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Young children ages 4-7

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11 posts
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Young children ages 4-7

Is Galapagos cruise suitable for children ages 4-7?

4 replies to this topic
La Grange, Texas
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6,516 posts
194 reviews
103 helpful votes
1. Re: Young children ages 4-7

I'd say no.

Cruises vary from very small ships (16 pax) to large (100 pax.) The smaller ships have no place for kids to be kids and run around safely. The larger ships would probably have more safe spaces for them.

The issue is what happens on shore. Most cruises are activity intense. Two nature walks a day and two snorkeling/swimming excursions a day. For our cruise one of the snorkeling each day was deep water, off the side of the small inflatable boats. The walks on the islands are proscribed, within the marked trails, with guides. There is no running ahead, going off trail, etc. I suppose you could keep the kids on the ship during certain activities.

My kids would not have done well at those ages. I think 8-9 would be the youngest I'd bring them on a cruise.

Now, a land trip would be a different story, but I've not done the Galapagos by land, so will defer suggestions.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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5,135 posts
21 reviews
23 helpful votes
2. Re: Young children ages 4-7

Dear Judith,

We had the good fortune to take our kids to Galapagos twice. The first time they were 7 and 10 years. The second time they were 10 and 13. Both trips were just great for them, and us as a family.

I wouldn't recommend taking children under the age of 7 years on a cruise in the Galapagos Islands as to make the most their time on a Galapagos cruise, children need:

- to possess solid gross motor skills,

- to be comfortable in the water (can swim - this is for YOUR peace of mind)

- to be comfortable wearing a snorkel and mask so they can enjoy the wonder of underwater Galapagos which is half the amazement of the experience (fins too, but not crucial)

Beyond this, you must evaluate your kids' personality and temperament. Because the Galapagos Islands are one of the most strictly regulated parks and marine reserves on the planet, you can expect to have to stay with your guide at all times whenever you are off the ship. For some kids who need to shake their sillies out, this could be excruciating. Similarly, onboard your Galapagos cruise ship, your kids will enjoy themselves if they have a modicum of self-possession (can they sit still?). This tends to be a quality that develops with age.

Remember that the people you will be sharing your Galapagos cruise with have dreamed of traveling to the Galapagos for the better part of their lives. You will want to ensure that your kids add to the enjoyment with their sense of wonder and fun.

If you want to reduce the risk of choosing the wrong ship, there are a handful of Galapagos cruise ships that excel at dedicated Family departures (more kids activities, smaller guest-guide ratio, kid-friendly meals and optional kids meal times). One that comes to mind is Ecoventura's Origin, Theory and Evolve. We did their Family departure with their former ship, the Letty, and had a fab time. One aspect that I appreciated most: Time apart from our kids (cocktails for my husband and I on the deck at sunset with other interesting adults while the children enjoyed a kids dinner down below with their new friends).

If you are in a position to even contemplate a family trip to the Galapagos Islands, you are indeed among the fortunate few. It's worthwhile to ensure that you have a perfect experience for all involved.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Essen, Germany
Level Contributor
429 posts
14 reviews
21 helpful votes
3. Re: Young children ages 4-7

Hello Judith S,

I agree wtih Lojeslj and Heather. I did a land-based trip, and thinking of my niece and nephew, who are in the same age, I would not have taken them with me. For me, one of the biggest "risks", as the other two have mentioned, would be that kids (which is fully normal at that age - I would have done the same) run around and try to get close to the animals, which is strictly forbidden (for a good reason).

Personally, I would take my kids there at a later time, when they can really understand what makes the Galapagos Islands that very special, and then, they can really enjoy it, too.

Hope this helps, happy travels!

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
27,210 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
4. Re: Young children ages 4-7

welcome

disclosures..

> dont have any kids.

But did you ask the cruse and see what they say? afterall, they will be the ones providing the cruise and or any necessary equipment

good luck

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