questions and were very informational and explanatory. They were just lovely people.

We loved all of the experiences! High points were definitely the seal colonies at Santiago and Sante Fe Islands! and Snorkeling/swimming at those islands as well with sea turtles, sea lions, sharks! Genovesa Island was great! but we probably were least interested in the bird populations.

Transportation Review

Very well! Transportation arranged was smooth and there were people in each step of the way to help us.

Our trip to the Galapagos Islands planned by AdventureSmith Exploration was great! Lauren was very communicative leading up to the day of the trip and provided all the necessary information (itineraries, agendas, packing/travel info). And answered any questions we had promptly.

  • Isabela II Galapagos Cruises
  • Lauren Pilholski

Best family trip we have been on! We did not realize we had booked a family cruise and it could not have been a more perfect fit - we met 11 life long traveling friends on this trip! Galapagos was a bucket list trip and we will definitely go back to visit other islands!

We loved the hot showers, A/C, clean towels and constant clean room!

Extreme care was given to my daughter who is a vegetarian. I would maybe suggest letting the guests know that they can ask for alternatives or if they need something more or in addition - they were very accommodating!

Pepe and Rabrizio were incredible guides and wonderful with the kids. They were very positive and easy to understand. Our captain David was super sweet and great with all of the families too! The cooks were amazing and so were both Luis's, the housekeeping, everything was fantastic!

We loved all of the daily excursions - especially the snorkeling with sea lions, lizards and penguins! [We least enjoyed] Probably the last day hike, before the turtles, because there was just not much to see.

Everything went very smoothly at the airports and transitioning!

Lauren was always readily available to answer our questions and to get back to us quickly! She will be Highly recommended!!!

Go Go Go! :)

National Geographic / Lindblad Expeditions is a class act.  Very exciting time for us.  Naturalists were awesome.  Every day was better than the last.  These people sure know how to make a great experience for all of us. Galapagos Tortoises were amazing, Blue-footed Boobies were great.  Snorkel adventure with penguins was awesome. Was above expectations ... never any disappointments. I will certainly recommend this trip to others. My wife is a biologist and has wanted to make this trip forever.  She was totally enthralled with our cruise.  She thought all naturalists were top notch.  Cruise went very smoothly.  Never a dull moment.

Cabins were OK, maybe a little small but not a problem.  Steward was hard working and our cabin was always clean when we came back from outings.

Lots of Ecuadorian foods, all good.  Dining experience was always awesome.

Naturalists were amazing ... every one of them was very knowledgeable.  We asked plenty of questions and they always had the answer.

Be ready for the trip of a lifetime.  Do not worry about not being capable of doing any activity ... everyone was able to participate in all activities.

  • National Geographic Endeavour II Galapagos Cruises
  • National Geographic Endeavour II
  • Lindblad Expeditions

We upgraded our room to a balcony room, #54. It was really nice, we loved the big windows, fresh air, and the balcony...unfortunately, I did not enjoy the glass bottom boat and ended up feeling nauseous!

My husband is a retired chef, and he was very pleased with the food service! We liked the fresh fish options, the selection of salads and fresh vegetables, and something being cooked or carved to order at each meal. The food service really went way beyond our expectations.

[We most enjoyed]...the final day trip to the tortoise reserve on Santa Cruz Island, it was amazing!

We had a perfect pick up in Quito, and drop off at our airport hotel after the trip.

Our group leader for the Albatross group was Jose. He was very personable, knowledgeable, intelligent, and funny. It was a treat to be led around the islands by Jose every morning and afternoon! He is a treasure for this tour!

We were very happy that there was diversity in race and age among the passengers, and loved the enthusiasm of the children. I know that my husband and his sister were the oldest guests, but we really enjoyed the other passengers.

Our family of 3 generations wanted to share a trip together, and Adventuresmith provided a lot of options. Our agent, Arielle, was great.

The other travelers packed a few nice outfits for dinnertime, which we did not expect...might be something to consider.

  • Legend Galapagos Cruises
  • Galapagos Legend
  • Arielle Lightcap

We really liked the Beluga! It had a good mix of outdoor spaces both covered (for shade) and uncovered (to see the stars at night), and was kept very clean. We also liked our cabins 4 and 5 a lot - they seemed to be the most stable and conducive to sleep due to their location in the vessel and the orientation of the beds.

We had our hearts set on seeing the Waved Albatross on Española Island during our original dates in December/January, but were advised that we should consider postponing the trip because the likelihood wasn't that great. I really appreciated this advice vs. pushing other itineraries. In the end we did postpone until June, and so we got to see many Waved Albatross on Española! I found the free time in the two port towns Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno the least interesting, but we only had ~1.5 hrs in each town so it wasn't too much time.

All meals were great! Delicious, balanced, and varied. We were SO very impressed by the meals that Luis the chef could turn out in the small kitchen. The only small improvement I could think of was having the delicious fresh fruit juice even more often!

Karla was very knowledgeable , and also expert in administering first aid!

It was a good, diverse group of families including younger children, and older couples.

I appreciated Lauren's patience and advice throughout the very long process to select the perfect itinerary and timing.

  • Beluga Galapagos Cruises

I brought my 11-year-old son on this trip because he had a rough year with his parents splitting up, and he has always had an obsession with penguins. Everything more than met expectations - the boat was wonderful, the wildlife was abundant, the naturalists and crew were friendly and knowledgeable, and we saw penguins swimming, calling, and even mating! My son has never learned to swim due to a severe fear of putting his face in the water, but he was so enamored of the islands that he was able to overcome his fear and learn to snorkel. Genovesa Island was a miracle of wildlife. Sea kayaking along the cliffs was wonderful, as we could see all the animals and the cliffs themselves were beautiful. Snorkeling with penguins, sea turtles, and sharks was amazing. 

La Pinta was the perfect size and very comfortable. We chose La Pinta because of the size of the ship (not too big or too small), the itinerary (north islands), planned activities for kids, and the availability of a glass-bottom boat. Not a big fan of Quito, but that was a necessary stop. The recommended hotel in the old town area was wonderful.

Lots of options, all of them excellent. Staff worked very hard to accommodate my picky son's whims and were extremely respectful of my choice to be vegetarian.

The naturalists aboard La Pinta could not have been more professional or knowledgeable. We appreciated Paul sitting with us at lunch and getting to know us personally, and Dennis's enthusiasm about Charles Darwin was contagious. We enjoyed having several guides with different perspectives, but they were all phenomenal.

Nick M. was friendly, attentive, communicative, and very helpful. I handled much of it myself (transportation), but the portion handled by AdventureSmith all ran very smoothly, which was much appreciated.

Don't put it off - everyone tells me it's on their bucket list. My son wanted to see penguins, and I was not willing to travel to Antarctica so the Galapagos was the next best option. 

  • La Pinta Galapagos Cruises

Our room on Natural Paradise was much more spacious than I anticipated with a nice balcony for watching sunrise/sunsets. Nice too to have the option of drying wet clothing outside.

Unbelievable options for food every night, and always a meal unlike a previous one. I was surprised that there were always healthy options. The chef was most accommodating to anyone with food restrictions. I had wine with every meal. Our bartender, Jorge, was great. Snacks in between outings were also wonderful.

Espańola was my favorite of the islands that we visited, as was my expectation leading up to the cruise. We were there in the wrong season to see the waved albatross, but still, it was a fascinating place. Easy hiking, mostly flat, and abundant wildlife. We saw nesting Nazca boobies with chicks, many sea lions, Christmas marine iguanas, spectacular vistas of bird covered cliffs, tropic birds in flight, amazing schools of fish, sea turtles, and occasional shark when snorkeling in the warm February sea, no wet suit necessary.

Least interesting to me were the two inhabited towns that we visited, Puero Villamil on Isabela, and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal, although, even these were pretty cool island towns. Great group of travelers on our cruise. Friendly bunch, many laughs, and good company on a small boat cruise.

Wow, our naturalist guide on board (Marcus) was so nice, and he provided great detail on what to expect on our excursions. His knowledge of the animals and plants was amazing. He was easy to talk to and enthusiastically answered any questions from the guests. The crew of the Natural Paradise were so very helpful and extremely friendly. I was so impressed that our cruise director, Jorge, was fluent in Chinese. Fantastic guide and great group of fellow travelers.

