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hankski

Galopagos Wear and Tear

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How much wear and tear to the body and feet can one expect on shore excursions in the Galapagos Islands? This includes conditions of the excursion paths, length of walks, allotted rest periods, management of zodiac transfers, etc.

We are looking at booking on the Celebrity Xpedition, Cruise West Galapagos Explorer II, or Linblad/National Geographic Endeavor. Any insight from persons who have taken these cruise tours is appreciated?

Thanks!:confused:

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Pardon my responding to my own post. If anyone is looking for tons of information about conditions aboard the Celebrity Xpedition there is a "monster thread" here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=278

 

I have had a lot of fun lurking at this location over the past month. It can be tedious, but it answers my question nicely. ;)

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Thanks for the link. It is interesting that the M/Y Eric has only 20 passengers. Galapagos National Park requires one naturalist for every 16 visitors. Looks like the default ration for this yacht is one naturalist for every 10 visitors. Nice ratio. As the article points out, your experience really does depend on the quality of the naturalist.

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Funny you should mention the Eric and Letty, we just booked with Ecoventura for June of 2011 and yes they do a ratio of 10 passengers to 1 guide.

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How much wear and tear to the body and feet can one expect on shore excursions in the Galapagos Islands? This includes conditions of the excursion paths, length of walks, allotted rest periods, management of zodiac transfers, etc.

 

We are looking at booking on the Celebrity Xpedition, Cruise West Galapagos Explorer II, or Lindblad/National Geographic Endeavor. Any insight from persons who have taken these cruise tours is appreciated?

 

Thanks!:confused:

 

We have done the Xpedition, and we are doing it again. Some of the hikes are over pretty rocky terrain, but they do have different 'levels' ... now described as 'long' or 'short'. They also provide walking sticks for those who want them. I have never looked at the 'small' boats, but I have a Lindblad Brochure in front of me now. The big differences between Xpedition and Endeavor is 'price' and 'product'. Xpedition is 'all-inclusive', Lindblad is not. And I don't know if price is important, but Endeavor is 'much' more expensive. Xpedition, starting with your arrival in Quito, covers 'everything' ... hotel, meals, transfers, all gratuities, excursions, beverages including alcohol on the ship, and airfare (charter) from Quito to Baltra and back. According to their brochure, Lindblad does not include near as much. As far as I can tell, the primary reason to go with Lindblad would be to see the name "National Geographic" on the side, and have access to a glass bottom boat, and kayaks. Xpedition is a relatively new and quite beautiful ship with nice amenities, and last September we had the 'best' cruising experience of our cruising 'career' (twenty some cruises).:D The naturalists are all trained by the National Park, and they don't always work the same ship ... some work both the Xpedition and the Lindblad ships. A couple of the naturalists told me that they think the Xpedition is the best ship.

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I think that depends on what you want from the cruise. I am not going to the Galapagos on Xpedition to be in luxury, I am going there to rough it a little and a 20 passenger boat seems to me to be far better than one that is large and holds 100 passengers.

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I think that depends on what you want from the cruise. I am not going to the Galapagos on Xpedition to be in luxury, I am going there to rough it a little and a 20 passenger boat seems to me to be far better than one that is large and holds 100 passengers.

 

A little off topic, but my mother used to work for the district comptroller of Greyhound ... so guess what my 'mode' of transportation was. 'Roughing it' is riding a Greyhound from Chicago to Miami.;)

 

Anyway, no offense was intended toward the smaller ships, and the naturalists I was talking to on the subject were really comparing similar size ships. They were also possibly talking about their 'own' experience with the different vessels. I'm sure each has it's strong points. We are going during the season that is known for rough and colder water, so a bigger boat has other advantages.

 

My dental hygienist was telling me about some friends who did the Galapagos in a tent and didn't have a fresh water bath for a week.:eek: That is what I would call roughing it. She said they had no intention of returning.:( On the other hand, I have also talked with people who have done the trip on a smaller boat, and absolutely loved it. So have a great time.:D

 

By the way, my idea of 'roughing it' is sitting in the jacuzzi after snorkeling, and having the bartender bringing me a fresh cocktail from the Blue Finch Bar at specified intervals.:D

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My significant other and I have camped in National Parks and that to is roughing it. But my most roughing experience was spending a week at the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone. Metal double bed, window that leaked cold air, no way to control the heat, and one 40 watt lightbulb over the sink.

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