I am currently trying to plan a vacation to the Galapagos. The limiting factor in my vacation planning is dates. Katy is only available starting December 21st, and we are scheduled to be in Valparaiso, Chile Dec 29th. This gives us a very tight window to actually make it out to the Galapagos, and to make matters worse, most Galapagos cruises leave at the start of the month or mid-month.
After about 2 weeks of research and contacting travel sites, I finally found a tour that worked. I booked through www.galapagosislands.com (“GI”). What I like about this site was that I was able to email them describing the kind of tour I wanted and the date limitations, and someone emailed me back within 24 hours with a list of all the cruises they offered that fit within my range. The prices, while not the cheapest, are not totally unreasonable either. For instance, they are significantly less expensive than the National Geographic tours run by Lindblad Expeditions (I am sure the Lindblad trips are amazing, but not within my price range).
The tour company suggested several options that might work, with only one fitting within the exact range I needed. I would have liked to book a slightly higher level cruise, but one option is better than none. We are going to be taking the Monserrat Yacht, itinerary C.
Booking the cruise with GI started off well, but I have now reached a hiccup in paying. GI charges an additional 4% of total sales price when you use a credit card. I am unwilling to pay the extra 4% just to use a credit card, so I mailed in a check return receipt to their location in Miami. It has now been over a week since I mailed the check and the company has not received it. I am considering stopping payment on the check and paying by credit card, but I have a problem paying the 4% service charge. I have emailed the cruise company and offered to pay by credit card if they waive the 4% charge, but no one has gotten back to me.
That is about all I have for now. I will post more when I know about the payments and book our flights.