CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
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Who are we?
We are a small and highly experienced tour operator focused mostly on Galapagos. Heather Blenkiron (pictured) and Marc Patry moved to Galapagos after getting married, working for the Darwin Research Station / Galapagos National Park Service from 1998-2002. While there, Heather was asked by the Canadian ambassador to act as the embassy representative in the islands. After his time in Galapagos, Marc served as the UN point man for Galapagos conservation (2003-2014), joining Heather at CNH Tours in 2015. Our associate, Kelsey Bradley, lived and worked in Galapagos from 2010-18; for the last four years she was the Darwin Station fundraising manager, forging ties with the tourism sector. We maintain very close relationships with the Galapagos community – few if any Galapagos agencies know the islands as intimately as we do.
Starting in 2023, we are offering occasional trips to other unique destinations. We've found destination experts who are intimately familiar with these places, and have asked them to create unique trips for us. Fore more info, click here.
10 reasons to book your Galapagos cruise with CNH Tours
1. Galapagos was our home - few if any agencies know the islands like we do.
All of our team members have lived and worked in the islands for several years. We retain our hands on the pulse of Galapagos through our long-term connections with our friends and colleagues who remain in the islands. Today, several of them are senior naturalist guides, or occupy senior positions in local and national governments, at the Park and at the Darwin Station. We know many ship owners or their commercial representatives on a first name basis. Few travel agencies have access to such a diversity of personal and professional contacts in Galapagos.
2. Your trip is carbon neutral
Starting in 2022, all carbon emissions relating to your trip with CNH Tours (all in-country emissions) will be carbon neutral thanks to the purchase of carbon offsets. These are certified by the Gold Standard, a United Nations recognized certifying agency. For more information, please see our detailed explanation here.
3. You benefit from a US$200,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance
All of CNH Tours' guests are automatically covered with an emergency medical evacuation insurance for a value of up to US$200,000 (starting in 2022). For full details, click here.
4. You will be protected by the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund.
As an Ontario-based travel company registered under the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), anyone (from anywhere) booking through CNH Tours benefits from the TICO Compensation Fund. The Fund reimburses travelers when travel services are not provided due to our bankruptcy (we certainly don't expect that to happen) or that of an end supplier airline or cruise line - where a reimbursement has not otherwise been provided. Our registrant number is 50022618.
5. We are not distracted by other destinations.
We constantly seek to update and improve our knowledge on the latest developments in the islands so that it is put to use in ensuring your visit is the best it can be (while we are now offering carefully selected trips to the Okavango Delta, the Great Bear Rainforest and to Antarctica, we have our dedicated long-time experts focused on those trips). See our very own "news" section for the latest developments, and how these may relate to your visit.
6. We are recognized experts in Galapagos tourism.
After having posted thousands of helpful recommendations on , this very popular travel information website invited Heather to become its first Galapagos "Galapagos Destination Expert" in 2009. Heather continues to provide advice there to people considering a Galapagos trip.
In February 2020, CNH Tour was recognized as the Best Boutique Galapagos cruise Operator – Canada by Lux Life Magazine. Co-owner, Heather Blenkiron was recognized as a Trailblazing Woman Leader in her field by Aspioneer Magazine.
7. Personalized service is our specialty.
Our unofficial company saying is: "We may not be big, but we're small." We're very proud of the fact that when you contact CNH Tours, you'll be talking to people who have lived in the islands for several years. An important part of our reward in this business is our own personal satisfaction in doing all we can to help you see and feel Galapagos like we did - and that motivates us to go the extra mile.
Why not get in touch with us right now by email? Contact Heather at: firstname.lastname@example.org (if she's overloaded, she'll ask Kelsey to help you). You may also want to consider asking us to schedule a phone call to help you start exploring cruise options.
Celebrations on the Samba to mark the crossing of the Equatorial line
8. We give back to the community.
Since 2000, CNH Tours has been organizing non-profit fund-raising cruises in support of worthy initiatives. Past cruises have raised funds for United World Colleges (3 cruises), underprivileged urban youth (2 cruises). We helped raise funds for the Galapagos Public Library and donated berths for fundraising purposes, once for the Boston National Public Radio annual fundraising event and again for the Montana Natural History Center. On occasion, we invite deserving local youths on a cruise when we have a suitable availability. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, with the help of past (and future guests), we raised over US$54,000 - all of which was deposited in equal shares directly into the bank accounts of crew, guides and office staff of one the ships we use regularly - helping put food on the table for several months. If you'd like to use a Galapagos cruise as a fundraiser for a special cause, please get in touch with us to explore possibilities.
CNH Tour is a Full Member of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) a non-profit association of travel companies , conservation organizations and other groups that seek a lasting protection of the islands. CNH Tours co-owner Marc Patry also sits on its board of directors.
9. We are a Member of the Charles Darwin Foundation's Governing Council.
In 2015, Marc Patry, co-owner of CNH Tours, was elected as a member of the Charles Darwin Foundation's governing council. He was re-elected in 2019. His long history in Galapagos, first as a staff member of the Darwin Station, then as a United Nations representative overseeing the conservation status of the Galapagos World Heritage Sites puts him in a good position to provide guidance to the Foundation. In turn, this helps us keep close tabs on conservation issues in the islands.
10. We offer competitive prices.
There is a tendency to think that buying directly from the ship owners will result in cost savings. In fact, whether one buys directly from the owner, or from us, the price is the same. CNH Tours earns its living from the commissions the owners offer us by selling spaces on their ships. When owners sell cruises directly, they simply keep the commissions themselves. The advantage of using an agent lies in the agent's capacity to consider your needs first, before suggesting a particular ship. Ship owners are understandably focused on selling only their ships.
Hi Heather: Thank you for organizing such a wonderful trip! In our credit card society, I was apprehensive about the cash policy, but once there, the trip couldn't have been better! Juan was such an excellent guide and we saw so much! At the Quito airport, I met a lady that had been working at the Darwin center. She asked what we saw on the Samba. She said she had never heard of a tour that saw everything we did. She had even worked on a National Geographic tour! Antonio, the guide you arranged for us in Quito, was very knowledgeable and an excellent host! The trip was perfect!
Feb 2016 Active Galapagos on the Samba