Galapagos with Odysseys Unlimited? Tauck?
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It all depends on what you're interested in - I planned on only going once and did a two week itinerary that included every island that could be visited. That might be overkill for you though! If you want an indication of what two weeks looks like, the link in my signature below to my website and blog might help. I also went to Macchu Pichu on the same trip and stayed at the Inkaterra rather than the Sanctuary. To avoid wading through all of the blog, there is a link to the 2 pages covering December 2010 here: http://www.travelimages.com.au/page1...h=1&postPage=2
2004 Hurtigruten on M/S Nordkapp Bergen - Kirkenes return
2006-7 M/S Nordkapp to Antarctica and Chilean Fjords
Dec 2008 Mare Australis - Punta Arenas to Ushuaia
Dec 2008 Minerva - Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia
Oct-Nov 2010 NG Explorer - South Georgia & The Falklands
Dec 2010 Galapagos on M/S Beagle
March 2012 NG Explorer - Cape Horn to Cape of Good Hope
July 2013 Le Boreal - Oslo to Reykjavik via Svalbard and East Greenland
Dec 2015 Le Soleal - NZ & Australian Subantarctic Islands
Sept 2017 L'Austral - Darwin to Indonesia via The Kimberley (back to back expeditions)
March 2018 Le Lyrial - Ushuaia to Cape Town
April 2018 Le Lyrial - Durban to Mahe (The Scattered Islands)
I would not consider less than 7 nights in Galapagos, our best cruise ever!
Btw, we were just at MP and stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge which I highly recommend. See post on our tour guide.
We are considering tour of Machu Picchu and Galapagos with either Tauck or Odysseys Unlimited. We know Tauck is top of the line and we would have 6 nights on the Isabela II in the Galapagos and stay overnight at the Sanctuary Lodge (my dream). Odysseys Unlimited also stays overnight at the Lodge but only has 3 nights in the Galapagos (on the Coral II). We have toured with Odysseys Unlimited before and thought they were a good company and less expensive than Tauck. Our big question is whether we would be disappointed with only 3 nights in the Galapagos. Should we pay the bigger bucks and be there for the full 6 nights? Would we be cutting ourselves short for such a special place?Take a look at IEtravel.com (International Expeditions ) and see the program they have that allows both Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands in one trip. We sailed 7 days on the Evolution which was a great yacht type ship with a water deck that allows for getting into and out of the rubber high speed dinghy's that take you to the absolute wonderous islands. The rooms were basic but comfortable, the food was outstanding, and the guides are truly an education -- they know so much and they keep you safe because there are no trails allowed. You better have someone (more than one) to help you over the rocks, coral, sand, water landings, and keep you from tripping over the dumb frigate bird nests. Each island has different environment and animal bird species. In 3 days, you would have some very stiff choices made -- see the sea turtles (Lonesome George) or the sea lions or the blue footed boobies or the red footed boobies or the frigate birds. Not all are on one area or island and the islands are a fair distance from each other (we ran all night long 8 or so hours between islands that had things we wanted to see.)
We have been to MP, GI and the Amazon River cruise to deep parts of the Amazon which looks pretty much like no person has ever been there. All 3 trips are worthy of your ultimate bucket list. All 3 you need experts to spot what you should see, keep you out of harm's way and prepare food and shelter so that you don't end up sicker than a dog. I would not consider a 3 day trip as you wouldn't get much value for the long trip to GI or MP. Even if you have to wait a year save until you can do a first class experience.
Our ship had 28 folks 2 guides, a doctor, a captain, and some ship folks who also ran the dinghys and kept an eye out for sharks and bull seals (who like to climb up on the water deck) and some folks working that we didn't really see since they drove the boat at night. All 3 of these trips with IE rank among the best trips we ever took (we also did their African Safari) and were worth every penny of the money spent. The small number of passengers means you always are with a guide and only 8 others so that you can explore without disturbing the wildlife, leaving an impact on the environment, with great help to answer your questions and keep you safe (I fell 3 times even with walking sticks so get going before too much age happens). We have been so honored to see these wonderful areas that most just see in pictures -- and the real thing is way better than the pictures and the memories are warm and stunning!
Barbara and Walter
2017Navigator of the Seas Miami & Nassau2016Rotterdam Viking Passage Rotterdam to Boston2015 Independence of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Azamara Quest Bali to Osaka 2014 Insignia Mayan Mystic Oceanic Discoverer New Zealand South Island 2013 Disney Dream 2012Diamond Princess The Orient route Star Princess Cape Horn Route SA 2011M/V Evolution Galapagos Islands 2011 Uniworld River Duchess Tulips/windmills;2010 Crown Princess Canada/New England;2010 Coral Princess Panama Canal;2009 Oceania Nautica Greece and Turkey;2008 Cunard QM2 Southern Caribbean;2008 Celebrity Constellation Iberia & TA;2007 Majestic American Queen of West ColumbiaR;2006 Princess Star Princess Baltic;2004 Princess Tahitian Princess South Pacific;2003 Viking River Cruises Clara Schumann Elbe R;2002 Coral Princess (Aust) Coral Princess2 Reef;2001 Princess Royal Princess Norwegian Fijords;2000 Jungle Expeditions La Turmalina Amazon R;1999 Disney Magic Bahamas;1998 RCCL Enchanment of Seas Western Carib.;1996 Princess Star Princess (old) Alaska;1994 RCCL Monarch of the Seas Southern Carib;1990 RCCL Nordic Prince Bermuda;1987 RCCL Sun Viking Eastern Carib.
I recommend the Sanctuary as well. Our first day at MP it was raining cats and dogs all day. Then, the next day was sunny and beautiful. If we had only had one day there and it was like the first I would have cried all the way home.
2016 Windstar Costa Rica & Panama Canal
2015 Emerald Princess Western Caribbean
2014 Caribbean Princess Western Caribbean
2012 Dawn Princess Australia Solar Eclipse
2011 NG Islander Galapagos & Machu Picchu
2010 Windstar Costa Rica
2009 Victoria Prince Yangtze River Solar Eclipse
2006 Clipper Odyssey Vietnam
2004 Radisson Diamond Turkey & Greek Isles Transit of Venus
2002 Radisson Hanseatic Antarctica & South Georgia
2001 Windstar Virgin Islands
1999 Sky Princess Baltic Sea Solar Eclipse
1998 Radisson Paul Gauguin Tahiti
1996 Star Princess Alaska