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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

So you’re planning a trip to the famous and iconic Galapagos Islands. There’s only one way to get there unless you’re a super-human swimmer and that’s to take a cruise. Simple, but there are a few things you should know if you want the best possible cruise experience.

When planning your trip to the Galapagos Islands, most cruise operators will send you all the information you’ll need about visiting the islands, even packings lists and daily itinerary ideas and activities. It’s hard to be unprepared for a trip like this but there are a few more things you can do to make your holiday more comfortable that the cruise company might leave out.

Find out where your cruise cabin is

There are two key things about this tip. If you are prone to get seasick it’s better if your cabin is closer to the generator or engine. It will be noisier but the vibration of the engine will keep your seasickness at bay. If however you’re a seasoned sailor then you might want to change cabins and get one that is further away, maybe at the prow.

Board your boat in a sociable mindset

Galapagos cruise boats aren’t huge so you’re going to run into your fellow shipmates in the halls and in the dining rooms. If you’re travelling in a couple and hope for a private table every night at dinner, forget about it. Better to approach with attitude that it’s going to be a social trip, then you won’t be disappointed when someone comes to your table with their tray to ask if that extra seat is taken or not.

Galapagos sea lion nursing two pups, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

When you arrive, let others off the boat first

It’ll be hard to keep your anxiousness cool here because well, it’s exciting and of course you want to be the first on the Panga to get to the island. Let the others go first. The first to board are seated at the back on the boat. The last to board get to sit at the front which means better views if you happen to spot whales, dolphins and seals on your way to land.

At meals, carbohydrates are your best friend

Those fresh green salads may look awfully good but think about it. You’re going to be swimming in ice-cold water, taking long day hikes and so on. You’re going to want that energy to stick to the carbs. Pasta and breads will give you the energy you need to get you through the long days.

Pack wisely

As we mentioned, most cruises will give their passengers a packing list but here are a few other bits that might not make the list and you’ll be happy you brought with you on your flights to Quito:

  • waterproof digital camera
  • wetsuit if you want to avoid renting one
  • sunblock… the equatorial sun is not friendly to pale English skin
  • a warm snug hat for when the wind picks up
Of course, above all, it really pays to book your travel well in advance, especially if you are planning to visit the Galapagos Islands during peak season.

Have you been to the Galapagos Islands? Is it on your list of places to see?

Imgs: dkeats, roubicek / Flickr cc.

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