The Galapagos Islands, a truly unique spot on the planet, look a little like a science fiction movie set: there are iguanas that swim, immense tortoises that live longer than most people, birds with incredible wingspans, flightless birds, and other unusual creatures. That’s not to mention the surprisingly arid landscape, complete with lava flows, cacti, and leafless shrubs. Still, the islands are no movie set, but a protected treasure.
The Galapagos archipelago of small islands is a national park and province of Ecuador, which is about 600 miles to the east. Geographically speaking, the islands are young and seem to be in the midst of an evolutionary process that’s different from any other place on Earth. That’s exactly what makes them such a fascinating destination.
Many people who have been to the Galapagos agree that a cruise is the best way to have an immersive experience in these unforgettable islands. It’s possible to travel there on your own, and there are some small hotels and camping sites. But, after you reach the airport on Baltra Island, a cruise provides the easiest (and most luxurious) way to move between islands, and everything you need is on board.
Two well-known cruise lines that can take you to the Galapagos are Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises. Silversea’s Silver Galapagos takes 100 passengers on 7-day cruises that show you all around the islands. Celebrity sails three small ships there – the Xpedition, Xperience and Xploration – and offers a choice of itineraries ranging from 7 to 16 days. Whatever ship and itinerary you choose, the focus of any Galapagos cruise is the incredible islands and their otherworldly inhabitants.
Preparing for a Galapagos cruise includes some careful packing. Must-haves include sturdy walking or hiking shoes, plus water-friendly shoes; a light wind- and rain-proof jacket; sunscreen, a sun hat, and a water bottle to guard against the often hot, sunny and dry conditions; and a light daypack. Light-colored, lightweight, breathable clothing will serve you well as you explore the islands.
You can cruise the Galapagos at any time of year – it may be the most unusual and memorable cruise you’ll ever take. To find out more, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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