Galapagos Sky

For travelers interested in Galapagos diving tours, this 100-ft, custom, well-equipped SCUBA vessel has been exploring the islands’ world-renowned dive sites including its remote islands since 2001. It accommodates 16 passengers in 4 master staterooms with window views and 4 deluxe cabins with portholes, all air-conditioned with private bathrooms. While aboard guests enjoy a salon, bar, dining room, and large sun decks.Dates: Weekly departures. The Galapagos Sky offers 8 and 11-day cruises... READ MORE >>
Day 1: Arrive Quito or Guayaquil
Day 2: San Cristóbal - Isla Lobos
Day 3: Bartolome - Cousin's Rock
Days 4-6: Wolf & Darwin Islands
Day 7: Isabela (Cape Douglas – Punta Vincente Roca)
Day 8: Pinzon – Santa Cruz (Highlands)
Day 9: San Cristóbal (Interpretation Center) - Quito or Guayaquil
Day 10: Quito or Guayaquil - Home
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Day 1: Arrive Quito or Guayaquil
Day 2: San Cristóbal - Isla Lobos
Day 3: Bartolome - Cousin's Rock
Days 4-6: Wolf & Darwin Islands
Day 7: Isabela (Cape Douglas – Punta Vincente Roca)
Day 8: Pinzon – Santa Cruz (Highlands)
Day 9: San Cristóbal (Interpretation Center) - Quito or Guayaquil
Day 10: Quito or Guayaquil - Home


When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

The great weather of the Galapagos Islands makes them a fantastic destination for travel year-round. Every month of the year is a good time to enjoy a tour of the region. The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate that is almost completely determined by sea currents. Although most believe the Galapagos to be a very hot destination, the cool water currents in the area keep the climate more temperate year-round. The islands’ equatorial location ensures twelve hours of sunlight daily, all year long. The mild variations in weather from month to month result in an overall climate of warm days, cool nights and low humidity. Anytime is a great time to travel to the Galapagos; while visiting one can expect to see plenty of sunshine, blue skies and a possible chance of light rain.

There are two seasons in the Galapagos:

  • The hot or rainy season arrives with the coming of the warm Panama current. The warmest months are December through June with temperatures ranging from 72-90°F (22-32°C), with February and March being the hottest and sunniest. The sea is at its warmest (in the 70°F range) and tends to be calmer during this time. Although the islands receive slightly more rainfall during these months, most of the lower elevations remain quite arid. Expect blue skies and sunshine and with a chance of short afternoon showers.
  • July through November is the dry or garua season, which begins with the arrival of cold ocean currents. One can expect cooler temperatures and a light mist in the morning during these months. The skies are also a bit cloudier and air temperatures a bit cooler, in the range of 60-75°F (15-24°C). The garua is a mist that forms in the highlands, providing moisture and usually tapering off by midday, leaving skies slightly overcast or sunny for the afternoon. The air temperature can be slightly lower, but the Equator is still a warm place to visit. During this time of year a cold ocean current from the south, called the Antarctic Humboldt current, causes the water temperature to drop slightly, ranging from 60°F- 72°F (15-22°C).

Within both seasons, there are other variants, like altitude, that affect the weather.
The lowest point of elevation is sea level and the highest is Wolf Volcano, Isabela Island (5,600ft or 1,710m). There are seven vegetation zones ranging from arid coastal zones to evergreen cloud forests to treeless shrubless pampa zones, all of which are affected by moisture levels, temperature and sunlight. During the garua season, the coast is very dry while the highlands are much wetter. The hot season may or may not have a rainy period which normally lasts four to six weeks, or in the event of El Nino, a longer period. During the hot season, the coastal zones remain arid. Prevailing winds from the southeast keep the southern sides of the major islands much moister then the northern sides, which fall into a rain shadow resulting in the arid zones reaching a much higher elevation. The months of May and December are changeover periods and weather and sea temperatures in these months tend to vary from year to year depending on the change in the water currents. Occasionally, one will feel humidity, predominantly on the south side of major islands. Compared to the humidity levels in the Amazon or the US South, the humidity in the Galapagos is very low and will not disturb activities.