Our internal transport from mainland Ecuador to the Galápagos Islands was smooth and nothing unexpected happened. We had been well informed as to making connections with guides and when to be where and ready.

We felt very reassured that we were going to have a great trip and thanks to Lauren, we were confident that we were adequately prepared for this adventure.

Relax, this is a very comfortable cruise and you will be so glad that you did it.

  • Natural Paradise Galapagos Cruises
  • Natural Paradise

Second time to the Galapagos done right! No where else in the world do sea lions come to play with you. It’s amazing how the animals welcomed us everywhere we explored! When our boat was in route in between Isla Isabela and Isla Fernandina it took us a while to see the whales behind us, but the captain turned the ship around and all the dancing frigate birds above continued north and we on the Seaman Journey turned around to observe these whales put on a show for us. The marine iguanas would be baking themselves on volcanic rock then slowly walk to the water’s edge and then feed underwater on anything green. They weren’t underwater for that long but actually swimming on their side and seeing them swim back to land was one of my highlights. When a penguin was spotted everybody would silence themselves because it truly felt surreal.

Seaman Journey was a palace, a floating five star hotel. Our spacious room had quite a big bathroom for a boat. The sundeck up on the very top was the best lounging area, day and night. We had two outdoor meals, which made it seem like a super special occasion.

Every night before dinner we would have a briefing of the next day’s activities. I must admit that seeing a disembarking time of 6:15am made me a little nervous. But I felt for the Australians that chose to sleep in and miss out because it was a magical introduction to the island of Isabela. Our guide grew up on this island and shared stories of swimming in shark channels. Now the Galapagos are extremely regulated and not only for tourists, but locals have strict hours when they can go to certain places. I felt fortunate to have seen these sleeping sharks, definitely worth getting up early for! Yes the days were filled with quite a lot to do; yet there was time to relax as well.

Not sure how everybody felt when my daughter drove the panga back to our boat, but it was one of her highlights as she laughed the whole way.

galapagos cruise options

Rabida island was one of the raddest reddest beaches I’ve ever been to! Also, this is where the sea lions played the most with us.

We had been in Ecuador for over a month and all the traveling finally turned into a vacation on this trip when a local guide at the airport greeted us at 5:00am and took care of us. Then again on arrival in the Galapagos a local guide showed us the way. Being taken care of was relaxing.

We were assured that our luggage would end up on our boat and not to worry about anything as we hopped on a public bus to a small boat to cross between the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz. Then we had our own mini bus to take us an hour from the north to the south where our ship awaits. I enjoyed this ride, as it was the greenest part of our journeys with a stop to meet the giant tortoises. Arrived just before dark to see the lively town of Puerto Ayora cheering on the volleyball game and all the kids on a fun playground (including my daughter).

I had plenty opportunities in Ecuador to book a ‘cheaper trip’ like I did before. But honestly I started to recall how poor my first trip to the Galapagos was. I started hearing travelers share their experiences about their boats in the Galapagos. I heard horror stories about different boats; bad service, poor gear, guides unable to speak English, and even hunger from running out of food! The wise mother came out in me as I was traveling with my 8 year old this time. It now seemed vital that I book with someone I trust. AdventureSmith Explorations really knows what kind of trip people desire and they only work with the very best world-wide!

I sure hope that if you’re reading this you go to the Galapagos with the best, and honestly the next time I go I want to bring as many family and friends as I can to fill the boat so I can share the memories all the time! No other place is like this in the world!

  • Seaman Journey Galapagos Cruises
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Find the Best Galapagos Cruise for Your Interests

Now that you’ve learned about considerations when choosing your itinerary, think next about any particular special interests to further inform your cruise choice. Or let our experts do the heavy lifting to offer up a recommendation. A single conversation with our specialists is worth dozens of hours of screentime.

Contact Us - What Is the Best Galapagos Cruise Itinerary?

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Home » Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Galapagos Cruises and Hotel Based Tour Options

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Hotel based Programs

Galapagos Luxury Cruises

Grand Majestic


Up to 20 passengers will enjoy 4, 5, and 8-day cruises aboard this brand new single-hull Galapagos yacht, boasting a modern, contemporary design. Each well-appointed suite features a private bathroom and a private balcony, and the social areas include an al fresco dining space and an ample sun deck with a Jacuzzi. Ask our travel advisers for our Infinity Galapagos Cruise promotions and deals.

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Natural Paradise

Visit the most popular destinations in the galapagos islands on 4, 5, and 8-day cruises aboard the natural paradise motor yacht. a spacious sundeck features a jacuzzi and an al fresco dining area. and the small occupancy for just 16 passengers guarantees and intimate experience with plenty of personal attention from the 10-person crew and their quality control cruise manager..

Galapagos luxury catamarans

Cormorant II

Ready for mid 2022, and for 16 passengers the cormorant ii catamaran offers luxury and stable conditions for those aboard. the comfortable, modern design gives it a sophisticated feel, and it is ecofriendly too. cabins are spacious and luxuriously appointed, and each has a private balcony. the elegant sun deck has a jacuzzi, and there is ample space on the main deck for relaxation indoors or outside..

Luxury Galapagos catamaran

Elite Cruise

One of the newest boats in the galapagos, the elite is a luxury yacht with space for 16 passengers. designed for stability and safety, this galapagos ship features beautiful panoramic-style windows providing ample opportunities to enjoy all the amazing views the galapagos islands have to offer. guests of all ages will enjoy the alfresco dining area and delightful suites, and there is a large semi-covered sky deck to from which to laze away sailing time in comfort..

Galapagos Endemic Cruise Tours

Endemic Cruise

The alia is a stylish luxury yacht offering 5, and 6-day galapagos cruises. on board, you'll find an upper sun deck and jacuzzi, modern interiors, spacious lounges, and cabins that feature panoramic windows and private balconies. excursions visit many of the main sites and top galapagos islands in a luxurious style..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

La Pinta's well-appointed design features a bow observation deck, a fitness gym center, glass bottom boat, Jacuzzi, kayaks, huge sun decks with sun loungers, large interior lounge areas and several other fascinating on-board facilities. The itineraries range from 4-8 days and visit the most popular Galapagos sites.

Ocean Spray Galapagos Tours

Ocean Spray

This mega-catamaran features a beautiful design and balconies for each of the 8 cabins on board. the ocean spray carefully selected every piece of decor as well as knowledgeable guides to offer the best possible experience in the islands. in the ample social areas guests can enjoy an enormous lounge, bar, and in the sundeck, a covered jacuzzi. the cruise manager will make sure to meet the guests´ expectations at all times..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Passion Yacht

The 159-foot passion galapagos yacht accommodates just 14 passengers on four spacious decks. the marble bathrooms reflect the elegance and style of the passion. the two 8-day itineraries visit either the east or the west galapagos islands including major highlights, featuring top-notch bilingual national park guides, and complimentary use of snorkel equipment and kayaks..

Galapagos luxury cruises

Isabella II

Spacious and well-appointed, the isabela ii galapagos yacht provides three naturalist galapagos islands itineraries. forty passengers can enjoy the wide-ranging facilities on this thoughtfully designed cruise boat. cabins are comfortable, and there is a lounge, bar, sundeck, hot tub, al fresco bar, library and cardio gym. visits to visitor sites are organized in small groups, and this vessel lands at sites where no others do..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Santa Cruz II

Accommodating 90 passengers in ample cabins across five state-of-the-art decks, the santa cruz ii offers 5 and 6-day itineraries, longer combinations are also possible, ideal for families that visit all corners of the galapagos islands. on-board you'll find multiple social areas, including a bar, lounge, restaurant, discovery room, hot tub, sun decks, and even a fitness room..

Galapagos luxury trips

A true reflection of the graceful & swift Galapagos bird it is named for, the luxurious Petrel catamaran will delight passengers with spacious cabins, private balconies, and a world-class crew that accompanies you on 4, 5, 6, and 8-day cruises to all parts of the Galapagos. Launched in 2015, it is one of the newest and most modern vessels in the archipelago, at the service of all our clients looking for a unique Galapagos ship.

