Galápagos Islands Cruises
Rising out of the Pacific Ocean 550 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are the ultimate destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. The 21-island archipelago inspired Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species in 1859” as marine iguanas and Galápagos tortoises bask in the equatorial sun free of predators. A small ship cruise among the Galápagos Islands presents one of the most pristine experiences imaginable as wildlife roam supreme among jaw-dropping volcanic landscapes. Sail from island to island to see how life has thrived in the remote environment and the unique adaptations these plants and animals developed. Journey among the archipelago’s majestic islands in search of playful sea lions and blue-footed boobies perched atop rocky outlets on small ships. Opportunities for world-class hiking and snorkeling are spread throughout the islands and are a popular destination for multi-sport adventures including hiking, biking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
The Galápagos may seem difficult to reach, but most itineraries begin in mainland Ecuador — either the capital, Quito or Guayaquil, the gateway to the Pacific coast on the banks of the Guayas River. Once you have arrived in Ecuador, cruises set out into the sunset from Guayaquil or include flights to the Galápagos, where you then embark the ship. Each island has different landscapes and wildlife to offer but the most common islands to visit are Baltra, Isabela, Floreana, Española, Bartolomé and North Seymour Island. The Galápagos National Park limits ships to a maximum of 100 passengers, with many ships sailing with fewer than 20 guests on board. The Ecuadorian government tightly regulates the size of ships allowed to sail among the islands, with ships visiting Genovesa Island limited to a maximum of 40 guests. Land excursions are capped at a maximum group size of 20 people.
See small ship cruises in the Galápagos