Galapagos with Cruise Ship

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Choosing the Best Galapagos Cruise for Your Budget

May 14, 2021

Visiting the Galapagos Islands is a bucket list item for many travelers. 

This 19-island archipelago is filled with over 9000 species of flora and fauna in one of the world’s most remote and untouched locations.  The pristine natural landscape brings you awe-inspiring views and the chance to get close to unique animals such as the Blue-Footed Boobies, Marine Iguanas and the Giant Tortoise.

Galapagos Island Lava Rock and Ocean

Itinerary

There are many itinerary options available for touring the island, and one of the first questions people ask is: Should I do the inner loop or the outer loop?

When deciding on Inner vs Outer loop itineraries, consider the fauna and flora you would like to see.

The Inner Loop

The Inner Loop offers more opportunities to spot a blue-footed booby including the mating ritual at North Seymour Island.  It also offers a chance to see two other species (including the red-footed booby) located at San Cristobel.  Some travelers feel it emphasizes topography over wildlife and offers more of a “touristy” feel due to the shopping excursions

The Outer Loop

The Outer loop stops at Espanola, which is renowned for its breeding colony of Waved Albatross (especially during the months of March through May).  Post Office Bay is a popular stop, where you can leave addressed postcards and pick up some to deliver at home.

Still need help deciding?  Contact me HERE

Pricing

Another popular question is: “How much does it cost?”  It’s a tricky question to answer as there are so many options for length, time of visit and what amenities are important for you.  Also, keep in mind the smaller ships are usually more “expedition” style and while they offer comfortable settings, they will not have the same features as the larger ships.

Here are my 3 favourite itineraries in a budget, mid-range and luxury price point to help you choose which Galapagos cruise is best for you.

Galapagos Islands White Sandy Beach

Budget

Forgoing an all-inclusive cruise will allow you to customize your Galapagos adventure and save money. Using a tour company, you can opt for day trips or shorter excursions. One of my top suppliers for this type of experience is G Adventures. G Adventures are among the leaders of small group adventure travel and have been at it for 30 years.  So while this option is less expensive, your experience will still be top notch with amazing guides and carefully curated itineraries.

Galapagos MultiSport with Quito – 10 Days

Departs: March 12, 2022

This is a small group (max 15) active itinerary with comfortable tourist-class accommodations and a mixture of public and private transportation.  There is a great balance of included activities and free time to explore on your own.

Includes:

  • 7 nights hotel accommodations
  • 2 nights G Adventures-supported community guesthouses
  • 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Excursions to Floreana, Santa Cruz and Isabela Islands
  • Transportation to and from included activities

Starting at $3,349 per person

*Pricing in CDN, based on selected date & double occupancy and subject to change prior to deposit.  Promotions may be available and are time-limited, please contact me for more information at spoole@expediacruises.com   

Mid Range

If you’re looking for a little bit more comfort and included amenities, a mid-range cruise ship would be a good solution. There are a good number of choices for mid-range cruises through the Galapagos but my go-to would be Celebrity Cruises.  They have 3 ships which are perfectly designed to explore this destination.  They are:

  1. Celebrity Flora:  A luxurious 100-passenger ship 
  2. Celebrity Xpedtition: A mega yacht offering comfortable accommodations for just 48 passengers
  3. Celebrity Xploration: An intimate 16-passenger catamaran perfect for private groups

Their “Always Included” amenities feature meals, drink package, Wi-Fi and gratuities, making your trip less about nickle and diming and more about the experience. 

Additionally, Celebrity includes the following on their Galapagos cruises:

  • Twice daily guided shore excursions
  • Galapagos National Park certified Naturalists, including a meet & greet service
  • Daily briefings & Galapagos expert lectures
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fees
  • Galapagos Tourist Card fees
  • Complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, mini wet suits, binoculars and walking sticks

10-Night Quito & Galapagos Inner Loop 

Galapagos with Cruise Ship

Departs: March 6, 2022

Ship: Celebrity Flora

Starting at $12,369 per person (Current promotion INCLUDES airfare to Ecuador as well)

*Pricing in CDN, based on selected date & double occupancy and subject to change prior to deposit.  Promotions may be available and are time-limited, please contact me for more information at spoole@expediacruises.com     

Luxury

For the ultimate bucket list journey, Silversea will make your voyage truly unforgettable.  Their small luxurious ships provide spacious and lavish accommodations with the comfort and elegance you expect.  

Butler service is available and included in all suites, white-gloved staff attend to your every need (including a glass of champagne as you’re escorted to your room) and a culinary experience to tempt all your taste buds.

The Silver Origin was specifically designed with the bio-diversity of the Galapagos in mind. Check out this video of this stunning ship:

Some of the many inclusions Silversea offers are:

  • Roundtrip economy class flights to Ecuador 
  • All beverages in-suite and throughout the ship
  • Gourmet Dining
  • Gratuities
  • Wi-Fi
  • Shore Excursions
  • On board lectures
  • All flights between Ecuador and Galapagos
  • Transfers
  • Quito by Night Tour

This 10-day itinerary departing 28 Dec 2022 includes 19 ports of both the inner loop and the outer loop.

Pricing from $22,410 per person

*Pricing in CDN, based on selected date & double occupancy and subject to change prior to deposit.  Promotions may be available and are time-limited, please contact me for more information at spoole@expediacruises.com     

Bottom Line

Regardless of how you prefer to travel, there are so many wonderful ways to explore the Galapagos Islands. Every day will bring a brand new adventure. Save the stress and book your Galapagos Journey with a travel expert who will help you ensure every aspect of your trip is tailored to your needs and desires.

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Explore With Me is a travel and wellness blog dedicated to the rejuvenating and immersive experiences that are possible through travel. We hope our content enriches and excites you to create travel memories that will last a lifetime.