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Seville2Cabo

Galapagos question

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We are considering a 2021 Galapagos cruise on the Xpedition.  (Flora is about $2K more and not sure it is worth it).  I've read a lot of reviews and done some research, but the one area on which I have not seen any comments is the terrain that needs to be covered on the excursions.  Will be in our early to mid 60's and are both fit.  The issue is fear of heights,  very steep grades or rock climbing.  My wife  is ok with trails and we understand there will not be paved walkways.  The fact they supply a walking stick started to raise questions.  I know you can pick different excursion options, but don't want to be standing on the beach the whole time.  Anyone that has been there, can you comment. 

Thank you

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We sailed on the Xpedition in November (and did the 5 day extension to Machu Picchu). It was the trip of a lifetime. There will be a number of choices presented to you each evening by the naturalists. They clearly explain the types of terrain and physical challenge level. Let me assure you, there is something for everyone and you will never be left just standing on a beach.  You will be free to choose the activities that appeal to you, or even stay onboard. There was even a day when they added a Zodiac ride along the shore for those who wished to not walk/hike. We are both mid-sixties and reasonably fit, but with bad knees. We skipped the "fitness" hikes but had no difficulty at all with the walks to see wildlife. Yes the terrain can be uneven. or rocky, but there are also sandy level strolls,  no rock climbing, but maybe a bit of rock hopping.  I wished I had brought my own trekking poles because the ones onboard are useless. 

Here's a great thread that might answer many questions. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1989162-xpedition-anyone-recently-back-part-3/

 

As far as the Flora being worth the extra cost, only you can decide. We were very happy on Xpedition, in fact, our close friends decided to book Xpedition rather than Flora later this year.

 

Edited by sippican

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We sailed xpedition several years ago

Both mid 60s

Just took part in the less intensive excursions

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We were in our mid sixties when we sailed on Xpedition and I was recovering from a broken ankle - I had the plaster off two weeks before sailing.  We were able to do most of the strenuous excursions, the only one I skipped involved a lot of steps.  As others said, the various excursions are clearly explained the evening before.  

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We were in our early 60s when we went on the Xpedition in Dec 2015 and had no issues with walking over the lava fields and rough terrain. They had a long 1.5 hour walk and a shorter 1 hour walk for those that didn't want to take the longer one. We did the shorter walk once, but then opted for the longer ones from then on as the shorter one went way to slow. There were definitely uneven walking paths, but nothing too drastic. They also had advanced snorkeling adventures which we passed on. But I will say after 30+ cruises now, the Galapagos still remains our favorite And one not to be missed!

 

We're going again with our family in Jul 2021 and already have our cabins booked. We decided to do the X 10 day land-cruise package where we fly into Quito a couple days before and then fly back from Quito afterwards. We also did this option last time and it was well worth it.

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My Husband and I did this cruise Feb 2018 and want to do it again.  Husband was 68 at the time and has had both knees replaced and bad feet but no issues,  I highly recommend this cruise Expedition is a wonderful ship.

The staff is wonderful there is nothing to think about but what you want to do the next day.  We did the 11 day trip and loved it.

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Thanks again - we are going to do it!

 

Now deciding between North Loop and South Loop - any recommendations?  It will be in November if that matters.

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We did the southern loop in Nov 2015 and had a great time on each of the morning and afternoon excursions. In Jul 2021 we're going to try the northern loop just to see something different. On our 2015 trip, we saw a bunch of penguins, seals, marine iguanas, albatross, blue footed boobies, giant sea turtles, flamingos and a whole bunch of other wild life.  Fun times are ahead no matter which loop you do! 

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We did this trip in 2012. I definitely was not fit and had rotten knees, but I was able to do all the excursions (though avoided the ones described as truly strenuous). I found some to be easy and painless, some a bit tiring but doable. I do not consider myself to have good balance and did not find walking on lava to be a problem at all with good walking shoes. Not too much climbing up and down; the terrain is flat-ish and any inclines are pretty gradual. I was concerned getting in and out of the zodiacs would be hard and it was not, a piece of cake, including the water landings (they show you how to swing your legs and it was not hard at all).

The trip is very satisfying in terms of the wildlife you see. It is amazing to see all of the amazing creatures up close and in such abundance. The marine iguanas are incredible. I did find the week on the ship to be very tiring. Up early every day for an excursion, race back for a quick lunch, then race out the door for the afternoon excursion, then race back for a frantic shower and clean up to try to make the excursion talk and dinner. Given the need to be up and out the door early each morning, dinners dragged on way too long, in my opinion, but there is no other evening eating option (room service menu was terrible, unless it has changed).

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9 hours ago, Seville2Cabo said:

Thanks again - we are going to do it!

 

Now deciding between North Loop and South Loop - any recommendations?  It will be in November if that matters.

 

I don’t know if it’s North or South, but I’d definitely go with the one which includes North Seymour and Elizabeth Bay. Both were outstanding.

(For lava fields u can go to Hawaii, no need for Galapagos....)

