We are two couples aged around 55 years and we did the eight days western and northern islands' cruise (Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago,etc.) on the Nemo II.
As we spent 6 more days on the Galapagos islands after the cruise, we can assure you that a cruise is absolutely the way to see theese islands. It seems to be an expensive one, but when you consider that life is very expensive on the islands (hotels, retaurants, activities, transfers,...), it is realy worth it.
On the Nemo everything was great :
- the crew is realy helpful, smiling, patient,
- the guides (we had a first one for two days and another one after because the first one's wife gave birth to their first child...) know a lot about the islands (geography, history, birds, turtles and tortoises, marin life and so on) ; they are very happy to pass their knowledge ; they also go with you on land and under water for snorkeling (which is very interesting : sharks, turtle, fishes of course, rays).
- the cook is amazing : how can he manage to deliver so delicious dishes in a so mall space and even in rough sea...
- the captain is very cool and decided to get close enough toward the volcano's slopes to see the eruptions and the lava flowing in the ocean which was an amazing moment.
We also had the incredible luck to be with eleven other great people of all ages and nationalities.
It was a dream time during which we had the chance to discover a different world of nature, life and atmosphere.
Just to know : in summer (july and august) the sea could be rough ; but the boat is strong enough (!) and you can even sleep when it is moving, with some habit (the second night was realy choppy...).
I absolutely recommend this cruise on this special boat
This was a fantastic trip. The ship, the crew, the food, all excellent. We did the southern 5 day itinerary and had the most amazing time. Everything they say about the animals not being afraid of humans is true. The water was clear and warm, the beaches pristine and the animals unforgettable. We only had 12 people on our boat and that gave us a very intimate and personal experience. I can't recommend this trip enough.
We just returned from a last-minute vacation to the Galapagos, and it was like being in a National Geographics movie! The islands were beautiful, and the crew from the Nemo II made it perfect! Alexis, our Naturalist, was extremely knowledgeable, always willing to answer questions, and provided the right amount of information to make it informative yet still vacation. The food on the boat was fantastic, especially given the small space they had to work, and the boat was well maintained. The crew also stayed out of the way so you had independence, but was accessible for anything you needed. The rooms are a bit small, but you don't spend much time in them. The itinerary for Nemo II was fantastic - we say absolutely everything I could have asked for.
This is a review of (very similarl) sister ship Nemo I, as TripAdvisor politely declined to create a separate entry when I asked. Management, please note. There are two much older reviews of Nemo I in the forum, but it needs its own space.
You will see lots of wildlife however you choose to travel in the Galapagos, but the people who run your trip will shape your experiences and memories. With only 13 guests, six crew, and one National Park Naturalist aboard Nemo I, we had personalized attention and a repertoire of international inside jokes by the end of the week. Our Naturalist and leader set the tone (“this week, we are all family”) and we fell in line.
Why a 14 to 16 person catamaran instead of a large ship? It’s more agile, which allows you to take your time on photo hikes & snorkels, the naturalist knows your interests and customizes your tours, and you get to know everyone well. Too small? No, the common areas - dining area, central cabin, lounge above the central cabin, front nets with mats, as well as our cabins - allowed us each our own space.
Our crew was warm and professional. Naturalist Marcos had encyclopedic knowledge of the animals and islands. He always had time for another question, never rushed us on hikes, but kept us on schedule always. Captain Diego put us under sail twice in the evening and once overnight. First Mate Carlos was in the right place whenever we needed something, and smiling.
We enjoyed getting to know people from Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, China, the US, Germany. Our boat included families with high schoolers, newly-weds and retirees.
Nemo I has an option for a half week cruise; 7 of us stayed for 8 days and 5/6 people joined for each half. The transition was handled smoothly while we visited sites on Santa Cruz Island. We enjoyed the full cruise and would chose it again. Each Island was very different.
Matrimonial cabins (double bed) are furthest from the motors, generator, & anchor and thus quieter. Some of the other cabins have more space however. People in the front cabins mentioned that the generator made it difficult to sleep when it was going. Cabins are comfortable and well kept, but it's an older ship.
Food was bountiful and tasty. Hot soups were the best lunch ever after morning snorkeling excursions. There was always a snack and drink after snorkeling.
Provided snorkeling equipment was fine; we brought prescription masks as they're not available. Island, ocean, and aerial wildlife was amazing and plentiful.
Bring a sweater/shawl as evenings can be cold. The stars are beautiful, especially when you're under sail.
I can echo many of the comments here. The crew of the Nemo II provided excellent service - very good food, lots of assistance in embarking and disembarking, and quick responses to minor problems. We were in cabin 6, at the back near the motors. While it is noisy when cruising, the noise is constant, so it did not stop us from sleeping without ear plugs. The activity, fresh air and Dramamine ensured that we slept well. Our guide, Gabriel Ribadeneira, was very knowledgeable, patient, and responsive to the group's requests. The itinerary (west islands and Genovesa) is fantastic.
What I can is that the service provided by Gabriel and Latin Tours in dealing with a medical emergency was exceptional. On the second-last full day, my husband fell in a lava field and got a very deep cut on his leg. Gabriel arranged for immediate treatment on a larger boat nearby, and for a transfer back to Santa Cruz Island. We were met there by an ambulance, and a Latin Tours rep who accompanied us to the hospital and arranged a hotel. In the morning, he took us to the airport, having changed our flights for us. In Quito, we were met by another rep who took us to a hotel, then a private hospital, and stayed with us to assist with translation, and then back to the hotel. Latin Tours handled all of the logistical problems so that I could focus on taking care of the patient, who is now recovering well. Latin Tours' support made a bad situation so much easier to handle. My thanks to their whole team.