Is Seasickness Common on a Galapagos Islands cruise?

Isabela II
Albatross Courtship Dance; Don't Worry, Sea Sickness Won't Prevent you from Spotting These Awesome Birds.
Albatross Courtship Dance; Don’t Worry, Sea Sickness Won’t Prevent you from Spotting These Awesome Birds.  Seen on a 2012 Eric Letty Flamingo Galapagos Cruise.

Sea sickness or motion sickness on a Galapagos Cruise is not as prevalent or terrible as many people fear.  We’ve actually found that most Galapagos travelers experience very little to no sea sickness on their cruise.  However, there are some other factors to consider:

  • December through May have the calmest seas so your chances of sea sickness during these months is pretty slim.
  • September is the worst month in terms of ocean roughness, but many ships are in dry-dock for their annual maintenance at this time so you may not even be able to find a cruise during this month anyway.
  • Most of your long hauls are done at night while you’re already asleep and less likely to experience sea sickness.  During the day, you’re mostly on land or snorkeling, or having meals while the yacht is anchored in a calm bay.
  • Some people are just exceptionally prone to sea sickness and should come prepared on their trip.  There are some motion sickness pills available on most boats, but you should come prepared anyway.
  • Make sure to battle sea sickness before it starts.  This really applies to those who are prone to sea sickness or if you’re traveling during the less-calm-ocean months.

Of course, if you are prone to seasickness or motion sickness, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind.  We suggest you bring along your preferred motion sickness treatment (pills, patches or wristbands) on your Galapagos cruise.  Most of our trip operators recommend Mareol which you can purchase in Ecuador as well as in most countries.  If you would like to avoid sea sickness as much as possible you can take a land based tour.  If you are taking a cruise, a good strategy to avoid sea sickness is staying in the lowest deck cabin possible.  Also, seas are much rougher from August to November than during the January to June period.

Read Allie’s first hand experience with seasickness in the Galapagos here and learn more ways to combat possible sea sickness in our 5 Ways to Avoid Sea Sickness blog post.


Want to know more about Galapagos Travel?  See all of Detour’s diverse trip options here:

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

A lodge-based naturalist trip in the Galapagos that visits and explores 3 different Islands. An ideal option for those who don't like boat travel, but still want a full itinerary, wildlife-viewing opportunities, and comfortable accommodations. Trip Length: 5 Days Destinations: San Cristobal, Isabela, & Santa Cruz Galapagos Islands Lodging: First-class, ocean-front lodges Activities: Wildlife viewing, naturalist walks, snorkeling

The Sea Star Journey is a newer luxury cruise that combines spacious accommodations and unique itineraries for seeing the Islands. Trip Length: 5, 6, 10, 11 or 15 Days Destination: Galapagos Islands Accommodations: 16-Passenger luxury yacht Activities: Naturalist walks, snorkelling, kayaking