How to choose a Galapagos cruise

How to choose a Galapagos cruise
While the Galapagos are on so many bucket lists, these incredible, untouched islands full of weird and wonderful flora & fauna are some of the most tricky to get to, and while you can technically plan a do-it-yourself island-hopping experience, this can be a time consuming task and might mean you miss out on some of the more hard to reach islands with the greatest abundance of wildlife.

A Galapagos Islands cruise is a great way to get the full experience and while it can be an expensive endeavour, the pay-off is huge and the experience unforgettable. Cruises can range anywhere between 4 and 15 days and this doesn’t include the stopovers and flights between Equador’s Quito or Guayaquill which are generally mandatory. Once you know how long you want to spend on vacation and on the islands specifically, you can start to look at your mode of travel.

Your options fit within three main categories: yachts & sailboats, mid-size cruisers and small ships. The smallest group option is the yacht or sailboat and the benefit of these is there are fewer people to coordinate which often means more time spent exploring the islands themselves. That said, these boats are smaller meaning less cabin room and if you’re prone to seasickness, they might not be for you! Mid-size cruisers (40-60 passengers) and small ships (60-100 passengers) are a bit more cumbersome from a logistics perspective, but offer a bit more on-board comfort and are great for these travelling with little ones.

Your next steps are to pick when to go. The Galapagos Islands offer a typical tropical climate and the temperature will rarely dip below the upper 60s, even in the cooler months of May to December. The warm season of December to April is dominated by sunny days, temperatures up to the high 80s and calm seas.

Last but not least, check the reviews! There are myriad sites now offering reviews from Galapagos adventurers and its always a good idea to check out the experiences of fellow travellers before settling on a cruise company. Keep in mind the experience of the guides, the quality of the boats and the sustainability of the tour operators.