Galapagos Activities | < 1 MIN READ

The Beauty of an Intimate Galapagos Vacation 

User Avatar Written by: Nathalie Moeller
Marine iguanas spotted at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island.

The Extra Space Makes All the Difference

Not many people like the feeling of being cramped in a small space. Even less when they’re on vacation and they want to have space to let their minds run free and let their bodies relax. When it comes to travelling, space is a determining factor that can greatly affect how much you enjoy a place or a situation. Some circumstances are beyond our control. Planes, for example, make us feel like sardines cramped in a can and sometimes even push us beyond our acrobatic abilities to try and stretch our legs just a tiny bit. However, when planning your vacation to the Galapagos there are numerous factors that you can keep under your control and these are factors we recommend you always use to your advantage. Case in point: boat space.

Breaking Misconceptions

At first thought, it might make logical sense to go with a single-guided ship with capacity for 16 passengers if what you are looking for on your Galapagos vacation is intimacy. But the reality in the Galapagos is the exact opposite. In the Galapagos Islands, National Park regulations limit group sizes to 16 people per guide. This means that many small vessels will only take the maximum of one group of 16 people on board and hire just one guide. This not only limits the number of activities guests can participate in simultaneously, but makes explanations take longer as well (if they need to be translated into several languages back-to-back). As is also regulated by the National Park, all activities at visitor sites must be supervised by a guide at all times. So if you want to go snorkelling, but other people in the group want to go kayaking, one of you will have to wait until the other is done before going ahead with your desired activity.

Choose the Santa Cruz II for an intimate Galapagos vacation

Choose the Santa Cruz II for an intimate Galapagos vacation

Intimacy: The True Meaning of Luxury

Single-guided boats are small vessels, and even though 16 people might seem like an easy to handle group of people, the actual feeling is much more akin to feeling cramped. The amount of space a person can enjoy aboard a vessel is measured as the Guest Space Ratio or GSR. This measurement was designed by the cruise industry to show how much space each individual guest has on any boat. This number can therefore be compared easily from ship to ship. To get this ratio, the ship’s gross tonnage is divided by the total guest capacity. To give you an idea on how to interpret GSR, anything above 20 is considered comfortable. With this in mind, it is easy to see on which sort of vessel you are going to find more space – and therefore more intimacy. For example, a single-guided boat has an approximate GSR of 14. An expedition vessel or yacht, has an average GSR of 28.

According to the dictionary, one of the many beautiful meanings of intimacy is “the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar.” In other words, intimacy is the feeling of having space to unwind, to be alone with your thoughts, to have a quiet moment with a loved one, to read a book or just enjoy the sunset. That is what luxury really is. And aboard the Santa Cruz II cruise, that is exactly what you will get.

Watch this video on 3 Main Tips that will come in handy when planning your Galapagos vacation!