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V. Expeditions: Everything Galapagos+Machu Picchu


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Something to keep us busy at home.

 

Currently on Audible.com, on discount to members  until March 27, but probably something we might be interested in at any time:

 

The Voyage of the Beagle audiobook cover artTurn Right at Machu Picchu audiobook cover artThe Galápagos audiobook cover art

 

I haven't read them yet, but if do, I promise to report.

 

These titles might also be found through your local library (but every library system has different titles).

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On 3/10/2020 at 1:39 PM, Pat FT said:

We did the Galapagos extension with Viking after our South American cruise in January.  A few things I can tell you.

 

The sun is intense and there is no shade on most islands.  Sunscreen, hat and water are musts.  The locals wear long pants and long sleeved shirts both in light colors and breathable fabrics.  The also have cotton neck gators to protect the lower part of their faces from the sun.  I was very happy I had along hiking pants and boots, but wished I had the long sleeved shirts the guides had.  

 

There was a weight limit for suitcases going to the Galapagos and we had to fill out a questionnaire about what we had with us.  There was nothing about plastic and I had plastic bags, medicine bottles and other plastics with me.  None of these were a problem and we were staying on Santa Cruz Island so they were on the island with me.  They asked me about my hiking boots and where I had been with them but never looked at them.  They seem concerned about whether on not I had been hiking in the rainforest, which I have not been to.  I told them I had hiked in Patagonia and that didn't seem to be a problem.  

 

In packing remember when arriving in Galapagos, you will land on Baltra Island, take a bus to a small boat of some sort then most likely take that boat to your ship.  Best to pack as lightly as possible, especially the item you want to carry on.  Viking did a great job handling our checked bags.

 

One other thing I want to mention.  On our last day we flew (on an Airbus A319) to Guayaquil then continued on to Quito on the same plane, with about an hour stop in Guayaquil where we did not get off the plane.  We arrived in Quito at about 5pm.  By the time we got our luggage and got to the bus to take us to the hotel it was 6pm.  We had an hour ride to the hotel, so we did not arrive at the hotel until 7pm (well after dark). Most of us had a 5am flight the next morning so we had to leave the hotel at 2am.  Not a very nice way to end our vacation when we were expecting to see some of Quito.

 

Enjoy your trips to the Galapagos.  They are amazing islands and we had an unforgettable experience there. Hope this helps

 

Pat

As part of my pre-planning, I've made some educated guesses about the flights we'll be taking using the daily narratives at the VE site.  On that last day, I've made the guess we'll leave the island on a 10:40 flight arriving in Quito about 3  (inc a 55 min stop in Guayaquil -- stay on plane) in the afternoon.  At least that's what the narrative seemed to indicate.  Our flight  home, per my estimation (assuming the airline) would be at 1:30 the following morning, essentially a red-eye into Houston and from there home.  Sound reasonable to you based your experience?   Also .. am I to assume from what you wrote that Viking handles our larger checked bags -- handling the process of getting them checked in to be loaded on the plane? So that all we need to worry about when boarding the plane from Quayaquil to the island and then back ending in Quito is our own carry on luggage?  Viking handles the rest? In fact, is that how they handle things even on the land portion of the trip during which we will be  flying hither and thither?  Thanks!

Edited by CharTrav
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3 hours ago, CharTrav said:

As part of my pre-planning, I've made some educated guesses about the flights we'll be taking using the daily narratives at the VE site.  On that last day, I've made the guess we'll leave the island on a 10:40 flight arriving in Quito about 3  (inc a 55 min stop in Guayaquil -- stay on plane) in the afternoon.  At least that's what the narrative seemed to indicate.  Our flight  home, per my estimation (assuming the airline) would be at 1:30 the following morning, essentially a red-eye into Houston and from there home.  Sound reasonable to you based your experience?   Also .. am I to assume from what you wrote that Viking handles our larger checked bags -- handling the process of getting them checked in to be loaded on the plane? So that all we need to worry about when boarding the plane from Quayaquil to the island and then back ending in Quito is our own carry on luggage?  Viking handles the rest? In fact, is that how they handle things even on the land portion of the trip during which we will be  flying hither and thither?  Thanks!

