I’ve been on two cruises and I would never repeat the first (on a super-large ship), but I was so impressed with the Grace that I’ve made arrangements with Quasar for a group of 28 to travel with them next year. I have no doubt that our experience on the MY Evolution next year will be just as fantastic as our time on the Grace this past January.
We chose the Grace and Quasar Expeditions based on their years of experience in the Galapagos along with the style and size of the MY Grace. I wanted a small, comfortable and "classic” yacht, and the Grace was that and more! I did extensive research about the cruise lines in the Galapagos, read reviews and compared over 25 yachts before selecting the Grace. Quasar’s website and their representatives (Paul & Diane) were extremely informative, helpful and possess absolute knowledge of the islands and the options for the best exploration.
My husband and I traveled with our 10-year-old grandson. We flew to Guayaquil, Ecuador and spent one night at the Hotel Oro Verde (wisely recommended by Quasar). The Oro Verde was great, staff very helpful and the shuttle service included in the price of the room was there and waiting for us when we arrived. A representative from the Grace contacted me at the Oro Verde, and met us at the airport in Guayaquil for our flight to the islands, and the real fun began! Once we arrived in San Cristobal we were greeted by the staff from the Grace " they whisked away our bags and we boarded the Zodiac (or Panda/a small rubber boat) for the short ride to the yacht.
We boarded the Grace around noon, took a short ride out of the harbor, and were treated to our first welcome toast and our first gourmet meal. I can’t say enough about the food… it was absolutely fantastic, a 5-start restaurant aboard an 18-person yacht (with their own pastry chef), we were continually surprised us with the outstanding dishes, a variety to please everyone and excellence beyond words! We were celebrating our grandson’s birthday and they surprised him (and us) with a beautiful, and delicious, 12” high layered birthday cake with 10 candles for desert with our first dinner.
Our stateroom was large, attractive, functional, extravagant and beautifully appointed. All details down to spa soaps, shampoo and hair dryers were provided. The staterooms aboard the Grace make you feel as special as Princess Grace must have felt on her own honeymoon on the yacht. The common areas were warm, welcoming, and provided the perfect amount of "outside” room to enjoy the views of the islands.
I have to note too that our adventures off the yacht began immediately upon our arrival too. After the first fantastic lunch, we had about an hour to settle in while we took a short ride to our first snorkel-site. In reading other reviews about cruises, some mention the ‘excursions’ while the Grace is 110% committed to making the exploration of The Galapagos the best you can find. Quasar, with 30+ years of experience in the islands clearly knows the best guides to travel with their yachts. Since your guide can make or break your adventures, we were amazingly pleased with our guide, Rafael, who made every experience on land and in the water safe, educational, fun, relaxed and perfect for each of the group whether they were young or old.
The staff aboard the Grace were amazing too absolutely professional, personable and completely skilled. They immediately took care of our needs (including playing board games with me and my grandson while others were resting) and went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we were always happy. Nothing was out of their notice and if any little problem did occur (like a little too much wind to eat outside) they changed plans and re-worked things for us so we didn’t even know a problem existed. More than efficient - they treated us as one big family, and indeed there were many hugs with all at our departure!
Would I highly recommend the Grace to others? - Absolutely you can’t find a better yacht in the Galapagos!