So, you’ve been reading us long enough to realize that amazing “dream” trips are totally attainable? And have you learned they’re also easy to book and totally worth planning? Good. Now that one-time concerns about price and hassle have been dismissed, there’s just one more thing. When it comes to the Galapagos, should you cruise or should your tour?
For this deep dive into destination-specific travel preferences (i.e. cruise vs. land tour), we chose one of the world’s most incredible natural treasures – the Galapagos Islands. Keep in mind if you fall in love with either Galapagos trip type here (which you may), we will help you get there. But rest assured, if there is another paradise you have in mind, we are equipped with the details, there too, to make your choice just as informed and delightful.
Today though, we have to heavyweights of experiential bliss as we look at a Galapagos Celebrity Cruise and a guided Galapagos tour by G Adventures. And while the “vs.” makes reading about this heavyweight bout more compelling, this retrospective is more about you, your brood and what trip type makes the most sense for your next great adventure.
X Marks the Spot: Celebrity X Southern Loop Galapagos 7 Nights
For the purpose of this article, we chose a nice ship, the Celebrity Xpedition and a traditional 7-night sailing. And trust us, these bad boys can be booked for 30-nighters, too. So, let’s take a look behind the curtain for a Galapagos by big boat vacation.
The Boat: this state-of-the-art vessel spaciously accommodates 100 passengers. And it was totally built for navigating gorgeous reef waters and passages. You’ll be spoiled with island exploration – without compromising the luxury experience. The full-service rooms are gorgeous and the ship has every amenity including in-room dining, massage, plush robes, gym, incredible Michelin star chef-prepared cuisine, live music in the lounge, and nightly lectures by a certified naturalist.
All-Inclusive Experience: After twelve years of daily Galapagos sailings and exploration, you are in good hands. In fact, no matter which stunning vessel you choose, you’ll love that they’re all-inclusive. On and off-board you’ll find everything you need to relax, enjoy, and explore this storied island chains. From packages that include 5-star accommodations in Quito and simple air transfers to award-winning shore excursions guided by expert naturalists – you will see, touch and remember the best of each island — it’s all included.
Adventure: You will see the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, in one trip. You will explore tidal pools, snorkel, hike, refresh in hidden lagoons and meet adorable creatures you may not have even known existed. What’s more, you will have field expert naturalists at your beckoned call, fortifying your experience with knowledge and a deep appreciation of all that surrounds you.
X Marks the Spot: From Santa Cruz and Back – 8 Day Multisport
Okay, call it seven nights or eight days – this trip matches the cruise in actual time, exactly. So, right now we’re apples to apples. But let’s figure out if you are more tour than a cruise, m’kay?
Who This is For: This adventure is perfect for those deeply interested in close encounters the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Galápagos Islands. In other words, you want to sleep on shore. On a tour, your water time is limited to island-connecting rides. Here, you will find yourself ashore at the lesser-visited island of Isabela and spend your days with playful sea lions, giant manta rays, and the giant Galapagos tortoise. This adventure offers a great balance of guided excursions and free time – where option activities abound.
Activity Types: On a guided Galapagos adventure, you will hike, trek, bike, raft, learn to surf and more. Everybody will need to be over age 12 and the group is typically around 10-15 max.
Itinerary: We’re not going to go through all 8 days, because investigating on your own is part of the fun. But we will give you a few glimpses, so consider these: kayaking and snorkeling the dazzling Itabaca Canal, exploring the Floreana highlands, surfing lessons on a remote, breathtaking Isabela beach known for perfect waves, every day of the year. And like we said, that’s just a taste.
If you cruise there won’t be trouble … If you tour there won’t be double.
We know. Either we helped you or we just made you more confused because you want to do both. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Just call us. Why? Because we can get you on a combined experience lickety-split.
Vacation is about reaching out, expanding your reality, and engaging more deeply with the experience we call life. If you can wish it or imagine it, we can help you live it. Whether it’s the Galapagos or some other destination that speaks to you, we’ll get you there in any travel medium you wish – and at a price, nobody else can (shameless self-promotion, the truth will set you sail).