1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Galapagos Cruises
  4. Galapagos Cruise Reviews

20 Galapagos Luxury Cruise Reviews

My family of 4 (including my Wife, 10yo Son, 8yo Daughter) were on the Silver Galapagos the end of August. It's important to note that this is an "expedition" and not a "cruise". Everything was excellent. Also, ... Read More
My family of 4 (including my Wife, 10yo Son, 8yo Daughter) were on the Silver Galapagos the end of August. It's important to note that this is an "expedition" and not a "cruise". Everything was excellent. Also, while the up front cost is higher than other ships, once you realize what’s included (just about everything) and the level of service and luxury it is actually a very good value. First, a big thanks to Sean Swedman, at Silverseas, who handled every single detail of the trip with perfection and patience. There were a lot of moving parts and Silverseas was flawless in ensuring a smooth trip. They are with you from the moment you get off the plane until the moment you board. It's really amazing. While the ship is aging (a new one is coming in 2020) it was still luxurious and very well maintained. Cabins were nice sized with plenty of storage and very comfortable. The staff was truly outstanding. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, went out of their way to do provide incredible service. The naturalist, butlers, expedition leader, dining room staff, zodiac drivers, etc., were always smiling and always there to help. Our cabin was cleaned at least 3 times a day. All this service and luxury made the actual reason for the trip, the magical Galapagos, even better because it was just so easy. Two excursions and usually a snorkel every day. The landscape, animal and bird viewing were stunning. We got up close to just about everything. Many times, the birds, iguanas, tortoises and sea lions were resting on the trails so we had to walk around them. There were just a few children in the ship but my kids loved it and they staff went out of their way to engage with them. Many evenings a naturalist joined us for dinner at the request of my Son and spent an hour or two answer an endless stream of questions. Walks range from easy to somewhat challenging but there are always options. Food was excellent at every meal. A lot of seafood choices and if you wanted something different all you had to do was ask. We did a few times and every single time the answer was yes. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Galapagos are a GREAT place to visit. We were onboard the Silver Galapagos from May 30 to April 6, 2019. We chose the rainy season as the temperatures were to be warmer and the seas calmer. We were blessed to have calm seas, ... Read More
The Galapagos are a GREAT place to visit. We were onboard the Silver Galapagos from May 30 to April 6, 2019. We chose the rainy season as the temperatures were to be warmer and the seas calmer. We were blessed to have calm seas, warm days and only SPRINKLES of rain on a couple of days. With the calm seas, there were several opportunities for kayaking. While kayaking, we had sea lions trail us, saw beautiful sea stars (starfish) through the crystal waters along with turtles, iguanas and birds. The snorkeling trips were a highlight. We saw penguins, turtles, sea lions and fish all within a few feet. They seemed unconcerned with humans. Take a GoPro for underwater photos and videos. I was quite happy that I had purchased insulated thermal liners (recommended by Silversea) for under the short sleeve and short length wet suit that Silversea provided. With the insulated thermal liners (the bottoms looked like leggings but were from ScubaPro) we could enjoy the time in the cold water and were protected from the sun. It was an incredible adventure! The Galapagos are a great place to see nature up close and unwind. As noted in several reviews the ship is dated but the crew made up for that with incredible service. They were on top of everything. The small size of the ship makes it easy to get around and getting on and off the ship with the Zodiacs was quick, simple and safe. Most landings were wet so you will need water shoes. The small size also enables you to meet new friends. You see the same folks on the excursions, in the dining room and at the meetings and it’s easy to develop friendships. Our group was dealing with celiac and some food allergies to dairy, garlic and onions. Concierge Chistian, Chef Andrea Cruz and our waiter Guillermo Reina kept us safe. Chef Andrea went above and aboard in preparing delicious, safe food for us. Chef Andrea was often out during the buffets and she would always point out safe foods for me on the buffet. She made Ecuadorian stew and other special foods specifically for us. During a cooking demonstration, she even made me my own ceviche that fit my dietary restrictions! For those who require gluten free, but without the dairy allergy, they had Yucca rolls that were enjoyed by many on board the ship. The buffet was well designed with breads in a special area which made the possibility of cross contamination with gluten less. Guillermo did a great job of communicating with us about our food so we knew it hadn’t been mixed up with another order. Chistian continually checked on us to see if we needed anything. This incredible team kept us feeling well so we could enjoy this beautiful area of the world!!! Remember with food allergies to let the cruise company know when you book your reservation. Then when filling out the online forms, list the food allergies again. When you board the ship meet with the concierge to answer all questions. Silversea did a great job of keeping us safe. While snorkeling and kayaking, each group of about 12 had a guide and zodiac driver that watched over the group. During hikes, the guide watched over the group, giving help or suggestions to anyone who needed help. The Hikes were more strolls than hikes. We would walk for a bit and then listen to our guide. Some islands had very uneven surfaces that required caution. We saw flamingoes, turtles, iguanas and the blue footed boobie. Insects were only a problem on Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island beach. I was glad to have some insect repellent. Be advised that our flight from Quito to the Galapagos included a stop in Guayaquil. We stayed on the same plane, but it did add time. Additionally, it was a long day to get home. We were out of the cabins at 7:30 am and off to breakfast. Zodiacs transported us to the dock to waiting buses at 9:30 am. Shopping at the Baltra Airport was good for hats, t-shirts, etc. with prices comparable with Puerto Ayora. Looking back, I would have skipped shopping