Recent Galapagos cruise comments & reviews   4 comments

Robin,

Just returned from Golapagos yesterday.  The Anahi - Golapagos Journey I was a super boat and great crew.
Exceeded all expectations.  Everything went great.
Thanks for your assistance to make this happen!

Cheers!

Brad & Sandy
March 25, 2009

Dear Robin,

We have just arrived home from a 23 day Journey to the Galapagos (8 days), Ecuador (7 days), and Peru (8 days).  The four of us have tried to think of changes we might have made, but because of your expertise in helping us plan our Journey, we could not arrive at a single day or place that we would alter.
The  GALAXY was a wonderful First Class Yatcht.  The chef did a great job on serving delicious meals.  We had plenty of snacks and drinks daily and the Staff were so friendly, always there to make our stay most memorable.  We had the best guide in the Galapagos, Carlos Carbo.  He made our adventure to the Islands unforgetable.  Each Island was distinctive with it’s own characteristics.  Who would ever dream of swiming with Sea Lions, hovering over sharks,  colourful fish, manta rays, golden rays, sting rays and eagle rays not to forget the iguana’s, penguins and sea turtles and all the beautiful birds.  We chose the Galaxy because we liked the different Islands that it offered and we were not disappointed.  We would recommend the Galaxy to anyone visiting the Galapagos.  Our guide gave us a huge surprise on our last few hours aboard.  While with us, he did a video of the gang scouting out the different islands,  best of course, was the snorkling, needless to say, we can show family and friends how daring we all were gazing down at the sharks, colourful fish, and all the other wonderful sea creatures.  The video is a wonderful keepsake of memories aboard the Galaxy.

Sangay Touring approved

Onward we went, to Quito, where you set us up with Hector Clavijo, our guide for the next 5 days. You gave us “the best” again.

Hector knew his Country, and shared his most valuable information about Ecuador, with us.  We travelled over 600 miles from  Otavalo (market) to San Antonio De Illbara (wood carvings) to Peguche (woven wall hangings) to  Cotocachi (leather) and that was only the beginning.  We did the Bellavista Cloud Forest where we slept in the “Tarzan Penthouse”  and viewed hundreds of hummingbirds up so close one could almost reach out and touch them.  On our way to Quilotoa Lagoon we stopped to visit many little children and passed out crayons, pencils, pins and toys.  Their smiling faces will  always be with us. Saquisili Market was a must on route to Cotopaxi National Park……..4600 m above sea level! View,view,view!  Beautiful Country and every turn in the road, a picture.
Onward to Peru!  Cusco is beautiful with spanish arches, wooden balconies, coble streets,etc.  The Vistadome ride to Aguas Calientes was picturesque.  Machu Picchu was a bit of a disappointment only because our guide seemed to be in a hurry and we felt he did not do a good job on the history of the ruins but after he left us we treked up to the Caretaker’s hut and enjoyed the great view.  We drove through the Sacred Valley and admired the awesome views and after lunch visited the fortress of Ollantaytambo which proved to be as interesting as Mach Picchu.  We had a great bus ride  to Puno where we were met by another great guide, Able.  Our excursion to Lake Titicaca was unforgettable.  Whoever thought we would see floating islands, like huge straw-like nests.  How interesting to see totora
reed atop root clods and experience a ride in a caballito (reed boat).  Onto Tequille Island with walled paths and rustic arches and dotted with Inca & pre-Inca ruins.  Here, we had a homestay with a native family.  We experienced a night in a mud hut, slept on a reed bed and dined on fresh trout with natives in their traditional dress.
When our plans began and we contacted you, we expressed how we wanted to get to know your Country and mix with the people of your Country.  I cannot believe how fortunate we were to have you lay out our itinerary to discover exactly what we were after regarding our Adventure.  We will always be grateful for your expertise. We wish you great success and happiness in return for our most memorable trip to your wonderful Galapagos, Ecuador and Peru.
All the Best to You,
Nancy & Bill Scott
Bonnie & Steve Monteith
Canada
March 25/09

Sangay Touring approved

Robin

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, been on the road it seems constantly since the cruise, anyway here goes some comments on the cruise.

My girfriend and I did a 7 night cruise on Samba and had an absolutely fabulous time. We chose the boat mainly because of the itinerary it took, it seemed to take in more islands than any other boats of touring for the same no of nights and in the same price range. As it turned out we think the itinerary was fabulous we saw so much and never felt like we were rushing it – making the effort to get over to Isabela and Fernandina is definitely worth the effort. In terms of the boat and crew we also were very pleased with it; the boat was spotlessly clean and we thought the berths were very comfortable (plenty of space for a couple and good hot water showers) and not at all noisy. The food was first class, three large meals a day as well as snacks and drinks available throughout the day, and the crew were friendly and accommodating at all times.

