TRAVEL TIPS & EXTENSIONS

Choosing A Galapagos Cruise: Premium or First Class?

AUTHOR Caroline Eaton

You have already decided you want to travel to the Galapagos Islands on a small yacht, with no more than 20 guests, and you want to keep the experience intimate by ensuring no more than ten guests per naturalist guide during your visit to shore. It’s important for you to travel with a sustainable operation that acts responsibly towards reducing carbon emissions, facilitating social benefits while helping to protect the environment they impact. After reading reviews and talking to past travelers, your research has led you to Ecoventura!

Now how do you decide which cruise to go on between the premium class and first class yachts?

 

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Starting February 21 2016, you can choose between Ecoventura’s brand new premium class luxury vessel (5 star), MV ORIGIN and a Superior First class expedition yacht (4 star) MY ERIC or LETTY.

What are the similarities?

The island excursions and activities offered will be the same on all non-diving vessels including guided island excursions, beach walks, zodiac rides, snorkeling and kayaking, star gazing and whale watching.  All yachts will provide guests with masks, fins and snorkels, wet suits and kayaks at no additional charge.  The use of Stand Up paddle boards are still pending approval from the park service.

Many of our Captains, guides and crew have worked with Ecoventura for many years, even decades. We will have the same experienced crew members and guides working on the ORIGIN that we have on the Eric and Letty, as crew often rotate between our yachts.

On both yachts you will enjoy our gourmet inspired menus prepared by our highly trained chefs, prepared with healthy and locally sourced ingredients.  All yachts will offer cooking demonstrations during the week.

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What are the main differences?

On the ORIGIN, we can configure the dining room from  tables for two up to a table for a group of ten.  On E/L the configuration in the dining room is four tops, and one table that seats up to six people.

On the ORIGIN we will offer several lunches outdoors al fresco style, weather permitting. On the E/L we offer one lunch al fresco on the sundeck.

On E/L we include wine and beer served complimentary during dinner service as well as a welcome and farewell cocktail party.  The ORIGIN has an open-bar policy with complimentary wine and spirits anytime during the cruise, with a cocktail hour featuring hand-crafted drinks before dinner.

The ORIGIN carbon footprint is the same as E/L due to the newer technology although the Eric has solar panels and wind generators installed for alternative energy sources.  The ORIGIN is more stable due to its size and also the design of the bow to cut through waves.  See our prior blog: MV Origin Advancing Conservation in the Galapagos

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What makes the ORIGIN a Premium Class Vessel?

The ORIGIN is our brand new yacht, built in 2015. The Eric was built in 1990 and Letty in 1994, these are both well-maintained older vessels.

The ORIGIN is 142 feet long x 27 feet wide and is 50% more spacious than E/L at 84 feet long x 24 feet wide.

The cruising speed of the ORIGIN is 30% faster at 12 knots versus 8 knots on E/L.

All of the deluxe staterooms on the ORIGIN are located on the same deck, measure 145 square feet and offer large windows with views of the ocean. There are two cabins that can accommodate triples, and two cabins that have an inter-connecting door.  All twin beds can convert to a king bed.  There is additional storage and a sitting area, terry cloth bath robes, satellite TV, universal docking station, safety deposit box, espresso machine and tea set ups en suite.

The ORIGIN will have a additional crew on board including a concierge that will attend to our guests needs, one additional zodiac driver, a chief engineer, and a dedicated bartender to cater to our generous open bar, and prepare hand-crafted signature cocktails.

ORIGIN will offer services not available on E/L such as a light laundry service, Satellite TV, satellite phone, WiFi, and a house computer, additional charges may apply.

The amenities will be unique to ORIGIN and not offered on E/L, such as a Jacuzzi and a Fitness center with cardio equipment, yoga mats and free weights. On charters, we can arrange to have a masseuse on board for an additional charge.

The ORIGIN has several social areas where guests can relax, with several seating areas indoors, and a more extensive library and a larger boutique. The sundeck has a public restroom and shower, a bar, barbeque, day beds and tables and chairs.

If price is a factor, in 2016 the cruise rate on the ORIGIN is $6500 ppdo and the E/L starts at $4300 ppdo.

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Origin’s inaugural cruise is now Feb 21 2016. We will continue operating Flamingo up until the day Origin starts operations.

Both the ORIGIN and E/L offer once in a lifetime experiences for our guests. Once you have decided to take a Galapagos adventure, choosing a yacht will depend on your preferences and travel style. If you still have more questions on which yacht and itinerary is for you please contact us and let us help you!