Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
katz

Best Cruise line for Galapagos Island

Recommended Posts

I am looking for suggestions on cruises in the Galapagos Islands.  We are not interested in land trips to Machu Picchu.  I am not sure where to start in my research.  Should I look at the bigger cruise lines, or try to find smaller companies.  Any suggestions on where to look for smaller cruises?

 

Thank you for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, katz said:

I am looking for suggestions on cruises in the Galapagos Islands.  We are not interested in land trips to Machu Picchu.  I am not sure where to start in my research.  Should I look at the bigger cruise lines, or try to find smaller companies.  Any suggestions on where to look for smaller cruises?

 

Thank you for your help.

We are in the process too.  The ships are very limited in size, number of passengers, etc.  There are "exploration based" lines like NatGeo/Linblad and luxury lines like Silversea and premium lines like Celebrity and various smaller expedition boats and even yachts.  

 

Try this site for cruise and tour info. 

 

adventure-life dot com/galapagos

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may wish to visit the Roll Call Boards for specific lines, such as Celebrity Xpedition Recently Back, to get a feel for the type of experience that might be your best fit.

I did a ton of research (my spreadsheet was a bit overwhelming)!. The longer you are on a ship (7 days, vs 3-4), the more outlying areas you will see.  Smaller charter type vessels are limited to their distance range. The larger vessels - Celebrity, Silversea, etc., have access to the more remote areas, so you will likely see more variety of wildlife and land forms. The number of people, guide ratio, landing licenses, and itineraries are strictly regulated by the Galapagos National Park Service. We did the Celebrity Xpedition last year and loved it so much, we are returning next year. Calabrity has the luxurious Flora at 100 passengers, the Xpedition at 48 passengers, and the Xploration at 16. 

Whichever company you choose, consider if they provide activities for all levels of physical capability, is there a mix of types of activities (hikes, walks, snorkeling, zodiac explorations). The smaller the ship, the fewer daily options.  What does the cost include; all tours, transfers, flights, meals, guides, beverages, tips, hotel? Does the itinerary include the animals you hope to see; sea lions, frigates, blue-footed boobies, etc.?  I can't say enough about the Celebrity experience, from the time we were greeted in Quito to the end it was exceptional in every way. We did add the Machu Picchu extension after much thought, and I'm so glad we did. It was a completely different expereince, and simply magical. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Local cruise line is best. We went on the Santa Isabella  and in 8 days covered most of the sights. This is small enough to get ashore in all locations by zodiac craft and gives you a real feel of the Galapagos. Not cheap, but then the best things never are!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, we just cruised La Pinta ship for 14 days.  We did all 3 iternaries.   The ship is owned by Metropolitan Touring. They have 3 ships.  Everything was excellent!  They even had a glass bottom boat for the non snorkelers. 

Susan & Kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, GrJ Berks said:

Local cruise line is best. We went on the Santa Isabella  and in 8 days covered most of the sights. This is small enough to get ashore in all locations by zodiac craft and gives you a real feel of the Galapagos. Not cheap, but then the best things never are!!

 

Ha, ha, have yet to find a cheap Galapagos trip!

 

FWIW, even the larger ships (100 is the max allowed), have zodiac access to all of the same places as the smaller boats/yachts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/28/2020 at 1:17 PM, sippican said:

 

Ha, ha, have yet to find a cheap Galapagos trip!

 

FWIW, even the larger ships (100 is the max allowed), have zodiac access to all of the same places as the smaller boats/yachts.

Does one really need a zodiac craft to go ashore in the Galapagos?  Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Does one really need a zodiac craft to go ashore in the Galapagos?  Just curious.

 

You can of course go to the inhabited areas of the Galapagos by whatever means you can arrange. There are very strict regulations governing excursions into the Galapagos National Park, which is the goal of most visits. You must be accompanied by a licensed naturalist/guide, groups can be no larger than 16 (there was talk of reducing this to 12), There are no "facilities", docks, etc. Most yachts/ships cannot land up on the shore, which is sand or rocks. We did not observe any watercraft, other than zodiac-type boats, visiting the islands. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, sippican said:

 

You can of course go to the inhabited areas of the Galapagos by whatever means you can arrange. There are very strict regulations governing excursions into the Galapagos National Park, which is the goal of most visits. You must be accompanied by a licensed naturalist/guide, groups can be no larger than 16 (there was talk of reducing this to 12), There are no "facilities", docks, etc. Most yachts/ships cannot land up on the shore, which is sand or rocks. We did not observe any watercraft, other than zodiac-type boats, visiting the islands. 

Thank you.  That makes good sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're also thinking about the Galapagos.  In light of Covid, does anyone know if or when cruising will open back up there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/22/2020 at 8:51 AM, jmbklj said:

We're also thinking about the Galapagos.  In light of Covid, does anyone know if or when cruising will open back up there?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...