National Geographic Endeavour Cruise Review
Itinerary: Endeavour Galapagos - December 2010
There were so many choices in the Galapagos that I was over whelmed in making a decision. We researched up the gazoo. I came across Linda at Sunstone Tours who has been to the Galapagos and knew the many ships we were contemplating. Our issue was looking at the ships and not the naturalists and the experience. True to what Linda explained, the ship is NOT the focus, you are off the ship most of the time, it is the land, the animals, The Galapagos Islands being the focus. So that said we went with Lindblad/National Geographic since our research showed us they were the best by far in all the reviews mentioned. The highest rated Naturalists and have been sailing the Galapagos longer than any other company.
We were on the Endeavour with 98 passengers. We are a family of four, our kids are 13 and 15 and our trip was during the holiday season. We were prepared with hiking shoes, TEVA shoes for water landings, sun block, bug spray, good sunglasses, poncho, snorkel maskand anything else we could think of to spend more money at BIG 5. We were actually well suited and used everything we brought.
Our days were varied and always thrilling. The Naturalists were the best, they were not on a script nor had to adhere to a tight schedule. For instance we were on the beach and a baby seal came up to one of our children and poked its nose in her purse. The beach was being cleared and everyone was getting in their pangas to go back to the ship for lunch. We with our naturalist stood there forever watching this pup go through my daughters purse and taking everything out and rolling it in sand. It was beyond cute cute. When the pup finished she "walked" away like we weren't even there watching. We just made it back to the ship for lunch. Unfortunately our camera was in this purse and we didn't dare interrupt the pup so we have no pictures.
Daily activity had different levels of difficulty as many times you are walking on volcanic land. There was enough staff to accommodate every ones level. The ship also had walking sticks.
Food was good, breakfast and lunch were buffet style, dinner as meat, fish or vegetarian. Good was very good and fresh but I would not call it gourmet. We had two cabins in Category 4 which were lovely and I think worth the extra money over lower categories.
Most amazing part of the experience is of course the animals. They are fearless of people. We intrude upon their space. You have to realize you never see one of anything, you are surrounded by whatever the island holds. It was a chore not to step on an Iguana as we walked, seals are everywhere on the beach, as well as in the way on the steps when trying to make a landing. Being able to observe behaviors of the species is beyond explanation. Clearly a magical destination.
We were very happy to choose Lindblad. They lived up to their expectation and beyond.
—Barbara, Tom, Chrisie and, Charity Jones