SAIL YACHTS, CATAMARANS, CRUISES & SHIPS

Land based tours are a great approach to the islands, with Hotels strategically located in the main islands, (Isabela, Santa Cruz, Floreana & San Cristobal) many activities are arranged in the surroundings of the Hotels such as biking, horseback riding, snorkeling & kayaking. Island Hopping will connect you through different Hotels for a more in depth and adventurous tour.

Duration – Not applicable
Difficulty – Not applicable

Description

Cruising the Galapagos islands is by far the best way of getting to know the Archipelago. Galapagos cruises emerged as a result of limited access to land in the archipelago, making it difficult to offer land based tours. Fast forward to the present day & the islands feature full grown fleets of ships, yachts, catamarans & cruises that offer guests an experience of a lifetime. Perfected over the years, Galapagos cruises provide an all inclusive experience ranging from short to long programs, covering most corners of the islands. An unparalleled experience like no other in the world, catering guests with an unprecedented approach to wildlife & nature. Truly a paradise to behold, walk alongside untamed wildlife & invigorate your every sense, the islands are waiting to enchant you.

CATEGORIES OF CRUISES:  Basic / Superior / First Class / Luxury

The perfect amount of time in the islands varies greatly from one person to another, while some may find a 4 day tour fulfilling and long enough, others might find a 15 day tour to short, wherever you may find yourself in it is important to have a clear idea of how much actual time you will have partaking in your scheduled activities and have a better judgment when deciding what tour package works best for you.

WHEN TO TRAVEL : What makes the islands so special is their never ending state of paradise, you can visit the islands any time of the year, & landscapes, wildlife and sealife will always have something in store for you. Adjusting to the seasonal changes that mark the end and begining of the galapagos cylcle called the (warm & dry) season, are a great guideline to know when to visit. Warm Season Jan to June: warmer water & weather, clear skies, short rains, green lush vegetation, calm seas, nesting & breeding season, less marine life. Dry Season July to Dec: colder waters and dry weather, stronger sea currents, great snorkeling with rich marine life, new wildife and offsprings, full on bird life.

DIVING : Cruises that offer diving in the islands are very few & can be numbered with the fingers of your hands, these are not to be confused with regular naturalist cruises that offer (snorkeling-exploratory treks, etc) which are not allowed to offer diving. This is where diving liveaboards play their role for those looking to dive while cruising the Galapagos. Diving cruises main focus will be underwater, which is where you will be most of the time, taking you in most cases to islands unreachable by regular naturalist cruises (Darwin & Wolf Islands) among other sites. Diving permits for cruises in the Galapagos are quite expensive, so liveaboards are priced in the luxury price range and offer tours for 8 days only.

Tour Itinerary

Cruising the Galapagos islands is by far the best way of getting to know the Archipelago. Galapagos cruises emerged as a result of limited access to land in the archipelago, making it difficult to offer land based tours. Fast forward to the present day & the islands feature full grown fleets of ships, yachts, catamarans & cruises that offer guests an experience of a lifetime. Perfected over the years, Galapagos cruises provide an all inclusive experience ranging from short to long programs, covering most corners of the islands. An unparalleled experience like no other in the world, catering guests with an unprecedented approach to wildlife & nature. Truly a paradise to behold, walk alongside untamed wildlife & invigorate your every sense, the islands are waiting to enchant you.

Tour Photographs

cuenca (600 x 400) cuenca1 (600 x 400)  ecuador1 (600 x 400) FACHADA (600 x 400) quito (600 x 400) quito1 (600 x 400)

Tour Prices

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TOUR PRICE
Please Contact Us with the dates you will be travelling and what class of boat you prefer so that we can check on boat availabilities for you.

Do you have any questions?

Here you will find answers to some of the most common questions we get asked.  If you cannot find the answer in these please do not hesitate to contact us.

What type of boats are available?

There is 4 types of boats available in the Galapagos: Motor Yachts, Motor Sail Yachts, Motor Catamarans & Ships. The average size for most of them are a 16 passenger capacity, and ships with a maximum of 100 passengers.

When is the best season to visit the islands?

The Galapagos is considered a great destination all year round, and something amazing is always taking place in the islands.

