The M/S Mary Anne (2013)

Boat Description

Operated by Angermeyer Cruises and first launched in 1997, the Mary Anne is a 3-masted barquentine angermeyerwith 16 sails—almost 10,000 square feet of sails!  (A barquentine is a sailboat with 3 or more masts and square-rigged sails only on the foremast—the mast closest to the bow or front.)   Stretching 172 feet (216 feet, if you count the bowsprit!), she can travel, by our captain’s report, at a maximum of 8 knots (9.2 m.p.h.) under sail or motor.  Our group occupied Cabins 1 – 10, although the Web site says that she has 12 cabins.   The Mary Anne used to sail with 24 passengers but now carries only 16, leaving extra cabins that the Angermeyers offer to single travelers for no single supplement.  (A single supplement is a surcharge that a single traveler pays for occupying a cabin that would otherwise carry 2 passengers.  Single supplements can at times be very steep—up to 75% or 80% on some boats!)  Our group had 2 single travelers, in Cabins 2 and 3.  On the Andando Tours site, you can see the deck plans; if you roll your mouse over the cabins and public areas, thumbnail photos will pop up.  Note that the photos of the fore and aft areas on the sundeck (labeled “deck area” and “deck area 2”) are simply duplicates of photos from the main deck.  From the sun deck, you’d be looking down on those areas—they’re not distinct spots on the sundeck.

andando_logoThe Mary Anne is booked through Andando Tours, which offers tourism services both in the Galápagos Islands and on mainland Ecuador.

You may want to read through this entire article from beginning to end, which you can do by clicking on the page numbers at the bottom of each page.  But if you’d rather read about specific topics, you can skip through the article to specific pages.

  • Common areas, p. 2
  • Cabins, p. 3
  • Transportation to landings and snorkeling, p. 4
  • Water activities, p. 4
  • Services, p. 5 – 7
  • Cleaning, p. 5
  • Food & drink, p. 6
  • Hot water, p. 6
  • The crew, p. 7
  • Sailing, p. 8

15 Responses to The M/S Mary Anne (2013)

  1. Megan says:

    Hi Tina,

    We have been considering taking (in early November) the Mary Anne on the eastern itinerary (as I read somewhere it’s better to see birds, although I can’t remember where now). But going through your site, you have been telling people that it makes less sense to spend the money on a naturalist cruise when your cruise stops at places you see by day-tripping. The eastern itinerary on the Mary Anne is on Santa Cruz a great deal, and also stops at South Plaza.

    This is the itinerary:
    SAT AM Baltra: Arrival in Baltra Airport and Transfer to the boat
    PM Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove
    SUN AM Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay
    PM Genovesa Island: El Barranco
    MON AM Bartholomew Island
    PM Santiago Island: Chinese Hat/Sombrero Chino
    TUE AM Rabida Island
    PM Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill
    WED AM Santa Cruz Island: Highlands
    PM Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin St./ Tortoise Breeding Center
    THU AM South Plaza Island
    PM Santa Fe Island
    FRI AM Española Island: Suarez Point
    PM Española Island: Gardner Bay/Islet
    Española Island: Osborn Islet
    SAT AM Santa Cruz Island: Twin Craters
    Baltra: 17 Transfer to the Baltra Airport

    I would like to see the penguins, although they may be on Bartholomew, and it would be good to see the albatross, which is only on Espanola. Flightless Cormorants only on the western itinerary….

    While we could consider another boat doing a Northwest itinerary, the Mary Anne seems an extraordinary ship, so we are left to consider either the west or east itinerary in either October or November. Alas, doing the 15 days with both itineraries is not an option.

    What do you think would be the best direction on the Mary Anne for birds?

    And your blog has been really helpful.

    Like

    • Tina says:

      Hi, Megan–

      This is indeed a quandary. The eastern itinerary is a pretty typical one, in that it visits 2 of the 4 most distant islands (Genovesa & Española). Both of those islands are terrific for seabirds (all 3 boobies possible, both frigatebirds, albatross). So if you mean seabirds when you say “birds,” those 2 islands are your best bet. (The archipelago only has about 60 species of birds in all; so unless you want to chase down the ~12 species of Darwin’s finches–not likely on any regular naturalist cruise– the sea birds are your most interesting avian option, I’d say.)

