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Galapogos Cruises
Galapogos cruises - holidaymakers with cruise boats and sealions
Volunteer with sealion pup in the Galapogos Islands

When is the
best time for a Galapogos cruise?


Hotel on the beach in the Galapogos Islands
Galapogos flight landed at airport in the islands

When is the best
weather in the Galapogos Islands?


Little Galapogos penguin in the islandsA boat on a cruise in the Galapogos Islands.
Giant Galapogos tortoise

A Galapogos cruise is the best way to see the wildlife of the islands but you could also stay in a Galapogos hotel for a land-based tour vacation.



Galapogos Cruises

Galapogos cruises are a lifetime highlight for most visitors so you will want the best boat and itinerary to make the most of this very special vacation experience.  The wildlife of the Galapogos Islands is the attraction for most people, especially birdwatchers and photographers, but there are also interesting lava formations to see, volcanoes, underwater diving sites and attractive scenery.
Even the cheapest Galapogos cruise on a budget boat will set you back around $150 to $200 a day and the luxury cruisers may charge $400 or more for each day of your cruise.  A luxury ship or yacht may be worth the expense to make the most of this once in a lifetime experience.  Whatever your budget and whichever boat, yacht, catamaran, ship or cruiser you choose, you are sure to remember your Galapogos cruise for years to come.  On top of the cost of your Galapogos cruise, remember to budget for the Galapogos National Park entry fee (currently US$100).
Galapogos flights will be a big part of your vacation budget, as this is the only legal way to get there, unless you own a boat and have huge amounts of money for the fees.  There are no international flights directly to the Galapogos Islands, you will have to fly from either Quito or Guayaquil.
To find the best time of year for a Galapogos cruise, you may be interested in the Galapogos wildlife highlights calendar which shows animal activity throughout the year so you can choose the best month for the wildlife behaviour you want to see.
The Galapogos weather is warm or hot all year round, but monthly variations in rainfall, temperatures and sea conditions might affect your decision on when to cruise the islands.  To enjoy your Galapogos vacations to the fullest, check our tips on what to take to the Galapogos Islands before you make your holiday packing list.
Some of the best diving and rarest and most interesting wildlife are found on the most remote, outlying islands, but your Galapogos cruise will be limited by your vacation budget and the time you have available.  Talk to your Galapogos tour operator or travel agency to find the best itinerary for your interests, holiday dates and budget.  Find out more about choosing a cruise itinerary and the different categories of Galapogos cruise boat.
Of course, for people who suffer badly from seasickness, any kind of cruise is out, but you can still visit the islands.  If you base yourself in a Galapogos hotel on one or more of the islands, you can do day trips and walking tours and still see and photograph some of the wildlife, swim and snorkel off the beaches and generally enjoy a more unusual Galapogos holiday.  This type of land-based island tour package is not really that much cheaper than the cheapest budget Galapogos cruises, so it's more of a personal preference than a money-saving option.
Conservation volunteers in the Galapogos may also be land-based and will have a very different experience than the average visitor.  Be aware that volunteering will still not get you cheap Galapogos vacations - these don't actually exist - but could be one of the more economical ways to see the islands and their incredible wildlife.  Remember that you will still have to pay the Galapogos National Park entry fee.
If you are cruising the islands you could still book a few days in a hotel on the Galapogos Islands after your cruise in order to walk, dive, kayak or photograph without being part of a tour group or guided tour.  You may even get a discount for including Galapogos flights, cruise and hotel in a package deal - ask your tour operator for any available Galapagos vacation package discounts or offers.
You most likely found this page because you searched for Galapogos cruises or Galapogos Islands.  The Ecuadorians actually spell it Galapagos but, understanding that Galapogos is a more intuitive spelling to most English speakers, we have used that spelling here on this page.  However you choose to spell them, the Islands are fascinating to visit so take a look around the extensive Galapagos information on this site and then plan your Galapogos vacations.

Useful Spanish Vocabulary for a holiday in the Galapogos Islands, Ecuador:
Las Islas Galapogos: The Galapogos Islands
Crucero económico: economy or budget cruise
Galapogos: giant tortoise - the Islands are called after them
Galapogos Cruises
Tourist information for Galapogos Islands excursions, vacations, tours and cruises
Cruise itineraries, Galapogos wildlife, land-based tours and Galapogos hotels.
Website www.ecuadortravelsite.org, text and photos by Sarah Clifford.
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