Sea lions, iguanas and tortoises – oh my!
Visiting the Galapagos Islands is very high up on the bucket list for most travellers. If you love island hopping and spotting wildlife, you've probably dreamt of one day visiting these incredible volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The ideal way to explore the Galapagos Islands is aboard one of the many excellent gay cruises on offer. Not only is exploring these unique islands with a like-minded fabulous bunch of gays heaps of fun, but it also allows you to visit the more remote islands, thereby getting a deeper experience.
We've led our own branded Nomadic Boys cruise to the Galapagos with Ishpingo Tours – a local gay-owned/operated tour company based in Quito. In addition, there are several other gay cruises to the Galapagos to choose from, whether it's a large group leaving on a fixed date, or aboard a private gay charter. In this article, we've rounded them all up so you can choose the best one for you.
What we cover in this guide
Out Adventures Galapagos Gay Cruise
14 – 23 November 2020
The cruise at a glance
- Prices start from $8,195
- Dates: 14-23 November 2020
- Luxury private yacht with max. 16 passengers
- Ideal for intimate luxury with all gay travellers
Out Adventures is one of the best gay tour companies out there that organises exclusive trips for LGBTQ travellers.
They provide a luxury cruise around the Galapagos Islands aboard their private yacht, The Grand Queen Beatriz, and oh boy she sure is absolutely grand!
Amenities include sundecks, a hot tub, bar and very spacious bedrooms, some with private balconies.
You'll spend seven nights onboard the yacht as well as two nights in a lovely four-star hotel in Quito at the beginning and end of the trip. Quito is the second-highest city in the world -with an altitude of 2,850m. Looming above the city is the Pinchina volcano! The ever-felt presence of the landmark casts the city in a gothic-like shadow. But, fear not! It will likely not explode during your visit there. In fact, the last eruption was in 1660…so the only heat you'll have to fear is the catty gossip you and your fellow LGBTQ travellers will indulge in during a cocktail brunch.
With seven full days of action-packed cruising, you'll get to see many remote islands, with lots of opportunities for hiking on each one and water sports – including kayaking and snorkelling. For us, the highlight will always be playing with the incredibly cute sea-lion pups in the water! The creatures absolutely stole our hearts and had us racing to Google search on how to adopt one for ourselves!
The whole yacht is outfitted with sleek polished wood and looks oh so glamorous! The indoor dining room is where you'll be provided all your meals onboard. This is also where you can hang out with everyone over a few cocktails to mull over the day's events and be prepped about what to expect for the next day's adventures.
Some of the highlights during this fabulous cruise are: swimming through Pinnacle Rock – one of the most iconic natural landscapes in the region. It looks like a lion's tooth dangling off the edge of the cliff! You will also adore the Black Turtle Cove, though you'll have to be careful withy our movements so as not to scare away any creatures.
Out Adventures is offering our readers an exclusive discount of $150 valid for their gay cruise to the Galapagos.
HE Travel Galapagos Islands Gay Cruise
6 – 12 June 2020
The cruise at a glance
- Prices start from $6,298
- Dates: 6-12 June 2020
- Luxury private yacht with max. 40 guests
- Ideal for luxury with plenty of amenities
HE Travel is another excellent gay travel company that runs some of the best adventure gay group tours around the world, including a luxury gay cruise to the Galapagos.
This particular gay group cruise is not as exclusive as the Out Adventure's cruise because it takes place as part of a larger cruise, so whilst you'll be travelling with your gay group, you'll also have other (non-gay!) passengers on board. However, the cruise takes place on the luxurious Isabella II Yacht, which still offers an intimate experience.
The Isabella II features three different decks. The sundeck includes a hot tub and alfresco bar for enjoying those incredible sunsets. As well as the cabins, there's a separate saloon below decks, a boutique/gift shop and an elegant dining room. There's even a small fitness area on the sundeck, so you can keep those pecs in shape ready for your next beach shot!
Of course, you'll also be spending plenty of time off the ship while you explore the different islands on foot and in the water snorkelling. The Isabella II has a small glass-bottomed boat which is ideal for those who aren't so keen on snorkelling in the refreshing waters of the Pacific Ocean!
Visit parts of the world that are virtually uninhabited by humans! This gives you the chance to spot animals you would never see anywhere else. Our highlight has to be Las Bachas / Santa Cruz island! All kinds of birds can be found here, from flamingos to stilts, it is practically a bird-lovers paradise!
He Travel is offering our readers an exclusive 5% discount valid for their gay cruise to the Galapagos.