in Puerto Ayora and purchased gifts at the Baltra airport. We arrived in Guayaquil airport at around 4pm. We were provided with a day room at the Hotel Oro Verde, the hotel is beautiful, the city less so. We would have liked more time at the hotel and less at the airport. We were in the lobby by 7:45 for our transfer to our flight to Miami. We booked our own flight into Quito and out of Guayaquil, because we wanted control over the time of our flights, number of stops and wanted to have business class seats. We booked our transfer from Quito airport to the J.W.Mariott through the hotel. This worked well and the driver was on time and pleasant. We used Silversea for all other flights and transfers. We were pleased to have them take care of the baggage and details. At the Guayaquil airport, about an hour before our flight was to leave, the airline started doing random searches of carry on and checked bags. Your name was called, and you were asked to approach the ticket counter. For checked bags, an airline representative took you down an elevator to your suitcase where they ask you to unlock your suitcase. They did a quick search and you were asked to relock the suitcase. It was a bit unsettling at first, but it was not a big deal. Final note, this is an active cruise. There are typically 3 events during the day hikes , snorkeling trips, zodiac rides etc depending on the island. There is some time to rest but not a lot. It’s tiring but well worth it! Galapagos Islands are beautiful and worth the travel time to get there. We are so glad we went. Our hope is that our review helps others with food challenges or just someone who wants more details about the trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first "all inclusive" and I loved it. The fact it included the pre-cruise in Quito, including tours was a bonus and sealed the sale for us. Celebrity did not disappoint. If you like to hang on the ship and skip long ... Read More
This was our first "all inclusive" and I loved it. The fact it included the pre-cruise in Quito, including tours was a bonus and sealed the sale for us. Celebrity did not disappoint. If you like to hang on the ship and skip long walk excursions, this is not a trip for you. This trip is all about the Galapagos Archipelago and its wonder. To get there. Information for booking flights was very good and we even had our travel agent double check for us. NO problems what so ever being greeted at the airport and being brought to the hotel. The hotel and staff in Quito were great. The tour company, the transfers, everything. It all felt welcoming, and everyone seemed truly concerned with delivering the product. Very organized at all times. Travel from Quito to the ship was never stressful, which left a lot of time to build on the excitement I already had. Again, super organized and I can't remember having to even touch my luggage from the time I handed it off in the hotel in Quito until it was in my cabin on board. Now, I hate reading spoilers in reviews of trips I'm looking at, so I will be leaving some highlights out. I don't ruin another persons anticipation. I'll start with embarkation, the beginning of a long term dream come true, and yes there were tears of joy. It's not like any embarkation you are used to, except for the Celebrity standard of sparking wine. More joyful tears as we are escorted further into the ship. The CREW! Every last person was amazing, kind, and seemed to love their job. (How could you not?) There had to be a ratio of 2 crew for every passenger, but I don't actually know the stats. If any crew person had a bad day, we didnt' know it. With only 100 people it does not take naturalists, food and bev, or any crew that directly interact with passengers long to get to know everyone on the trip. Dining crew remembered by breakfast to steer me away from anything on the menu that was not gluten free. Which brings me to the food. I have seen some reviews of this trip and the food. I'll say from my opinion it was great. Keep in mind here, they have to use everything sourced from the region. That will limit what they can work with. So, you have to come to a point of acceptance that you can not have everything you think you should. When you get over that, they do a fantastic job with the food. No, I did not like everything, but I never went hungry. I was happy with my meals way more often than I was not. Some other reviews give better tips on ordering specifics that I found useful. Since those applied at the time I was on the ship, I will let you find those suggestions rather than repeat them here. Also regarding food. This is not 24 hr food ship. Don't get mad. I'm sure if you absolutely needed something one of the stellar crew will accommodate you, as long as you are not rude about it. This is a crew that wants to give everyone top level of service. I had to get out of my own comfort zone when it comes to cruising. There are not many places to hide away from the group, which I usually do. We ended up making friends that we have since stayed in touch with still long after and even visited with away from home. The way the dining room is set up, and the small excursion groups, you have to fight hard to be anti-social. I'm glad I gave up the fight. I quickly realized I was sharing this magical journey with only 99 other people in the same moment in time, and it was meant to be celebrated together. With that, moving onto the excursions. It works exactly the way Celebrity says it works. Again, I wont give any spoilers. Just keep your mind open. Remember where you are on the planet in the moment, and you will not be disappointed. Listen to the naturalists for directions and a ton of Galapagos knowledge. Make sure you always follow the safety rules, and watch your step. This is not a place with building codes. Watch your every step. Safety is always the priority. This truly was by far an experience that I have zero regret and feel I got every two years of saving pennies worth. We have already talked about saving up to go back in five years on a different loop. Rather than write my diary or repeat things covered in other very good reviews and helpful advice already on here (like sunscreen tips that were crucial) I will wrap it up. My last piece of advice. Try to write down some of the little things every day. It makes for great souvenir to look back on that beats any trinket you buy on Santa Cruz Island. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Quasar Grace Galapagos 1 week tour (originating in San Cristobal, ending in Baltra) exceeded my expectations in every way. The boat was elegant, well-appointed and very comfortable. I didn’t see a single boat in the Galapagos that ... Read More
