The Galapagos Islands are a rugged landscape of lava scorched by the sun, brimming with hardy species that have adapted to the rough island life, but exploring these fascinating islands doesn’t have to be rugged – a luxury Galapagos cruise offers the most comfortable way to explore these islands. But how much does a luxury Galapagos cruise cost?
That depends on a number of factors, including which boat you choose, the length of your itinerary, and when you travel. Generally speaking, expect to spend $500-$1000 per person per day of travel on a luxury cruise.
Consider the following when planning your budget:
- Cruise cost.
- Any hotels in mainland Ecuador before or after your cruise.
- Any alcoholic drinks.
Galapagos Cruise Categories
Generally, there are four different cruising categories among Galapagos cruises. It’s hard to put an exact price range on any one of these categories since the length of cruise, time of year, and many other factors vary the prices, but these are general guidelines for a standard 8-day itinerary:
- Luxury ($4,500-$7,500)
- First Class ($3,500-$4,500)
- Mid-Range ($3,000-$3,500)
- Budget ($3,000)
At the budget level, most cruises are less than a week-long and make good extension tours to other cruises or island-hopping excursions, but don’t hold their own as standalone Galapagos vacations.
What does that price tag include?
A Galapagos cruise of any level is definitely more expensive than a normal vacation, but that’s because Galapagos cruises aren’t normal vacations. On a Galapagos cruise, you have a front-row seat to one of the world’s most pristine natural laboratories, and a luxury cruise guarantees that you will see it all in comfort and style.
On a Galapagos luxury cruise, you can expect:
- All transportation and site visits included on your itinerary.
- Excellent lodging aboard the vessel for the duration of your itinerary.
- Gourmet menus prepared from locally sourced food by master chefs.
- The best bilingual naturalist guides.
- The intimate atmosphere on board.
- Stable cruising.
- Unparalleled social areas, often including alfresco dining areas, a sun deck and Jacuzzi, a lounge, bar, and dining room.
- Ample space for your luggage.
- Friendly captain and crew.
- Hand-crafted itineraries that highlight the best the Galapagos Islands have to offer.
Ways to Save on a Luxury Galapagos Cruise
If your heart is set on a Galapagos cruise but it seems like the prices just aren’t in your budget, there are a few ways to save.
- Book your cruise for the shoulder months during the off-season (May-June/ September-October).
- Try to find a last-minute deal – these will often be discounted up to half their ticket price, but you have to be flexible with your schedule and which itinerary you want since availability largely depends on which cruises have vacancies.
- Book a first-class cruise – sure, you might miss out on the champagne in your room or the bathrobes, but first-class cruises still offer very comfortable accommodations, great menus, friendly crews, and knowledgeable naturalist guides. If a first-class Galapagos cruise is in your budget, it’s definitely worth it.