tortoise cruises

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tortoise cruises

Postby bkennedy450 » Sat May 12, 2012 12:06 pm

help! can anyone tell me for certain that the tortoise cruises are legit? seems like a good way for me as they furnish food water etc. are the tickets legit? any help appreciated thanks, bkennedy450 (at) gmail (dot) com
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby International Incident » Sat May 12, 2012 3:30 pm

Green tortoise ( I assume this is what you mean?) are a legit operator. A friend of mine used them in 2010 and he had a great time. They mainly cater to overseas people who need help with the logistics etc. you will get all kinds of stick from some people about using them - but they are not like the RV plug and play $$$ mobs. You do stay in a tent and they do help you with food and water. From what I've heard they try to encourage participation.

And no - I've no affiliation - just repeating what I've heard.

And take your bloody em address of your post ya goose. Do you want to get spammed.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby CornMan » Sat May 12, 2012 6:00 pm

I've been on a few of their adventure travel trips. We named our son after Jimmy, one of the drivers. I visited the GT camp at BM last year. It mainly seemed to be a bunch of couples, individuals, and small groups of people who mainly keep to themselves. Their central chill area feels a lot like Center Camp really. They are not at the festival from start to finish. I think the longest they offer is 5 days. They've been involved with BM for so long that I think they are grandfathered in. I believe they get placement even though they do not reach out and interact with those who are not one of their clients.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Drawingablank » Sat May 12, 2012 6:05 pm

Aren't they also the ones that offer the Gerlach shuttle bus service.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby TomServo » Sat May 12, 2012 6:47 pm

Yes...and previously, a stop in Empire. What ever happened to that store? I assume it closed down finally..?
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby CornMan » Sat May 12, 2012 7:02 pm

Drawingablank wrote:Aren't they also the ones that offer the Gerlach shuttle bus service.


Yes, I believe they do. Is it for a fee?
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby TomServo » Sat May 12, 2012 7:40 pm

It cost $5 last time I took it. And it's a good 2 hour trip.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Drawingablank » Sat May 12, 2012 9:35 pm

I thought it was 20.00 these days, but I'm not 100% sure of that.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby TomServo » Sat May 12, 2012 10:28 pm

could be...was $20 to drive out in your personal vehicle
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Coastburner » Sat May 12, 2012 11:55 pm

Green Tortoise is how I got introduced to Burning Man. This will be my 10th year going to BM and all on Green Tortoise. My first year, I was supposed to go with a buddy in an RV but 2 weeks before BM, he bailed. I was so bummed out as I had spent 3 months looking at the BM site and trying to learn as much as I could in regards to what to do and what to expect. On Sunday night, the day before BM opened, I saw a link on the BM homepage that said you could get a ride up on the Green Tortoise. I called them in the morning and found out they had one seat left. I took it. I didn't know anyone but out of the 150 or so people that went up on the Tortoise, I made some amazing friends that I still have to this day. The Tortoise is amazing. The whole crew not only participates in BM but really helps out the BM virgins including people from all over the world. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I'm so glad Lyle, who owns the Green Tortoise, Shaunna, the drivers and everyone else that makes this BM Green Tortoise trip possible were there for me when my buddy bailed. I read a lot about what to expect, self-reliance, etc. but they really embraced everyone that came up on the Tortoise and helped the newbies really embrace and participate in BM. Over the years, it’s true, I’ve seen a few people that rarely left camp but the other 99% embraces BM. I’ve seen some amazing transformations of people that came up on the Tortoise reserved, cautious and frankly a little scared. A day or two later, they’re telling amazing stories of what they saw, who they met and what they experienced. A lot of people that come up on the Tortoise are from other countries and getting to BM is a challenge. The Tortoise helped make their goal possible. I’ve seen people from Germany, Iceland, London, France, Japan and other countries that flew over to the US just to go to BM and if it wasn’t for the Green Tortoise, it would have been extremely difficult for them to make it happen. I’m not trying to sell the Green Tortoise but just sharing my experience which has been amazing through the years. I can’t tell you how much BM changed my life and opened up a whole new world for me. I may have made it to BM at some point but if it hadn’t been for the Green Tortoise, I would probably be like a lot of people I talk to that say, “Oh yeah, for sure, I’m definitely going next year” . Instead of looking at the BM website 10 years later, I’ve been participating for the last 10 years.

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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Coastburner » Sun May 13, 2012 12:01 am

Just to clarify, I was familiar with Burning Man but Green Tortoise really let me get there and embrace it.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby jkisha » Sun May 13, 2012 12:15 am

Bus ticket is $10.00. John and I volunteer there.

And I have heard nothing but good things about Green Tortoise.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby fenwick » Tue May 15, 2012 1:01 am

Went last year (2011) and had a blast ever since we started gathering at the parking lots for boarding the buses.