We are a couple in our early 30’s and are very active and this trip suited us perfectly, but our group included a couple of teenagers and a lady who was 70 and everyone was able to participate in almost everything, and everyone had a good time. We had come off a few months backpacking in S America so were blown away by the luxury of the boat, but i think even coming over just for a short vacation the boat would also be very acceptable (naturally space is somewhat limited but it was way bigger and better than our expectation as long as you don’t expect something the size of a suite in a 5* hotel!)

In terms of our guide we didn’t get the normal guide that Samba uses as his wife had just given birth. We heard that apparantly he is one of the best on the islands but of course we can’t verify that. All i can say is that we got a backup freelance guide who was amazing; his English was perfect and knowledge of everything first rate, he also loved snorkelling so fitted in additional trips for that because he knew that our group loved it too. Also interestingly it was his first time on Samba and he said how blown away he was with the itinerary it does, the best he’d known on a 7 nighter (of course that could be his spiel but he seemed genuinely very excited throughout).

The only criticism we all had was that the boat charged an additional amount for wetsuits and snorkelling equipment, everyone thought this was just penny pinching given the cost of the cruise; but if that’s all we came up with its not bad.

I don’t think its possible to really have a bad experience in the Galapagos islands but we thought Samba was amazing and have already to recommended it to all of our friends who are interested in visiting. Obviously all trips to the Galapagos are very expensive and we were a bit worried about forking out that much for a week, but it was worth every penny to us and Samba was a big part of that. So far this was the most memorable week of our 15 months travelling the world. Big thumbs up!

Hope this is useful to you….thanks again for organising, we were very happy to have booked through your agency too.

Warmest regards

Matt
January 16, 2009


Hi Robin

Sangay Touring approved

You asked for some feedback on Samba after our trip so here it is:

  • Guide – Fantastic (Juan Salcedo) – a local from Puerto Ayora, extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, partook in all the activities (unlike some we saw from other boats who didn’t snorkel with the guests) & genuinely appeared to be enjoying the experience himself.
  • Crew  – Excellent in all aspects – courteous, skilled & eager to please.
  • Boat – Good facilities, clean, comfortable ( thanks for getting us the double room cabin!).
  • Itinerary – I guess this is partly dictated by the length of the cruise & the geography but it appeared very well constructed with a wide cross section of the islands/landscapes covered.
  • Safety – As should be expected.
  • Food – Of unbelievable variety & quality given the somewhat limited kitchen facilities.

I think you can maintain your “Highly Recommended” status!

Thanks again for organising the trip – it was a wonderful experience.

Regards.

Andy Fisher & Carolyn Childs


Hi Robin, we are just back from the Galapagos.

Sangay Touring approvedWe cant thank you enough, the whole trip was magical from start to finish and we thought the Samba was excellent. If you want us to fill in a recommendation form, or comment form let us know. We would happily tell everyone to book with them.

Merry Chistmas

Matt and Lynda
December 23, 2008


Hi Robin

Sangay Touring approved

The Galapagos trip was great. The Galaxy was really wonderful from the food (we all wanted to take the chef back with us) to the itinerary and all the accomodations,´Barbara and I are very happy and satisfied. Thank you so much for your help. We´ll definately get in touch with you if we come this way again.
Sincerely,

Neil Applebaum
September 1, 2008


Hi Robin,

How are you? Sorry for the delay in the trip report. You can use this report any way you want.

Many thanks for your help.

Sangay Touring approved

My Wife and I took a trip on the boat M/V Samba on May 5-12, 2008. This trip was booked with Robin Slater through Sangay Tours. Robin was very helpful in getting us on this boat as I heard it had a great route and was a good boat. We wanted a small boat (<20 passengers) with an active group. M/V Samba was everything we had hoped for!! The Samba was the perfect size for us -13 passengers in 78 feet of boat, it was very comfortable, clean and ran like a charm. The guide Juan Manuel Salcedo was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable of the biology, ecology and geology of the Galapagos. He was very enthusiastic and spoke with perfect English. The food on board was plentiful and very good. Captain Guillermo and crew were very professional and helpful. We had a fantastic time on the boat. Juan and the crew had us hiking and snorkeling both morning and afternoon. They worked hard to make sure we were the first ones at the landings. We were amazed at the wildlife, there were so many sea lions, iguanas and birds. While snorkeling, we saw many kinds of fish, sharks, turtles, sea lions and our favorite – penguins. We can’t say enough about our trip, it was truly a trip of a lifetime.

Thanks again Robin for all your help. I would recommend your services and this boat cruise to anyone!!

Bill and Gaynor Hoyne
June 29th, 2008


Hi Robin,

Sangay Touring approved

December, we booked a Galapagos cruise through your agency, on the Angelito.
We would like to thank you for the perfect organisation of the trip – the choice of the Angelito was really perfect.
It’s a great boat to travel on. The crew is very polite and helpful.  The boat is big enough to have enough space for 16 people, you don’t have the feeling it’s crowded. They also take into  the preferences of the people on board. We could snorkel  a lot, and the fact that they have wet suits on board is really  good (the sea is not that warm ;-)). The food is also very good & varied. Really nothing negative to say about the boat trip!

