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3 Simple Ways to Select the Best Galapagos Cruise Tour

User Avatar Author: José Ayerve
5 years ago - August 21, 2019

Reading time: 4 mins

Choosing the perfect trip to the Galapagos can be difficult, but this blog will teach you three simple tips to make sure you choose the ideal Galapagos cruise tour. The Galapagos Islands are regarded as a “living laboratory of evolution,” making them something truly unique. This is why a cruise tour in the Galapagos entails having to abide by certain key restrictions that are meant to preserve this amazing ecosystem. Consequently, a cruise tour in the Galapagos means embarking on a journey unlike any other and that’s why you have to put some thought into how you wish to make the most out of it.

1. Make sure your cruise offers multiple guides

Group sizes on Galapagos cruise tours are tightly regulated by the National Park’s authorities. That’s why group sizes will often vary based on the number of naturalist guides that are required to accompany all cruise tours in the Galapagos. The Galapagos National Park has established a guide-to-guest ratio that is capped at a maximum of 16 cruise guests per Naturalist Guide. If your cruise does not have multiple naturalist guides available, it’s very likely you will have to wait (or, in certain cases, won’t even have the option) for that one guide to be free in order to supervise an activity that’s more to your liking.

Multiple guides mean multiple, simultaneous activities in the Galapagos

Multiple guides mean multiple, simultaneous activities in the Galapagos

Do you love kayaking? Want to take a ride on the glass-bottom boat? Snorkeling? It would be a pity for you to have to wait around until your guide becomes available, or even worse – simply not have the ability to choose from a different activity. And this is why you should really consider picking a Galapagos cruise tour that offers multiple guides.

2. Your Galapagos cruise tour should have an onboard Doctor

Time is one of the most precious commodities in the Galapagos and it’s important that you be in optimal conditions to enjoy your itinerary to the maximum. It would be a shame if something as simple as a toothache or an upset stomach would prevent you from enjoying your trip. This is why having an onboard medical officer during your Galapagos cruise tour is a great idea.

An onboard doctor helps with your peace of mind while traveling in the Galapagos

An onboard doctor helps with your peace of mind while traveling in the Galapagos

Do you suffer from any allergies or need regular access to medication? Are you traveling to the Galapagos with children? It’s always a good idea to choose a vessel with an onboard Doctor, because safety and prudence never hurt!

3. Make sure your Galapagos cruise tour does everything it can to reduce environmental impact

Visitor sites in the Galapagos Islands are highly regulated by the Galapagos National Park authorities to help minimize the impact of tourism. This is why, when multiple boats are present at a single visitor site, all boats can’t have all of their passengers disembark at exactly the same time. Instead, each boat must take turns disembarking their respective passengers and bringing them back on board before the next boat can do the same. Make sure your boat takes this regulation seriously. All too often, smaller ships crowd around the visitor site, which can have a lasting effect on the well-being of the islands. Ask if your ship offers a greener approach through a more measured presence in the visitor sites.

Pick an expedition that can guarantee exclusivity

Pick an expedition that can guarantee exclusivity

This also has another benefit: if your Galapagos tour cannot guarantee an exclusive visitor site all to itself, it’s likely you will find yourself waiting around for the visitor site to free up or might even find that not all activities are available due to it being a site that is occupied by other boats and, consequently, more people.

Want to know more about sustainable tourism in the Galapagos? We have a blog that explains how you can be a responsible traveler!

So remember:

Multiple Guides

Doctor Onboard

Commitment to Conservation

If your cruise can offer these three key elements, you’re in for the trip of a lifetime!


Now, you’re ready to start planning your trip!

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