It can be a party on wheels so do not expect much rest either way.

Frequent leg stretching stops and chance to grab a quick smoke and one "meal break" in Reno.

A majority of those traveling this way are internationals. But as above, there are a number of repeat Bay Area Burners as well.

Upon arrival, set up camp, the staff leads the volunteers from the group in meal prep, and the meals are high class with many vegan opportunities.

They provide water and food on site, but no water for actual shower. Reserved space is near a bank of port-a-potties but not next to them.

They provide "communal" shelter (volunteers help assemble) as well as communication and message boards.

For an extra fee - they will transport a bike in a truck to the playa.

I have not checked myself, but one can purchase just a ride without a BM ticket (but you will need that ticket upon arrival) or they do sell a complete package (ride and ticket). Remember the cost of food is in addition to (about $85 US)

Prices might be steep - but if you have made the trip before on your own, one can appreciate the amenities of a nice comfy large buss that someone else is driving, as well as providing some necessary items and volunteer community energy to prepare all meals (must provide tent sleeping bag etc etc).

I traveled with perhaps all the Auzzies (they never stopped partying) that were at last year's burn, along with new German friends and folks in the Bay Area I never met before - so the entire adventure is worth it if you are "in a jam".
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue May 15, 2012 9:35 am

Since at least one member of this board is a) Australian, b) a 2011 attendee, and c) a member of BDC&WB, I think we can say that not all Australians were associated with Green Tortoise camp last year.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Borris » Tue May 15, 2012 4:13 pm

one thing that I still don't understand is how do they have tickets to the event itself (unless they were issued tickets as part of the 10K allocation).
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby wraith » Wed May 16, 2012 6:19 am

Borris wrote:one thing that I still don't understand is how do they have tickets to the event itself (unless they were issued tickets as part of the 10K allocation).


Pre-sale or flooding the lottery, same as anyone else. Easy as pie to simply put in a bunch of entries, then cap your number of trips with tickets on offer at the number of tickets you score.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Straightveg » Wed May 16, 2012 7:59 am

wraith wrote:
Borris wrote:one thing that I still don't understand is how do they have tickets to the event itself (unless they were issued tickets as part of the 10K allocation).


Pre-sale or flooding the lottery, same as anyone else. Easy as pie to simply put in a bunch of entries, then cap your number of trips with tickets on offer at the number of tickets you score.


Or you could be dealing with a scammer attempting to sound legit by using the tortoise name. Be very careful and make sure you're dealing with the official Green Tortoise. Personally, I'd be skeptical of anyone offering tickets with a package deal.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby trilobyte » Wed May 16, 2012 8:21 am

Green Tortoise was not given any kind of ticket allotment.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Borris » Wed May 16, 2012 8:40 am

Straightveg wrote:
wraith wrote:
Borris wrote:one thing that I still don't understand is how do they have tickets to the event itself (unless they were issued tickets as part of the 10K allocation).


Pre-sale or flooding the lottery, same as anyone else. Easy as pie to simply put in a bunch of entries, then cap your number of trips with tickets on offer at the number of tickets you score.


Or you could be dealing with a scammer attempting to sound legit by using the tortoise name. Be very careful and make sure you're dealing with the official Green Tortoise. Personally, I'd be skeptical of anyone offering tickets with a package deal.


straightveg, I'm not dealing with them. I've solved my personal ticket situation. but on their official site they are stating that they have tickets for package buying customers, this sounds somewhat strange to me with the current ticket situation.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Savannah » Thu May 17, 2012 10:51 am

I suspect that it's outdated information. They have sold tickets in the past.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby dragonpilot » Sat May 19, 2012 3:36 pm

As long as you're on their website...greentortoise.com...you'll get the straight skinny. They do have tickets available as part of their 5 or 7 day package trips...so they say.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Savannah » Sat May 19, 2012 3:43 pm

Anyone want to write and see? :D

I just doubt it. It's really hard to imagine they wouldn't be completely sold out--months ago.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Isotopia » Sat May 19, 2012 7:11 pm

What she said.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby jkisha » Sat May 19, 2012 7:29 pm

Savannah wrote:Anyone want to write and see? :D

I just doubt it. It's really hard to imagine they wouldn't be completely sold out--months ago.

Don't forget, they run the bus that goes into town during the event for BMORG, so I wouldn't be totally surprised that they worked out some sort of arrangements for tickets to resell.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby fenwick » Sun May 20, 2012 2:58 am

GT does not re-sell - they only complete the package, meaning that the ticket is extra - not sure of the cost, to the other packages, and the extra food cost. They also charge extra for hauling larger loads and bikes. What good is selling spaces on a bus for burningman, when you cannot offer a package including tickets. Once the lottery was revealed, many jumped on GT spaces fast and furious as it was a sure shot way "home". 2011, they had 6 buses from the Bay Area, and a couple from the mid-west. Not the most comfy / cozy buses, but can be tolerated for the 8 - 12 hours from Berkeley to Playa

As GT does provide the buss service to town from Wednesday thru Saturday, no surprise the BMORG makes them an offer of tickets to complete packages. After all, they are providing a service to the community for those people whom feel a need to toss money into a bucket for a ride into town, (Not sure if staff tickets are "granted" or purchased).

