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Xpedition or Polaris

Chicago, Illinois
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63 posts
3 reviews
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Xpedition or Polaris

I'm trying to decide between the two ships. I'm probably going to be pregnant - so I probably should be on a bigger ship. Cost is a factor but the two ships are pretty close in price (about $1500 diff). I'm concerned about the comments on how old the Polaris is. Is the Islander noticably more rocky? My husband and I are 32 and 35 if age matters.

Also - is Quito at an elevation that is unsafe if I'm pregnant?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Miami, Fl
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175 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Xpedition or Polaris

1.- If you're going to do the Galapagos, it's all about the daily activities. While the Polaris is older, those who have gone with Lindblad rave about their experience.

2.- If you're going to be pregnant, your clearance to fly etc., should come from your OB/GYN. However, Lindblad asks you to fly into Guayaquil which is much lower than Quito... keep this in mind if altitude is an issue for you.

3.- If you're having morning sickness all day, the size of the ship wont matter :) You'll be deprived of participating in the daily expeditions regardless of what ship you're on. You may want to delay this decision until you know how pregnancy is going to affect you!

Whatever you decide, good luck and have fun!

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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3,011 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Xpedition or Polaris

Dear Kristine - congratulations on the pregnancy! I had my 1st son while living in Galapagos (back in '99 - he was born in Quito) and the second was also conceived there, but born back in Canada.

As the previous posted noted, best get your medical advice from your doctor - but from my end, I flew from Galapagos (sea level) to Quito (nearly 10,000 feet) just 3 weeks prior to my due date and had no problems at all (just had to hide my belly from the airline people at check-in!).

As far as big ships go, I'm a bit Polaris fan (as other posters will know). My husband and I have been on it a few times, giving talks, when we worked at the Charles Darwin Research Station. It has a great conservation programme and helps raise nearly $500,000 a year for Galapagos conservation. It may be old, but so is the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City and the George V in Paris - e.g. old does not mean bad - sometimes old means elegance and substance (I'm turning 40 in 2 years, I have to start getting ready with the arguments!).

Have a great trip and good luck with the pregnancy!

Heather Blenkiron

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78 posts
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3. Re: Xpedition or Polaris

See my other post on Lindblad/Polaris as well, but, just got back (6/30 - 7/7) from the cruise on the Polaris, and, there is nothing wrong with that ship. (Well, one thing: They made us get off after a week.)

I suppose if Lindblad didn't do everything perfectly, then maybe I'd notice something wrong with the "old" Polaris, but, frankly, to be with their guides and program, I'd book on the Titanic.

Chicago northshore
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39 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: Xpedition or Polaris

See my other posts about Lindblad vs Expedition. Polaris is not a new fancy ship. If luxury is very important to you, you might be happier with Xpedition.

But if your main goal is to LEARN all about the Galapagos---the wildlife, the history, the current ecomony, etc. then I highly recommend Lindblad. Not only were the naturalists superb, but I think that the Lindblad trips tend to get the type of passenger who appreciates what they offer. Quite a few of the people on our trip were college professors, for example.

Quito's elevation: I was concerned because my son has gotten altitude sick twice---once skiing in Colorado and once at the Grand Canyon (driving up over 8000 ft did it). We flew into Guayaquil at sea level and out of Quito. My son was fine, although I was quite dizzy at the end of the day there. (I was thinking to myself that either there was an earthquake or the altitude was getting to me :) )

As far as cost: if you can afford it, then just pick the ship that is best for you. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience, so you will want the best experience possible.

5. Re: Xpedition or Polaris

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