CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Tuesday August 17, 2021
Seasickness in Galapagos: Stay off Day Trip Boats and Stick to Cruise Ships
Quite a number of our prospective guests express some concern over how being seasick might not let them enjoy an expedition cruise in Galapagos. They will relate stories of having felt queasy, or worse, having been ill while on a boat at one point in their lives.
In response, we usually show them the statistics we gather from our returning guests. One question we ask is: “Please rate the extent to which motion sickness prevented you from enjoying your trip”, with a 1 = not in the least and a 5 = I wanted to get off the ship as soon as possible.
91.4% of our guests rated seasickness as not having affected their enjoyment of the trip at all, or having been a minor inconvenience, with another 6 % indicating that it had been an issue, but not terribly so. No one rated seasickness as having been so bad that they just wanted to get off the ship. Only 2.6% indicated that it had been a significant issue.
Over concerns of getting seasick, quite a few people ask us if taking a land-based trip might be better option for them. What many people don’t understand is that day trips in Galapagos involve quite a bit of moving about on smaller speedboats. Galapagos is, after an, an archipelago and getting to various visitor sites does require moving around in boats.
Yesterday, on the TripAdvisor Galapagos forum, someone (user name: mrc282, from Washington D.C.) who had just spent a few weeks in Galapagos shared his impressions on various aspects of his trip. He included a note on seasickness, and how it had affected him both on a small ship expedition cruise and on speedboats taking him to day trip destinations. It's important to note that seas tend to be choppier from about July to November, and tend to be at their calmest from January to May (though you can get calm seas / choppy seas any time of year - there are never any storms in Galapagos).
Here are his words:
Re: Logistics: Galapagos Cruise vs Land Tours
Aug 16, 2021, 1:02 AM
I can proclaim myself an expert in this, considering the number of years I spent throwing up on boats before discovering the magic potion called scopolamine patch. I would classify my seasickness as rather severe. While I don't get carsick or airsick, I am someone who is very sensitive to motions and can't tolerate watching a 3D movie or playing most FPS games for more than 10 minutes before feeling nauseous.
So this is what I experienced in August 2021
- The passage to far flung islands like Genovesa, Floreana and Espanola are rough. At times, the waves are high enough to hit the second upper deck of the boat. I took both sco patch and meclizine pills to survive through them. I am absolutely sure that without sco patch I would be bedridden.
- The passage through Western Isabela and Fernandina are calm in comparison. I believe it is because most of the time we are sailing close to the shore and also it is not really an "open sea" for the most part. And also, I suspect, by then I am slightly accustomed to being on the boat, and actually was off my meds though I remain vigilant at all times at the slightest hint of sickness.
- The 360 day trip around San Cristobal island on a fishing boat was rough. A few people threw up within the first 45 minutes of trip despite taking motion sickness pill beforehand. One completely passed out for the rest of the day, while another lost it and puked on the passenger across from him (fortunately it was a family member) and continued vomiting from time to time throughout the day. And that's when I knew I am absolutely not taking the inter-island ferry to Santa Cruz. I really dislike being on a boat where it continuously chop on the waves - it is like being on a never ending rollercoaster. And I certainly have no desire in smelling vomits for hours... As someone who has vomited before and been vomited on in a boat, I would kindly suggest people to please be considerate and prepare a barf bag regardless of whether you think you will get sick or not when you get on one of these boats. Nobody appreciated being vomited on by a stranger, more so in sensitive covid times.