Traveling to the Galapagos? Choosing a Cruise versus Land Vacation

A journey to the Galapagos Islands is a fascinating experience for every traveler. For visitors wishing to make the most of sunny weather and natural beauty while relaxing in a one-of-a-kind destination, a land-based Galapagos tour can be a stellar option. For folks wishing to explore the islands of the archipelago and venture to truly privileged and remote locations in a safe and exciting way, a Galapagos cruise tour is a terrific choice. In this blog, we’ll examine Galapagos cruise versus land vacation options.

How to Choose a Cruise Experience or Land Vacation in Galapagos

It can be both overwhelming and exciting to decide what type of experience you want to have in the Galapagos. However, let’s take it one step at a time. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Will I be traveling with family, friends, a significant other, or by myself?
  • How long would I like to stay and how would I like to spend my time in the Galapagos?
  • Do I or does anyone traveling with me suffer from seasickness?
  • Would I like to visit more than one island in the Galapagos and see as many native and endemic animals as possible?
  • Am I looking for an all-inclusive type of experience?

At Metropolitan Touring, we’re committed to helping you design the perfect trip for yourself and your fellow travelers. Below, we’ve listed some of the unique benefits of embarking on a Galapagos cruise tour aboard an expedition vessel, in addition to some of the highlights of booking a land-based vacation. The information provided may help you make the best decision!

The Advantages of a Galapagos Cruise Tour

The benefits of exploring the islands aboard an expedition vessel are many.

  • Ample opportunities to see more wildlife
  • Explore more remote regions of the Galapagos National Park
  • Scheduled site visits with Park-certified naturalist guides
  • Meals included with each itinerary
  • 24/7 Onboard Medical Officer
  • Park-approved expedition activities (snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, glass-bottom boat rides, and more!)

More Wildlife to Observe as part of a Galapagos Cruise

First and foremost, Galapagos cruise tours provide travelers with the chance to explore some of the most unique native and endemic wildlife, which varies from island to island. Not all ecosystems within the archipelago are the same. Conditions vary by region, and you’ll see that some wildlife can only be observed on certain islands. By sailing aboard a Galapagos expedition cruise vessel like Yacht La Pinta, or Yacht Isabela II, you can travel to these impressive and exciting places!

Flamingos in Galapagos.

An expedition cruise is a great choice for viewing the most variety of wildlife like the iconic flamingo.

Remote Regions and Galapagos National Park-certified Naturalist Guides

As 97% of the Galapagos Islands comprises the Galapagos National Park, all site visits and activities within this territory must be approved by the park, and itineraries are carefully curated to provide travelers with the best experience of the islands possible, this includes visiting some of the region’s most remote locations, an experience you can only have via a cruise vacation.

Experienced naturalist guides accompany passengers in every park-approved expedition activity. Think of them as your personal hosts when traveling through the archipelago. They’ll keep you safe as you embark on exciting coastal hikes, panga and glass-bottom boat rides, snorkeling, paddleboarding, swimming, and kayaking. These activities are standard aboard Yacht La Pinta and Yacht Isabela II. Additionally, they’ll answer your questions, and teach you all about the delicate ecosystems of the Galapagos. Plus, you’ll enjoy the same group of guides, as they also travel aboard and even offer insightful daily lectures on different aspects of the Galapagos.

Guests visiting a lava field

A Galapagos National Park-certified naturalist guide leads an expedition through a lava field.

The Benefits of a Galapagos Premium Hotel Experience

Another great way of discovering the Galapagos Islands is by staying at the Finch Bay Hotel on Santa Cruz Island. This premium eco-friendly hotel is an ideal option for families looking for a more relaxed experience. The Finch Bay has its own Expedition Leader, someone who can connect you with a variety of day tours, answer all your questions, and help you make the most of your visit.

And, just like you’ll find aboard our expedition vessels, our Le Cordon Bleu gastronomic director has designed a stellar menu with plenty of delicious and healthful options to satisfy even the most particular of appetites! And, of course, we have a world-class mixologist in charge of the creation of our signature cocktails and mocktails!

The Finch Bay Hotel in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island

The Land Vacation in Galapagos: Location, Location, Location!

Conveniently located in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, the Finch Bay is close enough to several fascinating islands in the archipelago; this means you’ll be able to explore every day to your heart’s content and return to the comfort of your luxurious suite every afternoon or evening. Each member of your party can tailor their trip to match their own common and individual interests. This is one of the best aspects of a land-based vacation—the ability to design your experience exactly how you want.

If you want to explore the nearby islands, you can hop aboard the hotel’s own Sea Lion Yacht—a 20-passenger vessel that features two levels with ample space and comfortable seating, perfect for viewing the landscapes as you venture to some of the islands within the Galapagos National Park. Our naturalist guides will lead you in snorkeling and hiking activities.

Finch Bay Hotel guests in the Sea Lion and kayaking expeditions.

Day tours in the Galapagos National Park aboard the Finch Bay’s very own Sea Lion Yacht

Relax and Recharge, Poolside and Beachside

At the Finch Bay Hotel, you can also just relax by the pool or on the shores of the beach and be delighted by the world-class gastronomy on offer. In fact, the Finch Bay is the only beachfront hotel on Santa Cruz Island.

With its own recently inaugurated full-service spa, the Finch Bay Hotel has really become the premier land vacation destination in the Galapagos. Where else can you enjoy a tremendous variety of spa treatments or soak in one of two hot tubs while taking in the truly unparalleled views of this spectacular destination?

The Finch Bay Hotel’s bright and relaxing spa is an experience unto itself!

How to Experience the Galapagos: Recapping Your Options

To recap, a Galapagos cruise vacation is the ideal option for anyone with a curious and adventurous spirit. If you enjoy activities like snorkeling, hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more, you’ll love them even more in this one-of-a-kind setting! Also, when it comes to sailing in just the right combination of comfort, luxury, fine dining, safety, and style, our expedition vessels are among the very best!

Should you want a more relaxed, mostly land-based Galapagos vacation, an option like the Finch Bay Hotel on Santa Cruz Island could be just what the doctor ordered! Every day is just how you wish to plan it. Cater your activities and your time to your preferences and know that you’ll have easy access to comforts like a recently remodeled pool, a full-service bar, a renowned local restaurant, and a high-end spa with a full array of treatments.

Whether you opt for a Galapagos cruise or a land vacation, you have some solid options, and we’re certain your visit to this spectacular archipelago will be an unforgettable one!

If you’d like to learn more about our different cruise options, CLICK HERE.
If you’re interested in the Finch Bay Hotel, CLICK HERE.

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