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Galápagos: Differences? Lindblad vs. Silversea?

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[COLOR=#0000FF][FONT=Georgia]For early 2019, we are looking at our [B]options for the dramatic and exciting Galápagos.[/B] Your NG/Lindblad offerings get very high marks from both respected reviews and friends who have been on your ship. BUT, we have done five cruises with Silversea and their ship for this area also gets very high marks. Either way prices are not cheap for a week at sea. Both ships seem to have very good crews. Your ship is rated as a little more "basic" with rooms/suites that are a little smaller and not as fancy. What else am I missing and most important to consider to evaluate/compare two very good options? The value difference? Also, there seems to be some differences on a cruise in the [B]western versus eastern[/B] part of the Galápagos? What are the pro/con factors for which area of the Galápagos to focus our cruising during just a one-week, first visit there?[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#0000FF][FONT=Georgia]When was your larger Galápagos ship last refurbished and upgraded? Understand that had been done in the last year of so. What all was done and changed? We are leaning, if going with Lindblad, for using the [B]Endeavour II[/B] versus your smaller Islander. Any other key points to research, consider?[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#0000FF][FONT=Georgia]THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio[/FONT][/COLOR]

[FONT=Helvetica Neue]For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, [B]Norway Coast[/B]/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at [B]219,643 views[/B]. [/FONT]
[COLOR=#000099][FONT=Helvetica Neue][U][B][URL="http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923"]www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923[/URL][/B][/U][/FONT][/COLOR]

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[FONT=Helvetica Neue][SIZE=3][B]Terry, I’m delighted [COLOR=black]you’ve decided to explore Galápagos— it is my personal favorite place on earth.[/COLOR][/B][COLOR=black] And, I assure you, it will not disappoint. As for the choice you between us and Silversea, I can offer you a meaningful distinction that might help guide your decision. We are an expedition travel company, not a cruise line, and that is a key distinction.My father led the first citizen explorers to Galapagos in 1967, and we’ve been exploring here ever since. We have had a ship, and now two, permanently based in Galapagos since 1997. With 50 years of experience we have learned what people want and how to optimize their experience of the islands. For a cruise line,the ship is ultimately the focus, the destination as it were; for us, our ships are tools for getting you to Galapagos, and are equipped to provide the most personal and meaningful experience of each island possible. [/COLOR]
[I][COLOR=black]National Geographic Endeavour II[/COLOR][/I][COLOR=black] carries a fleet of Zodiacs, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, a glass bottom Zodiac, complete snorkel gear plus scuba diving options and more, to ensure that every individual aboard, who chooses to, can get out every day—swiftly, seamlessly thanks to our smooth logistics management—to explore. We offer a greater number of activities and choices,ensured by our generous staff to guest ratio. And more importantly, we can accommodate various fitness levels and need for pace, from sedate to highly energetic. So, count on experiencing Galapagos the most comfortable way for you.[/COLOR]
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[FONT=Helvetica Neue][SIZE=3][COLOR=black]And our veteran staff is key to your experience;it’s the reason you, and your friends, know the Lindblad name and hear good things about us. And, given our alliance with National Geographic, our guests also enjoy unparalleled opportunities to travel with National Geographic explorers, [/COLOR][COLOR=#0070AD][URL="https://www.expeditions.com/why-us/expedition-photography/"]photographers[/URL][/COLOR][COLOR=black], writers, scientists, and other experts in diverse fields. [/COLOR]
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[FONT=Helvetica Neue][SIZE=3][COLOR=black]So, this is the key aspect to consider: how actively do you wish to experience Galapagos? How valuable is choice in daily options to you? If getting out exploring, seeing, and learning at your preferred pace is important to you, we offer you a richly rewarding opportunity.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=black]As for exploring the eastern versus the western part,[/COLOR][/B][COLOR=black] it’s important to know that i[/COLOR]n Galápagos, no single site can be visited by the same ship more than once over a two-week period. The idea was developed in 2011, to spread people out to allow for a more intimate experience. and we instantly adopted this innovative proposal by the Galapagos National Park. We have created a good balance during each week in terms of terrain and wildlife. If you wish to see all the sites, you could join for two weeks, but I assure you there is no better week, or route, to experience Galápagos—just nuances from one week to the other. [/SIZE][/FONT]
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[B]Our new Galapagos ship, [I]National Geographic Endeavour II [/I][/B]underwent a major refit to meet our standards for service in Galapagos. A forward lounge accommodating all guests, library, gym & spa were added along with new fixtures and furniture in cabins, new suites and other amenities, enhanced open deck space and an efficient Zodiac embarkation area. Sophisticated and energy efficient lighting, air-conditioning, water-making and other technical features were also installed or replaced for year-round operation in equatorial waters.The ship, which previously carried 136 passengers, now accommodates 96 guests in 52 thoughtfully-appointed cabins. She is designed to facilitate the uniquely spirited expedition community that develops aboard.

