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Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Hertzlia
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236 posts
136 reviews
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Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Even though I've been to GI last year, I've missed the "stellar" islands [as Tina fondly calls them] and I'm "roaring" to go again… First time I've chosen a "big" boat (Xpedition), but as I'm looking now on the Silver or Legend, they don't go to all 4 of them. This time I'm willing to "downgrade" to a smaller boat….

Has someone compiled the names of boats which go to ALL the "stellar" islands (Isabela, Fernandina, Genovesa and Espanola). Thanks, Daniela

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Isabela
Isabela
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Bristol, United...
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850 posts
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1. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

What length of cruise are you looking for ? To go to all those islands you will have to do back to back cruises. You will not find a single 8 day cruise taht goes to them all.

Dave Peters

DP Software

Hertzlia
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236 posts
136 reviews
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2. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

I don't mind -- so long as I'll not be in the same place twice... 9-12 days will be very reasonable... Thanks, Dave

Oceanside...
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3. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Hi, Daniela--

I remember your plight! You got switched to the less desirable itinerary and were really bummed. How great that you're considering going back!

You don't necessarily need to go on 2 back-to-back 7-night cruises. In fact, you'd probably have a lot of overlap from your first trip if you did that. When we were looking into itineraries for our return trip, I found several boats that had a 10- or 11-day trip (made up of shorter segments) that got to the big 4. I don't remember which ones, but they were probably first-class boats with no more than 20 passengers, which should help narrow the options a bit.

The downside to that, though, is that you'll stop once or possibly twice to let those folks doing just the shorter segments leave and board the boat. Some boats handle that down time well (e.g., a trip to the highlands of Santa Cruz). But some on this forum have also noted that they felt they had a completely wasted day during those transitions.

If you had 2 days that felt wasted, that would be really frustrating. So look at the itineraries carefully and talk with the agent specifically about those transition days.

Tina

trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

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Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Hertzlia
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236 posts
136 reviews
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4. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Hi Tina,

Amazing that u should remember my "lemonesque" situation, among hundred of posts, from one year ago....

I remeber someone posting that he/she made a spreadsheet with all boats + itineraries "plying" the GI (as Heather fondly says...).

After making such a long journey from Israel, I really don't mind some "down" time, so long as I go to the BIG 4. The problem is that here GI are not a popular destination, due to cost and long flight. Only young people, just after finishing their army service, r going to S America and sometimes go to GI, but they r a different "kettle" altogether. What I'm really saying is that there r no travel agents specializing in this destination.

I'll try to gather info as much as I can from this forum.

Best wishes, Daniela

Oceanside...
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5. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Hi, Daniela--

I think I remember your plight because you experienced what, in my mind anyway, is one of the big fears of arranging this trip. You do tons of research; you make your choice; and yet you don't get what you want. Ugh!

You certainly don't need a local travel agent to help you, though. In fact, you'd be wise to work with an agency that specializes in the Galápagos. Three that get pretty consistently great comments on this forum are Happy Gringo, CNH Tours, and Columbus Travel. (There are others highly mentioned on this forum, but these 3 seem to come up the most often.) These folks are experts in matching people's desires with good boats in their price range. All of the arrangements can be made long-distance, via Skype, e-mail, live chat, telephone (how 20th century!), etc. You could send an introductory e-mail to any (or all!) of them and see who responds to you most quickly and with the most helpful information.

We're working with CNH Tours for our return trip. Even though I already knew a lot about what I wanted, Heather's been terrific at keeping us posted as issues have come up along the way. (For instance, the first boat we chose was sold and reports of the new owner's behavior were a bit troubling. The 2nd boat we chose was removed from service, so we had to choose a 3rd boat. The downside of trying to book a cruise a year and a half in advance...) I haven't regretted having her expert "ear to the ground" for a moment.

Tina

trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

Hertzlia
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236 posts
136 reviews
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6. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Hi Tina,

That's "catch-22"... You book far in advance - u get better prices, better itineraries, better boats... and then - the boat switches company, the itinerary goes upside-down, etc...

Still, we r fortunate to even think about those wonderful options to travel the world!!!

Bristol, United...
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850 posts
11 reviews
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7. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Here are some possibilities to look at - higher class first:

Archipel 12 days

Fragata 12 days

Aida Maria 13 days

Golondrina 12 days

Guantanamera 12 days

Yolita II 12 days

There are many more possibilities if you can stretch to 15 days. They all stop to pick up passengers during the cruise as the maximum length of one cruise is 8 days.

Dave Peters

DP Software

Hertzlia
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236 posts
136 reviews
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8. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

Thank you, Dave, for your help and info - much appreciated.

Found that the Fragata & Archipel I (4 days + 7 days) answer to all the 4 BIG, plus I get Floreana as a bonus... Not too much "overlapping" either with what I've already seen - Tagos Cove's lovely beach surrounded by mangroves on Isabela was such a bliss, that I'll willingly "suffer" again.

P.S. - Funny that today "resurfaced" an old post, warning about Guantanamera & Yolita !!!!

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Isabela
Isabela
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
9. Re: Isabela,Fernandina,Genovesa & Espanola in the same "boat"??

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