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Spring Break vs. Xmas

Edmonton, Canada
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52 posts
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Spring Break vs. Xmas

Our family wants to try to get out to the Galapagos on a cruise but we have a couple of questions - can someone help? We have children over 12 and are looking for a cruise not a land-based option. We can either go at Spring Break (shorter cruise) or Xmas (longer).

Aside from the pricing, what are the differences between crusing Galapagos in the spring (e.g. late March) and Christmas break?

When is the best time to go if we want to swim and snorkle, hike, see as much wildlife as possible, and avoid a bumpy ride/swells!!

What can you recommend for our family for those of you have already been out there? We're kind of stuck - if we go in Spring, we may only be able to do a shorter cruise with the break the kids have.. Over Christmas, we might be able to take a slightly longer cruise, but that's no good if the water is choppy and rough, everyone is sick, or it's too cold to enjoy the sights and get in the water too.

Which would you book and why? Spring with a bit shorter cruise, e.g. 7 days or so, or go over Christmas for more like a 10 day cruise if that's doable? We're looking at some smaller cruises that helps.

Thanks to anyone who can reply!!

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1. Re: Spring Break vs. Xmas

If you're considering this March for travel, you'll cutting it pretty close. March is a month with lots of visitors, given school holidays. So your options might be getting pretty slim for 2013. But let's assume you're thinking of March, 2014.

In late March, the waters and air temps will be warmer than in Dec. The waters will be calmer then too. Either choice will have you hiking, snorkeling, and enjoying wildlife until your brain is about burst from all the wonders.

The currents, which are responsible for the ill-reputed rough waters, will be calming down by Dec., although still likely more lively than in March. We traveled in Sept.--the month of the liveliest water--and we had a terrific time. The rough waters primarily affect the open-water crossings (e.g., to the furthest-out islands). But we had one open-water crossing that was smooth as silk and another that was lively. So I wouldn't let the possibility of rough waters turn you away from Dec., unless someone in your family is really, really susceptible to motion sickness. There are lots of good remedies available--and you should take something with you no matter when you travel. You just can't know what Mother Ocean might have in store for you, so why risk ruining a trip when there area so many preventive options available?

The waters will be cooler in Dec., so if you opt for that you might want to consider wet suits--or a boat that offers them either included in the price or for rent. In Sept., the waters are at about their coolest and they were noticeably cool for us around the southern islands. That said, though, most of our group of 16 snorkeled without wet suits of any kind and did just fine. So even at their coolest, they're not frigid (during a normal year, at least).

The most common cruise is a 7-night cruise; a 10-day cruise would be an extra luxury. In my opinion, longer is always better--and is cheaper than going back for a 2nd visit (which we're doing this year). But a 7-night cruise in March would still plop you down in lots of marvelous settings--so I wouldn't rule that out just because you can't do a longer cruise.

So--pros and cons to both choices. Probably not all that much help. But you'll have a great time with either choice, if you go with a reputable boat and a good itinerary.


trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

2. Re: Spring Break vs. Xmas

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