BEST TIME TO CRUISE THE GALÁPAGOS


TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL

The Galápagos are cool and dry from Jul-Nov, and warm and wet from Dec-Jun. The best time for a Galápagos luxury holiday is the latter season as there’s more sun, seas are calmer and underwater visibility is at its best. Feb- Apr are the best months to visit the Galápagos if you’re looking for active animals, as sea lions, tortoises and finches frolic in spring flowers during mating season. Jun-Nov is dry and cloudy with colder, rougher seas, so avoid this period if you don’t want to spill your bubbly on the captain. For more information on when to go, see our full Galapagos guide.

Things to do on a luxury Galápagos holiday


WHAT TO DO & WHAT NOT TO

Things to do on a luxury Galápagos holiday…


The beauty of a tailoring a holiday to meet your wishes is that it gives you choice. You get to pick the boat, the itinerary and the time of year, with chances to explore further afield before or after an itinerary all part of the service. Talking to your holiday company before you go gives you every opportunity to find out what’s included and what you’ll need to bring with you to ensure your experience matches up to expectations.
Pick a 5-star Galápagos cruise ship and there will be better facilities – a gym, or sundeck with Jacuzzi, perhaps, or a private balcony for stargazing. You'll find larger cabins as well as better food and a more extensive wine menu. Service will be slicker, with English-speaking guides who are engaging, passionate and personable, more like your best pal. Modern craft are designed not to compromise on environmental impact as well as not compromising on comfort and luxury, either. Win-win.
Forget beach resorts and shiny hotels; why not share your honeymoon with the wildlife of the Galápagos onboard a Smart Voyager certified yacht? These are designed with the environment in mind as well as those little luxuries that turn a holiday into a honeymoon. Boats can also be privately chartered if you fancy bringing your own crew, or you can leave the land-lubbers at the altar and climb aboard a tall ship as part of a small group and set sail with wind in your sails and champers in the cabin.

Things not to do on a luxury Galápagos holiday…


Stay onboard. Although it can be tempting to stay in your en suite cabin with polished wood finishes and wide windows, make sure you get out and about for nature hikes, glass-bottomed boat rides, kayaking and snorkelling, depending on your chosen holiday.
Of course, land-based tours have their place as part of Galápagos holidays, especially for families and for travellers looking to find out more about the local culture. However, for a more luxurious and well-rounded experience it's incredibly hard to beat island-hopping and staying onboard a luxury cruise ship. Hotel accommodation can be arranged alongside day trips by boat although tours to the more remote, uninhabited islands can only be reached following at least a night spent at sea.
A luxury Galápagos holiday comes at a high price but please don’t scrimp on costs when it comes to picking the quality of your craft via a holiday company that you trust. Safety and ecological standards have never been better, and the bigger the boat (max 100 passengers, in line with Galápagos National Park regulations) the more environmental restrictions are in place. Importantly, we can offer several boats that are owned by Ecuadorians and Galapagueños and many of our trips place tourist dollars where they’re needed most: into the pockets of local people.

GALÁPAGOS LUXURY TRAVEL ADVICE


TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN GALÁPAGOS

LARGE VS. SMALL BOATS


David Orrock, from our supplier Pura Aventura, shares his top Galápagos travel tips: “Many people feel they should go on larger boats because they’re better for seasickness, but I just think you lose a kind of intimacy with the experience. In a small boat with 16 people you get to know all your fellow passengers. You certainly spend less time getting on and standing around waiting to disembark, which is an issue on bigger ships. But there's also a romance with a smaller ship, you feel like the first pioneers that went to Galápagos. It's such a special place and it's all about getting up so much closer to nature than you normally would – if you're in a massive group you lose that to an extent. Of course, they're good ships – you have more facilities, more space... but having done it both ways, I'd always go with the smaller boat.”
Guy Marks, from our luxury Galápagos cruise experts Tribes Travel, explains why smaller isn’t always better: “20 years ago, Galápagos tour boats were a bit ropey and not as environmentally sound as the modern boats that you'll find today. Larger boats have to have their own sewage treatment plants onboard as well as their own natural water supplies. Small boats aren't constrained by these sorts of ecological rules and regulations. In this sense, larger, luxury boats cause less impact on the environment than smaller, unregulated craft. For example, one of the boats that we recommend, The Origin, has reduced its fuel consumption by 40 percent despite being twice as large as traditional cruise ships.”

Choosing your holiday company


Guy Marks, from our luxury Galápagos cruise experts Tribes Travel: “It's really important to speak to a tour operator who knows what they're talking about. A lot of companies will just charter a boat for a short space of time and advise you that the best time to go to the Galápagos, coincidentally, coincides with when they have use of a boat. We're able to offer a choice of 50 different craft, ranging from 12 berth yachts and catamarans to 100 passenger cruise ships, as well as private access to a whole boat.”
Hello.
If you'd like to chat about Galapagos luxury or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

GALÁPAGOS LUXURY HOLIDAYS ADVICE


TIPS FROM OUR TRAVELLERS

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful luxury Galápagos holiday tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
“Visits to inhabited parts of the Galápagos help local people earn their living. The guide and crew ensure safety and reduce environmental impact. Conservation is helped by our presence (revenues) and sticking to a tight timetable without being rushed lets the maximum number of people enjoy and appreciate the work being done here in preserving and expanding the natural environment.” – Michael Walker-Smith
“There were too many highlights to pick just one. It was a privilege to be in this unique place, and so close to its wildlife, which was both beautiful and bizarre. Among the highlights would have to be: swimming with sea lions diving and twirling around us; watching the stately cross-eyed dance of the blue-footed boobies; avoiding the salty sneezes of the marine iguanas; paddling silently at dawn, through the mangrove lagoons, seeing a shoal of golden rays or a single turtle gliding through the water.” – Margaret Arch
“If you get seasick, this could spoil your holiday – ships vary in stability, so ask before you book, and take lots of medication and/or ginger. Take strong walking shoes - preferably with ankle support - as some walks are very rough. Wear lots of sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat - you're on the Equator and will burn easily. Pack light - keep it to a minimum, and use a squashy bag, as there's nowhere to put a suitcase on the ship and minimal storage. Take an underwater disposable camera, and your own mask and snorkel, and practise before you go.” – Margaret Arch
“The Galápagos wildlife was just awesome! Even more amazing than we'd expected. The crew were fantastic – really friendly and welcoming and the guides were exceptional.” – Christine Ennew
“To anyone thinking of booking a similar trip I would give this advice - go for as long as you can, do as much as you can and if, like me and my husband, you are in your sixties make sure you are as fit as you can be before you go. We had a month of 6am starts and activities on many days until 10pm so it was tiring and you need to be pretty fit to snorkel from a rubber boat twice a day as we did in the Galápagos.” – Mary Lee
Photo credits:[Temperature chart: Justin Jensen] [How to choose a luxury tour : A.Davey] [Choosing your holiday company: A.Davey] [Review 1: Jeremy T. Hetzel] [Review 2: Brian Gratwicke]

Written by: Chris Owen
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