Traveler spotlight: Galapagos Islands cruise

Starting this month, we will be publishing a monthly Traveler Spotlight where we chat with a tourist who has visited the Galapagos – we’ll find out about their experience and get some great tips. For this month’s spotlight, we spoke to Jena Davidson, who visited the islands on a five-day cruise.

  • What type of trip did you go on in the Galapagos Islands? A cruise.
  • What yacht did you choose? What did you think of it? I stayed on the Fragata yacht. I thought the boat was nice given its reasonable price and excellent itinerary. It was not luxurious, but was comfortable nonetheless. The cabins and common spaces were clean and spacious enough, and the sun deck was a great place to relax, sunbathe, and watch frigate birds and pelicans soar overhead.
  • How long did you stay for? My trip to the Galapagos was for seven days: a five-day cruise, followed by two nights in Puerto Ayora.
  • Which islands did you visit? During my time, I visited Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago and Santa Cruz islands. On Santa Cruz, I specifically visited Puerto Ayora, Tortuga Bay and Las Grietas.
  • What was your favorite experience on the islands? One of my favorite experiences was snorkeling at Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela island. It was surreal swimming among penguins, sea lions, giant marine turtles and lots of other colorful fish. They did not seem at all bothered by my presence and swam right up to me!
  • Would you have done anything differently? I don’t think I would do anything differently, except maybe staying longer! Now I know for next time. I also think a more luxurious boat would have enhanced my experience but I did not have the budget to take one at the time; the more moderate boat did not put a damper on my experience, though!
  • What advice would you give to people planning to take a trip to the Galapagos islands? I would definitely recommend considering adding a land extension to your Galapagos cruise, either before or after your tour. That way, you get both the boat-based and land-based tour experience and can extend the range of your trip. From both Puerto Ayora and Puerto Villamil, there are several free visitor sights, and it is also possible to schedule day trips to neighboring islands. You may even consider spending a few days scuba diving or getting your scuba diving certification. Both towns are nice places to stay and have their own charm.

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Photo credit: Flickr/Steven Bedard 

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