Grand Queen Beatriz Ship Galapagos

Grand Queen Beatriz

This deluxe and brand new 16-passenger yacht offers splendid, luxurious cabins with fabulous ocean views. some suites have a private balcony, and all are elegantly furnished in a design suited to a life at sea. passengers can take advantage of the lovely jacuzzi on the sun deck. the vessel is designed for security and balance on the high seas. exquisite international and local cuisine is served in the dining room..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Sea Star Journey

Perfect for family vacations to the galapagos islands, the luxurious sea star journey offers 5 & 6-day galapagos excursions. each suite has sweeping panoramic windows, and the spacious sundeck has two jacuzzis. guests also enjoy free use of the yacht's kayaks and snorkel equipment. inquire our travel advisers for our sea star yacht promotions as well as our special galapagos trips..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

The Grace offers several 8-day Galapagos cruises that will immerse its passengers in luxury as they explore the sacred Galapagos Islands. A choice of deluxe or premium staterooms or suites allows guests to craft their experience to taste, and the vessel features multiple al fresco dining areas & lounges as well as a sun deck and Jacuzzi, expert local English speaking guides will be available during every day of your tour.

Luxury Galapagos Cruises

A long-standing Galapagos staple, the Integrity yacht offers east and west-bound cruises in the archipelago for 16 passengers in luxury cabins. The boat offers a range of airy, light spaces for relaxation and comfort including the sun deck, dining area, salon and library. The sun deck also includes a spa, bar and covered deck area. The convenient swimming platform enhances the snorkeling experience.

Galapagos 4 Star Cruises Category

Newly refurbished, the Calipso Galapagos Yacht offers both naturalist and diving luxury Galapagos Islands cruises. Offering space for just 16 passengers, this Galapagos yacht provides very comfortable cabins, a fabulous sundeck with a Jacuzzi, and a brand-new dive deck. Alfresco dining while enjoying the cruise view provides a special highlight, and the fresh, modern feel throughout the yacht is sure to please.

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Eco Galaxy II

With 5- day and 6-day itineraries, the eco-friendly galaxy ii offers up to 16 guests an unparalleled galapagos experience aboard an elegant & modern catamaran. enjoy a spacious bar and lounge and a sun deck where you can soak in the rays after a long day of exploration. eight cabins feature comfortable accommodations, private facilities, and large picture windows..

Luxury Galapagos Cruise

Bonita Yacht

Bonita galapagos yacht accommodates 16 passengers across three decks in comfortable, well-appointed cabins. artistically designed social areas reflect the endemic wildlife, and there is a lovely sundeck and bar for relaxing. delicious international food is offered in the dining room with its sweeping windows for enjoying lovely views while eating..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Seaman Journey

Enjoy a classic catamaran experience aboard the seaman journey yacht. the twin hulls balance the ship for maximum stability while cruising, and allow for more deck space, meaning bigger cabins and expansive social areas. explore the best of the galapagos in the company of 16 passengers on the 4, 5, and 8-day itineraries..

Galapagos Luxury Yacht

Ideal for a Galapagos luxury cruise for couples, singles and families, the thoughtfully designed Solaris offers 4, 5 and 8-day Galapagos trips. With a modern yet comfortable design throughout, guests enjoy their Galapagos Islands vacation in style. There is plenty of space to kick back and relax in the shared bar area. Unique to the Solaris are cabins for the single person with no single supplement!

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

The Beluga Galapagos yacht comfortably accommodates 16 passengers in 8 cabins, including an indoor dining area, a sundeck, covered deck, and lounge area. The itineraries are 5, 6, and 8-days and visit top Galapagos destinations, with a bilingual national park guide.

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

The 104-foot Tip Top II lives up to its name, as a modern and comfortable 16-passenger catamaran launched in 2008 and redesigned in 2015. Guests can choose from 4, 5, and 8-day itineraries and will be accompanied by a bilingual national park guide.

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

This state-of-the-art sailboat offers an elegant and authentic way for up to 16 passengers to experience the Galapagos Islands on their choice of two 8-day itineraries. Aboard the Mary Anne, spacious decks and comfortable staterooms make for a one-of-a-kind classic Galapagos experience.

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Treasure Of Galapagos

With balconies in all of the spacious staterooms, the treasure of the galapagos catamaran contends with even the luxury galapagos yachts, offering 5, 7, and 9-day itineraries, an onboard jacuzzi, and ample social areas including a sundeck. the master suite even hosts two balconies and a mini-saloon..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

Reina Silvia

Named for queen silvia, the modern wooden interiors and carpeted floors offer 16 passengers a royal experience. en suite bathrooms, ample social areas, and a 360-degree bar ensure a wonderful experience on either of the two 8-day galapagos excursions..

Galapagos Cruises and Tours

The Odyssey features hand-crafted 5- and 6-day Galapagos excursions aboard a comfortable 16-passenger yacht, complete with a Jacuzzi and an ample sun deck. Visit the top visitor sites in the Galapagos Islands accompanied by a bilingual national park guide and enjoy complementary use of the snorkel equipment and kayaks.

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Galapagos Cruises

Galapagos Cruise Booking Services: How to Book the Best Galapagos Cruises in 2024 and 2025

At Voyagers travel we specialize in booking Galapagos cruises for smart and conscious travelers. Book your cruise online or request assistance from our travel advisors. Here is a collection of the best Galapagos cruise itineraries for 2024 and 2025:

You may be looking for luxury, you also want value and probably have saved up for years to make this a dream trip. This is a special adventure and you want it to be carefree.

We can help you book the perfect Galapagos cruise for you!

Voyagers Travel Company Has the Most Expansive, Complete and Updated Galapagos Cruise Itinerary Database

We have a complete listing of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 day + cruising programs, classified by islands visited, areas of the archipelago, specialty activities, unique departures, family friendly or other interests.

We have a direct relationship with yacht, ship and catamaran owners. We either provide or connect directly to their database of available departures and routes. We also upload Galapagos cruises availability from their excel sheets if they do not have a system. This allows us to offer you the best departure, price and yacht available for your prefered dates. We work directly with each family and their representatives to bring you the best booking experience. 

Voyagers Travel the top Galápagos Boat Specialist

Each Voyagers specialist cruise advisor has been to the Galapagos islands several times, experienced all itineraries and knows every yacht and catamaran that navigates the Galapagos archipelago. Our island based operations team has extensive knowledge of each visitor site, and rates itineraries based on variety, scenery, and wildlife encounters - both on land and in the water for snorkelers.

Experience in Galapagos Cruises | Voyagers Travel

Here is a listing of our best selling Galapagos cruise itineraries for 2024 and 2025

Best price guarantee.

Cormorant II

Cormorant II


Our work does not stop with booking your space on board. We monitor your trip, book the right flights to connect on time and we can help create a custom pre and post trip around Ecuador and South America. We deliver your vouchers, organize meet and greet at the airport and ensure the captain, crew and chef understand your important needs. From activity preferences to dietary restrictions, we offer a full 24/7 concierge to look after your Galapagos cruise experience. Our operations manager, Maria Belen leads a team of local staff based both in Quito, Guayaquil and the Galapagos islands, this keeps our cruise collection up to date.

It is an important cycle at Voyagers, perfected over 20 years of experience operating liveaboard trips in the Galapagos Islands. We check out yachts in the shipyards, are present in many safety inspections and know the experience guests receive on board each ship.

Spend Less Time Planning, More Time Enjoying the Galapagos Islands

Taking a liveaboard cruise around Galapagos means less time planning every day activities. Each Galapagos cruise line follows an itinerary, meaning you get to sit back and relax. You don’t have to worry about lining up all of your land excursions and arranging your hotel bookings. With the help of an expert travel concierge from Voyagers you get the same eficiency at the time of booking your trip. Andre, Mariela, Lizeth and the rest of the team can even design a unique itinerary that caters to your particular interests.

Best Galapagos cruise routes for families

Best itineraries for couples, galapagos cruises for seniors, specialty itineraries and departures, are you ready to live an unforgettable adventure aboard one of our cruises.