Snorkeling is an activity offered on all Galapagos trips.
Wetsuits, available onboard most cruises and for all land tours, are recommended June through November. Though sea temperatures vary significantly from island to island, generally all travelers will use a wetsuit during this time. Snorkeling in shallow waters offshore or in protective coves tends to be warmer. Waters to the north, near Genovesa are warmed by the Panama Current, whereas snorkeling off the western island of Isabela is always chilly due to the cold Cromwell undercurrent. The Humboldt Current, or the South Equatorial Current, brings cold sub-Antarctic water that flows through the archipelago eight or nine months a year keeping sea temperatures low. One will experience a variance in sea temperatures while snorkeling on any trip during any time of the year. During the hot season, travelers tend to spend more time in the water, especially at midday when the temperatures are the hottest and wildlife is less active. Snorkeling is an optional activity and those who are not interested in snorkeling have other options.

Sea Conditions are a concern of many cruise travelers.
All Galapagos vessels are small; the largest accommodates only 100 passengers. Naturally, some movement will be felt on all vessels regardless of the time of year or the size of the vessel. The seas around the Galapagos are generally shallow and despite being the crossroads of several currents, the waters are not terribly rough. The seas are at their calmest January through April. December, May and June are transitional months during which one will experience relatively calm seas, though it varies year to year depending on the shift in the currents. July through November, one will find choppier seas, with August through October being the roughest. Certain vessels are more stable than others and cabin location can also help avoid seasickness. Most travel is done at night while passengers are sleeping with the only exception being the short midday transit (two hours or less). During the day, vessels dock in calm waters near shore. Passengers spend most of the day on land or snorkeling. These factors lessen the risk of seasickness. We recommend that you bring over-the-counter or prescription motion sickness medication, though many cruisers discover that the seas are much calmer than anticipated. If you are concerned about motion sickness, please contact us for more details on how to select the right vessel for you.


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches



Galapagos Sky Itinerary (Sat - Mon)

Starting at

Galapagos Airfare: $560

Entrance to Galapagos to National Park ($100 Adult / $50 Child)
Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20)

A single supplement applies to single travelers in a private cabin. Surcharge applies for holiday departures. 

Included in tour cost
  • 2 nights' accommodations in Quito or Guayaquil
  • All meals on Galapagos cruise
  • Galapagos cruise
  • Local Quito or Guayaquil representative
  • Naturalist guide while on cruise
  • Up to 4 dives per day
  • Dive master while on yacht
  • Weights & weight belt
  • Wetsuits
  • Hyperbaric chamber fee ($35)
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Domestic airfare to and from Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100 Adult/$50 Child)
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20)
  • Underwater camera equipment rental / souvenir DVD
  • Nitrox certification/completion course - contact us for details
  • Dive Equipment
  • Bar tab on cruise
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

Galapagos Sky Itinerary (Sat - Mon)

Trip Dates
Departs every week. Please contact us for departure dates.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day



Galapagos Sky Cabin Details:
Upper Deck:
Master Cabins (4): convertible beds, picture windows.
Lower Deck:
Deluxe Cabins (4): twin beds, portholes.

Boat Details

L.O.A.: 100 feet.
BEAM: 24 feet.
RANGE: 2400 miles
FUEL CAPACITY: 8,000 gallons.
WATER CAPACITY: 6,000 gallons.
DESALINATOR PRODUCTION: 1500 gallons per day.
NAVIGATIONAL AIDS: VHF and HF-SSB radios, GMDSS, color radar, echo sounder, Furuno GPS

Galapagos Sky Deck Plan (click for enlargement)
galapagos tourOur group planned this trip 18 months in advance. We are a disparate set of personalities, many of us are well-traveled and research our planned activities. Speaking for our group, and I feel comfortable doing so because everyone has written me stating that our Galapagos Trip was the best of their lives. We cannot say enough about the Grace. Every aspect of the trip was well planned and executed. The food and services were excellent. Our rooms were very well maintained at least twice a day. The facilities served our group of 18 perfectly. We especially liked the daily briefings so that we were aware of what was coming, but the map on the wall in the lounge that was updated twice a day made our experience extremely pleasant. The chef and Michelle could not have been nicer. Both in food and drink served, personality and service. The Captain and crew, especially the Panga crew, were so kind and made our trips easy. And they watched out for us when we were in the water. But best of all were our Naturalists. They made the daily experience a real treat. Both Raffa and Sam were also fun to be with. And to top it off, Raffa gave us a copy of all 500 photos he had taken on his own camera so that his photo dates and the daily drawings on the map made it easy for us to reconstruct the trip. Please express our gratitude to the entire staff of the Grace. - Team Binder (Galapagos onboard the Grace)

