Among parent’s least favorite children’s expression: “Mum/Dad, I’m bored”. It makes us feel guilty and concerned at the same time. But you’ll never hear that cry from the heart if you take a Galapagos family vacation which is perfect for keeping children of all ages fascinated, energized and never bored.
Your kids will have a blast in the Galapagos as so many thousands have before them. On a regular cruise there is just so much to see but taking a Family Friendly cruise will just take it all to another level and ensure that life-long memories are created for your children.
Traveling with children is always an opportunity for your kids to explore new worlds, rub shoulders with foreign cultures, and have experiences that widen their outlooks. For parents, it just dials up the enjoyment of a vacation even more as you almost see your kids breaking down boundaries in front of your eyes. So imagine how much more ‘wow!’ a Galapagos family vacation can be for both parents and children.
Fearless wildlife approaches and interacts with children regularly leaving parents truly moved when they see the looks of delight in their children’s eyes when they come almost face to face with a sea lion or giant tortoise. Encounters with the exotic yet fearless Galapagos wildlife are daily occurrences in the Enchanted Isles. Lie down with sea lions on a beach, sea turtles swimming in the shallows, snorkel with penguins and watch ‘strange’ birds (strange for the children) with blue feet and others with huge wingspans do funny dances (mating rituals).
Then there is the exploration side that children just love. Descending through lava tunnels, long sandy beaches, walks through mangroves, hiking over dry lava fields.
But overall, the number one enjoyment factor for most children is the chance to spend such a large part of the trip being in and around water and of course a Galapagos cruise vacation is all about the ocean and water activities. There are island landings on pangas (zodiacs), beaches to swim on, and almost daily snorkeling activities. If your children enjoy water, and most do, then this is an enchanting trip for them. Of course, to take advantage of this aspect kids should feel comfortable around water and probably a snorkeling lesson in a swimming pool at home would be a great idea if they haven’t snorkeled before – don’t worry it’s quick and easy to pick up.
When it comes to the snorkeling there is no more exciting aquatic activity. Sea Lions, in particular, are just energized play companions, endlessly curious, they seemingly love to zip above, under and around us to the extent that we are mesmerized by them and most guests can’t wait to get back in the water with them again. Harmless small reef sharks and rays are common sights and guides experienced with children are in the water at the same time.
The Galapagos Family Friendly cruises often include additional guides and activities for kids. The guides, who are often picked for their aptitude to engage with children, tailor their talks and their walks for younger audiences. There is a lot of reading material and entertainment on most yachts, even the smaller ones, such as DVDs and books about the Galapagos but also non-Galapagos material. Activities just for the children include map games, T-shirt painting and movie nights.
Children enjoy learning hands-on and the slower paced family cruises allow time for them to assimilate all they are seeing and touching in their own way, maybe just sit and be close to animals, experiment with taking photos and perhaps in the evenings, during a quiet half hour after dinner, they can produce a photo journal or their social media postings ready for when they are ‘connected’ again.