It’s a boat you can recommend to your other customers!! We had a  time.
Thank you again,

Frank.


Hi Robin,
Thanks for your great advice!
I’m now back in Hong Kong (unfortunately) and reality, and just wanted to pass on to you firstly, sincere thanks for your help in organising our brilliant Galapagos trip – and secondly, comments on how fantastic the boat Monserrat turned out to be!!
The moment we stepped onto the deck I was entirely convinced that the little extra we paid was well worth it!
The boat trip was a lovely journey that was comfortable, friendly, easy and fun!
The staff were lovely, and the fellow guests were like us, in search of a friendly, happy atmosphere that was comfortable yet intimate.
Sangay Touring approvedThe size was perfect, as the first 4 days we spent with only 6 others. We were then joined by a further 5 for the last 4 days, which initially felt like our little “family” was being intuded upon, but after about 10 minutes we enjoyed the company of the new joiners and all felt like one big happy family! 16 is definitely the largest number on a boat I would recommend, only because it’s the most number of people that I would suggest would be comfortable on the land excursions. Plus it makes the boat a much friendlier experience.
I am so happy that we didn’t go for a larger or smaller boat! The size was roomy, and our cabin on the top deck had huge windows and a large bathroom – it was way better than I expected. There was plenty of deck space, sun decks, interior lounge space and sun space – never to crowded to enjoy a secluded moment on a deck chair with a book, in sun or shade.
The food was good. The guide was great, and everything was wonderful.
I would whole-heartedly recommend Monserrat to any body, I would also suggest that it really wouldn’t be worth going if you don’t do the 8 day cruise as the first 4 days were definitely the best, but also that 4 days just didn’t seem long enough. After the first 4 days I was so happy that we still had 4 more to go! So did Keara – who was without a doubt just as happy as I was to spend 8 days in the galapagos. I was concerned that a 5 year old may get bored, but she totally loved it!
Anyway, that’s about it. Thanks again for your help.
If any of my friends are looking for help, I’ll send them in your direction!
Best regards!
Toni and Keara

May 20th, 2008


I have spent some weeks in Ecuador in August 2007  having organized the trip directly from Italy, without the support of an international tour operator.

Sangay Touring approved

At that time I selected Sangay Touring after having done an internet research and after having received their program for a Galapagos cruises [Galaxy]; they were able to select and to propose me a top class cruise in one of the most crowded periods of the year, even if I was very late in booking.

When going around in Ecuador by myself, I faced some logistic problems (flight cancellations, etc.); even if that part of the tour had not been organized by Sangay, they have helped me several times, reorganizing the itinerary and looking for new flights and hotels. Robin Slater, in particular, has demonstrated to have a  very huge experience on this business; I have to thank him for the success of my journey in Ecuador.

Having said that, the Ecuador and the Galapagos in particular are fantastic places to visit and a cruise on a nice boat is an fascinating experience.

DON’T try to organize the trip by yourself, call Robin !!!

Andrea, Torino – Italy
Summer 2007


Hi Robin

I hope you are well.

OK, some feedback re Tip Top III for you. Also, in case you don’t know, it went into dry dock after our trip – I don’t know for how long.

Sangay Touring approvedTo be honest, although I have no comparison with any other boat, I couldn’t fault it, apart from when two of the cylinders (or whatever) of the engine went down so it was travelling slowly for the last two days.

The boat totally lived up to expectations. Spacious, smart, clean and comfortable. The captain/crew were also excellent – attentive, helpful and polite. The guide was also very good, slightly naggy at times but knowledgeable, friendly and helpful (and only naggy when we transgressed park rules which some people did accidentally now and again). She was a bit ‘off’ with someone at one point for no apparent reason but that was a one off. Liz and I had no problem with her at all.

Overall I would totally recommend Tip Top III.

Thanks for organising everything. I’m now trying to encourage other people to go to Ecuador, though it a pain to get to from the UK! Needs a direct flight.

cheers

Colin
April 28th, 2008


Hallo Robin

Sangay Touring approved

Since we are more or less back in a normal routine,I want to thank you for your gracious help with the Rabida trouble.  I appreciate your concern and the Vieja Cuba hostal was delightful.  Our galapagos cruise was magical and just about perfect.  I cannot in good faith recommend the hostal Rabida, even after my return home I found out that my daughter in london repeatedly left an e-mail message at the rabida about my sons emergency hoepitalization in the states.nobody informed me about this! I know that this is not your responsibility, but just wanted to let you know.

