La Pinta or Santa Cruz II - Galapagos

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Apr 24th, 2017, 03:44 PM
  #1
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La Pinta or Santa Cruz II - Galapagos

Hello - Has anyone cruised the Galapagos on the La Pinta or the Santa Cruz II through Metropolitan Touring? Looking at different cruise options. The Santa Cruz II can host 90 guests....the La Pinta hosts 48 guests.
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Apr 26th, 2017, 08:11 AM
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It's unlikely that you will get a response here, I'd try Tripadvisor since they have some people more knowledgeable about the options (some of them are travel agents). Metropolitan Touring is very high end for Ecuador. There is some controversy about them.

EG

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...s_Islands.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi....html#12196936
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Apr 26th, 2017, 10:53 AM
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Thanks mlgb....I've been everywhere researching the Galapagos - here, Trip Advisor, Cruise Critic, Adventure & Smith, Metropolitan Touring - analysis paralysis at this point. And I just spoke with SilverSea their all in price isn't too crazy when you consider all the additional fees - air fare, transfers, etc.
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Apr 28th, 2017, 03:39 PM
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Not sure what Metropolitan would be charging, but a 7+ day Galapagos cruise, plus air fare, transportation and a couple hotel night stay at Ecuador will run you around $6000 per person.

Since you are going that far for the trip, I would add a week in Quito or maybe a week in Peru. The extra cost is not really all that much.

I have not been on either ship but have come across Santa Cruz when we were there. I heard it's been refurnished recently. La Pinta is very small and have even less facilities.

Have you look into the much smaller boats for around 16 people? The food is more local, you have the same guide, the accommodation less luxurious. But it is cheaper, and you get a different adventure.
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Apr 28th, 2017, 09:31 PM
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For the Galapagos, La Pinta is not considered "very small". It carries 48 passengers plus crew.. Most of the ships are yachts that carry 16 passengers plus crew.

I think the largest is 100 passengers.


For the price you will pay for a luxury ship, I would ask to have the airfare included to the Galapagos (which is about $500 r/t if you buy it direct) and possibly a night in Quito or Guayaquil.
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Apr 29th, 2017, 07:04 AM
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mlgb - We did get the local airfare included.

Eschew - Not paying anywhere near $6 K per person - I guess last minute has it's perks at times. I was nervous about the 16 passenger yachts....if you don't get along with someone that's a lot of face time....not expecting any issues but I have one kid that is on the shy side actually thought the large number of passengers would be a comfort....We have the contract but Monday is a holiday there so not final until Tuesday...the availability of non-stop flights (from NYC or Philadelphia airports) will really sway the decision of where to go before/after the cruise. We can't be gone more than 10 or 11 days so we can't add on a land tour. We have older relatives that need to be checked on and I hate to leave for too long and the dog....she gets twitchy when we're gone.
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Apr 29th, 2017, 09:22 AM
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If you are getting fare for less than $6K per person including airfare etc, you got a good deal.

The maximum size of ship is 100 passengers (it could be 99) and 48 is the medium size. There are lots of 16 person yachts/catamaran and the price are more reasonable. There is about half a dozen ships at the maximum size.

I wouldn't worry too much if the kid being shy, I worry about the 16 passenger boats more so for the local guide. If you have a bad one, you are stuck for the whole duration. On the larger ships,they have multiple guides and you can always ask to switch, or "bribe" to be on certain guide/group.

Typically you are on a zodiac to get ashore and larger ships have multiple groups, with many guides who rotate through the groups so everyone will have experience with all the guides and not stuck with a bad one.

On the "top" ships, the guides want to work on those ships as living condition, pay (and tips) are better. They do regular evaluations and the weak ones will quickly get eliminated if there were issues or language not up to par.

Looks like you are all set for the Galapagos. Enjoy and come back and do a trip report. Take a look at my report from way back and let us know if anything ha changed.
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Apr 29th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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I will write all about Eschew thanks for your encouragement and valuable insight.
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