What Makes a Luxury Experience? The True Definition of Luxury Cruises in the Galapagos
Over the course of the past few decades, the definition of luxury cruises in Galapagos has changed dramatically. As recently as 30 years ago, one could simply say that being served a hot plate of rice and beans and having access to a bathroom in the “middle of nowhere” was more than enough for a Galapagos cruise to be considered luxury. Adding amenities to this, be it courtesy shampoo in your bathroom or a TV in your cabin (complete with a mini-library of documentary/science-oriented VHS tapes) was regarded as really going the “extra mile” when it came to a luxury cruise in Galapagos.
But nowadays, all that has pretty much become standard.
The definition of a luxury cruise in Galapagos has, in many ways, “made like the finches” and evolved overtime. And it’s a good thing too, as it has continuously been refined and perfected throughout recent decades. With over 60 years of experience and as pioneers of the first set of tours to Galapagos, Metropolitan Touring proudly invites you to redefine your concept of luxury cruises in Galapagos. This blog examines our ships and what exactly it is that makes them luxury expedition vessels nowadays.
Galapagos Luxury Cruise Factor #1: Itinerary, itinerary, itinerary
The modern-day definition of a luxury Galapagos cruise hinges tremendously on this factor alone: just how good are the itineraries that a vessel offers? After all, since you’re not just moving from point A to point B, that’s what a Galapagos expedition vessel is all about!
But in a world where Galapagos cruises all have their own particular itineraries, how exactly do you distinguish yourself from the rest? How do you, in essence, create a luxurious, top-of-the-line Galapagos itinerary? At Metropolitan Touring, our logic and answer to this is quite simple: You do so by realizing that our guests’ ultimate experience must MATCH and SURPASS their EXPECTATIONS (of what they’ve been exposed to, be it in documentaries, books, etc.).
After all, at the end of your Galapagos excursion, what will matter above all else is the quality of the experience that you had throughout the islands themselves and the iconic species that you encountered. We realize that’s really all it takes. And this luxury itinerary factor itself branches out into the two following factors…
Galapagos Luxury Cruise Factor #2: Total Number of Islands Visited + Unique Species of Wildlife Witnessed
The level of luxury you experience in Galapagos will be based on just how much you get to see. From the number of islands you visit to the amount of wildlife your eyes and ears absorb, no trip to Galapagos is complete without a wide amount of exposure and coverage in terms of what it has to offer.
Not to mention, doing so in the most efficient manner, too. In order to cover a wide gamut of the archipelago’s excellent diversity, our vessels sail at night. This has the added benefit of allowing guests to experience the geologically “older” eastern islands before contrasting them to the “younger” islands in the west, from one day to the next. Not to mention, it gives them the chance to check off a much greater amount of the unique wildlife from the BIG15 list of iconic species in Galapagos.
That’s why we’ve created 4-night itineraries as the bare minimum for each of our vessels. Why? Because that’s the minimum number of days that expedition leaders and guest feedback have established as the satisfactory length needed in order to get a proper experience out of Galapagos. None of our vessels ever fall below this bare minimum. Beware, however! For certain Tour Operators in Galapagos offer itineraries that are as remarkably short as 3-nights. While slightly more “economic,” calling these tours “luxury” is a tremendous mistake, for all they offer are a meagre number of encounters with a mere handful of iconic creatures and top islands. With these shorter itineraries, you are almost always guaranteed to be left wanting more – a feeling which should never equate to luxury.
At Metropolitan Touring, we strive to go beyond our guests’ expectations and send them back home with an unforgettable experience to keep in their suitcase of memories. You can rest assured that, with this factor in mind and by Galapagos standards, anything over 7-days could be regarded as highly luxurious experience of the Galapagos, as is evident with our:
- Yacht La Pinta’s Western Galapagos Islands itinerary
- Santa Cruz II’s Eastern Galapagos Islands itinerary
- Yacht Isabela II’s Northern Galapagos Islands itinerary
Galapagos Luxury Cruise Factor #3: Exclusivity of Visitor Sites
All of our vessels experience upwards of 80-90% of each visitor sites to themselves. This is luxury in its most apparent form, as having a slice of this fantastic and otherworldly paradise is a tremendous source of “wows” for our guests.
Galapagos Luxury Cruise Factor #4: Providing the Perfect Amount of Ways to Appreciate Just How Biologically Complex the Galapagos Are
Nature-oriented activities enhance our guest’s experience of the archipelago. The more nature-oriented experience you have, the closer that brings us to satisfying and going beyond the expectations of our guests. Luxury is offering an array of options. This is a factor that is facilitated by means of multi-guided expedition vessel, which all of our boats are.
Single-guided vessels only provide one activity per part of the day, so watch out! Find out why that is by clicking here.
Galapagos Luxury Cruise Factor #5: Service & Insightfulness
We have a well-trained crew in hospitality that guarantees world-class service. Another interesting tidbit? Only expedition vessels have Hotel Managers that ensure everything runs smoothly and make sure that all your requirements are taken care of. We take pride in making you feel at home.
Also, your knowledgeable expedition staff doesn’t just want to point out a plant or a bird or a giant tortoise to you, they also want to share their expertise and love for their home with you. And truly, truly? We don’t want you to just leave the Galapagos feeling satisfied, we want you to leave knowing more. This is the definition of Academic Luxury in Galapagos.
Galapagos is a place where the stars overhead are what matter most. We are here to deliver a MILLION STAR expedition on 5-star vessels. Step out at night and enjoy as your guide points out the numerous constellations which you can only see from the equator!
Galapagos Luxury Cruise Factor #6: Gastronomy
Going back to the plate of rice and beans from our introduction for a minute, it’s always important to understand that true gastronomy in the Galapagos is a challenge. True luxury is appreciating just how far away you are from everything, the fact that you’re sailing throughout islands that virtually produce nothing, in an archipelago where much of what you consume is brought in. And yet, in spite of all of this, being able to have a meal that’s on par with some of the highest rated restaurants in the world!
Note: the Galapagos are not just “off the coast” of Ecuador, they are actually VERY far away.
If your definition of a luxury Galapagos cruise involves looking for marble-tiled bathroom floors and your own personal butler, then by all means go for it. But by taking the moment to appreciate just how faraway you are from everything, aboard anyone of our vessels, luxury really is just a matter of how you look at it and how closely you pay attention to the care that Metropolitan Touring has put into making this trip a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Luxury throughout your Galapagos tour is, in essence, a state of mind – and we help your reach it.
Metropolitan Touring makes the Galapagos a place where every little thing, every little experience, every little attention to detail is a luxury by default.
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.