Quasar Grace Galapagos 1 week tour (originating in San Cristobal, ending in Baltra) exceeded my expectations in every way. The boat was elegant, well-appointed and very comfortable. I didn’t see a single boat in the Galapagos that was as beautiful as Grace. Her age (built in 1928, later gifted to Princess Grace and Prince Rainier by Ari Onassis) was not an issue at all - she is fast, nimble and beautifully maintained. The itinerary and activities were perfectly planned, with several excursions a day on land and sea. Land visits were timed to capture the animals in their most dramatic moments (e.g., the mating dance of the blue-footed boobies), while also avoiding other tourists. We snorkeled almost every day, and it was the best I've experienced, swimming with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks, and many schools of beautiful fish. I am physically fit and a long-distance swimmer, but the activities were structured in a way that even older and less able guests could fully enjoy them. Late January was a perfect time to visit because the water was warm enough to swim without a wetsuit. The food was wonderful, served al fresco. I can’t imagine preparing 3 meals/day for 16 guests plus crew in a yacht kitchen, but the kitchen staff continued to surprise us with new delicacies. The fruits and vegetables were incredibly fresh and flavorful. I looked forward to the fresh breads in the basket every morning, prepared by Walter. There were 2 ceviches (shrimp and crab) that were so good that we asked the chef for the recipe. The fresh tuna was a crowd pleaser, and the preparations and sauces always had a unique and harmonious mixture of ingredients. The crew was exceptional. I was impressed with their expertise across multiple roles, commitment to pleasing their guests, professionalism and work ethic. Melissa (hospitality) was delightful, very responsive and energetic. Freddy and Miguel, our zodiac pilots, were very capable, confident and fun. Saul, our bartender, learned our names and preferred cocktails and wines very quickly, and always appeared just as my glass was getting low. Nelly crept into our rooms several times a day to tidy up, and quickly replaced any linens as they began to get grimy. Our guide, Rafael Pesante, was extremely knowledgeable, which of course, is critical. But on top of that, he was a skilled teacher and story teller. He was full of energy and good cheer. He treated every single guest as if they were his top priority. He took beautiful photographs of every excursion and supplied downloads to departing guests. He treated the other crew members as equals and fostered a sense of family. I can’t imagine that there is a better guide in the Galapagos. Most impressive of all was the way they all work together to give their guests a memorable experience. One morning around 6am, one of the crew members spotted orcas near the boat. Immediately after that, Rafael came on the intercom encouraging everyone to come to the zodiacs in their pajamas ASAP to chase the orcas. Within minutes, all 16 guests were loaded into the boats and on the chase. We had a thrilling ride and captured dramatic footage of the orcas. A less-organized crew would never have been able to pull that off, and a bigger boat never would have even bothered. I could not have been happier with the Grace experience. My only hesitation in giving this glowing review is that it might create more competition to get a reservation when I inevitably return to the Grace one day! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Pluses: - Well organized and executed excursions which fortunately led to lifetime memories such as snorkeling in the midst of a penguin feeding frenzy, watching a dozen wild dolphins leap in unison several times ahead of the ship, ... Read More
Pluses: - Well organized and executed excursions which fortunately led to lifetime memories such as snorkeling in the midst of a penguin feeding frenzy, watching a dozen wild dolphins leap in unison several times ahead of the ship, swimming with sea lions and manta rays, standing inches from three foot long iguanas, and other priceless interactions with unafraid animals. - quality of meals was quite good, especially dinners which were five course meals with innovative and subtle takes on South American fusion and more conventional dishes. Lunch at the Grill, a beautiful outside terrace, featured grilled lobster and fresh fish and excellent salad bar, Ecuadorian soups and stews, and top quality desserts - naturalist guides and service generally, from the butlers to waiters to massage therapist and piano bar musician, were uniformly friendly and highly competent. Likeable and knowledgeable. Israel was an excellent expedition leader and a couple of the naturalists, Ernesto and Juan Carlos, each had decades of guide experience. Minuses: - our veranda suite was too cold, and it wasn’t until repeated tries and five days into the seven day cruise that the engineer was able to fix the air conditioning - the lunch ended at 130 but the dinner didn’t start until 730 pm. Very sparse food other than a bare bones room service menu was available until dinner, which meant many were tired and hungry at the end of long days. And the late dinner meant going to bed too soon (excursions began as early as 7 am) - given that water temperature was in the mid to high 60s F, the cruise should have provided full wetsuits, not shorty wetsuits, to all customers. We brought our own full wetsuits (3 mm and 5 mm thickness) and were so glad we did as the four snorkeling trips would have been miserable without that. Overall, my wife and I rated the cruise a solid A, with A plus for the animal sightings, A for the personnel, A for the food, and B plus for the accommodations and dinner time problems noted. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My wife and I took the one week Galapogos excursion on the Linblad National Geographic on the ship Islander in mid-February. It was a fantastic experience, exceeded our admittedly high expectations and a trip we can recommend highly. ... Read More
