For many, a Galapagos Islands cruise represents a once in a lifetime destination. The Swimming Iguanas, Blue Footed Boobies and Giant Tortoises are really just the tip of an incredible iceberg as with wildlife, flora and fauna that can't be seen anywhere else in the world, your Galapagos cruise is bound to be something truly special.
The Galapagos Islands are filled with history, boasting some of the oldest species on the planet as well as playing host to Charles Darwin while he worked on his theory of evolution. The islands are filled with incredible creatures and stunning scenery and an expedition cruise is the best way to take it all in. For our top tips on choosing and preparing for your Galapagos cruise, check out our amazing Galapagos guide.
The Galapagos Islands are a stunning year-round destination, however there are two main cruising seasons:
Silver Galapagos and Celebrity Xpedition offer Galapagos Islands cruises. Silver Galapagos is Silversea Cruises' best suited expedition ship and combines 6-star luxury with the incredible experience of visiting the Galapagos Islands on an expedition class ship.
Onboard both Silver Galapagos and Celebrity Xpedition you will be joined by a variety of nature and geology experts, who guide you through the wildlife and history of the islands and their fascinating species. A selection of excursions and trips onboard zodiacs are all included in your Galapagos Islands cruise fare, as are the onboard lectures.
After a day of seeing the unique species - which include approximately 29 land birds, six mammals, giant tortoises, three types of land iguana, marine iguanas, invertebrates and many more - an elegant evening onboard a cruise ship offers the perfect end to the day.
Silver Galapagos offers the most incredible experience you could imagine, combining 6-star luxury all inclusive cruises with an expedition class ship. Expect food that is out of this world, a wonderful selection of fine wines and cocktails and the most incredible service at sea, perfect after rattling around in a zodiac or hiking around the stunning islands.
Celebrity Cruises offer 5-star cruising and Celebrity Xpedition boasts the wonderful food and service you would expect of their larger ships, but on a more intimate scale. You can still enjoy champagne and piano music before dinner and don your favourite dress, but don't expect West End-style musicals or casinos onboard.
To find out more, take a look at the great choice of Galapagos cruises on offer.
Home to the largest town on the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz offers cruisers a little bit of everything. While you're here, you can make the most of the stunning wildlife by hiking to Tortuga Bay and its sandy beaches or explore the fascinating lava tunnels. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about life on these islands, head to the fish market where seals feature amongst the regular customers.
If you want to use your Galapagos Islands cruise to discover the breathtaking marine life then look no further than Champion Islet. The cooler temperatures mean that the ecosystem consists of hundreds of exotic species that you can marvel at as you dive under. If you're lucky, you may even get a glimpse of the extremely rare Floreana Mockingbird.
This may be one of the smallest Galapagos Islands, but you won't be disappointed by what it has to offer. For those who like diving into the ocean, the enticing waters are teeming with everything from sharks to sea turtles and spot rays. However, if you'd rather stay on dry land, a hike through the beautiful scenery will treat you to sightings of marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies, to name just a few tropical species.
For something a little different to the standard white sandy beaches, a trip to Rabida Island will meet you with deep red sand due to the high iron levels from volcanic material. Here you can expect an up close view of sea lions, pelicans and flamingos, perfect for a photo opportunity!
Beach lovers will be stunned by Gardner Bay on this island, famed for being one of the world's top beaches. Whether you'd like to get adventurous and explore the sparkling blue water by kayak, or on a scuba diving excursion, or rather soak up the sun on the pristine sand during your Galapagos Islands cruise, you'll never forget the natural beauty of Española Island.
For a truly unique diving excursion, look no further than Post Office Bay on Floreana Bay where you can head to Devil's Crown diving site and discover the marine life at an underwater volcano cone. Back on the surface, meanwhile, you're likely to spot sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas and giant tortoises.