Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galapagos are a “melting pot” of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflect the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of fish. These animals inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection after his visit in 1835.
If you would like to visit the Galapagos the best way is to get to know all the different islands is on board of a cruise ship. With the boat you will visit two spots (e.g. bays, islands, rocks, snorkeling spots) a day. On board of the boats you will get 3 meals a day and depending on the service level also drinks. At night you get briefings to discuss the plan for the day after.
There are about 50 independent cruise boats on the Galapagos and there is a boat available for each budget. You can choose from different service levels. The economic/class is the lowest. You will have a rather small ship (up to 14 cabins) with Naturalist Guide I (see explanation guides below). Basic 3 meals a day and you might sleep in bunk beds. Snorkel gear and wet suits are not included. The highest service level is a First class or Superior cruise. Everything is well arranged in these boats. The food is amazing, most of the times there is a Jacuzzi on board, the rooms are spacious and very comfortable, wet suits are included and you will have a level III Naturalist Guide (see explanation below).
Naturalist Guide I
A level “I” guide is a native of the islands or has been a resident of the archipelago for many years and has at least a high school diploma. Level I naturalists must have a good level of knowledge about the islands, and must have passed the Level I exam. They will speak English well but may not be fully fluent.
Naturalist Guide II
A level “II” guide has passed the Naturalist Guide Level II course, and must be very knowledgeable about all Galapagos Island issues and areas. This guide will have at least a high school diploma often has a university background in biology, biology related fields, or in tourism. The guide must be fluent in English, French or German.
Naturalist Guide III
This guide must have passed the Naturalist Level II course, which certifies that he/she is extremely knowledgeable about all Galapagos Island areas and issues. This level guide will also have a university degree in biology, biology related fields, or tourism. He/she must be fluent in Spanish, English and either French or German.
All last spaces on the boats will be sold on a “last minute rate”, usually this is 50% of the original price. These last minute offers you will get about 4 weeks before departure. So if you would like to find a last minute cruise please send us an email with the date range, preferred service level and number of people. We will contact our preferred cruises to see if there is a good deal available.