Galapagos Part 1 Begining Stages of Planning Continued
If you are planning to choose a smaller vessel to cruise the Galapagos like a Catamaran you may want to consider bringing a few friends along due to the fact that the vessel is smaller and it may be much better to share the space with people you know. Since the group is smaller there will have much more time for excursions. Also by doing this you may get a better discount for everyone than the typical rack rate. Collect a list of a group of friends or family you may want to contact about your cruise and send them all emails with your details you have acquired. This may seem like an easy task but getting people to commit is not easy at all. For a vacation like this be sure to give your group ample time to plan for their time off of work and get their finances in order. Once you have negotiated your price with the booking agency have them give you separate invoices so that you can email them to your passengers individually, some of you may have different prices depending on your room type and trip extensions.
While booking our adventure I was going back and forth about which area to stay at Quito or Guayaquil. At first I thought we should just go to Guayaquil because the date of departure for your flight to the Galapagos Islands the flights from Quito make a stop in Guayaquil which delays you by approx an hour or so. But on the flip side there is not much to see in Guayaquil and so much more to see in Quito. So I am leaning more towards Quito unless I find out some new and amazing info.
After looking through numerous itineraries and deck plans I chose to go with the Cormorant Catamaran with Haugan Cruises. http://www.cormorantgalapagos.com/index.html
They do not book directly with the consumer they use booking agents like the one I mentioned in my last blog http://www.galapagosislands.com/index2.html they gave me the best price and so far the best service. I spoke to an agent named Lilian she was very pleasant and informative. I chose the Cormorant because of the Itinerary, it’s brand new and they have a Level 3 Certification by the Galapagos National Park which consist of the following........
• A University degree in biology, tourism and similar branches is required
• At least 6 years of experience as a naturalist guide for the Galapagos National Park is required
• Fluency in en and English with many speaking a third language
• To have successfully completed the rigorous Level 3 training course offered by the Park which includes:
1. Safety training for onboard and for when on the islands
2. First Aid training
3. Detailed test of the biology and geology of the islands
4. Problem and emergency management training
Next step trip extension………. what hotel on Santa Cruz to choose Finch Bay or Royal Palm?
It is now June and the plans are unfolding.Our group is 3 couples Suzy & Adam Brice & Holly Mike and Myself so therefore 3 of the 8 rooms on the catamaran are now full with our group.Our planner we are using Galapagos Travel has informed me that the Catamaran is now sold out.I am so curious to who else is going to be on the adventure with us.
We have chosen to stay the first 2 nights in Quito at the JW Marriot, our flight arrives in Quito approximately 8:50 pm so not much time to do anything that evening so using the next day to explore before we head to the Galapagos.