With almost 70 vessels available in the Galapagos, choosing the ideal cruise may initially seem daunting. However, once you clearly understand what you aim to achieve from your journey and consider safety measures during your travel, answering the question, “Which is the best Galapagos Cruise?” becomes significantly easier.
We’ve outlined the top three hacks for selecting the best Galapagos Cruise to assist you in this process.
1. Look for Simultaneous Activities
Does your Galapagos cruise offer a proper variety of simultaneous activities throughout each day?
Ensure that your chosen Galapagos cruise offers various activities that align with your interests. To truly immerse yourself in the Galapagos experience, exploring, engaging, and participating in activities at each visitor site is essential. However, imagine if your vessel only provided one training per site. You might feel disappointed or experience that dreaded Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). This is a potential risk when embarking on a Galapagos journey aboard a vessel with limited activity options.
Taken from Cruise Critic’s article ‘So Far from Mass Tourism’: How the Galapagos Islands Could Help Restart Cruises:
“One company has already discreetly resumed its operations in the Galapagos. The Ecuadorian-based Metropolitan Touring recommenced its first post-shutdown operations aboard the 48-passenger La Pinta on August 2, 2020. They have pledged to operate every sailing, implementing all necessary safety travel measures – irrespective of whether there’s just one passenger on board.”
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It’s important to note that independent exploration of the Galapagos National Park is prohibited. The Galapagos National Park Authority mandates that all excursions hosted by vessels must have one Naturalist Guide for every 16 guests. As a result, single-guided boats can only offer one activity per site at any given time.
So, which Galapagos cruise offers the best range of activities? The answer lies in multi-guided cruises, only 18 in the Galapagos. These multi-guided vessels offer guests the added advantage (and genuine freedom) to choose from various daily activities. This is a far better option than being restricted to the guide’s designated day activity or, even worse, what most passengers vote for. An additional benefit? Multi-guided vessels often have an even lower guide-to-guest ratio during excursions, resulting in a more intimate and personalized experience with nature.
2. Safety First
Is your Galapagos cruise actually concerned about your travel safety and the wellbeing of Galapagos waters?
Sure enough, many come to the Galapagos Islands, assuming they’ll be OK throughout the excursion, and more often than not, they absolutely will be perfectly fine. But only a handful of vessels in the Galapagos (10, to be exact) go the extra mile by providing a 24-hour onboard Medical Officer. Why? In the infrequent event that anything should happen to you during your trip to the Galapagos, you can quickly be assisted in getting back up on your feet and return to exploring the Galapagos in no time. After all, you wouldn’t want to let a small accident or minor injury ruin your Galapagos tour of this once-in-a-lifetime destination. That’s what Medical Officers on board are there to help with.
This group of 10 vessels with an onboard medical officer also keeps the Galapagos waters in mind when protecting each visitor site’s delicate flora and fauna. Black and grey water are continuously treated aboard this specific group of vessels, too, giving guests a unique peace of mind when it comes to enjoying the Galapagos responsibly. Plenty of boats and cruise options exist in the Galapagos, so it might take much work to start planning your trip to the Galapagos Islands. Here we have a few things to take into consideration when choosing a Galapagos cruise ship (otherwise known as Expedition Vessels):
• Galapagos Yachts: These are ideal for a comfortable stay and exploration of the islands. Yachts offer comfortable social areas and, on average, around 24 cabins for up to 48 guests. Water stability and luxury are their key features.
• Galapagos Cruises: All the commodities are covered, and exploration activities are abundant. Cruise ships include a restaurant, numerous spacious social areas, and a gym, among other features. They usually have, on average, around 50 cabins for up to 90 guests.
3. Explore the Galapagos Properly
Does your Galapagos cruise provide the exploration tools you’ll need to properly experience Galapagos?
Interestingly, only a limited number of cruises in the Galapagos – just eight – offer their guests an all-inclusive list of exploration tools. These include glass-bottom boats, kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling gear. Remember, the Galapagos Islands are an expedition destination designed to be experienced in as many unique ways as possible! This tip aligns perfectly with our first hack, emphasizing that these activities would not be as enticing if you weren’t free to choose from the diverse exploration methods these vessels offer. If you’re not in the mood for swimming but are still interested in the underwater world of the Galapagos, glass-bottom boats are your perfect solution! Meanwhile, other guests can dive into the water for snorkeling or float on its surface with a kayak, each group having its own safety and direction guide.