Experiences | Galapagos Cruises

Galapagos cruises classified by wildlife sightings

East Islands (Española, Santa Fe, San Cristobal, Genovesa) - Waved Albatross, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, red footed boobies, Nazca boobies

Central Islands (South Plazas, Rabida, Santiago, Chinese Hat, North Seymour, Bartolome) - Lava fields, giant tortoises, sea turtles, finches, blue footed boobies, frigate birds, land iguanas

North Islands (Genovesa, Marchena) - Red Footed boobies, nazca boobies, Galapagos hawks, white tipped reef sharks, owls

South Islands (Española, Floreana) – Post office bay, penguins, Waved Albatross, Christmas iguanas, Nazca boobies

Western Islands (Isabela and Fernandina) - Galapagos Penguins, flightless cormorants, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, whales

Common to all routes: Sea lions, giant tortoises, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, frigate birds

How to Book your Galapagos Cruise

Send us your request or book a private consultation with a Voyagers Galapagos expert. Our travel advisors will help you decide on a route that covers the wildlife sightings from your bucketlist. The easiest way to tick off your favourite animal sightings is to get advice from somebody who has booked thousands of Galapagos cruises for all types of travelers.

Once you have decided on an itinerary and islands to visit, we will scout out all the updated last minute Galapagos cruise deals for you, and will help you book the ideal route at a discounted price for you.

Once you have made your choice, we will put temporary block on the spaces (usually 1 week) and you can take time to share your travel program with your trip companions before you commit a deposit. Once you have made a decision, payment is easy. We accept Credit cards, wire transfers and check deposits. We are here to assist you after booking as well - Here is our planning guide to the Galápagos Islands. You can also reach out to our team who are at your service.

Is a Galápagos Cruise Expensive?

It is not cheap. The cost of operating a properly run ship in Galapagos is costly. All resources are brought in (imported) from mainland Ecuador (fuel, food supplies, equipment, maintanance and more). Crew members are well paid. Guides in Galápagos earn some of the best incomes in Ecuador. All this comes at a price. Voyagers works directly with the micro-entrepeneurs that own each vessel and passes on these savings to you, we also add the value of offering 24/7 concierge services to support you during your vacation. Expect to pay $400 USD per night onwards per traveler.

Check out our Galapagos cruise cost calculator

How much do you want to pay for your Galapagos Islands vacation?

Price is a big consideration for people looking to make a booking on a Galápagos Islands cruise. How much you’ll pay varies on the size of the vessel and the amount of luxury.

Here are a few guidelines to consider when booking the best Galapagos yacht, catamaran, sailboat or expedition ship for you.

Our team has inspected all permit holding Galápagos vessels. Our rating system is based on personal assesment and guest reviews.

Economy yachts cruises offer more rustic accommodation and basic amenities. You’ll find a very good price point with this type of cruise, which brings it within reach for a variety of people.

Floreana | galapagos Cruise

Midrange motor-yachts cruises will usually offer private quarters but they will often be small with private bathrooms.

Cachalote Explorer | galapagos Cruise

First-class Cruising yachts offer spacious cabins with en-suite, top quality English speaking guides and better communal facilities.

Santa Cruz II | galapagos Cruise

Finally, top-of-the-line Luxury Galapagos cruises and expedition ships have everything you would expect and more from a high end liveaboard experience, including exquisite food, private balconies in your cabin, ample sun decks, and a hot tub to enjoy after a day of hiking or swimming.

Galaxy Sirius | galapagos Cruise

Galapagos Expedition Ships - broad social areas, more people to socialize with, focus on lectures, fine dining and onboard experiences. Multiple language guides, ideal for international crowds. Variety of activities, family friendly and multi generational.

Sailboats , live the romance of sailing through the enchanted isles on a partially wind powered schooner or brigantine.

Mary Anne | galapagos Cruise

Why take a Galapagos Cruise?:A Galapagos Cruise will allow you to make the most of your time in the Islands

  • Navigating from Island to Island on multi-day cruise itineraries gives you exclusive access
  • Take a Galapagos cruise to reach the more remote islands and see less people. Taking a Galapagos Island cruise means you’ll see fewer people and more wildlife than if you make a booking on a land-based tour.
  • The only way to reach remote islands like Fernandina, the west coast of Isabela, Genovesa or Española island.
  • Restricted access keeps your trip unspoiled (Rabida, Genovesa, Fernandina, Marchena, Western Isabela, Santiago, parts of Floreana, Santa Cruz and other remote islands are only accessed by cruise)
  • There are limits to how many people are allowed on small expedition ships and liveaboard yachts, and how often they run.
  • See more visitor sites during your short time in the islands.

If you’re staying on land in the enchanted isles, you’ll be surprised by just how much time it takes to get from Point A to Point B. By cruising you avoid spending a lot of time getting from your hotel, onto a day-trip boat, out to the day’s destination, then sailing back to your hotel.

When you take a Galápagos cruising program, the vessel will move from island to island during the night. You will wake up every day at a different bay. When you take a cruise you have 2 hiking excursions at different visitor sites each day, 2 snorkeling outings, and possible sea kayaking. All activities are in the company of a naturalist guide. Your guide will point out unique wildlife, give insight and make sure you understand and abide Galápagos National Park rules to protect the unique species.

Typical Days on Board a Ship in Galápagos

Where to start your galapagos islands cruise.

Regardless if you start on San Cristobal island (Puerto Baquerizo), Baltra or Santa Cruz island (Puerto Ayora), both airports have connections with Quito or Guayaquil in mainland Ecuador. Most small ship and luxury boat companies start at either location. Voyagers can help you make the right choice selecting an itinerary, planning your flights and any extra day trips you may like to participate in. Optimizing your time can leave space to visit other areas of Ecuador and South America.

What to expect when Cruising the Galapagos Islands?

There’s so much to see and do on a Galapagos trip, no matter your fitness level, age or lifestyle. Not into hiking or snorkeling? No worries. You can do shorter shore excursions, take zodiac ride, go sea kayaking or watch the scenery go by while on deck.

If you love getting exercise while on vacation, an expedition cruise can offer challenging activities. Here are some common activities offered on the daily excursions:

Galapagos Scuba Diving Cruises

The archipelago's dive sites are considered one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. There is excellent diving the year round, but June-December is exceptional – as this is when hammerheads, whales, rays, sea lion cubs and other large marine creatures come out to play.

If you’re a certified scuba diver, there’s much to behold beneath the surface. Luckily, there are several dive-oriented liveaboard programs to make your booking. These boats are built to accommodate diving gear and bring passengers to amazing locations to swim with whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and manta rays. It is important to know that dive vessels carry a maximimum of 16 - 20 passengers.

Some of the best diving destinations are Wolf and Darwin Islands – which can only be visited on a diving focused Galápagos cruise that carries a maximum of 16 passengers.

Aggressor Dive | galapagos Cruise

Convinced? How to choose the right Galapagos liveaboard adventure

When booking a Galapagos cruise, you’ll first need to think about what type of vessel suits your needs. Do you want to have an intimate experience on a sailing catamaran or monohull sailboat? Or would you rather be on a spacious luxury yacht or small ship with fancy staterooms and fine dining?

If you’re worried about seasickness or are traveling with small children, you may enjoy a slightly larger expedition ship vessel.

Onboard an expedition ship or luxury catamaran you’ll usually have a larger cabin, sometimes with your own private balcony. Nowadays almost all cabins are usually en suite and are compact in their design so that they can maximize living space. However, even on the smallest of vessels, you’ll usually find a sun deck where you can stretch out and relax and watch wildlife, as well as a dining area and lounge.

All Galapagos yacht layouts remain fairly small. The National Park prohibits cruises with more than 100 guests on board. Most Galapagos yachts carry around 16 passengers.

Another factor to consider when booking the best Galapagos cruises ships is how much time you want to spend in the water. Do you want more hikes vs. snorkeling options? this will depend more on the itinerary than the boat itself.

What time of the year should you Plan to visit?

The great part about taking a Galapagos Island cruise is that any time of year works. With a location close to the equator, the islands have a mild and warm climate.

What you should consider when booking a Galapagos vacation is which animals, and behaviors, you want to see. Some species are migratory, which means they only call the archipelago home a few months out of the year. 90% of species are resident and found year round.

When it comes to weather, the warmer season from December to June is ideal for a relaxed enchanted isles smaller boat based trip, as you’ll have sunnier days, calmer seas and better underwater visibility.

