Tipping of guides and crew on a Galapagos cruise is always appreciated, but is not required. Amounts should vary depending on service levels provided, but generally each traveler should tip their bilingual naturalist guide $8 – $15 per person per day, and the rest of the crew $8 – $15 per day (the crew will divide the tip up among themselves).
As of December, 2015, Ecoventura, owner/operators of the First Class yachts Eric and Letty, and the Luxury Class MV Origin, have updated their suggested tips to reflect the most recent economic climate in Ecuador and the Galapagos. They suggest tipping $250-300 per person per week for their First Class yachts, and $350-450 per person per week for the Luxury yacht. The suggested amount is higher for the luxury yachts because they have additional crew members on board, including a concierge, a full-time bartender, and a second officer engineer.
Tipping is usually done all at once at the very end of your cruise. Many cruises will allow you to tip the crew anonymously by providing a communal box, but you will tip the guide personally. Make sure to ask your guide when and how to tip on your particular cruise if it isn’t clear.
For more details on how much cash to bring with you to the Galapagos, see Extra Costs in the Galapagos.
The Anahi has one of the best reputations among Galapagos catamarans for having a top-notch crew, a variety of itineraries, and comfortable accommodations. Consistently a great choice for families or couples who want a bit more room and a few more creature comforts but want to avoid the massive cruise ships. Trip Lengths: 4, 5, 8, 11, or 15 days Destination: Galapagos Islands Boat Details: 16 Passenger, 1st-class motor catamaran Activities: Wildlife viewing, snorkeling, naturalist walks
This elegant luxury yacht, once owned by Princess Grace of Monaco, offers excellent itineraries, small groups, and a fantastic 9:1 passenger to naturalist guide ratio. Trip Length: 8 or 15 Days Destination: Galápagos Islands Lodging: Luxury-class motor yacht Activities: Wildlife viewing, naturalist walks
The Nemo I is a small 14-passenger sailing catamaran that is perfect for adventurous people who want to spend their time in the Galapagos outside on the net between the hulls or on the various common areas. Cabins are quite small, in the pontoons, making a trip on this boat an intimate nature adventure. Trip Lengths: 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, or 15 Days Destination: Galapagos Islands Lodging: 14-Passenger, tourist superior sailing catamaran Activities: Wildlife viewing, naturalist walks, snorkeling