Galápagos cruise on the Mary Anne

Following a visit to Peru in January-February ’07 (Nov. ’07, pg. 41), my husband, Joe, and I continued on to Quito, Ecuador, then flew TAME airlines to the Galápagos Islands. We boarded the S/S Mary Anne, a cruise ship run by Angermeyer Cruises.

View from the Royal Palm Hotel — Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos. Photo: Kras

The cruise we took, which cost $2,800 per person (excluding international airfare), can be booked through Andando Tours-Angermeyer Cruises (Mariana de Jesús E7-113 y Pradera, Quito, Ecuador; phone 593 2 2568 195, fax 593 2 3238309 or visit or through any travel agency booking Galápagos Islands tours.

Angermeyer Cruises were excellent on booking the cruise, but our air tickets had the wrong date and time on them. I had to call from the Galápagos Islands to get it straightened out.

I chose the Mary Anne because it had three huge sails and looked elegant. When I walked on board and saw our room, I realized I had made an excellent choice. What a lovely ship!

We stayed in cabin 9; I highly recommend requesting room 9 or 10. Our cabin had a firm double bed and a twin bed with soft feather pillows and blankets. The good-size bathroom was supplied with shampoo, conditioner, soap and towels. There were no washcloths; if you want to use one, bring it with you. We had lots of storage space. Most important — our cabin had air-conditioning; we were at the islands during the wet season and it was hot and humid.

Another plus was the ship had only 16 passengers and 11 crew members. We got lots of individual attention and also got the opportunity to get to know our fellow passengers.

Our guide on the ship was entertaining and professional and spoke excellent English. All the staff on the ship were very polite and helpful.

The food was very good and fresh. We were served breakfast, a snack, lunch and dinner. For lunch and dinner we had such things as fresh fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables, soup starters and dessert.

Our daily routine was very comfortable also. I heard that other cruise ships had grueling schedules starting at 5 a.m.; we started our day at 7 with breakfast. At 8:00 we all loaded into a dinghy to visit an island. After a relaxed walk for two to three hours, we returned to the boat for a snack.

We snorkeled almost every day, usually before lunch. After lunch, we had a 2-hour siesta. We boarded the dinghy again at around 3 for a walk at a different island, returning to the ship around 5. Dinner was served around 7. After dinner we had a briefing of the next day’s stops and activities.

The itineraries of the ships change, as it depends on the Galápagos National Park Service and stops requested by the ships. Among islands we visited were South Plaza, Española, Santa Cruz, Sombrero Chino, Santiago and Isabela. We saw lots of animals on land and in the water.

The cruise was an A+. I absolutely loved it.

Because of all the activities on the cruise ship, by the end we were ready for some rest and relaxation. We decided to stay at the Royal Palm Hotel for a couple of nights. Located in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, it was the perfect place to stay; the highlands are much cooler and quiet.

Rooms can be booked through or We paid $378 per night.

Unusual landscape surrounds this beautiful hotel, which comprises mainly chalets. The bathrooms are amazing, the showers having large showerheads. The chalets have huge picture windows where you can just sit and watch the world go by. A Jacuzzi tub, too, looks out onto the highlands.


Glendale, CA