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Booking tours

Shropsire
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160 posts
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Booking tours

Hello

I am consodering places for next year.

The Galapagos is joint top of my list.

I have been reading the forums where people discuss tours on various named boats.

My question is do people tend to book places directly on these boats or go through a tour company or something?

Is there a particular place/island one would get flights to where these tours typically depart?

I initially thought of a complete tour like this:

www.exodus.co.uk/holidays/aag/overview…

However, I have seen this boat mentioned on these forums so wondering if booking direct migh be the way to go..

thanks for any advice

Bristol, United...
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850 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: Booking tours

Most people would book through an agent but not necessarily a package.

You can book the boats through any agent specialising in Galapagos and they would normally book your flight from ether Quito or Guayaquil in Ecuador to the islands.

The boats like all the passengers to arrive on the same flight if possible as they collect from the airport - although you can travel independanty and meet them at the airport.

You would fly to Balta (for Santa Cruz) or San Cristobal depending where your boat leaves from. You will need at east one night in Ecuador as the flights to Galapagos are early morning.

I like to use an Ecuadorian agency so the agent is in my time zone when I am there - it can get difficult when things go wrong and your agent is back in the UK.

If you book a complete package, check the prices first as many UK based agents use the package to hide inflated costs. You can check the standard cruise prices at websites like www.happygringo.com but if you are booking last minute, there may be discounts available. Any prices higher than those are extra profit for the agent.

Booking direct with boats does not normally make it cheaper as the boat operator just keeps the agents commision.

From UK, you can fly Iberia via Spain, KLM via Amsterdam or various american carriers via USA.

Shropsire
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160 posts
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2. Re: Booking tours

That is most helpful.

Thanks for the reply.

Quito, Ecuador
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66 posts
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3. Re: Booking tours

If your concern is price, try to get quotes from a few people - including the operator of the boat you would like to travel on and some agencies. See who gives you the better price, make sure you look at what is included (is Galapagos-mainland airfare included? Airport assistance? etc)

If your concern is convenience and least hassle, definitely book with an agency. Most agencies can arrange not only your Galapagos cruise, but your hotels, flights, airport transfers, and other mainland tours.

It´s worth a look around to see what is out there! If you are not sure what boat you want, you can start by asking an agency based on your budget and dates what is available and go from there.

Shropsire
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160 posts
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4. Re: Booking tours

Hi

Thanks for your advice,

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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3,068 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Booking tours

Dear Colinah,

as noted by the poster above, some agencies combine flights and more into a package. Specifically, the agency for which the poster above works (see their profile) regularly provides lower prices for ships than even the actual ship owners offer themselves (ship owners often sell directly to clients, but will also have third party agents sell, and an "agreed" price, in exchange for a commission, to improve sales) - they undercut the ship owner's set price. This can be good for you, but there are risks involved. The ship owner is also trying to sell directly to people like you, and don't appreciate third party travel agents competing but undercutting the price on their own ships! This may sometimes cause problems for those involved.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Quito, Ecuador
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66 posts
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6. Re: Booking tours

Galapagos Islands.com is in contact with many of the boat operators in Galapagos - Each boat owner works consistently with their partners. We adhere to all the pricing policies set by the boat operators, unfortunately some posters have biased opinions due to competition.

Thank you,

Customer Service Support

7. Re: Booking tours

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