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Cruise suggestions please :)

Brisbane, Australia
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625 posts
83 reviews
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Cruise suggestions please :)

Hello, I am looking for a cruise to the Galapagos islands for my husband and me. We are a healthy, fit middle aged couple with little experience snorkeling but are willing to learn :). We would prefer a small cruise boat that is in good order that will cost us no more than $2,000 each. We would like to see the giant tortoises, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, penguins and sea turtles if possible. Can any of you suggest a cruise that would suit our purposes? We are thinking around May to September sometime in 2016. I thought I should start planning now... I've looked at quite a few but am getting more and more confused. Angelito and Coral I and II sound good but I'm not sure we will be able to see what we want to on those boats. Perhaps you can offer other suggestions that would suit us better. Thanks in advance for your help.

Ottawa, Canada
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for Galapagos Islands
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1. Re: Cruise suggestions please :)

Dear Flossy -

you have plenty of time to look around at this point. There are many boat reviews in the TOP QUESTIONS on the upper right of this page. Why not contact an agent specialized in this kind of thing and have them look around for you? There are plenty of them out there. One note, $2,000, more so by 2016, will not go a long way in the islands for an 8 day cruise.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Brisbane, Australia
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625 posts
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2. Re: Cruise suggestions please :)

Thanks Heather for responding. I've been reading about the M/S Mary Anne. How much further would I have to stretch the budget to do an 8 day western tour on her, does anyone know? I'm keen and may skip some of the other places in order to spend more $$ on the Galapagos part of the trip.

Bristol, United...
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850 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Cruise suggestions please :)

Mary Anne is very nice but $4,385 per person based on 2 sharing for 2014. You need to add to that the national park fee of $100 and the air fare from Quito or Guayaquil.

Dave Peters

DP Software

Oceanside...
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1,853 posts
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4. Re: Cruise suggestions please :)

You can look at some overview Web sites to get a better sense of how far (or how unfar) your money will stretch. When I need some general information, I use this site: galapagosislands.com/galapagos-cruise.html . I don't have any personal experience with this agency, but I like how their Web site is laid out.

But I'm with Heather--you'll be well served to work closely with an agency that specializes in Galápagos travel. I knew a LOT about what I wanted for our return trip last year, but I opted to work with CNH Tours because I knew just how much I DIDN't know, too! I think it can be especially important when you're planning a trip this far in advance (as we did too). For instance, just as we were about to put a deposit down on one boat, Heather let us know that the boat had just been sold and she had been hearing some rumblings about problems with the new owner. We started searching for a different boat with a similarly good itinerary and we settled on the Sagitta. But none of her itineraries were exactly what we wanted. This was at the time when the boats were all required to redo their itineraries due to new National Park regulations. Heather suggested that we hold off until the Sagitta operators announced their new itineraries before putting down a deposit--she had a suspicion that one of their new itineraries was likely to be just what we wanted. Sure enough--6 weeks later, she let us know that the Sagitta's western itinerary was indeed going to be a continuous one (our goal), so we put down our deposit and set about getting seriously excited about returning.

About 6 months after that, she sent us an urgent e-mail with the news that the owners were going to permanently pull the Sagitta from service, due to mechanical problems. Yikes! However, she suggested we consider the Sagitta's sister ship, the Mary Anne. It was more expensive than the Sagitta, but Heather got us a guarantee that we could have 1 of the 2 large cabins on the Mary Anne for the same price as we would have paid for a smaller cabin on the Sagitta. And the Mary Anne was indeed a gorgeous, elegant, wonderful boat with the same great itinerary we had wanted. Having an expert with her ear to the ground, her finger on the pulse of the archipelago, and her eyes on your back for such an expensive trip--priceless!!!

In addition to CNH Tours, 2 other agencies that get consistently good reviews on this forum are Happy Gringo and Columbus Travel. All have a presence on the Internet, as well as numerous ways to contact them; so you could formulate some beginning questions that you send to each. See who answers quickly and in a style you like and move ahead from there.

Tina

trip reports (and much more) at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

5. Re: Cruise suggestions please :)

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