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Galapagos 2012

KC Dan

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I also posted this on the Celebrity site and Trip Advisor:


We are on the December 30, 2011 Xpedition Cruiestour with the cruise portion departing Baltra on January 1, 2012. I have just read that there is a new park regulation that restricts the number of sites that can be visited in a 15 day period. Many operators are going to a 15 day plus tour in order to get in all the good sites. You can have a shorter tour but as I understand it you have to vary the itinerary so that you don't hit the same plce twice in the 15 day period. Some say it goes intor effect January 1st and another place says in February. I know the published Celebrity itinerary goes everywhere I want. Does anyone know if it is changed or what the real scoop is? I have not heard from Celebrity on my inquiry.



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Check this link it might answer your question. Also they only allow 16 people on a tour with 1 guide. A 16 to 1 ratio. I am taking a 7 day tour with Ecoventura and we will have a ratio of 10 to 1 and will visit 2 islands a day. Ships on 11 to 15 days tours can not visit the same site more than once every 2 weeks.



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I can't respond directly to your question about the Xpedition's itinerary, but we just got back from the G on Lindblad and I will tell you what we learned and how it worked for us. We met up with someone from the Endeavor (99 pax) and learned from him that it worked the same way, but they had a slightly different itinerary.


A ship has access to a landing site from 6am - noon, then shifts to a new site during lunch for access to the next landing site from noon - 6pm. These hours correspond directly to the hours of daylight in the G. A landing site may include two activities in that six hour period, a water activity and a land activity. For us that meant a hike, and then either beach time, snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming from the ship. Sometimes the hike came first, sometimes the water activity came first.


The landing sites are strictly controlled and you must stay on the path designated by the park service. While you are only allowed on shore in groups of sixteen, the fact is that everyone is staggered by time along the same path, sometimes starting at opposite ends and crossing in the middle. We passed groups from the X, and very small groups from other smaller boats, on several of the landing sites. Sometimes we didn't see anyone at all, even others from our ship. Sometimes your hike will be 6-8 and water activity 8-10 (for example), and sometimes it was reversed with the water activity first, another way in which they manage how many people are ashore at any given landing slot.


Even though every ship is not visiting every "popular" site in a given seven day period, that does not mean that you don't get to see everything. For example, we did not visit Bartholome, but we did hike on Santiago which has the same type of terrain and geology. We hiked on Genovesa which is not an easy disembarkation and not everyone goes there, and we got to see an owl hunt and catch prey.


I did not feel deprived in any way, in fact I thought our experience was extremely rich and beautiful and I can't say enough about how fabulous and unique the Galapagos are. I also don't mean to make is sound as though it's crowded like Disneyworld, for it really isn't. This kind of trip has built in a certain amount of uncertainty because it's Nature and Nature isn't predictable, but that is also the beauty because it means everyone has their own unique experience of the Galapagos. I didn't get to see the whale, but I did see spotted rays mating on the shore not five feet from me.


Everyone who comes back from the Xpedition raves about it. You will have an amazing time and see astounding things no matter which islands you visit.

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