What time of the year is high Season in the Islands?

Peak months of the year when tours in the islands are quite in demand are: July & August for summer / December & January for Christmas & New Year. Airlines in the Galapagos also have low and high season rates, yet time frames as to when these higher rates apply are constantly fluctuating based on demand. All boats in the islands have different dates to what they consider low & high season though, so it can be tricky when booking.

Should I book well I advance?

If you are particularly keen on a specific cruise, or you would want as much options as possible, then booking well in advance (6 to 12 months) is recommended.

When can I book a last minute deal?

Last minutes are available from 3 weeks to a month prior to the departure of a specific date on a cruise. The closer you book to the departing date, the better the rate will be – yet the risk of no spaces been available will also inherently grow.

Will flights be available that match my cruise dates?

Booking well in advanced-you are guaranteed to have your ticket(s) available for both the dates and route of your cruise. Boat operators have spaces reserved with the Airline of their preference that match their departures throughout the year.

What is the luggage weight restriction on the plane?

Luggage weight has a limit of 23kg (50 pounds) per person, plus a carry of maximum 7kg (15 pounds), additional luggage is permitted with a fee per add kilo.

Should I book a bigger cruise to avoid seasickness?

If you are prone to sea sickness, booking a bigger boat should be a no brainer as it would ensure the overall satisfaction of your tour. Order of stability from lowest to highest is: Yachts / Catamarans / Small Ships / Ships.

What should I bring to avoid sea sickness?

Consult with physician back home, regular sea sickness medication might not be the best approach as it might not allow you enjoy your tour to the fullest, drowsiness & fatigue are known secondary effects. Both patches and wrist bands are a good viable options, some clients have had success with different forms of Ginger.

Is there any type of medication or vaccine required?

No, the Galapagos Park does not require any type of vaccine or proof of medication for visitors entering the islands, there is no risk of malaria, yellow fever etc. in the islands.

What will the first & last day of my cruise be like?

First Day: Even in cases where clients have entered the islands prior to day 1 of their tour, the morning will still be lost with the logistics of dispatching clients entering the islands that day by the yachts personnel. Only an afternoon activity will be available on day one.
Last Day: With all flights returning to mainland early to mid-morning, a short activity is covered before been taken to the airport, in a few yachts or bigger vessels no activity is scheduled at all on the last day, please have this in mind when deciding the amount of days you want to be on board of a cruise.

What are the documents required to enter the Islands?

The only requirement is your passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity, with the corresponding tourist visa stamp granted upon your arrival in Ecuador. The standard park entrance fee & Transit control Card will be paid for & issued the day you travel to the islands.

Is it required to have a certain level of fitness to partake on a cruise?
A moderate level of fitness would be required to partake & fully enjoy the activities offered by cruises. The overall trekking in a day can go from 2 to 4 hours per day, & snorkeling is a fairly common activity during the day.
How is the cabin distribution on board?

It varies from boat to boat but in general accommodation is usually in bunk beds. From First class onwards, lower twin beds, doubles & triples are available.

I’m a solo traveler, are singles available?

All yachts are based on a minimum of 2 clients per cabin, for solo travelers the norm is to share the cabin, the same gender in most cases is guaranteed. If you want ensure the cabin to yourself a single supplement would apply between 60 to 100% surcharge. Very few vessels in higher categories carry singles.

Are kids & babies allowed on board?

Policies vary from boat to boat, some boats require children to have a certain amount of years & have their parents’ consent to be allowed on board. There is a few yachts and vessels available that offer family departures that would be more suitable for children.

Can my child sleep in my cabin?

Policies vary from boat to boat, but in most cases unless it’s a baby, it would be required for children to be accommodated in their own cabin, regardless of the age – a child would count as a full passenger, if a yacht has capacity for 16 passengers, and the child shares the cabin with his parents, only other 15 passengers are allowed on board.

Will there be a window in my Cabin?

Most boats have portholes that allow sunlight to enter the cabin, windows that open are not common but are available in some yachts from first class onwards.

Are there triple cabins available?

In the majority of cases no, what most cruises or ships do in cabins that are slightly larger found in first class cruises onwards is to place a sofa bed to accommodate a third passenger, very few cruises offer a full sized triple cabin.

