Galapagos Islands Isabella II

Jun 18th, 2003, 06:08 PM
  #1  
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Galapagos Islands Isabella II

I have booked a trip to the Islands in August on the Isabella II....Has anyone been on this boat and if so, any comments?

If I am not a good swimmer, can I still snorkel? I would hate the chance to miss swiming with the animals.

Any tips to make this a once in a lifetime
adventure?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
lobster103 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 07:26 PM
  #2  
 
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I can't help you on the boat, as I was on a different one. With the snorkling, some trips you snorkel from the beach, so you can stay in shallow water. You can also wear your life vest in the water. You don't want to miss the snorkeling! I was following around a sea turtle, and touching a sea lion!
Bring lots of sunscreen, a hat, plenty of film, video camera.
jojosm33 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 05:55 AM
  #3  
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Thank you so much for your suggestions.

1 more question.....what kind of shoes did you wear...I have been told that Teva's are the best....Also did you experience any rain? Is a light weight raincoat needed?

Thanks
lobster103 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 10:09 AM
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Hi:

I don't remember the name of the boat I was in, but Isabella sounds familiar. How big is it? Do you have any details on the boat?

As far as snorkeling, I remember just one very long excursion recommended only for experience swimmers. The rest were off ht ebach or a dingy, perfectly manageable, and even better with a vest. I wore tennis shoes the whole time, and it was fine. Take your Tevas for the beaches, but some of the walks are on hard terrain, more suited for tennis shoes...

I hope this helps you...Feel free to email me with any questions...regards,

Enrique
ebrener is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2003, 11:40 AM
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I was on the Isabella II in March. We had a wonderful time, and you will not regret choosing that boat. The captain, crew, and naturalists were all very friendly and courteous, the cabins are nice, and the ship is overall very lovely. The food was also pretty good--some things better than others, but in general very enjoyable. The boat was also only half full the week we were there, which was nice. It was by far the best vacation I've ever been on. Have no worries.

I second the comments about the snorkeling--the highlight of the trip for me was swimming with the sea lions, so you don't want to miss that. We had two snorkeling excursions that a weak swimmer might want to avoid. The first was in a place called "Devil's Rock" or "Devil's"-something, I can't quite remember. There is a very strong current there that we swam against, and only about four of us made it through. The other time was when several of us prevailed on the guide to take us looking for hammerheads, and the sea was very choppy. However, the dinghy is usually nearby, so if you need to climb out, you can do so.

The schedule on the boat is rather demanding--they wake you up at 6:00 or 6:30 every morning. However, I reccomend trying to do all of the activities, since you'll only be there once, most likely. Some people start to tire and stay back on the boat. The main things you will need are strong suntan lotion, a hat, sunglasses, watershoes or Tevas, tennis shoes, bathing suit, and at least 6 rolls of film. We had not a drop of rain.

Also note that the crew will sometimes let you swim off the boat in the late afternoon, which was a life-saver because it was so hot. But you have to ask--they don't really advertise it.

Have a wonderful time!
Kristin45 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2003, 08:29 PM
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Lobster103
Hi There

You must be going for a 7 day cruise because this boat only goes on 7 day cruises.
Information on the boat:
Class 5 ( out of 5) Luxury Class
Type is Ship as opposed to motor or sail.
Guides are Class 2 and Class 3. Class 3 require a University Education in Biology or Marine Biology.
It departures Fridays and Tuesdays.
They rent snorkel gear for $25.00
They have hot water (some do not)
Capacity is 40 people
Crew is 24
They have air conditioning
Private bath
Length is 166 feet.

Have a great time, this boat( ship)is Luxury Class which says it all.
Percy
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Jul 12th, 2003, 12:31 PM
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lobster103
Hi There;

When are you going in August.
This Isabella 2 goes Fridays and Tuesday but for 7 days only and yet there are day -4 night tours on this also.
I have a chance to go on the Isabella 2 if it is not all booked up.
Let me know the date you are getting on the Isabella 2
Thanks
Percy
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Jul 19th, 2003, 06:41 AM
  #8  
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I am leaving for Quito on the 17th of August and wwill board Isabella on Tuesday, the 19th. I am really getting excited about this trip.

Maybe you can help me....I have bought Teva's for the wet landings and wondered if you could hike in these shoes or do I still need another part like sneakers for the daily walks.

Hope to see you in August....
lobster103 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2003, 08:31 PM
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Hi lobster103

Guess we are going to miss each other.

I am boarding the Isabella 2 on August 29th Friday.
But I will be in Quito on the 25 th to do some area tours first.
So I cannot find any Teva's here soI will get some other sandals in the same format.
You know I have looked at what other wear in some of the reply and pictures that other have posted and they seem to be wearing , just the plain sneaker.
Heck ,I figure if I get a new pair of sneakers and "wreck " them over there,I will just throw them away.
Some say to bring tennis shoes which have a good rubber grip and being canvas they dry well!!
I sent a message to Kristine ,who has been on this boat but so far she has not replied..hope she does so soon.!
Here are some of the points I have gathered:
1. There is a $100 US fee ( cash)to get onto the Islands.
2.You do not need long pants there.
3.Meals are mainly buffet and good.
4.Bring suntan lotion,hat, lots of film, tennis shoes sun glasses.
5. They show you a short film and explain to you what you willbe doing the next day.
6. They are well organized.
7. You tip the people at the of the trip, envelopes are given to you(like on a cruise ship).
8. bring a rain jacket with a hood..just in case.
9. everything on the boat is very casual
you can walk around in shorts and bare feet.!
10. I am assuming they willhave a safe to keep your valuables.

If I get more info , I will write again.
Where are you flying from.?I am from Edmonton Alberta Canada.
Percy
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Jul 21st, 2003, 11:48 AM
  #10  
peg
 
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Lobster103:

You can hike in Teva's also. I have a pair of the leather ones, and they have travelled around the world with me.
peg is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2003, 05:32 PM
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I only have bought the basic style....canvas with straps around heels and across toes...flowers on the straps.Will this be good enough for hiking ? These are very confortable.

If necessary, I will take my sneakers.
lobster103 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2003, 05:43 PM
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Dear Percy

I am from Orange California and am really sorry we are going to miss each other. You have been such a help to me.

There is a Web site Teva so you could possibly get these shoes this way. My travel agent said Teva's are the best...I am sure any fast drying sandal will be great for wet landings. I am going to have a backpack to carry xtra's.

You live in a wonderful area. I have spent my last 2 summers in Victoria and love everything about Canada...My brother lives in Houston and escapes the hot weather in Victoria.

Take care and if I do not hear from you, have a wonderful trip. I am getting so excited....oh also, I heard to go snorkeling, one needs a half wet suit....water is cold!!!!!!
lobster103 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2003, 08:26 PM
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lobster103

Yes sorry I guess we will be being passing each other by somewhere in that part of the world.
I finally found a place here that carries Teva , so I will go and see what they are and how they fit.
I had to track them down in a Campers Store.
I have Rebok and Addidas and Dr.Scholl's sneakers also.
Yes Victoria British Columbia is a very nice place, just like a touch of old England.It really is beautiful right along the ocean and the ships from Seattle come in right in front of the landmark 100 year old Empress Hotel.
It is something like Carmel - by -the Sea in California only bigger in area.

You know so many people have had their luggage locks broken upon arriving somewhere( mainly when departing from the USA!!).
I talked to my travel agent and she will check my luggage right through to Quito, but I am not going to lock my luggage.
Instead she told me to get these plastic ties called "Plastic Zip Ties."
Then if/when they go through your luggage when you are not present they only have to snip the plastic tie and not break your lock.
If you do this bring along a very small finger nail clipper so you yourself can snip the ties when you get to your hotel.
You get the ties at Home Depot, I just bough a package of about 50 ties for $ 1.47.!!!
You know I was not going to go until next April but this opportunity came up quickly and I had less than a day to make up my mind!!! but now we are all booked and going.
Maybe will have a chance to read your comments when you get back.
Have a great time ,stay safe and healthy.
I have a friend from Toledo Ohio who is going in late September, so perhaps in October sometime we can meet on this Fodor's talk programme.
Take care
Percy
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Jul 24th, 2003, 06:34 PM
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I have been following this thread for a while now with great interest as I will be going on the Isabella II in late September.I look forward to hearing about your experiences in the Galapagos as well as on this boat. Your idea about the plastic zip ties is great!! I plan to wear Tevas for the wet landing and then change to sneakers for walking around. I guess I can put my gear in a back pack. Any other suggestions or ideas would be appreciated. I will also be in Lima, Cuzco (Macchu Pichu) and Guayaquil and have opted for no malaria pills or any other type of preventative. I hope I am not being too reckless. I have been getting mixed opinions on this. What do you folks think?
Lolo is offline  
Jul 24th, 2003, 08:45 PM
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Hi Lolo
I would check with your local health travel centre.
There is one in every City and State with toll free numbers ,if you are from a smaller town.
Ask them what vaccines you might have to take.
Tomorrow I will be checking up on vaccines for Yellow Fever, Tetanus, and Hepatitis A.
I have had Tetanus and Hep A but not Yellow Fever.
So far the only place in South America that requires the Yellow Fever vaccine is French Gyuana.. when I find out tomorrow I will let you know.
Also about the Malaria, I just wonder Lolo, are you going to be in the jungle and take some rain forest trips!
The pills for this are not that bad to take and they are not overly expensive.
Heaven forbid but if you get a CYCLE of chills, fever,and sweating, I would get this checked out.
You have to be bitten by a mosquito ( female at that !!), and the mosquito has to be infected by this certain parasite.
It is best to ask your local health office because they usually have this big chart on the wall and it shows them what infection are where in the world, and/if you should take something before going there.
I will ask our local board about malaria in Peru and see what they say.
I am not going to Peru but I will ask.
Bye for now
Percy
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Jul 25th, 2003, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the info, Percy. No, I will not be going to any rain forests or thru any jungle areas. I will be on a Tauck tour and they say anti-preventative measures aren't necessary. But, you never know. Perhaps it would be better safe than sorry. But on the other hand, I don't like taking madicines if it isn't needed. As you can see, I'm a on the fence.
Lolo is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 08:57 AM
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Lolo
Hi There. Okay I just got this following information from the Government Health Dept."
1. If you are coming from a non infected area like the USA and Canada, then you do not need the Yellow Fever vaccine.
2.But if you are going to be staying in and touring around Guayaqil then they highly reccommend the Yellow fever vaccine and may even ask for a certifcate of vaccination, again this does not apply to myself or lobster103 because I am going into Quito and then when I leave for the Galapagos the plane will only stop at Guayaquil to pick up passengers.
I then asked about all the details for Peru and this was the Governemnt Health Office reply:
3. If you are going to be in any area that borders Columbia or Brazil ,you will need the malaria pills.
4.If you are only going to be in Lima or Micchu Picchu and south of Lima , then you do not need the malaria pills.
5. If you are entering Peru from Ecuador then you need the malaria medication.
The number one medication for malaria is:
Mefloquine( in Canada it is called Lariam ) but in the USA ,it could be under a different trade name. in any case the scientific name is Mefloquine and your doctor would know about it.
There is a scale on how you take this oral medication.
The number two(#2) drug is called Doxycycline.
Hope this helps.
Percy
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Jul 25th, 2003, 12:26 PM
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Thanks, Percy for all the info. I will flying from the US into Lima and on to Macchu Picchu and Equador so I won't be needing the malaria pills. As for the yellow fever, I will be only in Guayaquil so I may get the vaccine. You certainly have been helpful.
Have a great time.
Lolo is offline  
Jul 28th, 2003, 02:02 PM
  #19  
peg
 
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Actually the CDC here in the states only recommends you get a yellow fever vac. and malaria pills if you are going to the Oriente (amazon part of Ecuador).
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Jul 28th, 2003, 02:05 PM
  #20  
peg
 
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Lobster:

Mine sound just like that but only leather and I rode elephants through the jungle in Thailand with them, flew through the trees in the jungle of Costa Rica, so I think they will be fine for hiking trails in the Galapagos.
peg is offline  

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