Galapagos cruises vs Caribbean Cruises
Galapagos Cruises offer an experience unlike any other; one vastly different from what your idea of a cruise actually is. The advent of cruises around the caribbean has taken over the world’s psyche: mention a cruise and it’s hard not to immediately picture sweeping white sand beaches, turquoise caribbean waters, and enormous ships with spiraling water-slides. This reality does not apply when it comes to the Galapagos. These islands are a protected area – meaning that enormous, all-you-can-eat cruises are strictly banned so as to reduce human impact on the fragile local ecosystem. However, the medium-size local cruises that traverse the islands offer something more adventurous, personalized, and thrilling than anything a massive cruise ship could offer, without compromising too much on size.
What are the differences between caribbean cruises and Galapagos cruises? Metropolitan Touring has the answers. Read on – you might be surprised with what you find!
A Needle in a Haystack
One of the main differences you’ll encounter when booking a Galapagos Cruise is that you are no longer a needle in a haystack. Caribbean Cruises tend to be enormous, building-like structures, crammed to the brim with thousands of rancorous guests eager to play, dance, spend, and eat as much as possible. The same isn’t true of Galapagos Cruise Ships, which tend to permit a maximum of 100 guests at any one time. This obviously translates into smaller ships with less amenities than you would find on a Caribbean cruise line: you can forget about the theater, cinema, double-decker casino, and multiple infinity pools! However, the smaller size also allows you a series of benefits.
First off, you won’t always feel like you’re being herded like ship through an obstacle course. Each guest has more space available to them on Galapagos’ medium-size ships, meaning that finding a quiet spot for some privacy shouldn’t be too hard a thing to do on deck (Travel expert tip: ask about our guest-space ratio!). A mid-size ship also allows you personalize your own experiences; you’ll be able to indulge in the sights and activities of the Galapagos Islands your own way, without being surrounded by hundreds of other people or having to compromise on the type of activities you partake in (an issue many smaller-size cruise ships often encounter!)
Freedom to Explore
Given that there’s fewer people in a Galapagos Cruise, you should expect to enjoy quite a few more freedoms when it comes to how you explore the places you visit. Personalized trips to different activities on the islands will be widely available to you: water-sports, snorkeling, and trekking activities will also be a lot easier to partake in, and will most likely be infinitely more enjoyable given that you’ll be surrounded by fewer people. When on deck in a Galapagos Cruise, you’ll also enjoy a lot more liberties when it comes to what you do.
Perhaps one of the most noticeable differences, Galapagos Cruise Ships are significantly smaller than their caribbean counterparts (large cruises simply aren’t allowed to traverse the islands so as to protect the seafloor and the natural ecosystem of the island). Amenities such as on-deck broadway shows or casinos will most likely not be available to you here. Then again, the stunning beauty of the Galapagos demands that you spend as much time as possible exploring it and learning about its magical history and fauna. It’s important to remember that our cruise ships travel mostly overnight: this means that you’ll have the entire day to be exploring the islands and partaking in as many activities as your heart desires!
Living & Learning
Galapagos Cruises differentiate themselves from their caribbean counterparts on one key area: learning. While the caribbean sea itself brims with a rich colonial history, replete with pirates, ancient american cultures, and ravenous conquistadors, most caribbean cruises choose to ignore this in favor of more popular attractions. This means that, instead of embarking on a journey of both relaxation and learning, caribbean cruise-goers will encounter an experience exclusively devoted to white sand beaches, water-sports, and port cities.
Many may find this to be interesting in of itself – but if you’re looking for something more challenging for both you and your family, Galapagos Cruises offer exactly what you’re looking for! The history of the Galapagos Islands is complex, intriguing, and full of mystery. Its remarkable inhabitants have ranged from famous biologists, to blood-thirsty pirates, to greedy, lustful baronesses. Every cruise ship in the Galapagos offers an incredible learning opportunity; you’ll learn about history, biology, ecology, and sustainability, discover the sea floor in one of our glass-bottomed boats, and discover the mysteries of the islands with one of our multiple available guides – all while relaxing amongst some of the most spectacular sights of the Pacific Ocean. Do you dare venture deeper?
Food journalist and serial Galapagos travel