My wife and I took the one week Galapogos excursion on the Linblad National Geographic on the ship Islander in mid-February. It was a fantastic experience, exceeded our admittedly high expectations and a trip we can recommend highly. Here are some further thoughts on the subject. NATURALISTS MATTER. A critical feature of the experience were the three naturalists that guided every hike, boat ride and snorkel. The ability to make a 1 mile hike into an interesting and engaging two hour nature experience is dependent wholly on the naturalists. The three on our trip were extraordinary and well versed in the smallest detail of the geology, history, flora, fauna and culture of every stop. We had been told by others who did the Galapagos (with other providers) that most naturalists who work in the islands aspire to get hired by Linblad/Nat Geo, and therefore, they get the best. While we have nothing to compare it to, our experience was excellent. I would pick Linblad/Nat Geo for that reason alone. ACTIVITY LEVEL. The pace was significantly more active than we imagined, and to our liking. The ship accommodations matter, but we didn’t have as much lounging time as I had thought. We kayaked twice (regulations limit the number of kayaks they can send out), and we took every boat ride, snorkel and hike offered. While that pace was by no means exhausting, some guests opted-out on occasion. The pace of the hikes was leisurely and the terrain well handled by all except a few of the more frail passengers. Even on the more rocky trails, a pair of sturdy hiking sticks for less active folk (supplied by the boat) were all that were needed. Typically, we started before or just after breakfast, got in one or two events before returning to the ship by noon for lunch, lounged or napped, and then resumed excursions at 3:00 to avoid the mid-day heat. SHIP CONDITION. Despite being a slightly older ship and not having been renovated recently, the ship was in excellent condition with beautiful teak accents, shiny brass hardware, nice carpets, and always impeccably clean with three room services per day! There was nothing worn or old about it. CLOTHING. The dress was quite casual, and what I would call “resort casual.” Shorts, t-shirts, polo shirts, bathing suits and casual sun dresses predominated. During mid-February it was quite hot mid-day so wicking active gear, loose shirts and sun protection clothing was key. Air conditioning kept the interior of the ship pleasantly cool. Next day laundry services (at hotel prices) are available. FOOD. The food was really good. It was not fine dining in the metropolitan sense, but it was tasty, varied and plentiful. Alcohol was reasonably priced from $4 for a local (and good) beer to $8 for a glass of decent wine. Tellingly, most passengers felt like they were gaining lots of weight on the trip! GYM. For fitness buffs, there was a small gym with two high quality treadmills, an elliptical and a good spinning class-styled exercise bike. It had some dumbbells up to 25 pounds. The gym has large windows with great views. It was rarely used with most succumbing to a nap or a book in the shade during the siesta break, and therefore getting a machine was never an issue. WATER. Water temps for swimming and snorkeling were in the 70’s on our itinerary (which can vary) in mid-February. The shortie wet suits provided were buoyant and kept us warm enough to be the last out of the water on most snorkel outings. Some guests also wore rash guards or SPF clothing, either in place of, or underneath wetsuits. Some guests and the guides did fine without the wetsuits. The snorkeling gear was good. I have my own gear but left it at home, and was glad I did. Some put an underwater camera or GoPro to good use, but Linblad provided us with a great DVD filmed by a photographer that accompanied us on all our excursions so we all got some great footage to take home! SERVICE. The service was excellent. I think there are 42 crew or so for 46 guests. The entire staff was professional, efficient, accommodating and helpful. It was our first Linblad experience but likely not our last. STATEROOMS. As to which stateroom to pick (level 2-4) there are some considerations. All have excellent cabin level air conditioning, so you could make your stateroom as cold as you pleased. The level 2 and 3 rooms do not have a window or portal directly to the outside, but rather have a small window that looks through an exterior hallway (either the library on side 302-304-306 with less traffic) or the computer lab (301-303-305 with slightly more traffic) which also serves as the entry to the lounge. Those walkways are floor to ceiling glass so lots of light shines through, but we mostly kept the curtain pulled on our porthole for privacy. As to the level 2 staterooms, we were told by guests in 210 and 208 that they were closest to the engines and may have had a bit more engine noise at night. The area between 205 and 208 is where the guests gather to disembark, which is not a problem if you are disembarking with them, but if you are looking to sleep through it, it might have been loud. We thought the best value were staterooms 306 and 305, as those are sized to accommodate three passengers, and if they will give you one of those as a double, the extra room in the form of a day bed/couch is nice. The remaining level 3 staterooms, and the level 4 staterooms (but for 401 and 402, see below) are all about the same size. The difference is that the 4 level rooms have a small enclosed “porch” that some guests used as a place to hang wet clothing, but does have enough room for two people to sit with a book or a drink (it is slightly bigger than it looks in pictures.) The level 4 rooms are more private than the level 3 rooms (no exterior traffic), and had more light due to the window on the door to the deck. Staterooms 401 and 402 (on an older brochure I think those were labeled 501 and 502) were really spectacular with large dramatic windows overlooking the bow and sides of the boat, with the same small but functional enclosed decks like the other level 4 rooms. By comparison to any other staterooms, the light in those rooms was extraordinary. The bathrooms too were larger in those suites. The exterior walkways (rather than internal) offer the great benefit of providing many air conditioned places to lounge on either side of the ship with fantastic exterior views. Of course the lounge to the stern and two upper decks (open but shaded) also provide lots of space. The public spaces are sufficiently varied for socializing, or napping, reading or sunning in relative privacy. Therefore, we used our stateroom mostly to sleep, nap, shower and change, and lounged elsewhere on the boat. So overall, as you consider the class of accommodations, we thought 1) a level 2 stateroom offered a great overall experience because the you spend so little time in your room and this trip is about the outdoors; 2) if you are on level 2, rooms 201-204 might be quieter, but noise was never really an issue; 3) the premium for the extra space of 303-306 was worth it to us; 4) if you want to splurge and the stateroom matters to you the most, splurge on 401 or 402; you won’t be disappointed with the premium space. But regardless of which accommodations you pick, make sure you pick one and go. It is a unique travel experience like none other on the planet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our first expedition cruise after many years of cruising(Regent and Crystal). Our travel agent recommended Silversea and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship,crew,fellow passengers,guides,and the wonders of the Galápagos. This is not ... Read More
