First Class VS Premium Class – Which Galapagos Cruise is Right for You?

AUTHOR Daniel Andino

Those traveling with Ecoventura typically know exactly what they want in their Galapagos cruise vacation — an intimate experience aboard a small-ship cruise vessel offering the best access to the islands, personal attention from staff, and unique experiences they couldn’t otherwise attain aboard a larger cruise vessel.

In choosing our award-winning company to host you on your journey you’ll have all that and more. However, while you’ve already made the biggest (and best decision) of planning your vacation by choosing Ecoventura, there’s still one final decision that remains and that’s whether to cruise the Galapagos aboard a first-class (ERIC & LETTY) or premium (ORIGIN) vessel.

First-Class – ERIC/LETTY

The Eric and Letty are identical expedition yachts specifically designed for cruising the Galapagos. Built in 1994, they are well-maintained older vessels measuring in at 84 feet long x 24 feet wide with cruising speeds of 8 knots.

These twin sister ships each house ten double outside-facing fully air-conditioned cabins with a window or porthole view, one double bed or two twin lower beds, private bathroom (hot and cold water showers), bio-degradable soap/shampoo dispensers, hair dryer, closet, drawers, intercom and separate climate controls for your comfort.

Aboard each vessel you’ll also find a dining room in addition to a well-stocked bar, conference area with a flat screen TV, library, and panoramic picture windows. If you prefer spending your downtime outdoors, we also have lounge chairs on our sun decks where you can take in ocean breezes by day or the Galapagos stars by night.

Premium Class – The MV ORIGIN

Built in 2016, the MV ORIGIN is our newest luxury yacht (and we will be debuting her sister yacht in 2019!). It measures 142 feet long x 27 feet wide making it 50% more spacious than the Eric or Letty and at 12 knots, the cruising speed of the ORIGIN is roughly 30% faster.

The deluxe staterooms on the ORIGIN measure 145 square feet, offer large windows with views of the ocean and are all located on the same deck. There are two cabins that can accommodate triples and two cabins that have an inter-connecting door.  

All twin beds can be converted into a king bed, plus there is additional storage and a sitting area as well as bath robes, slipper, Apple TV with -reloaded movies, a universal docking stations, safety deposit box, espresso machine and tea set up en suite.

The ORIGIN has 3 additional crew member on board including a concierge to attend to guests’ needs, an assistant in the hotel department, and a dedicated bartender to cater to our generous open bar and prepare hand-crafted cocktails.

The ORIGIN also offers services not otherwise available on the Eric & Letty such as a light laundry service and Wi-Fi (additional charges do apply).  Other amenities unique to the ORIGIN include a Jacuzzi, a Fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights, and yoga mats. On charters, we can also arrange to have a masseuse or a photographer on board for an additional fee.

The ORIGIN also has several social areas where guests can relax including several seating areas indoors, an extensive library, and a larger boutique. The sundeck has a wet bar, public restroom, outdoor shower, bar-be-que, day beds, tables, and chairs.


Regardless which class of vessel you choose, there are certain aspects you can expect from both.

For example, the island excursions and activities offered will be the same on the three vessels. These activities include guided island excursions, beach walks, zodiac rides, snorkeling, kayaking, star gazing, and whale watching to name a few. All yachts will provide guests with masks, fins, snorkels, wet suits, and kayaks and stand-up paddle boards at no additional charge.

Another thing you can count on regardless of which vessel you choose is the quality of our staff. Many of our staff members, from our Captain to our crew & guides, have been working with Ecoventura for years and we often rotate our crew between yachts to ensure the same quality of service throughout our entire fleet.  This rotating staff includes our chefs as well, which means that you can also count on gourmet cuisine regardless and cooking demonstrations of your choice of vessel.


Now for the main differences you can expect between the two classes of vessel.

First, there are the dining configurations. On the ORIGIN (our premium class vessel) we can configure tables to accommodate groups of two all the way up to groups of ten. On the Eric & Letty (our first-class vessels) the dining configuration is four to a table with the exception of one table that seats a total of six.

In regards to beverage service, the Eric & Letty offer complimentary wine & beer during dinner service in addition to the welcome & farewell cocktail parties where as the ORIGIN offers an open-bar policy with complimentary spirits throughout the duration of the cruise.

The carbon footprint is the same between the two classes of vessel, although the Eric has solar panels and wind generators installed for alternative energy sources while the ORIGIN is stable due to its size and the design of the bow that allows it to cut through waves.

The bottom line is, regardless which vessel you choose you’re bound to have an unforgettable experience in an area of the world so unique you couldn’t possibly fathom until you witness it first-hand. That said, every traveler has their personal preferences and we aim to accommodate each and every guest to make for the most comfortable stay imaginable.

Hopefully, we’ve provided enough detail to aid you in decision making for your perfect Galapagos cruise, but if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can help you in reaching a final decision and allow you to finish planning and start packing!