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deckerlex Jun 14th, 2004 08:37 AM

Discount Galapagos Cruise Ships
I am interested in booking a cruise in Quito or Guayaquil after arriving in Ecuador. Does anyone know the approximate savings that may be? We are looking at ships listed on web sites at US$2000 range for 7-8 days cruises (Sagitta, Eric and sisters, Andando). I understand we can get them for even less if we wait until we fly to the islands, but do not have the time to waste. Are the discounts for last minute bookings in Quito substantial? We are going in February, and feel we should be able to get something there.
Any info on this, or ships is appreciated.


kcsc Jun 14th, 2004 10:55 AM

While I have not booked a cruise to the Galapagos in either city, it is my understanding that the savings can be substantial. Maybe half off or more.

I've read you most be cautious in booking this way though as most cruises, especially the more popular ones, book months in advance. So you might not be able to get on your boat of first choice. It is recommended to plan to spend at least 2 days in Quito, most tour companies are in Quito, in order to sufficiently research each tour operator and boat.

Since you say you do not have the time, you probably should book before you arrive. I've seen last minute discounts on many of the tour operator's websites. The discounts are not much, usually only a few hundred dollars, but better than nothing. There is a good post on the Frommer's message board about this topic entitled "Galapagos Cruise Tips from a Tour Operator".

Philbill Jun 23rd, 2004 07:21 PM

We have booked on Celebrity Xpedition. The price is really quite reasonable although above the $2000 you mention. You can get a 7day price, but the 10/11 night including days in Quito is what they highly recommend. Has anyone been on this cruise? The first one was this month.

Patty Jun 29th, 2004 11:16 AM

There's a recent review from the first Xpedition cruise (under the Celebrity name, the ship actually started cruising the Galapagos in February) on the message board. It was very favorable and I think you'll have a great time. We saw the Xpedition in Puerto Ayora harbor last month, looked very nice. And I agree the pricing is very reasonable when you consider it includes gratuities, nat'l park fee, and the flight to Baltra.

If you don't have "time to waste", a last minute booking may not be the way to go. There are substantial discounts available (a travel agency in Puerto Ayora was offering a week on the Eclipse for $2400 for 2 people, which is more than 50% off I think) but the choices may be limited and you may have to wait several days before sailing. You have to value cost a lot more than time. I did not check in Quito.

deckerlex Jul 15th, 2004 02:43 PM

Thanks for the opinions offered. I think we'll bite the bullet, and book ahead.


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