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Galapagos Islands Cruise Tips: Cost, Length, Ports of Call

Galapagos sea lion
Galapagos sea lion. Credit: Pixabay license

Galapagos island cruises are unique because they offer cruise passengers a chance to see some of the rarest plants and animals in the world.

The Galapagos Islands, which lie 650 miles east of Ecuador, are remarkably remote. As a result, they have eco tourism experiences that travelers will likely find nowhere else in the world.

A typical cruise begins and ends in the Galapagos Islands. Because the islands are so close together, cruise passengers will have a chance to visit one island every day of their trip.

Galapagos Cruise Cost and Length

A search of Galapagos Islands cruises over a 12-month period on a major travel booking site showed a total of 154 cruises. All of the cruises were available from just two cruise ship companies: Celebrity and Silversea.

Nearly all of the cruises were seven nights long with a few as long as 11 nights. The least expensive cruise was more than $5,500 per person or about $800 a night. The most expensive was $17,900 for 11 nights or more than $1,600 a night. This compares to Caribbean cruises that often cost less than $200 a night.

One reason for the high cost is the size of ships dedicated to Galapagos Island cruises. They are smaller than Caribbean cruise ships and therefore have higher fixed costs.

The number of cruises didn’t vary much from month to month, although July was clearly the most popular. The totals were:

  • Jan - 11 cruises
  • Feb - 12
  • Mar - 12
  • Apr - 14
  • May - 13
  • Jun - 15
  • Jul - 19
  • Aug - 10
  • Sep - 12
  • Oct - 15
  • Nov - 11
  • Dec - 10

Galapagos Ports of Call

The Celebrity cruises depart from and return to the island of Baltra. Silversea cruises depart from and return to the island of San Cristobal.

A typical itinerary for Celebrity includes Daphne Island, Gardner Bay on Espanola, Punta Suarez, Cormorant Point on Floreana, Post Office, Elizabeth Bay on Isabela, Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela, South Plaza on Santa Cruz, Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz and Puerto Ayora.

A typical itinerary for Silversea includes Prince Philip’s Steps on Genovesa, Darwin Bay on Genovesa, North Seymour Island, Sullivan Bay at Santiago, Mangle Point at Fernandina, Elizabeth Bay at Isabela, Puerto Ayora, Santa Fe Island, Gardner Bay at Espanola Island, Punta Suarez and Cerro Brujo.

Cruise Weather

The islands have a rainy season from January through April. Rainfall is mild with an average of about four inches a month.

The dry season begins in May and averages two inches a month or less for the remainder of the year. Rainfall is especially light from July through November when it averages less than one inch a month.

Daytime temperatures are usually in the high 70s Fahrenheit and mid 20s Celsius during the southern hemisphere winter months of August and September.

They reach the mid 80s Fahrenheit or about 30 Celsius from January through May.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
July 28, 2022

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