Why join us on our "Classic Active Galapagos" Tour?

"This ship, with its crew and its owners, is one of the best and most welcoming in Galapagos. I recommend it a thousand times, even with my eyes closed!"

Arturio Izurieta, current Galapagos National Park Director and former Darwin Research Station Director

  

After having taken a few regular cruises, we realized that often, the land and water excursions tended to be  geared to accommodate the least adventurous, or the least physically capable person in a group.  At times, we didn't walk to the end of a trail, or we didn't linger in the water with the sea lions as long as we wanted to.

We understood that there were people out there who had been dreaming of a trip to the Galapagos for a long time - that this was not just one more place to tick off a list of "been there" holiday destinations.   These people already had a good general knowledge of what Galapagos was all about.  They tended to be more inquisitive, and as a result, they could be disappointed in mediocre guiding.  They needed a naturalist guide who could respond to challenging questions, who could nurture a sense of wonder and who could make them really feel what Galapagos was all about.

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 Am I Fit Enough?

The ACTIVE cruise will give you greater opportunities to hike, kayak, paddle board and swim than with most other Galapagos cruise experiences. Despite the focus on fitness, you don't have to be an Olympian to join us.  The most strenuous of activities consist of moderate 2 hour hikes (interspersed with several nature observation stops), with little elevational gain.  As a result, we have had participants from 10 to 87 years (Indeed! Joining us in 2006, this man was reportedly more fit than most others on the cruise!) of age on our cruises without a problem.  In all cases, activities are optional and should you decide to relax on the ship while the party is out hiking, kayaking or snorkelling, you will be free to do so. When possible, alternative activities are arranged.

PLEASE NOTE: As is the case for all Galapagos cruises, we will be out of reach of immediate medical attention during most of the time at sea. The main town of Puerto Ayora has a basic hospital, and better medical attention is only available on the continent, which can, in some cases, be more than a 24 hour journey back. By joining us on the cruise, you accept this situation and its potential consequences. Should serious medical attention be required, the ship captain will do all that is possible to get a participant to the hospital, or to the airport. The guide is trained in first aid.

turtle and snorkellers

Comfortable, Safe, Clean and Well-Operated Ship

Nearly 70 cruise ships ply the waters of Galapagos, ranging from 100 passenger mini-Caribbean luxury liners to 8 passenger boats. Of course, quality ranges from dark, humid, cramped and cockroach infested skiffs to glitter and glamour vessels. And as usual, one generally gets what one pays for. A US$350 per person per day cruise may get you a poorly maintained and unprofessionally operated cramped boat, while a US$1100 per person per day cruise will get you a top cabin in a luxurious vessel.

Finding an ideal ship that combines good value for money, be it on a tourist or luxury class ship is the challenge.   We make a point of being very familiar with  all of the ships that we recommend, either by having carried out personal inspections ourselves, or through close inspection by our colleagues in Galapagos (who tend to be current of former naturalist guides - they know their ships!).  For our Active Cruise - we are convinced that the Samba provides the best combination of top service at a reasonable price while also being focused on the "active" side of an expedition cruise.

 

Who Will Be My Travel Companions?

It's anybody's guess, but our experience has shown that the ACTIVE Galapagos cruise usually attracts dynamic and inquisitive individuals from a variety of backgrounds sharing a common state of mind.  They are interested in the natural world, eager to get exposed to new experiences, and keen on making the absolute most out of their time in Galapagos.  Some may be accompanied by their adolescent and adult children.  A representative sample might include a hospital administrator from the Canadian arctic, retired university professors, their spouses, friends from the UK, a physiotherapist from Alaska, a computer specialist from Silicon Valley, local entrepreneurs/business people...  One of our guides commented "I had more questions from this ACTIVE Galapagos group on the first outing of our first day than I usually get during an ENTIRE WEEK on a regular cruise!"

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Both of us join in what I am sure is a chorus of folks who feel that your Galapagos tour is the best experience. We found of course that the guide is critical for a meaningful experience-and Juan is a treasure in that respect.These islands have many reasons to be unique and special and your tour shows them off well. We value your special contribution of our phone conversation when we  were trying to decide whether to go and your help with our lodging and tour of the market.We enjoyed the mix of our co-passingers.

Ed and Charlotte
USA

 

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