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Sail Date: February 2019
Visiting the Galapagos Islands has been on our travel list. When we were offered an opportunity to do it with friends we immediately agreed. This cruise was hosted by Lindblad / National Geographic. The cruise was great, there was no ... Read More
Visiting the Galapagos Islands has been on our travel list. When we were offered an opportunity to do it with friends we immediately agreed. This cruise was hosted by Lindblad / National Geographic. The cruise was great, there was no part of the cruise which I found lacking or poorly done. L/NG provided the smoothest transition from the airport to the hotel on the day of arrival and then the same service the next day as we flew out to the GI and boarded the Endeavor II. The handling of the people and our luggage was smooth, and quick. They transferred the people and luggage from shore to the ship in Endeavor II zodiacs. By the time we completed the buffer lunch our luggage was in our room. We traveled to and visit 6 islands, with hiking, snorkeling or kayaking available to see this natural wonder up close. Each days events were briefed in detail the night before, during an open bar happy hour, and then again in the morning. Carlos the Expedition Leader kept track of what was going an insured that the schedule was kept in order to accomplish the myriad of events which occurred through out the day. Ecuador does not allow individuals onto the islands with an Ecuador licensed Naturalist. There were seven Naturalists on board the E II. The lead all the small group tours, hikes and snorkeling. They were very knowledgeable and all were native to Ecuador. The promised sightings of the varieties of wildlife and birds always happened. Breakfast was always a buffet. Lunch was also a buffet. Dinner was a menu selection of local seafood and other meats. There were always at least three choices. One of which was Vegan/Vegetarian. The food was awesome. The ship crew was friendly and always helpful. If they had trouble with English they would find someone to help them and then help you. All the Dining and housekeeping staff spoke English fluently. The Deck Crew and Engine Crew understood English, but did not necessarily speak it well. However, they never ran away if you asked a question. They always got answer. The crew was very proud of its ship. It was clean, and in very good repair. I highly recommend this cruise, Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was someplace we had always wanted to see but never thought we would have that opportunity. Lindblad/National Geo came highly reccommended and we were not disappointed - our room was roomy and ... Read More
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was someplace we had always wanted to see but never thought we would have that opportunity. Lindblad/National Geo came highly reccommended and we were not disappointed - our room was roomy and comfortable and the food was local and delicious. Everything from the immaculate ship, the friendly crew and fantastic excursions made this a trip we will never forget. The local naturalists were a highlight- their stories of and knowledge about the islands was an inspiration. It is wonderful that these young men and women have taken the opportunity to be educated about their island and have chosen to make a career out of educating other people. Amongst all the fabulous sights and activiities the he ability to snorkel with sea lions was my favorite thing My lasting gift from this trip is to see that there is sill someplace on earth where people value the natural beauty in which they live and have prioritized its preservation. Read Less
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The usual high standards about all aspects of the expedition were quite evident. The ship and the facilities were top class. The food and drink were of high quality and highly varied. The dining room was informal and it was always nice to ... Read More
The usual high standards about all aspects of the expedition were quite evident. The ship and the facilities were top class. The food and drink were of high quality and highly varied. The dining room was informal and it was always nice to find different people to eat meals with. The hotel manager and his staff were outstanding. The naturalists were all qualified, well experienced and most importantly local. They were approachable and took pride in explaining the biology and geology of the islands. The excursions were very well planned and executed in an impeccable manner without any hitches. As in our past journey, the logistics were managed outstandingly well. This is our second trip with Lindblad/ NatGeo and it fully met our expectations (which were very high after our first trip to Antarctica on the NG Explorer). We covered the older islands and didn’t go to the two western-most – Isabella and Fernandina. However, we had seen all the wildlife that we ever wanted to see – the finches, the mocking birds, the boobies (all three types), frigate birds, tropic birds, Galapagos penguins, the giant tortoises, marine and land iguanas, barn owls, Flamingos, Shearwaters, Herons, Egrets, and many other animals. We went snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, went kayaking (and some others did paddle boards), rode in glass bottom boat and had our fill of marine life that included numerous fish species, rays, sea turtles, sea lions, etc. We also went to a white tipped shark nursery among the mangroves on northern side of Santa Cruz island. On the last day of the voyage we went across the equator to the island of Genovesa which was a paradise for birds with mangroves abound. A visit to the Darwin Foundation was special. The National Geographic photographer on board – Todd Gippstein was special. He gave a presentation nearly every day on how to shoot better, sharing his vast experience in a very accessible manner. And, he was very hands on in terms of help with cameras and shooting in the field. He was a great magician too, so entertainment came alongside learning! Overall, the people of Lindblad and National Geographic made the trip very special. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
