TRAVELING WITH THE FAMILY

Can’t decide between itinerary A or B? We speak to a guest who did both back to back!

AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team

Cristina Anderson’s two week trip included both itineraries back to back. Here she talks about her amazing experience and shares her thoughts on what each itinerary has to offer

In 2012, the Galapagos National Park imposed new rules on the Galapagos islands to help protect their wildlife and unique ecosystem. These regulations declared that no vessel was permitted to visit the same National Park landing site within a 15 day period, in order to give the islands and their inhabitants a small “breather” from visitors. As a result, all of the yacht operators had to revise their itineraries.

Ecoventura opted to split the 15 days into two 7 night itineraries: Itinerary A: Southern & Central Route and Itinerary B: Northern & Western Route. Given that many travellers have a limited number of days to travel every year, and the fact that their bucket lists are so long, the majority of our passengers tend to opt for either A or B. However, lately a select number of our passengers have decided to combine both itineraries together resulting in a wonderfully all-encompassing fortnight.

Cristina Anderson recently travelled with her family and did just this. In our latest blog, she shares a little bit about her experience of doing two of our itineraries back to back, and her thoughts on what each itinerary has to offer.

 

How did you learn that there were two available itineraries? Given that many guests opt for one, what made you take the plunge and choose to do both?! 

I did not know that there were two itineraries until I consulted the Ecoventura website. I discovered Ecoventura somewhat accidentally; having decided to travel to the Galapagos Islands, I surfed the internet a great deal looking for information. Almost every question I asked online was answered by someone who had been on an Ecoventura cruise.

Because the Galapagos were a bucket destination for me, I decided to see as much as possible because I thought I would never return (but now that I’ve been and fallen in love with the area, who knows…?). I really wanted to feel that I had experienced the islands rather than simply have a taste of them.

If you had only had time for one week, which itinerary would you have gone for?

Both itineraries are set by the National Park, not Ecoventura, and both are worthwhile. That said, if I had to choose only one I would say that I prefer itinerary B. I think it has slightly more variety in terms of activity and sites visited. Itinerary A was great if you are really into beaches because you visit many of these during that week. However, you stay close to the inhabited islands whereas itinerary B strikes further afield, which makes you feel that you are seeing something even more special.

What were your highlights/favourite parts of each itinerary, and of your trip as a whole?

Everything was absolutely wonderful so it is difficult to highlight particular aspects of the cruise as being my favourites. First, the people stand out. The entire crew was wonderful – they made us feel incredibly welcome and nothing seemed to be too much trouble for them. They always anticipated our needs/desires. The guides were also of an incredibly high standard. The ship offered superior comfort with just the right amount of space allocated to everything (rooms, lounge, sun deck, etc).

It was great that there were specific family departures and that the number of guests was limited to twenty. Of the sites/activities, some of my absolute favourites were the panga ride on the north side of Santa Cruz island, snorkelling at Fernandina and Tagus Cove, the red beach of Rabida, the albatrosses on Espanola, the striking landscape of South Plaza and the frigate birds of North Seymour island.

How did the itineraries differ – what stood out between the two? 

I liked the feeling of having to journey relatively far on itinerary B to our destinations. This also meant more movement on the ship. Itinerary A felt less adventurous in this respect and felt like it had a slightly slower start. I already mentioned the larger number of beaches visited on itinerary A. Itinerary B visited the younger islands, so their volcanic nature was more evident. The wildlife was interesting on both trips and while there was some overlap, there were also some animals (such as the albatrosses on itinerary A) that you only see on one itinerary. Although not the most active of excursions, the panga rides did allow us to see a large number of sea animals, and these happened mostly on itinerary B.

Did doing the two itineraries back to back feel more like two separate trips, or one extended voyage?

Both – the other passengers were different on the second week, so that made it very different, while at the same time we were already familiar with the ship routines so that the second week seemed to pass slightly quicker than the first. Knowing the crew already made the second week especially nice.

What would you suggest to fellow travellers – A followed by B, or vice versa?

This depends on what you are looking for in your holiday. If you are looking for the most active excursions, you may wish to do itinerary A first and then B. If you want to feel like you are really far from home and having a special experience, you may wish to do itinerary B first. Personally, I am very happy that we did B first followed by A.

For more information on each of our itineraries, please have a look at our website, or feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to discuss future travel plans to visit the Galapagos: Telephone: (305) 262-6264 /Toll free: (800) 633-7972 / email: info@galapagosnetwork.com