AUTHOR Juan Bastidas
AUTHOR Juan Bastidas
We believe guest feedback is a key part of maintaining and improving our Galapagos cruise expeditions. That is why we always encourage honest reviews of Ecoventura’s passenger experience and our yachts — both on our Facebook page and our company website.
Passenger reviews help us to do our jobs better, and they also encourage others to experience the beauty of Galapagos. When booking a vacation, you are likely looking for information from others who have traveled to that location or with a specific company in the past. You want a clear idea what the experience will be like and how you will spend your days. This is especially important when you are using more of your resources to book a luxury vacation.
Yes, we can tell you what to expect when you travel with us, but you don’t have to take it from us; we think these passenger reviews below (from the last six months) speak for themselves!
Reviews of the M/Y ERIC
When planning your trip to Galapagos, consider taking time to see some of the other sites that Ecuador has to offer either before or after your cruise. Ecoventura is here to help you plan extensions to your trip like we did for our guests Wendy and Mike…
Here is what Wendy thought of her time on the M/Y ERIC:
This was the trip of a lifetime for both my husband and I. We were lucky to be invited to travel with a group of other friends and family on the MV Eric in the Galapagos Islands. This trip exceeded our expectations in so many ways it is hard to describe. It began with the Ecoventura travel planners who made all the arrangements for our trip seamless, including an additional week at the Sacha Lodge in the Amazon jungle.
The staff on the MV Eric was wonderful from the moment we arrived on the boat, where we were met with drinks and snacks and given a warm welcome by the naturalist guides and the captain and also introduced to the whole crew. During the week we got to know Abel, who was always so courteous and was able to deliver food and drinks from early morning until the end of the day with a smile; and Maria, who was everywhere organizing the berths and greeting all the returning pangas with a helpful hand and a happy greeting. Our two guides, Freddie and Ivan, were amazing, starting with their daily wake up messages each morning. They both have so much knowledge of the area and wildlife that they were able to really ensure we understood the unique and wonderful aspects of each different island. They were able to show us the incredible wildlife that exists in the Galapagos and we were fortunate to see and snorkel with penguins, sea turtles and manta rays, to mention only a few. They also helped the crew throw a really memorable party in the middle of the week, with some awesome food, singing and musical performances. Ivan sang a very special song that he had written about the Galapagos Islands which was never to be forgotten.
We also spent a week at the Sacha Lodge, which was equally memorable and completely different from the Galapagos adventure. We experienced the same wonderful welcome from Mike, the manager of the lodge, who was so helpful to us when we had to make some changes to our itinerary. Our naturalist guide, Alex, amazed us every day with his ability to recognize so many birds and animals, even from a distance, not only by how they looked but by their unique voices. The two tower visits were amazing and have to be seen to be appreciated. We were high above the canopy, where we were able to really see the vastness of the jungle and its amazing diversity.
We will never forget the weeks we spent in the Galapagos and at the Sacha Lodge and the wonderful people who made the trip so memorable. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who made this fabulous adventure possible.”
Our experienced naturalist guides will be with you every step of the way as you explore each unique island. Our guide to passenger ratio is one guide for every ten passengers—the smallest in Galapagos! This allows you to ask plenty of questions and learn every day you are here. Two of our guides, Fabricio and Pepe, played an important part in Gwen’s vacation with us…
This is Gwen’s review from our Facebook page:
My husband and I recently returned from an Ecoventura cruise. We chose Ecoventura because our research indicated this company would be excellent — and indeed, it was! I am writing let you know how happy we were, with the many ways we enjoyed our Galapagos experience.
We were assigned to cruise on the Eric. The yacht was comfortable and beautiful. Its cabins, though small, are thoughtfully laid out so that passengers can store all belongings and still enjoy being in their cabins. Beds were comfortable and our bathroom was just right.
