AUTHOR Caroline Eaton
One of the first decisions when you start planning your trip to the Galapagos is whether you should go on a small Galapagos yacht or a larger cruise ship.
The larger cruise ship might have more people to socialize with and appear to be more stable for those worried about sea sickness, but we believe small yachts give you the intimate experience you should have when you visit a pristine, unique eco-system such as the Galapagos Islands..
10 Reasons To Choose a Small Group Galapagos Yacht
1. More spontaneity
We have two guides; one for 10 guests, which enables us to be flexible with spontaneous wildlife encounters such as seeing a pod of dolphins swim by or whale watching from the Pangas. You can’t plan for what wildlife you will see, so it’s great to be able to stay flexible with our smaller groups.
2. Get to the Islands Earlier
Our yacht operates on mainland Ecuador time which allows us to disembark an hour earlier than most other ships in the Islands. You will be the first groups to explore the Islands when the wildlife is most active.
3. You won’t get lost in the crowd.
Every day you will go ashore in groups of no more than ten per guide (vs 16 per guide on larger vessels). With such a small number of people you are able to ask detailed questions and understand the geography, flora and fauna in more depth. No one will be left behind or be unheard due to other travelers dominating the tour.
4. You can do more.
With a smaller group we can move around easier and logistics are quicker since we have fewer people to get on and off the yachts. We plan the days full of various activities including snorkeling, kayaking and zodiac rides, so you can get the complete Galapagos experience and go home knowing you saw everything!
5. Animals Aren’t Scared
Fewer people in the group, mean you have a greater chance of seeing more animals for longer periods. Wildlife in the Galapagos aren’t usually afraid of humans, but with bigger groups of tourists, some of them will startle and scurry away.
6. Enjoy the Delicious and Local cuisine
Your food will be specially prepared with local ingredients. With a smaller group, our chefs are able to best prepare local delicacies and cater to your requests including gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan meals.
7. Build Relationships Onboard
You share an incredible experience with the other people on your yacht and after a week you get to know this small group very well! You will be surprised how quickly you form a bond with fellow yacht mates as you snorkel and share this adventure together. Every night you can watch the sunset, with a glass of wine and share travel memories and stories from the day.
8. Kayak the Sea
Our small yacht is able to bring sea kayaks along and snorkel at least once a day, which larger vessels are not able to offer their guests. We offer a variety of activities for everyone in the family to stay entertained and active throughout the trip.
9. Get one on one with the Naturalist Guides
The Naturalist Guides are able to answer your questions one on one and share the long and fascinating history of the Galapagos with you. With smaller groups,we have more time to introduce you to the unique species and pause along the way for everyone to get their cover shot.
10. Lessen Your Impact
Traveling in a small group minimizes your impact to the eco-system. Not all cruise ships can anchor close to every landing site due to their larger size. This limits the big cruise ships itinerary and allows smaller ships to go further and see more. With a smaller vessel, we are able to utilize eco-friendly practices such as solar panels on our yacht, biodegradable shampoo and conditioner and educate our guests on the best way to travel through the islands to lessen your footprint.
We want to hear why you chose to travel on a small group yacht in the Galapagos vs. a larger cruise ship. Leave a comment below to help other people as they begin to plan their trip.