Snorkeling in the Galapagos is a major highlight of any cruise. The islands are home to some of the most amazing marine life you can ever find anywhere on earth.
There are over 25 species of sea turtles, 5 species of penguins, and 6 different types of seals, not to mention countless fish and mollusks.
If you’re looking for a snorkeling cruise in the Galapagos or thinking about what type of cruise will give you maximum snorkeling opportunities.
Then there are a few things you should bear in mind. To find out more about the best Galapagos cruise for snorkeling and how to get the best experience from your trip, continue reading!
What Is Snorkeling?
Snorkeling is an aquatic activity where you can swim along the surface while breathing through a snorkel.
You then use the snorkel as an extension of your upper body while letting your fins do most of the work for you!
The name ‘snorkeling’ comes from the German word Schnorchel (meaning a tube or pipe) and the French word sous-marine (meaning underwater).
So basically, it’s just like swimming – except you use a tube for breathing instead of using your mouth!
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Galapagos Cruise for Snorkeling
There are certain factors to consider before you choose your Galapagos cruise for snorkeling. They include:
1. Cruise Length:
Some tours are longer than others, and you should make sure that you check which ones give you the most time for snorkeling.
2. Typical Time Spent At Sea:
Check how much time will be spent at sea versus visiting different islands. Make sure to check that there are days reserved for snorkeling so you can hit the water as much as possible!
3. Diving vs. Snorkeling:
It’s essential to check beforehand if there is a day during the tour when snorkeling will occur, as not all diving tours include this activity. Some cruises keep one or two days free for those who would like to dive in different spots, so make sure you do your research – otherwise, you could end up being disappointed!
4. The Duration:
A more extended cruise will allow you more time to explore and snorkel at different spots:
The Best Galapagos Cruise For Snorkeling
Some cruises are better than others when it comes to snorkeling opportunities, but here are some of the very best Galapagos cruises for snorkeling:
Named after an old fishing boat, the Legend of the Condor is a magnificent Galapagos luxury yacht that is one of the best Galapagos cruises for snorkeling.
This traditional sailing vessel boasts two decks and three levels with some spectacular views from every window!
It has been carefully designed to allow passengers to enjoy the unique views while also relaxing in comfort and style.
The Legend of the Condor has a full spectrum snorkel gear available aboard, as well as kayaks, seawater pool, paddleboards, water bikes, and fins.
Since it’s a smaller ship, there will be plenty of time for both diving and snorkeling at different spots within the islands and their surrounding waters.
This is your chance to see all sorts of marine life without getting wet, including sea turtles, penguins, seals, and whales.
This excellent cruise ship has a great itinerary that includes snorkeling the most famous islands in the Galapagos.
Including La Plata (home of blue-footed boobies) and its neighbor to the south – Fernandina (where you can see penguins).
The Santa Cruz II offers some of the best Galapagos cruise itineraries during its 7-day tour, with plenty of time for snorkelers.
Plus, the chance to see a huge range of sea creatures:- sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, and whales are just some of the types of marine life you’ll be able to get up close and personal with.
These cruises are perfect for those who want to experience everything that Galapagos has to offer – plus, it’s great value for money!
Yolita II is one of the best cruises for those who want to experience some of the lesser-known islands in the Galapagos archipelago.
You will likely spend most of your time on land rather than onboard this boat which mainly focuses on islands that were previously off-limits to tourists.
There are no distractions here – just wildlife, lots of marine life, and spectacular scenery. It’s an adventure!
The scuba option on these cruises involves diving in a spot where you can expect to see hammerhead sharks and sea lions! This is most definitely one of the very best snorkeling cruises in the Galapagos.
This is a very well-thought-out cruise that has been designed with families and young children in mind.
There are lots of activities for kids, from craft workshops to quizzes about marine life.
This boat also offers some excellent snorkeling opportunities, including stops at Santa Fe Island (where you can swim with penguins).
You may even get lucky enough to see dolphins while onboard this cruise – as one traveler says, “the dolphins and sea lions were astounding.”
So if you’re looking for a really great experience for the whole family, then this is surely one of the best Galapagos cruises for families.
If you really want to get in touch with nature and be in the heart of all the action, this is definitely the best snorkeling cruise for you!
This cruise offers a special itinerary covering San Cristobal and Floreana Island (this was where Charles Darwin landed).
You will get to see some amazing sights on lands such as lava tunnels and volcanic craters – incredible!
And if that wasn’t enough, then there’s a great chance that you’ll get to swim with sea lions.
On top of all this, it’s an excellent boat for taking pictures (so be sure to bring your camera!)
Where Are The Best Snorkeling Sites In The Galapagos?
The Galapagos Islands are so diverse that there is a lot of variation in the snorkeling experiences you can have around the archipelago. Here are some of the best snorkeling areas :
a) Baltra Island
Where you can see huge schools of fish around Wolf Point;
b) Santa Fe Island
With its sub-tropical water;
c) Fernandina Island
Which allows you to dive with marine iguanas; at Darwin Bay
d) Isla Genovesa
For a great chance to swim with sea lions.
e) Tortuga Bay
You will see hundreds of marine iguanas and other endemic species such as lava lizards). You can even take scuba diving lessons here!
f) Santiago Island
For excellent opportunities for seeing sea lions.
Is It Safe To Go Snorkeling In Galapagos?
It’s actually very safe — in fact, it might be safer than swimming in a freshwater lake at home! However, there are a few things that you should look out for a while you’re here:
- The water can get quite murky if there has been a lot of rain. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it will make it harder to see the beautiful marine life in some of the best Galapagos snorkeling spots.
- You should also avoid swimming if there is any oil spillage – this includes fishing boats or other vessels – Plus, you need to get out of the water if there are many dead fish floating around.
Final Thoughts on a Snorkeling Cruise
Galapagos Islands is most definitely one of the best places for snorkeling. Still, you need to pick the best Galapagos Cruise for snorkeling wisely, or else you could end up finding yourself in a situation where there are no good snorkeling sites around.
So it’s crucial to pick a cruise that will let you swim with sea lions (if that’s what you want) and to avoid cruises whose primary focus is just on land instead of water.