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Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht

Montpelier, Vermont
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3 posts
10 reviews
24 helpful votes
Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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My 17 year old son and I just spent 8 amazing days in the Galápagos on the Samba. Ecuador was my 40th country to visit and this trip was one of my all-time most memorable. NOW IS THE TIME TO GO! Covid has made it possible to book at great rates (contact the companies directly) and there are a fraction of the normal tourist crowds (the whole 8 days we saw one other boat on the six islands we visited). There are some minor hassles (getting COVID tested within 3 days of arrival), but once you’re aboard it is totally amazing and hassle free. Our crew was super friendly, the naturalist was one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met (Morris), and we saw a stunning array of marine and land wildlife. The boat only has 14 guests maximum, so it’s the perfect size to know some fascinating fellow travelers without crowds. It was a truly incredible experience we will never forget!

25 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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4,325 posts
18 reviews
21 helpful votes
1. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Yeah! Samba is a great little ship. How many people on board with you?

Heather

Montpelier, Vermont
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3 posts
10 reviews
24 helpful votes
2. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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There were 14 total, two from Switzerland, two from France, two from Russia, three from the US, a Macedonian, a Colombian, and a woman from Japan. It was a great group and an incredible journey!

St. Gallen...
10 posts
3. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Thanks for sharing your wonderful comments and I hope we get to meet or see you on the Southeast route. Best wishes to you and and your son!

It is going to be challenging year. However, we are strongly committed to deliver the best always. And we want the spirit of our grew crew and naturalists to remain high and proud of being part of the Samba family

Let people know why Samba is different. How you felt like family. It is a work environment that makes you feel at home. It may not have the luxury of space but it provides the best encounters with nature and led with by very professional staff that are willing to go beyond the extra mile to make you feel safe and happy. We take great pride in our personalized service and making sure that all things, small and big, are cherished. Life is good on the Samba and sailing in the Samba is the life for me!

Spread the good word, travel and stay safe. We will be waiting for you with open arms!

Boston...
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230 posts
53 reviews
24 helpful votes
4. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Thank you for sharing. Your experience is very encouraging. We are looking at booking a last minute trip to Ecuador probably in May; I am waiting to book until we can be sure we will be able to get vaccine appointments when our priority group comes up later this month. Can you comment on covid protocols and whether they impacted your enjoyment of the trip? I am not as worried about risk of catching covid as I think that an outdoor type trip should be relatively low risk; I am more concerned about whether the experience will be less than ideal in some way because of the safety protocols. Did you feel any impact from covid once you were actually on the ship?

Montpelier, Vermont
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3 posts
10 reviews
24 helpful votes
5. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Great question! I’m a nurse and honestly I felt safer in Ecuador than I did in the US. First you need a negative PCR test to enter the country (taken within 9 days of arrival). Then you need a a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of arriving in the Galapagos (It can be the same one as the first one provided you got tested right before leaving the states and go right to the Galapagos (ie 96 hours haven’t elapsed). As a result, any of the foreigners you’re interacting with likely have recently been Covid tested so are unlikely to be asymptomatic carriers. Once in the Galapagos, you’re outside constantly and rarely have contact with people other than those on your boat. Finally, Ecuador Appears to be taking Covid more seriously than the US, everyone is masked, and anywhere you enter requires you to disinfect your hands and sometimes even sprays you with some stuff (People also frequently spray the bills and coins with disinfectant before they exchange them with you). We ended up spending two more weeks in Ecuador outside the Galapagos and it was amazing. We found a local guide who took us on a number of incredible day trips from Quito with just us and him in the vehicle so our exposure was minimal. I can’t recommend Ecuador enough, the people are great, and there is a lot of diversity with the Andes, Galápagos, and Amazon regions.

Spokane, Washington
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1,284 posts
21 reviews
18 helpful votes
6. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Paul, thanks for sharing and great to hear your wonderful travel experience. I am also trying to make Ecuador my 40th country visited. Did you need to get tested prior to return to US? If so, please provide details. Thanks

Isabela, Ecuador
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2 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Where did you get your rapid test to get back into the states after you were back on mainland?

Boston...
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230 posts
53 reviews
24 helpful votes
8. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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It sounds like you had a great trip despite covid restrictions. I am so glad and I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

C
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39 posts
153 reviews
133 helpful votes
9. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Some specifics: Did you wear masks on board the ship whenever you were outside your cabin (and not eating)? Did you wear masks when you were hiking? When you were in the pangas? During cocktail hours on the ship? During lectures in the evenings? Did that affect your ability to get to know other passengers? What about elsewhere in Ecuador? Are restaurants open for dining (inside or outside or both)? Is takeout easily available? I'm very curious to know how different the experience is now.

Edited: 18 February 2021, 02:47
C
Level Contributor
39 posts
153 reviews
133 helpful votes
10. Re: Just Returned 8 day Galápagos tour on Samba Yacht
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Some specifics: Did you wear masks on board the ship whenever you were outside your cabin (and not eating)? Did you wear masks when you hiking? When you were in the pangas? During cocktail hours on the ship? During lectures in the evenings? Did that affect your ability to get to know other passengers? What about elsewhere in Ecuador? Are restaurants open for dining (inside or outside or both)? Is takeout easily available? I'm very curious to know how different the experience is now.

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