Andy and I knew that our naturalists would be critically important to the experience we would have. Fabricio and Pepe were highly knowledgeable and engaging; we could not have asked for more. Each man combined the right combination of education, humor, kindness, patience, and enthusiasm in his role. It was not lost on me that Fabricio and Pepe do tours day in and day out, and they still bring joy and excitement to their work. We received an abundance of attention from them, even on our last day in San Cristobal, a day when the crew was preparing for our departure and the arrival of a whole new group of passengers. These guides were attentive to our experiences onshore, to fill the time pleasantly before our flight. I was impressed that our group was even escorted through the airport, making sure that check-in went smoothly,
The rest of the crew was highly professional, too. Our bartender/waiter, Luis, remembered everyone’s particular dietary needs, was masterful in his role, and was perfectly charming 24/7. Beautiful Maria kept our rooms pristine from dawn until dusk and greeted all with a bright smile. She also helped us when we returned from multiple daily outings, guiding us in and out of the water so that we would not slip and fall. The captain also took the time away from navigating the yacht when we returned from outings, helping us hang up our life vests. Panga drivers were skilled in taking us to remote corners so that we could see everything up close and personal. The chefs — oh my goodness! All the food was remarkable, every meal fresh, delicious, and beautiful to behold. And there were others, who were less well-known to us, because they worked behind the scenes, so that we would have the experience of a lifetime.
Finally, I want to say that we were fortunate that our fellow passengers were so much fun to be with — each person added positivity to the total experience.
Thanks, Ecoventura. We enjoyed the trip of a lifetime.”
Reviews of the M/Y LETTY
Our passengers do their research and choose Ecoventura in part because of our commitment to being an eco-conscious cruise company. We love the Galapagos Islands and know that conservation and sustainability are important to protect the archipelago for generations to come. We were happy to learn that Marcy M. could see the care we put into our operation…
Marcy’s glowing review truly highlights the attention and work we put into creating a memorable experience for every guest:
I had the incredible privilege of experiencing a Galapagos Islands tour aboard the Letty March 25th through April 1st of 2018.
I chose a trip to the Galapagos due to the symbolism, education and the wildlife photography opportunities it offered. In a world where human comfort and convenience have led to the careless destruction of habitat and species, my soul appreciates positive examples of conservation as well as like minds. Combined with the theory’s of Darwin, this is the ultimate trip for anyone interested in the origin of species and the future for wildlife. Visiting these islands has given me hope that with proper education and support through regulations, wildlife can peacefully exist despite human interference.
While I have taken many cruises, this was my first attempt at a ship of this size. I wasn’t certain I would care for the more intimate nature of a small passenger boat. The most surprising and unexpected outcome from the trip was the relationships I formed, and how much I enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and hearing their stories. It was more difficult to say goodbye to new friends than I ever dreamed it would be! The people (staff included) made the trip even more special. I will most definitely seek out similar options when considering cruises in the future.
The boat was clean and comfortable. The quality and selection of food were excellent. The itinerary was perfectly varied and offered non-stop land and sea adventure. Everything ran on time with razor-sharp precision. We were well informed how to prepare for each day. The map provided on departure was also I nice bonus—it will take me a while to fully absorb all of the places I’ve been in the past several days! Without a doubt, this was a very well-oiled operation from excited beginning to sad end. That coordination made for a very smooth and enjoyable experience.
Regarding the staff; Any company or organization is only as good as the staff they employ. I can assure you, this company is well represented and in very good hands. Every employee I encountered was professional, friendly and accommodating on every level. Claudia, Luis and Jorge—all fantastic. So many other staff members were ghostly invisible, and although their names aren’t listed here, their hard work to ensure our safe and comfortable travels didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. Everyone was truly top-notch.
A special mention for our Naturalists, Jose and Fabricio. I can’t possibly say enough about this well-matched team. Clearly respected, even by other guides in the field, I feel we were blessed with the very best when we received their assignment. They were enthusiastic, fun, customer-focused, and SO knowledgeable! They turned vacation into an experience. Like walking text books, they literally brought learning to life. Their passion for wildlife and the Galapagos environment /history is catching, and their message is so important for the future of Galapagos and similar wildlife environments. I feel tremendous gratitude for their sacrifices and tireless dedication to such a significant cause. You are beyond fortunate to call these individuals ‘yours’.
In closing, I would like to offer my most sincere thanks to everyone involved in the creation of memories that will last my lifetime. Even though I’m back at my desk, I’ve had a hard time thinking about anything else since I left. I’m hopeful this communication will help me gain some closure so I can get back to work! Without a doubt, Galapagos is a special, indescribable, magical place that touched my heart.
I’ll be back!”
