The Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, are an isolated archipelago home to remarkable marine and animal life. From luxurious yachts to small cruise ships, you can choose from an excellent range of luxury Galapagos Cruises for a once-in-a-lifetime luxury travel Galapagos adventure and an unforgettable view of this natural world.
Sailing in Style: Luxury Galapagos Cruises
The Galapagos Islands can be visited either with one of the many luxury Galapagos cruises, by staying on a lodge or luxury Galapagos hotel with day excursions and island hopping, or by combining both luxury Galapagos cruises with land-based stays.
Each cruise operates fixed departure schedules, rotating their routes. Cruises can start from as little as three days, however we strongly recommend longer cruise options due to both the relative effort required to get here, as well as the fact you will see more iconic wildlife the more you can visit.
The benefits of luxury Galapagos Cruises
One advantage to taking luxury Galapagos cruises are that you can generally cover more ground, with the cruise typically taking you to your next destination overnight. Luxury cruises are time efficient with their itinerary planning, so can even start from one airport in the Galapagos, and fly out from the other.
A longer cruise itinerary – around seven or eight nights – enables you to visit more remote sites on uninhabited islands that are only reachable by cruise, such as Fernandina in the far west.
The range of Luxury Galapagos cruises are exceedingly comfortable and can accommodate those with a range of tastes and budget, from affordable luxury, to a sumptuous cruise and even private charters.
Choosing the right luxury Galapagos Cruise
Galapagos Cruise Boat size
One factor that differentiates cruises from each other is the size. Very large cruises are not permitted around the islands, though there is still a reasonably wide range from intimate vessels to larger boats. We split the boats into two categories: smaller boats, suitable for less than 20 passengers, and larger boats for over 20 passengers.
The right choice depends on your personal taste and travel preferences. The ratio of guides to travelers varies slightly from boat to boat, but regardless of size this is generally at around 10:1, so you will enjoy expert guiding whichever you opt for. While smaller boats can offer flexibility and a more intimate experience, larger boats can better allow you to meet other travellers and can be more cost effective.
Our expert travel planners can help explain all the options to pick the right cruise for you. Contact us today for information and travel advice.
Most cruises are “Naturalist” cruises, in that they are aimed at the generalist traveler eager to learn about wildlife in the Galapagos. All the luxury galapagos cruises we recommend led by excellent guides – biologists and trainded experts with specialist knowledge.
Specialist Cruises: Diving
There are also diving specific cruises. If you’re an experienced diver, this could be an ideal choice. Otherwise, divers can also combine generalist, naturalist cruises and combine this with a stay in a hotel on the Galapagos before or after their cruise, and take diving day trips to have the best of both worlds. We recommend Galapagos Sky as the best diving cruise; alternatives are Agressor III and Nortada.
Read more of our Galapagos FAQs
The Aracari Difference
With many luxury Galapagos cruises to choose between, our expert travel team can help provide information, explain the differences and help you choose the right option tailored to your needs, taste and budget. Each boat also has a slightly different set schedule, producing even more variations in itinerary options! We can talk you through these to help you make an informed decision.
We have first hand knowledge of all the boats we recommend, visiting annually to handpick the best options and maintain our exceedingly high standards. Our personal knowledge and destination experiences means we can offer bespoke travel advice for what’s right for you.
Luxury Galapagos Cruises & Land Itineraries combined
An alternative to taking a Galapagos cruise is to stay overnight at lodges and hotels such as Pikaia Lodge or Galapagos Safari Camp. Overnight stays on the islands can also be combined with taking a cruises – the best of both for your luxury travel Galapagos itinerary.