machu picchu travelWe just returned from our Galapagos/Machu Picchu trip and I wanted to send you a note to thank you for planning such a phenomenal trip for us! Juan, our guide, and Boris, our driver, were FANTASTIC! The bus we traveled on was much larger than we anticipated and a great way to travel around!  We cannot say enough nice things about Juan and Boris! They were flexible with our schedule, providing extra time to us when we wanted it at the market in Pisac, able to provide other options for us when a planned activity had to be cancelled due to a mudslide, and even stopped on the side of the road for us to grab some cuy (guinea pig being roasted on a stick in this tiny town we were passing through). There is so much more I could say. Trip of a lifetime! I will definitely recommend you to everyone! - Debbie Cohen (Ocean Spray & Machu Picchu)

galapagos islandsWe had a great trip - very impressed with Southern Explorations. Jorge, your representative in Quito was super. He was always on time, friendly and informative as well as a great ambassador for his country. All the connections were on time and well planned- would consider another trip with Southern Explorations. - Roger & Pricilla Beaver, Indiana (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon Lodge)

galapagos islandsI researched both local and website travel agents and Southern Explorations was the only one I found that was both knowledgeable and easy to use. Their rates were also at or below the other websites for quotes on the very same vessels. The ability to use the website and also call to speak to actual people who had been on this trip gave us so much more confidence. We would use Southern Explorations again! Galapagos Islands is the trip of a lifetime! - Susan Mehall, Virginia (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands culture

Best trip so far and I have been around the world...I cried when I got off the boat. Jorge was a great guid in Ecuador and one that was perfect for us, not pushy, did anything we wanted. We felt like all were our friends after the trip and really would love to continue to be in touch with them all, as they were super people.  -Kathy Harvey, Massachusetts (Galapagos Island Cruise)

The overall holiday was excellent. The Southern Explorations element was fantastic and the Eclipse could not be faulted, except I ate far too much!  - Natasha Rowlands, UK (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos sea lionA phenomenal experience that exceeded our expectations. Superb customer service from start to finish. The itinerary allowed us to experience a variety of islands, species and geography. The guides were engaging and informative, we learned a tremendous amount without feeling 'taught'. The ship's crew were friendly and fun while insuring top-notch cleanliness and delicious meals and snacks. It is great to come home and think ‘I wouldn't change a thing- it was perfect'.  - Carol Majewski, New Hampshire (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islandsIt’s been about two weeks now since we returned from our wonderful Galapagos adventure. Now that we’ve had time to really reflect upon that wonderful experience we are beginning to realize how truly spectacular and inspirational it was and how much it has enriched our lives and our appreciation thereof. Thus, I am compelled to tell you how much we appreciate your efforts and those of the other fine folks at Southern Explorations including, but not limited to Eric, Justin and Jorge (Quito Rep.). You and your colleagues at Southern Explorations demonstrated your commitment to insuring your customer’s having a well-organized, informative and most enjoyable adventure. I especially appreciate your and your colleagues’ rapid response to our group’s questions and requests during the planning stages of our trip. During that time we made several inquiries about the itinerary, craft, clothing, and onshore accommodations. Without exception, you folks responded, in detail, within 24 hours of each inquiry.I know that you receive evaluations from all your clients and cannot imagine that the vast majority of them are of a most positive nature. Likewise, we returned our original evaluation which reflected our enjoyment of the Galapagos adventure and the excellent service you and Southern Explorations provided to make it happen. However, now that we had more time to truly reflect upon our experience and compare notes with many of our friends about similar experiences, we just want to extend our special thanks to you for an outstanding experience that will make each sunrise a little brighter and each sunset something more to contemplate. Gracias!  - Charlie and Joyce Ault, New Mexico (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands travelOur experience with Southern Explorations has been nothing short of fantastic. My husband and I believe this to be the BEST vacation we have ever taken. The crew of the Athalla II was phenomenal. We were not sure what to expect since this was our first small boat cruise. We are thrilled with all that we saw and accomplished. Our vacation was amazing thanks to you, our Quito guide, the Athala II, her wonderful crew and our Galapagos guide/naturalist.  - Cindy Miller, Maryland (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands travelOur trip to Quito and the Galapagos Islands was the trip of a lifetime and it did not disappoint. Booking through Southern Explorations made it very easy and worry free. It was nice to have someone to pick us up at the airport and drive us to our hotel (I fear we never would have found it!) and to be there for all of our transfers to and from tours and flights. The Galapagos Islands adventure is worth every penny that you have to save to make it happen and if you are a nature lover, you simply must go. - Darcy and Daniel Keep, USA (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos sea lionI don't believe I've ever felt so taken care of...every step of the way. It was an incredible experience. I highly recommend Southern Explorations and plan to use them for my next excursion...wherever that may be!  -Jan McArdle, California (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands travelMy husband and I would like to say how much we enjoyed our family holiday to the Galapagos , and thank you for making all the arrangements for 18 of us. We had an unforgettable experience thanks to Southern Explorations!  - Mary and Tim Stoneman (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos tortoisesOur trip to the Galapagos was more amazing than I could have imagined. The boat, Nemo II, was the perfect size for our family -- and much better than one of the larger ships. My daughter (age 10) loved being on a catamaran - and the crew was very friendly and welcoming to her. The rooms were comfortable and clean with nice bathrooms. We went walking and snorkeling every day - usually two hikes and one snorkel. Our guide was excellent - very knowledgeable and well-spoken. She showed a great deal of pride in the islands and in conservation efforts. My daughter learned more in 1-day than she would have from all 6 days of school that she missed. It was a great trip!  - Molly Stevens and Family (Galapagos Island Cruise)