The June to November season sees the islands transform from green, lush tropical lands to a more barren, desert-like climate.

As you can see, the best time of year to take a Galápagos trip is totally up to you. Check out our wildlife activity calendar for an in depth analysis.

We are confident you will have a life changing experience on a Galapagos liveaboard tour anytime of the year.

By now, your heart might be set on taking a multi-day cruise to see all the marvels of these islands that Darwin visited so many years ago.

There are so many options for you to make your booking. Reach out and we will help you find the right option!

How Long Should I Stay?

If you consider the time and cost it takes to get to the Galapagos Islands, it is best to plan a longer stay. we recommend you stay 5 days or more, day 1 - arrival day is a half day, the same happens with your last day - departure day, count your in between days as your full days. You do not have to spend all this time on a boat. We can help you combine liveaboard cruising with hotel stays, scuba outings and other activities in the islands.

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Galapagos Cruises for Solo Travelers

All our ships that offer single cabins with no supplement, single traveler in galapagos you have three options:.

Share a cabin. This is the most popular option as it gives you the widest choice of cruises and the cheapest prices. All our cruises are action-packed and you'll spend most of your time off-board and out of your cabin anyway, hiking, snorkelling and exploring. So if you're looking for a short trip or a great deal, this is the way to go.

Book a whole cabin for yourself. If you are willing to pay a premium for more privacy, you can choose to book an entire cabin for yourself by paying a 'single supplement'. This supplement is typically 50-100% of the second cabin space. If you want to have a lot of choice and compare many options, this is your best option.

Book a cruise where a single cabin is available. There aren't many ships in the Galapagos that offer single cabins, and they tend to fill up quickly. However, there are some ships that offer single cabins! The downside here: If you limit your search to just these ships, you'll exclude other really great options and itineraries from your options, which would be a shame. On the other hand, if you're very flexible with your dates, this could be the best choice for you!

To start, we recommend you to filter by your desired time frame, using the filters on the left, below. You'll find there is a filter "Single Travellers can share a cabin" activated on the left. If you remove this filter, you'll see all available cruises, and not just the ones where the ship offers a single cabin.

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Are there any Galapagos cruise single cabin offers?

Yes there are. And what's more, thanks to our comprehensive database we can not only highlight Galápagos cruise ships with single cabins or who allow single occupancy but also those who don't surcharge you or add a single supplement for the privilege!

We're finding that the Galápagos Islands are becoming an increasingly popular destination for adventurous single travellers of all ages. We've put together some information in our Galápagos cruise FAQ for single travellers here .

Because Galapatours works directly with the boat operators and owners we are able to find cruises where there is either no, or very little, single supplement. Vessels with single cabins are rare, but we list them all, and these can be the perfect option for a solo cruise in Galápagos.

Alternatively, if you are prepared to share with another person of the same sex then we can provide you with twin or bunk accommodation in a standard cabin with no surcharge / no single supplement.

If you would prefer to have a double cabin to yourself then the single supplement for a Galápagos cruise ranges from about 20% up to 100% depending on the ship, accommodation type and class. For more information and help to find a Galápagos cruise with no single supplement contact one of our Galápagos travel experts today.

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Can you find me a Galapagos cruise with no single supplement?

At Galapatours, we can! Our single cabin page shows all the cruise ships in the Galápagos fleet that offer single cabins with no single supplement or single occupancy surcharge. There aren't that many boats in the fleet with these facilities, but we have hunted them all down so you can enjoy the wonders of the Galápagos on a cruise without paying over the odds.

However, this isn't your only option. Because of our direct relationship with the boat owners and operators we've also been able to show you all the Galápagos cruises with a low single supplement / low single occupancy surcharge. This means you have a much wider choice of cruise options before you need to pay a 100% surcharge for a double cabin.

Offers change throughout the year, and sometimes low supplement or no supplement deals come to us as last minute Galápagos cruise deals , so it's always best to contact one of our Galápagos travel experts to get the very best Galápagos cruise single cabin deals.

What is the best time of year to get a Galápagos cruise single cabin deal?

The Galápagos Islands are an all-year-round tourist destination. There's no "bad" time to visit, and there's no real "peak" and "off-peak" season. Because of this, if you're looking for a Galápagos cruise with no single supplement then there's some availability all year round. Bear in mind, however, that Christmas, Easter and August do see peaks in traveller numbers, so if you intend to visit Galápagos during these times then booking well in advance is recommended.

One of our top tips for solo travellers is to be open to the idea of sharing a twin cabin with another person of the same sex. Almost all of the cruise ships in the Galapatours fleet offer this option, and it can be an excellent way to enjoy a larger cabin, and perhaps an upgrade in ship class, yet pay no single supplement for your Galápagos cruise.

For more information on single cabin availability or the options for cabin sharing in Galápagos, speak to one of our friendly travel experts today and we can start to plan your perfect solo Galápagos cruise adventure.

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Best Galapagos Cruise: A Guide For All The Budgets

Horizon Trimaran II from Royal Galapagos

  • Last Updated: May 21, 2024

With an abundance of islands, activities, and boats available, finding the best Galapagos cruise for your budget can feel overwhelming. However, I’m here to simplify the process for you.

Table of Contents

Ecuador and Galapagos Interactive Guide with Itineraries

How to choose The Best Galapagos Cruise?

First, it’s important to understand the size of the Galapagos Islands and how they are divided into regions, each with its own itinerary. The itineraries last a minimum of 4-5 days , allowing you to explore each region thoroughly and without feeling rushed. Consider the species of wildlife you want to see, the unique geological features of each island , and the activities available such as kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking . Ultimately, the best Galapagos cruise itinerary is the one that suits your interests.

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Galapagos Islands Best Cruises - A Guide for all the budgets

Choosing the Best Itinerary: What Islands and Wildlife Do you Want to See?​

To help you choose the perfect itinerary for your Galapagos adventure, I’ve broken down the islands into three regions, each with unique character and wildlife. Although these are the chronological divisions of the regions, keep in mind that some companies offer more compact itineraries for 4-5 day trips that only cover parts of these regions, such as northern, southern, western, and eastern regions, with the starting point in Baltra/Santa Cruz island.

The Northwestern Region is a highly requested area and includes the younger, pristine islands full of endemic wildlife . This region is a must-see destination for anyone seeking bountiful marine life, including the largest colony of tropical penguins in the Galapagos.

Genovesa Island boasts one of the most spectacular birdwatching sites, with red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and swallow-tailed gulls nesting there. Marchena Island is one of the least visited islands, with untouched landscapes and crystal-clear waters that make it a fantastic spot for snorkeling.  Bartolome Island  is famous for its picturesque Pinnacle Rock and breathtaking views from the top of the island. Fernandina Island is one of the archipelago’s youngest islands and has less vegetation than some of the other commonly visited islands, but it’s full of wildlife. Santiago Island has a rich buccaneers and whalers history and is known for its lava fields, while Rabida Island ‘s red-sanded beach and flamingo lagoon are must-see attractions.

Rabida Island

The Southeastern Region includes the oldest islands in the archipelago , and millions of years of geological activity have led to fascinating landscapes and unique species that have evolved in total isolation . You might want to choose these islands within your itinerary because they have some of the most amazing snorkel sites and massive wildlife colonies you might find in a National Geographic documentary.

Española Island , the furthest south in the Galapagos, has two main visitor sites, Gardner Bay and Suarez Point, where visitors can relax on a fabulous stretch of white sand beach or witness the stunning waved albatross and marine iguanas.  Floreana Island  has a green-tinged beach at Punta Cormorant, where visitors can see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and green sea turtles. And  San Cristobal Island contains many visitor points full of wildlife of which,  Kicker Rock is one of the most incredible geological formations off its shores. This is a massive eroded lava cone jutting 500 feet out of the water. You can swim through it and snorkel with hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, rays, and vividly colored fish.

Española Island

The Central Region includes the islands of  Santa Cruz , Baltra,  North Seymour , South and North Plaza, Santa Fe , and  Mosquera . On South Plaza Island, visitors can witness the famous land iguanas and unique vegetation, while Santa Fe Island boasts a beautiful turquoise lagoon and fantastic snorkeling spots.

