Best Time to Go to the Galapagos
1. Re: The Best boat and best time to go?
In my opinion, there is no one best boat, even if money is not a concern. (How lovely that sounds!) (Keep in mind, though, that my opinions arise from a distinct disinterest in extreme luxury-a good first-class-category boat is as luxurious as I need or am willing to pay for.) You pretty much get what you pay for in the archipelago-pay more and you get more luxury. You also probably increase your chances of getting a truly excellent naturalist guide, although some terrific guides work on the less luxurious boats too. (I can attest to this personally. We were on the first-class Tip Top II and had a marvelous naturalist guide-passionate, extremely knowledgeable, and very funny!) However, all boats go to basically the same landings and snorkeling spots, no matter what you paid. The wildlife don't really know or care whether you're from a tourist-superior or a luxury-class boat. ;-)
Indeed, though, if money and time are no concern, do a 15-night cruise! That'll get you to pretty much every island non-researchers and non-divers can get to. And I strongly suggest a smaller boat (say, up to 20 passengers, max). You get a very intimate experience of not only the wildlife but also your fellow passengers, the crew, and the guides.
If you can't do a 15-day cruise, the itinerary becomes really important. You'll not be able to get to all of most stunning islands on most shorter cruises, so you'll need to prioritize. Most of us fall into this category and the choices can be challenging, to say the least!
There is also no one best time to be in the Galápagos, by most reports. All months have pluses and minuses, depending on what you like. Sept. has the fewest visitors by far (we traveled in Sept. and we were literally the only group on many of our landings) but the waters are cooler and can be more lively than other months. I hear good things about the month of May-vegetation is green, the temps are moderating from their hottest, and visitor numbers are still a bit lower before the influx of summer travelers. You can see a chart of #s by month here (scroll down a bit):
It sounds like you're in a perfect position for getting an amazing trip of a lifetime. Have fun entertaining all of your myriad options!