The Galápagos Islands are one of the most sought-after destinations for nature enthusiasts, offering a unique opportunity to observe wildlife that has evolved in isolation. If you’re interested in an expedition cruise to the Galápagos, here’s how you can get there and what to consider:

  • Fly to Ecuador
    • The Galápagos Islands are part of Ecuador. To get there, you’ll first need to fly to mainland Ecuador. Most travellers fly into Quito (Mariscal Sucre International Airport) or Guayaquil (José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport).
  • Domestic Flight to Galápagos
    • From Quito or Guayaquil, take a domestic flight to the Galápagos Islands. There are two main airports in the Galápagos: Seymour Airport on Baltra Island and San Cristóbal Airport on San Cristóbal Islands
  • Choose an Expedition Cruise
    • There are many operators offering different itineraries, lengths of stays, and types of boats. When choosing a cruise:
    • Boat Type: Choose between larger vessels with more amenities or smaller, intimate yachts.
    • Itinerary: Different cruises offer various island stops and activities. Research and select one that covers the wildlife and areas you’re most interested in.
    • Certified Naturalist Guide: The Galápagos National Park requires cruise operators to have certified naturalist guides. Ensure your chosen cruise offers knowledgeable guides to enhance your experience.
    • Reviews & Reputation: Check reviews, ask for recommendations, and select operators with good environmental and conservation practices.Duration: Cruises can vary from day trips to multi-day expeditions. Decide on the duration that fits your schedule and interest.
  • Book in Advance
    • Due to the popularity of the Galápagos and the limited number of visitors allowed each year, it’s advisable to book your cruise well in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak seasons (June to September and mid-December to mid-January).
  • Consider Travel Insurance
    • It’s always a good idea to get travel insurance that covers any unforeseen events, from cancellations to medical emergencies. Many expedition operators will insist on this as part of their T&Cs, so make sure you read them in full.
  • Follow Regulations
    • The Galápagos is a delicate ecosystem. Always follow the guidelines set out by the Galápagos National Park and your guides. This includes keeping a distance from wildlife, not taking anything from the islands, and not leaving anything behind.
  • Entry Requirements
    • Besides the usual travel documentation (passport, etc.), you’ll need a Galápagos Transit Control Card (TCT), which you should get in Quito or Guayaquil airports before your flight to the islands. Upon arrival at the Galápagos, you’ll also need to pay an entrance fee to the Galápagos National Park.

Remember that while the Galápagos offers a unique experience, it’s essential to be a responsible traveler. The islands’ ecosystems are fragile, so always respect local guidelines and ensure you leave no trace behind.

Related & Curated Expedition Cruise Features

Expedition Cruise Lines List

Expedition Cruise Lines List

  This is a list of all the key expedition cruise lines operating globally. With links to their primary websites too. Key: Charter: This means the company does not own any ships but charters them each season so does operate. Expedition Cruise Line Number of ships...