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Mid size boat reviews/suggestions

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
271 posts
165 reviews
115 helpful votes
Mid size boat reviews/suggestions

Hello

We are a family of 4 (older children - 19/20) looking to do a 6-8 day cruise on a mid size ship. - i am just struggling to determine which one has the best reviews (every websites has different ratings).

Of the options

Isablla II

La Pinta

NG Islander II

Evolution

Coral 1 and 2

Looking for a mixed demographic. Reason for a mid sized ship is sea sickness. Love some honest feedback.

4 replies to this topic
r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
27,356 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
1. Re: Mid size boat reviews/suggestions

welcome

sorry, never been on those ships and probably will never when i return and i dont know what i "mid size ship" is. sorry.

Dont know if you read any of hte reviews and or similar questions..ect regarding boat size...but i will give you the jist of it..take or leave..

> you will probably be doing land excursions from your ship. They will probably be using 8 person dingys. So the idea is that the ship with fewer people, you can move them to/from faster/easier. Or if there are more people, will you be the first or last group? Our ship had 2 dingys and a max of 16 people. So 2 dingys in/out and we were off.

> you spend most of your time in the water (snorkeling) or on land. Morning and afternoon.

> no time to really worry about how nice the ship is. to me you can puke in a expensive toilet or cheap toilet, its the same to me. Chatting with others was done at mealtimes, early in the am, waiting for meals and on excursions. Sometimes after dinner and if the ship wasnt moving where people were resting or seasick, you could find some people.

for what its worth, ive been on ships much larger than i was on and still got seasick. 1 ship was about the length of a football field and it wasnt in rough waters either. I was seasick most of the times in the Galapagos when the ship was moving to the next portage. When it was anchored, no problems.

If you are prone to motion sickness, bring anything you can with you. If you have a doctor, ask them for a prescription of something stronger if you want. It wont take up 1 luggage space and it may come in handy.

good luck

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
5,147 posts
21 reviews
23 helpful votes
2. Re: Mid size boat reviews/suggestions

Dear PP,

I would put Evolution as #1 here (32 guests) - I've chartered it twice in the past 3 years for a not-for-profit cruise (my husband's college alumni) and we've all been very satisfied 3 naturalist guides means you are exploring in groups of 10 or 11, and not 16 (standard ratio). La Pinta (larger at 48 guests) has a good reputation as well and might be a good choice - though I don't know it well. While I'm sure the Islander does a great job (48 guests) - I'm less keen on ships operated by big international cruise companies. The Corals (20 and 32 guests) are a step down I think in service level / ship condition. The Isabella (40 guests) I'm not that familiar with - it's run by the same people that run La Pinta - I'm sure they do a great job.

One thing to consider is if the ship itinerary is interrupted. If you're on an 8 day itinerary that's composed of two shorter itineraries, that means that you'll have to stick close to an airport during your trip and the ship will have to offload some of the people on board and take on new people on board. For me, that disrupts the flow of the experience. Also, you might end up in a situation where the guide needs to go over the same kinds of details he/she went over a few days earlier with you, because you have new folks in the group now. Some ships offer uninterrupted 8 day itineraries, some don't. I also tend to recommend smaller ships in Galapagos - giving you a better chance at developing a feeling of intimacy with your surroundings.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
271 posts
165 reviews
115 helpful votes
3. Re: Mid size boat reviews/suggestions

Thanks so much Heather - I was hoping you would post a response. How are conditions early December?

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
5,147 posts
21 reviews
23 helpful votes
4. Re: Mid size boat reviews/suggestions

Dear Pepper -

December is a transition month between the garua (cooler, some mists) an,d the hotter (...hotter and the usually very occasional short lived downpour). It will be just fine. Early December is the lowest period of the year in Galapgos - not many people travel then it seems - mainly because they are getting ready for Christmas I think...

Warmest regards,

Heather

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