Kids on Galapagos Cruises: 5 important things you need to know about exploring the Galapagos with children
The Galapagos Islands are often seen as the destination of choice when it comes to discovering and marveling at the living wonders of our world. It gets even better when the experience is shared with your family, because nowhere else in the world will you and your kids get the chance to see the variety and uniqueness of creatures as close-up and personally as you will here. All of the animals in Galapagos are completely fearless and docile in the presence of humans!
Keep in mind, however, that despite just how appealing and exciting this idea may sound, there are certain caveats to consider when it comes bringing the kids to the Enchanted Isles. Follow along in this blog as we go over and answer 5 of the biggest questions we get about bringing kids on a Galapagos cruise.
1. What’s the minimum age for traveling aboard a Galapagos cruise?
The majority of vessels in Galapagos, including ours, are family friendly. But be aware that the minimum recommended age for kids traveling to the Galapagos is 6 years old. Parents that wish to bring aboard any child under the age of 4 will be required to sign a liability waiver and will need to keep the following points in mind:
- The Galapagos Islands are an expedition destination, meaning you’ll be continuously exploring the islands throughout the mornings and afternoons.
- There are no daycare services offered aboard the vessels. Unless you plan on staying aboard the boat and missing out on the daily activities and excursions, then you will need to bring your child along with you.
- There are no bathrooms available at any of the visitor sites on uninhabited islands. Guests are not allowed to walk back to the pickup point by themselves, as the rules of the Galapagos National Park strictly state that guests must always be in the company of a guide at all times.
- The Galapagos Islands are prone to harsh sun rays and heavy heat. Children under the age of 6 may not find themselves all that comfortable under such circumstances, especially considering that the average length of each hike is around 1 mile/1.6 kilometers. As such, it is highly recommended that parents bring any and all means necessary to keep their kids protected and refreshed under these conditions.
In a nutshell: While not impossible to do, the Galapagos Islands may nevertheless end up being a stressful experience for families wishing to bring kids with them that are under the age of 6.
2. What typical age groups are there on Galapagos cruises?
Age groups aboard our vessels tend to vary. However, during the spring, summer and winter holidays, guests should expect to see a greater amount of families with their kids (this also makes for a great time for your kids to have fun in the company of others their age).
Regardless of how varied these age groups are, the advantage of traveling aboard our multi-guided vessels is that each age group will have their needs and interests catered to. Kids feeling a little restless and dying for a swim? Excellent, we have a guide for that. Grandparents feeling a little less eager to get in the water? Don’t worry, our other guide will be available to take them on a relaxing exploration of the underwater wonders of Galapagos aboard our glass-bottom boat!
3. What type of discount do I get if I bring my kid(s) to the Galapagos?
Important: Only those under the age of 12 qualify as “children.”
Children are eligible for a 25% discount (per 1 kid/1 adult) on their Galapagos Islands cruise fare. Children under the age of 12 also get a 50% discount on their Galapagos National Park entrance fee and are even eligible for discounts on their airfare from the mainland (if you are planning on independently booking your flight tickets, then be sure to inquire about this discount directly with your airline).
4. How safe are Galapagos cruises for kids?
Larger and more stable than other vessels in Galapagos, Expedition Yachts and Vessels that comprise our fleet are perhaps one of the most popular and safe means of transport for families in Galapagos.
All of our vessels abide by the strictest international and national safety standards when it comes to navigating through the Galapagos, all with an average guest-to-crew ratio of 3:2. Our vessels are constantly supervised, maintained and even count on a 24-hour Medical Officer, too. All decks are fitted with reinforced railing that keeps children within safe parameters at all times (our rooms do not have balconies, making that one less thing to worry about, too).*
So safe are our tours that Disney has made us their go-to fleet of Galapagos vessels for all of their Adventures by Disney tours!
* In spite of all the precautions we take to keep our guests safe, we always recommend that families keep a watchful eye on their children at all times.
5. What types of food are offered for kids on cruises?
With a grand assortment of delicious and nourishing goodies, kids might actually have a tough time figuring out what not to eat on a Galapagos cruise. We pride ourselves in offering a culinary array aboard all of our vessels that will satiate virtually every palate and accommodate every dietary need and/or restriction. Buffets offer an excellent variety of food and a la carte evening dinners – which, while fixed – can include exceptions for specific diets or even the pickiest of eaters.
Interested in getting a more in-depth look at what the adults get? Then be sure to check out our blog on Food on a Galapagos Cruise.
Bonus Question: What types of activities are available for kids on a Galapagos cruise?
If you’re wondering what types of activities are available for kids on a Galapagos cruise, then be sure to check out our blog on Activities for Kids on a Galapagos Cruise!
With parents that worked for the U.S. Foreign Service up until he graduated from high school, Chris was raised to have the heart of a nomad throughout his life. He has resided in Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador throughout his years, and just recently spent the past four up in Canada finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy & English at the University of British Columbia. He is now devoted to writing about all things related to travel in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.