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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My husband, myself and 16 of our friends were guests in the Galapagos on the Grace, starting on Feb 9. The Quasar team also handled our ground plans in Quito, and a trip to Mashpi before and after we left Galapagos. What an amazing ... Read More
My husband, myself and 16 of our friends were guests in the Galapagos on the Grace, starting on Feb 9. The Quasar team also handled our ground plans in Quito, and a trip to Mashpi before and after we left Galapagos. What an amazing experience we have had. The Quasar team created an experience that all 18 of us agree, is one of the most memorable, and impactful of our lives. Planning the Trip We spent approximately a year planning this trip. Most of us also had Quasar plan our visit to Quito and Mashpi as well. Diane was EXCEPTIONAL. She was helpful, inspiring, and detail oriented. There was not a detail missed in either the planning, nor the execution of the trip. I am impressed, because it is not easy ‘herding cats’, but Diane does it with flawless execution, and “grace”. Based on the planning process alone, our entire group was expecting this trip to be the best of their lives. Our Quito Experience We arrived in Quito to beautiful and memorable accommodations at the Hotel Carlota, and tours of the Old City that we all loved. Carlota was filled with character and hospitality. Every Quasar guide we had was fantastic. Galapagos and the M/Y Grace team We arrived in the Galapagos and the Grace via our two guides Roberto and Carolina. From the moment we met them at the airport, to the moment we left them at the airport for our flight back to the mainland, we felt the warm, caring nature of these two really special people. We created an intimate connection with them. They led our group throughout the week with confidence, excitement, knowledge, inspiration, conscientiousness, thoughtfulness and mindful of all the details. The two of them have high emotional IQ. They intuitively knew when to make a slight change to the plans, based on the feeling of our group. This made the week feel “personalized”, even though we know that you spend great effort in following the plan that has been created. These two individuals created tremendous value towards the overall experience. Our daily snorkeling and land excursions were fantastic. The Quasar team we had last week on the Grace were beyond our wildest dreams. Our cruise director was fantastic. She made everything happen, again flawlessly. She was always so cheerful, warm, hospitable and helpful. Housekeeping was exceptional. Public areas of the yacht and our cabins were always spotless. The housekeeper was like a fairy. Every time anyone would leave their rooms, she was in there cleaning it up a little. What she was doing was like magic. I stay in a lot of hotel rooms each year and never have I felt such joy and care in housekeeping. The boat Captain leads quietly behind the scenes much of the time, but the Grace would not operate so beautifully and seemingly effortlessly without the strong leadership of the captain. I almost forgot the amazing food and culinary team. Wow! We had three amazing meals a day. All dietary requirements and preferences for some of our group, were met at each meal with really special meals. Those individuals typically feel that their needs are an afterthought, but on this trip, they felt special at each meal. They even accommodated an unplanned Caftan and Critters dinner party, as more of an informal cocktail supper on the bar deck. They prepared an amazing sushi evening. All the food the entire week was spectacular. (and many of us are fussy foodies) Many of our group travel a lot, and none of us has had an experience like your team created for us in such an “authentic” and caring way. What this teams does each day is truly special. My company consults with restaurant companies, hospitality companies and retailers. I know how hard it is for any company to consistently deliver exceptional service, hospitality and memorable guest experiences. The Quasar team, and the special small yachts, in my opinion, are unmatched in what you deliver. You are truly ‘best-in-class’. I have not been on your larger boat, but I think you have some special magic in having these smaller, intimate luxury yachts. I know our trip was somewhat unique since we basically chartered the Grace with our friends. However, this really amplifies the trip experience. It was pretty easy for us to fill the boat. I think there are a lot of people that dream of going to the Galapagos, but need a little inspiration to start. Our group appreciated being able to book with people they knew, and not have to think about anything, other than paying and packing. We saw all the other boats in the Galapagos. None matched the Quasar yachts. I can't imagine having the experience we did on the larger boats of 50 - 150 people. 16-32 people is the ideal size. We are already planning our repeat trip in 2-3 years of the other Northern itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My siblings and I along with our spouses cruised on the M/Y Grace at the end of January 2019. The ship was great, the food wonderful, and the crew amazing. Ever one of the crew members was personable and made it clear they were there to ... Read More
