Expedition cruises vs. island-hopping tours

Let’s say you have the opportunity to fulfill one of your dream vacations – a trip to the beautiful Galapagos Islands.

Expedition cruises vs. island-hopping tours

Let’s say you have the opportunity to fulfill one of your dream vacations – a trip to the beautiful Galapagos Islands. What is the best way to travel once you are there – on a cruise between the islands or on an island-hopping tour? Here you are presented with both options, through the story of two travelers who decided on different trips. The first takes a private yacht cruise while the other decides on a hotel-based vacation.

Sara is single, in her mid-40s, and works as a naturalist for a government department. She chooses to go on a Galapagos cruise for her vacation.

She books an 8-day, 7-night cruise that visits 14 different ports along the way. Wanting to mostly see the wildlife of the islands, Sara chooses the Galapagos Seaman Journey. On this trip she takes in the panorama of the whole archipelago and see its creatures up close, visiting even remote islands which the regular ferries do not go to. Guides that are with her throughout the entire journey impart their knowledge as the trip moves along.

Sara enjoys the peace of being away from traffic, noise, and pollution, and while onboard the private yacht, she partakes in gourmet meals, does some snorkeling, and is rocked to sleep each night by the gentle waves. As the yacht quietly journeys in the dark, she awakens each morning to a new destination waiting to be explored.

Enjoying the Galapagos Islands by yacht also has the added benefit of leaving a smaller ecological footprint than an island-hopping tour where one stays in various hotels, is transported to and from hotels to docks, takes mostly speed boats between islands, and dines at multiple restaurants.

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On the other hand, Gary, who is single, in his late 20s, and is a bar manager, decides to take an island-hopping tour of the Galapagos.

Gary is into the cultural scene and visits bars in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. To get from island to island, he is transported by long and uncomfortable speedboat rides that some have described as bone rattling, and there are no services onboard during the two- to three-hour ride.

He gets to scuba dive, and he also sees wildlife – some finches and tortoises – but only gets to visit four islands in eight days, and in Puerto Villamil he stays in a boutique hotel. In fact, he spends a good amount of time checking in and out of hotels and packing and unpacking and repacking his bags. He does, though, get to visit more with the local population and participate in inland activities like enjoying the beaches and resort swimming pools.

So is it better to explore the Galapagos Islands by private yacht or by island-hopping? Depends on what type of person you are, what you are hoping to experience, and what you dream your journey will be like.

The President of Voyagers, Andre Robles, says, “We can help you organize your trip to the ‘Enchanted Isles,’ and together with you we will plan a cruising vacation that fulfills your specific interests.” Options for cruising the Galapagos archipelago with Voyagers are divided between expedition ship cruises and small yacht cruises.

To view the infographic that illustrates the differences between Sara’s and Gary’s trips, and for more information, visit: www.galapagoscruise.com.ec/cruises

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