Galápagos Islands Floreana Cruise


Jumpsuit: Colombia (borrowed); Belt: Colombia (borrowed); Earrings: Etsy; Sunglasses: Prada

Good morning from the Galápagos Islands aboard the Floreana Yacht! I am so excited to begin sharing about our eight days in the Galápagos Islands (but if you want to skip ahead, here are my posts specifically on the islands!). But before I jump into the actual islands, I want to tell you about how we enjoyed Galápagos.

Upon arriving at the Baltra airport in Galápagos, Ryan and I knew we still had a long journey ahead of us until we reached our final destination, Puerto Ayora. The Baltra airport is located on a small island north of the Santa Cruz Island. Here is how to get to Puerto Ayora:

1: Short bus ride from airport to dock (free), about 10 minutes

2: Quick water taxi ride across the canal ($1), about 5 minutes

3. Long bus ride ($2), about 1:15 hour (since we are trying to stay on a budget, our easiest way to save has been taking public transit) or taxi ride ($15-20), about 40 minutes

We chose to begin our Galápagos journey in Puerto Ayora because from what we had read, most of the cruises leave out of this port. We also knew we wanted to do a cruise, but did not want to pay the sticker price. Eight day cruises can run as high as $15k! Not joking. So, we planned to give ourselves ten days in Galápagos, allowing for time to negotiate and book a last minute cruise. We did our research, and found that Happy Gringo gave the best advice relating to the cruises and really helped us narrow down which cruises we were interested in when it came time to negotiating and booking.



We chose to do a last minute cruise for a variety of reasons. Let me explain.

Since I already explained the potential exorbitant cost that Galápagos can total, here is how we got around it. We did everything last minute. After the bus dropped us off in Puerto Ayora, we got checked into our hotel. We had to pay up front. We unpacked a little, and then went out to see what kind of last minute cruise we could get. This started at 4pm.

We started our negotiations at Moonrise Tour. TripAdvisor forums had led us to Moonrise, and we had high hopes. We spoke with the attendant, who gave us a list of potential options. She was the first to mention the Floreana. We immediately fell in love with the north island itinerary. Problem was, we could not get out enough cash from the ATM in time to catch the Floreana’s 6pm departure from the canal by the airport. We proposed several different options to the attendant (credit card, pay 1/2 now, the other 1/2 when we get back) but nothing. She was not willing to help us. The banks were closed and we just could not get out enough cash from the ATM. So we left Moonrise around 4:30pm. Sad and Floreana-less.



We then went to another spot, but again, the attendant was unhelpful in finding ways to finance the trip. But let me back up. The only reason we did not have enough cash is because we never expected to be leaving the day we arrived. We arrived on a Thursday and thought we would do a 4 day, 3 night cruise leaving the upcoming Sunday. We thought we would have plenty of time to gather the cash if we left Sunday.

Our third stop did the trick. It was now 4:45pm, the boat was scheduled to leave at 6pm. After some haggling, we made a deal.

Happy Gringo List Price for Galápagos Islands Floreana Cruise, 8 day, north island itinerary: $3,360/person

Puerto Ayora List Price for Galápagos Islands Floreana Cruise, 8 day, north island itinerary: $2,500/person

What we paid for Galápagos Islands Floreana Cruise, 8 day, north island itinerary: $1,700/person

So it pays to not plan when it comes to the Galápagos Islands. Once we made the deal, the timer began. We rushed to our hotel, grabbed our belongings (forfeited our two nights of paid stay), sped to the ATM, quickly paid our 1/2 upfront (plus we had to leave our drivers licenses, and my iPhone. He originally wanted my passport but there was no way I was paying this strange man $1,700, driving 40 minutes away, going to sea for 8 days and then leaving my passport!), and then drove to the port. With all that rushing, we managed to make our cruise and our adventure on the Floreana began.

So let me tell you about the Floreana but in all honesty, I am not a boat person. I do not have much to compare this experience to. All I can say is, it is a well run operation. With two land and water visits per day, three delicious meals, two snacks and plenty of sun the Floreana does not disappoint. Also, after traveling now for a few weeks and spending time in a variety of hostels and hotels, I have to say, the shower on the Floreana has been the best yet. Hot water and perfect amount of water pressure! Our guide Victor was fabulous. Wonderful story teller and his knowledge of the islands is extensive. There was no question he could not answer.