Thanks again,
Johanna.
May 4th, 2008


Hi Robin,

We’ve been back from Ecuador for nearly two weeks now–trying to catch up (and keep up) with the galveston daily routine.
Sangay Touring approvedI wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our week aboard the Eden, and the itinerary.  The crew was wonderful, the food superb, and the accomodations were sufficient (I put it like that because Bill and I somehow got the only single-bed cabin, and the bed was larger than a twin but smaller than a double, and the whole cabin width was just about as big as a queen-size mattress.  Sufficient but very cozy.  We all called it the Honeymoon Cabin.) Despite the 2nd degree burns Bill got to his ankles and the tops of his feet about the second day out (we kidded him and called him the Red-footed Boobie until the huge horrible blisters appeared!), we loved every minute of the trip.  I was glad I wore a scopolamine patch and took a jug of meclazine with me for nighttime travel.  I had no trouble with the rough passages, but I gave away a fair amount of meclazine early on.
We were glad that we opted for a guided tour instead of trying to do it ourselves.  We were able to get to places we never would have seen on our own.  And I repeat: the itinerary was excellent.  Small is the way to see the Galapagos.  And we met great fellow travelers too, from all over the world.  For part of the trip we were the only Americans.
The one, very significant, weakness to the trip was Gandy, our tour guide.  Although his knowledge was certainly acceptable and his spoken English intelligible, his people skills left much to be desired.  It did not occur to hm to make introductions of the passengers or the crew on the first day–he finally did that on the LAST day!  He appeared not to care at all about the welfare of his passengers, or their abilities, apparently not seeing that as part of his job description.  For example, one of the passengers in our Thursday to Thursday group had multiple sclerosis and needed to go a bit slower through rocks, etc, because of balance and coordination problems.  And of course Bill was moving slower because of his burned feet.  Gandy forged ahead, keeping a good pace, would tell the information about what we were seeing and then stand around for long periods without saying anything and let us wait–for what, we could never discern.  On the last morning at the Darwin Research Center, he totally left Bill (and me) and the MS gentleman behind, to the point where we had no idea where they had gone.  As it is a maze of trails, it was about 20 minutes before we found them. He did the silent waiting routine even when we all could keep up perfectly well.  We noticed other guides chatting about interesting information during the wait time when several groups were at a site and we had to wait our turn.  Gandy never had anything to say except his little script.  We really seemed to cramp his style.  This was not just our opinion.  I am pretty sure he got very little in the way of gratuities from any in our group, although the rest of the crew was the best–and appropriately rewarded for it too!
We could certainly recommend Sangay Touring and Guide2Galapagos.com to anyone we know who is interested in Ecuador and the Galapagos Isls.  We just hope that you might have some influence with the company that owns the fleet that Eden is part of, so that no one else has to be subjected to Gandy’s poor guideship.
Pat & Bill Bumpus
June 27th, 2008


Sangay Touring approved

Robin,

Thank you so much for all your assitance.  We had a wonderful time [Archipel II] and the kids want to go back.  I will definitely recommend you to any friends who are thinking of a trip.  I want to apologize for being a pest about the details.  It made me anxious to do things over the internet.

All my best to you and your family.

Hi Robin, Here is a more detailed response.  The guide was very knowledgeable and responsible.  he clearly wanted us to have a wonderful experience and we had minimal contact with other boats.  At only one stop was there a large boat, but that was the time we got to swim with penguins.  Some times there were two other small boats, some times we were the only ones on the islands.  The itinerary seemed great with lots of different types of wildlife.  The crew was very attentive and the cook/wait staff always accommodated the dietary restrictions of those on board.  The rooms were clean and spacious (for a boat).  We had a grand time.

Robin was so helpful with excellent advice.

Anne Regenstein
July 21st, 2008


The Cormorant II is a wonderful boat for touring the Galapagos Islands. Given a choice of any boat in the Galapagos, I would definitely choose the Cormorant.

Pluses: There is plenty of room on this boat; I never felt like I couldn’t get away from other people. There are lots of outside lounging areas, both shaded and unshaded. The captain stayed pretty darn close to the schedule which was important. Cold, pure drinking water was always available in the dining room. Its sailing was smooth, the food was plentiful and tasty, and the crew was fantastic, even accommodating one woman’s last minute request for vegetarian meals. The cabins are large and comfortable with nice-sized bathrooms. The first day on the boat, we had no water because of a mechanical problem, but after that the water was abundant with good pressure and temperature. We felt completely safe and well taken care of. I never worried about anything happening to my belongings. The crew was very safety conscious and the boat was spotlessly clean.

Sangay Touring approvedSuggestions: Because cabins 7 and 8 are located over the engines and generators, they were quite noisy and very, very hot. I would not recommend them unless you have ear plugs and can handle sleeping in an 85 degree room. The air conditioners in the dining room couldn’t keep up so it was sweltering hot during meals, especially lunch and dinner. It helps to keep the sliding doors open rather than closed. If I were to cruise on the Cormorant again (which I would do in a heartbeat), I would urge the guide to make at least some meals happen on the upper deck where the ambiance of the open sea heightens the pleasures of good food and company. The bar on the upper deck was never open. After paying a great deal of money for the cruise, it felt tacky to be charged for a soda. I can understand charging for alcoholic drinks, but sodas should have been included in the price. If you have to, raise the price $10 per person and make sodas “complimentary”. The itinerary should include some beach time to just relax. Our group mutinied on a particularly sweaty day and jumped in the ocean en masse instead of getting in the dinghies to return to the boat. We played in the waves and surf for over an hour which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. The web site of our tour company erroneously advertised that satellite Internet is available on the boat. It was not and none of the crew even knew what we meant.

