When heading to the Galapagos, you undoubtedly have some possibilities. You can attempt and do it alone, basing your self out of Puerto Ayoro and arranging day trips to other islands. Or you could join a multi-day Galapagos cruise and travel involving the islands on a boat.
A Galapagos cruise is not a standard cruise. These are not substantial ships with thousands of passengers. Most of the boats are of the yacht form, some searching fantastic and other people searching like they’ve observed considerably greater days, holding anyplace from 10 – 100 passengers. Itineraries differ involving three, five and eight days (at times longer) and involving eastern and western and central routes as nicely.
I took an eight-day, eastern itinerary on board the S/S Mary Anne, run by the great Andando Tours.
The Mary Anne is the only sailing vessel in the Galapagos and the only vessel that could certainly comprehensive its voyages by wind energy only.
She had a presence. She was unique than each and every single other boat we saw in the course of our eight-day trip. She had a classic style to her, whereas the other boats had been just that, boats.
The Mary Anne holds 14 passengers, with a mixture of double, twin and single cabins (with no additional charges if you are a solo traveler!). There are 10 crew members, as well. The cost of the trip involves accommodation, transportation, meals, regional permits and all activities.
Here’s a quick video I produced that shows you what it is like on board the S/S Mary Anne…
S/S Mary Anne Galapagos Cruise: Accommodation and Meals
The cabins are a fantastic size, if not the biggest cabins I’ve ever observed. And whilst they are straightforward, they are spotless, vibrant and comfy (they have A/C, terrific beds and even closet space, along with fantastic-size bathrooms with a complete shower). I slept wonderfully each and every evening, falling asleep inside seconds of hitting the pillow.
All meals had been eaten communal style at two massive tables, with all types of dishes getting served. The meals was great and varied at all instances. Breakfast would involve eggs, fruit, breads, regional pastries and far more. And for lunch and dinner, there was fish and meat, salads, soup, a couple of regional sides and a scrumptious dessert.
Just after most of our activities, there had been also fresh snacks waiting for us when we got on board and there had been normally snacks, coffee, tea and water accessible in the dining space all through the day.
S/S Mary Anne Galapagos Cruise: Activities
When it comes to activities, every single day is divided into a morning and afternoon session and typically, there had been two activities per session. These could be any mixture of hiking, snorkeling or kayaking, based on what island we had been at and what there was to see.
The hiking was never ever as well strenuous as it was normally along nicely defined paths set up by the Galapagos conservation board. The hiking pace was normally slow as there was just so considerably to see everywhere that our guide would quit often to clarify what we had been searching at. Even soon after a two hour hike, our group wanted far more each and every time!
Kayaking took spot on sturdy two-particular person kayaks and we typically took them out along the coast of an island, into gorgeous coves, along white sand beaches exactly where sea lions had been playing about and previous rocky outcrops exactly where we could spot all types of wildlife. It was super enjoyable to be out there paddling about in such settings.
With the snorkeling, the gear was best notch, and the snorkel web pages had been some of the finest I’ve observed anyplace in the planet. Hundreds of fish, sharks, sea lions, octopus, stingrays, turtles and far more would make up a standard snorkel session. Every single time we went snorkeling I mentioned to myself that I would only remain in the water for 20 minutes or so and each and every single time I ended up out there till the finish, typically an hour or far more.
(One particular of the employees from the boat would adhere to us in a dingy so that if any individual wanted to get out of the water at any time, he was ideal there to choose you up.)
All of the above had been not mandatory of course. Every single activity is normally optional as the notion is for all passengers to have the knowledge they want to have, one thing the employees stressed usually.
S/S Mary Anne Galapagos Cruise: Our Guide
Our guide, Fernando, was phenomenal. Every single other guide we passed in the course of our hikes would quit and ask him inquiries as he clearly had far more expertise than all of them combined. His lengthy knowledge in these islands was unmatched and his passion for his operate turned each and every single activity into an eye-opening, educational treat.
Once again, phenomenal is the only word to describe him.
He also took security really seriously.
Even though we watched as passengers from other boats fell on rocks, got separated from their group and had been forced to board their dingy in hazardous situations, we never ever had any of these concerns. Fernando and the group had been normally watching, normally assisting and normally generating positive that every person was protected at all instances.
This could possibly not appear like a huge deal but in the Galapagos Islands, it is a wild and rough terrain. And if you are not cautious, there are possibilities to hurt your self. But once again, no one on our trip had any concerns at all thanks to our guide and the extremely attentive employees.
S/S Mary Anne Galapagos Cruise: The Encounter
At evening, we would head outdoors and stare up at the sky in order to take in that magical delight that is a sky complete of stars, from horizon to horizon. The boat gently pushed by means of the modest waves, we sipped our beers and enjoyed a mix of conversation and silence till we had been prepared for sleep.
In the mornings, regardless of the early wake-ups, there was a lot of chatter, with the excitement about spending however a different day in these islands rather evident amongst us.
And if you feel that watching sea lions and sharks and iguanas and albatross and blue-footed boobies and turtles would get old soon after a couple of days, think me when I say that boredom is not achievable when in the Galapagos. Every single moment spent observing wildlife is beyond fascinating, it is never ever the identical as any other moment and it only additional solidifies the notion that a trip to these islands is an knowledge of a lifetime.
It is not only the wildlife even though. It is the views, volcanoes, beaches, colors, organic aromas, plants and trees, warm winds and pure remoteness that builds this trip into one thing that can not be copied anyplace else on this planet.
A Galapagos cruise is surreal. It demands to be skilled. And I can not picture a greater way to take a look at this thoughts-blowing location than on the gorgeous S/S Mary Anne, a ship as exclusive as the islands she travels about!
Any inquiries about the Galapagos or about my trip on board the Mary Anne? Let me know!
Additional posts from my Galapagos cruise:
My Galapagos Trip – 34 Preferred Photographs
My Galapagos Trip was an Encounter of a Lifetime