      But you’re also right that many of the other landings can also be reached by day trips (Bartolomé, Santa Fé, S. Plaza, Santa Cruz). The good part about being there on a cruise is that you’ll be there earlier in the day or later in the afternoon, so photography is better and the animals are likely to be more active. But they are still likely to live further from the path. But really, you’ll only spend 1 full day in the inhabited part of Santa Cruz (Day 5). And that day will be a terrific opportunity to see the Giant Tortoises living free in the highlands–by far, the best place to see them, I think. You have to be close to Santa Cruz on Day 8 because you have to get to the airport on Baltra. And I don’t think Cerro Dragon can be reached by day trips. So maybe it’s not sooooo bad…

      So I’d say Mary Anne’s eastern itinerary isn’t among the strongest but it’s also not dreadful. And gosh–the boat is fantastic. Just fantastic. So although it’s a tough call (and I may be biased), I think I’d still opt for the Mary Anne.

      I’m glad you’re finding the blog helpful. Thanks for letting me know!

      Tina

      Like

  2. Kuberan Marimuthu says:

    I am planning to go on this boat next week. Would you warn me against taking my 5 yr old son along ?

    Like

    • Tina says:

      Hi, Kuberan–

      I’m not really the best person to answer this unusual question. Some boats have age restrictions about how young a child can be; I have no idea if the Mary Anne has such restrictions. You should check with whomever you booked your ticket with. As to whether a 5-year-old would be safe, I can’t say. It’s a boat, and dangers a-plenty exist on any boat. It’s not likely to be a family-oriented cruise, so you’ll be solely responsible for watching/entertaining/controlling your son so that he doesn’t impinge on the other passengers’ enjoyment. The group has to stay together on any of the outings, so if he should have an issue with a 2- to 3-hour landing/walk on one of the uninhabited islands, you have no choice but to stay with the group–no returning to the boat on your own.

      Only you know what your child is capable of. I personally think that 5 is too young to really enjoy the extraordinary sights and lessons of the archipelago. But that’s just one person’s opinion. Just keep in mind that there will be 14 other passengers, not all of whom may enjoy the presence of a young child in this very special place. (I also wonder why you’re asking this question at this late hour, since you’re leaving in less than a week. I would DEFINITELY find out about age restrictions ASAP, since that alone may answer your question for you.)

      Tina

      Like

  3. khum08 says:

    Hello Tina, We have a party of 8 (4 adults and 4 children, 8-11 yrs old). I am torn between the Grace and the MaryAnne. Any guidance would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!!

    Like

    • Tina says:

      I know the Mary Anne personally because we traveled on her for our 2nd trip and just loved the ship, the crew, the captain, and the naturalist guide. I don’t know anything first-hand about the Grace except that she is an elegant boat in an old-world sort of way (rather than a newly updated kind of luxury). I’ve heard people I respect say that they’d travel on her in a heart beat.

      You really can’t go wrong with either of these 2 boats, in my opinion.

      Tina

      Like

  4. Jo says:

    Anyone with experience on the Isabella 2 ? I will be going with TAUCK in may 2015!

    Like

  5. Tom says:

    Hi Tina

    I thought you may like an update on the Mary Anne. I just returned from a 7 night western cruise with my 18 year old nephew. We picked the ship before I found your review and this site, your review did easy our minds about our choice. Everything is still the same as you describe except the bar man is now Hiram. We we very lucky and had Carolina as our naturalist guide. We had a very diverse group of 16, 4 couples and 6 singles, ranging in age from 18 to late 60’s, with 8 people in their 30’s. I really can’t imagine that there is a better choice out there. Hopefully some day I will get to go back and try the eastern itinerary.

    Like

    • Tina says:

      Hi, Tom–

      Thanks so much for the update. I’m sure folks who read this and are considering the Mary Anne will be glad to hear she’s still lovely. And how lucky for you that you got to go with Carolina!

      Tina

      Like

  6. sandra says:

    Thank you so much for all the information. I didn’t consider a smaller boat because of the motion sickness issue but I shall look up the Mary Anne pronto. Of course, my daughter says she will go on anything that stocks diet coke!!!

