Galapagos Cruise vs. Island Hopping

Trying to decide between a cruise/boat experience in the Galapagos, or and island-hopping tour? Here are some pro’s and con’s to help you decide!


  • Can get to some remote islands
  • Don’t have to pack and unpack
  • With the same guides and guests for entire trip (make friends)
  • Cruises get to places with larger populations of bird life, and visit more islands so you see more subspecies
  • Required if you want to do a scuba diving trip to Wolf and Darwin Islands (8-day live-aboard)
  • Most common trip lengths are 4, 5, and 8 days
  • Triple cabins difficult to find
  • Single cabins are same price if you are willing to share

Island Hopping

  • Can start on any day, and for any number of days
  • Hotel rooms are bigger and don’t rock-and-roll at night
  • Can choose accommodations
  • Can customize the itinerary
  • Group or private tours
  • If you are with friends or family, some people can do one tour and others do a different tour (some people scuba diving and other people snorkeling, for example).
  • Better snorkeling – Kicker Rock and Los Tunneles not available to cruises
  • Can visit towns with local people, experience island life, enjoy diverse food options
  • Easier to do occasional scuba diving
  • You can buy your own flights to the Galapagos
  • Can be better for people prone to seasickness
  • Triple rooms and family rooms can be found
  • Singles are more expensive

Multi-Sport Activities

Boats include

  • Hiking
  • Snorkeling
  • Sea kayaking (some boats only)

With Island-Hopping, you can choose from

  • Hiking
  • Snorkeling
  • Sea kayaking
  • Biking
  • Horseback riding
  • Scuba diving
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Surfing (best Dec-May)
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