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Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

Sydney, Australia
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Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

We have just returned from a fabulous 29 day trip to South America which included a marvellous 4 night/5 day cruise in the Galapagos Islands on the "Galapagos Legend". We visited Santa Cruz Island, Santiago, Rabida, Fernandina and Isabela. We chose a larger boat because we get seasick and also because we thought it would be good to meet some new people. This was a great decision as it did get a little rocky on two occasions. There were only 32 people on board instead of a possible 100, as it is not heavily booked at this time of the year. We met people from England, Australia, Europe, USA and Sweden who were English speakers and really enjoyed talking to them. There were families, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, friends travelling together and couples (young and middle aged) on board.

Our junior suite had two single beds, a divan where we put our suitcases, a wardrobe, two bedside tables and an adequate sized bathroom/toilet with a hairdryer. Liquid soap and shampoo/conditioner were provided as they are biodegradable and will not damage the delicate eco-system of the Galapagos. Snorkelling gear was stored under the bed in a special plastic tub. Towels were changed several times a day. All laundry was done free of charge and there was a very handy little shop on board with a good range of quality products. You had to pay extra for internet access on the ship's computer and our mobile phones from Australia did not work.

Because of the smaller number of people, only two boats with a maximum of 16 people in each, went ashore each day. National Parks restricts the movements of all visitors in the Galapagos and you have to keep to the paths in order not to tread on iguana or turtle nests at this time of the year. There is so much of interest to see, learn about, watch and photograph that this is not a problem at all. We saw an incredible amount of wildlife and swam with turtles, sharks and sea lions when deep sea snorkelling. My favourite animals are the land and marine iguanas which are just so amazing.

I found a pair of walking shoes with good soles quite adequate for all shore excursions. If we had a wet landing I just paddled ashore, dried my feet on the provided towel and put on my shoes and socks. I also had a pair of thongs for walking on the sand when we went swimming. You need a hat, sunburn cream, two pairs of swimmers and sunglasses. I had a waterproof bag for my camera but most people didn't. I covered up with long sleeves and long pants but most people wore shorts and T-shirts for the walks. Some got very burnt. Insects were not an issue in early April.

The daily program consisted of three activities each day. In the mornings we landed on an island and had a walk to see the animals who were mostly warming up in the sun so we got a great view of them. This was followed by swimming or snorkelling at a nearby beach. In the afternoons an optional deep sea snorkelling experience was offered. This was followed by a dinghy ride along the coast to view wildlife and a walk on a different island. You could participate in whatever you wanted. The sea temperature was very pleasant for both shallow and deep water snorkelling and all equipment was provided included snorkelling vests for those lacking confidence in deep water.

Our larger boat was able to cover more territory than the smaller boats so we saw more islands and visited several sites on each island.

I loved the experience on board this ship. It was big enough to get away on your own and read a book in a hammock, sit on deck and look for dolphins, seals and sunfish, have a swim in the pool or a dip in the spa if you wanted or meet up with others and have a drink at one of the two bars. You could also sit in the very comfortable lounge and watch nature documentaries or read a book/play cards/etc. Free tea, coffee and biscuits were available at all times. The food was excellent and there was entertainment of some sort each day eg. star gazing, barbecue and dance on deck, lectures on the geology of the Galapagos and what we were doing the next day, a play to celebrate crossing the equator 4 times, farewell cocktail, and even an ice cream party one afternoon. Every time we got back on board we were welcomed by the crew with a drink and tasty morsel.

The two naturalists were excellent, especially Harvey who came with our group (the Boobies) every day. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the islands and their inhabitants and a great desire to preserve them for future generations. I cannot speak highly enough of this young man who would make a wonderful teacher. He had the knack of getting on with everyone in his group, especially the younger ones, and could answer any question thrown at him.

I have read very few reviews of a cruise on the "Galapagos Legend" and wanted to write about my experience. Transfers to and from the mainland were seamless and we were looked after every step of the way. There was always someone keeping an eye on you when you were snorkelling and if you raised your arm, the dinghy raced over and picked you up. Crew members assisted us into and out of the dingy so we were never in danger of slipping into the water or hurting ourselves.

I have no hesitation in recommending the "Galapagoa Legend" for a great Galapagos experience and will travel on it again when I go back to visit different islands. It was very reasonably priced compared with many of the other boats and was superb. Give it a try!

Sydney, Australia
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45 posts
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31. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

On the last night they give you envelopes for the guides and crew. They also tell you they share the total amount and if you want yo give a certain individual a tip to give it to them directly The recommended amounts are in the manual they give you $15 per person per day for the crew and $10 per person per day for the guides

If you have laundry done on board it's free but they leave a tip envelope for the service.

