Mom Explorer Talks Family Cruises
As a Galapagos Specialist, my job is to help travelers evaluate the various trips available and to create the perfect custom trip. Since we work with all the quality ships in the Galapagos, I am able to present all of the information, positive and negative, and help travelers make an informed decision.
Recently, I traveled to the Galapagos to inspect a variety of the expedition and luxury ships. As a mother of two, I had a particular interest in what the Galapagos offers for families with children. Galapagos is a year-round family destination for kids of all ages, and offers 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 they are--the best kind of learning!
The one thing I was constantly amazed by was the diversity of animals in any given spot: Sea lions pose for your camera while marine iguanas look like statues from the prehistoric era and bright red Sally Light-foot crabs scurry before you. Literally, every ten steps I walked, there was an entirely different wildlife scene straight out of a National Geographic special. Morning and afternoon, activities abound, but were optional and flexible for every age and physical level. Short walks, glass-bottom boat rides, Zodiac tours, or simply beach-combing to snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking—there was something for everyone.
• In Quito, I suggest staying at the Marriott Hotel, which is perfect for children with its wonderful pool and family-friendly restaurants.
• In Guayaquil, I suggest staying at the Hilton Colon, which has excellent customer service, is in close proximity to the airport, and has one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve ever had--a huge variety that will appease even your pickiest little eater! Plus, it has a nice large swimming pool.
Below, I've outlined a few Galapagos cruises which I believe are ideal for families--plus, they are on sale!
• Isabela II – 40 Passengers
Highlights: Most comfortable expedition ship in the Galapagos with one of the best itineraries that visits nearly every island. Excellent cuisine and a professional staff great with kids.
• Eric / Flamingo / Letty – 20 Passengers
Highlights: These sister yachts feature three decks with polished teak interiors and ample public areas and are operated by the first company to offset carbon emissions in the Galapagos in 2006.
• La Pinta - 32 passengers
Highlights: Comfortable, bright and modern ship with connecting cabins, great guides and ample onboard amenities including pool, sauna, and Jacuzzi. All cabins have full large windows.
EXTEND YOUR STAY:
• Consider extending your stay at the wonderful, family-friendly
Finch Bay Eco Hotel. The Finch Bay Hotel, on Santa Cruz Island, offers privacy, natural surroundings, superb service, and a variety of multi-sport nature activities.
For additional information, read How to Choose the Right Galapagos Trip.