Galapagos Islands Cruise

Embark on an unforgettable journey as you explore the legendary Galapagos Islands on a Galapagos Islands cruise.

Formed by volcanic activity, the Galapagos are one of the most fascinating zoological, geological and botanical areas on Earth.

The Galapagos Islands lie along the Equator 1,000km west of Ecuador, the country to which they belong. The archipelago is made up of 13 main islands and hundreds of small rocks and islets, covering just 518 sq km. Due to its biodiversity however, the entire region is protected as a World Heritage Site. Charles Darwin visited here in 1835 and his observations helped him to formulate his groundbreaking theories on the origins of Earth’s species.

From your cruise ship, you will take excursions on shore with experienced guides. Walk amongst sea lions, frigate birds and iguanas. Kayak and snorkel with turtles and hundreds of tropical fish.

To find out more about our range of Galapagos Islands cruises, please download pages below or click here to download the full Galapagos Islands cruise section of our South America brochure.

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Galapagos Islands

Galapagos by small cruise ship

Explore this nature lovers paradise by small cruise ship

A cruise by small ship or yacht is by far the best way to experience the remote and starkly beautiful Galapagos Islands.

Each island offers different scenery, vegetation and wildlife, from colonies of seals and rare bird species to giant tortoises and fascinating lava flows. Our carefully chosen ships range from luxurious to comfortable tourist-class. Choose a larger ship which can accommodate 40 to 100 passengers for a lively journey or opt for a more intimate cruise on a yacht or catamaran which take between 8 to 48 passengers. All shore visits and marine excursions are accompanied by experienced guides. To reduce the impact of tourism the national park authorities control the itineraries for all Galapagos Cruise Operators. Each vessel offers a cyclical itinerary that repeats fortnightly.
Galapagos Marine Iguana

Walk beaches crowded with birds, iguanas and seals

You’ll be amazed by the extraordinary creatures of the Galapagos, from quirky Blue-footed Boobies to curious seal pups and enigmatic marine iguanas.

You’ll be amazed by the extraordinary creatures of the Galapagos, from quirky Blue-footed Boobies to curious seal pups and enigmatic marine iguanas. Most of the wildlife tends to have little fear of humans, and you have to watch your step as you walk through colonies of nesting birds or families of sea lions sunbathing on the beaches. Marine iguanas crowd the rocks and bright lava lizards bob their heads in welcome as you walk by. Look out for Magnificent and Great Frigatebirds, whose courting males inflate their throat sacs like bright red party balloons. Sally lightfoot crabs dash over the rocks and male fur seals jealously guard their corner of the beach. Please be sure to listen to your guides and obey the rules of the Galapagos Islands National Park as you explore.
Giant Galapagos Tortoise

View the Giant Galapagos Tortoise

The flagship species of the Galapagos Islands, giant tortoises are not only spectacular creatures but a symbol of the history of conservation on the islands.

In fact the Galapagos Islands were named after them, as the tortoises were called “galapagos”, meaning “saddle”, by early Spanish buccaneers. Giant tortoises are the world’s largest tortoise and can reach over 1.5 metres in length and weigh 250kg. They are also the world’s longest living vertebrate, averaging 100 years. The Galapagos were once home to hundreds of thousands of tortoises but due to predation by humans, loss of habitat and feral animals, their numbers today are estimated at 20,000–25,000. There are currently 14 different species of giant tortoise, although 4 species are now extinct, with the last member of one species, Lonesome George, dying in 2012. Since 1970 tortoises have been protected and are now one of conservation’s success stories. A species found on Isabela Island has been brought back from the brink of extinction too, and has formed a now viable population of 1,000 individuals.
Galapagos Kayaking

Enjoy Snorkelling, Kayaking & Swimming

The Galapagos archipelago is perfect for marine explorations, either from the beach or directly from the boat.