This was our first expedition cruise after many years of cruising(Regent and Crystal). Our travel agent recommended Silversea and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship,crew,fellow passengers,guides,and the wonders of the Galápagos. This is not the typical luxury cruise,but is the most pampered and comfortable way to experience the islands. Our suite was on the small side ,but well-appointed and comfortable. Our butler Jimmy was every bit as good as our Crystal butlers (and that,s saying a lot!). The crew is a bit rough around the edges but very eager to please and hardworking. The food was for the most part very good. It was obvious that great efforts were being made and we were often asked if we wanted or needed anything else. This is such an interesting destination and the guides enthusiasm for their subjects was infectious. Juan Carlos and Gilda were our favorites but all were good. When I fell out of the zodiac trying to get back in after a wet landing excursion our guide Jan kept apologizing for not being there to help me (believe me it was my own fault!). Every excursion was well briefed and well guided. This is an adventure everyone needs on their "bucket" list and Silverseas should be their choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This is a two-part review. First the good part. Well, not so good for me but favorable to the Celebrity Xpedition. On the second day of the cruise, I went to the ship's doctor (Dr. Marsha) and found that I had appendicitis. ... Read More
This is a two-part review. First the good part. Well, not so good for me but favorable to the Celebrity Xpedition. On the second day of the cruise, I went to the ship's doctor (Dr. Marsha) and found that I had appendicitis. Although this wiped out the rest of the cruise for my wife and me, I have to praise the staff of the Xpedition. This ship is perhaps the only one in the Galapagos that is large enough to have a ship's doctor, so I would recommend it for that reason if nothing else. Dr. Marsha made the correct diagnosis, and Floriana, the Hotel Manager and other staff members arranged to have me quickly on a speedboat to Santa Cruz, the nearest island with a hospital. I chose to have my surgery there, in the public hospital, rather than risk the wait to get to Quito for a larger hospital. The hospital was quite basic, but Celebrity provided a staff person (wonderful Tatiana) to be with me all day and another, poor Hugo, who got the job of sleeping on the couch to be available to help me to the toilet at night. By luck, the Xpedition stopped at Santa Cruz at the end of the voyage, and I was able to get back on the ship and return home. So I give the highest praise to the staff of the Xpeditiion for the care they provided for me. The second part of my comment is perhaps small but quite annoying. My wife and I booked this trip after two previous cruises on Celebrity. We traveled with another couple and booked connecting rooms on the Xpedition. The rooms we booked were shown on their Web page and the brochure we received as connecting. Our confirmation material clearly stated that the rooms we booked were connecting. They were not. We discussed this with Floriana, the Hotel Manager, and he was quite professional in hearing our concern. He referred us to the company office for follow-up. A couple of weeks later, Ricky from Celebrity called me (on my wife's phone) and left a message. I called him back, but he was off that day. He never called me back. The other couple, however, did get a letter from Ricky saying how much Celebrity values its return customers and wishes to please them; however, there would be no compensation for their error. This seems to be very bad business practice. Instead of losing four loyal customers, they could have offered at least a gesture -- 10% off on a future cruise maybe. Any gesture would have been nice. So the Xpedition is a wonderful ship (without connecting rooms) with a wonderful staff. The company obviously doesn't coordinate between marketing and the reality of the layout of the ship. And they don't mind losing customers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was a fortieth wedding anniversary and we wanted the best cruise to celebrate our event. The Galapagos Islands did not disappoint and we felt privileged to have access to the islands and the wildlife. Any assessment of the ... Read More
This was a fortieth wedding anniversary and we wanted the best cruise to celebrate our event. The Galapagos Islands did not disappoint and we felt privileged to have access to the islands and the wildlife. Any assessment of the standards offered on this cruise depend on expectations and price paid. We paid £5,500 per person for seven days. And were expecting very high standards of service and cuisine equivalent to 5* hotels, limited maybe by the availability of some supplies. However, we felt short changed by the provision of relatively poor service and food: certainly not 5*. Our cabin was good and very clean. Although the layout was strange: the seating area would have been better overlooking the sea. Our butler was very willing. We were very disappointed in the quality of food provided as we had been recommended Silverseas by relatives who had enjoyed a cruise to Easter Island and praised the food extremely highly. Our food was not up to the standard we had been led to expect. The food was often overcooked which was a great shame and was often quite dull. Breakfasts were overcooked and nondescript. We thought the staff were friendly and helpful but were in great need of further training; they simply did not appreciate the standard of service expected by clients of a cruise of this calibre. I think Silversea should import a Swiss hotel manager and a few wait staff from the Savoy, London to train the current staff. They are simply out of their depth and it is not fair. It's worth mentioning that the safety standards on the activities we saw didn't conform to best practice in the UK, possibly due to Ecuador only staffing, so take care. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for ... Read More
