One of the most remote places on earth, the wild beauty and unique ecology of the Galápagos Islands make for the perfect luxury cruise.
A province of Ecuador, the volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing, with its isolated terrain sheltering a breathtaking diversity of plant and animal species. If you’d like to experience this captivating corner of the world in style, there are a number of luxury cruises available. We’ve picked out three of the best.
Galapagos Encounters (7 days)
Offered by renowned tour operators On The Go Tours, this immersive 7-day cruise lets you explore the Galapagos aboard a luxury-class, 16-passenger catamaran. Starting in Quito, Ecuador where you’ll have time to look around the city’s UNESCO-protected Old Town, you’ll fly to the Galapagos early the next day to begin your adventure. After boarding the vessel, you’ll set off to see some of the archipelago’s main places of interest, including Genovesa, Santa Fe, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz, stopping off each day for plenty of wildlife spotting as well as activities including snorkelling, kayaking and hiking. There’ll be downtime on the boat too, with its sundeck, onboard bars and library stacked with DVDs. The tour ends on Cristobal Island, from where you’ll catch a return flight to Quito. From $5,375 per person.
Galapagos Luxury Cruise (9 days)
Keep your eyes peeled for an abundance of great frigate birds and the red-footed boobies on this enthralling 9-day tour. The trip includes 7 nights at sea and a night in a Quito hotel at both the start and end of your adventure (including ample time to explore the Ecuadorian capital at your leisure)).Once in the Galapagos, highlights include the chance to snorkel in the crystal clear waters and discover the colours of the ocean, and visit a turtle nesting site and home of the famous Charles Darwin Station and turtle breeding centre. The tour price includes your expert guide, meals, transport and accommodation. From $5,548 per person.
West and Central Islands aboard the Reina Silvia Voyager (10 days)
This tour, which includes eight days at sea and two days in Quito bookending the trip, takes in the Galapagos’ west and central islands aboard a brand new catamaran, the Reina Silvia Voyager. You’ll get to spot iguanas and flamingos on the green and white-sand beaches of Punta Cormorant, witness abundant marine life while snorkelling in Punta Vicente Roca, and make friends with giant sea tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz. There’ll also be a captivating wildlife walk in North Seymour to catch sight of sea lions and blue-footed boobies. From $5,794 per person.