Galapagos cruises: introduction
These remarkable volcanic islands are unique in the world for the richness and variety of their wildlife. Hugely influential to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, a visit to the Galapagos is a once-in-a-lifetime experience of nature at work.
Formed by a combination of volcanic activity and uplift in the last 15 million years, the Galapagos were first used by pirates and buccaneers as a hideaway, and have only had permanent inhabitants since the 19th century due to the harsh conditions and lack of easily-obtained water.
Whether you stay on board a comfortable boat or opt for an adventurous safari you’ll see some of the most exciting wildlife on the planet, which due to the relative lack of predators shows no fear and is easily approached by visitors. Several species are unique to the islands, including giant tortoises, fur seals, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins (the only penguins to live on the equator) and vampire finches.
The islands’ marine life is breathtaking. There are some excellent snorkelling sites where you can swim with playful sea lions and see dolphins, penguins, rays, sea turtles, and even whale sharks (the world’s largest fish) in their natural element.
Climate and when to go
The Galapagos can be visited year round as an equatorial climate is moderated by the cold Humboldt current. The warmest time is January to May (when the water is also at its warmest), while July to September is windiest, with choppy seas. During the garua season (July to November) there is often mist or haze in the mornings.
“The Galapagos was magical, exceeding even my wildest dreams and all the arrangements went like clockwork. Thanks for your efforts in arranging a truly memorable trip.” - MT
“We had a fantastic time and your organisation of flights, trains, buses and other transportation cannot be faulted. Guides were excellent and the Mary-Anne was a fantastic choice. It was the trip of a lifetime and first class service all the way. Well done.” - DT
“Just a quick note to thank you all for arranging a most fantastic holiday for us all. Everything went like clockwork, we were always met, the guides were superb, the places we stayed were fantastic and as for the boat and the Galapagos it really was a trip of a lifetime and one we will always remember.” - MH
“Thanks so much for organising such a fantastic holiday for us. It all went incredibly well and even exceeded expectations!! Our guide Alex, who was assigned to us for the whole holiday was delightful. He was always punctual, genuinely interested in us and what made us tick and very knowledgeable and caring of the environment. As we got to know him better, the relationship went from strength to strength. We need to return to Ecuador, to all the places we didnít go to this time.” - SH