Walker on Galapagos?

Is it possible to do any of the tours with a walker?
Thanks... Betz


  • edited September 2017
    No, this tour is not for you. i took it about 10 years ago and am about to go again.
    Consider how you will get in and out of the panga, the rubber dinghy, you have to be fairly agile. You have to keep up with the group on the walks, you will be landing onto beaches,one steep rock staircase and at least one island that is sharp volcanic lava rock. Without stepping onto the islands you will miss seeing most of the unique wildlife.if in doubt, talk to Tauck rep, explaining evactly the extent of your immobilties for a true clarification of your suitability for joining this tour.
  • edited September 2017
    I totally agree. You won't even be able to negotiate your way around the ship- many stairs (steep ship's ladders), even to get from the staterooms to the dining room. To take this one step further, frankly there are very few if any, Tauck tours suitable for walkers.

    A few years ago a solo traveler who used a walker was on our "Hidden Gems of New England" tour. Walking was over mostly flat, level terrain but with some steps and stairs. It was difficult, and the person was only able to negotiate certain parts of the trip without a walker, but did not get the full enjoyment from the trip. It was also a distraction to the tour director, bus driver, and co-travellers who went above and beyond to assist.

    The webpage for this tour has a section called 'Before You Go' It states in the 'Health and Activity' tab:

    To fully enjoy this tour’s itinerary, participants must be in good health. This is a rigorous tour and you need to be in good physical condition with good balance as the terrain varies from sandy beaches to uneven lava and rocks. Proper walking shoes with ankle support are essential. You may want to bring a walking stick – there are a few available on board Isabela II for the Galápagos section of your journey. Walks range from 1 to 2 mi (3 to 6 km) in length and last from 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

    All ship-to-shore transfers use Zodiacs or Pangas (capacity 9 to 12 persons). Occasionally you will get wet with spray. Some wet landings require guests to wade through knee-high deep coastal water.

    There are three decks on Isabela II; however, there is no elevator.

    Tauck is not able to accommodate wheelchairs on this tour. We also regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to guests for walking, dining or other personal needs. Persons needing such assistance must be accompanied by an able companion who will assist them.
  • I agree with AlanS and British. However, that said, there will always be someone who still will sign up for any tour notwithstanding any cautionary advice.
  • edited September 2017
    tomh wrote:
    I agree with AlanS and British. However, that said, there will always be someone who still will sign up for any tour notwithstanding any cautionary advice.

    Yes, you are correct, but there have been a few comments on the forum from people who have had their tour significantly affected by persons who should have not taken certain tours. Others have not been happy.
    We are using another tour company for a trip later in the year and they state very clearly that they have the right to send anyone home who they feel is not fit enough for the tour! We were specifically asked about our physical abilities when we booked. Also have to add that they give much better information on just about everything that people generally ask questions about here. I do think we will still find that Tauck has a superior product, but better information would certainly be appreciated by the newer Tauck customers.
  • edited September 2017
    British, I agree with you. I think that there are some folks who feel that it is their money and they can do/go anywhere they want to. So, I am sure that Tauck is willing to take their money unquestioned as it is a business after all. It does put more stress on the TDs, bus drivers, and fellow travelers no doubt. I have noticed that some vendors, as an example (a dog sled mushing company located where Tauck starts out on the Yellowstone in Winter tour in Montana does now specifically state on its web site that Everyone needs to have winter clothing, etc., otherwise they will be denied mushing a dogsled in the snow experience. This was something that the previous owner (when I did that experience a few years ago) did not specifically require and there were folks who actually showed up there in the dead of winter in just street clothes! Crazy, unbelievable, but it happened! LOL. :-) ).
  • Tom,
    Your Yellowstone experience is right up there with the Napa Valley hot air balloon ride we took a few years ago. Two European ladies showed up for the 5 AM departure in black cocktail dresses and very strappy high-heels! They did manage to climb into the wicker basket, but it was not necessarily a graceful entry!! Perhaps, they focused more on the champagne breakfast part of the day rather than the ride itself!
    But back to the question at hand...I cannot imagine anyone with a walker trying to take this trip. Beside being problematic for the TD, panga drivers, other guests, and ship personnel, it could be downright dangerous for the guest. This is an extremely strenuous trip, and there are many nuances in getting about from how one gets into the pangas to negotiating both wet and dry landings! Then there are the various challenges of each stop...lava rocks, steep steps, sand, etc. .
    And, BTW, lucky you, British, to be taking this wonderful trip again!! I am envious! And then there is the Tres Leche Cake and the Yucca Rolls on the Isabela !!
  • edited September 2017
    Joycesw. When I did Tauck's "Winter in Yellowstone" tour in Feb. 2012, just a guide and I mushed a 14 dogsled team all day long throughout the Absaroka Mts before the Tauck tour began. Then, at the end of the Tauck tour, I passed on the last day of it to snowshoe walk in the Grand Tetons in order to join up with seven other folks to snowmobile 100 miles all day long throughout Yellowstone, half of the time in a blizzard! Yep, that was pushing the envelope and the extent of my abilities but truly a life experience that I will never forget. I doubt that I could do that again five years later and I have never repeated any of my 33 Tauck tours (3 more upcoming this year), but if I were able to do so, that would be the one Tauck tour I would repeat ("Winter in Yellowstone" was great by itself, but those two side trips [dogsled mushing and snowmobile riding in Yellowstone] were truly "bucket list" experiences that I will take with me for the rest of my life.)). :-). BTW, for those folks who might be interested, on the one "free day" in Yellowstone on the Tauck tour, the National Park Service (NPS) had restricted the number of snowmobiles one can get there and on our tour, all of those snowmobiles had been previously allocated to another group. Learning this in advance of the Tauck tour, I contacted the concierge at the Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole (WY) who was able to hook me up with seven other folks on that last day of the Tauck tour to go on that 100 mile snowmobile ride throughout Yellowstone; apparently then the folks in Jackson Hole were not under the same restrictions as was the NPS in Yellowstone. However, even in Jackson Hole there has to be a minimum number of folks who have to sign up for snowmobiles in order for that to take place.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file