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LastMango
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Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour
      #1542457 - 10/29/13 02:14 PM (12.12.235.130)

Linblad Expeditions - https://www.expeditions.com/our-fleet/endeavour

My Mother-in-law booked her children's families to go with her on this trip in June. Looks like it is going to be great.
I've done a Caribbean cruise before and while it was fun it was not my particular kind of preferred trip. This small ship and itinerary looks like something much more my speed.

Anyone here done the Galapagos Islands and/or Linblad Expeditions and have any advice?

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It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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GaKaye
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1543054 - 11/01/13 05:50 PM (70.193.0.35)

Wow, that looks fabulous! Galapagos has been on my bucket list, and I think this is the way to go! Will be looking forward to your report.

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Sunset_Sammy
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: GaKaye]
      #1543129 - 11/02/13 01:17 AM (198.179.113.126)

Sailing down to Galapagos on a 51' yacht in February for two weeks, will post a trip report with pictures.

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Life is short, live it!


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: Sunset_Sammy]
      #1543155 - 11/02/13 09:39 AM (108.97.92.251)

Wow, now THAT will be interesting!! Looking forward to that trip report!

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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: Sunset_Sammy]
      #1543909 - 11/05/13 06:13 PM (12.12.235.130)

Quote:

Sunset_Sammy said:
Sailing down to Galapagos on a 51' yacht in February for two weeks, will post a trip report with pictures.



Yes, that will be interesting. That place is a long way from anywhere!

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It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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sc50
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1547139 - 11/20/13 09:34 AM (206.74.140.182)

My wife and I spent a week on the Endeavour last December and it was fabulous. The sights that you will see will amaze you and the naturalists will blow you away with their knowledge and passion for what they do. The crew to passenger ratio is almost 1 to 1, so the service is outstanding. The food is great with an emphasis on Ecuadorian food.

Everything that you read on the website about what you will see and do is true, you will love it.


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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: sc50]
      #1547461 - 11/21/13 11:02 AM (12.12.235.130)

Thanks for the reply sc50.

We are really looking forward to this trip. If you have any "must dos" or "must not dos" please let me know.

I understand they provide shorty wetsuits along with all the other snorkeling gear, but the time of year we will be there the water is supposed to be kind of chilly like maybe the low 70s. So, we were thinking of bringing our own wetsuits. Other than that we have not learned of anything else out of ordinary foreign travel plans that we should be particularly prepared for.

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It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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sc50
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1547546 - 11/21/13 03:48 PM (206.74.140.182)

I cant' think of any "must not dos", other than the bike ride we did one day - the bikes are pretty beat up and the scenery wasn't that great.
The water is definitely chilly - if you use their shorty wetsuit, make sure it is tight. 68 degree water running down your back every time you move isn't fun. We took our dive skins with us and they helped some - take your wetsuits if you have room, but you don't get too many chances to snorkel so that would be on of the items I'd leave at home first.
Our favorite activity was the kayaking - we did that every chance we got.
The way the schedule things you never have to miss an activity, while some are snorkeling others are kayaking, etc.

Have fun!


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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: sc50]
      #1596653 - 06/29/14 03:01 PM (166.205.55.36)

We just got back in the states and still have one more flight home. Lindblad - Natl Geo run a fantastic operation. All expectations were met or exceeded. We did everything they offered and 2 days of diving with Scuba Iguana. The wildlife above and below the water was awesome. If you haven't been to the Galápagos Islands, you need to start making plans and I can't imagine there would be a better organization to take you than these folks.

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It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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salica
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1597456 - 07/06/14 08:51 AM (91.84.76.174)

We are booked on this boat late October/early November. So happy to hear you has a great time. I think we are in cabin 302 as this was all that was left when we booked. If you have any specific pointers, can you PM me or write here. Did you go via Ecuador? We are doing this and my main concern is potential altitidude sickness. Flying directly into Quito. Again, any tips, gratefully received. Can't wait for this trip.

