With a region as varied as South America, it's hard to know where to begin. Amazon River cruises bring you close to the rainforest and the indigenous people who live there. The Galapagos Islands off of Ecuador are a must-do for outdoor lovers; add a trek to Machu Picchu before or after. And finally, a Round-the-Horn cruise takes passengers from Brazil south to the tip of Argentina before exploring the fjords of Chile.
The Galapagos is one of the world's premier cruise destinations. Filled with exciting flora and diverse species of all kinds, the Galapagos Islands are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and were the basis of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution that arose from his own visit in 1835. Galapagos cruise prices are higher than many other cruise destinations. Galapagos cruise ships are limited to just 100 passengers, and many Galapagos cruise lines are in a situation where demand outstrips supply, by far. Complicating matters is the fact that getting to the Galapagos is no easy task. Due to the timing of domestic flights between the islands and the mainland, travelers can expect to have to overnight in Quito or Guayaquil pre- and post-cruise before boarding a charter flight to either Baltra or San Cristobal Island. So, how much does a Galapagos vacation cost? Prices vary depending on your style of travel but tend to start just under $5,000 per couple for a quick cruise and $15,000 or $20,000 per couple for those who want a taste of the good life. While international flights are an extra cost, many cruise lines roll the flights from the Ecuadorian mainland to the Galapagos Island into the cost of the cruise itself. Here are three basic pricing levels for cruises to the Galapagos, along with details on what to expect onboard: