Having been booking Galapagos cruises for the luxury traveler for over a decade, Totally Latin America knows the vessels that sail the archipelago and their itineraries like the back of our hands. Now, we want to share our knowledge and wisdom with the world to ensure that those who take the time to reach some of the world’s most remote islands to see their enticing endemic wildlife have the most rewarding experience possible.

With great thought, we have created a list of the five best Galapagos cruises available in 2024 for the luxury traveler. The vessels we included are among the most small and exclusive sailing the archipelago, but that’s not the only reason we chose them. Whether it’s an elevated sense of style, superior social spaces, or exciting activities, each offers something special. While they are all unique, there are a few things we guarantee they have in common: inspiring itineraries, unparalleled service, and plenty of opportunity to see the very best of the Galapagos’ endemic flora and fauna.

Horizon Trimaran

Always shining like a pearl in the port, the Horizon Trimaran is firmly established among the Galapagos’ elite vessels. Featuring white and sea-blue furnishings and cherry wood flooring, the Horizon Trimaran lends itself to a nautical theme yet its slender curves and chrome finishes set it apart as modern and sophisticated among a school of traditional Galapagos yachts. The vessel is also distinguished as the only trimaran (triple-hulled boat) in the Galapagos, ensuring everyone that climbs aboard has sturdy sea legs. 

With only eight cabins (some including private balconies), the Horizon Trimaran is a quiet and intimate vessel. While there is ample space for alone time, the spacious sundeck with a jacuzzi, lounge, bar, and al fresco dining area are luxuriously comfortable spaces to be pampered by the crew and mingle with other guests. 

Horizon Trimaran Itinerary

Take the 8-day cruise on the Horizon Trimaran for an in-depth exploration of the Galapagos’ seven best central and western islands including Santa Cruz, Floreana, and Isabela. Find Galapagos penguins waddling along the mangrove beaches of Tagus Cove, hike into the Twin Crater highlands for the region’s most astonishing views, and post a postcard in the archipelago’s 18th-century ‘post barrel’. Along the way, you’re guaranteed to see all of the flora and fauna that brought you to the Galapagos.

Cormorant II Catamaran

Having only launched in 2023, the Cormorant II is the newest luxury yacht to sail the Galapagos and it has quickly joined the ranks of the archipelago’s most covetable boats. This is partly due to the fact this nine-suite mega-catamaran is the Galapagos’ most spacious vessel, boasting private balconies for each suite, a fitness area, and even a premium suite with a private jacuzzi as well as a large sundeck with a jacuzzi too. The attention to detail in the ship’s design is impeccable throughout but the floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows might just be its best feature. They bring the outside in and allow guests to enjoy the Galapagos’ priceless views with breakfast in bed. The Cormorant II’s faultless standards transfer from its design to the food and service provided by its onboard cruise director and naturalist guide.

Modern luxury suite cabin with panoramic sea viewsCormorant II Itineranry

The Cormorant II focuses on eight-day itineraries that allow guests to see a full range of the Galapagos’ spectacles whilst allowing plenty of time to luxuriate in life onboard. Choose between the east and west islands, both of which promise an exciting and unique Galapagos adventure, yet they both provide equal opportunity to experience kayaking, diving, wildlife spotting, and other activities. While the eastern itinerary takes you to the Galapagos’ most beautiful beach Darwin Bay, and the world’s only waved albatross colony at Gardner Bay, the western itinerary allows you to see the world’s most pristine island ecosystem on Fernandina and the unbeatable views offered by Bartholomew Island.

Endemic Catamaran

The 18-passanger Endemic Catamaran has the distinction of being the best vessel in the Galapagos to have combined all the features of a luxury vessel with the cosy and calming sense of a minimalist home. Not only is this achieved by homely furnishings with neutral tones and splashes of turquoise, but also by the design and layout of the spaces onboard. On the main deck, find a living-dining area with cushiony sofas surrounding a coffee table, and a separate briefing area which doubles as an intimate movie theatre thanks to its generously-sized flatscreen. On the upper deck, find a peaceful terrace at the catamaran’s bow with sweeping views of the ship’s direction. The piece-de-resistance of the Endemic, however, is the Sky Deck which features a bar, dining area, extra-large whirlpool, and sunloungers to make the most exceptionally designed social hub in the Galapagos seas. 