All I can say is our “expedition” with Nat Geographic far exceeded our expectations. We went with Linblad and National Geographic in the Nat Geo Endeavor 11 because we knew they had been there the longest as far as a “cruise line” ... Read More
All I can say is our “expedition” with Nat Geographic far exceeded our expectations. We went with Linblad and National Geographic in the Nat Geo Endeavor 11 because we knew they had been there the longest as far as a “cruise line” But this was not a cruise.. it was indeed an Expedition! Full of hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, and lectures, loaded with information on everything “Galapagos” for the 7 days we were fortunate to experience all of it. As I said, This was a week long amazing, beautiful course in the Galapagos. We are NOT cruise people, we love active vacations. And this is exactly what we received. The entire staff was gracious, well educated on where we were, extremely wanting to please. I was most impressed by the hotel management and attention to detail, even in the dining room. We were not only served organic, sustainable typically Ecuadorian fare, but we were also served up an education on local cuisine including meats, fruits, vegetables, spices, desserts .. which also added to a very well rounded “immersion” in everything Ecuador! Naturalists gave us their rich wealth of information. Tips on Photography, both on land and under the sea. Lectures everyday were well attended.. by the entire guest population on the ship. Rooms were well appointed and cared for. Housekeeping was also impressive as rooms were tidied up 3 times a day, laundry was usually back same day.. The ship paid very strict attention to cleanliness, as there were hand sanitizer stations all over. Ship doctor was always available, even graciously, for 1 bandaid. I will most definitely look forward to my next Linblad Nat Geo trip. Hopefully Antarctica! (Only if Emma and Walter are our Naturalists!!! Book this trip if you’re interested in seeing and experiencing everything the beautiful Galapagos has to offer through the eyes of knowledgeable professional hosts. It’ll be worth every Penney. It really was the trip of a lifetime. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
When it comes to wildlife, outdoor exploration and comfort, Linblad-National Geographic is top of the line. We chose the Galapagos because we wanted to be outside exploring and photographing. The Endeavor II provided a highly functional ... Read More
When it comes to wildlife, outdoor exploration and comfort, Linblad-National Geographic is top of the line. We chose the Galapagos because we wanted to be outside exploring and photographing. The Endeavor II provided a highly functional and comfortable boat for the experience. Our cabin was large enough for two people to comfortably enjoy the week long trip without feeling crowded. The windows allowed for excellent viewing even when we were in the room. The boat staff also exceeded expectations. Carlos, the food maestro, provided healthy but incredibly flavorful options. We had the best of the best local food. He remembered our names and our food preferences--remarkable for a 98 person passenger list. Likewise, the naturalists on this boat were also exceptional. The photography expert, Antonio was quite good. Rather than focusing on camera mechanics, he focused on composition and what really makes a photograph special. He skipped all the technical mumbo jumbo and talked to us about how to tell a story in pictures. He used examples from the Galapagos so we had real concrete ideas of what to photograph on each day's adventure. My husband snorkeled every day. I hiked and kayaked. We both were thoroughly exhausted at the end of each day so we savored every sunset in this beautiful island setting. For people looking for an active, busy vacation, this is a good fit. The Galapagos dazzles with its underwater sea life, colorful birds, sea lions everywhere, land tortoises and iguanas with personality. Highly recommend booking a trip on the Endeavor II. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was one of the places on my bucket list and I was really surprised at what we found. Here are a group of islands on the equator 600 miles west of Ecuador and we thought we would be on lush tropical islands. The truth is that they ... Read More
This was one of the places on my bucket list and I was really surprised at what we found. Here are a group of islands on the equator 600 miles west of Ecuador and we thought we would be on lush tropical islands. The truth is that they are closer to a desert environment than tropical. The variety of wildlife and cactus and the successful efforts of the Ecuadoran government to preserve the Islands was marvelous to experience. The staff was terrific and the ship had very nice acomodations and the food was pretty good. If you want to interact with animals, this is the trip for you. Photography was the focus of this trip and we had a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer on the trip with us as well as three other photography experts to give us guidance on the best way to capture this unbelievable experience. I would highly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to have the best possible experience with the best possible access and best possible tools. The Endeavor II and her crew and staff delivered in all regards. I will remember every exciting moment of this journey. As a more than ... Read More
