The Galapagos Islands are perhaps the world’s best-preserved example of unspoilt nature little changed since the epoch of Darwin.

Small Ship Luxury Cruises helps to pair you with the perfect small ship or river cruise destination. With our extensive knowledge and experience traveling around the globe, we categorize the best in cruises by season as well as popularity. While we may recommend peak travel opportunities, our team can accommodate any request to travel abroad year-round.


The Galapagos Islands – Natural Wonder of the World

The islands are home to an astounding variety of wildlife: giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, land iguanas, sea lions, whales, and sharks. The land itself is a living museum where you can see how life evolved over millions of years without interference from humans.

Recommended Luxury Galapagos Small Ships & Yachts

We have hand selected only the finest Galapagos vessels with the highest standards of personalized service as the basis for crafting your custom-designed Galapagos experience.

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Exploring Galapagos in Style

Don’t miss in Galapagos

If you’re looking for a unique snorkeling experience, the Galapagos Islands are the perfect destination. Kicker Rock, also known as Leon Dormido, is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, especially in the channel that divides the rock. Many stingrays and white-tipped reef sharks can be seen. While snorkeling at the Bolivar Channel, which divides Fernandina from Isabela Island, you may see Galápagos penguins gliding over the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to see some of nature’s most beautiful creatures in their natural environment.

The best way to explore the Galapagos islands is by boat. Set sail for North Seymour, a volcanic isle primed for budding ornithologists. Spot great and magnificent frigatebirds, plus marvel at the mating dance of the blue-footed boobies. To the south, Sante Fe is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago. Here, you’ll see iguanas catching shade underneath the Opuntia Echios – a large unusually-shaped cactus. Alternatively, head to Sullivan Bay to explore the 150-year-old lunar landscape, formed from bubbling lava.

Few visitors get to paddle this pristine paradise. Grab a paddle and hit the water on a guided kayaking tour along the Itabaca Channel, which divides Baltra from Santa Cruz Island. Flanked by mangrove forests and lava rock cliffs, this tranquil waterway is home to sea lions, blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, herons and more. Watch out for white-tipped reef sharks that also inhabit these waters – you can also choose to hire a stand-up paddleboard for the ultimate adventure.

Birdwatching on Rabida, widely referred to as the “red island,” is an extraordinary experience that provides visitors with a rare glimpse into the life of some of the world’s most fascinating birds. With its beautiful Palo Santo, cacti forests, and its stunning coastline, Rabida is one of the best places on Earth for birdwatching. Here, visitors can see nine different species of Darwin’s finches, blue-footed boobies, and a wide variety of other land and sea birds.

You can’t miss Kicker Rock – a volcanic code protruding out of the sea, carved by the crashing Pacific waves. Above water, the rock is home to a smattering of tropicbirds and blue-footed boobies, but it is really the underwater inhabitants that are worth seeing. The natural erosion of the cone has created a channel between the rocks that serve as the ideal place to view myriad sharks and rays. Arrive at the right time and you’ll spot hundreds of Galapagos sharks, schools of spotted eagle rays, turtles, jellyfish and even the occasional sea lion. Head out on a boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and you’ll reach the site within 90 minutes.

Don’t miss your chance to learn about tortoise conservation on Santa Cruz Island. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Puerto Ayora and Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can learn about the important work being done to protect these iconic creatures. Get an up-close look at some of the most endangered tortoises in the world, and find out what you can do to help ensure their future.

Best times to visit the Galapagos

Galapagos is located directly on the Equator and is a splendid destination any time of the year.

The best time to visit the Galapagos is from December to May when the weather is warm and the wildlife is active. This is the best time for snorkeling and diving, as you can see sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and many other fish and marine animals. The air temperature is also comfortable for exploring the islands.

The Galapagos Islands are most beautiful during the cooler months of July to November. During this time, the ocean currents are cooler and make for better swimming and snorkeling conditions. Hiking is also more pleasant, as the temperatures are milder. And, of course, marine life is more active and visible, making for unforgettable wildlife viewing experiences.

Why cruise with Small Ship Luxury Cruises?

We get to know you on a personal level so that we can accommodate your preferences, needs, and expectations before we begin planning your ideal Galapagos experience.

We work with only the finest luxury Galapagos ships and yachts with the highest levels of personalized service. From there, we listen to what you desire and use our insider knowledge to make the best fit for you and your guests.

Our experienced travel concierges plan your Galapagos trip from beginning to end, eliminating the time investment and stress so often associated with planning a vacation to a destination as complicated as the Galapagos Islands.

Just tell our Galapagos concierges about your dream trip to the Islands and they will assist you with planning every detail of the process.

Example Itineraries


Luxury Expedition Cruise

Galapagos Western and Northern Islands in 8 Days

The Galapagos Endemic transports 16 fortunate guests in style and comfort on a comprehensive luxury cruise visiting the central islands of Santa Cruz and Santiago, the northern island of Genovesa, and the western limits of volcanic Isabela and Fernandina Islands.


Santa Cruz Island, Charles Darwin Research Station, Genovesa Island, Santiago Island, Isabela Island, and Fernandina Island.


Climb Prince Phillip’s Steps to a sea bird paradise, Hike Sierra Negra Volcano crater, and Greet sea lions on the red sand beaches of Rabida Island.

Galapagos Endemic Catamaran

16 Guests

5 / 5

8 Days

Price from: $8,590


Luxury Expedition Cruise

Galapagos Circumnavigation

The Galapagos Elite is one of the newest, most luxurious catamarans sailing the Galapagos Islands, and this is one of the most complete 8-day itineraries taking you from the central islands to the geologically oldest islands to the far east, and the youngest islands to the far west.


Santa Cruz Island, Charles Darwin Research Station, Bartholomew Island, San Cristobal Island, Santiago Island, Isabela Island, and Fernandina Island.


Hike Sierra Negra Volcano crater, snorkel at Las Tintoreras, be surrounded by marine iguanas at Punta Espinosa.

Galapagos Elite Catamaran

16 Guests

5 / 5

8 – 15 Days

Price from: $9,500

While Small Ship Luxury Cruises helps you discover the best cruise destinations, our team of travel concierges can coordinate a completely customized itinerary to the Galapagos to accommodate any request. If you don’t see a particular destination or activity highlighted on our website, don’t worry! We would be happy to work with you in curating your one-of-a-kind travel experience.

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