Any visit to the islands will include some time on central Santa Cruz Island and/or San Cristobal Island in the southeast. These are inhabited islands with airports linked to mainland Ecuador, so will be your arrival and departure points. These islands also have popular visitor sites, so cruises often include some visits here. Some amazing excursions include highland visits to see the Giant Galapagos Tortoise , with beautiful beach visits to see sea lions and marine iguanas that are the only guests, and a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center which displays the ongoing efforts of Galapagos conservation which affords guests a glimpse of the tortoise breeding program.

South Plaza Island

Short or Long Duration Cruises: How many days do you have?

For those who prefer shorter trips, most cruise companies offer two routes lasting 4-5 days . These routes will usually take you to one of the four regions of the Galapagos Islands (north, south, east, or west islands), where you’ll discover a variety of natural wonders that will leave you in awe. With plenty of excursion stops, you’ll have ample opportunities to explore the islands’ unique ecosystems and witness some of the most incredible sights in the world. Just keep in mind that two days of the trip include boarding and departure, and the final day usually ends in the early afternoon.

If you want a more comprehensive experience, go for a 6-8 day itinerary covering the entire Galapagos Islands. With many options available, you’ll get to explore multiple regions, see more unique and varied wildlife and discover remote areas with hidden gems that few tourists get to see. Long-duration cruises offer more full days of exploration, so you’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in the islands’ breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich culture. And if you really want to see it all, there are even 15-day options available!

Availability: Booking Your Galapagos Cruise in Advance

When booking your Galapagos Cruise/Liveaboard Experience, it’s crucial to keep availability in mind , especially if you have specific travel dates in mind. As spots for Galapagos cruises tend to fill up quickly, it’s best to reserve them well in advance. You can contact the companies directly through the links provided in the next section or book online through Viator, a reliable TripAdvisor company that allows tour agencies and yacht companies to share their tours and special offers.

I have handpicked the best cruise available online from the most famous and rated company in Ecuador, Metropolitan Touring . They have only 5-star reviews and are really an exceptional company. Book with them confidently; you will have the best time of your life in the Galapagos. The last one is not from Metropolitan Touring, it’s the Monserrat Yacht and it also has great reviews on Tripadvisor.

Comparing Boat Sizes and Types: Understanding the Differences and Pros/Cons of Different Boats

There are over 80 different boats that cruise through the Galapagos National Park, offering unique and unforgettable experiences for every taste. From smaller boats like Catamarans, Motor Yachts, Sailing Yachts (with a motor) , Scuba-diving Yachts, and Trimarans to larger options like Cruise Ships , the choices are endless.

Among the smaller boats, there are various types to choose from, each with its own benefits and unique features. For stability and ample space, a Catamaran might be the perfect choice for you. If you want to relax and soak in the breathtaking scenery, a Motor Yacht or Motor Sailor could be more your style. A Scuba-diving Yacht is an excellent option for those who love to dive and explore underwater spots, and a Trimaran can offer an exhilarating ride for those looking for speed and excitement.

In the Galapagos Islands, the primary yacht classes are divided into four categories: basic, superior, first-class, and luxury yachts . Basic yachts are the most economical option, with prices ranging from $300-400 USD per passenger per night, and they are ideal for those on a budget. Superior yachts offer slightly larger cabins, beds, bathrooms, and more dining and lounge space, with prices ranging from $400-600 USD per night.

First-class yachts are even more luxurious, with prices ranging from $600-799 USD per night, and they offer more private space, with lounges, decks, and solariums that provide privacy and solitude. Additionally, some first-class yachts come with a jacuzzi on the solarium, private balconies, interconnecting rooms, indoor and outdoor bars, king-sized beds, and in-room HD televisions. Luxury yachts are the most expensive option, with prices starting from $800+ USD per night, and they offer the most amenities, such as cabins that feel like luxury hotel rooms, balconies, large windows, jacuzzis, glass-bottom kayaks, and large bathrooms. They also provide an unrivaled level of attention and service, including an onboard cruise manager and a skilled bartender. Some luxury yachts even offer rental-free GoPros for snorkeling.

Aside from yachts, Galapagos cruise ships also offer different features and benefits, such as a doctor on board, gyms, libraries, and glass-bottom boats. These ships have a higher passenger limit, ranging from 32 to 100 passengers, and have cabins ranging from luxury to superior or first-class quality. The price of the cabins depends on the size, quality, and facilities.

The size of the boats is also an essential factor that sets each boat type apart. Basic yachts are the smallest and most compact, accommodating 12 to 20 passengers. Superior yachts are generally larger, accommodating 16 to 20 passengers. First-class yachts can hold up to 36 passengers, while luxury yachts are the largest, accommodating up to 100 passengers. Galapagos cruise ships have an even higher capacity, ranging from 32 to 100 passengers.

It’s worth noting that the size of the boat can affect your overall experience. Smaller yachts may provide a more intimate and personalized experience, while larger ships offer more amenities and facilities. Ultimately, the size of the boat you choose will depend on your personal preferences and priorities.

If you want to check all your options I advise you to go to the Happy Gringo  website, or Liveaboard website and choose a boat from their entire list (they have a comprehensive list of all the yachts and cruises in the Galapagos and are highly-rated travel companies)

Comfort and Amenities: What to Expect on a Galapagos Cruise

Embarking on a Galapagos cruise is an enchanting and unforgettable experience, providing a plethora of opportunities for exploration and discovery amidst breathtaking natural landscapes. While the trip is primarily focused on observing the fascinating wildlife, it is also crucial to take into account the comfort and amenities offered on board. Here are some delightful features to look forward to during your Galapagos cruise:

Doctor on Board – Among the many features that distinguish cruise ships from other yachts is the availability of a medical officer on board. This is especially helpful for families with young children, older people, or travelers with health concerns. A handful of Galapagos vessels offer a 24-hour onboard Medical Officer, providing a sense of reassurance and security in the event of any unforeseen emergencies.

WiFi – While disconnecting from the internet can be a refreshing change, some passengers may still wish to share their experiences with loved ones or stay connected during their trip. Most ships provide WiFi, but it is wise to check the pricing and data plan to avoid any surprises.

Spacious Lounge Areas – Galapagos cruise ships offer a host of amenities, including gyms with weight and cardio equipment, libraries, and glass-bottom boats – an excellent alternative to snorkeling. Glass-bottom boats are especially advantageous for older people or travelers who prefer to explore the underwater wonders of the Galapagos without getting wet. It is crucial to choose a cruise that offers a full range of exploration tools, such as kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling gear, as only a few ships provide these activities.

Hot Tub on Board – Imagine soaking in the relaxing hot waters after an exhilarating day of exploring the Galapagos Islands. A hot tub is a more realistic amenity bonus than a swimming pool as you’ll be spending most of your time in the vast ocean surrounding the islands. It’s easily accessible from the boarding platform and useful all year round, especially during the hot season when explorers love to spend as much time as possible in the ocean.

Other Luxuries and Amenities – In addition to the above, some yachts offer small groups per Naturalist certified guide, an Expedition Leader on board, floor-to-ceiling windows in all cabins, panoramic windows in common areas, interconnected cabins for families and groups, sun deck with unobstructed views, massage expert on board, exquisite cuisine, fitness center, coffee and tea station, swimming pool, stargazing area, auditorium, kids playground, etc…

Picking the Right Cruise Company: Comparing Options and Reviews

Embarking on a Galapagos cruise is an absolutely magical and unforgettable experience, one that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Choosing the right company to travel with is crucial to ensure that your journey is not only successful but also thoroughly enjoyable. With so many options to choose from, finding the perfect fit can be a daunting task. But worry not! This guide has got you covered. I’ve carefully compiled the top Galapagos cruise companies to help you make the best decision for your needs. Below you’ll find a list of the most reputable companies operating in the Galapagos Islands.

I’ve even gone the extra mile and checked which company each cruise belongs to, to ensure that you have all the information you need at your fingertips. As a general rule, the more yachts a travel company has, the more reputable and experienced they are. With that in mind, the following list is ordered from the most famous companies with multiple types of boats and itineraries, followed by the best ones with only one vessel after.

