south america | Galapagos Islands

Follow this simple guide to pack light –and right– for your Galapagos cruise

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Galapagos Packing for a cruise

The lighter your load, the more freedom you’ll have to enjoy your Galapagos adventure to the fullest! Because of the archipelago’s unique terrain, equatorial climate, and the diversity of excursions you’ll take, it can be difficult to strike that happy packing medium between under-prepared and over-prepared for your daily activities by overpacking for your cruise. Complete with essential pre-trip tips, a packing checklist, and an online gear shop, this ultimate Galapagos packing guide will help you decide which items should make the cut for your cruise of a lifetime.

Read on to discover tips for packing light –and right– for your Galapagos cruise.

1) Opt for function over fashion.

Perhaps the most important element of conquering the Galapagos packing challenge, and not overpacking for your cruise, is opting for function over fashion. The aesthetics of the items you bring don’t matter nearly as much as being comfortable at sea and on shore, prepared for any adventure, and well-protected in the elements! With a quick visit to Quasar’s gear shop, you’ll find recommendations for multi-function clothing and excursion-tested equipment perfectly suited for your Galapagos expedition.

Packing a suitcase for a Galapagos cruise
Items to pack for a Galapagos cruise

2) Ditch anything that isn’t “able.”

When you’re reviewing the items in your overflowing suitcase and wondering, “How is this all going to fit?”, ask this one question: Is it “able”? If it’s not collapsable, breathable, stowable, rollable, totable, or layerable, we recommend leaving it behind. Nobody wants to be weighed down, overpacking for your cruise, while taking in the beauty of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Avoid... Opt for...

Carrying hard case suitcases.


A durable, medium-sized duffle bag. A duffel with built-in wheels is the ideal bag for your Galapagos clothing and gear. Hard shell luggage and suitcases that don't collapse are usually heavy and difficult to store in your cabin, and are therefore discouraged.

Bringing bulky layers.


Lightweight layers. The best Galapagos outerwear is the most versatile. Bring items that can be easily rolled up, or even stuffed and zipped into their own pockets for ultra-compact storage.

Packing too many shoe options.


Multi-function shoes. Follow the Galapagos Shoe Rule of 3: pack one option for the deck, one for land, and one for water. Your blister-free feet will thank you for choosing comfort and function over style.

3) Eliminate duplicates.

In the world of Galapagos expeditions adventure cruises, there is such a thing as “one size fits all!” We recommend packing multi-function clothing and gear to eliminate the need for duplicates and overpacking for your cruise.

Pack this “double duty” clothing and gear for a lighter suitcase: Pack this “double duty” clothing and gear for a lighter suitcase:

  • A soft-shell jacket that is both wind and water resistant.
  • Sandals that are both waterproof and sturdy enough for rocky terrain.
  • Pants that easily convert to shorts for warmer days.
  • Shirts that are both quick-dry and moisture wicking.
  • A day-pack for adventures ashore that doubles as your airplane carry-on.
  • A belt with a hidden money pocket for added security.

4) Tone down your toiletries.

One of the things that takes up the most space when packing for a Galapagos cruise is toiletries. Quasar yachts are equipped and restocked daily with self-care necessities like shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. If you’re brand-loyal, we recommend choosing a soft-shell toiletry kit to eliminate bulk, and limiting toiletry tubes to 3 oz or less for lighter, smooth-sailing travel. Multi-purpose products like Dr. Bronner’s soap can be used as laundry soap, face wash, and body wash when you travel.

Necessary toiletries for a Galapagos Cruise
Clothes for a Galapagos Cruise

5) Download a tried-and-true Galapagos packing checklist.

Reading through a reliable, trip-tested packing checklist is a surefire way to pack perfectly for your Galapagos cruise... and also eliminate that “I know I forgot something” feeling!

Galapagos Cruise Packing Checklist

Take the stress out of packing for your Galapagos cruise.


Galapagos Gear Shop

Download Quasar’s free Galapagos Packing Checklist here ---> Galapagos Packing List


Paul Schicke
Manager E-Commerce & Direct Sales at Quasar Expeditions

Hello! My name is Paul. I am a photographer, traveler, teacher and writer. I have extensive experience in travel to Galapagos, Peru, Patagonia and the western seaboard of South America specializing in ways travelers can experience these once-in-a-life destinations like locals on the road. Lover of wine, chocolate, travel, coffee, and helping others plan vacations of a lifetime!

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