One benefit of choosing Ecoventura over a larger Galapagos cruise line is fewer passengers on each departure. The smaller vessel allows us to go places others cannot and with a 20-passenger maximum, you are sure to get individualized attention from our crew.
Janice and Michael had this to say about our hardworking crew:
We just came from a week on the Letty from May 6-13.
As you know, Malena is an outstanding guide/naturalist/leader and resource for everyone on the trip. I found her warmth, kindness and enthusiasm for her job to be central to our enjoyment of the trip. Her knowledge of wildlife is astonishing. When my husband and I let her know we love birds, she made a point of looking for small shore and land birds for us in addition to the larger and more famous bird species. She was very organized and gave us detailed and accurate information about what we would need for each day’s journey. I can’t praise her enough.
A second person who made a big difference to us was Luis, the panga driver. Although we could not communicate a lot with words, his warm eyes and smile were a warm welcome every time we got in and out of the boat. When we were taking wildlife journeys on the panga, such as in the mangrove area, he made a point of spotting turtles and rays and pointing them out to me. When we saw our first blue footed boobie and penguin, he expertly navigated the panga so that we could get close and take great pictures. He was always patient and helpful and would navigate expertly for the best viewing.
Luis, the server and bartender, as you know, has a huge job. I was amazed that he managed all of the meals, snacks and the bar by himself. He always delivered the right dish at dinner to each person, and remembered who liked red and who liked white wine. He brought me coffee in the morning the way I like it. I can’t imagine how exhausting his job must be, but he was always patient and efficient.
Finally, I would like to praise David, the naturalist, for the care he took of our small group on our departure day. At the airport, we learned our flight had been delayed three hours, and he made sure each of us got our bags checked, then accompanied us on the bus into town, showed us which restaurants would have good food and Wi-Fi and came and retrieved all of us when the bus was ready to take us back to the airport. He even told us when to line up for our flight. It was so helpful and reassuring to have him with us every step of the way.
And Paulina, was so helpful before the cruise, answering all of my questions very quickly and kindly. You have a very well run organization and excellent staff.
Thank you to all of your staff for making our trip so seamless and enjoyable.”
Review of the MV ORIGIN
In addition to the M/Y LETTY & ERIC, we also have a luxury vessel on which we offer specialty themed departures in addition to our regularly scheduled departures. The MV ORIGIN is the ship of our dreams and we look forward to the maiden voyage of her sister ship, the MV THEORY — coming in 2019!
On the MV ORIGIN, enjoy our spacious staterooms with panoramic windows and world-class cuisine. This vessel also includes a hot tub, fitness center, and Wi-Fi (for an extra charge)—so you can cruise in style and share your adventure as you go! And as always, our crew will go above and beyond to deliver the perfect cruising experience.
Jeannie and Thomas traveled on the ORIGIN and enjoyed the many activities we offer as well as connecting with our naturalists:
The Origin is a fabulous boat! Beautiful staterooms (love the frosted window in the shower!), lots of outdoor spaces to relax between island excursions/kayaking/Zodiac tours, great food (how they pulled off multiple gourmet options for each meal working in a tiny galley is beyond me)and an attentive and fun crew. On one Zodiac excursion, I realized that its captain Christian was looking through the viewscreen of my camera and gently lining up the boat so I could get a perfect picture of a blue-footed booby. That is definitely attention to detail.
Our Galapagos naturalists were Yvonne Mortola and Gustavo Castro — both were excellent. We appreciated their enthusiasm, attention to detail, flexibility to take us where the bird/animal watching was best, etc. It was especially great to see Yvonne’s enthusiasm catching sight of, and filming, a baby hammerhead shark swimming along a beach. She said it was the first time in 35 years she had seen such a thing and conveyed her excitement to all of us. And Gustavo, worked to find a flamingo for a New Zealander in our group who had never seen one. They also put together a great slide show/video for our group that they shared at trip’s end. The willingness of all our guides to talk about their own life experiences in Ecuador made this trip extra special for us.”
We Want to Hear From You!
Have you traveled the Galapagos Islands with us? We invite you to share your review either on our Facebook page or our website. We are committed to delivering the best experience possible to our passengers and your feedback plays an important part in how we do that.
If you are interested in exploring the Galapagos with Ecoventura or if you have any questions about our offerings, please contact us today!