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for seven days. We were expecting high standards of service and cuisine equivalent to 5* hotels, limited maybe by the availability of some supplies. However, the success of the cruise depended almost entirely on the unique natural quality of the wildlife, and the amazing access to beautiful locations. But we felt short changed by the provision of relatively poor service and food. We had been recommended Silversea by relatives who had enjoyed a cruise to Easter Island and praised the food extremely highly. The food we had was often overcooked which was a great shame and often quite dull, certainly not five star. Breakfasts were overcooked and nondescript, and the wait staff were well meaning but poorly trained. Shame they are restricted to Ecuadorian only staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had a full day in Quito prior to our flight to Baltra, and we wished we had added another day or two to explore the city. The Silversea agents were all very friendly, organized, and thorough, and we enjoyed the city tour that was ... Read More
We had a full day in Quito prior to our flight to Baltra, and we wished we had added another day or two to explore the city. The Silversea agents were all very friendly, organized, and thorough, and we enjoyed the city tour that was included in our itinerary. The cruise itself was excellent. The food was delicious and it was fun to try the daily specials of Ecuadorian specialties. And the all-inclusive nature of this cruise made it simple -- no bar tabs, no tips, no shore excursions to pay for. We loved that! Most of the naturalists onboard, who led the shore excursions, were very knowledgeable and seemed to enjoy explaining what we were seeing. There were just a couple who didn't seem quite as experienced. The reason I didn't give this cruise an excellent rating: Our only complaint about this cruise was the Silversea air travel department, which was abominable. They provided us an acceptable air itinerary several months prior to the cruise, and then changed it a month later (to a much worse schedule) without even notifying us -- I only found out when I logged into my airline account to look at seat assignments. When our travel agent tried to discuss it with them, they simply refused to do anything and insisted that we would have to PAY to change it back. I tried emailing their customer service, as well as the president of the company, and never received a response. If you take a Silversea cruise, don't let them book your travel! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After carefully considering all options for visiting the Galapagos, including reading some of the not-so-stellar reviews of this cruise, I decided to give Silversea a try. I took my mom in July 2016 as a retirement gift. I must say that ... Read More
After carefully considering all options for visiting the Galapagos, including reading some of the not-so-stellar reviews of this cruise, I decided to give Silversea a try. I took my mom in July 2016 as a retirement gift. I must say that overall, we absolutely loved it! To reiterate, as many reviewers have commented, this is an expedition cruise. We’ve never sailed with Silversea before, so can’t compare to the level of service on their non-expedition cruises. That being said, the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel special, address any and all concerns and ensure you have a great time. For us, the service far exceeded our expectations. Most people don’t bother to even try and understand the logistics and planning that goes on behind the scenes to make these cruises a possibility. There are human beings working around the clock to make sure that all guests are properly taken care off. The expedition team carefully coordinates all excursions (hikes, zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking, etc.). From the moment we arrived in Quito, the transfers, hotel, optional tours and baggage handling were all seamless. The flight to Galapagos, after a brief stop in Guayaquil was smooth. After landing and clearing immigrations, we were quickly taken to a nearby pier to be transferred to the Silversea Galapagos via zodiac. After boarding, everyone we encountered was gracious, smiling and welcoming, despite spending the last few hours running around to get the ship ready for us. And so an amazing week began. Keep in mind, again, that is an expedition tour. If you want to see as much as possible, plan on waking at 6-6:30 each morning for a departure by zodiac around 7:30-8. Return to the ship for lunch (The Grill was amazing, but get there just before noon to secure a table). After lunch, a video or nap, and then another stop in the afternoon. Dinner is available at The Grill (reservation required, and often windy, but worth it) or downstairs in the main dining room (also no complaints). Our Butler, Danny, was especially wonderful. He went above and beyond to make us feel special. He brought us cake and sparking wine to celebrate my mom’s retirement, and set up a laser light show in our cabin! He asked us our preferences for the complimentary mini-bar and made sure it was always stocked. Waiters were all fantastic (although one in particular had some difficulty in understand English, especially compared to the others). Fernando especially comes to mind as being terrific. Keep in mind the butlers and wait staff rotate several weeks on and off, as do the naturalist guides. I could write a short novel about our travels, but overall I would definitely recommend this cruise. If you are realistic in your expectations of visiting a protected national park (with all the rules and regulations), you will be pleasantly surprised by the warm, knowledgeable and always enthusiastic service you will experience during your week in one of the most incredible places in the world! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I sailed the Galapagos with my wife last July, and I could not be more grateful for choosing this company and this boat. We saw a lot of boats during the time we cruised the Islands, but none were more beautiful than the Grace. Her ... Read More
I sailed the Galapagos with my wife last July, and I could not be more grateful for choosing this company and this boat. We saw a lot of boats during the time we cruised the Islands, but none were more beautiful than the Grace. Her classic lines, her amazing history and her vinatage look just make her stand out from all the other boats on the Islands. We felt privileged to return to this boat after our excursions, and everything onboard just could not have been better. From the food to the service, everything was 5 star. Our guide Rafa was the best guide we have ever had on any of our trips, and we consider ourselves seasoned travelers. Quasar does it right in the islands with their smaller group philosophy. It really made the all the difference during our trip, as we never felt like part of a crowd. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is a Silversea "Expeditions" cruise, so a smaller ship and not quite the same level of luxury as the bigger Silversea ships. But a fabulous cruise with two "ports" most days, one early morning for 3 hours or so, ... Read More
