Rating: Prestige Price from: £2,935pp for 8 days
Beagle is a 32 metre steel-hulled motor schooner with classic lines and polished teak decks. She was built in London in 1971 and is named after HMS Beagle, the vessel in which Charles Darwin sailed to the Galapagos Islands. She is powered by twin engines to give an average cruising speed of 9 knots. There is a crew of 6 comprising captain, helmsman, steward, cook, engineer and naturalist guide.
There are 6 double cabins, with lower double and upper single berth, so ample room. There is also a smaller double cabin, which is offered for single use. All cabins are air-conditioned, have windows and en suite bathrooms.
There is plenty of open and shaded space and seating on deck, plus a large table where al fresco meals are taken. The interior is well-furnished and includes a comfortable saloon which has a library of Galapagos literature and a selection of games. There is a bar offering a range of cold drinks, including beer, wine and spirits. Beagle carries snorkelling equipment and wet suits which are free for passengers to use.
The Beagle has been awarded the Smart Voyager certificate, which is granted to tourist operations after careful inspection of their adherence to sound conservation practices.
Operates: All year.
Specifications: Beagle is a 32 metre (105 foot) motor brigantine with an average cruising speed of 9 knots.
Cabins: Beluga has 7 cabins, all with private bathroom. The maximum capacity is 14 passengers.
Facilities & Crew: There is a lounge with a range of books and reference material and a selection of games. There are open and shaded deck areas with seating. Meals can be taken on deck or in the saloon. There is a bar. She has a captain, helmsman, naturalist guide, steward, cook and mechanic. She carries snorkelling equipment and wet suits, free for passenger use.
Itineraries: Beagle offers 2 separate 8 -day itineraries.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: The Galapagos Islands are not a malarial area.
"The Beagle is a fine looking boat but quite old : Aircon in cabins was noisy and difficult to control, Having a single and a double bunk in each cabin meant no usable double bed and very limited storage space. Crew were brilliant fun and constantly looking to help. Paul, the guide gave us very clear instructions every day so we knew exactly what was to happen and this was very helpful. He was really attentive at all times. The food, I have to say was only average although plenty of it. • We found that by the last day, we had done enough walks as they had got a bit repetitive – 5 days would have been plenty but that is just a personal view. It happened to be very hot and with no shade , it made walking and standing around a bit trying. The terrain is quite tricky sometimes which needs to made clear in your itinerary • Snorkelling was exciting with sharks, rays and large shoals of fish but it was challenging in quite rough seas - so important to check with your clients that they are happy in deep water. Fortunately we are ardent snorkellers so loved it. • The day we left the boat, we did rather feel that we were shovelled off very quickly in order for the next group to arrive. The morning trip was an hour’s panda ride starting at 6am and we had left the boat by about 9.15. This meant about a 3 hour wait at the airport, one of which was standing around before we could even check in. Maybe something to note. "