We just returned from an 8 day Galapagos cruise, Oct 21 to Oct 28, on the Nemo II. We were 5... read more
We just returned from an 8 day Galapagos cruise, Oct 21 to Oct 28, on the Nemo II. We were 5... read more
We just finished our Galapagos Islands cruise aboard the Anahi, October 2018, taking the 8 day NW... read more
Just returned from a 10 day trip visiting Quito, the Galapagos Islands (Coral 1 yacht cruise 4 day, 3 night), Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Though it was a lot of travel for a 10 day trip, it was incredibly worth it. Ideal South America (Max) put together a fantastic itinerary. Logistically everything went swimmingly well. Transfers, guides, drivers were all excellent. Beto In Cusco who handled our Peru portion has no equal when it comes to guides. He was absolutely the best.
We just returned from an 8 day Galapagos cruise, Oct 21 to Oct 28, on the Nemo II. We were 5 people - parents, daughter with husband, and another adult friend - of varied ages, and we all had the time of our lives. Our naturalist guide, Jairo, is local, from Santa Cruz, and his knowledge, kindness, energy and organizational skills made the trip exceptional. We were 13 guests from different countries. The boat took us from Baltra (airport) to Seymour, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, Rabida, Genovesa, and around Daphne. Each stop the water got warmer, the land life more interesting and the sea life more abundant. It was an amazingly well thought out itinerary. The food, the evening naturalist presentations, and the camaraderie were exceptional. The catamaran was in tip-top shape. After leaving Santa Cruz, the daily schedule included 2 snorkels (plus optional kayaking) and 2 guided land walks. In the water, we saw 3 kinds of sharks and 4 kinds of rays plus too many to count giant green turtles, sea lions and marine iguanas. The abundance and unfamiliar types of birds, fish and animals meant we were never bored taking in the bounty. The boat traverses its longest distances at night so bring seasickness meds - better safe than sorry. The boat provided snorkels and fins and rented full wet suits at $5 a day. We needed the suits in late October. We booked directly through Monica Ortiz, the boat's owner. She purchased our domestic Quito-Baltra-Quito tickets and had someone meet us at both ends to expedite the tour. She's efficient and responsive. We've spent our lives living, working and traveling around the world so it takes a lot to impress us. This Galapagos trip was truly exceptional.
We just finished our Galapagos Islands cruise aboard the Anahi, October 2018, taking the 8 day NW itinerary (Santa Cruz, Isabella, Fernandina, Santiago, Rabida, Bartoleme, Santa Cruz)
How did we book:
Through CarpeDM adventures - easy to deal with, friendly, prompt with emails and got us a good deal (NB: we were advised to try and book very late to get a great deal but most people on the boat paid a similar price booking anywhere between 1 month and 2 weeks before departure)
Standard motorised catamaran that has been kept in excellent condition. 8 rooms, with a max of 16 guests, it offers 2 suites on the top deck. All rooms come with a private ensuite and A/C and are very comfortable. There is always a hot shower waiting following snorkelling trips. NB: some rooms are on the main deck are twin while others are double. The main deck has a comfortable area for couches and indoor dining for all meals. The upper deck has a bar area and a jacuzzi (jacuzzi can only operate at some times) and the top deck is a lovely chill out area with sun lounges.
The boat and rooms are kept exceptionally clean with rooms cleaned and beds made twice a day and bathrooms cleaned at least once a day.
The captain was excellent and very friendly, notifying guests when he spotted dolphins swimming with the ship. Not all staff spoke English fluently but always tried to communicate and were friendly. Zodiac transfers by the crew were comfortable and safe even in varying sea conditions.
The person that can make your trip memorable. We had the lovely Roćio who was very knowledgeable, friendly and always a professional. Her English fluency was never in doubt which meant that we learned a lot about the Islands, their history, the wildlife and the intricacies of this special place. She was clearly passionate about what make Galapagos unique and has more than 30 years experience in the field.
Plentiful, varied and of excellent quality, especially considering we are on a boat for 8 days. Lots of salads and options for vegetarians and other dietary restrictions. Buffet breakfast included an omelette station! Desserts every night are a bit on the sweet side. We put on weight!