This is a Silversea "Expeditions" cruise, so a smaller ship and not quite the same level of luxury as the bigger Silversea ships. But a fabulous cruise with two "ports" most days, one early morning for 3 hours or so, then beck on the ship for lunch while they sail for a second port for the afternoon adventure. No actual ports; every island is reached by Zodiac. So 12 stops on the Galapagos North Central itinerary ranging from the newer, more primitive, mostly lava islands in the northwest to the more developed, almost tropical islands in the southeast. You get up close and personal with everything: blue-and red-footed boobies, albatross, tortoises, sea lions (everywhere!), hawks, pelicans, iguanas, lizards, crabs, owls, etc. We checked off 51 different birds, animals, and fish on the sheets they provided. Best of all was that May was mating season for all the birds and we watched mating elaborate rituals from literally a few feet away. Lots of great snorkeling and kayaking if you were so inclined. All equipment provided. Open seating lunch and dinner had 3 or 4 choices in the main dining room and 5 or 6 more at the outside grill. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I can't say enough about our Galapagos cruise onboard M/V EVOLUTION. We went on a 7 night, 8 day cruise in January 2016. My husband and I are younger (early 30's) and we were definitely on the younger end of the crowd, but ... Read More
I can't say enough about our Galapagos cruise onboard M/V EVOLUTION. We went on a 7 night, 8 day cruise in January 2016. My husband and I are younger (early 30's) and we were definitely on the younger end of the crowd, but everyone was incredibly interesting and they were all active. Mostly American, with one Norwegian couple, and a British/Romanian couple. Bottom line, we loved the type of people that M/V EVOLUTION seems to appeal to. The ship is beautiful! Recently restored and perfect for the Galapagos. It's intimate without feeling crowded, and there are plenty of spaces to be outdoors, but also in the shade. The dining areas (both indoor and outdoor) were roomy, and the Jacuzzi/sun area was a really nice addition to the ship. Our cabin, D3, on the bottom level, was everything we needed. Big bed, plenty of storage, and the bathroom was nice. Water pressure was good and it was hot. The crew did an excellent job at making everyone feel at home and attending to their needs. The one thing I was really impressed by was how crew members would pitch in if they saw something that needed to be done, even if it wasn't in their job description. One day, the Captain was the one who washed off our feet as we returned from land. He also gave my husband and I, both in the US Navy, a personal tour of the bridge, which was really appreciated. The food/bar was wonderful. Food was fresh, lots of variety, and they served homemade dessert at every meal. Bar prices were reasonable and there was a happy hour period every evening before that night's briefing and dinner. Our naturalist guides made the trip. Their level of knowledge was unprecedented. I was so impressed by their technical command of the English language, as well as their knowledge of the Galapagos. This is definitely one of the most important things to consider when picking a Galapagos cruise. Everything on the ship ran like clockwork thanks to the guides, the crew, and the Cruise Director. It was the perfect amount of activity versus downtime. The scheduled activities were varied enough that you never got bored and the Northwestern itinerary was perfect. We got to see a good overview of the islands. Overall, I can't recommend M/V EVOLUTION/Quasar Expeditions more. They provide a tremendous experience at a reasonable cost (compared to other ships). You won't regret it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
La Pinta is a good ship with a friendly captain and crew eager to please. The food is good but not as good as Delfin on the Amazon which preceeded our trip. Day 1 flight good from Guaquil old bus panga to ship, lunch, drill, very long ... Read More
La Pinta is a good ship with a friendly captain and crew eager to please. The food is good but not as good as Delfin on the Amazon which preceeded our trip. Day 1 flight good from Guaquil old bus panga to ship, lunch, drill, very long presentation, back on panga and old bus and hurried climb up to see baby tortoises back to ship feeling tired and wondering why we had done all that walking to see so little! Day 2 Pitt point told it was a diffult hike to see wildlife so opted for panga ride and saw a lot. Day 3 2 km over boulders definitely beyond both of us and no alternative so 4 stayed on ship and we visited the bridge. Library good and so was the doctor. My wife developed back trouble earlier on the trip and we are both active and reasonably fit but others confirmed we would have not managed well. Even the beach walks were hard in the sand! Did not feel that the naturalists were that concerned about our difficulties! Never felt safe on the panga although there was plenty of help getting on and off. The websites are misleading talking of easy walks. This is clearly untrue. On the final evening we saw photos of the cruise and we had missed a lot of wildlife. We did not visit the Charles Darwin centre on the final day which was disappointing as we have visited Down house and read a lot about him. It is clear that the Galapagos is only for the really fit and had we known this we would not have booked at all! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As many people have contributed very detailed reviews, which are very helpful with planning for this trip, I have decided to review it from a UK point of view and give personal observations. First this trip requires stamina, ... Read More