Wanted to have the best possible experience with the best possible access and best possible tools. The Endeavor II and her crew and staff delivered in all regards. I will remember every exciting moment of this journey. As a more than casual photographer, this was an unrivaled opportunity to test my skills under a wide range of conditions with a huge number of subjects. I ordered canvas prints of several photos before I left the ship! The ship was attractive, without being too fancy. The crew was efficient without interfering with our fun. The naturalists were amazingly knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The food was quite good and presented flawlessly. The tools were first rate - zodiacs, snorkel gear, etc. The stateroom was remarkably roomy and well organized. The guests were all very friendly and happy to share this great experience. The trip was peaceful and relaxing, which is amazing because there was something to do from 6 in the morning until well into the evening. We should have been exhausted from the multiple hikes, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle-boarding, zodiac rides, glass-bottom boat trips and other activities, but we slept well and felt revived at the end of the voyage. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We had an excellent experience with our 4 and 5 - year old grandchildren. They were enthralled with the wildlife and geography. The staff on the Endeavor II could not have been more accommodating, and made our granddaughters feel ... Read More
We had an excellent experience with our 4 and 5 - year old grandchildren. They were enthralled with the wildlife and geography. The staff on the Endeavor II could not have been more accommodating, and made our granddaughters feel special, particularly with the Explorers Club. The food was surprisingly good and interesting - with a focus on locally and sustainably produced products, prepared in accordance with local traditions and customs. The dining staff were courteous and outgoing, with the result that we looked forward to each meal. The excursions were varied (zodiac, hikes and beaches), providing a range of experiences, with each outing introducing us to different animals, birds sea life and terrain. The length of the outings were properly timed, so that our grandchildren did not become overly tired or loose their enthusiasm. The naturalists were superb, and took a genuine interest in each guest's enjoyment - which ran the spectrum. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
What can one say. The service, food, tour, people, location and travel were all over the top. Walter - our server at meals was so good to us, we really felt like family. Carlos, our tour Director was very attentive to detail and really ... Read More
What can one say. The service, food, tour, people, location and travel were all over the top. Walter - our server at meals was so good to us, we really felt like family. Carlos, our tour Director was very attentive to detail and really kept us moving in the correct direction. Our entire family went - and we really bonded even more. Everything was fantastic. The animals, water events, hiking, picture taking, swimming, snorkeling, picture taking - all guided by extremely experienced naturalists. The entire staff - from those that cleaned our rooms, those that served drinks in the bar. those that served us food and those that prepared the food to the Captain - all served with pride and always had a smile all their face. Absolutely a one of a kind experience. We had two nights of music - one night the ship Doctor and Captain - played for us. Excellent. The second night was locals from the Islands. Very inspiring to witness. Best trip ever. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My trip highlight was swimming side by side with a Penguin. The adrenalin was rushing as I found myself swimming competitively to keep up with a feeding penguin. It was a bonus to add a pre-trip to Mashpi with the Galapagos trip. It ... Read More
My trip highlight was swimming side by side with a Penguin. The adrenalin was rushing as I found myself swimming competitively to keep up with a feeding penguin. It was a bonus to add a pre-trip to Mashpi with the Galapagos trip. It completed our Ecuadorian adventure from cloud forest to islands. The onboard dining experience was excellent. They walked me personally thru every meal to assure me what I could choose as gluten free. The daily onboard and offboard activities were planned to perfection and the guides / photo instructors added value with their knowledge to point out things that would have been easily missed. The local guides added value and expertise to the experience. It was also a plus to have Sven Lindblad and his mother on the trip and to know that they genuinely care about their customer's experience and supporting populations in the areas where they offer expeditions. Their interest in helping maintain and restore the local culture and ecology is outstanding and speaks well for the company. To see and hear them in person confirmed to us that we picked the right company to tour with. Look for us on future expeditions. We're already looking ahead and making plans. Read Less
National Geographic Endeavour II Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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