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Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Oxfordshire
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63 posts
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Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Any help or advice would be gratefully received. We want to just book a 4 night/5 day cruise which includes a trip to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see the giant tortoises in May 2012. It may be that we are trying to do this too early!

We have tried several agencies (including Columbus Travel Equador and Select Latin America who are UK based and were recommended) but no-one answers our questions direclty, even the UK operator and everyone wants to sell us the 8 day trip! How do we pin them down?

Boat wise we have looked at the Galaxy and the MV Santa Cruz. Can anyone offer any advice on either of these?

How early do the flights from Quito book up and should be book these through an agent or on our own? We hear that even if you reconfirm you can still get 'bumped' and that is a bit worrying!

Am now toying with giving up and going somewhere else as cannot seem to do this independently. So any help would be appreciated.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
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10,025 posts
95 reviews
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1. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Try CNH Tours. They deal exclusively with Galapagos travel. I've booked with them for June.

Oxfordshire
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63 posts
26 reviews
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2. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Thanks. Will give them a try. I have also tried Happy Gringo after reading all the good reports on TA.

Miami, Florida
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107 posts
97 reviews
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3. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Try Enchanted Expeditions or Angermeyer Cruises, both reliable, have their own boats and are based in Ecuador.

Sydney, Australia
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40 posts
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4. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

I'll put in a second for Happy Gringo. We booked through them for our Galapagos trip on Nemo II in November. They are located in Quito; but allowed us to pay deposits with GBP bank transfer, USD bank transfer, or credit card (for a fee). The transfer options were quite easy. We were able to skype with our agent as well, which was a good way for us to get the information that we had questions on.

Fort Smith, Arkansas
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5. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

My family (adults) is looking at trips to Galapagos with National Geographic but am wondering if anyone has had a good trip with another reliable company. Also, has anyone tried Galapagos Conservency? Would like to have recs on companies that take care of both the environment and their clients. Thanks.

Quito, Ecuador
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651 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Oxon,

There are many reputable companies to choose from that deal with the Galapagos. Besides the good ones already posted, you could try : Columbus Travel, Andando Tours, Latin Tours.

Rivermom,

Good researching of potential companies will show you who (and how!) each one is contributing to the environment. Many boats are now certified by eco-standard companies like Carbon Offsetting Canopy Co, or Rainforest Alliance.

Seattle, Washington
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26 posts
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7. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Daniela at Happy Gringo has been amazing with our booking, when we changed our minds at the last minute to go from a 5 day to 8 day cruise (after the urging of everyone on here) and then all the random (probably ridiculous) questions I have had since then.

She is quick to respond and very helpful.

8. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

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ohio
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5 posts
24 reviews
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9. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

Myself and 3 women booked our Galapagos 8 day cruise thru Columbus Travel. I found them online at this forum and contacted Christian, one of the agents. He was most helpful on picking a ship and the itinerary..which can be confusing...and helped plan some extra days that we were spending in Quito.

He suggested the Eclipse which turned out to be a good choice. There were only 29 passengers and 3 naturalists..all terrific! The itinerary..the last ship to use the 2011 itinerary so we saw many islands including Fernandina and Espanola which I loved. The cabins were good as was the food! Abercrombie and Kent also book this ship..at a much higher rate..so we felt we got a great deal!

Christian was prompt at answering emails and I'd recommend using him for your trip to the Galapagos.

Los Angeles
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10. Re: Reliable companies to book cruise through. Any help?

We ended up booking through Safari Tours. So far, the price couldn't be beat and the customer service has been friendly. Haven't gone on our trip yet, so I can't fully endorse them until we take the trip and all goes well, but so far so good! Happy Gringo was the most responsive and professional company we talked to, but not the most economical. We're on a budget and just couldn't justify the price difference. If price isn't a major concern, I'd probably go with them.