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National Geographic Islander Cruise Review

Itinerary: National Geographic Islander Galapagos - February 2017

National Geographic Islander

Linda you were spot on. We came to you with so many options of so many cruises going to the Galapagos islands. For future clients of Linda's if you are reading this..we were looking at International Expeditions, Silverseas, and Celebrity Expeditions. They all sound the same looking at the brochures and on line. Linda patiently explained differences. As she said, they are all good just different.

We immediately liked the sound of the National Geographic Lindblad opportunities. And loved it we did. 44 passenger NG Islander - ship itself is lovely, lots of brass and glass and polished wood. Category 5 cabin, we splurged, but to do it over, it is not necessary. Yes the glass enclosed balcony is wonderful but we barely spent any time there. During the day you are mostly off the ship exploring. We did have a glass of wine at sunset when we could and that was spectacular. We booked 8 months in advance and was put on a waitlist for Cat 5, then somewhere a month later someone canceled and we got it. Note: book early and all cabins are large and nice.

All our guides and staff were Ecuadorian, the law in their country. (America, listen up, good to support your citizens). Spoke excellent English and had patience with my poor Spanish. Food was good, fresh, good portion size, not large and you could always ask for seconds or special requests in preparation.Note: I am diabetic and no problem.

Guides Note: why Lindblad is special The guides control the whole experience off the ship which is where you are most of the time. You are not allowed to wonder of your own, always with the guide. I researched and learned that Lindblad is the best to work for. Maybe they pay more. So you get the best guides. Can be as active as you wish. Plus for me is my wife is a runner, hiker, tennis 3 times a week, I am NOT. We were both accommodated to our different abilities. Off the ship with hikes, walks, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking or just exploring. Each day different islands, sometimes two a day. All amazingly different with different wildlife. Note: no docks so water shoes are important.

No late nights here. After dinner is always a lecture of some type, always by an expert and always interesting and educational. About what you have already experienced or will the next day. It seems most people attended but it was bedtime after that. Not much socialization at the bar on this trip. To much to see and do in the fresh air.

In review ... the destination is so magnificent I am sure we would have enjoyed our experience on any of the other options as well. But we know, we had the best, saw the most, had access to the best islands and left totally satisfied that we received beyond value for cost.

—Eddie Thomas, California