galapagos tortoiseThank-you for the trip of a life time and I have already recommended you to everyone who asks!  - Wendy Williams, Alberta, Canada (Galapagos Island Cruise & Machu Picchu)

galapagos islands travelSouthern Explorations was great to work with. Customer service and follow up were outstanding.  - Amy Fisher & Deborah Boardman, Virginia (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands tourIt's one thing to have a great experience planning and booking the trip - Carrie Beck answered every question gently, helpfully and thoroughly, even providing website links and additional helpful advice beyond my original question. It's another to receive such warm and inspiring follow up - we received a welcome packet with 2 Southern Exploration caps, advice on packing and restaurants in the areas we would visit, as well as websites for the sites during our trip. We were totally prepared for each aspect of the trip. Each person we encountered on the trip surpassed our expectations of service, knowledge, friendliness, and flexibility. Not a single person said "That's not my job." - every single person from the driver who picked us up at the airport to the captain of the Anahi boat pitched in where needed. Each hotel experience was a higher level than we had expected, every restaurant referral was fabulous, even the weather during our stay was wonderful!!! Now THAT'S a great travel company!!!  - Pamela Chaves, New Mexico (Galapagos Island Cruise)

What an incredible experience! From Quito, Ecuador to the cloud forest of Bellavista and on to the Galapagos Islands: Southern Explorations pulled together an amazing package that included a top-notch boat, excellent guides, and delicious food! And of course, we'll never forget the fantastic wildlife.  All in all, it was the best - the trip of a lifetime! For our next trip to Central or South America, we would definitely work with Southern Explorations again! - Aimee and Michael Cossen (Galapagos Eclipse and Bellavista Cloud Forest)

I was very impressed with the organization of our trip.  Everything Southern Explorations was responsible for went smoothly and everything was on schedule.  The Manatee on the Amazon had some initial trouble but it could not have been known or anticipated by SE.  Once again I would like to compliment Jorge on his work.  He made our comings and goings to and from Quito very easy.  If I go to South America again my first call will be to Southern Explorations. Thank you. - Peter Tuck, CA (Corals & Manatee)