 

 

The day we arrived in Guayaquil and the day we left the Galapagos and arrived in Quito in no way matched the narratives on the Viking site.  I complained to Viking about this several times and to many many people.  We did get small compensation from Viking for the misrepresentation.  Lesson learned and I no longer trust the Viking narratives as much as I once did.  Our flight from Baltra Island didn't leave until around 1:30.  We didn't get to Quito until after 5 and didn't get to the hotel until 7:00 pm.  Many people with us had flights out around mid-night.  They got to the hotel in time to turn around and head back to the airport.  They had to go to the hotel because that was where their extra luggage was being stored as we could only take bags that were under 50 pounds and met certain size limits to the Islands.(My husband and I took all our luggage with us to the Islands as our bags met the requirements).  

 

As far as bags go, we claimed our checked bags when we got to the lsland and walked it through the customs at the airport.  Once through we took it to a truck and did not see it again until we got to the hotel.  When we left the Island we put our bags outside our room and did not see them again until we got to the airport in Baltra.  There we had to check them in.  Once in Quito we pick them up and took them to the bus.  We took our bags to our room at the hotel as we didn't want to wait for concierge to get them to our room as it was late. 

 

Hopefully Viking changes the Quito hotel as it is an hour or more from the airport.  It is supposed to be in an interesting area of Quito but with arriving so late and having to leave so early we didn't have any time to enjoy the area and the long ride on a bus, just to do it again in a few hours is a total waste of time.

 

Hope this information helps

Pat

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@Pat FT yes. Your reply does help. And yes I am cognizant of the fact that these narratives are sometimes general representations of reality. But they're not completely inaccurate either. What's true and possible today may not hold true 9 months hence. For one thing, airline schedules change. So I'd be a little more forgiving in that regard. How Viking handles our luggage is a good thing to know and definitely under their control. Thanks for your reply!

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I noticed a mention of the airline flights hours.  Just for information our guide who actually lived here in the US but whose wife was from Peru explained that flights are limited to certain hours because of weather and strong winds in the mountains during most daytime hours.  I know that was 7 years ago, but I doubt that aspect has changed.    

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3 minutes ago, CharTrav said:

@Pat FT yes. Your reply does help. And yes I am cognizant of the fact that these narratives are sometimes general representations of reality. But they're not completely inaccurate either. What's true and possible today may not hold true 9 months hence. For one thing, airline schedules change. So I'd be a little more forgiving in that regard. How Viking handles our luggage is a good thing to know and definitely under their control. Thanks for your reply!

 

I would have been more forgiving if there had been no flights that would have allowed the narrative to be true.  Our major problem with our trip to the Galapagos was on the first day.  We were not told what we would be doing that day until 36 hours prior to the start of our post cruise extension.  Instead of being flown to Guayaquil at a reasonable hour and having the afternoon to enjoy Guayaquil and an evening group dinner at the hotel as promised, we were given another tour of Valparaiso (which we had done the day before) and a tour of a winery in Casablanca valley which was the same winery that several people in our group had toured the day before on an optional excursion with Viking.  We did not fly out to Guayaquil until 8 pm and arrived at midnight with an 8 am flight out the next morning to Baltra Island. There were flights that would have gotten us to Guayaquil earlier but those were more costly, so the tour operator chose to keep us in Chile for the day and fly us out on the less expensive flight that night.  So in our case the narrative for day one of our post cruise extension was completely inaccurate and hence my major complaint to Viking.  Don't get me wrong I love Viking and have traveled with them many times with no problems and in this case when I complained they did compensate us for the misrepresentation.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/22/2020 at 1:34 PM, Peregrina651 said:

Something to keep us busy at home.

 

Currently on Audible.com, on discount to members  until March 27, but probably something we might be interested in at any time:

 

The Voyage of the Beagle audiobook cover artTurn Right at Machu Picchu audiobook cover artThe Galápagos audiobook cover art

 

I haven't read them yet, but if do, I promise to report.

 

These titles might also be found through your local library (but every library system has different titles).

 

I just started Turn Right at Machu Picchu and am enjoying it very much. It is an easy read but packed full of information --history and travelogue rolled into one.

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Front page of Washington Post today has an article on the state of affairs in Ecuador. They're overwhelmed. Photo of bodies outside a clinic in Guayaquil for lack of room inside. While I know we also need to lift up in prayer everybody affected by the pandemic, let's give extra attention to the folks in Ecuador. 

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  • 1 month later...