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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: salica]
      #1597611 - 07/07/14 02:42 PM (12.12.235.130)

Tip: Bring a good camera and lenses, jump drives/SD cards for photo storage!
Tip: The food was great - breakfast and lunch is buffet style - don't try to eat everything you see!

We flew into Guayaquil. It is at sea level. No altitude issues. Lindblad (or maybe it was the Duke University group we went with) directed us to fly into Guayaquil, so that is where we went. If you are concerned about altitude sickness, the advice I was given years ago when I suffered a bad headache upon arriving at a high altitude destination was to drink plenty of water the day of travel and upon arrival.

Lindblad had representatives meet us in Miami (our connection to Guayaquil) and in Guayaquil airport where they transported us to the hotel for the night then back to the airport the next morning for the flight to San Cristobol where we boarded the ship. Depending on your sailing schedule, you may meet the ship there or in Baltra. Either way, They always had a rep or two baby-sitting us at every step. If you have not booked your flights yet, you should entertain booking them through Linblad as well. That way, if there is any problem you have them taking care of the stressful stuff!

The only glitch in the trip was my brother in law missed the Miami-Guayaquil flight because of a weather delay. We did not book flights through Lindblad. So, they could not help us with that part, but their rep in Miami and the folks on the phone were helpful with advice. He was delayed by a whole day and Lindblad took care of booking a local boat to transport him and another guest who missed the same connecting flight to get them to the ship the next day. There were extra hotel, food and boat expenses as a result so we are finally going to make a claim on a trip insurance policy. But Lindblad still had their reps meet them at the airport/hotel to take care of them. A first class operation and it should be as it was a very expensive trip.

My 75 year old Mother in law treated us to this trip. She has permanent nerve damage in her foot from an accident and has trouble getting around, climbing steps, covering uneven ground or walking in sand. The crew was very understanding and helpful when she was getting in and out of the Zodiacs (The local crew call them Pangas) and when snorkeling and hiking. She could not handle several of the long and arduous hikes, but they always had a short/easy option for folks and she was able to see most of the wildlife. I think the only critters she missed out on were the Albatrosses and the Land Iguanas.

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It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1597613 - 07/07/14 02:57 PM (12.12.235.130)

The average water temp was 75 degrees F. We brought our own long-sleeved shorty 3mm wetsuits and skins. They were perfect. The water temperature might be different in Oct-Nov as I think that is the beginning of the warm-wet season. The snorkeling gear they had on board was of good quality and in good shape. But if you have big feet like my son, you might want to bring your own fins. Someone recommended we bring our own mask & snorkel and that made sense, but most of us found their masks to be just fine and didn't unpack our own.

They had snorkeling excursions scheduled every day and we took advantage of every opportunity to get in the water. We saw sea lions every where we went, in the water and out. Marine iguanas, sea turtles, white tips and big rays were plentiful and we saw a handful of penguins.

Us guys went diving with Scuba Iguana on two half-day trips and got to see some hammerheads, lots of white-tip sharks, a few black tip sharks and one Galapagos shark. Got my shark fix for a while.

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It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1597621 - 07/07/14 03:22 PM (12.12.235.130)

Tip: Tevas and flip-flops are fine for getting around on many of the hikes. However, you will need good hiking/tennis shoes for several of the hikes over boulder strewn ground and lava fields. The crew will advise on what to wear for the given hike...take their advise.

Tip: Bring a good pair of binoculars. A light weight pair if you have them. I was glad I had mine. If you have a camera with a telephoto lens, I guess that will work too.

Tip: Bring small back pack for hikes to carry a bottle of water, binocs, camera gear, etc.

They have 2 types of Zodiac landings: Wet & Dry. A wet landing is on a a sandy beach and your feet get wet. A dry landing is directly on the rocks or small concrete "dock" and you step off all nice and dry. However, sometimes the rocks are "wet" and slick. Gotta take care on these and the crew is always there to assist.

