What are the differences between a cruise and a hotel-based tour?
Cruise: Pick a cruise if you are serious about seeing the variety the Galapagos has to offer, and you want to experience the outer, more remote islands. Most cruises offer very impressive itineraries, and because most of the sailing takes place at night you are able to spend much more time visiting the islands and doing activities during the day than on any land-based day trip.
On a cruise, a naturalist guide leads all of your tours and an experienced crew attends to your needs onboard, including the provision of great international cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As well as providing a place to relax on deck and enjoy the sunset with a cocktail, most cruises also offer evening presentations about conservation, cultural history, or other important Galapagos information.
Hotel-based tour: Because they are more limited in scope, these tend to be a bit more affordable (allow about $250-$300 for a one-day excursion) and are definitely better suited to people that are prone to sea sickness or who have more limited mobility (however, most modern cruise boats can accommodate people with minor disabilities or additional needs - contact us to discuss your requirements). Most people choose a land-based tour either because they left it too late to book their cruise of choice, or because of budget considerations.