My siblings and I along with our spouses cruised on the M/Y Grace at the end of January 2019. The ship was great, the food wonderful, and the crew amazing. Ever one of the crew members was personable and made it clear they were there to serve. The captain took time to snorkel on several days with members of our group who were not experienced snorkelers. He worked with them each day to improve their skills. The naturalists, both Rafa and Walter, were extremely knowledgeable and a lot of fun. Nothing about their presentations were rote. During our visit to one of the islands, some members of another ship started asking our naturalists questions because they found them to be more knowledgeable than the persons they had on their boat. Shout out to Saul who tended bar and served every meal. He was terrific. Also to the chefs, who served up a wonderful variety of food and very delicious desserts. Read Less
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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Quasar Expedition’s Evolution is a 16 cabin luxury yacht. We had the opportunity to spend 7 nights on this boat cruising the eastern Galápagos Islands. Every day brought new and different experiences, while hiking and snorkeling, ... Read More
Quasar Expedition’s Evolution is a 16 cabin luxury yacht. We had the opportunity to spend 7 nights on this boat cruising the eastern Galápagos Islands. Every day brought new and different experiences, while hiking and snorkeling, which were explained by superb naturalists expert on the history, conditions and intricacies of the different islands in the Galápagos Archipiélago. The yacht was just the right size for this sort of cruise with plenty of common space for lounging but cozy enough to enable one to get to know every passenger and crew member on a first name basis. I would not hesitate to strongly recommend this yacht and cruise line to anyone interested in seeing this remote and fascinating part of our world. From the moment we made the decision to book to now several weeks post cruise, there is not a single thing I can recommend be improved. They have their act together in every aspect of their cruise adventure!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I choose this cruise mainly for being able to put 3 people in one cabin. Myself, my son, and my 19 year old grandson. And we did fit...mostly. The staff was great. Our guides were Samuel and Alex. Both were extremely knowledgeable ... Read More
I choose this cruise mainly for being able to put 3 people in one cabin. Myself, my son, and my 19 year old grandson. And we did fit...mostly. The staff was great. Our guides were Samuel and Alex. Both were extremely knowledgeable and had a love of their topics, Steve was our tour director and wore many, many hats. He was a very funny and friendly young man, YES I would I go again and I highly requirement the cruise, "Trip of a lifetime". WE had both wet and dry landings. The crew were very helpful getting us older folks off and on the pangas which rocked some in the open ocean. No one got seasick, which was good. The doctor on board was one of our snorkeling mates. We saw hammerhead sharks and white tip sharks along with tons of sea lions, birds, and iguanas. Luckily no one had to see him on a professional basis. GO if you get the change, Do not wait. The food was outstanding. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Galapagos certainly has its magic, and it goes without saying that our expectations for this trip were very high. Our week on the Grace was outstanding and has surpassed the initial expectation, leaving us with a life-changing experience ... Read More
Galapagos certainly has its magic, and it goes without saying that our expectations for this trip were very high. Our week on the Grace was outstanding and has surpassed the initial expectation, leaving us with a life-changing experience and fabulous memories. What made the difference is that the crew and our naturalist guides (Rafa and Sam), made everything possible to make us feel alone on the islands, adapting the schedule in the best way possible. Going to such a remote place, we did not want to be surrounded by 50 people on every activity. They made us feel like the only ones around and they can count on the flexibility of the crew, that has been hosting us like family, attending all our needs even before we thought of them. They knew all our names after 1,5 day. Outstanding. The Grace is a comfortable and timeless. It is by far the most elegant boat floating on Galapagos islands. Cabins are very comfortable, spacious and nicely decorated. Easy to relax here, rooms are always impeccable, and whenever we returned to our cabin, our bed is nicely made. We loved to sit on the outside terrace for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as at the bar. This seemed to be quite unique compared to the other few ships we saw. We liked the fact there was no wifi or tv in the rooms (there is one common tv in the living), as it let us disconnect fully with the outside world while connecting with ourselves, the wildlife and other passengers. After this experience, we really stand for small cruise ship experiences, they are way more personal and unique. Food was also delicious, with great variety and local cuisine. The fact they have one chef and one pastry cook really makes the difference from breakfast to dinner. Camila and Colja – travelled in August 2018, as a couple. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My wife and I spent a wonderful week in the Galapagos on the M/V Evolution in May 2018. We chose it because it looked like a stately boat with nice finishes. The price was in line with the Nat'l Geo ship (maybe cheaper) but smaller ... Read More