Tip: Bring several heavy-duty Ziploc bags of different sizes for semi-waterproof storage of sensitive stuff or better yet get a small dry bag from the sporting goods store. A few guests had small waterproof back packs that I envied. You will get a little wet on the zodiac rides sometimes from spray and I saw someone fall into the water on two occasions when they were getting out of the zodiac at the beach...gave a new meaning to "wet" landing.

--------------------
It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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salica
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1597711 - 07/08/14 08:03 AM (109.176.242.82)

Thank you for all your tips and advice. We are travelling with a small British company run and owned by a husband and wife team that meets us the night before travel from Uk and stays with us the whole time, including nine days in Ecuador. They hire the entire boat for our duration in Galapagos, so hope fully they also look after us if someone gets mislaid!! They also organise all flights, travel, tips etc, etc. They appear to have excellent revues, so we hope we have got this right!,

I am thinking about getting a shortie wet suit. Not sure when else I would get to wear it though, so I might just struggle through. I have my own snorkel gear as I have prescription lens and will take the mask at least: my vision is quite limited without.

The advice on footwear is very useful. I will certainly be taking your advice on that. One pair of teva type and something a little more substantial sounds fine. Did you wear shoes on the boat itself or go barefooted, as I have heard that is acceptable? Were you troubled at all with mozzies or flying insects? Did you need insect repellent? Not read anything about that at all. How much storage did you have on the boat? As we will be away from home over three weeks and quite different weather conditions, we will be unable to travel too lightly.

Many thanks for your help. Can't wait.


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RobT
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1597724 - 07/08/14 09:12 AM (69.250.21.36)

Regarding the water temperature. I mostly did not need a wet suit, but there are some places where the Humbolt current comes up from Antartica and it is pretty cold. I did use a wet suit then.

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Beach Hunter


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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: RobT]
      #1598017 - 07/10/14 10:46 AM (12.12.235.130)

Quote:

RobT said:
Regarding the water temperature. I mostly did not need a wet suit, but there are some places where the Humbolt current comes up from Antartica and it is pretty cold. I did use a wet suit then.




Yes, it was interesting how the water temperature changed from island to island. The crew said it was due to the variation in the current. It averaged 75F, but fluctuated several degrees either side.

--------------------
It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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LastMango
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: salica]
      #1598019 - 07/10/14 10:56 AM (12.12.235.130)

Quote:

salica said:
Did you wear shoes on the boat itself or go barefooted, as I have heard that is acceptable? Were you troubled at all with mozzies or flying insects? Did you need insect repellent? Not read anything about that at all. How much storage did you have on the boat?




salica,

Sounds like the tour company you have is on the ball.

Very few had their own wet suits...just our family and that is because we are wimps! Whether it is worth it to you to buy your own just for this trip will be up to you.

I wore flip flops or Sperrys on the ship. I recommend doing so. The only place they require shoes is in the dining room. (Yes, they will run you off in a nice way if you show up for a meal barefoot.)

No problem with insects. We brought spray, but never used it. Bring some just in case.

Plenty of closet space and under the bunk storage.

BTW, their internet access speed was just OK. Good enough to get emails and such and a little bit pricey. It is by the minute, not the amount of data. Make sure you remember to login, download your email and log off. Draft your emails and email responses offline, then log back on to send and log off when they are done! Those minutes go by fast.

Have a great time!

--------------------
It must be time to race again. My wounds have started to heal.


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salica
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Joined: 12/03/04
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Re: Galapagos - Nat'l Geographic Endeavour [Re: LastMango]
      #1615152 - 11/16/14 04:34 PM (82.153.115.154)

Had the most fantatstic time. Linblad and National Geographic were superb. We were so well taken care of and saw such marvellous things. Can't recommend them enough. Not the cheapest way to go to Galapagos but most likely one of the best. You get what you pay for. To see a very few of my pictures look at 'World travel' section here.

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