Most vessels carry snorkelling equipment and wetsuits, whilst some also have kayaks. The seas abound in spectacular aquatic life and you might find yourself snorkeling alongside playful sea lions, grazing marine iguanas, green sea turtles, flightless cormorants, tiny darting Galapagos penguins, eagle and manta rays, many species of colourful fish, and occasionally dolphins. Snorkelling is possible all year round with the hottest time of year being December to June (mid to high 30s°C), when the water temperature ranges between 24 and 27°C. The cooler time of year is July to November (18-24°C ) when the Humboldt Current creates water temperatures of around 18-21°C.



Our suggested Galapagos Islands cruises all feature small ships or yachts allowing for a more intimate, personalised service and sightseeing experience. Choose from one of our featured itineraries or let us custom design a tour to suit your to suit your interests, style and budget. To find out more about the type of Galapagos Islands cruise we can put together for you, please download pages below.

Legendary Galapagos

Discover the miraculous world of the Galapagos as you cruise amongst the islands, anchor in quiet inlets and explore beaches crowded with birds, sea lions or iguanas. Accommodation is on board the newly built M/V Origin, or on one of two identical recently refurbished yachts: the M/V Eric and Letty. These smaller vessels provide intimacy of experience and a more personalised voyage.

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Ultimate Galapagos Cruise

Ultimate Galapagos Cruise

Experience the unique diversity and extraordinary wildlife of the Galapagos Islands on an intimate, luxurious 8-day cruise on board the five-star state-of-the-art catamaran Ocean Spray or aboard the modern, very comfortable M/C Cormorant. There’s also the M/C Petrel, the latest addition to the fleet – as swift and silent as its name suggests.

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Galapagos Splendour Cruise

The islands of the Galapagos brim with unique species of wildlife and superb scenery. Discover this ecological paradise on an 8-day cruise on board the stylish M/Y San Jose or a 6-day cruise on board the luxurious M/Y Galapagos Odyssey. Both accommodate just 16 passengers in comfortable cabins with large windows.

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Regal Galapagos Cruise

Regal Galapagos Cruise

The diverse Galapagos Islands can be explored without relinquishing luxury and comfort when you travel on board either the sleek Galapagos Sea Star Journey or the very upscale Seaman Journey. Both offer personalised Galapagos explorations, with access to state-of-the-art facilities such as sun decks, Jacuzzis and spas which offer massage and beauty therapies.

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Darwin's Galapagos Cruise

Darwin’s Galapagos Cruise

Explore the miraculous world of the Galapagos aboard one of three first-class ships: the Coral I, Coral II or the Galapagos Legend. Cruise the islands, dropping anchor in quiet inlets to visit beaches crowded with birds. Experienced and knowledgeable guides accompany you on informative walks, visits to tortoise breeding centres and while swimming amongst the archipelago’s rich marine life.

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Galapagos Island Hopping

For a different experience of the Galapagos Islands, consider island-hopping, which is the only other way to see this captivating archipelago if you aren’t on a cruise. Island hopping may also be better suited to travellers who want more flexibility over their daily itinerary and for people who are prone to seasickness. All programs utilise private speedboat transfers.

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Galapagos Islands Overview

Why Galapagos Islands: With its stunning wildlife, incredible marine life and beautiful landscapes, the Galapagos Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most fascinating places on Earth to visit.

When to Go: The Galapagos Islands can be visited all year round. The hottest time of year is December to June when daytime temperatures can reach mid to high 30s (°C) and hiking is hard work. However, the seas are perfect for swimming and snorkelling, with water temperatures between 24 and 27°C. July to November (18-24°C ) is cooler, when the Humboldt Current brings water temperatures down to around 18-21°C. If you’re prone to seasickness, avoid travelling between Jul – Oct when seas are relatively rough.

Combine With: Culture and an Amazon rainforest experience on mainland Ecuador. Alternatively, visit incredible Machu Picchu in Peru or Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

Getting There: There are daily flights from Quito or Guayaquil in Ecuador to Baltra Island, just off Santa Cruz Island, and to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristóbal Island.

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