Galapagos Island Tours

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May 16th, 2018, 09:31 AM
  #1
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Galapagos Island Tours

My husband and I are looking for an active middle age oriented boat trip/tour to the Galapagos Islands. We aren't really looking for one of the extreme luxury types nor are we looking to completely rough it. Open to suggestions that would involve seeing as many islands/as much nature as possible (guided tours in English). We typically tour/hike on our own so looking for a more exploring than sedentary experiences.
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May 16th, 2018, 10:30 AM
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I went to the Galapagos with Lindblad. They are considered the best. I highly recommend them.

https://www.expeditions.com/destinat...EaArCkEALw_wcB
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May 17th, 2018, 05:35 AM
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Check out the other recent thread two of us used Angelito. They are remodeled a few years back, all rooms have a Window, and no bunks or basement rooms. There are some places you can visit without a guide but not the unpopulated islands with much of the best stuff. Most tours will offer English and include a middle aged orientation unless you are at the extreme low end (skews younger) or high end (more older cruise ship type comforts) but there is likely to be a mix either way.

Last edited by mlgb; May 17th, 2018 at 05:39 AM.
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Jun 8th, 2018, 09:29 AM
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We LOVED our 11 day Nature Workshop on the Tip Top IV arranged by Galapagos Travel.
Met our personal standard of "nice enough".
Used 2 guides for 16 people instead of the required one, which was invaluable.
Great hiking and snorkeling.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 05:06 PM
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Lindblad Expeditions

I realize this thread was started back in May, but just read it. So, this may or may not be helpful. My husband & I & another couple recently booked a NG expedition to the Galapagos through Lindblad. The couple we are traveling with heard about this trip from friends that had just returned from this trip. Thier friends have travelled extensively & ranked this trip #1. Lindblad is not cheap, but they felt you got your money’s worth with them. Each island has a limit to the number of visitors per day. With Lindblad you don’t have to share your time on the island. We considered other tours, but quickly settled on NG Lindblad!
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Aug 13th, 2018, 03:19 AM
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Have fun fluff24..I think Lindblad is the "extreme luxury" end for Galapagos. But the Galapagos guides are all certified and group sizes and itineraries are issued and controlled by the government. Not sure how it works with a 100-person ship if all 100 people for example want to go see the hilltop Waved Albatross colony on Espanola, how do they accomodate that? Do try to get on that excursion, assuming you are of moderate fitness (bring a walking stick if you have balance issues, that trail has some cobblestones).
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Aug 14th, 2018, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for your feedback, mlgb. I did hear that there will be sign up sheets for the various daily activities limiting the groups to a smaller number. I wondered myself what if more than the allotted number exceeded the group size.??? I was told that it was rare for that to happen. That being said I will definitely make an effort to get on the Waved Albatross excursion!

Did you stay stay in Guayaquil before & after? Was wondering if it would be worth flying in a day or 2 ahead & book some excursion (we use Viator a lot) to give us a glimpse of the surrounding countryside.
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Aug 14th, 2018, 04:38 PM
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I have not been to Guayaquil, flew from Quito and spent extra nights in Puerto Ayora before cruise.
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Aug 15th, 2018, 03:02 PM
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When I went with Lindblad I never had a problem getting on the activities. There are multiple zodiacs with guides going out for each location. If I remember correctly the size of the groups and number of guides is limited by the government.

Last edited by SusieQQ; Aug 15th, 2018 at 03:06 PM.
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Aug 15th, 2018, 06:28 PM
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That doesn't answer the question..what if more people than the government permits that day, wish to go to the Albatross colony? Is there a lottery? With a small boat (16 people) that would never be a concern.

I assume on Lindblad there are a large number of less active seniors and families who might opt for sitting on the beach or staying on board, instead of an active excursion.
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Aug 16th, 2018, 03:32 AM
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I think that all ships have scheduled their routes and locations. They can't unexpectedly turn up at the same time. Your assumption about the people on Lindblad being less active was not the case on my trip. They came on the trip for the ability to get out and see all that was being offered. Not, to sit on a beach or relax on board. There was a large range of people, including children.
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Aug 16th, 2018, 05:48 AM
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It is my understanding that each boat's stops are scheduled in advance to control how many people can be at a particular landing site.
Park rules require that there be a guide for every 16 people, which is why most boats hold multiples of 16.
That is why we found it so amazing that Galapagos Travel provided 2 guides for 16 passengers.
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Aug 16th, 2018, 07:33 AM
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To make something clear....

Lindblad ships are not cruise ships. They are expedition ships which are designed for transportation and accommodations . They do not offer the amenities of a cruise ship. So, no one would be taking their tours for any other reason than for the Galapagos experience.
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Aug 17th, 2018, 05:56 PM
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Still no answer as to how many Nat Geo passengers are allowed to go on any particular excursion...obviously they can't troop all 100 through the albatross colony at the same time. Mostly likely they have "shifts" and one wonders how long each shift is allowed for their excursion, and how they handle the panga transfers.

Probably similar to what I saw on Komodo Island when one of the big "excursion" ships came through.. Groups of about a dozen passengers and aguide coming through every 15 minutes. We waited until they were finished and then had a bit more time watching the dragons before finishing up with our "moderate" hike to the top of the island.

Wondering if SusieQQ did you go see the albatross or opt for a different excursion?

The time slots and itineraries are controlled by the government. A ship which has been in operation for many years will have priority for their choice of itinerary. I looked at a number of options and Angelito's "A" was one of the few which included Genovesa, Bartolome and Espanola in an 8-day tour. Most don't include both Genovesa and Espanola.

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 17th, 2018 at 06:06 PM.
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Aug 17th, 2018, 06:13 PM
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Here's the other thread with links to Stacey's great photos from the Angelito itinerary

Galapagos - Land based tour
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Aug 18th, 2018, 02:56 AM
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Forget it, migb

Go harass someone else!
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Aug 18th, 2018, 03:11 AM
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Thank you for the answers. i'm also looking for the same thing.
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Aug 18th, 2018, 06:54 AM
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You will also find more helpful posters on Tripadvisor, raschmichaudhary...who will actually answer your questions rather than avoid/obfuscate....

If bringing children is important for you (or avoiding them), the larger ships such as offered by Nat Geo/Lindblad tend to have more children. Our youngest passenger was a high school student.

Another larger ship that's an option is Celebrity Xperience, but AFAIK neither Celebrity nor Nat Geo visit Genovesa.

Nat Geo retired their old Endeavor which had been getting long in the tooth. They now also offer a smaller ship, the Islander (only 48 passengers) as well as their Endeavor II which has more typical cruise ship amenities such as a spa and gym..

If you are interested in seeing particular birds such as Waved Albatross and Blue footed Boobies doing their mating rituals then the months and itineraries would be a priority. There are a number of websites with wildlife calendars, for birds

https://www.galapagosislands.com/nat...-calendar.html

I went at the end of May (in a mild El Nino year).

Good luck.

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 18th, 2018 at 07:09 AM.
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Aug 21st, 2018, 08:22 AM
  #19
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Thank you for all the great input

Appreciate all the helpful tips and info, still trying to decide on a ship but really appreciate the suggestions and knowledge of so many of you.
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