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13 amazing Galapagos Islands Cruises

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Finding the perfect Galapagos Islands cruise can be overwhelming but it is necessary to get it right if you want to have a lifetime experience in the spectacular Galapagos Islands. In this post, I will share the 13 most amazing Galapagos Islands Cruises for any budget and help you find the perfect trip for you.

I wrote a lot about the Galapagos Islands after my 3 weeks vacation where I have explored the three main islands on my own after doing a thorough search of the cruises available at the time. I was traveling with a friend and although she had a bigger budget we wanted to find the best way to explore the Galapagos Islands that was suitable for both of us.

After in-depth and long research, we came to the conclusion that joining a Galapagos Island cruise was not the best option for us and for what we wanted. Also because we had a specific cruise itinerary in mind and there was no option for that itinerary at the time we wanted to travel. That’s why we opted for the DO-IT-YOURSELF trip, from which a huge guide to the Galapagos Islands came out.

In general, if you ask me whether it is better to join a cruise to the Galapagos Islands or to travel independently, I will answer that there isn’t one answer. It all depends on what you want to see and how you like to travel, and also on your budget. I have written a thorough post on the difference between visiting the Galapagos on a cruise or on your own. If you are still undecided, that post will help you clarify your doubts.

If you already know that you want to join a Galapagos cruise but you don’t know which one to choose, you have landed in the right place. Here I have selected the most incredible Galapagos Islands Cruises for any budget.

However, if you already know that you are ready to splurge you may want to go straight to my guide to the 5 top luxury Galapagos Cruises, where I have selected the most amazing luxury boat with top service and design cabins for the utmost comfort.

Before diving into the best Galapagos Cruises, learn more about the Galapagos Islands with my thorough guides:

9 amazing free things to do in Santa Cruz and other amazing tours
7 free things and paid tours to do in San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos
How to make the most of your trip to Isabela Island Galapagos

Also, I wrote a step-by-step guide to choose the perfect Galapagos Islands Cruise for you, to help you narrow down the search and avoid getting overwhelmed by the number of options you will find.

Important general information on Galapagos islands cruises

  • The majority of the cruises do not include flights to the Galapagos, exception be made by Eden and Yolita. So something to keep in mind when you compare prices. Flights to the Galapagos are from Quito or Guayaquil and normally cost from 400 to 500 depending on the season.
  • There are specific entry requirements to the Galapagos, including the payment of National Park Fees (100 USD per trip, per person that you pay once you land in the Galapagos), Visas and Fees (20 USD per trip that you pay before boarding). These are never included in the price. For other entry requirements, you can refer to my complete Galapagos Islands Vacation travel guide.
  • To enter the Galapagos Islands it is mandatory to have travel insurance and so is to board on a Galapagos Cruises. So make sure you purchase one before you travel. I use either World Nomads or Safety Wing. Make sure you check their terms and conditions before booking.
  • has classified each cruise by level or flexibility, which I will mention as well on each cruise. Please scroll down below to read about it in detail.

Now without further ado, here is my top 13 Galapagos Islands Cruises

The 13 best Galapagos Cruises for any budget

After I have explained how to choose your perfect Galapagos Cruise, here is a shortlist of my favorite cruises to the Galapagos Islands. I have selected a variety of trips for different budgets and different itineraries. I have included in the post the essential information. If you want to know more about each cruise just click on the read more button for more details.

Galapagos Islands Cruises FAQ

What is the best cruise to the Galapagos?

Well, there is no one answer, all the cruises are excellent because they take you around such a unique place, the Galapagos Islands. Obviously, the higher the costs, the better the services and the more luxurious is the boat. However, even budget Galapagos Cruises will be able to take you around incredible places. It all boils down to what you want to see, how much time you have and the budget available.

Why are Galapagos cruises so expensive?

There are many factors that make the Galapagos Cruises expensive, including:

  • boat operational costs
  • high-quality standard of the boat and service, even in the non-luxury boats
  • high costs of permissions and taxes
  • in Ecuador the minimum wage is much higher than in other country in South America, and so is the quality standard of living.
  • Highly qualified staff on board

What is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?

This is very difficult to answer as the Galapagos are a year round destination and there is not a cheaper month. However I can assure that around Christmas and Easter that’s when it gets more expensive and crowded. So I would suggest avoid those months.

Is Galapagos worth Cruise?

It is indeed because on a cruise you get to visit places that you can’t reach otherwise. However, it all depends on the way you like to travel. In this detailed post on the difference between a DIY trip or a cruise in the Galapagos islands, I explain the pros and cons of both ways of traveling to the Galapagos Islands.

Which cruise line is the cheapest?

It really depends on how many days you want to be on a cruise, but among the cruise, I have checked out the cheapest is the Golondrina.

What cruise lines go to the Galapagos Islands?

There are many different cruises but not commercial ones. The Galapagos islands cruises don’t belong to the big international cruise groups. On this site, you can find pretty much the most popular cruises.

How long is the boat ride from Ecuador to Galapagos?

There is no boat transportation from the Ecuador mainland to the Galapagos Islands. You will need to fly from either Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra or San Cristobal island if you want to get to the Galapagos.

How much does a Galapagos cruise cost?

It varies for length of trip and standard level of the boat, and itinerary it ranges from $ 200 to $ 1200 per day.

How much does it cost to fly to the Galapagos Islands?

To fly from the Galapagos Islands can be either from Quito or Guayaquil and the return flight would range from 400 to 500 USD depending on how much in advance you book it and what season. Here below the two airlines that are now operating

Liveaboard new flexibility standards

Although we are all anxious to get on board as soon as possible and resume traveling, it’s natural to be concerned about booking now for the long term, as these uncertain times made us even more skeptical on the future of traveling.

That’s why Liveaboard have classified all its available trips according to the operator flexibility when it comes to cancellation. So you will see that each liveaboard on will have one of the following 3 labels:

EXTRA FLEXIBLE BOOKING – free trip reschedule within 24 months if you are unable to travel due to Covid-19 related restrictions. If you wish to cancel instead of rescheduling your trip, you will be refunded 90% of the trip value up to 30 days before the departure date. (conditions apply, see below)

FLEXIBLE BOOKING – free trip reschedule within 24 months if you are unable to travel due to Covid-19 related restrictions. In case (for any reason) you decide to cancel instead of rescheduling your trip, the standard cancellation terms of the operator will apply.

NON-FLEXIBLE BOOKING – Liveaboards with this label do not offer free rescheduling up to 24 months and thus if you need to cancel due to Covid-19 related restrictions, or any other reasons, normal cancellation terms apply. We recommend only book these trips if you are absolutely sure you can travel to the destination of the liveaboard departure. Or make sure you purchase insurance that gets you cover in case of cancellation.

*With Covid-19 related restrictions, one of the following must apply:

  1. You have contracted the virus within 30 days to departure and can provide medical evidence (certificate/statement) to support this.
  2. The destination country prevents you from entering due to their governmental guidelines and restrictions on your country of residence.
  3. Your country of residence prevents you from departing due to their governmental guidelines and restrictions on the embarkation point for the liveaboard.

Only if one or more of the above apply, this liveaboard operator will offer a free re-schedule of your trip within 24 months from the initial departure date.

Also – rescheduling is subject to availability. Rescheduled trips must be of equal or lesser value. Should the rescheduled trip be of lesser value, there will be no partial refunds.

And this makes the end of our massive guide to the Galapagos Islands cruises. I hope you found it useful. Please let me know if you have any questions

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