    Like

    • Tina says:

      Funny! If she’s even a little bit serious about Diet Coke, you might want to check on that for any boat you choose. I checked with our friend who traveled with us (who also really likes Diet Coke) and she was pretty sure the Mary Anne didn’t have Diet Coke. Perhaps they could arrange to have a special stash on board, if you let them know in advance. (It’s probably a bit expensive, since nothing is bottled in the archipelago–it would have to come from the mainland.) Perhaps the larger boats stock it routinely–so that could be an important consideration!

      Tina

      Like

  7. sandra says:

    Hi. Just beginning to plan (very late, I know) for a trip in January 2014 for my husband, young adult daughter and myself. Cost is not a major issue. Comfort is!! (I am prone to seasickness and am quite anxious to choose the ship that is most comfortable. That being said, of course we are interested in the touring itself and want to make certain we are with qualified guides. We were thinking of the National Geographic tours but I am intrigued by your trip.. Suggestions, please!!!

    Like

    • Tina says:

      Hi, Sandra–

      Most folks who go with NatGeo enjoy their trips, so you probably can’t go wrong with them. The major downside I see with them is that the boats they travel in are large, compared to most of the boats working the waters of the archipelago. (The Islander carries 48 pax; the Endeavour, 96). The intimacy of a smaller boat (e.g., 16 to 32 passengers) is in itself a marvelous experience–intimacy not only with the wildlife but with the crew and your fellow passengers. If you choose one of these 2 boats, I’d vote for the Islander, just for its smaller size. But I’m pretty prejudiced. 😉

      I understand your concern about motion sickness, but consider 2 things. First, Jan. is the beginning of the calm-water season. Of course there are no guarantees–you’re in the ocean, after all!–but Jan. – April have the lowest probabilities for rough water. Even our trip in mid-May had extraordinarily calm waters. So you’ve chosen a month with the least concern for choppy seas. Second, you might consider the Mary Anne, which–as a full-keel sailing craft–will also be extremely stable. (If you haven’t already read it, check out this comment on the home page: https://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/#comment-9892 . My husband, who is a lifelong sailor, spelled out for me his reasons for believing that the Mary Anne is likely more stable than all but the largest boats in the Galápagos. So you can have your cake (stability) and eat it (enjoy a small boat) too. And although she was built to carry 24 passengers, she now carries only 16–lots of common space and places to hang out. Cabins 9 and 10 are especially large–and our bathroom was shockingly large (for a sailboat, that is). She’s a stunning boat run by a reputable long-time-local family–and the family maintains the boat themselves. Many of their crew work only on the Mary Anne (including the delightful barman/head server and our naturalist guide), which tells me that the company finds good people and signs them to long-term contracts–not very common in the archipelago. Pride of ownership shows through on every inch! Of course, it’s getting late for reservations and the Mary Anne may already be full. But Jan. isn’t one of the busiest season, so you might get lucky.

      Don’t hesitate if you have any other questions I might be able to help with.

      Tina

      Like

  8. trialsinfood says:

    Hi there. Just wondering from your experience, did you prefer Mary Anne or Tip Top II? Thank-you!

    Like

    • Tina says:

      Both boats are wonderful. I think the Mary Anne is a bit more expensive than the Tip Top fleet. But if you have the money, I’d vote for the Mary Anne. Since she was built to carry 24 passengers, but now carries only 16, she is much roomier than the TTII. Her common areas are many, large, and comfortable–easy places to chat with fellow passengers or just find a quiet corner. Cabins 9 and 10 are quite large–much larger than the cabin we had on the TTII (Cabin 4). And the bathroom seemed gigantic (for a boat, that is). She’s a beautiful, stunning ship that catches your eye and takes your breath away any time you spot her when you’re on a landing. And, at least on our trip, the captain put up the sails and we sailed under wind power 3 different times–much to my surprise! (Common talk is that sail boats in the archipelago only put up their sails for photo ops. Not so for our trip!) The captain even let my lifelong sailor husband take the “reins” and pilot this gorgeous boat for more than an hour completely under wind power. A true highlight on a trip that was full of highlights.

      The TTII is a lovely boat, no doubt about that. But the Mary Anne was more comfortable and more majestic. Having written that, you can’t go wrong with either one, I’d say.

      Tina

      Like

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