Choosing between an Island Hopping and a cruise you need to consider several factors which we will detail below in order to understand each modality of a trip in these beautiful islands.
Departures: cruises have fix departures and fix itineraries varying from 4 to sometimes 15 days. Island hopping can be started every day.
Services: cruises offer all-in packages like accommodation in the cabin, all meals and guided excursions, transportation. Island hopping packages offer overnights in hotels of your choice with breakfast on the next morning and guided excursions can be included according to your interest and time. In general the mid class and higher category hotels and cruises offer a more comprehensive service, knowledgeable guides and are more responsible in problem solving.
Island visits: cruises navigate mostly at night so you can visit longer-distance-islands like Fernandina, Genovesa and the western side of Isla Isabela. Endemic species such as the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguins, swallow tailed gulls and red footed boobies can be spotted in its natural habitat.
Island Hopping itineraries can include inhabited islands as well on shared of private daily excursions to nearby islands like North Seymour, Santa Fe, South Plazas and Bartholomew.
Flexibility: Island hopping offers a more flexible program in compare to a cruise. Besides you will have more spare time in which you can enjoy white sand beaches, rent a bike, go for a walk and chose your own restaurant. Cruises need to follow set island and time schedules so with this planning ahead you know what to expect.
Both Island Hopping and a cruise can be scheduled by your tour operator.
Category hotels and cruises: Both island hopping and cruises offer different category hotels and boats. Varying from lower budget, mid class, first class and luxury class.
Transport: During Island hopping you travel in public motorized boats with a max. Capacity of 30 passengers. Depending on the season, these traverses can be uncomfortable when the Pacific is rough and choppy. Another option is flying between the islands San Cristobal, Isabela and Baltra in a small aircraft of max 9 passengers and with limited luggage.
Special requirements: if you travel with children, get easily sea sick or seek some free time, we recommend an island hopping Program. If you like to visit Galapagos in a short time and explore a lot, then a cruise could be a good option for you.
Price: In general a cruise has a higher cost due to above mentioned reasons such as all-in package, longer distances, all permits, more customized service and a crew at your disposal. Island Hopping packages all in general less expensive and have fewer inclusions.
Ready to travel to Galapagos? contact us and we will advise you on the best alternative!