PS: I was beyond happy when I met Varina, from Munich, on our cruise! Everyday she would come sauntering through the cabin in the most amazing bikinis! Every day, a new bikini and all I could do was constantly compliment her! Her response, ” I just bought it in Colombia!” Then this show stopping outfit made its appearance-this gorgeous orange jumpsuit! I was beyond in love and to my delight, Varina graciously lent it to me for the blog! So my friends, here is a gorgeous jumpsuit, straight from Colombia, one size fits all! Thank you Varina!

We are currently in Valparaiso, Chile, follow along here!

LocationLOCATION: Galápagos Islands

  1. I love this story! You would never even think how hard it would be to get money from an ATM! When we moved to Jakarta we had to pay for our apartment upfront in cash (5 months of rent) It became a big problem haha
    Melanie @

    • Really? That is crazy they wanted all the rent money up front! Well, I guess like us, you figured it out :) Stories of a traveler in countries that dont love credit cards haha

  2. That maxi dress is gorgeous and pairs perfectly with the pretty turquoise earrings. Love the photos on the pretty boat! This vacation is treating you so well.

  3. It sounds so exciting Chelsea! Sometimes the stressful parts of the holiday are the best, because they’re the bits you remember. I can’t believe what a huge discount you managed to get on the cruise, well done! Haggling is such an important part of going on holiday.

    I love the story behind the jumpsuit! It’s so lovely and I just wish I could buy one from the high street. I can’t wait to hear about Chile – hope you’re having a wonderful time! Safe travels,

    Emily x

    • Thank you Emily. Haggling felt a little awkward but I was hungry and bummed the other people had been so unhelpful, so I gave him my price and basically didnt back down but then again, it could have all been in my head, you know, the part about me being a hard bargainer haha

    • Thank you Connie! So glad you liked the outfit! I found the earrings on Etsy and for such a great price! I own them in red too.

  4. So your point about the Galápagos Islands is here is the steal we got (bravo I’m much impressed!!!) and here is an outfit someone lent me.

    Really? That’s ALL??????? About Darwinism and evolution that so few people get to see? Nothing else! An outfit and money?

    • Hi,

      Thank you so much for your interest and comment. My posts regarding the sea, land and animal life will be coming next week. I have three posts in total, covering exactly what you point out. I hope you will return.

    • Thank you Jessica! Loved looking at your blog. I love finding other travel, fashion bloggers, so I am looking forward to following along!

    • Thank you Tara! Such a compliment coming from you. I have been following your blog for a while now, and you never disappoint! Always so on point and beautiful! So, really, thank you!

    • Thank you Courtney! I was pretty obsessed with it too, so I will have to plan a trip to Colombia so I can get one too!

  5. Oh my goodness, that all was such an ordeal for sure, I don’t know how I would have reacted but I am glad you got some fun in the end. Sorry you went through the hassell. Thank you for linking up to “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me” and what a lovely jumpsuit and scenery- maybe it was worth it after all.
    Rachel xo

    Garay Treasures

  6. Hi!
    I am visiting from Creative Mondays! I really love your beautiful orange suit- you were so lucky she lent it to you!
    Wow, you must have LOVED Galapagos! I would love to go there and what a deal you got on the cruise! I’ve had issues over ATMs and amounts before. I saw the commenter who mentioned rent in Jakarta and when I lived in Indonesia (but Bali), I was offered a place to live in Ubud but was asked to pay the year up front (which was LOADS of money- was supposed to be paying about 1,600,000 Rp per month rent x 12 months. I decided it was weird to have to pay that much in advance and had similar cash issues so I didn’t take it and ended up renting somewhere (albeit less luxurious) for 300,000Rp a month so was glad I hadn’t done it
    Tis nice to meet you

    • Kezzie! Wow, thank you for the thoughtful comment :)

      Also, I really had no idea that Indonesian rentals always want so much of the rent up front. SO weird. Awesome for the landlord, not so awesome for the renter. Do you know why they want so much of the money up front?

      Anyways, thank you again for stopping by and looking forward to checking out your blog!

    • Thank you Jessica! If you get the chance to go to Galapagos, I would not pass it up, it is really a beautiful and magical place.

    • Thank you Kimberley! Maxi’s and jumpsuits are my favorite for the summer time! This is a jumpsuit pictured, but I have fallen in love with Maxi dresses while traveling. They really are such a travel essential.

  7. As I was reading your post and looking at the photos I kept thinking, “what a gorgeous maxi dress,” only to find out it’s a jumpsuit! That makes it 20x better. That color looks amazing on you!

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