There are so many cruise options to explore the Galapagos, that it is easy to get lost. In this blog we have listed 6 wrong perceptions about Galapagos cruises.
“Cruise ships are too massive for exploring Galapagos”
The maximum number of passengers the largest ships hold in the Galapagos is 100 passengers. Massive cruise lines are not authorized in Galapagos.
The options of boats range from single guided boats (approx. 6-10 cabins) to expedition yachts (approx. 16-24 cabins) and expedition vessels (over 24 cabins).
“I can go on any ship, because after all they all go over the whole archipelago”
False, not all ships reach all of the islands. The ship and the itinerary that you choose determines how you will access the Galapagos National Park.
“Only single-guided boats let you select full-week trips”
Expedition vessels, yachts and land-based options offer a wide variety of choices voyage length wise. You choose what fits best to your wishes and itinerary. That can range from 5 to 15 days. You can even combine two shorter itineraries to get the island coverage you desire.
“Single-guided boats get exclusive access to secluded National Park locations and do not share the islands with other visitors”
False, at each visitor side you will likely find more than 4 single-guided boats or only 1 expedition vessel. Why is that? Because following the Galapagos National Park rules, each visitor site has its own maximum number of visitors permitted at any given time.
Not ship size, but itinerary design is what assures exclusivity and top wildlife viewing opportunities.
“If I want to go ashore in a small group, I must go on a small ship”
False, the GNP official regulation authorizes 16 or fewer guests per guide. On expedition vessels, the number of guests per guide comes down to an average of only 12.
“Single guided small boats can leave a lower environmental footprint”
Actually, the fewer people on board, the higher the environmental footprint per person. It’s a question of basic economies of scale: the inevitable carbon footprint of the vessel, when divided by the number of guests on board, falls dramatically on multi-guided expedition vessels versus single guided boats.
Expedition vessels actually reduce their footprint on protected areas by investing in projects like: cutting-edge technology, training, plastic reduction, solid waste management and clear processes.