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Xpedition - Timing for flights in/out of Baltra


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We're booked on the Celebrity Xpedition in January 2020 and are trying to book flights from Quito to Baltra.  There is little information about what time we need to be in Baltra and what time we should book a flight out for when the cruise finishes.

 

The itinerary says we leave to start our cruise at 3 p.m.  How early can we show up on Baltra?  If we arrive at noon will be waiting around killing time?

 

On the last day, the boat is scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m.  What is the earliest flight that we should book back to Quito?  What is the recommended time to fly back to Quito?  What time do we have to be off the ship by?  

 

Thank you very much!

 

Gavin

 

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Excellent questions and I'm sure someone will answer based on their experience.  We were on the Xpedition in 10/2004 and as far as I know, Celebrity has always offered the cruise only option with absolutely no information on how you actually get to the cruise.....it's been 14 years but maybe IT is just running behind posting useful information.

 

The standard recommendation is that you just buy the package which includes a night in Quito and the flights to/from Baltra.  In the long run, it will be the easiest.  The problem....you arrive in Baltra and have to get to the dock where the zodiacs leave from somehow and you have to do something with your luggage when you arrive in baltra because if you take it to the dock, there's no place to store it and it doesn't go on the same zodiac you are in...it will arrive later.  This is not a normal port with a building..it's a dock (or at least it was when we were there).

 

Best of luck....incredible cruise....but don't try to save a few $'s...just book the package and let Celebrity worry about the details.

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We already have flights booked and will be in Quito, so we can't use Celebrity for the package.

 

The FAQ (https://www.celebritycruises.com/galapagos/faq/) for the trip definitely calls out that transfers from Baltra to the ship are included:

* Transfers from/to the Baltra, Galapagos airport to/from the ship

 

We understood that we just need to get to Baltra and then everything will be taken care of.  I thought I remembered reading that Celebrity has someone who meets everyone at Baltra airport.  Is that true?

 

Thanks!

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I emailed them but haven't received a response.  I'm planning on calling on Monday.  I figured I'd try here to draw on the wisdom of experienced travelers who may have other advice for us. 🙂 

 

Thanks!

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1 minute ago, Hawkmooon said:

I emailed them but haven't received a response.  I'm planning on calling on Monday.  I figured I'd try here to draw on the wisdom of experienced travelers who may have other advice for us. 🙂 

 

Thanks!

I know when we booked our Dec 2015 Xpedition cruise and had follow-on questions, our X PCC transferred our call to the Galapagos desk and they were a great help! 

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Just now, Ken the cruiser said:

I know when we booked our Dec 2015 Xpedition cruise and had follow-on questions, our X PCC transferred our call to the Galapagos desk and they were a great help!  

 

Fantastic!  Thanks 🙂 

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If it is in your budget, I would recommend paying the flight transfer fee and book the package. Much less stress to deal with and it includes 2 nights in the Quito JP Marriot hotel, an enjoyable Quito excursion the first day, flight to/from Baltra and all the transfers, and then you can hang out at the Marriott or take a private tour after the cruise waiting for your flight from the Quito airport around midnight back to the states.

 

For us as we came via Miami, we arrived in Quito at 10:45 pm and it was nice having someone waiting for us to take us to the hotel and handle everything. BTW if you have altitude issues, remember Quito is 9,000 ft above sea level. So if someone in your party gets headaches, like my DW did, remember to bring aspirin. In any event, you're going to have a great time!!

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When we did the trip in November, we went with the Celebrity included flights. We arrived in Baltra from Quito around 1:30 pm and were bussed to the dock. There were multiple busses and we waited at the dock until everyone was there  before we boarded the pangas which made a couple of trips between the ship and the dock. Our luggage was transported from the airport to the dock in a truck and the transported to the ship on separate pangas. The dock is a bumpy 15 to 20 minute drive from the airport. I assume that you will meet Celebrity at the airport around 1:00 pm. When we left the ship, we left around 9:00 am and took the pangas to the dock and the bus to the airport. Our luggage was set outside at the departure checkin area and we picked it up before we checked in. I would assume you would leave the group at this point. As I recall we were at the airport and checked in around 10:00 to 10:30. We then waited until the Avianca Celebrity charter arrived from Quito. We were a little late on both legs of the flights. There are no facilities in Baltra except the airport. 

Edited by tanzania2015
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1 hour ago, tanzania2015 said:

We arrived in Baltra from Quito around 1:30 pm and were bussed to the dock. [snip] I assume that you will meet Celebrity at the airport around 1:00 pm.

 

When we left the ship, we left around 9:00 am and took the pangas to the dock and the bus to the airport. Our luggage was set outside at the departure checkin area and we picked it up before we checked in. I would assume you would leave the group at this point. As I recall we were at the airport and checked in around 10:00 to 10:30.

 

Thank you!  This is exactly the information that I was looking for.  We'll call Celebrity to confirm, but it sounds like we can take a flight that arrives in Baltra at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the cruise...and then one that leaves at 12:30 p.m. after the cruise.  That will give us buffer on both sides.

 

Thanks again!

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  • 2 months later...

We booked the 10-night maiden voyage on Flora in two weeks and have a question about the dinner the night before the cruise in Quito. Does anyone know any of the restaurants that Celebrity typically takes their guests to? 

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