Is there cabins with no engine noise?

All cabins on board of yachts will have engine noise to some extent, depending on the cabins distribution, some might be quieter than others, modern vessels like catamarans have their engine rooms designed to keep engine noise to a minimum.

What services will be available in my cabin?

Standard services found in all yachts offered by us are: Private bathroom, hot shower, air conditioning, life vest, room cleaning, toiletries & towels.

I have a special diet, can the yacht cater my meals?

They most certainly can, at the moment of placing your booking you will be required to provide details regarding your dietary needs, this will be passed on to the boat operator to ensure your meals will be prepared accordingly. The variety of meals will also depend in the category you travel in, a list of what you can eat is always a great way of helping chefs on board.

Should I rent the snorkel & wetsuit?

If they are not included in your rate  then it would be wise to rent them in order to enjoy your tour to the fullest, snorkeling is a big part of the activities in your tour, (once a day or more) & the cost of renting the equipment is minimum. As for the wetsuit, it serves multiple purposes, from helping with water temperature, buoyancy to protecting you from jellyfish stings.

Do I need to be an experienced diver?

The majority of diving points in the Galapagos are friendly for inexperienced divers as long as you have a paddy license, yet there is certain locations such as Gordon Rocks that require divers to have a minimum of 30 immersions in order to dive there, mainly for the strong currents and the expertise required to dive safely in these waters.

What documents & information is required to book Diving Tours?

Information & Documentation required are: Padi License, number of immersions, Height, Weight, Shoe size etc. Signing a lease is required before partaking in your diving activities, signed either the day before or the day of your dive in the islands.

What is (Ingala) Transit Control Card?

A regulation mechanism similar to a Visa, controlling passengers entering & exiting the islands. A one-time fee of $10 per person paid in main land (Quito or Guayaquil), applicable for both foreigners & Ecuadorians is required to enter the islands. Payment is accepted in cash only.

What is the cost for the Park Entrance Fee?

$100 Foreign tourists, non-residents of Ecuador over 12 years
$50 Foreign tourists, non-residents of Ecuador under 12 years
$50 Foreign tourists, non-residents of Ecuador over 12 years originating from a country part of Mercosur
$25 Foreign tourists, non-residents of Ecuador under 12 years originating from a country part of Mercosur
$25 Tourists, students not living in Ecuador who are enrolled in a national educational institution
$6 Tourists and foreign nationals residing in Ecuador, over 12 years (cedula required).
$3 Tourists and foreign nationals residing in Ecuador, under 12 years (cedula required).
$0 Domestic and foreign tourists under 2 years of age are exempt from this tax.
* The above rates will be paid upon arrival in the airport of Galapagos in cash only.

What is the suggested guideline for tipping the crew & Guide?

Tips on board of yachts are not an obligation-but are expected, the following rates are a general guideline, usually the same amount applies for the *crew (all crew on board) & guide, yet passengers should always tip the amount they feel comfortable with, after all tipping is an additional compensation for the good service & attention you were provided with during your stay.
Basic Cruises: $5 / Superior Cruises: $6 / First Class Cruises: $7-8 / Luxury & Ships: $8-10
The above rates are per passenger, per day, example: solo traveler on an 8 day basic Cruise = $80, $40 for the Guide & $40 for the crew.

Will I get to see as much from a land based tour?

There is limits to the places you will get to see & visit. Some islands are only allowed to be visited with cruises (example: Española), & other locations are not logistically possible given the far out location they have (example: Fernandina, Genovesa etc).

What is island hopping?

It is a tour package that offers you land based activities by moving you through different Hotels in main islands (San Cristobal / Floreana / Santa Cruz / Isabela) in order to cover the surrounding visit points. This is the best way of visiting the islands on land & make the most of your stay. Island Hopping tours we currently offer are only with Galadventure & Red Mangrove Hotels.

Can I choose what islands to visit on a land based tour?

Land hopping tours similar to cruises have prearranged itineraries, if you want to visit specific islands or visit points in the islands this can certainly be arranged with Hotels such as Silberstein, where they will combine public daily departures with accommodation & meals to offer you a custom tour package, as long as the places you have in mind can be accessed with daily tours.

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