If you’re looking for a price comparison, I’ve got you covered there too! Check out the sections below for a comprehensive list of all the cruises and their prices. For those companies without a website, don’t worry – you can find them via Liveaboard or Galapatours websites:

Infinity Luxury Yacht from Royal Galapagos

Ecoventura: Origin (motor yacht), Theory (motor yacht), and Evolve (motor yacht)

Theory Yacht from Ecoventura

Galapagos Charter (Private) vs. Galapagos Cruise: Weighing the Costs and Benefits

Why settle for a shared experience on a Galapagos Cruise when you can have the ultimate private and personalized vacation with a Galapagos Charter? Imagine cruising around the islands on your own yacht, with a hand-selected team of staff ready to cater to your every need. From specialist guides and masseuses to customized menus and open bars, the possibilities are endless.

With a charter, you have the freedom to tailor every aspect of your trip to your specific wishes and interests, ensuring that your Galapagos experience is truly unique and unforgettable. Choose from a range of yacht options to fit your budget, from comfortable to super deluxe and luxury class. And with excellent discounts available, a charter may even offer a better price than a Galapagos Cruise.

The smallest cruise yacht has a capacity for 14 guests, while the biggest ship allows up to 100 passengers. The charter rates range from $31,072 for a 4-day cruise on the Fragata Yacht to $198,500 for an 8-day cruise on the Stella Maris. In comparison to a Galapagos cruise, a charter may offer exclusivity, better pricing, and a personalized experience. Ultimately, the choice between a charter and a cruise comes down to your preferences and budget.

In the previous section, I mentioned the cruises available for charter. However, if you have your heart set on a particular boat that is not listed for charter, it’s worth contacting the companies directly as they may be willing to make an exception if you can provide persuasive reasons.

Price Comparison (per person in USD)

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of all the available options, complete with their respective categories, classes, type of vessel, capacity in terms of people, and itinerary days. My sources include HappyGringo’s website, Liveaboard.com, and, where possible, the owner’s company pages. For more precise pricing information, I recommend contacting the yacht owner’s company directly.


The galapagos islands.

Pikaia Lodge in Santa Cruz, Galapagos

The Best Hotels in Galapagos

A Sea Lion in Los Tuneles Tour, inlcuded in the best Galapagos Itinerary


Puerto Ayora's dock in Santa Cruz, Galápagos


Horizon Trimaran II from Royal Galapagos


Loberia beach in Floreana Island,a must in any Galapagos Itinerary


Our guide in the immensity of Sierra Negra volcano


Activities on a galapagos cruise: snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, and more, tips for a successful galapagos cruise.

Going on a Galapagos cruise can be an incredible experience, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind to make it a success. One thing to consider is the size of the cruise line . While larger cruise lines may seem convenient, they can also come with a few downsides.

For example, larger crowds on the ship can mean longer lines and more waiting time for activities like snorkeling. Smaller, more intimate ships can offer a more personalized and flexible experience. Plus, with fewer people, you’ll have more opportunities for up-close encounters with the unique wildlife of the Galapagos.

Another thing to consider is the quality of the guides. Guides can make a huge difference in your overall experience, so it’s worth doing some research to find a cruise line with knowledgeable and passionate guides.

Overall, when planning your Galapagos cruise, it’s important to prioritize the things that matter most to you. Whether you’re looking for a more personalized experience, more flexibility in your itinerary, or the opportunity for up-close wildlife encounters, there’s a cruise line out there that can offer it. So do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions to find the best fit for your needs.

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Conclusion: Finding the Best Galapagos Cruise for Your Budget

Finding the best Galapagos cruise for your budget can be an intimidating task, but with the right research and considerations, you can find a great option that meets your needs and expectations. Remember to consider factors such as the type of vessel, itinerary, activities, and amenities offered. And don’t forget that if you prefer to go land-based, we’ve covered all the options, tours, and hotels, so be sure to take a look.

No matter which option you choose, the Galapagos Islands offer a unique and unforgettable experience. From the incredible wildlife to the stunning landscapes, there’s no shortage of things to see and do and you’ll for sure have an adventure of a lifetime.

Where to Stay in the Galapagos

Hotel La Casa de Marita


20 best hotels in santa cruz, galapagos.

Golden Bay Hotel in San Cristobal


All the articles about the galapagos.

San Cristobal Island  – The easternmost island of the Galápagos, the “Isla Bonita”

Santa Cruz Island  – The island with the best tourism infrastructure.

Isabela Island  – The most adventurous and less explored island of the main three.

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The propeller of the Carawa SS wreck in San Cristobal, Galapagos


Sea lions on the beach at Punta Suarez in Espanola Island, Galapagos


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The beautiful Tortuga Bay beach in Santa Cruz


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Matterhorn Glacier Trail in Zermatt


Valais Blacknose Sheeps on the Edelweissweg Trail in Zermatt


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' class=

Also, on the cruise , we visit: North Seymour – San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Brujo, Isla Lobos, Gardner Bay, Punta Suarez. We are cruising for 4 days on 16 passenger ship.

I am not a swimmer but will this be still good for me. I love nature, hiking etc.

thanks for your help.

5 replies to this topic

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> 62 y/o solo MALE traveler.

"...I have an opportunity to do this cruise next month. My flight into and out of Quito is at really odd hours. Arriving 2:45 AM, departing 4:00 AM. I am a solo female. Is it safe for me to travel to the Airport to arrive at those hours of the night?..."

I just used a taxi. i dont remember about Uber, but if yuo are a fan you can look at the app and see whats availalbe.

or if you want, you can ask the lodging to arrange for you.

same for leaving back to the airport.

".....Also, on the cruise , we visit: North Seymour – San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Brujo, Isla Lobos, Gardner Bay, Punta Suarez. We are cruising for 4 days on 16 passenger ship.

I am not a swimmer but will this be still good for me. I love nature, hiking etc...."

im not sure what you mean by "im not a swimmer". does that mean you dont like the water or are afriad or cant swim or ?

for what its worth my fear was after seeing JAWS back in the 80s? In any case, i decided to go into the water and snorkel. And i dont regret doing so. it was an awesome experience and im hooked now. Still cant swim, but dont need to.. I dont know how to swim, but i just used a life vest and floated and used my feet/hands to maneuver. Of course i had flippers. But i didnt "swim". There were others doing the same and others swimming and diving too.

we didnt snorkel in any deep water and could see the bottom and or snorkeled near the beach/shore.

there are critters under the water and if you miss thats up to you.

and last point, you can pick and choose what you wanted to do too. If you didnt want to do any hiking you didnt have to. Same with snorkeling. you could spend all your time on the ship.

Thanks for your response. No, I cannot really swim. Not afraid of the water though, so can snorkel with life vest as you said. I love hiking, so will definitely do that

I just see news about the safety and travelling to the airport in the night. Afraid of that.

galapagos cruise options

If you are comfortable snorkeling in a flotation vest, you'll do great. We had several people on our cruise do the same and all of them were comfortable out of the vest by the end of the cruise .

My recommendation would be to go to a dive shop and have them fit you with your own mask. You'll be more comfortable in the water when you're not worried about your mask leaking. It won't take up much room in your luggage.

No, sorry that’s not it

When I am leaving Quito one week later, my flight is at 4Am. So, both my arrival and departure flights are at odd hours. Just concerned if it is safe at those hours for solo Female in a taxi to and from the hotel.

galapagos cruise options

Hello sonagulab,

going to and from the airport in an (official!) taxi is very safe and no problem at all. What you could do is ask your hotel if they offer their own shuttle (mine did when I was in Quito). In this case you would be welcomed directly after leaving the baggage claim area with a sign with your name. In my case, the rate was pretty much the same as it would have been for a regular taxi. But if your hotel does not offer such services, an official taxi is absolutely fine.

Hope this helps, happy travels!

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Galapagos Islands Hotels and Places to Stay

  • Why are the Galápagos Islands so special?
  • How do I start planning my trip?
  • Which should I do--a cruise or a land-based trip?
  • How do I know what wildlife I'll see at different times of year?
  • Which tour operators should I avoid?
  • What class of boat should I choose?
  • Which itinerary is better?
  • What's the best length of time for a cruise?
  • Can I take a cruise if I get seasick?
  • Any tips for photography ?
  • Where are the boat reviews?
  • Some more boat reviews
  • Land-based trip reports
  • More land-based trip reports
  • What about dive liveaboard reviews?
  • How can I save money?

galapagos cruise options

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Deadly weather kills at least 19 and Tesla lobbies for a $56 billion Musk paycheck: Morning Rundown

Millions are hit with severe weather over Memorial Day weekend. America's child care shortage pushes military families to a breaking point. And dozens are killed in an Israeli strike on a tent camp for displaced Palestinians, Gaza officials say.

