Many travelers who call Adventure Life for help planning a trip to the Galapagos often start by saying, "You know, I heard the cruises are really the best way to see the islands, but we're not really 'cruise people'." And to that I say, a cruise in the Galapagos is not your typical cruise! These ships are all between 12-100 passengers, which is extremely small in the world of cruising. I like to think of them as floating hotels, taking you from island to island to see the best the Galapagos has to offer. No glitzy evening shows, not a ton of unstructured time for relaxation - the Galapagos cruises are all about the excursions! That is, after all, the whole point of traveling thousands of miles to these remote islands on the equator - the wildlife, the landscapes, the geology, the biology! If you're looking for a place to sit on the beach and drink rum swizzles, you'd be missing the point - and paying far too much - to do that in the Galapagos.
Here's what a typical day on the Galapagos Legend would look like (timing can change from day to day depending on planned excursions):
7:00 - 8:00 - Breakfast! Wonderful buffet of omelettes made-to-order, fresh fruit, sausages, pastries and breads, and local sides.
9:00 - 11:30 - Morning excursion! Head to the gear room to grab your snorkeling gear and wetsuit. Take a zodiac to shore for a "wet landing" (disembark zodiac into a few inches of water - water shoes necessary). Walk the beach, snorkel with sea turtles, pose with sea lions, take it all in. The zodiac drivers circle the snorkelers and help take you to shore when you've had enough. Glass bottom boat is available for those who aren't wanting to snorkel.
12:00 - 1:30 - Lunch buffet. Just when you thought you couldn't possibly be hungry again, it's time to eat another meal! Today it's a BBQ on the top deck, so don't forget your hat and sunscreen - that equator sun is strong! Order your dinner from a pre-set menu - usually 2-3 options each for appetizer, main course, and dessert (and separate menu for special dietary restrictions).
2:00 - 5:00 - Afternoon excursion! Today it's a "dry landing," so hiking shoes are preferable for the rocky ground. Learn about the flora & fauna of a new island - it's so different from day to day! View breathtaking landscapes, and stop often for photo opportunities. The wildlife is constantly performing!
8:00 - 9:00 - Naturalist briefing. What's coming up tomorrow? What time do we meet? What shoes should I wear? What wildlife will we see? How extreme is the hike? All your burning questions are answered. Grab a drink at the bar or turn in early. It has been a long day!
As you can see, this is not your typical umbrella-drink-drinking, beach-chair-napping, live-show-watching kind of cruise!