I sailed on Yacht La Pinta in April 2012. I had always wanted to go to the Galapagos but the high single supplement made it impossible. By chance, an Australian travel agent had chartered the boat as part of a longer, more in depth trip around South America. When this trip hadn’t filled up, they advertised the Galapagos cruise at a discounted rate. I jumped at the opportunity and found myself in the Galapagos, on the trip of a lifetime.
Yacht La Pinta is small, holding around 48 passengers and is one of 3 vessels owned by Metropolitan Touring in Ecuador. We had approximately 40 people from Australia and New Zealand.
After a couple of little problems were sorted out at the beginning of the cruise, all drinks, WIFI and wetsuits were included.
The food was buffet for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was a 3/4 course meal. Tables were generally four or six people so it was a communal affair and very social after a fantastic day of touring. I really enjoyed the buffet lunches out on the back deck. It wasn’t gourmet food, but it was very nice nevertheless.
There was also a tea room where you could make tea/coffee/hot chocolate 24/7.
I really liked the boat, my cabin was spacious with a floor to ceiling window and a good size bathroom for a small boat. There were no keys but the cabins could be locked from inside.
The guides (or naturalists) were very knowledgeable and proud of these amazing islands. There were briefings about what to expect each day and during the 7 days of the cruise, the BBC series “Galapagos End of the World” TV show was screened in the lounge area.
When there was a choice of activities (walking, snorkelling, kayaking), passengers were asked to add their name to a signup sheet in the lobby.
After each excursion, waiting for us on the back landing, was an icy cold freshly squeezed juice and some finger food. It was always appreciated as it was brutally hot out on land.
When you are in the Galapagos, it’s full on. Breakfast early then into the panga (zodiac) for your morning activity – either a walk to see the animals or a snorkel to see the animals. Let’s face it, a trip to the Galapagos is ONLY about the animals and it’s fantastic. Stepping over thousands of marine iguanas, seeing blue-footed boobies doing their dance, huge land iguanas sun-baking, giant turtles slowly shuffling along and of course, swimming with the seals. It is surreal being up close and personal with these animals.
This was truly an outstanding trip - the trip of a lifetime.