We want to know if anyone has does this one with Celebrity. We have put aside the Antartic for now and are ready to book the 10 day Galapagos. We would love to here from anyone who has done this one and their throughts. We were thinking of booking the Premium ocean view room. Thanks.
I'll share the little bit i know about these. The Galapagos islands limit the number of passengers allowed to visit each sailing to under 100 passengers. As a result the pricing per person is higher than on other 10 itineraries you'll see to other locales. They sell out most sailing dates very, very fast and early. Most sailing dates through late August are already sold out and many sailing dates all the way out to Aril of 2009 are already gone. The dates with availability are limited and the cabin availability is even more limited on the dates they still have open. One nice thing about these is they're more than a cruise. They include a tour package as I'm sure you're aware. I haven't had many bookings on these but the handful I have had have been very pleased with the ship, food, service and the cruise overall including the itinerary. It's a niche market and only the Celebrity Xpedition does this route. So if you're looking for a unique cruise experience without cruising with the masses and going somewhere isolated, without the masses at the ports of call, this would be a great choice.
Wish i knew more to share but that's about all I know I could share.
There are other expedition cruise lines that go to Galapagos such as Lindblad and Quasar. Lil' Lori who post on cruise-chat, I believe has done the Celebrity Galapagos. Perhaps she will see your post, or you could PM her if you have specific questions.
I hope you can someday do the Antartic. I did it in December 1999. It is truly a unique experience.
It is hard to narrow it down and choose one over the other but the Antartic is still on our to do list. As far as other lines going to the Galapagos that also is hard, we are loyal to Celebrity because we know what to expect and they have never disapointed.
Thanks for the replys.
I am not sure for how many more years large ships will be going to Antarctica (There are always rumors of liability issues and environmental issues -- would like some TA comment here). It is such a fabulous trip, that I would urge you not to put it off! Just an opinion from one who has done it.
Most of the ships that go to Antarctica are not large ships. I too have heard the concerns voiced about environmental and other issues with such cruises but most have no impact at all, they never even port there. The Antarctic days are typically cruising days. The Marco Polo did allow you to set foot on the continent but it's been sold and I don't know to whom or if its still doing the Antartic route under its new owner. Ships like MV Discovery still doing Antarctica hit Elephant Island and some hit other islands in the area but the only ship I can find that actually ports on the Arctic peninsula is Silversea's Prince Albert II. There is no guarantee even if booked on it, that you'll actually port, it is at the Captain's discretion based on weather and sea conditions each time.
The two largest ships that reach far enough south to even hit the region are Star Princess and Oosterdam which cruise the Arctic Sound after rounding Cape Horn but they port only at Port Stanley in the Faulkland Islands, north of the horn. I don't think sailings to the region are in any danger of going away but for those, and there are a few who want to step foot on every continent in their lifetime, that option is limited and may one day soon be unavailable through traditional vacation sources like cruising.
Environmental concerns are always a factor on many places like Antarctica, Galapagos, Easter Island, Machu Picchu, and more. When I went to Antarctica it was controlled that only 150 people could be on the island at one time. As environmental concerns increase I believe it will affect the number of people allowed each day to visit these places. Thus supply and demand will affect cost of visiting these places. I don't believe though they would be closed to tourism totally because of the tourism revenue they generate.
Hello. Well, we did a Galapagos Islands tour over July and August of 2006. Our summer was there winter. The island trees were "dormant" per the guide. Hardly any greenery. But it was baby season. There were baby seals everywhere. We went with Gap Adventures, they are based out of Canada, and were recommended in the national geographic mag. We did the "Islands to Andes" tour. We toured the islands for 7 nights, then flew to Peru and hiked the Inca trail for 4 days to get to Machu Picchu. We toured the islands for 7 nights, in a small boat, 18 people including the crew. It was awesome, doing the islands in a small boat. I would hang out with the captain, and watch him navigate. We would climb up to the top of the boat, and jump off into the water, and at night watch the stars. The crew was awesome too!!! Each cabin had bunk beds, with a tiny bathroom, for a shower,toliet, sink and mirror. The advantages of a small boat, to me, were many. We became almost familial with the other people on board. We all ate together at a big table. Our island guide stayed with us on the boat, he was a certified "Darwin naturalist guide", or something like that. He would brief us on the next days island and wildlife. He would have us get off the boat early, usually 6am, to beat the other hordes of people. Then, we'd go back for breakfast. One day, we saw lots of dolphins and orca whales. One advantage of our small boat, was being so close to the water. The dolphins, were riding and jumping the waves the bow of our boat was making. We were so close, we were getting wet when they jumped. It was a beautiful experience, very humbling. Only 1 day for a few hours, was the water very rough, for our small boat. We were going to go faster than normal, to get to the next island, therefore, making our ride rougher. The captain warned us, and I rode it out in my bunk, with dramamine. A few times, I actually caught air in my bunk, for a few of the higher waves. I never got sea sick, even on the rough water day. I had gotten sea sick before on a smaller boat, to scatter ashes, so I was really dreading the small boat for 7 nights. I took dramamine every morning, just in case. I snorkeled quite a bit, the water was cold enough for me, that I used a wet suit, the boat supplied. We were the only Americans on board, the rest were from England, and Canada. None of them used a wet suit, they thought the water was cold, but not that bad. We saw lots of sharks about 5 feet long, I forget what they were called, black or white tipped sharks I think. The seals would usually play with us, when we snorkeled. I could even reach out and touch them. I have heard they have become stricter with the visiting to the islands. We saw the Celebrity Xpedition, while we were there. She is beautiful. So, I guess, if you can or don't mind roughing it, I would whole heartedly recommend a small boat. For a much more intimate experience. Sorry this is so loooong. I just get excited thinking about it. Lil' Lori