[B]Terry, I hope I’ve provided helpful answers to your key questions[/B]. We look forward to the prospect of sharing Galapagos with you.[/SIZE][/FONT]

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[quote name='Sven Lindblad'][SIZE=3]Terry, I’m delighted [COLOR=black]you’ve decided to explore Galápagos— it is my personal favorite place on earth.[/COLOR][COLOR=black] And, I assure you, it will not disappoint. As for the choice you between us and Silversea, I can[B] offer you a meaningful distinction that might help guide your decision.[/B] We are an expedition travel company, not a cruise line, and that is a key distinction.My father led the first citizen explorers to Galapagos in 1967, and we’ve been exploring here ever since. [/COLOR][/SIZE][SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000]
[/COLOR][COLOR=black]As for exploring the eastern versus the western part,[/COLOR][COLOR=black] it’s important to know that i[/COLOR]n Galápagos, [B]no single site can be visited by the same ship more than once over a two-week period.[/B] The idea was developed in 2011, to spread people out to allow for a more intimate experience. and we instantly adopted this innovative proposal by the Galapagos National Park. [/SIZE][SIZE=3]
Our new Galapagos ship, [I]National Geographic Endeavour II [/I][B]underwent a major refit[/B] to meet our standards for service in Galapagos. Sophisticated and energy efficient lighting, air-conditioning, water-making and other technical features were also installed or replaced for year-round operation in equatorial waters.The ship, which previously carried 136 passengers, n[B]ow accommodates 96 guests[/B] in 52 thoughtfully-appointed cabins.
Terry, I hope I’ve provided helpful answers to your key questions. We look forward to the prospect of sharing Galapagos with you.[/SIZE][/quote]

[COLOR=#0000FF][FONT=Georgia]Appreciate these [B]excellent details and this great follow-up.[/B] Very helpful!! From what my research, so far, has produced is that [B]both companies[/B] have very good offerings and options. By the end of this year, Silversea will have four expedition ships. They are not exclusively an expedition company, but they have had extensive experiences in doing these types of offerings, having proper ship set-ups, etc. As I understand, Silversea is now in its fifth year for doing these year-around Galapagos sailings. They had a "learning curve" in the first couple of years, but believe that they have upped their game in recent years to be strongly competitive. Lindblad/NG has done this area longer and their upgraded ship is a major improvement to be more competitive as to what some travelers seek. I will keep researching and planning. [B]Pricing and the "total package" [/B]will be important for us to consider, also. Which is best? The jury is still out. Have more "evidence" to gather and consider!! Welcome any other comments, insights, tips. Competition and choices are great!![/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#0000FF][FONT=Georgia]THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio[/FONT][/COLOR]

[FONT="]From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, [B]Amazon River-Caribbean[/B] adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.):[/FONT]
[FONT="]www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696[/FONT]
[FONT="]Now at [B]53,702[/B] [B]views[/B] for these postings.[/FONT]

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