As many people have contributed very detailed reviews, which are very helpful with planning for this trip, I have decided to review it from a UK point of view and give personal observations. First this trip requires stamina, particularly getting there. The return flight required a detour to Guayaquil where you have to disembark which adds about 3 hours to the journey. You have to start and finish in Quito to connect with International flights and this can cause problems with altitude: heed the advice and take plenty of water. Try not to drink alcohol and pace yourself. The Ecuador staff are very welcoming, friendly and helpful in Quito and Galapagos. They are very accommodating and nothing seems to be too much trouble. You can do as much, or as little as you want: if you've had enough they will try to get you back to the hotel or ship. The ship does rock, so take sea sick remedies with you It is the most amazing experience of a lifetime landing on an island and seeing it as it probably was all those years ago when the first explorers landed. Some of the landings and zodiac rides are tricky, but the zodiac drivers do a wonderful job. The naturalists do an excellent job ,with unfailing humour and patience, answer any questions and try to help you get the most out of the trip. The programme is varied to suit all ages and interests and yes there were some trips that did not particularly interest me, but they all added to the overall experience. So, yes, definitely go for it, be prepared to return home exhausted but with memories that are worth every penny! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I read the previous reviews with a sinking feeling in my stomach. To have a 50% overall good rating on a cruise that is certainly not cheap made me anxious. However, now that I've returned from that cruise I have to say that some ... Read More
I read the previous reviews with a sinking feeling in my stomach. To have a 50% overall good rating on a cruise that is certainly not cheap made me anxious. However, now that I've returned from that cruise I have to say that some people would complain about paying taxes on their megamillion dollar lotto win. Yes, maybe all the staff didn't speak perfect English. Yes, there wasn't much to do at night. We had over 20 children (out of 98 passengers) on board, and that isn't counting the college age crowd. This is not a ship ideally suited to children, yet the staff went out of their way to entertain and educate. Food for the most part was delicious, staff always had a smile, naturalists were incredible. The stateroom isn't like those on the luxury Silverseas lines, but it's a very small ship. This is a one-of-a-kind vacation and I would encourage anyone to go. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Looking at all the previous reviews it looks like there is an upward movement in ratings for this cruise. Reading the 2014 ones I have to disagree on a lot of things mentioned and looking through the 2015 ones I have to agree on most of ... Read More
Looking at all the previous reviews it looks like there is an upward movement in ratings for this cruise. Reading the 2014 ones I have to disagree on a lot of things mentioned and looking through the 2015 ones I have to agree on most of them. So I guess it is fair to say that Silversea has found the right track in the Galapagos. This ship and this cruise should not be compared to the mainline Silversea ships; this is an expedition cruise, the destination is the prime object, the ship just a place to sleep and eat. Most of the negative comments seem to be from people who cruised mainline Silversea before and therefore had an expectation level that never could be met on this cruise in any case. Now, although I have never cruised Silversea before and having read all the (negative) reviews, I boarded the ship open minded and I must say that the experience exceeded my expectations in all aspects. The ship was renovated late 2014 and looks fresh and up to date, certainly not brand new, but well fitted for this cruise. Fresh carpets, very comfortable beds, functional but nice furniture. Our balcony cabin 512 was roomy and light, wouldn't call it a suite, but that's just marketing. Air conditioning worked well, we actually had to adjust the temperature setting upwards on order not to freeze. Our cabin included a free internet plan for 1200 minutes per person and I must say that the speed was very reasonable given the remote location. Bathroom, just the standard cruise ship size and functionality. About the food, lots has been written already, here's the short version: breakfast is a standard hotel like buffet. Lunch available on the open deck or in the main restaurant, which we chose as a nice place to cool down a bit after the morning activities. A buffet for the starters/soup/desert and three main dishes from the menu, not fancy but hearty meals to get you going again for the afternoon activities. Dinner, available again on the open top deck or in the main restaurant, had it in the main restaurant most times. Extensive menu with several choices for starters/mains/deserts, every meal was very good, some excellent, mainly the seafood dishes, quality of meat was good to great. Chef Marco stopped by a few times and explained his logistics nightmares and heavily regulated supply chain; we thought he and his team did an excellent job considering all these restrictions. Excursions: excellent guides, wonderful hikes, snorkel tours, kayak trips, zodiac rides; this is why you came to the Galapagos, don't sleep in and miss anything! The real highlights: the staff! What a great crew, sweet, chatty, service minded. Our great butler Alvaro, who would do anything to make us happy, our wonderful waiters Charly and David, all the excellent guides, cruise director/expedition leader Yvonne who created a great atmosphere at the nightly briefings, everybody made sure we had a wonderful week on the ship and we felt sad saying goodbye on the last morning. Any negatives? Oh, if you look closely you will find things to complain about, especially if your expectation is Silversea mainline... We went into this experience open minded and were very happy, in fact one of our best vacations ever! To summarize: read the introduction letter in your cruise documents carefully to find out what the settings and challenges are for this cruise, as explained by the Silversea executive. This should create the right mindset on how the judge the product so you will have a wonderful, upscale Galapagos experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I loved my trip to the Galapagos Islands with Silversea. The ship was comfortable with excellent service, food was delicious (fresh ceviche everyday) and our guides were super knowledgeable and friendly. But most importantly, the wildlife ... Read More
I loved my trip to the Galapagos Islands with Silversea. The ship was comfortable with excellent service, food was delicious (fresh ceviche everyday) and our guides were super knowledgeable and friendly. But most importantly, the wildlife was incredible, curious and didn't mind our presence. To snorkel and kayak past sea turtles, penguins and sea lions is something I will never forget! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click