Guide: The main thing I liked about our guide, Leonidas, was his passion for the islands and their wildlife. He was very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna. Although he kept to schedule, I never felt particularly rushed. My only criticism has to do with the last day of the tour when Leo uncharacteristically showed up 90 minutes late with no apology or explanation. Everyone was quite angry about it and worried that we would miss seeing giant land tortoises because of it. Had this occurred I have no doubt that his tips would have been significantly affected. It worked out okay but it was a stress on the passengers that shouldn’t have happened.


Hi Robin,Sangay Touring approved

Just a quick note to thank you for all your help.  It was a great trip [Galaxy]!
Just arrived in Quito today from the Galapagos, will have 3 days here and go home on Saturday.

Many thanks and good wishes.
Regards,
Anthony Chueng
August 20th, 2008


Hi Robin,

Sangay Touring approvedSorry for the delay in sending this but it’s been a bit hectic since returning home.

Many thanks for all your help in arranging our short visit to the Galapagos.  We very much enjoyed the Angelique.  We thought the food was excellent and we found the staff very friendly.  The boat rolled quite a bit at times but this was to be expected with a small boat.  The itinerary was good for the 4 days with a good mixture of walks, snorkelling and time to relax.  The guide was very knowlegable and friendly.  All in all an excellent trip.

We will recommend Sangay to our friends.

Kind regards,
Val Morgan
December 4th, 2008


Robin,

It´s Bryce writing.  Shannon and I are in Cusco now.  What a wonderful city.  We had a great time traveling from Quito to Cuenca — thanks again for helping us plan the trip.  Here´s the summary you asked us to write of our Galapagos Islands cruise aboard the Sagitta.
We toured the Galapagos Islands aboard the Sagitta on an 8-day cruise during the last week of July.  Our cruise was an amazing experience.  The Sagitta is a beautiful three-masted ¨motor sailboat.¨  The boat has several private cabins on two decks.  Each cabin has a private bath and shower with plenty of hot water.  We shared the boat with thirteen other passengers, a crew of six, and one guide.  We thought the Sagitta´s teak decks added a touch of class and enjoyed many sea breezes relaxing in the comfortable deck chairs.  The Sagitta also has a small library and video collection.  (We read Darwin´s ¨Voyage of the Beagle¨ during the cruise.)  Although the Sagitta uses its motor to travel from island to island, the crew did raise the sails for one of the longer inter-island trips and it made for some grand photos.
During the cruise we saw about every animal the Galapagos Islands are famous for: tortoises, sea lions, frigate birds, humpback whales, blue-footed boobies, sea turtles, porpoises, land and marine iguanas, albatros, Galapagos hawks, penguins and pelicans.  The animals were as fearless of humans as advertised, allowing for many close-up photos.
The Sagitta generally travels from east to west through the islands, making stops on the western side of Isla Isabela as well as on Isla Fernandina.  (Many other boats don´t make it to these areas.)  As the youngest and most rugged islands in the archipelago, these are some of the more interesting places to visit.
Sangay Touring approvedOur days aboard the Sagitta began with a shared breakfast served at 7:00 a.m.  After breakfast, most days, we boarded a panga (a small, inflatable motor boat) for a short ride to whichever island was to be toured that day.  Each tour was guided and lasted about two hours.  After the tour, we returned to the Sagitta and usually had the opportunity to snorkel.  The snorkeling was some of the best we´ve done.  We saw many varities of fish and had the chance to swim with sea turtles and even on one day a curious sea lion.  A second guided tour generally followed later in the afternoon.  In addition to breakfast, we were provided with a big lunch, dinner and dessert.  The food was very good and there was always plenty to go around.  We were impressed by the variety of food served considering that the boat had to store everything needed for the entire 8-day cruise.
The guide aboard the Sagitta changes from cruise to cruise.  The guide for our cruise was knowledgeable and thorough.  She showed a genuine interest in the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands and a desire to teach us about it.  We were equally impressed by the Sagitta´s crew.  They worked hard and did many little things to make us more comfortable, like providing drinks and snacks when we returned to the boat from a trip to the island or a snorkel.  The Sagitta´s cook even baked a birthday cake for one of the passengers who celebrated his birthday during the cruise.  The panga captain was also very good.  He got us close to the wildlife and his skill with the boat made our island landings smooth.
One of our biggest thrills was the nightly star show.  The Sagitta usually cruises to a new island each night, and the cruise generally takes between 5 and 10 hours.  With no city lights to obscure the view, we counted stars by the hundreds, and the Milky Way was a white streak across the top of the sky.  The Sagitta also churned up the phosphorescent plankton as it moved through the water, which at night appeared like sparkling, green fireflies in the boat´s wake.
A few more thoughts.  The Sagitta provided wetsuits for us to rent, as well as masks and snorkels.  If you contact the Sagitta in advance, the crew will be sure to have the wetsuit size you need and can also bring aboard the boat special wetsuit sizes (e.g., small sizes for children).  In July, the water was a little chilly and we were all glad to have wetsuits available to us for the snorkeling.  Sailing in July also means rougher seas, but sea sickness medication should prevent any nausea.
We had a wonderful time aboard the Sagitta and highly recommend a Galapagos Islands cruise aboard it.
Bryce and Shannon
August 16th, 2008

Sangay Touring approvedHi Robin

We made it home safely.