Galapagos Islands - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: The Galapagos is an incredible destination, so no matter which islands or visitor sites you see, you will be impressed by the abundance of wildlife and unique landscapes. In general, we encourage people not to worry about the specific islands they are visiting unless they have a certain species that they must see, such as penguins or albatross. However, we realize that this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so if you want to know more, please look here, or contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator for more details.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! While cruise itineraries are set by the Galapagos National Park, we can add extra days in the Galapagos or extensions in mainland Ecuador. Contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator for recommendations.
Q: When is the best time to go to the Galapagos?
A: With abundant wildlife and pleasant weather year-round, there isn’t a bad time to go to the Galapagos. You can find a wider selection of trip options by avoiding the winter holidays, spring break and the summer months when most people are free to travel and plan vacations.
Q: What is the weather like in the Galapagos?
A: The Galapagos has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to high 80s throughout the year. There are two seasons caused by different prevailing ocean currents. The warmer, wetter season runs from December to May, and a cooler, dryer season takes over from June – November. Even in the wet season, rain is generally confined to brief afternoon showers and shouldn’t disrupt your trip. You can find more information about what to expect under the ‘Weather’ tab on each Galapagos trip.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to the Galapagos?
A: While your days in the islands are full, Galapagos cruises are not particularly strenuous. As long as you are able to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace and are able to navigate uneven terrain, you will be able to enjoy the Galapagos. Please check the physical ratings on our trip pages for more information.
Q: How much time do I need to visit the Galapagos?
A: Due to the amount time it takes to get to the Galapagos, we recommend our travelers plan for at least five days in the islands, with eight days being ideal. Cruises run from four to eight days in length with extended 15-day cruises available for travelers who would like to see the entire archipelago. You must arrive in Ecuador at least one day prior to your cruise in order to catch your Galapagos flight.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: The Galapagos Islands are relatively busy year-round and cruises frequently sell out. As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. For the best selection of cruises, plan at least six to nine months in advance, and a year or more ahead  if you plan to travel over the Christmas holiday season or May through July.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies. Please note that each cruise has its own cancellation policy in addition to our own. This will be detailed in your itinerary.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: All guides on Galapagos cruises are freelance and hired directly by the vessels. Guides on any of the cruises we offer are  experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related area. Cruises that are mid-range or above will have the best guides possible. Our more economic options also have great guides, but they may have a little less experience, or basic English skills. Please note, many of the best guides in the Galapagos now choose to skip formal certification process that define the level of each guide because of the high costs and the time it demands. Because of this, the designations of Level I, II, III are no longer an accurate indicator of the quality of your guide.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We offer a range of accommodation levels in the Galapagos. Our most economical cruise options are similar to a three-star hotel. The cabins may be small and basic, but the vessels are still clean and comfortable. Our mid-range cruises are like a four-star hotel with larger cabins, generally with larger windows and more common spaces throughout the vessel. Luxury cruises are similar to a five star hotel. These come with much larger cabins and extra amenities such as private balconies. Hotel accommodations in mainland Ecuador are set to match the cruise level that you book.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Travelers are responsible for their own international airfare. Internal flights, including Galapagos flights, are quoted separately from our base trip costs. We include your Galapagos airfare in your quote.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Your tour size depends on the size of the vessel you choose. Cruises in the Galapagos carry between 12 and 100 passengers, but the majority of the vessels we offer accommodate 16 passengers. There are never more than 16 passengers to one naturalist guide. All Quito services and additional tours are private with a guide and vehicle just for your group.
Q: What are the benefits of a cruise over a land-based itinerary?
A: Both options allow for great wildlife viewing opportunities on land and underwater, and a chance to see a variety of landscapes. Live-aboard cruises allow you to visit the uninhabited outlying islands, which land tours don’t visit, and to see more islands throughout your trip.
Q: Can I snorkel, kayak or scuba dive during my cruise?
A: Snorkeling will be included almost every day on all Galapagos cruises. Kayaking is only permitted in certain areas, as mandated by the Galapagos National Park. Many cruises have kayaks on board, but not all do. Be sure to check with your Adventure Travel Coordinator if this is a priority for you. Diving is only available on live-aboard, dive-intensive cruises. If you would like to add scuba diving to a naturalist cruise, we can add on land-based dive tours before or afterwards.
Q: What if I get seasick?
A: Most people worry about motion sickness beforehand and then are fine once on the trip. However, you are on a boat and will feel some motion regardless of which type of vessel you are on. We recommend that all passengers who are prone to motion sickness consult their doctors to obtain preventative medication best suited to their individual needs. As long as you are prepared, you will be fine.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.