Reported by J.S. Fletcher and Kathy M. Newbern
Two years ago we got to visit the Galapagos with the luxury travel company Abercrombie and Kent (A&K) aboard the MS Eclipse, which holds 48 passengers. We highly recommend seeing these islands because there is no where else on earth like it. Check out the slideshow to see some of what we saw.
Several other tour and cruise companies operate there, and right now, Galapagos Explorer II has announced its special “Family Galapagos Adventure package,” which offers a discount of 75 percent off the cruise rate for two children, and an additional 50 percent discount for a third child. Kids seven- to 15-years old are eligible, with a max of three per family reservation.
This Galapagos island family vacation package includes snorkeling equipment, Internet access, special activities for children, and a family picture. With this great summer vacation design package, passengers can enjoy their family’s company aboard a premiere Galapagos island cruise ship. The all-suite 100-passenger vessel is an excellent way to explore the Galapagos.
The Galapagos Explorer II is great for families who are looking to explore and partake in adventurous trips where close encounters with nature are commonplace. This ship is the only all-suites vessel operating in the Galapagos boasting 24 balcony suites, which allow passengers to observe nature while they rest.
On special departures, a promotion is available starting at $1,240.
When passengers are off the boat, excursions are lead by a bilingual naturalist guide in groups of up to 15 passengers at a time. What results is a personal experience on the islands and the opportunity of a connection with this pristine place that will offer an understanding of wildlife and evolution. All activities and island visits are included. Free snorkeling rental is only for kids.
(J.S. Fletcher, photo right: people watching water iguanas on the island of Fernandina, which the naturalist guides laughingly call “Iguana World.”)
Many travelers choose to combine a Galapagos island experience with a stay on the Ecuadorian mainland, taking advantage of packages that include a stay in any of the four different regions of Ecuador. We did on our trip because it only made sense to stretch our travel dollar by paying one airfare to see several destinations.
Scuba divers are also welcome. Two different programs are offered at Mosquera Islet or Daphne Islet (two dives) and Academy Bay (two dives). The rate is $195.00 (includes two dives) per day per person, and conditions apply to this service.
In June the “cold and dry season” begins, and the weather changes in the Galapagos (average 66º F). This is an excellent opportunity to observe marine life and bird reproduction periods during a Galapagos island family vacation.
Interested travelers should call their travel agents for more information or bookings. The Family Adventure Package is available for departures from July to September 2010. The cruise line’s website, www.galapagosexplorer.com, contains more info.
For info on luxury travel company Abercrombie and Kent’s packages to the Galapagos, check on their website: www.abercrombiekent.com.
We traveled by ourselves and only adults were on our MS Eclipse voyage, but if you have adventurous kids interested in wildlife, ecology, evolution or the environment, they will love the Galapagos.
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International Travel Examiner J.S. Fletcher and spouse, Kathy M. Newbern, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and operate YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.