Ishpingo Tours Galapagos Cruises
The cruise at a glance
- Prices start from $1,500
- Dates depend on which cruise you choose
- Choices of luxury yachts, catamarans or sailing ships
- Ideal for adventurous gay travellers
Now this entry is a little different so you might need to pay attention!
Ishpingo Tours are the LGBTQ exclusive offshoot of Andando Tours, who offer a variety of cruises in the Galapagos. You can either book a “normal” cruise on one of their luxury yachts, or you can hire a private charter for your own exclusive use.
Obviously, if you decide to organise an exclusive gay charter cruise yourself, you will need to be able to find other travellers to join you, which is what we did for our own Nomadic Boys luxury gay cruise in the Galapagos. Otherwise, Ishpingo will be able to guide you with alternative options.
If you do decide to cruise the Galapagos with Ishpingo, just know that you'll be sailing on the Passion. This is one super sexy luxury yacht with a 2:1 staff to client ratio! There are only 6 rooms available for a maximum of 12 guests. Service on board is first class. We felt like the true Queens of the Sea and loved every minute! The bonus? As well as a sundeck, plush lounge and well-stocked bar, there is a Jacuzzi…we'd happily go back aboard the Passion in a heartbeat!
Ishpingo Tours is offering our readers an exclusive 5% discount valid for their all their cruises to the Galapagos.
Ecuador Nomadic Galapagos Cruises
The cruise at a glance
- Prices start from: $2,600
- Dates vary so check their website
- A variety of luxury catamarans and yachts
- Ideal for luxury on a mix of budgets
Ecuador Nomadic offers exclusive luxury gay cruises in the Galapagos, which you can charter.
Proud members of IGLTA, Ecuador Nomadic strive to be inclusive of all travellers, so even if you don't want to charter a private gay cruise you can also join any of their other charters with the confidence you'll be travelling with a very gay friendly company.
The more expensive cruises take place on the bigger luxury cruise ships. While there'll be more guests travelling with you compared to the more intimate yachts we've listed in this article, this does, however, mean you'll have more amenities available to you including several bars, a large sundeck with Jacuzzi and even a fitness area. Ka-ching!
Even though this option is a more affordable one, the cabins are still very spacious cabins. Every room has a fantastic view so you are guaranteed a stunning view every morning! Enjoy the sunrise at sea, or fall asleep to the deep ocean red, as the sun slips behind the waters! It is the definition of romance.
All of Ecuador Nomadic's Galapagos cruises offer plenty of opportunities to explore the islands on foot, as well as snorkelling. The groups always have at least one guide/naturalist to lead you through each island and help you get right up close to the native sea lions, lizards and other wonderful wildlife
Each cruise thrusts you in the midst of each island's unique culture. See the wildlife, breathe in the island air and explore nature; you'll experience a magical part of the world you never knew existed.
Ecuador Nomadic is offering our readers an exclusive 5% discount valid for their all their gay chartered cruises to the Galapagos.
Intrepid Travel Galapagos Islands Tours
January 2020 and continuing every month
The cruise at a glance
- Prices start from $1,845
- Dates vary, but there are departures every month
- Small and intimate or larger luxury yacht
- Ideal for young and budget gay travellers
Intrepid is a small-group travel company that gets off the beaten path, makes efforts to be sustainable and prioritises working with local communities.
They're also super gay friendly, with many articles on their blog written by fellow LGBTQ travellers about their experiences travelling on Intrepid's group tours. They currently have some great last-minute deals for cruises leaving soon, which is perfect if you're flexible with your dates.
Their cruises are also a great choice for young gay travellers, as well as those who don't want to spend quite as much as the other choices we've mentioned. You can choose from a variety of cruise lengths, depending on your budget and how many islands you want to visit.
We particularly recommend their cruises that take place on the ship called Daphne because you'll be travelling with a small group of maximum 16 passengers but still have a spacious sundeck for relaxing. They also provide the equipment to take you hiking and snorkelling all over the islands.
This is the best way to explore parts of the world that have gone untouched by man. Over 300 animal species can be found around these islands. Choose between swimming with sealions or having a stroll with penguins. Either way, it is an experience you will likely have not had before.
For more inspiration:
- Be sure to check out this excellent packing list for a cruise, which we advise checking out when planning your trip
- If you like to cruise au naturel, check out the best gay nude cruises to go on
- Read this if you're trying to decide how to experience the Amazon
- While you're exploring the Galapagos, don't miss out on more awesome things you can do in Ecuador
- Find out what it's like to grow up gay in Ecuador in our interview with local boy Mario
- Read about these famous foods you need to try while you're in Ecuador as well
- For further travels, check out the most gay friendly cities in Latin America
- These are also our favourite travel highlights from South America as a whole
- And check out these most gay friendly countries in the whole world