South America is such a vast continent that to see even a relatively small area, many visitors spend a long time travelling. This is why cruise are so fantastic, and with so many of the countries treasures located around the coastlines and on offshore islands, a cruise is a convenient, luxurious and exciting way to discover South America and The Galapagos Islands.
What you’ll see in a 5 night cruise
For many, around 5 nights offers plenty of time to see the best of the islands. Motor yachts such as the M/Y Galapagos Odyssey travel a set itinerary for this length of time, carrying up to 16 passengers to the highlights of the Galapagos. There are ten comfortable cabins, a sun deck with loungers and a Jacuzzi, lounge, dining area, bar, terrace and library.
Excursions take you to explore both the land and marine flora and fauna of the archipelago. Some tours will be treks by foot, kayak, and equipment is provided for snorkelling and scuba diving. Volcano hikes, island trails, swimming with sea lions as well as following giant tortoises through the forest are some of the highlights.
You could also travel aboard a sailing ship such as the classic S/S Mary Anne – a traditional 3 mast yacht with billowing white sails and a wooden deck. The 12 cabins are gorgeous and beautifully appointed and an on-board naturalist will really help you to understand the complex ecology of these amazing islands.
A 5 night cruise on the S/S Mary Anne will take you to see marine iguanas at Santa Fe, sea lions in Española, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies at Punta Suárez, the giant tortoises on Santa Cruz, Post Office Bay and the beaches of Punta Cormorant, amongst other excursions. This ship also takes 8 and 15 day tours of the archipelago, heading to some of the more remote islands.
When to go
Cruises are great holidays as they can be taken all year round. However, weather varies and this will change your experience on what you will see on your trip. Most cruises stop running from September until the end of November.
Overall, the best time to visit the Galapagos is during the British winter and spring, from December until May. You’re likely to be most comfortable at this time, while the seas are at their calmest and the weather is at its warmest. However, June, July and August reveal more wildlife, although it’s cooler, windier and sometimes rainy.