Planning a vacation is an exciting endeavor. Everyone travels differently, and depending on where you are in life, the type of vacation you choose is essential to having a great time. Cruises have long been a favorite for all types of people—but especially for those who want a “traveling hotel.” Cruises also work well for people who want a more planned itinerary with options of things to do as well as meals.
According to a study conducted by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), in 2015, the Caribbean was the world’s top destination. Today, the Caribbean is still a top spot, and for a good reason—but is it really the best spot to cruise?
What Interests You?
It’s easy to get enticed by beautiful ads featuring white sands and azure water. However, is it really what you want out of your vacation? While it’s true that a Caribbean cruise has plenty of sights and opportunities onboard for entertainment, the question becomes: is it really what you’re looking for?
Personal interests should play a huge factor in deciding a cruise destination. If you simply crave poolside lounging, nightly feasts and touristy attractions, the Caribbean is a valid contender. However, If you’re nature-driven and looking for a one-of-a-kind destination filled with unique adventures, a place like the Galapagos Islands may be the winner for you.
The bottom line when you’re looking for a cruise is this: to compare and contrast what you’ll be able to experience with each, and decide from there.
The Caribbean vs. the Galapagos Islands
Both the Caribbean and Galapagos Islands make cruising enjoyable. Both offer stunning scenery and water and sand. That’s where the resemblance begins to wane.
First off, the Galapagos are located in the Pacific Ocean, while the Caribbean Islands are in the Atlantic. Second, their indigenous populations couldn’t be more different. To get the full scope though, you have to look at what each cruise offers you.
Season and weather: One large draw for many to Caribbean cruises is the weather. A good portion of cruisers are looking to soak up some rays during winter. Because Caribbean cruises typically take place between December and May to avoid storm season or overly hot weather, it’s ideal for those looking to escape winter in their own hometowns.
While the Galapagos has peak tourist seasons between December to January and June to November, it is visited year round. The dry season is June through November, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the wet season, particularly March and April, which offers its own advantages, like breeding season and babies, and blooming color.
Sights: The Caribbean will feature many sights, like old cities, people, and large expanses of beaches and water. You’ll see the typical sea creatures, birds and many shops and markets.
The Galapagos are far more removed from the bustle of people. Instead, the Galapagos will give visitors a breathtaking display of nature, which includes marine life, complex ecosystems and unique land animals. In fact, a look at Galapagos facts will tell you why the islands are thought of as a living laboratory.
Activities: Caribbean cruises focus on beaches. Days at the beach with a stroll through the market, and sometimes, excursions like visiting historical sites or snorkeling and diving.
Galapagos cruises are going to be far more excursion-oriented, with days filled with unique flora and fauna, animal preserves, diving, hiking and more. You’ll have the time to absorb incredible information about the area, and what makes this volcanic archipelago so rare and special.
The Experience: One of the most marked differences between Caribbean and Galapagos cruises is the experience. The Caribbean is a cookie-cutter solution, where your main source of vacationing is on the ship itself and not the actual destination.
Contrarily, in the Galapagos, it’s not about the ship at all – it’s about the experience of the islands. Each one has unique formations and vegetation that make traveling to each a new experience in and of itself.
The Benefits of Cruising Smaller in a Unique Destination
There are trips people deem a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, and Galapagos cruises offer exactly that. When camaraderie with your shipmates is possible and immersing yourself into a rich and vibrant area is the focus of your trip, you’ll find that it will create a lasting memory that’s frequently revisited. Caribbean cruises have their place, especially if all you want is sun and relaxation. However, a Galapagos cruise will leave an indelible mark from one of the world’s most fascinating places.