Cruising is one of the best ways to explore the Galápagos Islands, from motor yachts with eight cabins to small ships and mega catamarans. There is a huge range of cruises available, each with its own benefits and unique selling points.
Think About Duration of Your Galapagos Cruise
It all depends of the time you have to travel to the Galapagos Islands. Luxury cruises can last up to two weeks, but a week-long cruise is easily enough. In general, the larger islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal feature most of the itineraries, but by travelling overnight, a cruise can reach remoter spots, such as Genovesa in the north and Española and Floreana in the south.
The Galapagos Islands are actually quite big; the archipelago is home to a total of 21 major islands, 14 of which are open to visitors.
Short Galapagos Cruises (4-5 days)
These cruises focus on one geographic area of the Islands, such as the Eastern Islands, the Central Islands, or the Western & Southern Islands. You will have a chance to do only one or two of the main activities. This is a good option if you want to combine your cruise with a land-based tour.
Medium Galapagos Cruises (8 days)
This kind of cruise gives travelers the perfect amount of time to get accustomed to the motion while still spending plenty of time on land with the dry landings. These cruises are ideal for people who want ample opportunities to experience the main activities without the burden of a two-week commitment.
Extended Galapagos Cruises (+15 days)
This is by far the best way to see literally everything the Islands have to show. Any cruise of two weeks or longer will probably hit all of the major islands and give you enough chances to explore each one. The longer trips are also where you might find specialty tours, like diving excursions.
Small Boats vs Big Vessels
As we know, passengers make decisions based on their needs and expectations. A small yacht is ideal for those travelers who are looking for exclusivity, comfortable, appropriate facilities, personalized service, and the opportunity to share the experiences with their cruise mates as well as the crew of the yacht.
The bigger vessels offer a concept closer to a Caribbean cruise, with lots of activities and services that provide entertainment aboard. Often on big boats, travelers are divided into small groups, which are treated separately, so the integration between all the guests can be a bit difficult.
Small Ships: Pros
Small boats have the most flexibility. A snorkeling session, hike, or other outing may be spontaneously extended, if passengers feel like it. The captain could allow an extra half-hour for a morning sleep-in.
If you love boating rather than cruising, small vessels are a good choice.
Small Ships: Cons
On small boats, there are fewer and smaller public spaces and less to do onboard. You can relax in your cabin, but most likely is going to be tiny. Count on hardly anyone to schmooze with — and if someone drives you crazy, you will still see him often and daily.
Mid-Size Ships: Pros
If you’re cruising with your family, choose a ship that’s at least midsize, although the ship area has relatively more space, a lower deck on a medium or large ship is the best choice if you’re prone to or worried about seasickness among your kids.
Mid-Size Ships: Cons
These vessels share cons with large ships but to a lesser degree. There’s less flexibility, spontaneity, and sense of an adventure.
Large –Size Ships: Pros
Large vessels have everything a medium-size ship has, plus live entertainment, more dining choices (including vegetarian and gluten-free options) and more public spaces like gyms, libraries, and salons to rest.
Large –Size Ships: Cons
Bigger ships deliver less of an expedition experience, so you may feel rushed on excursions when other groups are scheduled after you.
A typical catamaran features two parallel hulls, spacious decking, and cabin sizes, and usually carries around 16 passengers. Their stability, speed, spaciousness, and ability to access shallow waters are all factors that make them perfectly suited to this unique environment.
If you already decided what cruise fits your needs,0