Since we were in today’s wave of cancelled cruises, we are contemplating taking the 125% FCC and doing the 15-day Galapagos/Machu Picchu trip in 2022. Thought I’d go ahead and post here to bump this topic back to the first page and see if anyone else is thinking similarly. 

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33 minutes ago, BluebonnetTexan said:

Since we were in today’s wave of cancelled cruises, we are contemplating taking the 125% FCC and doing the 15-day Galapagos/Machu Picchu trip in 2022. Thought I’d go ahead and post here to bump this topic back to the first page and see if anyone else is thinking similarly. 

We're already booked for that trip but this December. We're honestly not sure if we won't be rescheduling it. If you look up in this thread or look in my signature block you'll find a link to it. 

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 Thanks for allow the information.  
 

My wife and I are thinking about the doing the same, taking the FCC and a low water voucher from 2018 and using it in July 2022 since my wife is a teacher.   Many unknowns but our one experience with Viking river cruise (Grand European in 2018) was very good.  We alternate between land adventures and cruises and had planned to go to Alaska this summer with Viking  but this trip has been overcome by events.   
 

We are also looking into the pre excursion to the  Peruvian Amazon.   Any thoughts on this?  

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5 hours ago, Zoltoski said:

 Thanks for allow the information.  
 

My wife and I are thinking about the doing the same, taking the FCC and a low water voucher from 2018 and using it in July 2022 since my wife is a teacher.   Many unknowns but our one experience with Viking river cruise (Grand European in 2018) was very good.  We alternate between land adventures and cruises and had planned to go to Alaska this summer with Viking  but this trip has been overcome by events.   
 

We are also looking into the pre excursion to the  Peruvian Amazon.   Any thoughts on this?  

Our trip this December, assuming it happens, includes the Peruvian Amazon pre-extension. 

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13 hours ago, Zoltoski said:

 Thanks for allow the information.  
 

My wife and I are thinking about the doing the same, taking the FCC and a low water voucher from 2018 and using it in July 2022 since my wife is a teacher.   Many unknowns but our one experience with Viking river cruise (Grand European in 2018) was very good.  We alternate between land adventures and cruises and had planned to go to Alaska this summer with Viking  but this trip has been overcome by events.   
 

We are also looking into the pre excursion to the  Peruvian Amazon.   Any thoughts on this?  

 

At least for now and considering that this is all a new venture for Viking and that the first cruise isn't scheduled until the very end of this year, we are dependent on our "resident experts" --people who have done similar trips with other companies -- who hopefully will pipe in with any advice that they can give us. There are a few people who have done MP/G as an all land experience as a pre-/post-cruise extension with Viking -- but it the extension does not include the Peruvian Amazon.

 

Unfortunately, this thread does not have a big audience but you might be able to find more information in the Ports of Call section of these boards, where the focus is where we are visiting and the conversation is not limited to just those who sail with a particular cruise line.  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/47-south-america/

 

Another place to find background information is on Trip Advisor, both in the reviews and in the Q&A section. There are probably not a huge number of vendors available in the Peruvian Amazon and Viking will most likely choose from existing providers for tour/travel services.

 

Or, you can use my decision method: Read Viking description. Study ship layout. Wow! That sounds great! Honey doesn't this sound cool? It's on our bucket list. It's Viking. The price is in budget. You wanna go? Hello, Tami! I'm calling to book another cruise.  Honestly, that is about as much research as I did prior to booking our December, '21.

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15 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

At least for now and considering that this is all a new venture for Viking and that the first cruise isn't scheduled until the very end of this year, we are dependent on our "resident experts" --people who have done similar trips with other companies -- who hopefully will pipe in with any advice that they can give us. There are a few people who have done MP/G as an all land experience as a pre-/post-cruise extension with Viking -- but it the extension does not include the Peruvian Amazon.

 

Unfortunately, this thread does not have a big audience but you might be able to find more information in the Ports of Call section of these boards, where the focus is where we are visiting and the conversation is not limited to just those who sail with a particular cruise line.  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/47-south-america/

 

Another place to find background information is on Trip Advisor, both in the reviews and in the Q&A section. There are probably not a huge number of vendors available in the Peruvian Amazon and Viking will most likely choose from existing providers for tour/travel services.