This is a note to thank you for everything. We had an incredible time on our cruise to the Galapagos. The Diam[a]nte was more than we expected. The crew and our guide were terrific. Everyone on the Diamonte was continually surprised at the beautifully displayed and tasting platters of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We would recommend the Diam[a]nte anyday.

The kids loved it too. They had a fun jumping off the side of the boat as well as jumping from the rope. This first class vessel is meant for kids as well as adults.

We ended up with really interesting people on our cruise. With only 12 people that could be trouble. For us, it was terrific.

Thank you for arranging our trip to Machu Picchu. Your “Peru Experts” didn’t let us down.

You were also free with info on things to do around Quito.

Thank you for everything.

Brenda Russett
August 15, 2007


Sangay Touring approvedGreetings Robin,

Just wanted to thank you for your help in setting up our trip to Ecuador.  We had a wonderful time and all went well.  It was truly a family experience that we will cherish.  Again, many thanks for making reservations and recommendations.  It was a pleasure working with you.  I hope to return to your beautiful country again.

Cheers,

Diane and Rob Cappa
June 25, 2007


Hi Robin,

Back to real life now!  Thanks again for everything.  I will not hesitate to recommend Sangay and I plan to post our trip on fodors.com with an endorsement.  I am sorry for your troubles and I know you are working extremely hard to avoid affecting your clients, which makes the smoothness with which the trip cam of from our perspective even more impressive.

Sangay Touring approvedI know we mentioned it to you, but Carlos was a wonderful guide.  Especially in Quito, I think we significantly altered his itinerary for us and he took it in stride and was very gracious with his time.  He spent a lot of extra time with us with no apparent expectations of extra compensation – though I hope we did adequately compensate him in the end.

Anyway, I’m off to a meeting, but I did want you to know how much we appreciated everything.

All the best,

Tom MacAllister
June 7th, 2007
U.S.A.


Hi Robin,

Sangay Touring approvedSorry that we have not sent you an email earlier but we have been travelling and have just returned from Patagonia!
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Galapagos on the Lammer Law in February. It was a great crew and a super bunch of people that we cruised with.
Thanks again for organising the trip for us!
Best wishes
Marnix Ravesteijn
March 21st, 2006

Sangay Touring approvedHi Robin,

Just a note to say that the cruise was truly wonderful for Erin and me.
Loved the Encantada and its ambience.  We had a great group of people, an excellent guide, fine meals.  The reality exceeded our fantasies.  Thanks for all your assistance in getting it booked, etc.

Mary Martens
April 3rd, 2006


Hi Robin;

Just a quick note to thank you for your assistance during our wonderful holiday in Ecuador. Everything went according to plan but the driving was a nightmare at times because of the state of the roads; I’ve never seen so many potholes – and deep too! But I got the hire car back in one piece (Japanese reliability).

We broke the journey in two sections with a stop in Santo Domingo which, incidentally has a wonderful hotel “Zaracay” this is highly recommended. We called in at the “Tinilandia”  but were not impressed by the accommodation and it cost $85 pn so we went on to the Zaracay. There is no way I could do the whole trip to Puerto Lopez in one go. The Mantaraya Lodge was superb but not many guests when we were there.
Sangay Touring approved
The Eden was fine albeit a little cramped with a small double bed but the guide, crew and the food were wonderful. The islands are fully up to their reputation; incredible.

We have been recounting our experiences with friends and will have no hesitation in recommending the services of your company to potential travellers.

Hasta Luego.

John and Margaret Thompson
May 29th, 2006


Hi again,

Just a quick note from me. We really enjoyed our trip with the Eden, the guide was good, the cabin(5) was nice, but the double bed very narrow, maybe for a young loving couple, the food was good, the staff was very nice. Tangara was very nice with Lidia and Antonio extremely helpful.

Sangay Touring approvedOnly one thing was a bit confusing. When we arrived in Galapagos we looked for our luggage but didn´t find it because there was a plane that had landed before us. Nobody said anything about this but I asked and told other people.Maybe a sign telling the flight number so people knew. We also went to Kapawi with Canodros and really enjoyed that to, a great project!

As you can understand we will definitely recommend your agency in the future.Thanks!

