Galapagos Family Fun: Cruise or Lodge?
The enchanted Galapagos Islands continue to be one of the best family adventures out there. While all of the ships we promote are great options, there remain a few we consider best suited for families. Or, if you want to leave your sea legs at home, consider a lodge-based adventure!
Q: Why are the Galapagos Islands a good destination for families with children?
A: Galapagos is a wildlife wonderland for children! I have two young children and have had the opportunity to travel through the islands twice now. I’ll never forget my seven year old snorkeling with the sea turtles--I didn’t think he’d ever take his head out of the water! The islands give children an opportunity to gain a sense of connectedness to nature, which for many is a new phenomenon, as well as a chance to learn without even realizing!
Daily morning and afternoon activities such as hiking, snorkeling, or enjoying a Zodiac trip give children the opportunity to spend most of the time exploring the unique flora and fauna of the islands.
Q: What are some of the best cruises for families with children?
A: Below are the Galapagos ships that I feel are great for families--plus, they are on sale!
Galapagos Odyssey - 16 passengers
Luxury yacht designed to ensure the highest levels of comfort and service with al fresco dining, snorkeling gear and kayaks. All cabins have windows for scenic ocean views.
Galapagos Grand Odyssey - 16 passengers
Luxury yacht with play zone for kids on family departures, sun deck, snorkeling gear, and kayaks.
Eclipse - 48 passengers
Comfortable, bright and modern ship with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, Zodiac rides, snorkeling and kayaking are fully inclusive.
National Geographic Endeavour - 96 passengers
State-of-the-art expedition ship with excellent naturalist guides and educational program, kayaks, and Undersea Specialist. Great for families!
Q: What are the best land-based alternatives?
A: Although I feel that our ship-based trips are the best options for families because of how much time is spent experiencing the different wildlife on a variety of islands, land-based trips may be a suitable choice for your family vacation.
FINCH BAY ECO HOTEL
One option is the wonderful, family-friendly Finch Bay Eco Hotel on Santa Cruz Island which offers privacy, a beautiful natural setting, fabulous pool, superb service, and a variety of multi-sport nature activities. Named after the famous Darwin's Finches abundant in the surroundings, the charming 27-room hotel is just steps from the beach at a private seaside location. During the day, enjoy excursions by small yacht to nearby islands, and at night, retire to your comfortable and spacious suite at Finch Bay.
Finch Bay Eco Hotel Adventures - 4, 5, and 8 Day Options
Dates: Year Around
Prices From: $1,750 per person
RED MANGROVE LODGES
A second fabulous option is the Red Mangrove Lodge adventures, which offer semi-guided land-based packages with a variety of activity options and a great deal of flexibility! Guests stay intimate oceanside lodges on up to three different islands in the Galapagos: Santa Cruz, Isabela, and Floreana Islands. Activities include hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Red Mangrove Lodge Adventures - 5, 6, and 8 Day Options
Dates: Year Around
Prices From: $2,059 per person
About the Red Mangrove Lodges:
An enchanting 14-guestroom lodge in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island with amazing surroundings and superb cuisine and service.
Isabela del Mar Lodge
An intimate 8-room lodge on the white-sand beaches of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island with stunning emerald views from the roof top terrace.
Ten newly constructed beach front casitas on the quiet island of Floreana and only a five-minute walk from town.
For additional information, read How to Choose the Right Galapagos Trip.