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Marianna49

Galapogos Islands

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My family, including my husband and I are interested in traveling to the Galapogos Islands on a catamaran. Any suggestions?

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Galapagos cruises are generally discussed in the South America Cruise Ports forum:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/47-south-america/

If you search on the word 'galapagos' it will bring up several relevant threads.

 

I can only tell you about our cruise, which was on Celebrity Xpedition back in 2015 when it carried ~100 passengers [which is the largest size permitted in the Galapagos].  Celebrity now has a new, all-suite ship in the Galapagos that carries ~100 passengers, Flora – which is super expensive.  In addition Xpedition is still sailing, only now it only carries 48 pax so should feel much more spacious.  And they have Xploration, a 16-passenger catamaran. We deliberately chose the largest possible ship because the Galapagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean [they are not in coastal waters] and we wanted a ship with stabilizers and enough size/weight in comparison to the wave heights etc.

 

Here's a blog of our cruise, which is still in the top 3 experiences of our life:

jazzbeauxgalapagoscruise2015.wordpress.com

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Posted (edited)

We were also on the Celebrity ship with ~ 100 passengers. Ships remain in the Galapagos, passengers fly in.

Edited by Floridiana

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We went on a 16 pax catamaran and would heartily recommend it.The one we were on was an Abercrombie and Kent ship but we went in the off season with the owners-was cheaper.

A&K still have a couple of 16 pax cats.

https://www.abercrombiekent.com.au/journeys/explore-the-galapagos-islands

 

The one we went on was the Athala 2 and it is still cruising the Galapagos.

https://naturegalapagos.com/galapagos-cruises/galapagos-luxury-cruises/athala-ii-catamaran/

 

I would recommend the 16 pax cats rather than the 100 pax luxury cruises.You are out all the time and the wildlife was just incredible.I still say it is the one place where David Attenborough doesn't do it justice.

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Be aware that all land excursions in Galapagos are in groups of 16. The benefit of the larger ships is they carry 6 naturalists so you get more variety. 

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So, we are pretty much sold on the smaller ship. Celebrity Xploration would be our choice because they include Quito and will arrange everything. Also, we are long time celebrity cruisers and prefer them. The choice now is Northern loop or southern loop. 

Any thoughts?

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We were on the Xpedition in September with 46 pax. Great trip! Not crowded at all. Several expedition leaders, all very good. We were told it does not matter much which loop you choose, as you'll see similar animals either way.

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We are booked for December on the new Silversea Origin. I read that Silversea and Celebrity are part of the same company and they each built a new ship for the Galapagos that is virtually the same ship, but just outfitted differently.  Celebrity's ship is called the Flora. We've sailed with Silversea before and liked the luxury aspect so decided to go with Silversea.  We did an expedition cruise with Silversea on the Cloud and loved it. Both the Silversea Origin and the Celebrity Flora offer an included stay in Quito pre-cruise. 

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On 1/14/2020 at 9:27 PM, Carol From California said:

We are booked for December on the new Silversea Origin. I read that Silversea and Celebrity are part of the same company and they each built a new ship for the Galapagos that is virtually the same ship, but just outfitted differently.  Celebrity's ship is called the Flora. We've sailed with Silversea before and liked the luxury aspect so decided to go with Silversea.  We did an expedition cruise with Silversea on the Cloud and loved it. Both the Silversea Origin and the Celebrity Flora offer an included stay in Quito pre-cruise. 

 

You may be right about the basic ship design:

Silver Galapagos.jpg

Celebrity Flora.png

but IMHO the Celebrity ship is much more beautiful.  And as an all-suite ship I predict it will have food and service to match Silversea.

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On 1/16/2020 at 7:56 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

You may be right about the basic ship design:

Silver Galapagos.jpg

Celebrity Flora.png

but IMHO the Celebrity ship is much more beautiful.  And as an all-suite ship I predict it will have food and service to match Silversea.

The photo of the Silver Origin in your post is of the ship in its "under construction" state. Here's what it's going to look like when its completed.  I personally think it looks better than the Celebrity Flora.

https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1387

untitled.png

untitled 1.png

Edited by Carol From California

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gnid, I absolutely love your photos.

 

We did the Celebrity Xpedition cruise twice.  There was a woman aboard who had done it numerous times.  I want to say maybe 10 or 12 times.  The ship wasn't full either time.  We absolutely loved it.

 

 

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