Expedition & Adventure, Honeymoon | Ecuador Galapagos Islands | 20.03.24

What are the best boats in the Galapagos?

With so much to see and do, exploring the Galapagos Islands by boat is the natural selection for travelers wishing to optimize their time in the region.

Imagine waking up each day in the comfort of your luxury vessel to a brand-new panoramic view before diving into the cerulean waters upon which you float—then doing it all again the next day.

Formerly known to pirates and explorers as the “Enchanted Isles,” the geological wonder of the Galapagos Islands is a “living museum” of flora and fauna. This storied archipelago continues to enchant visitors with rare opportunities to wander the very landscapes that inspired the theory of evolution.

Although land-based adventures are available, cruising from island to island aboard a luxury yacht is the best way to appreciate all that the destination has to offer. Here, we’ve gathered a list of the best boats to charter in the region to help start planning your exclusive, educational, and eco-friendly expedition.

What are the best boats in the Galapagos?

1. Grace

 

History buffs enjoy the intriguing heritage of the M.Y. Grace Galapagos, which was built nearly 100 years ago and was eventually gifted to Grace Kelly, who honeymooned on the yacht. With nine renovated suites, a star-lit outdoor bar, and a well-stocked wine cellar, this bespoke vessel offers a luxury voyage as glamourous as its former owner. At the helm of the ship’s original wheel from 1927, the captain will take up to sixteen guests along Darwin’s historic path on eight- or fifteen-day expeditions. Elevated, locally sourced meals, a world class crew and insider excursions into nature promise guests an elite experience.

2. Aqua Mare

 

For a more contemporary approach to chartering in the Galapagos, look no further than the Aqua Mare. Spacious and sophisticated, her seven suites are designed for maximum comfort. She is equipped with state-of-the-art stabilizers and more square footage than most vessels of her kind, providing sailors with a smooth and relaxed voyage. Passengers on this lavish superyacht have access to high quality kayaks, snorkels, paddle boards, and an exercise zone. Returning from daily excursions, guests stretch out on sunbeds, socialize in a relaxing six-person jacuzzi, and marvel at panoramic views from each deck of this upscale superyacht.

3. Stella Maris

Available exclusively for private charters, the Stella Maris offers one of the most intimate luxury cruising experiences in the Galapagos. The crew of this family-owned vessel pride themselves on providing a highly personalized service. Families and groups of up to fourteen passengers can choose between two distinct eight-day itineraries through the islands, both of which offer wet and dry landings at an exceptional selection of powdery beaches, ancient lava fields, flamingo lagoons, and more. Their twenty-four hour, personally tailored service on and off board is what distinguishes Stella Maris from the rest.

4. Elite & Endemic

 

The Elite & Endemic are two ultramodern luxury yachts that accommodate a maximum of sixteen guests each. These twin vessels are run by cruise operator Golden Galapagos—a sustainable travel partner of the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and industry leader in achieving CO2 neutrality. Gazing through floor-to-ceiling windows or enjoying the privacy of their own balcony, passengers rest easy knowing their choice to travel on the Elite or the Endemic means they’ve chosen a vessel that is committed to conserving the natural beauty that surrounds them.

5. Origin, Theory, & Evolve

The Origin, Theory, & Evolve are a trio of identical ships operated by the elite hospitality group, Relais & Châteaux. Chic and luxurious, each ship hosts up to twenty guests for seven-, eight-, or fifteen-day journeys. To ensure the experience remains intimate and dynamic for everyone, guests are broken up into groups of ten for daily naturalist-led explorations. Exclusive amenities include glass-bottom excursion boats, a cozy library, and interconnecting suites for groups travelling together. Each ship upholds robust sustainability efforts, from increased fuel efficiency to bio-degradable soaps. These sister ships leave little to be desired by the responsible and adventurous traveler.

6. Hermes

 

Setting sail on the Hermes Mega Catamaran offers a voyage that is luxurious in every way. Guests of this 20-passenger yacht enjoy the endless amenities of a larger cruise line in the intimate setting of a private vessel. As the latest addition to the Galapagos luxury yachting scene, Hermes features a full-service spa, aperitif lounge, and jacuzzi in each suite that overlooks the captivating landscapes of the archipelago. Those seeking shorter itineraries between four and five days or more comprehensive fifteen-day trips should look no further than the Hermes, which provides a one-of-a-kind experience no matter how long you’re onboard.

A nature lover’s dream can be made a reality by boarding a cruise through the pristine and protected Galapagos Islands. Don’t hesitate to dive deeper into planning a once-in-a-lifetime expedition by browsing our individual boat pages or getting in touch with our travel designers.

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