Cruising is one of life’s great joys, and although it gives you the chance to sample the finest resorts and most cultured cities in the world, the natural world is equally appealing. For that reason, Galapagos Islands cruise deals are becoming ever more popular, as is the wider [url=]South American[/url] region. Leading cruise lines, with fullest respect for the beauty and wildlife of the islands, sail out to savour the sunshine and help you make new furry friends time and time again. Whether you’re new to these stunning islands or a full time nature lover returning for another voyage, take our advice ahead of your next cruise.

A guide to the Galapagos Islands

Nature rules supreme on the Galapagos Islands. It’s a year-round cruise destination that promises sunshine and awe-inspiring beauty. Keep in mind that your favourite cruise lines visit the Galapagos Islands in agreement with local research and preservation authorities. As such, itineraries will look similar across various cruise lines, simply because they’re all playing by the rules. However, there is so much to experience, from diving with turtles to discovering marine iguanas, a species that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.

Ports of call

Although the Galapagos Islands are rich in natural life, there’s a bustling community to enjoy here too. Small town aesthetics with a Hispanic flavour rule the day here, so you will discover colonial architecture and locals with broad smiles.

Santa Cruz is the most populated of the Galapagos Islands. More or less every cruise that you choose will stop here during your voyage. The main attraction is the Charles Darwin Research Centre, so expect a visit to this historic realm of natural knowledge on any Galapagos Island cruise. The capital of Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora, is a community where local lifestyles favour good food and fine wine, and in the centre of Santa Cruz, rugged hinterlands beckon plucky explorers, and the hidden homes of giant tortoises make superb photo opportunities.

For divers, there’s nowhere more magical than Champion’s Islet in the autumn. The comparatively cooler temperature of the seawater at that time of year encourages fish to flock to its wholesome and tasty seaweed, which in turn entices magnificent birds and plenty of curious seals. For a truly majestic avian experience, cruise fans are encouraged to visit the island of Rabida, where legions of flamingos come to feed, or Espanola, where you can find the magnificent waved albatross with its eight-foot wide wingspan. They gather in the hundreds on the shore, making for a truly awesome sight.

For those of you with an interest in geology, take a look at Fernandina. It’s the youngest of the islands, formed like its sisters by volcanic activity. Lava flows are still active here, and luckily tours are too, giving you an unforgettable experience of its raw beauty.

Cruise lines to consider

A good number of cruise lines have chosen to immerse their guests in the wonders of the Galapagos Islands, and it’s a figure that’s growing all the time. That said, when searching for the best Galapagos Island cruises, keep a few of our recommendations in mind for their expertise, luxury and knowledge of the islands’ mysteries.

Celebrity Cruises® is a great line for those of you looking to see the Galapagos Islands in style. Their main cruise ship of choice for itineraries in the Galapagos Islands is the 64-berth mega-yacht Celebrity Xpedition®, a gorgeous and modern vessel well suited to the contemporary explorer. The crew, a team of specialists and natural history experts are always on hand to answer any questions put to them, while the onboard restaurant specialises in seafood that’s super fresh, thanks to the chefs working with local fishermen to stock up their pantries.

The purveyors of luxury we all love, Silversea Cruises, has made the Galapagos Islands one of their favourite destinations. Indeed, the specialised cruise ship that this line has committed to itineraries in this region, Silver Galapagos, is both prestigious and practical. It’s a selective ship too, housing just 100 guests per voyage, so expect to relish in a community feel on your trip. In true Silversea style, you can also expect the attentive services of a butler who will handle your baggage, and mealtimes will be occasions to savour. In fact, Silversea Galapagos is a rarity insofar as it’s a cruise ship specifically designed for Galapagos Island cruises that still features balconies and other little luxuries onboard.

Tips to consider on a Galapagos Island cruise

The Galapagos Islands are unlike any other cruise you can imagine, and while that’s exciting, it’s a smart move to keep a few pointers in mind both ahead of and during your cruise. For one thing, the temptation to stroll barefoot through the wilderness may seem enticing, but these are volcanic islands, and for the most part, sensible shoes and strong boots are encouraged, if not necessary. The ground can be pretty hot thanks to abundant lava and volcanic activity.

The Galapagos Islands are warm and welcoming all year round, with gentle breezes bringing a welcome reprieve from the sunshine. As such, cruises make a point of visiting the islands throughout the calendar, yet the most busy periods tend to fall in the spring and autumn months. That’s because it’s animal mating season, or when the diving opportunities off Champion’s Islet, for instance, entice scores of visitors to the Galapagos Islands.

Remember, this isn’t a cruise that skirts the pristine environs of the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, instead, it offers sumptuous and unspoilt vistas. As such, you should dress accordingly for the outdoors, and keep the formalwear for another cruising occasion.

Altogether, the Galapagos Islands are a superb cruise destination that offers unforgettable scenery and the chance to meet natural wildlife of every description. Make sure you plan your next escape with us, and we’ll ensure every aspect of your Galapagos Island cruise is as enriching as your deserve it to be.

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