The main benefit of the NW route is that it appears to have less tourists/ less frequented. We saw 2 or 3 other boats during our entire trip and we often felt like we had the Islands to ourselves. Each Island offers a truly unique experience. If you have something in particular you want to see (e.g. the albatross) you may want to select your trip accordingly. Otherwise we would highly recommend the NW route with snorkelling trips twice a day a daily hike, with one of our highlights being the snorkelling in Fernandina (feeding marine iguanas, sea lions, turtles etc)
Other top tips:
If you are prone to motion sickness -
Expect to feel sea-sick at least once or twice. Bigger boats are apparently the best to avoid this but then you are travelling with 40 - 90 other passengers. If you are picking a smaller boat for a more personalised experience, pick a motor catamaran! My wife felt sick just looking at a monohull swaying about as it anchored close to us when we stopped at Bartolome.
Medication is necessary and worthwhile! Motion sickness tablets can work wonders (and may also give you a good nights sleep as a bonus). The trouble with tablets is that it can be hard to predict when the seas will be most rough and the captain may navigate at different times of day (making sedating anti-histamines a nuisance). Patches seemed to work best for people in our group, giving a good baseline of anti-histamine for motion sickness while not make anyone particularly drowsy. Obviously, see your physician and prepare well.
For nature lovers, Darwinian enthusiasts, Kurt Vonnegut fans and anyone who likes a cruise, the Galapagos is a must do. Hopefully the Islands remain in as good a condition as we saw them. We would highly recommend the Anahi as a great option for a Galapagos trip.
3 couples joined this cruise and had a memorable time. fell in love with the galapagos islands and will return again. celebrity staff was most professional and helpful. the team was dedicated, experienced and coordinated. Bitinia, the cruise director was most knowledgable and gave daily lecture to prepare us for our expeditions. naturalist guides, Vicky, Martha, Manly were passionate in sharing their love of nature with us. we took thousands of photos. also, as a bonus, captured the volcano eruption on the isabelle island from 4:30 am until 8am on the morning we passed by this island. we enjoyed the pre and post cruise tours as well. highly recommend.
I took a family trip on the Celebrity Xpedition in August of 2017. It was beyond excellent! Our food, the naturalist guides, the activities and the service were incredible. It was a trip I will never forget!
We stayed with Galapagos Safari camp for our honeymoon in Oct. 2018. The people were very nice, the accommodations were great, but the overall experience was disappointing. We had a very detailed itinerary given to us prior to the trip that described full day experiences in the Galapagos. While snorkeling the guide was fantastic but on land we were rushed, skipped items on the itinerary, and felt that we missed many opportunities to truly experience the Galapagous islands. It was a magical place that I look forward to visiting again but not with Safari camp.
Ideal South America did it wonderfully!
All our flights, airport pickups and suggested itineraries were mapped out with precision.
Beautifully coordinated all aspects of this trip. We were escorted from planes to hotels to ship and it was a professionally managed experience. The guides were very knowledgeable and friendly a great help with the communication aspect as we had little to no Spanish skills.
We flew to Galapagos 1 day after booking Nemo 3. The reviews were indecisive. Glad to have gone. Beyond expectation. Boat better than motels experienced Sao paulo. Service flawless. Marco seasoned at information share, bonding the group and making you feel like you could be first travellers. Swimming with turtles off the boat memorable. Wildlife not behind bars a beautiful thing. Birds and fish, in one afternoon. Left bags in lockers at quito airport. Pto Ayora amazing street food. We caught lobster season. Take cash. Many places dont take cards and then costs 12%. We did 4 days and that was enough for us to experience Galapagos.
Ideal South America created an amazing and adventurous trip for our party of 6. All pickups and dropoffs were on time and everyone we had as guides were very friendly and knowledgeable.
Max and his crew put together an amazing trip for our family. 7 of us spent 10 days touring Ecuador and Peru. There was always a cheerful face to greet us at every airport, train station, hotel, and tour. The tour to Galapagos was spectacular. We had 4 of the 8 rooms on the Petrel. The boat looked brand new and the crew and guide were great. We then spent the last half of the trip on our private tour of Peru. Ynez (guide) and John (driver) met us at the airport and proceeded to give us the grand tour. It was so nice to just sit back and let them handle everything. Having our own team allowed us flexibility and we learned so much about the Incan civilization. Machu Picchu was amazing! . Having Ideal South America handle the transfers and help at the airports was a lifesaver. The hotels were all clean and comfortable as well as well located. Thank you for another bucket list trip!!!
Ideal South America planned our dream trip, starting with the Legend boat cruise through the Galápagos Islands. Everything about the 4 day 3 night cruise was exceptional, from the delicious food to the awesome crew and National park guides. We had never been on a cruise before, and this ship was beautiful, not too big (about 100 passengers). The Islands were magical, and the animals we saw were amazing. The off ship activities kept us busy, and the guides were incredibly knowledgeable. I highly recommend Ideal South America to plan your dream trip.