All of the cruises provide a wonderful taste of Galapagos wildlife, geology, and natural history. The 8-15 day cruises are generally recommended for travelers that want to make the Galapagos a focus of their trip and don’t want to miss any of the details. These longer cruises typically visit twice or three times as many islands and sites than the shorter cruises that are 5 days or less in length. Since each visitor site has something unique to offer, travelers with a special interest in biology, ecology, etc., may feel short-changed on the shorter cruises. For instance, there are two different species of sea lions and three species of Galapagos boobies. On the shorter cruises, travelers may only see a few of these species, while travelers on the longer cruises are likely to see nearly all of them. The 8-day cruise is the most common option, so travelers will have a wider selection of yachts available to them if they opt for an 8-day cruise.
Travelers that aren’t worried about seeing everything and instead want to fit in other destinations such as the Amazon or the Highlands may prefer the 4, 5 or 6-day cruises. These options provide a great introduction to the magic of the Galapagos. It can be particularly nice for families with younger children whose attention spans are likely to dwindle after five or six days on a small yacht or for anyone short on travel time.
One other thing to consider is that you pay the same amount for your internal flights to the Galapagos as well as the $100 Galapagos National Park entrance fee whether you are doing the shortest 4 or longest 15-day cruise.