Dec 20, 2012|
Want to go somewhere warm this winter? Then choose from our many Galapagos Islands Ecuador Cruises. If the Galapagos Islands have been on your bucket list, then the northern hemisphere’s wintertime (from November to February) is an excellent season for taking a Galapagos Islands Ecuador cruise.
Galapagos Islands Weather
The Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador, enjoy tropical temperatures all year long. Imagine basking in the sunshine, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, swimming, and exploring these magnificent islands, where the animal kingdom reigns supreme. Similar in temperature to Hawaii or the South Pacific Islands, the Galapagos Islands have the advantage of being nearly uninhabited by humans; instead, the islands are an ecological preserve where giant turtles, frigate birds, giant iguanas, sea lions, schools of tropical fish, and Darwin’s finches rule the land.
Galapagos Island Cruises
Here are some of the Galapagos Islands Ecuador Cruises that you can choose from. These cruises vary widely, from small ships to grand catamarans. Read our How to Choose a Galapagos Cruise blog for more info on how to decide what kind of cruise is best for you.
The Galapagos Legend cruise ship is a luxury yacht with a capacity for 100 passengers. This Galapagos Islands Ecuador cruise ship features open decks, viewing windows from each of the superior cabins, spacious suites, and artwork from Ecuadorian artists. It’s possible to take a 3, 4, or 7-night cruise on the Galapagos Legend, which includes nearly all the amenities you’ll need for an enjoyable Galapagos cruise. Because the Ecuadorian government mandates that all tour guides in the Galapagos be natives of Ecuador and require other quality guidelines, you are guaranteed to have a knowledgeable guide with you at all times during your Galapagos vacation. The price of a cabin aboard the cruise ship includes all meals, plus daily guided excursions, educational lectures, and transfers to and from the ship. Keep in mind that the longer a cruise that you book, the more islands you will be able to visit, and the more in-depth a tour you will receive.
These cruise ships, the Galapagos Coral I and Coral II, are mid-size boats with a capacity for 36 passengers and 20 passengers, respectively. But both of these smaller ships offer luxurious accommodations and amenities, such as Jacuzzi hot tubs and sun decks, lounge areas and bars. There are a variety of cabin sizes and types to choose from, but each offers an LCD TV, safe deposit box, private bathroom, and air conditioning. As with the Galapagos Legend, these ships include local guides, daily guided excursions such as to Española Island and Gardner Bay, all meals aboard the ship, and transfer to and from the port.
Galapagos Explorer II Cruise
The Galapagos Explorer II, another luxury cruiser, offers fully-equipped suites — you’ll find no tiny standard cabins aboard this ship. In addition to comfortable cabins with minibars, flat-screen TVs, bathrooms with marble fixtures, safe deposit boxes, Wi-Fi Internet, and vanity dressers, the Galapagos Explorer II also offers room service, complimentary walking sticks, beach towels, and raincoats. There’s an outdoor Jacuzzi, piano bar, reading room, lecture hall, restaurant, and solarium as well. Similar to the other Galapagos cruise ships, the price of a cabin also includes all meals, guided daily excursions, educational lectures, and all transfers.
What better way to maximize the value of your Galapagos Islands Ecuador cruise than to add a tour of Ecuador’s capital, Quito. This capital was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it has one of the best-preserved colonial centers in Latin America. When you head to the Galapagos Islands from your home country, you almost always fly into the airport at Quito (another option is Guayaquil – another wonderful city to visit). So, you might as well make the most of your Ecuador vacation by spending a little extra time in Quito. Take a city tour to see the Government Palace, the House of Congress, the Cathedral, and many other churches and landmarks. Also visit the Middle of the World Monument (Mitad del Mundo), commemorating the equatorial line that stretches through Ecuador. And don’t miss a trip to Otavalo, where you’ll find one of the most important indigenous markets in South America.
If you’re traveling to the Galapagos Islands from a faraway distance, you might as well see some other sights. And with Peru being Ecuador’s neighbor, a side trip to Machu Picchu is a logical choice. Combine these two highlights of South America — the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu — for an unforgettable South America vacation. This trip combines a Galapagos Islands cruise with a trip to Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu, in a fully-customizable travel package. You can do either the Peru or Ecuador portions of your trip first, just call us to help you decide the best schedule for your travel plans and time frame.
Keep in mind that it is not recommended — nor easy — to book a Galapagos Islands cruise without a tour company. Tourism in the Galapagos is highly regulated and so it is best to book the Galapagos Islands cruise portion of your trip in advance. Give us a call and we’ll help you plan the trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands and beyond!