 

Or, you can use my decision method: Read Viking description. Study ship layout. Wow! That sounds great! Honey doesn't this sound cool? It's on our bucket list. It's Viking. The price is in budget. You wanna go? Hello, Tami! I'm calling to book another cruise.  Honestly, that is about as much research as I did prior to booking our December, '21.

Actually Peregrina, the audience for this thread may be larger than you think.  I have been "lurking" in the background enjoying your research and planning vicariously.  We did a Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu in 2015 with Adventures by Disney and loved it!  We had hoped to do Ecuador and the Amazon in the winter of 2016 but had to cancel for health reasons.  We loved Peru and got to spend some time in Lima at the front and back ends of the trip.  Amazing country, wonderful food, and lovely people.  I will just make one suggestion ... when you are in Cusco keep an eye out for "Kevin Kostner".    That's all I will say, except for the fact that meeting him  will be a wonderful experience!

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Sweet! So glad you are here. 

 

I agree that the audience here may be larger than I imagine but it is still significantly smaller than the Ports of Call audience, which draws from guests of all the cruise lines -- and as I see it, getting answers here depends on finding the right audiences for your question. 

 

In Cusco, are we looking for Kevin Kostner or Kevin Costner? In other words, is the second K significant or a typo? Not that I want to puck on anyone for misspelling, great typist that I am myself, but I was wondering if the second K was key to the quest.  

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, duquephart said:

Kevin Costner impersonator?

 

No idea but I have 18 months to ponder.

 

Or I could google it...

Edited by Peregrina651
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Don't want to drift too far off the thread, but Kevin Costner is a personable street vendor.  He uses that name so you remember him during future encounters.  The vendors tend to follow tour groups throughout the Sacred Valley.

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We went to Peru in the 70s when we lived in South America and on a land trip to Ecuador with Galapagos add on short cruise a few years ago.  Both countries are great to visit then and now, but I say do Cuzco etc first so this Viking expedition itinerary is a great one for hitting the highlights of that region. The museum that has the best artefacts from Machu Picchu is in a suburb of Lima.  The Galapagos are wonderful when tourists and guides follow the rules to protect this fragile environment.  We went in the fall and the water was warm enough to swim in without a wet suit though the ship had wet suits available for all.  A fellow traveler who had been diving there before said the water is very cold in the early part of the year.  The interior and Amazon tributary in Ecuador are very interesting but better as another trip. 

 

Quito and Guayaquil are also interesting but only for a day or so to see the highlights.  The Malecon in Guayaquil is a nice walk then leave the next day on an earlier flight to Quito.  The Quito airport was new when we were there and the road not finished yet.  It sounds like finishing the road did not make the traffic flow faster.  I hope these expeditions go on next year and are enjoyed.  Kevin Kostner was not there (maybe not born yet?) in the 70s but there have always been vendors looking for tourists.

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On 6/2/2020 at 10:05 AM, Peregrina651 said:

Sweet! So glad you are here. 

 

I agree that the audience here may be larger than I imagine but it is still significantly smaller than the Ports of Call audience, which draws from guests of all the cruise lines -- and as I see it, getting answers here depends on finding the right audiences for your question. 

 

In Cusco, are we looking for Kevin Kostner or Kevin Costner? In other words, is the second K significant or a typo? Not that I want to puck on anyone for misspelling, great typist that I am myself, but I was wondering if the second K was key to the quest.  

 

Sorry, Peregrina ... a simple typo!  Should have been Kevin Costner ...  Mitina has solved the riddle as he/she apparently did not want the thread to wander off topic.  "Kevin Costner" is a charming street vendor in Cusco who frequents the tourist areas of Cusco ... we met him at the train station.  He was a lovely gentleman and I still wear and enjoy the bracelet I purchased from him!  How many women can "boast" that they have a bracelet from "Kevin Costner"??

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  • 2 weeks later...

WOOHOO!!!!😍  GOOD NEWS!!!!

 

ROLL CALL Forum is now open and available for new roll calls.

 

The name of our ship is Santa Cruz II

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2488-viking-santa-cruz-ii-roll-calls/

 

When you start the roll for your departure date, please

  • include a link to this thread as well, so that conversation and information gathering that we have begun here continues
  • post a link HERE for the roll call you have just started, because someone on your sailing may see it

Personally, I like to follow all of the roll calls because I never know where I will find new information.

 

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