Galapagos Islands

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Choosing the right boat is the most important decision you can make when planning your Galapagos vacation. Some use sails and some use motors. Some hold hundreds of people and have large cabins typical of a Caribbean cruise, while others are yachts that accommodate just a few guests at a time. Some are specifically equipped for certain purposes, such as diving. Most boats visit 4-10 different islands, take 5-10 day trips, and cost an arm and a leg. Inquire with several tour companies and check out a few different boats before making your final decision. All boats will arrange to pick you up at one of the Galapagos’ two airports.

Galapagos Islands Boats and Cruises

Galapagos Aggressors I & II

Between dives on these 14-passenger live-aboard dive yachts you’ll explore three islands, bird watch, and snorkel. Every trip includes a shark dive in the Wolf and Darwin Islands, and stops at North Seymour, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Bartolomé.

Aggressor, Galapagos Islands, 800-348-2628, www.aggressor.com
Tags: cruise | expensive | tour | diving | boats and cruise

Galapagos Explorer II

This 100-passenger ship, offering 3- and 4-day cruises, is one of the most comfortable in the Galapagos, with all the amenities of a large cruise ship. Trips stop at San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Rabida, and Española or San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Bartholomew, Santiago, Fernandina, and Isabella.

Galapagos Explorer, Galapagos Islands, 011-593-4251-4750, www.galapagosexplorer.com
Tags: cruise | moderate | tour | boats and cruise

La Pinta

This 200-foot, 48-person luxury yacht is extremely eco-conscious, with low-emission engines, waste treatment and salination plants, and Zodiac motors that minimize noise and exhaust. Launched in 2008, the seven-day itinerary stops at Baltra, Bartolomé, Fernandina, Isabela, Floreana, Santa Cruz, James, Rabida, North Seymour, Sombrero Chino, and San Cristobal.

Metropolitan Touring, Galapagos Islands, 011-593-2298-8200, www.yachtlapinta.com
Tags: cruise | expensive | smart splurge | eco-friendly | tour | boats and cruise

M/V Isabela II

The 20 cabins of this fully air-conditioned, Ecuadorian-owned ship are among the most luxurious sailing the islands today. Expect the atmosphere of a Caribbean cruise sans the casino. Their Tuesday-Tuesday tours stop at Baltra, Hood, North Seymour, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Isabela, Fernandina, Bartolomé, and James Islands.

Metropolitan Touring, Galapagos Islands, 011-593-2298-8200, www.metropolitan-touring.com
Tags: cruise | expensive | tour | boats and cruise

M/V Santa Cruz

The eight-day, multi-generational “wildlife wonderland” trips on this 90-passenger boat have become all the rage with vacationing families. Stops include Baltra, Santa Cruz, Bartolomé, and North Seymour.

Tauck Bridges, Galapagos Islands, 800-788-7885, www.tauck.com
Tags: family | cruise | moderate | tour | boats and cruise

M/Y Parranda

This 125-foot luxury motor yacht moves quickly, so you’ll have more time to explore the islands, but there’s just enough room for 16 passengers on each voyage. Island stops are based on whether you’re on the naturalist, family, diving, or active program.

Quasar Expeditions, Galapagos Islands, 011-593-2244-6996, www.quasarex.com
Tags: cruise | expensive | tour | boats and cruise

Polaris

Rubber pangas (inflatable, 12-person Zodiac boats) will ferry you back and forth from this plush 80-passenger ship, and a full-time staff of Ecuadorian naturalists will help guide you. The itinerary is fairly standard, stopping at the typical favorites: Floreana, Isabela, Fernandina, Santa Cruz, Bartolomé, Santiago, and Española.

Lindblad Expeditions, Galapagos Islands, 800-397-3348, www.expeditions.com
Tags: cruise | expensive | tour | boats and cruise

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