We paid what we felt was appropriate as did most people and we handed a tip to the panga driver as he had been fantastic. The guide had suggested the day before that people should do this.

Have a wonderful cruise.

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32. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

Nice report, we are going in January 2015, but undecided on the legend or Isabella 2, which is a 40 passenger yatch.

Sydney, Australia
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45 posts
109 reviews
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33. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

Hi

When we went on the legend there were 46 passengers. I would not have wanted to be on if it was full. The next boat had 70

It was choppy one night so we were glad it was a bigger boat

Check which islands it visits. We did not get to the Darwin centre which was disappointing.

We loved our trip and would go back

chicago
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48 posts
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34. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

Thank you?after doing more research, we have narrowed it down to la pinta or eclipse both 48 passenger yatchs.

Sydney, Australia
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45 posts
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35. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

I'm sure you will have an amazing and unforgettable time no matter which boat you on

We can't wait to go back in another season

chicago
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36. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

One more question . Why weren't you able to see Darwin center ? Do you recommend south, central or north islands ?

Ottawa, Canada
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for Galapagos Islands
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37. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

The Charles Darwin Research Station (where I worked for 3 years)may not be on every itinerary. Each boat follows a 15 day loop around the islands, during which most if not all will include a visit to the Station. If you are on a 8 day cruise, you may miss the Station stop. Of course, you could choose to stay behind in Puerto Ayora for a day or two after your cruise and see the station then.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

pine ridge fl
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38. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

Thanks to all for the excellent suggestions and feedback on the legend. I am going to be on the Legend soon and am working on my packing list. What do the ladies where for dinner? Would a long cotton skirt and top be OK or just stick to "daytime" wear? Also' have seen mention on other replies to bring rash guards for snorkeling. What are "rashguards?

Thanks for any help on these questions.

Sydney, Australia
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45 posts
109 reviews
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39. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

Hi

There is no dress code on the boat. It's great because it's very casual. No one was dressed up although most people changed from what they wore during the day. So just wear whatever you are comfortable in.

You need some sun protection gear. Most people who went snorkelling wore wet suits as the water was cold. We were there in November.

Annandale, New...
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40. Re: Galapagos Legend report on trip from 11th April -15th April,

We just returned from 8 days on the Legend (1-8 Sept 2014) and I am compiling our LONG trip report on the voyage and the islands which will be posted later. Here are a few hints/observations from our trip:

The water was VERY cold in September due to the Humboldt Current. We took full body wet suits along - the only passengers who did so - and they were very welcome. You can rent shorty suits on the boat.

Crossings were VERY rough. So much so that we never got more than four hours of continuous sleep any night of the journey. Rough enough that the crockery in the crew mess hit the floor one night!

The dress code on the Legend is very informal. Shorts and t-shirts are enough dress for all occasions. There is no requirement to dress differently for dinner (although some folks did!)

Laundry is NOT free as some have indicated. It is very expensive. Some examples taken right from their price list: T-shirt-$4, Bra-$3, Shirt-$4, Shorts-$4, BVD's-$2, Pants-$6. You can wash stuff out in the sink, but it does not dry very quickly because of the damp conditions aboard.

None of the shops in either port wanted any bill larger than $20 unless you bought a much larger amount of stuff approaching $100. Bring lots of $5 bills! If you can get US Dollar coins at your bank, they are the most useful and accepted currency for small purchases like snacks and bottled water.

Guests on the Legend are broken down into groups of 16 or less and assigned a guide for the length of your trip. The guides are contract personnel not associated with the ship. Which guide you get really makes or breaks the trip. Ours was a disappointment.

The crew/staff of the Legend was a really great bunch. I cannot say enough good things about them. Hard working, dedicated, very accomodating, friendly. If you speak any Spanish they really appreciate it! The zodiak drivers work really hard to get you places safely and dry - no easy job in September seas!

We had a standard plus cell (uh, cabin) and it really is small. Probably a good thing you do not have to spend a lot of time there except sleeping and using the head. We joked that we almost had to make appointments with each other to determine who would move where in the cabin at what time. The portholes do not open to the outside. Air conditioning is either On or Off - no individual settings. The rooms are moderately noisy with machine noises/anchor chains/engines. Two coat hangers are provided in the small closet. No paper goes in the toilet - it goes in a waste can that is emptied 3X per day.

Coffee/Tea and snack bars/cookies are available 24 hours a day in the library.

Food is plentiful and the variety is almost overwhelming. The dining room staff is extremely attentive and friendly. Eggs/omelets to order every morning!

More to follow when I finish the trip report. About 2000 photos to sort/delete/edit in the weeks to come.

jd