Single travellers on Galapagos cruise ships: Which ships are best?
When it comes to luxury holiday destinations, the Galapagos Islands have got it all. Located 1,000km from the Ecuadorian mainland, this idyllic archipelago of islands is brimming with interesting volcanic geology, rich flora and fauna that will delight nature lovers – and most importantly, the incredible wildlife that people flock from around the world to see.
From playful sealions to elegant albatrosses and a variety of colourful birds, the sightings you’ll experience here are something you’re never likely to forget, and scientists are still baffled by how such a remote group of islands could have become home to such a wide diversity of species. With pleasant weather all year round, any time is a good one to visit the Galapagos Islands, whether you’re travelling alone, or with family and friends.
One of the best ways to see the islands in all their glory is by cruise ship, allowing you to visit not just one, but up to 13 major islands. And whilst cruises may traditionally be viewed as a couples’ getaway, these days, things have changed.
Cruise company Galapatours.com, which offers a range of luxury travel options, promises a truly memorable experience for all types of adventurer, and here, they have handpicked their top six cruise ships for single travellers.
Santa Cruz II
The luxurious Santa Cruz II is a purpose-built vessel that is perfect for adventurous travel to remote destinations – especially the Galapagos Islands. Offering all the comfort and modern sophistication you could wish for from a cruise ship, contemporary décor is heavily influenced by Scandinavian design, and foodies can enjoy a range of fine dining options where food is an experience – not just a fuel. Menus feature seasonal and locally sourced ingredients that are brimming with incredible flavours, and it’s all overseen by dedicated Director of Gastronomy, Byron Rivera.
With two lavish bars in which to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and a thoroughly relaxing solarium to unwind at after a long day’s exploring, there’s plenty to keep guests occupied on board. With only fifty cabins spread over five decks and a 3:2 cabin ratio, travel on the Santa Cruz II comes with a more personal feel, and with two single cabins available as well as double cabins for only a 15% single supplement fee – the cheapest single cabin rate of all the Galapatours ships.
The first class Coral I is a modern elegant and classically charming mega yacht with 18 double exterior cabins to accommodate a maximum of 36 passengers, providing an intimate small-scale adventure itinerary with the outstanding features of a luxury cruise.
Often twinned with the equally luxurious Coral II, the Coral I is stylishly decorated throughout, with panoramic windows offering breathtaking views of the sea and the natural beauty of the surrounding islands. Offering cosy, fully-equipped en suite cabins and relaxing communal areas, the piece de resistance is an elegant bar that is well stocked with local beers, the finest South American wines and premium spirits – as well as a selection of cocktails.
Fine dining once again plays a central role in any stay on the ship, with impeccably trained chefs serving up a diverse and exciting range of local and international cuisine in a more relaxed buffet style. An outdoor barbecue station on the sundeck means dining al fresco is also a regular feature – and what more could you want with such a stunning backdrop to admire as you eat?
Offering an intimate experience that is perfect for the single traveller, the Coral I comes complete with one single cabin, which is available with no additional single supplement fee, as well as offering double cabins as singles for a 50% single supplement fee.
A spectacular purpose built vessel standing at 300 feet long, any cruise aboard the Legend offers an expert combination of luxury on-board amenities and an intimate and personal glimpse into the breathtaking habitats of the Galapagos Islands. Refurbished to the highest of standards in 2017, the Legend offers some of the best facilities you’ll find on any ship in the region, including both indoor and outdoor bars, a swimming pool and sundecks, a well-equipped gym, and even some hammocks and a jacuzzi.Providing the perfect setting in which to lie back, relax, and watch the sealife around you, it’s a truly special way to experience the Galapagos Islands.
Once again, single travellers are well catered for, offering several single cabins with no supplement fee (only Standard and Standard Plus).
The Ocean Spray was built in 2011, and this mega-catamaran is one of the fastest boats in the region. As well as ensuring you get maximum time exploring the islands, the Ocean Spray boasts some of the most experienced crew you can get – not to mention some of the most impressive suites you’ll find on any of the ships.
Every guest gets their own private balcony, with enormous windows offering showstopping panoramic views of the ocean. Lavish en suite bathrooms and bed linens and beautiful wood finishes throughout are the smaller touches that combine to give an all-round luxurious feel. Add to that the huge sundeck which comes complete with jacuzzi tub and a stunning, ambient lounge and you have a level of comfort that puts many luxury hotels to shame.
Offering a huge bonus for solo travellers, the Ocean Spray has its own single cabin – number 10 – which is available with no single supplement fee.
A traditional first class motor yacht, the Odyssey was completely refurbished back in 2014, becoming a modern and stylish vessel on which to sail the seas. Boasting spacious cabins that feature individual air-conditioning and plenty of storage space for belongings, spacious bathrooms with shower cabins, and picture windows in each cabin give you stunning views of the Galapagos, it has everything you could need for a comfortable luxury stay.
Outdoors, the space is plentiful, with plenty of areas to relax, unwind and soak up the sunshine while on board. Sip a cocktail on the sundeck or submerge yourself in the jacuzzi tub – on the Odyssey, relaxation is just as important as adventure.
Meals are cooked using fresh, local ingredients and are enjoyed together with fellow guests in the ambient indoor and outdoor dining areas, giving you the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation and potentially meet some new travel companions.
A highly experienced crew of 9 will attend to your every need throughout your stay, ensuring it is a truly memorable one. Guests can choose from a range of naturalist itineraries, with each offers at least 2 excursions per day, and best of all, single travellers can cosy up in The Odyssey’s single cabin with no additional supplement fee.
One of the newest ships currently cruising the Galapagos, the Petrel is a motor catamaran that promises to redefine luxury. With state of the art equipment throughout, private accommodation sets a new standard for the Galapagos island, and all rooms feature private balconies and high-quality, carefully selected furnishings to add to that opulent feel.
The star of any stay on the Petrel is undoubtedly the food and drink, with chefs Adrian and David treating guests to a mouth-watering array of dishes, morning, noon and night. From Mediterranean cuisine to Ecuadorian favourites, there’s something to suit all tastes, and popular dishes such as lobster and ceviche are regular features.
For relaxation and entertainment, head to the fitness area or library, and a beautiful dining, or hang out on the beautiful upper-deck sun terrace, which features a jacuzzi and a fully stocked bar.
Despite its luxurious feel, the ambience aboard Petrel is friendly and relaxed – the perfect place to meet new people while on your solo voyage. The crew are always on hand to help you arrange excursions or wildlife adventures, and are a huge part of what makes any experience on the Petrel an unequivocally special one. If you’re a single guest, then ask for cabin 9, which is available at no single supplement fee.
Whichever vessel you choose to travel on, you’re sure to have the trip of a lifetime in the Galapagos Islands – so don’t let flying solo stop you from making memories that will last a lifetime.