How to Choose a Luxury Galapagos Cruise
There are dozens of luxury yachts and small cruise ships that sail the Galapagos. Here's how to choose which one is the perfect fit for you.
Small Yachts vs. Small Cruise Ships
Luxurious small yachts carry from 12 to 20 passengers and have a more intimate feel and more personalized service than the relatively larger cruise ships which carry from 48 to 100 guests. Larger vessels tend to be more stable in the water (for passengers prone to seasickness), though small luxury catamarans such as the Cormorant
, Ocean Spray
and the new Petrel
are more stable than small single hulled yachts.
The length of your cruise may be the most important factor in choosing your trip to Galapagos. Most cruise boats offer 4 day, 3 night cruise packages which are significantly lower price than longer cruises of 5, to 15 days. But, on a 4 day cruise, you only get to spend two full days on the islands, and most experts agree that this simply isn't enough time.
Shorter cruises tend to visit either the Central or Southern Galapagos Islands, whereas longer cruises have the time to explore the more remote Western Islands and can even do a circumnavigation of the Galapagos. What itinerary is best for you depends on what wildlife and visitors spots are the highest priority for your trip. Use our Galapagos wildlife guide
to understand where your highest priority species live.
Luxury Cruise Extensions
Stay in a luxury hotel
after your cruise to take full advantage of your time on the islands and explore areas not accessible on cruises. Also, consider a tour extension to the Amazon region of Ecuador, where luxury lodges such as La Selva Lodge
and Sacha Lodge
introduce travelers to the planet's most biodiverse region.