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Haugen Cruises Galapagos Cruise | Warning Avoid

Written by Jewish Lawyer on . Posted in Cruise Ship Injury, Galapagos cruise Injury

Haugen Cruises

My Galapagos Trip From Hell

I feel it is my obligation to share my experience with Haugen cruises. This is a company based in Ecuador owned by a wealthy European. They operate the Petrel, Ocean Spray and Commorant. Our experience was on the Petrel.

Not What We Bargained For

This is not a cheap cruise. At about $8400 per person it matches an upgraded suite on Celebrity. First I want to point out that the food was not the greatest. It was just OK. The best I can say is they tried. But this could have been acceptable  if not for the lack of transparency. They are not upfront as to the safety or safety supplies they have nor in the attention you can  expect from the guide.  The sales representative advised us of one serious volcano hike and that all land excursions would have ” trails and the guide would go slow.” This was not the case at all. You need to be very fit for this one or a snake or mountain goat. There were no trails and the guide ran ahead calling back watch your step. At one point myself and my travel partner were abandoned 1/2 mile behind the group on a volcano hike. One of 2 volcano hikes, the second never mentioned ) and a trek up a steep mountain { also never mentioned }. These were seriously difficult hikes. I am less then 5ft tall and cannot step over 2 ft crevices. No warning given nor was there any help from the guide. A passenger helped me across. Passengers should not be put in the position of helping other passengers. This puts the entire group In jeopardy.

A Fall and No Help or First Aide At The Scene

My traveling companion took a good fall on the volcano and a fellow passenger, not this guide, helped him. It is a guide’s job to direct to the safest crossing. Not this one.  No first aide. What disturbs me the most is the lies. No apology or admission. This guide kept telling everyone, including the credit card company when we asked for a partial refund, that he was the first one there. The supplies for injury on the ship were pathetic.  A 1/4 bottle of hydrogen peroxide and some bandages. Thank goodness I brought some or we would have been cutting down sheets like in World War I.

These Are Calm Waters?

No one can predict the ocean but, at least inform. The sales representative kept telling us we were going the calm time. We were never told the Pacific crossing can be very rough and almost always is. 8 ft waves and everyone needed a barf bag. It kept bobbing in the port as well. A catamaran really does not hold up on rough seas. Contrary to what they tell you. A double hull moves slower so the misery takes longer and depending on which way the waves are coming they can hit each hull giving you a double wammy.

No Definitions of Difficulty Levels

This Is For Serious Hikers

If you can find the overview of the days with the difficulty levels, there is no link from the homepage or in any documents or emails,  they are not defined in any way and most are wrong. Even the guide said the excursions were very difficult. Be forewarned  this is not an easy laid back voyage. The Petrel voyage B is for serious hikers training for an army camp. You need to be in really good shape. Just working out at the gym no matter how difficult you do it is no training for this escapade. You need to be out there on the hills and in the valleys. You need super good balance and eyesight.  And you need to manage on your own on seriously difficult terrain. And don’t be petite. The boulders he wanted me to step up on and down off were up to my waist. The first trek, the intro, was boulder to boulder and shaky rock to shaky rock. No trails as promised.

They Just Don’t Measure Up

What bothers me the most about them is how they cover up and lie. We left 2 days early and asked to get reimbursed for the 2 days. I wrote to the credit card company. Their response was full of lies to the point of being bizarre.  They would not fess up as to the bad guide behavior nor apologize and offer some kind of make good.

There Are Better Choices

For dollar value and enjoying such an amazing place there are much better choices.

When Choosing A Cruise

1. Be sure you understand the type of ship you will be on and how it is effected by rough seas. If you have any tendency to sea sickness take double precautions. A pacific crossing is rough. Look at the itinerary very carefully. Pick the one that does not do a pacific crossing. 2. Find out if the guides are trained Galapagos guides. Haugen sets there own ratings and does not follow Galapagos criteria. 3. Hunt for negative reviews. Don’t just accept positive reviews. After I returned I found one where their guide abandoned a person snorkeling. Yes, they left him out there. There were some other online descriptions of unattended injury as well. This does not appear to be their strong point. I guess they cannot count or they would know if they left someone behind. 4. No your limits and capabilities. Pick a cruise accordingly. There are tougher cruises and easier one’s. They are not all the same. Make sure the company is being upfront with you and make sure they can adapt to slower or more petite hikers.  

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