We had the pleasure of traveling to the Galapagos on the Eric from November 19-27, 2017 and had a wonderful trip. We experienced the Galapagos in 2002 and wanted to return this year with our 17 and 15 year old granddaughters to show them this amazing place. The trip exceeded our expectations!
We can’t say enough about the staff! They were all very pleasant and helpful and made everything as easy as possible. Although the rooms were small as expected, they met all our needs with nice size bathrooms with plenty of hot water and ample space for our bags. The boat was very clean with ample dining space and meeting space and a nice upper deck to enjoy our downtime (which was really quite limited due to all the wonderful activities). While we had limited involvement with the crew that operated the boat, we wanted to comment on the six people that we did have contact with.
First of all, the naturalists, Fabricio Carbo and Jose Benavides, were fantastic. Their knowledge of the Galapagos, the animals and their adaptation to the environment, the history of the islands, and their communication skills were terrific. Because of them, we all came away much more educated about this amazing place. But along with those wonderful attributes, they both had great personalities. The boat’s group included six children being the ages of 8-12. Fabricio and Jose switched which group they would lead (one with the children and the other with the adults including our 15 and 17 granddaughters) and did a great job of keeping both groups entertained and informed. On our last night, they reviewed what we had done each day and what animals we had seen. The kids were amazing, remembering exactly what we did each day (a panga ride through the mangroves, a hike in the afternoon, snorkeling later, etc.) and recalling all the animals we had seen! That speaks to the ability of Fabricio and Jose to share their knowledge with all ages. The nightly briefings about the next day’s schedule were also really good, letting us know the activities and timing thereof. They also had a very much appreciated focus on our safety, making sure that the getting on/off the pangas occurred with no problems. We have been fortunate to travel to many different locations and feel that Fabricio and Jose were some of the finest guides/naturalists that we have encountered! Every visitor to the Galapagos would be blessed to have them as their naturalists.
Another special part of the trip was the food prepared by the chefs, Henry and Ricardo, and the service provided by Abel. The quality and variety of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner was amazing. From the appetizers, to the soups and salads, to the main entrees and to the deserts, everything was wonderful. Our compliments to them, especially when you realize we were on a boat for the entire time and had no chance to run to the market that day! Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving with a complete turkey dinner on the Eric, our 15 year old granddaughter and Roger shared a common birthday on the second night aboard. We treated with a beautiful, tasty cake, and were also serenaded by the staff as they sang Happy Birthday in Spanish and English. A birthday celebration that a 15 year old will remember forever. Abel was also terrific, serving the food and drinks with a cheerful and helpful personality. It was amazing to see Abel serve the food with the rough waters and the rocking-and-rolling boat….with never an accident.
We also want to acknowledge Maria, who kept our rooms clean and was very helpful and friendly with any of our needs. Her extended hand and smiling face as we got off the pangas were a nice, warm welcome back aboard the Eric.
A wonderful trip to a special place that was even enhanced by the entire staff! Thank you Ecoventura and the Eric for a terrific time!