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Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

Phoenix, Arizona
5 posts
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Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

Yesterday morning I took the 6am ferry to Santa Cruz from Isabella, and when I arrived at the Santa Cruz port my bag was nowhere to be found. Here's exactly what happened: I boarded the water taxi to head to the ferry "Gladel". My lost bag was on the water taxi along with all the other passengers luggage. When we arrived at the boat it was almost full, I was one of the few who stepped on and before I knew it the water taxi left to drop the others off at a different boat. I didn't think much of it as I expereined this before and I knew all the boats where heading to Santa Cruz. When I arrived at Santa Cruz, my bag was not there. I waited for every boat and it never showed up. After scrambling to find it and working with the police and the agency I booked my tours/ferrys through for about 2-3 hours, I had to give up as I had a 12:45 flight to Quito.

Unfortunately, my passport was in my bag along with $1,500+ worth of items including my laptop. I had to change/cancel multiple flights and get a temporary passport today in Quito at the US Embassy. All in all this will set me back multiple thousands of dollars. I'm sill in contact with the tour agency I was working with and they said they would let me know if anything comes up, but I am very doubtful.

My questions are:

1) Is there anything I can do in this situation? Could the ferry company be liable for my bag?

2) What could have possibly happened to my bag? I'm guessing it was somehow stolen, but I'm not sure who could have possibly done that?

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

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Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Quito
Quito
Pichincha Province, Ecuador
12 replies to this topic
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67 posts
27 reviews
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1. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

I'm really sorry this happened to you. One thing I can tell you: Don't wait for the agency to contact you. You need to be calling over and over to get any news about it. Galapagos is a small place your bag must be somewhere there. And you're right all the ferries only go to Santa Cruz from Isabela. Dont

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Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Isabela
Isabela
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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67 posts
27 reviews
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2. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

I wasn't finished yet. Don't give up Mike and always hope for the best.

Lesson for other travelers, watch your luggage all the time.

Phoenix, Arizona
5 posts
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3. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

Thanks for the reply. One of the big issues is I speak no Spanish, and it was impossible to find anyone that worked with the ferry that spoke English. I don't think the tour agency I booked the ferry from would be liable since I just bought the ticket from them? The guy that worked there was very helpful, but I'm at a loss at who to contact/what to do at this point. Even the police didn't do much and didn't speak English so it was incredibly difficult for me to get anywhere with them.

Quito, Ecuador
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639 posts
52 reviews
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4. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

Did your bag make it onto the ferry? It's not clear from your description, but it sounds like you got off the water taxi and onto the ferry, and the water taxi just left (with your bag).

Phoenix, Arizona
5 posts
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5. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

The water taxi left with my bag, but it was full of other passengers who were being loaded onto another boat because the one I loaded onto was almost full. I was towards the end of the boat, so the person on the ferry motioned me and one other person to load on and shortly after the taxi left. I'm not sure what boat it went to which made things difficult. That being said, all of the boats were going to Santa Cruz and leaving at the same time so the bag should have arrived regardless of what boat it was on. My only theories are it was either stolen by the water taxi operator that noticed I boarded without my bag, or it was stolen off the dock of Santa Cruz if it got there before me and someone noticed it sitting there unattended. I doubt it was lost as it would probably have been found by now, a lot of people were notified it was missing and they contacted employees at the Isabella dock who confirmed it was not there.

I realize it was a big mistake to not assure my bag was on the boat, but it happened so quickly and I was just doing what I was instructed.

Edited: 08 June 2018, 09:08
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Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
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639 posts
52 reviews
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6. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

If you have no proof it ever went on to a ferry, I think you will struggle to argue that the ferry company has any liability. Can you identify which water taxi you were on?

Canada
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103 posts
16 reviews
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7. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

It is a terrible situation and I am very sorry this happened to you. :( I don’t think Gladel or the travel agency is liable though. Could it be that another tourist took your bag by mistake?

What does your bag look like? Do you have a photo of it? Maybe you could ask a Spanish speaking friend or someone from the agency to help you write a description of the situation and post it on some local Facebook groups?

Phoenix, Arizona
5 posts
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8. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

I don't remember the name of the water taxi unfortunately. All I know is the name of the ferry which is Gladel.

Phoenix, Arizona
5 posts
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9. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

I thought that someone taking it by mistake could have been a possibility, but I would imagine if that was the case they would have discovered their error and reported it by now. The local police were informed along with the ferry company and many local employees at the dock. Posting in Facebook groups is a good idea, I'll do that asap. Thanks!

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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3,450 posts
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10. Re: Lost/stolen bag on Galápagos ferry

Dear Mike,

unless i) you had a clear tag on the bag with your name and contact info and ii) someone who is very honest and caring about a lost bag takes it upon themselves to contact you and help you retrieve it, I would consider the bag a write off. Liability is moot - what can you do, get a lawyer to sue the mom & pop ferry company in Galapagos?

You can only cross your fingers and hope that points i and ii above applied to your case I fear.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

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