A year-round destination brimming with opportunities for thrilling adventures, unique animals like sea turtles and Blue-footed Boobies, and dreamlike landscapes that will take your breath away, it’s not an exaggeration to say that there’s no place on earth like the Galapagos. Located 600 miles off the coast of sunny Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the ecologically diverse island chain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Formed from lava piles and sprinkled with volcanic mountains, stunning cliffs, and unusual vegetation, the archipelago offers travelers of all ages ample opportunities for exploration and relaxation.
So, what makes a luxury Galapagos family cruise truly unforgettable? Let’s find out!
Jump to these reasons as to why Galapagos is the ultimate family cruise destination:
Perfect year-round climate
The sub-tropical, semi-arid climate of the islands means that the temperature hovers around a comfortable 75-80 degrees year-round. That’s partly what makes a Galapagos cruise for families so easy to plan—you can go any time of the year! Each month offers something fresh and fun to do and to see.
There are two main seasons on the islands: the warm, wet season which lasts from late December to June, and the cool, dry season which lasts from late June to December. The warmer months see an upwelling of water from the Panama Current to the archipelago, bringing in warm water and brief but refreshing afternoon showers. It’s the perfect time for the entire family to snorkel with penguins, lounge beneath sunny, clear skies, glimpse nesting flamingos, and look for giant tortoise eggs.
The cooler, drier season welcomes increased animal activity as the whale sharks arrive and sea lions, sea birds, marine iguanas, and shore birds begin their breeding season. With comfortable weather, it’s the best time for spotting majestic whales and friendly dolphins and, if you’re really lucky, you might get to see the Blue-footed Boobies performing their legendary dancing rituals!
Fun activities for kids
The striking wildlife and marine life of the Galapagos make the islands an exciting destination for kids. Whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teens, there’s plenty to see and do at any time of the year.
Snorkeling, swimming, and diving
A highlight of the best Galapagos cruise for families is the chance to hop into the gorgeous blue water and get to know the fish! Since the Galapagos is a world-class snorkeling and diving destination with a spot for every skill level, your little ones will love splashing in shallow, calm waters while hardier teens will get a thrill from scuba diving along the boulder-strewn sea floor and sighting Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, and barracudas.
Snorkelers, swimmers, and divers of all ages can glimpse colorful fish, world-famous Green Sea Turtles, and playful sea lions, and everyone will be delighted if a Galapagos penguin gets curious and decides to swim along with your family!
Nature walks and hikes
Whether you’re 3 or 103, a guided nature walk through lush greenery, beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs, and past lava fields is an experience unlike any other. Kids will love leaving dry textbooks behind and learning about the environment through encounters with exotic, colorful animals while immersed in magnificent nature.
Each island of the archipelago has unique creatures, vegetation, and landscapes, and the best luxury Galapagos cruise for families will offer easy or intermediate walks or hikes that last between 1 and 3 hours guided by entertaining naturalists who will expertly guide your family along clearly marked trails.
An easy and rewarding activity for all ages that requires no previous experience is kayaking through the shores and coves of the islands. Combine exercise, sightseeing, and wildlife encounters into the perfect family activity! Children will love the chance to glimpse Galapagos penguins, sea lions, Blue-footed Boobies, and marine iguanas, to name just a few of the exotic creatures you might encounter on a kayaking expedition. Best of all, you’ll be able to see magnificent marine life teeming just beneath the kayak!
Sometimes, the most rewarding activity is no activity! On the best Galapagos cruise for families, you’ll soon see that the glorious beaches of the islands offer no shortage of opportunities for kids to play in the sand, take a leisurely swim, and relax by the turquoise water.
Have you ever seen black or green sand beaches? In the Galapagos, you will! Children can swim, snorkel, or hunt for seashells on colorful sands while adults relax in the sunshine. Who knows, maybe you’ll even share a stretch of sand with a sea lion or two!
Learning about a different culture
What’s the best way to help children expand their minds and learn more about the world? It’s through regular exposure to different cultures. At the conclusion of your Galapagos adventure, take the time to explore the cultural capital city of Guayaquil. Founded in the 1530s, the vibrant Ecuadoran city boasts beautiful waterside promenades, hip art galleries, and green parks filled with snapping turtles and iguanas.
Luxurious accommodation and world-class dining
What’s a dream Galapagos cruise for families without sleek accommodation, superior amenities, and mouth-watering meals? Spacious cabins, each with an ensuite bathroom, lead to indoor and outdoor dining rooms and sun decks where there’s plenty of space to relax, reflect, and play board games. Resting on the outdoor sky lounge means whale, dolphin, and giant stingray sightings galore. Be sure to book cruises that offer plenty of shade on their sun decks, since the equatorial sun gets intense!
Thoughtful crew members keep cabins and ensuite bathrooms sparkling clean while your family enjoys fresh, delicious meals prepared by a master chef that draws on both traditional Ecuadorian cooking and international flair. If your kids are picky, then the kitchen staff will be delighted to prepare kid-friendly favorites like pizza and fries.
As the sun sets on another thrilling day in paradise, the whole family will love settling into an oversized hot tub to warm up, catch up, and rest. After dinner, you and your children might opt to cozy up on a giant sofa and watch movies on a large flat-screen TV, or just enjoy some quiet downtime to get ready for another day of exploration and adventure. To learn even more about the Galapagos cruises for families - Galapagos Islands Family Cruise