Planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands is as simple ...
or complex as you want to make it!
Your enjoyment (or lack) of a cruise experience will mainly depend on your expectations.
That's right, Your expectations are one of the most important questions we ask our clients
when finding the most suitable and available options for them.
Feel free to browse through our compilation of information
accumulated over 22 years brokering Galapagos ...
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A GALAPAGOS CRUISE Today there is so much information on Galapagos Islands cruises available on the Internet to make your head spin. This can be very advantageous and helpful for the reader as information is readily available ...everything from island descriptions, weather details, island maps, wildlife details and cruise options.
The main factors to consider are the following:
CRUISE COSTS - WHAT IS AND IS NOT GENERALLY INCLUDED IN GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CRUISES
Cruise rates generally include the following (unless otherwise specified):
Cruise rates generally do not include the following (unless otherwise specified):
- Transfers in Galapagos (Galapagos airport to yacht and visa versa) *for standard cruise flights;
- All meals during the cruise;
- Tea, coffee & purified drinking water;
- Accommodation in double cabin;
- Bilingual (Spanish/English) naturalist guided excursion (as per the specific cruise itinerary);
- Snorkel equipment (*not always included in all cruise rates);
- Round trip Galapagos airline ticket (but this is booked in conjunction with any given cruise);
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US $100.00 per person);
- INGALA Tourist Control Card [TCT] ($20.00 per person);
- Alcoholic beverages & soft drinks;
- Tips/gratuities to naturalist guide(s) and crew;
- Wet suits (on most boats these can be rented directly on-board);
CLASSIFICATION OF GALAPAGOS CRUISES
Important note about the classification of Galapagos vessels/boats:
The Galapagos National Park (Parque Nacional Galapagos) is the only entity that officially classifies the numerous boats in Galapagos. However, this official classification system is not used by the tourist industry as it really does not help people distinguish one boat from another! Why? 66 boats are technically classified as class "A", 6 boats as class "B", 5 boats as class "C" and 5 boats classified as class "C - Daily Tour".
For this reason, you may find discrepancies from source to source that use the following widely accepted unofficial classification system:
Below you will find how the National Park classifies the boats:NAVIGABLE CRUISE TOUR A (66 BOATS)
- Tourist Superior
When the tourist operation is performed with luxury boats, equipped with individual cabins and air conditioning, private bathroom and with the necessary specifications for the complete comfort of the tourists during the cruise.
NAVIGABLE CRUISE TOUR B (6 BOATS)
In this category the tourist operation is performed with semi luxury boats, equipped with similar characteristics as the type A cruiser, except air conditioning.
NAVIGABLE CRUISE TOUR C (5 BOATS)
The tourist operation of these cruises are done with boats without individual cabins, private bathrooms or air conditioning, and only standard facilities for navigation.
DAILY TOUR C (5 BOATS)
The operation is assigned a daily tour itinerary with up to 14 visitor sites per week, with two sites per day and one site per turn.
Tourist class (class C) Galapagos Islands boats offer basic services and are oriented to those on a tight budget (i.e., backpackers, students etc). Generally speaking, these boats do not attract older clients due to their basic services.
However, for those on an economic budget and are willing to forgo some of the luxuries and comforts of the more expensive options, these boats may well suit your needs & requirements.
First class (class A) Galapagos Islands boats have the greatest range (in terms of quality, comfort, space, stability, food etc) and range from smaller & more basic options (similar to the better Tourist Superior boats) right up to more spacious & higher end options (similar to some Deluxe class options). Not all First class options are alike in quality.
Unofficially, we have subdivided the 26 First class boats listed into three approximate* categories:(1) LOWER; (2) MIDDLE; and (3) HIGHER
(*NOTE: these are unofficial subdivisions & subject to change based on passenger reviews)
All Deluxe class Galapagos Islands vessels carry the most qualified and experienced Naturalist guides aboard. In addition, these vessels are spacious, comfortable, stable and provide the highest level of on-board services and amenities (i.e., food, safety, cabins and some with additional features like gymnasium, Jacuzzi etc).
There are two main types of vessels: (1) large capacity cruise ships (from 40 to 100 passengers); and (2) smaller non-cruise ship boats (motor & motor-catamarans)