Have you or are you considering doing a tour or cruise to the Galapagos Islands? Have you already started looking at all of the options? There's a lot of them, aren't there? I just looked at the number of companies that exhibit at the South American trade show that I attend every year and I counted 28 that offer options to the Galapagos Islands. And that is just the number of companies who are willing to pay to meet with travel agents from all over the world! There are many other small companies that offer tours and cruises that other companies operate or they just have 1 small boat or hotel, so it is not worth it for them to pay to try to appeal to a worldwide audience.
One of our operators in Ecuador has just opened up a new facility called Magic Galapagos. Located in the quiet and cool highlands of Santa Cruz Island, this very special safari-style camp is available exclusively to their clients. With just six raised, walk-in, en-suite safari tents and four tree houses, guests feel that they have their own private hideaway. The only crowds they will see are the millions of stars in the night sky, the only noises they hear will be the gentle breezes and the measured passage of giant tortoises.
What is the best Galapagos cruise or tour? Well that's a very subjective topic. For instance if you look at hotel ratings on Tripadvisor, sometimes 3* hotels are rated higher than 5* hotels. But people who normally stay in 3* hotels because of price couldn't compare it to a 5* hotel. So maybe the 3* they stayed in was excellent, compared to other 3* hotels they've stayed in, but if someone who normally stays in 5* hotels went there, they might not rate it as high. I would think that the same would apply to the 69 boats that are authorized to operate there.
But there are other things to consider besides looks.....
In the old days, when there were not many people living on the Galapagos Islands, doing a cruise was the only way to see them, so there were not a lot of choices. Now there are 4 inhabited islands with accommodations on them, so there are more Galapagos tour options available.
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time