Was this all you thought it would be?

Want to hear from those of you that saw other ships you may have liked better than the US marketed ones to us here in the states?

Comments

  • Hi jo jo,

    In a word …"Yes!" I say this as an Australian living in Melbourne. I sought Tauck out, rather than the other way round. You may not know, but Tauck doesn't advertise in the regular sense. They rely on word of mouth. The same goes for Australia. I can't speak for how they do business in other, non-US countries. On my trip, there were English and Canadian couples & myself. The rest of our exclusively Tauck group of about 30 were Americans.

    The boat used for the Galapagos cruise, Isabella, is a wonderful small ship, perfectly suited to the task. As I understood the situation when I did this trip, an Ecuadorian travel company took care of the local details on behalf of Tauck. Tauck had a TD that was our guardian angel for the entire trip. On-board Ecuadorian naturalists … I think there were about 5 in all … were there to guide the us through the wonders of the different islands.

    You are travelling to the Galapagos for a really life changing experience. If I went again … I'd go again tomorrow … in a heartbeat … I would still travel with Tauck. I never set out to travel with an American company. I set out to travel with the experts. When I'm travelling with a group, as distinct from independently, that turns out to be Tauck.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Hi did this tour a few years ago and loved it. Wanting to go back soon but more places to see with Tauck before then, India next!
    Isabella is an Expedition boat, 20 bedrooms, not luxurious but very clean. The staff keep the rooms beautifully tidy, there were no locks on our doors, no need. Tauck guide plus the local expert guides to guide us on the islands and the ships dr would accompany most of the walks too which could be comforting for some. Early starts, they wake you at 6am before it gets too hot, tour an island, come back, lecture, rest up, afternoon trip and so on. If you are less able the worst part is getting from the ship to the inflatables to get to land, obviously you have to be able to step into that boat, but of course lots of help. Wet landings are fine, the ship has a drying area to put your shoes when you get back on board. No need to take any fancy clothes for dinner, go as you are to the dining area. Great food great company, the crew are fantastic. Trip of a lifetime
    Also, some islands have jagged volcanic rocks to walk over, so listen to the guide's recommendations about footwear each day, have closed toe shoes for these islands.
  • Did you wear swim wear on all cruising days...or only on the wet landing days?
  • Some people chose to wear swimwear everyday … it didn't have anything to do with whether or not it was a wet landing. We didn't have to swim ashore!! :)))))) Some beaches were sheltered and suited to swimming, canoeing and snorkelling … or just paddling. There is a small jacuzzi on board which many people treated as a tiny, warm "swimming" pool.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • edited December 2015
    In addition to Tauck, it appears the Isabella II provides services to other tour companies. The list used to include Lindblad/Nat Geo, another high end tour company, until they started using larger ships, so it is constantly in demand and busy. It went in for a routine overhaul in September 2012 and was scheduled to go again this past May, but I don't know what work was scheduled or accomplished. I did 22+ years in the Navy, so you can take it from me, constant use and the salty ocean environment really take their toll on ships.

    We were fortunate to have Tauck guide Armin Geiger along for guide cross training last month on our Ultimate Alps tour. You can watch his video on Tauck's Peru/Galapagos webpage. Since this tour is on my bucket list I took every opportunity to pick his brain about the Galapagos. For eighteen years he lead Tauck tours all over the world and claims Peru/Galapagos and Turkey are his all-time favorites. He also said the Isabella II should be (is?) in great shape after the recent overhaul.

  • This is the web site for Isabella 2 http://www.yateisabela.com. They list sample 2014 departures, so I can only assume the refit of 2012 you mention was indeed completed. From my memory, the decor certainly looks to have been updated since my trip. Move this one up you bucket list, Alan. It is absolutely extraordinary.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • edited July 2014
    jdurkin wrote:
    This is the web site for Isabella 2 http://www.yateisabela.com. They list sample 2014 departures, so I can only assume the refit of 2012 you mention was indeed completed. From my memory, the decor certainly looks to have been updated since my trip. Move this one up you bucket list, Alan. It is absolutely extraordinary.

    Cheers,

    Jan

    Yup, I verified both the 2012 refit and the May 2014 refit were both completed- seems they schedule a refit every 2 years or so. Isabella II should be ready for another two years of cruising the Galapagos.

    There are some great photos taken ashore and aboard on her Facebook page! Better accommodations can certainly be had, but anyone who wants that should think about riding one of those floating hotels where they can travel with 5000 of their closest friends :)
  • Jan, another question......people wear socks with their Keens? Lots of posts about lots of socks.
    also, what do people wear for dinner on the boat? And......................what is a Tauck Ambassador?
    Thanks
  • Hi Dianne,

    I wore Merrill water shoes that just looked like any other kind of lace up walking shoes, but were designed to squish out water. I wore socks because my tender little footsies demanded it! I wanted enclosed shoes to protect said tootsies. I know you can get water sandals with an enclosed toe …. but they didn't work for me. I didn't wear the socks for the wading part! Had them in my backpack! I took double the number of pairs of socks I usually take… to allow for extra drying time! I chose as light weight, short ankle socks as I could find, for the same reason. Dinner on the boat … clean clothes! ;) My one pair of nice sandals. My favourite perfume!

    A Tauck Ambassador is just someone who talks too much! ;)

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Jan . . . you described me perfectly!
  • Hehehehehehehehe!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Clean clothes???
    better stuff than the exploring clothes?
    or the the clean clothes we plan to wear the next day?
    men need pants for dinner?
  • men need pants for dinner?
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha he he he :)))))))))))))))))
    I think it's for the best all round, really.
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