Choosing your expedition vessel
We feature on this website our recommended vessels, which our staff have travelled on or inspected first hand. Some are sleek motor yachts, others a little retro and nostalgic, a few carry sails (occasionally raised but travel is motor-driven). All have deck space for relaxing, private facilities and air-conditioning. Service from guides and crew is always excellent, friendly and welcoming. Make your choice according to your personal priorities.
Larger vessels (around 100 guests maximum) will be relatively stable; offer a choice of several cabin standards, amenities (libraries, gourmet dining, Jacuzzis), generous-sized public areas, and – with several multi-lingual specialist guides - a choice of guided activities and excursions. Mealtimes are never formal but there may be a greater choice of food options than on smaller craft. Top end vessels have a high level of personal service.
Medium-sized craft (around 40 guests) combine the advantages of larger vessels – stability and amenities – with the more intimate ambiance of small vessels, while offering more a bit more privacy than the latter.
Smaller craft (16 guests or fewer) can offer a more intimate and nautical experience where you can mingle at ease with all the other guests. The level of comfort may be as great as on larger ships – it depends on its grade. You’ll get to know your guide (there may be only one or two) and crew well: they may well become friends.
Compare the boats in Journey Latin America's fleet of expedition vessels operating Galápagos cruises. They accommodate between 14 and 100 guests.
Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better: there are first class and mid-range options of both large and smaller craft.
Economically priced vessels tend to be smaller. All offer excellent service and good facilities for their grade.