1. What are my options for Galapagos!
You have three different options
1. just buy your ticket book a hotel on the island and do day tours from there.
2. do an island hopping tour (we dont advise on this as a lot of things you can do by your self and about half of them for free)
3. Do a cruise
2. I want to do a land based tour
We just do the cruises
3. how many days can I go on a cruise for?
For the cruises you can go for 4,5,6 or 8 days remembering that the first day is a short activity in the afternoon and the last day is a short activity in the morning, meaning really 4 days is 2 full days 5 days 3 full days etc.
4. What are the classes of boats on the Galapagos?
You can go on Backpackers, Mid range, First class and Luxury boats, as you go up in class everything gets nicer, food accommodation, quality of guide, the only thing that does not necessarily change is the itinerary….. you can get a good itinerary on a basic boat and you can get bad itineraries on higher class boats and vice versa. For me the itinerary is the most important aspect of the cruise, as the reason you are taking a cruise is to get to islands that are not as easy to get to by your self and visit more islands in a shorter amount of time to make the most of your time in the Galapagos.
5. How much do the cruises cost and when do last minute options come out?
Price vary greatly throughout the year, and the rightly named last minute prices come out usually about 2 weeks before the sailing date, however there are some that start to come out a month before especially on the luxury boats.
6. What is included in the price of the cruise?
The cruises include meals from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day. accommodation, English speaking guide and activities.
Please be aware flights, park entrance fees, ingala, snorkel and wetsuit rental are not included in the prices.
7. Whats the best itinerary the south or the north west?
So they are different, there is not one better than the other and in both options you have great options for seeing wild life! The south east are the older islands so here you will find more white flat sandy beaches and if you visit espanola island during the right season it is the only place you could see the waived Albatross. The north western parts of the islands so Fernandina and the western side of Isabela are only accessible by cruise and these are the younger islands, they are a lot more volcanic and more Dramatic scenery, this area has larger quantities of marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins. and is the only area that you could see the flightless cormorant in.
8. What are the benefits of doing a cruise?
The cruises manage your time so while in the day you are visiting different islands and at night you sail.
You don’t have to worry about planning things as everything is planned out for you.
The cruises give you the option of seeing more places in a shorter amount of time including some places which are impossible to get to by your self assuming you have a good itinerary).
Getting to places where there are less people and getting to more places gives you a higher chance of seeing more wildlife.
9. Are there any reasons you would advise me not to do a cruise?
So first of all the obvious… if you have any sever medical issues that could require emergency medical assistance you have to remember that the boats go far away from the nearest hospitals.
Second if you have very young children, some boats will for a start not let you on and others will charge you the same price as they do for an adult, as the boats are only aloud a certain number of people on the boat a child counts as a full person so they a charged the full price. I think that before the age of 12 a child would in most cases not be able to appreciate the Galapagos to the same extent as an adult would!
If you do not Swim or snorkel you must be aware that half the activities is snorkeling on most of the boats there are not alternative activities for those who do not want to snorkel.
If you get very very sea sick I believe it is a lot of money to spend to feel bad for however many days you are going for.
10. Can I book a cruise when I get to Galapagos?
The answer is maybe….. I always treat Galapagos as a game of risk, there are some people that have very set dates, cant go any other time with no flexibility as they only have 1 week of holiday which they can take off work, so book from home a year to 6 months in advance at the regular price. They pay the extra to guarantee the time they are going the boat they are on and the itinerary they are getting.
Others will have a little more flexibility say they have a travel window of about 2 weeks and wait a few weeks before the cruise is sailing for the last minute prices to come out, and will either book online with us or come in to the office. These people still have a risk of not getting exactly what they are looking for as it all depends on what is available at the time, but will pay in most cases a lot less then the people who booked 6 months ago!
Finally you have the people who are very flexible and in general are on the fence about if they will do a cruise or not who wait until they get to the Galapagos, they need to have more luck to find a good itinerary and pay only about $100usd less than they would have in Quito maximum $200usd less.