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Athala or Eclipse?

Los Angeles...
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366 posts
83 reviews
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Athala or Eclipse?

Hello TA members,

I'm planning a 7 day cruise in November and I'm undecided between these two ships -

Athala (16 guest catamaran)

Eclipse (48 guest single hull)

After searching around I could not find recent reviews on the Athala. The few reviews I found (in other sites) were negative as far as the low quality of the food and service. The Eclipse seems to have pretty good reviews, though it's a bigger ship than I would prefer.

I understand November through December 10 is considered low season so I could risk going on the Eclipse and hope it's not full. However, it seems the Athala is already selling out so I need to make a decision quickly.

Has anyone been on the Athala recently? It would be great to get the opinion of an actual passenger on this ship, particularly the "not so good" points.

Thanks!

San Jose, California
7 posts
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1. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

We are looking at Athala for December 2014 and having the same problem you have: no recent reviews. There is one from 2011 on Fodors: fodors.com/community/south-america/galapagos… but I consider it irrelevant since I've heard there was a recent change of ownership.

I would greatly appreciate if you let me know of new info you may be finding.

Los Angeles...
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366 posts
83 reviews
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2. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

I will be in touch again with Columbus Travel and see what they say. My dates are for March or April of 2015 but these trips have to booked really early. Are you sure they have space for this December?

Considering some of the stories about the different ships, it's essential to read a few user reviews before making a choice.

I will post as soon as I have more information. In the meantime, I have seen good reviews for the Cormorant which is somewhat similar, though the itinerary of Athala is better for me.

San Jose, California
7 posts
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3. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

Cormorant has good reviews online, but covers only 6 out of our 8 preferred islands. Athala covers 7 out of the 8. Ultimately the quality of the guide is one of the most important factors in our decision.

Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
19 posts
171 reviews
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4. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

My wife and I are also considering the Athala II during May 2015, but am on the fence because of the lack of reviews. We would greatly appreciate hearing about anyone's actual experience. Thanks.

Level Contributor
4 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

We spent 7 nights on the Athala last year and had a fantastic time. We choose the route to Espanola as I wanted to see the waved albatross. Being a smaller vessel there were only 14 guests on board which worked out really well. We all were able to go ashore and on the excursions in two pangas so no waiting around for your turn. The food was excellent, the crew very friendly. The catamaran was very stable, a couple of rocky nights but nothing rough at all. I would thoroughly recommend it and would love to return on the Athala and go to Genovesa and the more northerly route.

Toronto
Level Contributor
1 post
5 reviews
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6. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

Not sure if recommendations for Athala II are still required by anyone in this string, but in case they are I can say that it is a fantastic boat - comfortable, spacious and run by exceptionally helpful and friendly staff who anticipated our every need. We have just returned from a November cruise. Our guide was knowledgable and engaging; the food was delicious and of a very high quality; and the Espanola itinerary brought us into contact with just about every marine and land animal and bird the group hoped for. While I don't think that the Galapagos can disappoint I am certain that our experience with the Athala II and crew made it that much more fantastic.

Edited: 20 December 2014, 17:06
Townsville...
2 posts
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7. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

Does anyone have a review update for the Athalla II or Eric, Letty and Flamingo as we are considering a trip in November 2015 and are trying to decide between the two. Any information is greatly appreciated. Many thanks Yvette

Brevard, North...
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22 posts
182 reviews
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8. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

We just returned from the 7 day western itinerary on the Athala and everyone on board said it exceeded expectations, including us. I'm working on a trip report but the short version is it's a fantastic boat, with outstanding service, crew, and food. We absolutely loved it.

Townsville...
2 posts
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9. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

Fantastic thanks so much. WE could not find recent reviews of the boat so great to hear it is still a great boat to go with.

Many thanks Yvette

Portland, Oregon
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1 post
3 reviews
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10. Re: Athala or Eclipse?

Happy to read these reviews we are Departing May 23, 2015 on the Athala. Very excited!