Here’s what to know today.

At least 19 dead as severe storms wreak havoc across the country 

People in Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee were hit with twisters, heavy winds and flooding over the Memorial Day weekend. 

At least 19 deaths have been reported as a series of storms and tornadoes battered the South and the Great Plains, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power. Seven storm-related deaths were reported in Cooke County, Texas; eight in different counties in Arkansas; two in Mayes County, Oklahoma; and one in Louisville, Kentucky. The dead in Texas included two children, ages 2 and 5, and three family members who were found together in a home. 

Violent storms overtook the region, overturning 18-wheelers, destroying homes, toppling power lines and crushing a Shell station in Cooke County, where 125 people were trapped for a period Saturday night. No serious injuries or deaths were reported at the truck stop, and officials said the people who were seeking shelter inside were evacuated by Sunday. 

The severe weather is expected to continue to push east into the Midwest and the Ohio Valley, including Chicago; Indianapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Louis; and Cincinnati. It will finish off today on the East Coast. A risk of severe weather was issued to the mid-Atlantic, including Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. In that region, 27 million people are at risk of experiencing strong to severe thunderstorms.

Read the full story here.  

America’s child care shortage is pushing military families to a breaking point

Families across the country have been struggling with the rising cost of child care and waitlists after more than 100,000 workers left the industry. But for military families, the effects of those care shortages have been magnified, which could have wider consequences for the nation’s ability to retain its soldiers.

Military families — who frequently move on short notice, can be stationed in areas with few child care options and work unconventional hours — say the hardest thing to navigate in their careers has been finding child care. 

“It puts a strain on the marriage and the family, and some of our service members are choosing not to re-enlist because of the child care challenges, among other things,” said Francisco Jamison, who spent nearly three decades working in military child care programs and is now the chief of military programs and strategy for Child Care Aware of America. The Pentagon now has the nation’s largest employer-run child care operation, providing subsidized child care to more than 200,000 children. But like other child care providers, it, too, has struggled to find enough workers since the pandemic, leaving families with limited options .

Israeli airstrike kills dozens after hitting tent camp for displaced, Gaza officials say

A Palestinian wounded in an Israeli bombardment on the Gaza Strip is brought to Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah

Dozens of people were killed in Rafah last night after an Israeli airstrike hit an area where displaced civilians were sheltering in tents. The strike sparked a fire that tore across the camp, local officials said.

The strike drew condemnation from United Nations officials and Arab leaders just days after the U.N.’s top court ordered Israel to halt its offensive on the southern Gaza city, where more than a million had sought refuge. Qatar warned it could hinder efforts to reach a cease-fire deal, while Israel’s military prosecutor said the “very grave” incident was under investigation. “This massacre is the largest in the city of Rafah in months,” Palestinian Civil Defense spokesman Muhammad Al-Mughir told NBC News. He stressed that the area that was hit was a designated “humanitarian area” next to U.N. warehouses.

The Israel Defense Forces said that it had targeted two senior Hamas leaders and that it would review reports of fire spreading to areas where civilians were sheltering .

Tesla shareholders get to vote whether Elon Musk be paid $56 billion 

Nearly all owners of Tesla stock, including Wall Street firms and thousands of individual investors, are in the middle of a two-month battle over whether to reinstate a record $56 billion pay package for Elon Musk, months after a Delaware state judge struck down his compensation as having been improperly awarded. The shareholder votes aren’t public unless investors share how they voted. They are voting mostly online ahead of Tesla’s June 13 annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

The vote is unusual not only because of the fortune that Musk stands to gain — it’s 250 times larger than the median among Musk’s peers, according to the judge who voided it in January — but also because of the public and private jockeying. Tesla has bought advertisements and made a website trying to sway investors to vote for the package. Musk backers are also making videos and reaching out to potential swing voters one on one, as if it were an election for public office. Yet many investors released a joint letter this month telling fellow shareholders to vote down the package as excessive.

It is expected to be an ongoing test of investors’ continued faith in Musk , who has become an increasingly polarizing public figure. 

Johnny Wactor, ‘General Hospital’ actor, fatally shot in L.A.

Actor Johnny Wactor

Actor Johnny Wactor, known for his work on the daytime drama “General Hospital,” was fatally shot when he interrupted a crime in Los Angeles , according to police and family. His mother, Scarlett Wactor, confirmed his death in the incident. He was 37. 

Los Angeles police, who did not confirm the identity of the deceased, offered a narrative of the incident. The victim came upon three people removing a catalytic converter from a vehicle near Pico Boulevard and Hope Street, in the southwest corner of downtown Los Angeles, the police department said. One of the three opened fire, striking the victim, who was pronounced dead, police said. No one has been arrested.

  Everyone you know is going on a cruise

Travelers on the deck of a cruise ship

Many vacationers flocking to a cruise this year are first-time passengers. 

Cruise newbies have helped power the industry’s recent growth, with 27% of the cruise passengers over the past two years being first-timers, up 12% from the previous two-year period, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, a trade group. After it welcomed 31.7 million passengers last year, 7% more than in 2019, the industry expects volumes to swell to 34.7 million by the end of the year. Experts say a combination of newcomers, repeat bookers and younger travelers is powering the uptick.

“The cruise industry has been hard at work to launch new ships and experiences that are attractive to a younger, newer demographic,” said Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, “whether that’s a big, new ship with eye-catching attractions for families or more bucket-list-worthy experiences like sailings in the Galapagos or Antarctica.” While the average age of a cruise customer is 46 industrywide, millennials now make up nearly the same share — 22% — as baby boomers and Gen Xers, who each comprise 24%.

And the vessels are getting bigger to handle the growing demand .

Politics in Brief

Libertarian National Convention: Hours after former President Donald Trump was booed and jeered at the Libertarian National Convention as he asked libertarians for their party’s nomination and votes, the party chair said he did not submit the appropriate paperwork . Activist Chase Oliver was selected as the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee later Sunday night.

Abortion rights: President Joe Biden’s campaign and allies hope to close the gap between support for a proposed abortion rights amendment and support for Biden in Arizona.

America’s economy: A push-and-pull of forces on household finances has distorted many people’s views of an otherwise stable economy. 


 Sign up for From the Politics Desk to get exclusive reporting and analysis delivered to your inbox every weekday evening.  Subscribe here.

Staff Pick: It wasn’t the endless shrimp that pinched Red Lobster

Raw Lobster on ice.

When Red Lobster filed for bankruptcy, there was a prevailing notion that its endless shrimp promotions were a major reason. And they certainly contributed to the seafood chain’s woes, but  this deep dive highlights how private equity was a much bigger culprit . The story is a great look at what’s known as “asset-stripping,” a financial technique that has affected a number of retail chains.

— Josh Feldman , weekend editor, platforms & social 

In Case You Missed It

  • A Papua New Guinea government official has told the United Nations that Friday’s landslide is believed to have buried more than 2,000 people alive . 
  • Pro golfer Grayson Murray’s family confirmed  he died by suicide , just a day after he withdrew from the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. 
  • Lizzo shared  a video of herself reacting to a joke on “South Park”  referring to her in an episode about obesity. 
  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band  have postponed coming shows  in Prague and Milan because of “vocal issues,” Springsteen announced. 
  • Six family members were sickened with a parasitic disease caused by roundworm larvae after  they ate kebabs made of bear meat .

Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

Memorial Day is here — and with it some big discounts.  See the best deals to shop  from retailers like Brooklinen, Supergoop, Dyson and more. Plus, check out the  43+ best Memorial Day deals  to shop on Amazon. 

Sign up to The Selection  for exclusive reviews and shopping content from NBC Select.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown. Today’s newsletter was curated for you by Elizabeth Both. 

Elizabeth Both is an associate platforms editor for NBC News, based in New York. 


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