A common concern for visitors is avoiding sea sickness on a Galapagos cruise. While it is not a big problem in the Galapagos Islands, many people still want to know how to avoid seasickness on a Galapagos trip. The good news is that the vast majority of people do not get sea sick while on a Galapagos trip. A Galapagos visit truly is the trip of a lifetime, and it would be a great shame to not take a trip due to worries about a bit of seasickness – especially when you may not even experience it, and the wildlife is so phenomenal here. Here are some ideas to help you plan your seasickness-free trip - as far as possible.
It is best to bring your medication for seasickness from home, ahead of your Galapagos cruise. This is because logistically you might not have an opportunity to buy anything when you are already on your trip. It is also highly recommended to take the seasickness medication before you feel sick, since otherwise it may not work so well. Perhaps one of the best known and most effective sea sickness medicines is Dramamine. Another over the counter treatment you might buy is Bonine. Both of these are reported to be good. Some visitors use Benadryl.
There are also patches and bands you can purchase which can help with seasickness in the Galapagos. For example, there are bracelet-style bands which apply pressure in a place on your wrist and this helps alleviate the feeling of sea sickness. One option is called the sea band. Other visitors may be able to get their hands on patches from the doctor – these are typically only available on prescription. The name of the medication is Scopolamine. The patch is usually worn behind the ear.
Be sure to read the instructions for your medications carefully, and watch out for any side effects.
There are months when the sea is calmer and these will be the best for avoiding seasickness on a Galapagos cruise. The calmer months are between January and June. Meanwhile the seas can sometimes be rougher between the months of July and December. The roughest months are generally September and October. However, while these general patterns apply a lot of the time, the sea is not always predictable – but this is a good rule of thumb, at least.
A question we get asked with some regularity is which Galapagos Islands cruise the customer should take to avoid sea sickness on their Galapagos trip. There are a range of varied opinions on this. Some people swear by the fact that a catamaran will give a smoother ride than a yacht – but this does not seem to be the case in our experience. We find that visitors do not experience any more problems on yachts, catamarans will provide a smoother navigation only when moving forward, however, in the Galapagos your boat is not going to be always in constant movement, as a matter of fact most of the time your boat will be dock at different visitor sites from where you will do your visits. We do find that larger boats can offer a smoother ride because they are bigger and heavier. You might look for a big cruise ship if you are really worried. One good option is the Santa Cruz II, for example, but other than cruise ships your experience will be quite similar either on a catamaran or on a yacht.
If the water does get a bit choppy when you are on your Galapagos cruise, there are several steps you can take to avoid sea sickness taking hold. One well known one is to keep your eye focused on the horizon. This better centers your balance, helping your brain to assist you with thinking you are stable. Another important thing to do is to ensure that if you get some fresh air. Don’t hide away in your cabin if you are feeling sick – that will probably make you feel worse. Heading towards the center of the boat if you feel unwell can also help, as this is the most stable part of the boat. There tends to be less of a pronounced rocking sensation when you are in this position. Try to eat lighter meals, and definitely steer clear of other people that are feeling sick, as being around them will be of no help to you whatsoever. Last but not least, if you feel as if you are going to be sick, don’t hold back. Being sick will help you to feel better, so accept it and move on.
If you are really worried that despite taking all the steps above that sea sickness will ruin your Galapagos trip, you could consider a land-based Galapagos option instead. With these you stay in a hotel, or maybe in different hotels on one or more islands. There are hotels on Santa Cruz Island, San Cristobal Island, Isabela Island and Floreana Island. If you opt for a land based option you can still get to see quite a lot of the Galapagos wildlife. You might also then consider small day trips on boats, rather than several days in a row – which would be less of an issue if you did experience sea sickness.
An important Insider recommendation to avoid seasickness on your Galapagos cruise is to request a cabin that is as close as possible to the water. When you are in this type of position you will be less likely to feel as if you are being rocked around as much. Another tip we have is to avoid alcohol if you think you are likely to experience some sea sickness, as this will only make it worse! Finally, don’t forget that the seas around the Galapagos Islands are generally pretty calm, so you may well not even experience sea sickness at all!
Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders can help with finding you a cruise or land based Galapagos option to suit your needs. Contact us to find out how we can help today.