Galapagos cruises offer a unique experience of discovering one of the most fascinating ecosystems on the planet. The Galápagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean, are a volcanic archipelago that is home to extraordinary biodiversity and plays a crucial role in the history of biology thanks to the observations of Charles Darwin.
What to see on a Galapagos Islands cruise
Island Exploration: Galapagos cruises allow you to visit several of the islands in the archipelago. Each island has its own unique geology, flora and fauna, which offers a variety of exciting experiences. You’ll be able to discover white-sand beaches, active volcanoes, spectacular rock formations, and diverse seascapes.
Wildlife Viewing: The Galapagos is famous for its extraordinary wildlife, including endemic species such as giant tortoises, marine iguanas, sea lions, Galapagos penguins, and many species of birds, including the famous Darwin’s finch. Cruises usually include excursions to get an up-close look at these animals that are not afraid of humans.
Outdoor Activities: You will have the opportunity to go scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking on the islands. These activities will allow you to experience the underwater beauty of the Galapagos, including colorful coral reefs and abundant marine life.
Knowledge & Conservation: Local naturalist guides accompany cruises to provide information about the islands’ flora and fauna. The excursions focus on education and awareness about the conservation of this fragile ecosystem.
When to go to the Galapagos Islands
The best time to visit the Galapagos Islands depends on your climate preferences, the wildlife you want to see, and your budget, as cruise rates can vary depending on the season. Here is some information to help you choose the perfect time for your trip to Galapagos:
High season (June to August and mid-December to mid-January): This is the dry and cool season in the Galapagos. Temperatures are lower, ideal for those who prefer a cooler climate. The sea is calm, which is perfect for scuba diving. However, this period is the busiest and prices are often higher. It is recommended that you book your trip well in advance.
Shoulder season (September to November and mid-January to May): This period is considered the shoulder season and is often preferred by many visitors. The weather is still pleasant, air and water temperatures are warmer, and wildlife is still abundant. Cruise fares can be cheaper compared to the high season, and there are fewer tourists.
Rainy season (December to May): This period is considered the rainy season. Although the term “rain” can be misleading, as the rains are not abundant, it is the hottest season in the Galapagos. The temperatures are high, the vegetation is lush, and the sea is warmer, which can be ideal for swimming and diving. However, there may be sporadic showers.
Wildlife viewing: Wildlife is present year-round in the Galapagos, but some species have specific periods of activity. For example, giant tortoises begin laying their eggs in June, and the breeding season for various seabird species is between April and July. Marine iguanas change color depending on the season. The best time to see some of these species may therefore vary.
Companies offering cruises to the Galapagos Islands
Celebrity Cruises: This company offers luxury cruises to the Galapagos aboard the Celebrity Flora and the Celebrity Xpedition, offering varied itineraries to explore the archipelago.
Silversea Cruises: Silversea offers luxury cruises with the Silver Origin, a ship specifically designed for the Galapagos, offering premium experiences in the region.
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic: This company offers expedition cruises to the Galapagos in partnership with National Geographic, offering trips focused on wildlife discovery and conservation awareness.
Galapagos cruises offer an exceptional opportunity to discover a unique ecosystem, observe extraordinary wildlife and contribute to its conservation. It is an unforgettable experience for lovers of nature, wildlife and adventure.