Has anyone used this company to tour the Galapagos Islands? Can you please let me know how your experience was?
Samba is the name of a boat (on which we traveled), what's the name of the tour company???
the Samba is a great value for money ship. Mid range price, top range service. It is not a spacious ship, but it is efficiently operated, has top guides and the cook does wonders in the kitchen.
We just returned from a cruise on the Samba. It was wonderful! I can't say enough positive things about it. The itinerary was amazing, the food was delicious (and I am a picky eater), the guide was incredible and the service was top notch. We booked through Heather at CNH tours. I am hoping to be going back in the near future.
Samba Galapagos has its own office. Visit http://www.sambagalapagos.com
Just got back from a 8 day trip on Samba (North & West itinerary), it was amazing! Best trip ever (except for the boat rocking and some sea sickness!- but this is to be expected).
This boat is small and is able to travel to some places that most 1-week cruises do not. It goes to Genovesa, Marchena (the only non-diving boat to do so!!), Fernandina (which is also not a usual stop), Isabella in a few locations, and then down to Floreana before returning to Santa Cruz.
We saw every animal we wanted to!
I was on the Samba in October. As noted before, it is a great boat. The crew does not speak much English, but they are professional and very kind. Bi-lingual guide Martha Chica is a frequent freelancer with them, and she was also very knowledgeable and catered to travelers of all countries and ages.
Salon is on the small side compared to catamaran boats. With two bench tables for 8 and another seating bench. Things can also be tight on the back deck when headed for excursions. It all works out fine if there is good chemistry among the travelers.
DOWNSIDE - they may still be fighting a cockroach problem. I had them in my cabin as did two other cabins. They were also in salon late at night. They sprayed attentively and had done a fumigation in September (apparently without success.) I slept with the lights on (goofy I know) but this could ruin the trip for some travelers.
Thank you for raising the issue of “uninvited guests” on the Samba. Even though cockroaches pose absolutely no health problem, they are a major headache for all ship owners in Galapagos, and likely on all the seas of the world, and we take this issue very seriously. No ship is cockroach free – with the movement of boxes of food on and off the ship ever week, sometimes twice a week, it’s inevitable that these insects make it on board over time. As do the other high standard ships in the islands, our boat regularly applies the mandatory pest control protocol procedures (fumigation with environmentally friendly substances, special lighting to reduce attraction of insects, etc) that are a requirement from the Quarantine System in the Islands. In fact, the regulation obligates every boat owner to fumigate 4 times every year and, because we are very meticulous about the possible dispersal of insects between the Islands and we are aware that on a small boat all areas are connected and bugs can spread faster throughout the vessel, we are fumigating 8 times a year. Also, we ensure very high cleanliness standards in our kitchen. All our food is keep in close containers and our chefs are specially trained to run the uppermost hygiene when managing all the fresh goods on board.
It is very rare that we detect cockroaches on the ship, but as in all small boats, they may occasionally make an appearance. We do not like them any more than our guests do – but rest assured, this is a rare thing. The Samba is a top quality Galapagos family owned and operated ship which has consistently received excellent reviews for its guides, its crew, and its itinerary – we will continue to do our utmost to ensure your Galapagos visit will be the best trip of your lifetime.
My wife an I just got back from a NW tour of the Galagagos on the Samba. We were very impressed by the cleanliness of the boat and the professionalism of the crew. The naturalist on the trip was Juan Manual Salcedo. The reason we book the trip was because of Juan. He grew up in the Galagagos, and as he was showing us all its wildlife it was as if he always knew what we would see around the corner. He is very knowledgeable and he made the trip. The rest of the crew of the Samba also made the trip go smoothly. We booked the trip through CNH Tours. Again I highly recommend the Samba and Juan Manual Salcedo.
The Samba has maintained its standards for over a decade. Most notable (as you can see from the above comments) is that it is correctly renowned for the quality of its onboard naturalist guide (particularly Juan Manuel Salcedo). Although not luxurious it is the ideal boat if you want a good all-round Galapagos cruise experience on a good-value priced cruise.
My husband, teenage daughter and I travelled on the Samba North West trip in August. I cannot say enough good things. Our guide, Jan Post, was not only extremely knowledgeable, but able to keep everyone happy. His talks on physics of flight, ocean currents, geology and volcanic activity, Darwin were fascinating and kept everyone interested. Accounts of historical scandals were entertaining as well. The crew is so friendly and caring. It is impossible to see how the chef can prepare the variety of delicious dishes in the kitchen. Meals are terrific. All your equipment needs are met: snorkels, fins, masks, wetsuits, towels to dry your feet. They think of everything.
Of course, the reason you go is the wildlife, and the opportunity to see wildlife on land and in the water is incredible. You are swimming with sea lions and turtles, lots of turtles. You are standing in arms reach of nesting frigates and watching blue footed boobies court and mate 7 feet away. You walk across a lava flow and there are 3 spectacular flamingos in a small pond. You can watch flightless cormorants dive and hunt for fish a few feet from your snorkel, and see eagle rays, parrot fish, etc. Watching a flock of boobies herd small fish, and then plunge dive to catch them.