There’s no one “best” way to visit the Galapagos Islands, but there are plenty of tricks for building the ideal Galapagos trip for your needs and interests. There are also strategies you can use to get a good deal.
Among Galapagos boats, there are five categories that they fall into.
- High-end cruise ships – As far as passenger-liners go, these boats are the kings of the Galapagos waterways. They not only provide a high level comfort, but also usually have the most onboard features, like exercise rooms, spacious cabins, private balconies, Jacuzzis, and more. They are also the highest occupancy vessels in the Galapagos, accommodating between 30-100 guests.
- Luxury yachts – Boats in these categories are almost always the nicest ones in the Galapagos. They are small enough to provide a private and intimate environment. And on top of that, they provide the maximum comfort, including air conditioned rooms, private bathrooms, plush suites, and amenities like onboard Jacuzzis and full bars.
- First class cruises – The difference between first class and luxury isn’t particularly big. Most first class yachts offer all or almost all of the same amenities that luxury cruises offer, but they might not have certain things like Jacuzzis or private balconies. But you will still get an attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly crew and guide, which makes these cruises some of the best values you can find in the Galapagos.
- Mid-range yachts – Mid-range yachts are a pretty good bargain. The rooms are usually a bit smaller and probably won’t have many of the comforts of the first-class and luxury vessels. It is unlikely that your boat will have air conditioning, but you will still have nice access to comfortable common areas, good food, and private bathrooms with hot running water.
- Budget cruises – The budget cruises are a great option for adventure-seekers. They don’t offer many creature comforts; rooms might be considerably smaller, and deck space will probably be limited. You should also consider that the staff might not be as attentive or knowledgeable as some of the upper classes of cruises. However, most of the budget cruises have very limited passenger occupancy, meaning that there is a more intimate atmosphere onboard, and you might even be able to get to know the crew better than on larger cruises. It also means that you might have more flexibility and a bigger voice when it comes to planning out the day’s activities. Fewer passengers also generally means more time for activities, since you won’t be spending too much time boarding and de-boarding the boat.
If you’re interested in a trip focused more exclusively on diving, then you should consider one of the diving tours and cruises.