My wife and I spent a wonderful week in the Galapagos on the M/V Evolution in May 2018. We chose it because it looked like a stately boat with nice finishes. The price was in line with the Nat'l Geo ship (maybe cheaper) but smaller and looked nicer to us. The ship had been recently renovated and it looked great. The room was beautiful and spacious. The bathroom was good sized as well. The common spaces (particularly the upstairs bar/lounge area) were big and very comfortable. There was plenty of space for all 32 passengers. The tub was fantastic after snorkeling for an hour. The food was delicious and the staff took great pains to accommodate everyone's needs. The drinks were reasonable priced. Speaking of the staff they were superb. Great personalities and very attentive. The guides were extremely knowledgeable. The itinerary was fantastic, in particular the snorkeling. We'd definitely recommend Quasar and the Evolution! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We choose the Grace for the history of the vessel and the size. Wanted to go on a smaller ship. The dining was excellent. Emphasis on local products and freshness. The staff and guides were excellent and made sure that everyone was ... Read More
We choose the Grace for the history of the vessel and the size. Wanted to go on a smaller ship. The dining was excellent. Emphasis on local products and freshness. The staff and guides were excellent and made sure that everyone was well taken care of. Sammy and Walter were our guides for the week and they were very enthusiastic about showing us the islands. We were busy non stop. That was good and bad. I would have liked a little more down time but then I'm not a big fan of riding in zodiacs but I did it, all landings. I personally did not snorkel but I went out with the groups and stayed aboard the zodiac and enjoyed seeing the marine life from the boat. That was fun! Enjoyed the al fresco dining. Jorge, our bartender, was excellent at making fresh juices. So delicious. Freddy and Gallo were excellent. Gallo was very helpful to me on land, making sure I was safe and several times, I think Freddy actually picked me up and put me in the zodiac. Great gents!!! Thanks for an awesome time. We generally do not return to a destination, we like to do once and done so that is probably the case with The Galapagos. Not because we didn't have a good time but there are so many other places in the world to see. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose AdventureSmith for our trip to the Galapagos Islands on the recommendation of friends who had used them several years ago. We were not disappointed. On the recommendation of AdventureSmith, we arrived in Quito two days before ... Read More
We chose AdventureSmith for our trip to the Galapagos Islands on the recommendation of friends who had used them several years ago. We were not disappointed. On the recommendation of AdventureSmith, we arrived in Quito two days before boarding the M/Y Grace, therefor we were able to explore a little of Quito. We arranged our accommodations in Quito ourselves and used taxis to get around. Travel from Quito to Baltra for embarkation onto The Grace was arranged by AdventureSmith, the flight was on Avianca. We were met in Baltra by two gentlemen who would be our Galapagos guides for the week, May 12 -19, 2018. AdventureSmith works with Quasar who operates the yacht. The Grace has a crew of twelve and there were eighteen guests. Both the crew and guides are well-trained, professional and attentive without being intrusive. All staff are very warm and friendly. As guests, we all felt safe and well-cared for. The crew works very hard from early in the morning to late at night to make sure your trip will be exceptional. Our accommodations were very nice. We had an upper cabin with twin beds and private bath. It was exceptionally clean and comfortable. All our meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, were delicious - some featuring Ecuadorian specialties. Meals are al fresco. Information about the history of M/Y Grace (very interesting!) and our trip is well-documented on the AdventureSmith website. The activities included hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling. Again, I would like to emphasize that we were always well-cared for and looked after. Our guides made sure to point out sights or animals we may have otherwise have missed. During down-time, some napped, some sat outside and enjoyed the cruise from one island to another. It was so relaxing! Generally, our day started at 7:00 a.m., and ended around 8 or 8:30. Every evening there is a “Briefing” - an informational session - so that we would learn about our next destination, know what to expect, and how to dress or prepare for the next day. I guess I would call that our “Entertainment”. The guides are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and clearly love what they do. Truthfully, after being out for the better part of each day, after dinner and the briefing, we were happy and content to just relax and do nothing. We disembarked on San Cristobal Island, again, this was arranged by AdventureSmith and again, our flight was on Avianca. I would not hesitate to recommend AdventureSmith and Quasar for a “trip of a lifetime” to the Galapagos Islands. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose Quasar M/V Evolution because of their reputation and the size of the ship. Our cruise was everything we could have imagined and more. If you are looking for an activity centric vacation with a focus on nature and wildlife combined ... Read More
