Region Overviews: Galápagos Travel Guide: Overview
Describing the residents and habitat of the Galápagos Islands takes creativity and an exhaustive vocabulary. Nowhere else on Earth can you find such a collection of wildlife.
Family — 20s & Beyond
Activity Levels 1-3
Small Luxury Ship
Welcome to a tropical paradise. Bike with your family past aromatic vanilla fields, hike to hidden jungle waterfalls and snorkel amid a kaleidoscope of sea life. Sail on azure waters from one breathtaking Polynesian isle to the next. Dine on fresh island fare. And enjoy the feeling of adventure and relaxation all wrapped up into one. Tahiti and the Society Islands are waiting for you.
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Day 1 Your family adventure begins in Papeete, Tahiti, the heart of French Polynesia | Hike to Fautaua waterfall, a towering cascade set amid lush jungle and volcanic stone | Have lunch at the iconic Papeete Market at Maeva, where dishes burst with flavor | Set sail for the Society Islands in style aboard your intimate Ponant ship.
Days 2-3 Rich with culture and strewn with coconut palms, Huahine is spellbinding | Cycle to ancient Mata'ire'a marae, a sacred gathering place | Savor a splendid tasting of local spirits | On quiet Taha’a, pedal past vanilla fields and inhale the sweet scent | Visit a fascinating black pearl farm and shell museum | Enjoy a sumptuous barbecue lunch and kick back on the beach of a private islet.
Days 4-5 Island-hop to famed Bora Bora and hike in the Valley of the Kings | Snorkel amid myriad marine life, including manta rays, clownfish and moray eels | Bike to the pillowy white sand and crystal-clear waters of famous Matira Beach | Explore Bora Bora’s hidden coastline—and WWII history—on two wheels | Make a splash on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard in a turquoise lagoon.
Days 6-8 Cruise to idyllic Moorea, blanketed in velvety green mountains | Walk the path of ancestors through pineapple plantations and palms to the sacred site of Marae Ti’i-rua | Unwind on the shore, explore with a snorkel, or kayak among rays and sharks—it’s up to you! | Take in awe-inspiring views over sapphire Cook’s Bay on a scenic coastal biking ride | Delve deep into local culture with a Polynesian arts workshop | Sail back to Tahiti, the picture-perfect place to extend your vacation.
These luxurious and sleek vessels have an intimate French atmosphere and boast an open-air bar, three lounges and a team of master chefs crafting gourmet dishes. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
The ships we sail on are like floating luxury hotels, so you can visit a new destination each day without touching your suitcase once you've settled in. Our ships are vastly smaller than most cruise ships and are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting spaces that offer plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing.
We sail with up to 30 Backroads guests per group. Occasionally there may be more than one Backroads group onboard and you may cross paths with the other group on routes or at restaurants. When this occurs, each group will have their own dedicated onboard Backroads leaders.
If you're new to Backroads active cruise trips, there are a few things you need to know. Although our average group size is larger than a typical Backroads tour, our ship-based trips feel smaller and much more intimate than a typical cruise. Additionally, even with an itinerary subject to fixed nautical schedules, we get out and explore far beyond the cruise norm. Although our time ashore may be shorter than an average Backroads Hotel trip, you still have the option to select a route that matches your pace. In larger cities, you can decide to shift gears and opt for less active sightseeing activities. It's important to note, our time ashore can be limited due to changes in the nautical schedule and ship tendering. Being onboard a ship provides the benefit of being able to take advantage of ship amenities: the fitness room, spa, sauna and swimming pool. In addition, there is the opportunity to relax in the inviting common spaces or the privacy of your room, complete with balcony. Your Trip Leaders will have information on the array of options to choose from. If having longer routes or more flexibility to explore is important for you, we recommend choosing one of our River Cruise or Hotel trips. If you love meeting new people and having more time to relax aboard the ship, and enjoy the ease of unpacking once, you'll love our approach to active ocean cruising. Nobody does it like we do.
On our active cruises, we seek out diversity by including regionally authentic and inventive meals for onshore lunches, picnics and the occasional onshore dinner. On-ship meals, though delightful, are meant to appeal to a wide cross section of passengers and may at times feel more conventional and less reflective of the region than on Backroads Hotel trips.
In contrast to our Hotel trips, which typically have similar room categories, the Ponant ships offer a wide range of stateroom categories to choose from. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast, so book as early as possible if this is important to you.