Mega Catamaran, anchored in the GalapagosEndemic Catamaran Itinerary

The Endemic Catamaran offers a three-night taster cruise, a five-night highlights cruise, and seven-night in-depth cruise that gives guests the complete Galapagos experience. Expect all the region’s best available activities including snorkelling, paddleboarding, hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife-spotting in the archipelago’s most breathtaking locations. Focusing on Santa Cruz, the Seymours, and the southern Galapagos islands of San Cristobal, Espanola, and Floreana, the seven-night Southern Galapagos Cruise is something special. Highlights include South Plaza Island’s otherworldly landscape, sightings of the world’s only waved albatross colony, and swimming with sea lions in the waters of Islote Osborn.

Ocean Spray Catamaran

Having been sailing the Galapagos since 2011, Ocean Spray has maintained its position as one of the archipelago’s top mega-catamarans for over 12 years. Its recent refurbishment which transformed it into a modern classic only further established it at the top of the Galapagos cruises for the luxury traveler rankings. Not to mention, the 15-knot vessel is just as fast and smooth as its younger rivals, attesting to its exceptional design. Onboard, the catamaran’s layout lends to a more private stay with its focus being on the spacious suites complete with ensuites and private balconies rather than the public spaces. That said, every public area onboard Ocean Spray from the lounge and dining room to the briefing room/theatre are beautiful spaces to enjoy the company of other guests. But we predict you end up spending most of your time in the extended al fresco bar and dining area at the aft. 

Al-fresco dining area at rear of yachtOcean Spray Catamaran Itinerary 

The Ocean Spray offers seven-night/eight-day cruises unlike any other in the Galapagos. Its eastern seven-night itinerary takes the rarely traveled route to Genovesa Island where an extraordinary variety of birds can be spotted even before landing on Darwin Bay and the famous Prince Philips Steps. Its alternative seven-night/eight-day itinerary sails both the eastern and western regions of the Galapagos archipelago. Its guests will get to experience everything from the historic Tagus Cove and Urbina Bay beaches on the incredibly intriguing Isabela Island to the Interpretation Center, a giant tortoise breeding centre on San Cristobel, the archipelago’s easternmost island. 

Petrel Catamaran

The Petrel is a sleek 16-passanger catamaran with a touch of glamour thanks to its glossy surfaces and golden touches which elevate the Galapagos cruising experience with a deserved sense of superiority and class. The spaciousness on this vessel is immense with all-balcony suites a wildlife observation platform, whirlpool, and briefing area. Here, guests can attend daily briefings about the day’s stop and its wildlife, geography and history to give more meaning to their visit. After returning from exciting customized kayaking, snorkelling, and boat ride tours, guests onboard the Petrel get the unique pleasure of an open-air barbeque chased with signature cocktails. This is just one example of the impressive ways the Petrel crew go above and beyond for their guests.

Catamaran Cruise Ship in the Galapagos

Petrel Catamaran © Haugan Cruises

Petrel Catamaran Itinerary

The Petrel Catamaran offers an eight-day east and and eight day west itinerary, both of which promise a week fueled by extraordinary landscapes and endemic wildlife. The western itinerary circles the island of Isabela with a series of snorkelling sessions and dinghy rides to explore the island’s unique geological formations and meet the array of sealife and birdlife that surrounds its coastlines. Highlights include climbing the Sierra Negro volcano, seeing giant tortoises up-close at the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Centre, and witnessing the pristine ecosystem of Ferdinanda Island. Meanwhile, the eastern itinerary focuses on Santa Cruz, Santiago, and the Galapagos’ smaller and more remote isles. On this itinerary, find yourself spotting the elusive Galapagos fur seal in Sullivan Bay, snorkelling in the renowned Devil’s Crown, and playing with sea lions on the white sandy beach of Gardners Bay.

Start planning your Galapagos Cruise Today

With all the knowledge and wisdom you need about the best Galapagos cruises for the luxury traveler in 2024, it’s time to start planning your trip. At Totally Latin America, our expert trip designers can create a bespoke luxury itinerary featuring the Galapagos cruise of your dreams so you can focus on looking forward to it. To find out more, call us toll-free at 1 (800) 707-5184 or direct in the UK at +44 (0) 2045 781 580. Alternatively, reach us via email here.