You can join the GT with your own ticket in hand or at waiting for you at will call.

This is not a scam organization, they have been providing bus tours across the US for years, including ventures into Alaska and Baja, Mexico. Not too omit 3-week trips across the country.

They also run a number of hostiles on the west coast. (San Fransisco, Seattle, Portland) They cater more to International travelers who venture from home as a group to the playa. They include a week on the playa on their various adventures of numerous weeks as they enjoy (then) a much stronger Euro to the dollar. This is not plug and play as some might believe. Food (3 meals a day) are prepared by volunteers and led by staff members. They get no special rights, no special seating. They are located on the playa in an area where the buses can maneuver easily. The only "pass" they get is on Monday morning - instead of the Exodus line, they get led out via a service road, as buses standing in line engine running, not moving is a bad idea for the bus, and the driver can only drive a limited number of hours per day.

Got further questions, try the 1-800 phone number and talk to them.... I am sure they are listed in Chamber of Commerce and BBB reports for the intelligent consumer to research and might find nothing but praises on what they offer the backpack traveler.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby gyre » Sun May 20, 2012 7:47 pm

Why would you only go weds to sat?
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby fenwick » Mon May 21, 2012 1:25 am

gyre: Why would you only go weds to sat?


The GT runs a bus from Black Rock City to the nearest town for folks whom ran out of band-aids and need more.

Seriously, some people for as many reasons, need to make a trip to town, you can either drive (pay exit tax) or ride the GT bus (pay exit tax)

Those whom require such a service, can make arrangements within the center camp area.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby gyre » Mon May 21, 2012 3:19 am

I thought you were saying the time in The City was from weds to sat.

Looking at the site, for five or seven days, weds or friday morning to sunday 5 pm.
I would hate to miss monday and tuesday.


Sure costs more than I thought.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby gyre » Mon May 21, 2012 4:05 am

This advice seems a little off.

"Instead of money, bartering is big on the Playa. Bring trinkets to trade and gift to people. "


The handiwipe disposal protocols aren't mentioned either.
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Re: tortoise cruises

Postby Savannah » Mon May 21, 2012 11:54 am

fenwick wrote:GT does not re-sell - they only complete the package, meaning that the ticket is extra - not sure of the cost, to the other packages, and the extra food cost. They also charge extra for hauling larger loads and bikes. What good is selling spaces on a bus for burningman, when you cannot offer a package including tickets.


Actually, their service is useful for folks with tickets who are:

* International travelers without camp affiliations, or pre-existing social connections.
* Folks without driver's licenses traveling alone.

I fell into the 2nd category 2004-2007, and would have traveled with Green Tortoise if I'd known about it then.

Once the lottery was revealed, many jumped on GT spaces fast and furious as it was a sure shot way "home". 2011, they had 6 buses from the Bay Area, and a couple from the mid-west. Not the most comfy / cozy buses, but can be tolerated for the 8 - 12 hours from Berkeley to Playa

As GT does provide the buss service to town from Wednesday thru Saturday, no surprise the BMORG makes them an offer of tickets to complete packages.


Burning Man did not give them a theme camp ticket allocation, as previously stated by Trilobyte.

After all, they are providing a service to the community for those people whom feel a need to toss money into a bucket for a ride into town, (Not sure if staff tickets are "granted" or purchased).


Some Staff tickets are gifts, some are purchased, depending on the department and the volunteer. (This is irrelevant, however, as Green Tortoise and their travelers are not Staff.)

You can join the GT with your own ticket in hand or at waiting for you at will call.

This is not a scam organization, they have been providing bus tours across the US for years, including ventures into Alaska and Baja, Mexico. Not too omit 3-week trips across the country.


I'm not saying they're a scam organization whatsoever. I've linked to GT for international travelers at least half a dozen times.

I'm saying: that I think the information about them having tickets to sell is probably outdated (2011 info, or early 2012 info).

If GT has tickets left, people would have purchased those several months ago. One cannot purchase the ticket without also paying hundreds more for the fee, but since the fee = food, water, and transport, the price is arguably a bargain . . . provided one doesn't mind missing 2 days of the event. Missing 2 days is better than missing all 7.

It's likely that Green Tortoise doesn't have tickets left at this late date. However, anyone who thinks otherwise should immediately give them a call and see. It can't hurt.
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