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On 2/24/2019 at 2:52 PM, Seville2Cabo said:

We are considering a 2021 Galapagos cruise on the Xpedition.  (Flora is about $2K more and not sure it is worth it).  I've read a lot of reviews and done some research, but the one area on which I have not seen any comments is the terrain that needs to be covered on the excursions.  Will be in our early to mid 60's and are both fit.  The issue is fear of heights,  very steep grades or rock climbing.  My wife  is ok with trails and we understand there will not be paved walkways.  The fact they supply a walking stick started to raise questions.  I know you can pick different excursion options, but don't want to be standing on the beach the whole time.  Anyone that has been there, can you comment. 

Thank you

We had the same worry......and found after the very first excursion that in most cases, even the difficult excursion is easily done by anyone who walks without assistance.  They run at least three different level excursions at each stop...ranging from a zodiac ride around the area to a longer walk with perhaps some slight hills or paths that aren't perfectly flat.  Yes, there are some with many steps, but they are clearly described and you can just sign up for a different excursion. 

 

On our galapagos trip, we had an older gentleman who was legally blind who did all of the medium to difficult excursions with his wife.

 

You will have the experience of your life on this cruise....and don't worry about excursions being too difficult or missing something....and finally, mid 60's is not an issue...you will be far from the oldest on your cruise.  

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My understanding is they are retiring the 2 smaller ships the bought from another firm a few years ago and Xpedition will remain after Flora is introduced.  Xpedition will have it's passenger count reduced to stay within the total passengers that Celebrity is licensed for in Galapagos.

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27 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

My understanding is they are retiring the 2 smaller ships the bought from another firm a few years ago and Xpedition will remain after Flora is introduced.  Xpedition will have it's passenger count reduced to stay within the total passengers that Celebrity is licensed for in Galapagos.

This is what we had heard as we have 5 cabins booked on the Xpedition in July 2021. But, for the right price we would be happy to be "forced" to move over to the Flora. 

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1 hour ago, mpatry said:

FYI - Celebrity is retiring the Xpedition in a few months, along with the Xploration.  It's replacing these 2 smaller ships with a (Galapagos) maximum capacity ship of 100 passengers shorlty - the Flora.  It will not be a question of one or the other.

 

Interesting. I understood they were retiring the Xperience and the Xploration (the two smallest) and keeping both Xpedition (w/reduced pax) and Flora.

 

We are also booked on the Xpedition for July 2021 and wouldnt mind being moved to Flora if thats what it came down to. Either way we will be happy!

Edited by minidonuts85

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We are booked on the Xpedition for Oct 2021.  I just went online and they are still offering cruises on Xpedition through the end of 2021

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My DH and I(me more than him) want to do this in the next couple of years, most likely on Flora, as it will be for our anniversary.  I too would like to know which loop you would recommend and if the 10 day would be the best way to go...also, tell me about N. Seymour...please!

Many thanks!

Edited by Lastdance

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13 hours ago, mpatry said:

FYI - Celebrity is retiring the Xpedition in a few months, along with the Xploration.  It's replacing these 2 smaller ships with a (Galapagos) maximum capacity ship of 100 passengers shorlty - the Flora.  It will not be a question of one or the other.

 

They are retiring their two smaller Galapagos ships, Xploratiion and Xperience. The Xpedition is staying and booking into 2021. When the Flora comes into service in May, the Xpedition will undergo a brief refurbishment. The Flora will carry 109 passengers on the inner and outer loop itineraries  and the Xpedition 64 in the northern and southern loop itineraries (as strictly regulated by the Galapagos National Park licensing). 

So yes, there still is a choice or one or the other. We are returning to the Xpedition in 2021. As lovely as the Flora looks, I do not feel it is worth the cost. We were very comfortable on the Xpedition, so much so that we’ve convinced 6 others to sail!

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2 hours ago, Lastdance said:

My DH and I(me more than him) want to do this in the next couple of years, most likely on Flora, as it will be for our anniversary.  I too would like to know which loop you would recommend and if the 10 day would be the best way to go...also, tell me about N. Seymour...please!

Many thanks!

 

There really is no best loop. What you see one day, can completely change the next. Take a look at the various calendars of wildlife activity and weather  Here’s one to get you started:. http://ecuadortravelsite.org/when_visit_galapagos.html

For instance, if you want to see the Blue-footed Boobies do their mating dance, you’d go earlier in the year, to certain islands. On the other hand, if you want to see Booby chicks, that’s later. Red-breasted frigates, are another time, etc. Celebrity sails the Galapagos all year round because the wildlife viewing is spectacular in all seasons. There are also the considerations of water temps, air temps and rainfall. I started making a very detailed spreadsheet of ports, wildlife, months, weather, rainfall, etc. I drove myself crazy because I wanted to go at the best time, on the best loop. In the end, after a ton of research and speaking with others, I threw it out, 

It will be remarkable whenever you go.

Edited by sippican

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10 hours ago, mpatry said:

I think you're right MiniDonut!  I get the X's all mixed up all the time. 

 

Right? Me too...I had to double check my post to make sure I had the X's correct in my own mind!

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mpatry is correct...the law limits ships to no more than 100 passengers and 1 guide per 16 passengers.

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I just spoke with my CVP and he said they're going to do some really good updates to Xpedition in May/June.  One of them is that stateroom 500 is now going to be a little bar, which sounds fun.  The suite experience is also improving.

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