7 reasons for choosing a small yacht to cruise the Galapagos

In all my years of experience working in the tour and travel industry, there is one question that I repeatedly receive from travelers wanting to come to the Galapagos. Is it better to cruise Galapagos in a bigger or a smaller vessel? My answer is always the same. It depends on your needs and interests! However, I would like to share seven reasons for choosing a small yacht for cruising the Galapagos Islands.

1. You can feel part of the jet set

People from the jet set travel in private yachts or sailboats, with a whole crew at their service.
Traveling on board a small yacht in the Galapagos Islands, you won´t be far from it. In fact, in this
type of boats, it is easy to pamper guests. They are going to be part of one or two small groups
while in a bigger vessel, the passenger is one of many.

2. Personalized service

A natural component of personalized service in small yachts, the ratio between crew members and guests is very close to 1:1. Also, some boats, depending on their category, have a cruise director on board who guarantees the quality of service aboard as well as fulfilling guests’ requirements and expectations.

3. Relaxing environment

In bigger vessels there are many activities aboard for guests, probably with an ambiance close to a Caribbean cruise, while on a small boat the interpersonal relationships between guests and the staff is closer, promoting relaxation and enjoyment of the destination, atmosphere, and amenities aboard.

4. Better access to the coast or bay

Small boats can access points of interest much better than larger vessels. Getting close up to the coast or bay allows people to be closer to the environment to view the wildlife. Big boats have to anchor in the open sea a distance away from the bay or shore.

5. It is eco-friendly

Small vessels consume less fuel and are less invasive in comparison with the bigger ones. Many efforts of ships´ owners and companies are reducing the footprint left by the tourism activity in the Galapagos Islands.

6. Fine cuisine

The cuisine aboard small yachts cruising the Galapagos Islands is a highlight. From buffet services to served plates, the menu is a way to cater to guests. It is much easier to adapt the menu to the needs and requirements of individuals without affecting the whole group. It´s not the same cooking lobster for 16 as for 60 passengers.

7. Rent the whole ship for small groups and special occasions

It is more common to see chartered groups aboard small yachts because it is more convenient. Everything can be customized – from prices to services. This works especially well for events such as a wedding, family reunion or a family/friends group traveling together. There are many other reasons for choosing a small yacht for cruising the Galapagos Islands, but I consider that these seven are the top reasons to consider in choosing the right type of boat for you.

Marcel Perkins is CEO at Latin Trails. Latin Trails is an incoming destination management company specialized in bespoke tours, with a focus on offering unique experiences throughout Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Peru.

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Comments (4)

  1. Colin Jones says:

    I think the Galapagos is definitely somewhere where you want to be on a small vessel rather than a large cruise ship. It’s a special place and somewhere you want to share with family or a small group rather than hordes of people. The tranquillity is what keeps the Galapagos special.

    • Marcel Perkins says:

      Dear Colin,

      Absolutely, it is not just the privacy but the ecological impact is less on a smaller yacht. Another fact is that smaller yachts anchor inside the bay where water is peaceful so you actually have less chance of getting seasick (contrary to what people may think).

  2. Anita Evans says:

    This looks like a great way to explore in luxury. I must admit I had never thought of this before but it looks fantastic. All the luxury of a cruise but far more exclusive and intimate. The fine dining is an important aspect for me and I didn’t realise you could get such great quality on a smaller boat. I shall be looking into this for my bucket list.

    • Marcel Perkins says:

      Dear Anita,

      It is not only the quality but with less passengers on board the chef can pay more attention to details. On a small yacht you can even have more outside dining opportunities or private dining settings.

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