Expedition ships or small yachts?

May 9, 2017

One question you need to ask yourself when considering a visit to the Galapagos Islands is whether to go on a large expedition ship as Galapagos Legend or a small yacht like Grand Majestic . Don’t know the difference? Don’t worry. For anyone wondering why this is such an important thing to ask yourself, you need to know the ins and outs of Galapagos travel. Here’s the difference between larger Expedition Ships and small yachts.

The Galapagos Islands are one of those places that everyone should visit at least once. Undiscovered by man until the 16th century, the incredible wildlife that evolved there was untouched by man’s actions until relatively recently and the aim is to keep things this way. While it is a truly remarkable place to visit, this needs to be balanced with a way to manage tourism in the area.

One factor that makes the difference is that there are very few hotels or places to stay on the islands themselves. Real Galapagos cruises involve staying on a boat, sailing around the islands and making day trips. This better preserves the natural conditions and allows the incredible wildlife some space. It does, however, also raise the question of what kind of boat you’re going to choose. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks that should be carefully considered before making your choice.

Large expedition ships offer a choice on Galapagos cruises. The type of accommodation varies and also applies to the type of day trips on offer. Larger vessels are also more capable of tackling choppy waters in the warmer season.

On the downside, the larger expedition trips can occasionally miss out on the more intimate experiences that make the Galapagos such an incredible destination. The Humboldt Current around South America provides nutrient-rich cooler waters, which in turn attract whales. There are few greater sites than rounding a headland in your small boat and spotting a humpback or beaked whale surfacing. The larger groups on bigger ships also mean that land adventures can lose some of the sense of magic.

On the contrary, small yachts provide more authentic Galapagos cruises. Explore the waters around the islands on a cozy liveaboard like the Galapagos Seaman Journey and it will really feel like an adventure for you, a few other shipmates and a small crew. There won’t be scores of other passengers to spoil the sense of occasion. You also get to take more advantage of your guide’s expertise than those on a larger vessel.

However, whichever kind of trip you choose, your once in a lifetime Galapagos adventure is sure to be unforgettable. Let us help you choose the RIGHT option for a memorable trip; Contact Us today.

Andre Robles
Andre Robles
Andre Robles is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first
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