Galapagos Island Cruise April 29 – May 6, 2012

Ship: Celebrity Xpedition with only 45 cabins. This is the “perfect” size to cruise and explore the Galapagos Islands This is truly a “Bucket List” adventure and is a must before you tip the bucket so to speak. This is the 2nd year for this private exclusive Charter and if you missed this one keep tuned. There is rumor they may be another one in a few years. The ship and cabins are very elegant. There is a nice outdoor sunning area and hot tub to sooth aching muscles after long days of adventure. The dining was open seating which allowed for sitting and meeting different  couples and talk about the daily adventures.The food was sensational as well.

Itinerary: 95% of the Island is a National Park. Declared such on the 100th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s publication of “the Origin of Species” You will also visit the Darwin Center. Unique for it’s isolation and young geographic age, tje Galapagos are an archipelago of volcanic islands located in the pacific ocean along the Equator. In total there are 14 main islands and 3 minor islands, one islet is so small it remains nameless.

Experience: It is truly better than everyone talks about. You have to experience it to believe it!  We all started by flying into Quito, Equador, one or two days early to acclamate to the elevation. Equador is also a very interesting city to explore. It has a great cultural downtown area and a must do is to go the the Equator line and straddle the Equator! then off on a private chartered flight to Baltra where we boarded the Xpedition ship. The cruise included all meals, drinks including alcohol and all excursions.  All excursions were lead by a tour guide in small groups of 8-10 people So you never felt like you were in crowds and  rarely saw other groups. the Galapagos Islands control the number of boats and people at any one time so it is very well organized. The guides take you ashore aboard a zodiac to other unique wildlife and numerous species & vegetation. The wildlife is too numerous to mention. The blue footed boobies were the highlight for many ( We had a great theme night around it)along with the adorable Penguins and awe stricking Stingrays and much much more.  There were also several fantastic deep water snorkel trips where you would be swimming with sea lions, shark and penquins amongst other beautiful fish. There was a morning excursion, then back to the ship for lunch and then an afternoon excursion and back in time for cocktails and mingling with the different groups about their adventure and what they saw. Swapping stories and pictures. After dinner everyone gathered in the lounge and bar to dance and party with many almost too tired from the day. You can do as little or as much as you like and most attempted everything available as it was to be a trip of a “Lifetime”. Our Group was one of the very LUCKY to see “Lonesome George” the oldest land Tortous who passed away a few months later.