We chose Quasar M/V Evolution because of their reputation and the size of the ship. Our cruise was everything we could have imagined and more. If you are looking for an activity centric vacation with a focus on nature and wildlife combined with an attentive crew, I would highly recommend Quasar. The ship itself was luxurious without being overdone. Our cabin was spacious, updated and quiet. The public areas were comfortable and nicely appointed, perfect for large or small group gatherings as well as quiet time to read a book or journal. The food was amazing, fresh and healthy. The crew could not have been more attentive, making sure we were comfortable and safe while on the ship and our excursions. Our National Park Service guides were informative, sharing their knowledge and love of the Galapagos every step fo the way. Every day we were treated with new natural wonders and closeup encounters with the wildlife. Being on a ship that size with like-minded travelers was a treat in itself. We got to know everyone and made friendships that extended beyond the trip. We hope to go back sometime and will definitely look to Quasar for another great adventure. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Quasar Grace Galapagos 1 week tour (originating in San Cristobal, ending in Baltra) exceeded my expectations in every way. The boat was elegant, well-appointed and very comfortable. I didn’t see a single boat in the Galapagos that ... Read More
Quasar Grace Galapagos 1 week tour (originating in San Cristobal, ending in Baltra) exceeded my expectations in every way. The boat was elegant, well-appointed and very comfortable. I didn’t see a single boat in the Galapagos that was as beautiful as Grace. Her age (built in 1928, later gifted to Princess Grace and Prince Rainier by Ari Onassis) was not an issue at all - she is fast, nimble and beautifully maintained. The itinerary and activities were perfectly planned, with several excursions a day on land and sea. Land visits were timed to capture the animals in their most dramatic moments (e.g., the mating dance of the blue-footed boobies), while also avoiding other tourists. We snorkeled almost every day, and it was the best I've experienced, swimming with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks, and many schools of beautiful fish. I am physically fit and a long-distance swimmer, but the activities were structured in a way that even older and less able guests could fully enjoy them. Late January was a perfect time to visit because the water was warm enough to swim without a wetsuit. The food was wonderful, served al fresco. I can’t imagine preparing 3 meals/day for 16 guests plus crew in a yacht kitchen, but the kitchen staff continued to surprise us with new delicacies. The fruits and vegetables were incredibly fresh and flavorful. I looked forward to the fresh breads in the basket every morning, prepared by Walter. There were 2 ceviches (shrimp and crab) that were so good that we asked the chef for the recipe. The fresh tuna was a crowd pleaser, and the preparations and sauces always had a unique and harmonious mixture of ingredients. The crew was exceptional. I was impressed with their expertise across multiple roles, commitment to pleasing their guests, professionalism and work ethic. Melissa (hospitality) was delightful, very responsive and energetic. Freddy and Miguel, our zodiac pilots, were very capable, confident and fun. Saul, our bartender, learned our names and preferred cocktails and wines very quickly, and always appeared just as my glass was getting low. Nelly crept into our rooms several times a day to tidy up, and quickly replaced any linens as they began to get grimy. Our guide, Rafael Pesante, was extremely knowledgeable, which of course, is critical. But on top of that, he was a skilled teacher and story teller. He was full of energy and good cheer. He treated every single guest as if they were his top priority. He took beautiful photographs of every excursion and supplied downloads to departing guests. He treated the other crew members as equals and fostered a sense of family. I can’t imagine that there is a better guide in the Galapagos. Most impressive of all was the way they all work together to give their guests a memorable experience. One morning around 6am, one of the crew members spotted orcas near the boat. Immediately after that, Rafael came on the intercom encouraging everyone to come to the zodiacs in their pajamas ASAP to chase the orcas. Within minutes, all 16 guests were loaded into the boats and on the chase. We had a thrilling ride and captured dramatic footage of the orcas. A less-organized crew would never have been able to pull that off, and a bigger boat never would have even bothered. I could not have been happier with the Grace experience. My only hesitation in giving this glowing review is that it might create more competition to get a reservation when I inevitably return to the Grace one day! Read Less
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