Greetings from

Margareta Lindell
April 27, 2006


Sangay Touring approvedHola  Robin,

Te escribo para saludarte y agradecerte por los 5 dìas maravillosos que hemos pasado a las Galàpagos (estuvimos muy bien con la Golondrina y con la nostra guìa Priscila). Espero que para otras vacaciones de poder contar con tu servizio.
Gracias

Nancy, Fabio y Michelle
May 2nd, 2006


Hi Robin –

Just a note to express appreciation for your expeditious handling of our seemingly intractable airline problem in Quito preceeding our Galapagos vacation.

Even with her good Spanish, Gia couldn’t make any headway in straightening out the problem (because she couldn’t figure out what was awry).  In any event – even though the problem was in reality between the boat operator and TAME – ultimately it was your problem to fix, and to your credit, you did so promptly.

Sangay Touring approvedOnce aboard Cach[a]lote, the experience (seasickness and the need to develop “sea legs” notwithstanding) was marvelous.  The boat and crew were grand.  The food was superb, not fancy – but healthy, tasty and quite varied from day to day.  The pace of the travel was just right – not too demanding, yet appropriately challenging to me (I’m not atheletic nor an outdoorsman, but I love wildlife).  Our guide (Juan Tabia) was extraordinary, a 20 year veteran of the guide service.  He knew just how to balance our pace so that everyone could get questions answered and pictures taken (plus he could sing and play guitar, as well as teach salsa dance after dinner!)

My greatest delight about the Galapagos has in large measure to do with the Ecuadoran management plan for the islands.  It is clear that every small boat visits the specified official landings on its itinerary, and that visitors always traverse regulated, marked trails on the islands.  But this regimen exposes visitors to almost all of the extraordinary wildlife that we have become acquainted with through television documentaries and reading.  It is an excellent system, and very rewarding for the visitor.

We had two days in Quito after our return from the islands, which could easily have been stretched into 3 or 4 additional days (to visit the hot springs and Otavalo).  The B&B (Casa Sol) that Gia chose in Mariscal was superb – it would be a great place for you to put guests – and we enjoyed great food at Boca de Lobo and Milano nearby, as well as overlooking the city at Mosaica another evening.  We managed a visit to Mital del Mundo (and the marvelous cultural museo next door) as well as a morning over the city via the Teleferique before returning to the US.

I’m now busily researching ceviche recipes!

Thanks for facilitating our wonderful family trip.

Bob Upchurch
June 12th, 2006


HI Robin,
Sangay Touring approved
Just wanted to drop you a quick note to THANK YOU!  I had an awesome time on board the Beagle.  You were quick to respond to all my questions… and I don´t know of any other travel agent who gives out his personal contact information in case of an emergency.  If any of my friends decide to visit the Galapagos, I will be sure to refer them to you.

Best,

Sachith Wijetunga
July 6th, 2006


Hi Robin
As promised, feedback from our time on The Beagle. We had a fabulous time, and really don’t have anything negative to say.
Food: Excellent. The chef catered for the (many) unusual dietary requirements of the guests.
Itinerary: Great. We saw a huge variety of animals, snorkelled almost every day, and had ample time at all locations. You should note also that the Beagle provided snorkel, mask, fins AND wetsuit free of charge, and the gear was in excellent condition. The guide was always snorkelling with us, and the Panga was always close by.
Sangay Touring approved
Cabins: Bed was a tad short for me (6’4″) but no sleep lost. Cabins very well kept with regular towel and linen changes.
Staff: As you predicted, of the highest quality. These guys thought of everything before we did.
We also spent 3 days on Isabella, an extension I would strongly recommend.
Thanks again for your help. Our time on the Galapagos was so memorable, largely thanks to you. The Beagle was of the highest quality, and you should have no hesitation recommending it.
Cheers,
Sarah and Warwick
June 25th, 2006


Hello Robin,

I did say I would drop you a line, but just now got a few moments to do so.

Sangay Touring approvedI am back to school now, and my classroom obligations are calling very loudly.  Anyway, thanks again so much for your help booking our tour this summer.  Thanks for all the very professional work in making our tour with the Tip Top II crew exceptionally memorable.  My daughter and I had a marvelous time!  The Tip Top II crew and guide were, as well, exceptionally professional and made every effort to make our cruise the best ever.  It was a very positive experience doing business with your travel agency.  Everyone in your office was amiable, helpful, and reassuring.  It was a pleasure doing business with Sangay.  And again, Robin, I thank you very much for all the other advice and information you gave us about travel in Ecuador.

Sincerely,

Bruce Hitchko
Calistoga Elementary School
5th Grade Teacher
Calistoga, California
September 7th, 2006


Hi Robin-
Sangay Touring approvedWe all loved the trip and had a smooth return to NY yesterday.  The boat, the guide, and the food on the Cachalote were top notch.  In addition, we really enjoyed staying at Cafe Cultura and thought the food at the restaurants you recommended was excellent.  The eight day trip was definitely the way to go and we look forward to recommending both you and a similar itinerary to friends.
Thanks again for everything and we very much look forward to returning to Ecuador.
Kind Regards,
Daniel Flax
August 4th, 2006


Hi Robin

Sangay Touring approvedJust wanted to say a huge thank you for organising my trip on the Nemo II.  The boat was lovely, and extremely well maintained and run.  The crew were superb and our guide, Juan Carlos, was fantastic.  I am delighted that I booked that second week out in the Galapagos, the land tours really were excellent.

