Galapagos Cruises With Experts – Pioneers in Galapagos Island Cruises

Pioneer in Galapagos island cruises

Galapagos

Metropolitan Touring pioneered travel to the Galapagos Islands in the early 1960s. We pride ourselves on the quality of our trio of expedition Galapagos island cruise tour vessels and our eco-hotel, our safety standards, our loyal and outstanding staff and our commitment to giving our guests an incomparable experience of the Islands while preserving their riches for future generations.

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Four Reasons to Cruise with Metropolitan Touring

From the relaxing, informal atmosphere of the Santa Cruz II to the flawless service on Isabela II, there really is something for everyone aboard our irresistible ships. What are some of the best reasons to cruise through the Galapagos with us? Discover the perk that suits your personal style here.

(1) A Passionate and Knowledgeable Staff
(2) The Most Unforgettable Itineraries
(3) A Bevy of Luxurious Benefits
(4) Options for Every Type of Trip

Galapagos Cruises & Hotel

Yacht La Pinta Galapagos Cruise

La Pinta accommodates 48 guests, with ample social areas, an observation deck towards the bow, wrap-around windows, Jacuzzi, cardio-gym, kayaks, glass-bottom boat, sun deck, sun loungers… ideal for travellers looking for a sophisticated, upscale experience of the islands. Cruise prices start from $ 2,955 pp.

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Santa Cruz II Galapagos Cruise

The Santa Cruz II, accommodating 90 guests is our newest expedition ship, and the finest ship in her class to sail the archipelago today. She’s versatile, flexible and fun, with an excellent crew committed to making her guests’ experience truly extraordinary. She has decks and cabins to suit a range of tastes. Cruise prices start from $ 3,196 pp.

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Yacht Isabela II Galapagos Cruise

The Galapagos Islands are special and you want a special yacht in which to explore this living laboratory of evolution. Our Yacht Isabela II, accommodating 40 guests, promises an intimate experience of this unique world. Cruise prices start from $ 3,236 pp

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Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel + Yacht

The award-winning Finch Bay Eco Hotel lies just steps from the beach in a secluded location, across the bay from Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. Guests cherish the hotel´s privacy, natural surroundings, swimming pool, fine dining, private tours aboard its own yachts within the National Park, and superb service.

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Videos

Metropolitan Touring, All About the Galapagos, our Company and our Products
People Like You. (Family) Galapagos Islands.
Santiago Island. Galapagos 6 pm
People Like You. (Experience) Galapagos Islands Ecuador
The Eyes of the Sea. Galapagos Islands
Dolphins Dance. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
People Like You. (La Pinta) Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Frequently Asked Questions

UCT (GMT) – 6 hours. One hour less than the Ecuadorian mainland.

You fly by plane to one of its two airports (Baltra or San Cristóbal) from either Guayaquil or Quito on mainland Ecuador. There are no flights from any other airport.

Some people take their private yachts into the Marine Reserve and National Park, but it's extremely rare and very expensive. There have also been a couple of visits by cruise ships, but they are also rare.

Endemism = species are found here and nowhere else virtually unchanged, pristine natural environments haunting volcanic landscapes disconnect from the world!

The entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park is currently $100, and the migration control card (to help regulate immigration to the islands) is $20. Per person.

We would always encourage you to spend 7 days in the islands, to get a real feel for each island's different character and to immerse yourself in their special magic. Four-day expedition cruises will give you an idea of the islands, but much of the first and last days are spent travelling.

It depends on the time of year. There are two pronounced seasons in the islands.

The rainy, hot season from December to June when humidity is high and average temperatures are in the 80s F (26°-30° C). There may be occasional showers, but the days are generally hot and sunny.

From June to November, you can expect cool winds, occasionally bringing with them a light misty-type drizzle called "garúa". Temperatures average in the 70s F (20°-24° C) during the day and lower at night.

No, sports fishing is prohibited inside the Marine Reserve. Local fishermen can practice fishing however.

Yes, but due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low-bandwidth.

Of course! It's part of the second-largest Marine Reserve in the world. It's an amazing place to discover all that lives beneath the waves. Snorkeling and swimming make up an important part of the Galapagos experience.

There is no best month to aim for in Galapagos, but you can view our Calendar to get a better idea of what is going on climactically and with wildlife.

There is a quite a debate regarding this theme, and as the operator of three vessels in the islands, you would expect us to answer that live-aboards are best. Much depends on your personal tastes and predilections. But, we would say that most people will get the most out of the islands by taking a live-aboard expedition cruise, experiencing the islands as Charles Darwin did in the 19th century (albeit more comfortably!) and spending more of your time relaxing and enjoying the landscapes rather than travelling by boat, bus or car from one place to the next. Many people now combine time on a live-aboard and time at one of the Islands' towns, such as Puerto Ayora (staying at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel afterwards, for example), or Puerto Villamil.

This depends on personal taste. Some people like traveling on a larger ship with more people, others on small sailing boats of only 16 passengers. There are a range of yachts between these two extremes.

Metropolitan Touring has three vessels: two 'medium' yachts of 40 and 48 guests, and the Santa Cruz for 90. The smaller are more intimate; La Pinta offers inter-connecting cabins. The Santa Cruz, on the other hand, has larger and more varied social areas, and a more family-friendly infrastructure and feel.

Things to consider when deciding the size of your Galapagos cruise vessels:

  • What rank and experience does the Captain and first officers have?
  • Only larger vessels have Captains and First Officers who are either Ecuadorian Navy or Merchant Navy qualified, with at least 12 years' experience.

You should have good walking shoes/trainers, and a pair of Teva-type sandals.

We recommend using 'shorty' wetsuits from May to December, when the waters in Galapagos are colder and it's more comfortable for snorkelers to remain longer in the water.

600 miles/1,000 km. About an hour-and-a-half flight from Guayaquil, 2 hours from Quito.

Very nearly. 97% of the archipelago's islands is designated a national park. Human settlements are concentrated on the remaining 3%. There are strict rules about visiting the areas on islands that have been designated as visitor sites by the national park authorities. The Galapagos is also part of a huge Marine Reserve, which ranks among the largest in the world.

No, since this would imply that they had been tamed by humans, or domesticated, if you will. They are simply fearless because their ancestors did not have to perceive humans as a threat, so nor do they.

No, although marine iguanas can get surprisingly big! Nor are giant tortoises endemic to the Galapagos. The elephantine sub-species developed in other parts of the planet, too. In Galapagos, the interesting aspect to note is the speciation of the tortoises once they arrived on the islands, evolving in time into different species – unable to reproduce between island species.

From the medieval/Renaissance Spanish term for a type of saddle that was raised up at its front. The Spanish sailors who came across giant tortoises – of whom various subspecies have 'saddle back' shells – named them "galápago" after these saddles.

The finches on Galapagos are special because they are the bird species that has been used to illustrate Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. The work of the Grants on Daphne Major is an excellent case study of finch populations and their variations over a short period of time clearly proves that – Darwin argued, "species are not immutable", and that adaptations can occur rapidly in populations in order to exploit ecological niches. There are 13 species of finch in all in Galapagos, some very similar in size and coloration: anyone who can identify all of them in the wild at a glance is a liar!

Your Galapagos Travel Expert Since 1969