The Best of Luxury Galapagos Cruises
Let us help you choose the right vessel for your cruise to the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands.
As only ten of the 13 major islands are only accessible by sea, a luxury cruise is the best ways to explore the Galapagos. See our pick below.
ELEGANCE AT SEA
Few yachts have such a rich a history as the M/Y Grace. Built in the roaring Twenties, she was conscripted into the Royal Navy and saved hundreds of men at Dunkirk. Later she belonged to Aristotle Onassis, who gave her to Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco as a wedding gift.
Her rich heritage is obvious when you step aboard. The Grace has been lovingly restored down to the fine details of her most elegant period, and still bears her original 1927 steering wheel. She has space for 16 guests and guides, chef and crew are handpicked to make your trip unforgettable, amid the rich and varied wildlife of the Galapagos.
There are kayaks to take out, a sizeable jacuzzi to warm up in after snorkelling, and a bar on the upper deck where sundowners are served.
“Harking back to the roaring Twenties and the Golden Age of travel, The Grace is a classy, romantic way to experience the Galapagos, with just 16 guests.”
Follow Darwin’s footsteps on a seven-night cruise that allows for hikes, snorkelling, and kayaking among five of the Galapagos Islands.
One of the newer superyachts to join the cruise market in the Galapagos, Aqua Mare had her inaugural voyage in June 2022. Hosting just 16 guests, exploring the Galapagos aboard Aqua Mare is an intimate affair but on the ship you’ll find clever use of space – in fact Aqua Mare has 30% more indoor volume than most yachts her size and the interiors feel slick and contemporary, marking a shift away from the traditional style of many of the Galapagos’ vessels.
For the ultimate indulgence, let us book you into the 80sqm Owner’s Cabin Suite, a sizeable suite that’s a rare find in the Galapagos. The yacht has three dining areas, beach club and sundeck, and with renowned Peruvian consulting chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino overseeing the gastronomy, you’ll be in for a culinary treat.
“A more modern way to cruise the Galapagos, Aqua Mare is sleek superyacht, crafted by Italian luxury mega yacht builders.”
Aqua Mare will take you to the most remote, uninhabited islands and to the heart of what the Galapagos is all about. With a highly personalised experience, disembark onto the shore and slip into the water to meet the islands’ famously fearless residents.
GALAPAGOS SEAMAN JOURNEY
Curating three-, four- and seven-night sailing itineraries, one of the reasons the Galapagos Seaman Journey catamaran stands out is because of the flexibility it offers, so you could decide to spend half of your Galapagos trip on land; the other aboard the Galapagos Seaman Journey. It also represents good value and with lots of twin cabins on board, so it’s a good option for families.
We like the way in which all the cabins have full sized windows, and the sundecks are nice and spacious. The guides aboard the catamaran are very engaging and are often on hand to answer any questions, plus in the evening you can join nature lectures which elaborate more on wildlife, geology, marine life and biology, therefore helping you connect more deeply to your fascinating environment.
“A first-class catamaran, sailing on the Galapagos Seaman Journey means a fun-packed itinerary including nature hikes, zodiac ride, snorkelling, kayaking and of course time out to relax on the beach.”
Visiting several types of ecosystems within the Galapagos Islands, your itinerary on board Seaman Journey catamaran is as varied as it is active. Even in just three days you’ll cover several islands and meet giant tortoises, iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and much more.
Sister ship to The Grace, M/V Evolution combines style and substance on a vessel over 200 foot long, characterised by chic nautical lines which hark back to the roaring twenties, with a contemporary interior design. Larger in size than our other recommended boats, MV Evolution can berth up to 34 passengers, with several different types of cabins including triple share cabins which work well for families.
A high level of guiding also elevates your experience – many of the guides on board have been exploring the Galapagos for over 15 years. This in-depth knowledge means you can hone in on your speciality or interests be it Darwin and his discoveries, endemic species and why they flourish here or perhaps the protection of this natural paradise and what measures are being taken to safeguard it.
“A cruise on M/V Evolution means more deck space which includes the ability for a 360-degree walk around, an oversized Jacuzzi and triple cabins. In many ways, this makes it perfect for families wanting to experience the Galapagos.”
Itineraries aboard M/V Evolution are specially curated to include exclusive landing sites working in tandem with on-water activities to maximize the occurrence of unexpected, animal encounters.
SAFARI ON SEA
Origin, Theory & Evolve
Three identical ships, Origin, Theory & Evolve are Ecoventura’s fleet – known as some of the most luxurious ships in the Galapagos. With a week on board, this trip is for those who want to explore the Galapagos as deeply as possible. Ideal for nature-lovers, the experience is a true safari-on-sea, seeking out the volcanic islands’ endemic species with a full week to access some of the more remote spots. With up to three activities each day, guests are kept busy, and in between, delicious, chef-prepared meals are waiting for you to ensure your energy levels are kept topped up.
Each evening there are briefings to inform on the next day’s agenda, including what equipment will be needed – the ships have a vast quota of kit, all in great condition be it wetsuits, snorkels, kayaks and paddle boards; even your cabin is furnished with slippers, dressing gowns and Panama hats. And of course, Ecoventura’s naturalists can answer all your pressing questions. All you need to do is absorb this extraordinary landscape, spotting giant tortoise, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos sea lion, Galapagos fur seal and marine iguana among many, many others.
“Origin, Theory and Evolve ships are spacious, 142-foot-long yachts which means plenty of room for everyone to spread out in the cabins, sundeck, bar area, gym and library.”
With a seamless start as you transfer from airport to boat in just 20 minutes, Origin, Theory or Evolve will cruise the Galapagos for seven days, visiting either ‘Volcanic Wonders’ or ‘Beaches and Bays’. Talk to us about which cruise suits you best.
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Just back from
Just Back From – The Galapagos
Personal Travel Designer Stephanie Carthy reports back from her exploratory trip to the Galapagos aboard the new Ecoventura luxury expedition yacht Evolve.
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