I will definitely have to come back and visit again as soon as I can!

Many thanks

Gail Reardon
July 19th, 2006


Hi Robin, hope all is well in Quito.

Just a quicky to give you a bit of feedback on Nemo 2.

Sangay Touring approvedGenerally, everything was excellent. On a whole, very very happy with the tour.  The boat was great, the crew excellent (especially Rual), and the Naturalist, Juan Carlos was first rate.

Guide:  I dont know if you have met this guide, but he is acknowledged in some of the Animals of the Galapagos books. His English was excellent, he had a great sense of humor and was as flexible as possible.

Boat:  Boat was generally good, except on the first and forth days, there was really bad diesel fumes down below. Half of us woke up with headaches and sore chests. Really bad. The Captain said that one of the crew had spilt diesel, but as it happened twice, I find that hard to believe.

Crew: Excellent. Made us very comfortable and welcome. Rual, the guy who served meals and cleaned rooms was just amazing.

Food:  Top notch. Best food Ive ever had on a tour. Cant say more than that !

Flights:  5 hour delay on the outward flight, so missed the whole afternoon on the first day. Aparently they couldnt close the cargo door and so had to wait for another plane. The plane looked about 30 years old (not exagerating!) so not surprised.

Now sat in Caracas airpost waiting for a flight, and wishing we were back on board !

Hope this helps,

Richard Thompson
Nemo 2, 2-9th July 2006


Sangay Touring approvedDear Robin,

Just wanted to let you know that our trip was a great success, and a wonderful time was had by all. We were very pleased with the Nemo II; the staff was great, the accommodations comfortable, and the food was fine. We loved the snorkeling, hiking, and more.

Los Alpes in Quito was fine as well, and we especially enjoyed dinner at Mosaica.

Feel free to give my name as a reference if you wish.

Regards,
Sandy Soule
August 10th, 2006


Sangay Touring approvedHi Robin,
It was so nice to finally meet you in Quito.   We had an amazing 8 days on board the Samba.  We were very happy with our choice of yacht and the crew and guide were great.   Thanks again for all your help.
Lynda Rushworth
September 9th, 2006


Sangay Touring approvedOur Galapagos vacation was fantastic due to the amazing animals and the Fragata Yacht’s attentive, friendly crew.  We had fresh sheets and towels everyday and the sand in our shower was cleaned out daily too (you seem to come back with some sand in your swim suit from snorkeling no matter how hard you try not to).  The food was very good and there was always lots of it.  Whenever I needed something (such as the Ecuadorian equivalent of Dramamine) the crew made sure I  got it even if it meant making a trip to a nearby boat to pick up extra pills.  When we snorkeled off the pangas, the crew made sure to keep the boats close (but not in our way) just in case someone wanted to get out of the water early.  Our guide was incredible.  His knowledge and amiable personality made our islands trips even more memorable.  The Fragata’s sun deck (on the top of the boat) was our favorite place to read and hang out.  If I ever returned to the Galapagos Islands, I would be happy to go on the Fragata Yacht again to repeat our wonderful experience.

Tiffany Dodge
June 22, 2007
U.S.A.


As you suspected, most of what we have to say is positive.  The boat, staff, accomodation, food, etc all met high standards.  Some passengers were upset about a couple of things that didn’t happen to us, e.g. fussy a/c units, but the only incident that affected us directly was the bota’s motor breakdown on our last night, which was unfortunate, but came to nothing except a little delay in final arrival (though it would have been nice if a rescue boat had been called a little earlier).  It does seem to me that perhaps tourists, especially those without much experience with being on a boat for several days, should be explained the difference between luxury on land and at sea a little better.

Sangay Touring approvedOur guide, Kike, was very good in that he made sure his group didn’t break any rules of the national park, and was knowledgeable.  He is quite young, and that’s probably the reason why he is not, at this time, very well versed in dealing with stressful situations in which his role is to be a link and an interpreter.

Overall, we were really very pleased, and had a fantastic trip we’ll remember for a lifetime!  Thank you again for all your help, hopefully you will hear from some of our family and friends who’ve been treated to our circa 200-picture slide show :)  Let me know if you need ay further info.
All the best,

Vanessa Aubry
September 14, 2007

4 responses to “Recent Galapagos cruise comments & reviews

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Great site this sangay.wordpress.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor🙂

  2. CEGESMEMA, thank you for kind words. Although still a novice blogger I am quickly learning and keeping this site completely up to date for readers. Enjoy. Any comments, suggestions and recommendations are highly welcome!

  3. Hi, nice post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for sharing. I will certainly be coming back to your blog.

  4. Pingback: Recent Galapagos cruise comments & reviews « Galapagos Islands and … | Ecuador Today

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: