Galapagos/Explorer II AND How Long?

Old Nov 21st, 2010, 07:14 AM
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Galapagos/Explorer II AND How Long?

Any new experiences with the Explorer II in the Galapagos?

We're considering traveling to Guayaquil with our Rotary Club for a service project and then spending a few days in the Galapagos.

The Explorer II is the tentative ship choice. Any feedback from recent travelers?

And, will a Saturday to Wednesday itinerary be enough? Or should I book extra days without the group? I love the outdoors and the Galapagos are a dream trip for me.

Here is the tentative itinerary:
Saturday Fly to Galapagos, transfer to Explorer, & Pm at Cerro Dragon, Santa Cruz
Sunday AM - Bartholome Island
PM - Puerto Egas, Santiago Island
Monday AM - Punta Espinoza, Femandina Island
PM - Puente Vicente Roca, Isabella Island
Tuesday AM - North Seymour
PM - Highlands & lave tunnels, Santa Cruz Island
Wednesday AM - Visit to Loberia, Isla Lobos, Tijeretas, El Junco, San Cristobal Island
PM - Transfer to Puerto Baquerizo, Moreno airport

Thanks for your input!
hucksmom is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 04:06 AM
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boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1152779

Older vessel built in 1990 upgraded for upscale

Galapgos cruising nice but unbiased reviews mixed

on the company and tour quality...

Personally might shop around a bit...

Have taken a couple of Galapgos cruises in the past

a short one was plenty for me found the

best price/experience/deals

going DIRECT with LOCAL ECUADORIANS like

www.galapagosXpeditions.com www.surtrek.com www.sanguay.com

Careful the occult foreign for profit expat cruise touts

infest the boards especially TripAdvisor where some are

sanctioned by the mods as "experts"

www.insuremytrip.com always wise.

Caveat Emptor!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 04:10 AM
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guanguiltagua.com/html/eric-letty-flamingo.html

one of the best local ship deals/itineries currently

www.priceline.com great deals on Xpedition

Lindblad best of the best especially the Islander

led by Sven Lindblad sometimes is amazing

but quite pricy even if you catch a sale...

Happy Hunting,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 07:23 AM
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HI Hucksmom,
The itinerary for the cruise looks great, especially (in my opinion) Fernandina. It is one of my favorite places for snorkelling, and the flightless cormorant is just amazing to see. If you can afford (both time-wise and money-wise) tacking on the extra days to extend to a one week cruise, it would definitly be worth it..each island is different and has so much to offer...especially if this is a dream of yours!
The Explorer 2 is one of the largest ships in the archipelago, with 100 passengers. I personally enjoy cruising in smaller ships, but larger ships do offer advantages as well.
Have a wonderful time.
GalapagosExpert is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2010, 10:57 AM
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The Galapagos Explorer II always receives good reviews from our clients. However it is not for everyone. I recommend the Explorer II for travelers seeking high end accommodations and white glove type of service. She is also one of the only ships in the Galapagos to offer cabins with private balconies. If you enjoy luxury service and style you will appreciate the Explorer II. If you are an active traveler you may wish to consider a smaller boat that carries kayaks. Smaller boats sometimes allow for more time ashore. As you can imagine it is easier to get 16 travelers ashore than it is to ferry 100 travelers ashore. Keep in mind that group size is always limited to 16 once you are ashore so intimate guided experiences are the norm, no matter what size the ship. Smaller ships do have their drawbacks as everything (bedroom, bathroom, dining room, deck space) is smaller and they can rock more when sea conditions are rough.

A 7 night cruise will cover 8-10 islands and highlight the diversity of life that makes the islands so unique. Each island is unique, many with endemic species so travelers who opt for shorter 3-4 night cruises inevitably miss out on something. If you are interested in nature and wildlife choose a longer cruise.

Finally we hear all the time from travelers who have difficulties with unscrupulous agencies in Ecuador (and the US for that matter). Some are benign like "I booked my trip and have not heard back", while others are disturbing like "they took my money and never booked my cruise". There are a lot of companies that sell Galapagos cruises. It pays to do your research and book with a reputable company that has first hand experience on all the boats in the Galapagos Islands to help you choose the right cruise at the best price.

Best of luck and have a wonderful trip. The Galapagos Islands are AMAZING!
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Old Dec 16th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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We took the Galapagos Explorer II and have nothing but good things to say about it. It's true that it caters to a high end clientele but if you can afford it, you won't regret it .
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