......here’s an insider's look at the recent buzz surrounding Expedition Trips. Your passion for exploration is what drives us, and we can't wait to dive into these stories together.
“Cruising to Antarctica, with its short season of December to January and its limited number of itinerary options, requires twelve months of planning minimum—that people generally don’t want to make the journey over the holidays, when the holidays take up half the season, is part of why. Expedition cruise specialist Ashton Palmer of Expedition Trips has been planning voyages to the region for over twenty years, says of the increasing demand that “people want to make up for lost time.” He adds that making your reservations a year in advance ensures you can get the cabin you want on the ship you want—no small consideration when you think about how much time you’ll be spending on the boat. There are also generally only a couple itineraries to choose from, Palmer notes—the straightforward two weeks to Antarctica proper and back, and the three-plus week excursions that touch the Falklands and South Georgia as well.”
- Use A Specialist
Do not book a sailing trip online or through a cruise line’s reservations agent. You need comparative know-how. Cruise specialists have been on every ship and understand the differences among vessels and cruise lines: their sizes, cabins, itineraries, excursions, culinary creds, and overall vibe. Beyond booking the right ship for you (and making sure you don’t end up in a cabin under the jogging track), they’ll also help with specialty dining reservations, shore jaunts, and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays. Our go-to pros… Ashton Palmer, a former expedition leader and naturalist whose expertise is small ship expedition cruises (email@example.com).
Brook Wilkinson: Choosing a Galapagos Cruise: The Most Important Things to Know
Planned by Ashton Palmer
It’s part of my job here at WendyPerrin.com to read every trip review that we receive, so I knew immediately that the Galapagos Islands were a multi-generational crowd-pleaser: The low-effort/high-payoff wildlife sightings were sure to appeal to both my 7-year-old son and my 82-year-father, who bracket our small family, as would the unpack-once ease of a cruise.
The tougher decision was which of the 77 licensed vessels to book for our voyage. Hotels are becoming more and more common on the Galapagos’ four inhabited islands, but we knew that we wanted to visit a wider range of islands than we could see on day trips from land. After all, it’s how species change from island to island that steered Darwin to his theory of evolution, and that has attracted awe-struck visitors ever since—those finches and their multitude of beaks, if you remember a little of biology class. And I’m so glad we went by sea: The moments when we, our shipmates, and a colony of bold sea lions shared an empty beach, with not a single other ship on the horizon, were my favorites of the trip by far, and the time we spent in a handful of towns I found the least enjoyable.
To aid us in narrowing down the options, I reached out to Ashton Palmer, an expedition cruise specialist on our WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts who has spent time in the Galapagos, both with and without his own family of four kids. As Ashton helped us sort through the possibilities, here are the main factors that I learned you need to weigh when picking the right Galapagos experience for your group. Many of these factors, it’s important to note, are drastically different from the considerations you want to weigh when picking an ocean cruise.
-- Brook Wilkinson
Trip Reviews: ANTARCTICA, THE ARCTIC, and SMALL-SHIP EXPEDITION CRUISES, planned by Ashton Palmer
We would not have had the happy and successful outcome without a pro like Ashton and his team - TINA SARAFA | AUGUST 18, 2023
Swimming with sea lions and sea turtles and watching the courting process of the many birds in the Galapagos... - MARY RAE ROGERS | MAY 12, 2023
It was especially gratifying to see the smiles of wonder on the faces of our two NYC-based twenty-something children as we spotted whales, eagles, sea lions... - CATHERINE SPEAR | JULY 3, 2022