.

Galapagos Journey FAQ´s travel related tips & details

How do I reach the Galápagos Islands?
Firstly, you must fly into one of Ecuador´s international airports - either Quito or Guayaquil. There are flights from Quito (stop in Guayaquil) and Guayaquil to either San Cristobal or Baltra in the Galápagos.

What is the best time to visit the Galapagos?
The Galapagos Islands can be visited at any time of the year. The warmest season is from December to May when there are also the most hours of clear skies. Clear skies however do not guarantee the best wildlife viewing conditions on the islands due to the intensity of the sun. If you are a diver, the best time to visit the Galapagos is from June to November as during these months the water temperature is at its coldest and there is a higher chance of seeing larger schools of hammerheads and even whale sharks.

How long is the flight from Ecuador to Galápagos?
It takes 30 minutes to get from Quito to Guayaquil and about 1 ½  hours from Guayaquil to the Galápagos archipelago.

Are there luggage restrictions on the airplanes?
For flights to the Galápagos, only one checked suitcase (44 lbs.) and one carry-on bag are allowed per passenger
Could you organize our flights to Galápagos/ Ecuador?
Once you book a cruise on board the Galapagos Seaman Journey we will automatically book a flight to the Galápagos Islands for you and issue your tickets. It is required that passengers arrive in Ecuador at least one day before the departure date of the cruise, however if possible we would recommend 2 days.
 You can book your flight to Ecuador with your local tour operator.

Can you arrange a hotel and other tour reservations for us in Ecuador?
Of course, your local tour operator can do this for you. We are happy to arrange any other tour reservation for you but you must request it from your tour operator or travel agent first.
We offer day trips as well as round trips and our programs include trekking tours, jungle tours, river rafting, horseback riding, climbing, mountain biking, culture trips and bird watching. You tour operator or travel agent can also book a hotel, hacienda or lodge for you.

Which regulations do we have to obey on the islands?
To preserve the fragile environment of the national park and marine reserve please listen carefully to the orders of your guide. In addition, we ask you not to take any food items to the islands, not to throw litter, not to touch or feed the animals, never to leave the trail paths and not to remove anything from the islands (either plants or animals), as photographs are the best souvenirs!
For a more comprehensive list of regulations, view the Galapagos National Park rules:

http://www.galapagospark.org/onecol.php?page=turismo_reglas_visitantes

What is not included in cruise the price?
Not included in the cruise price is: the national park entrance fee (100 USD per person that is paid in cash at the airport in Galápagos), airport taxes, drinks (except water, tea and coffee), tips, snorkeling equipment and wet suits (depending on the ship), travel insurance and the flight from Ecuador to Galápagos and back.

Are there any immunizations that are required/recommended?
For Galápagos itself there no immunizations that are either required or recommended.  However, if you plan to spend more time in Ecuador, especially in the jungle, immunization is recommended. As this changes from time to time please check with your local health office a few weeks in advance of your trip.
 
What do I need to bring?
You will need your passport, cash (US Dollars) and your credit card is also recommended.
As the Galápagos Islands are located right on the equatorial line, the weather is usually nice and warm so it is advisable to bring mainly light clothes and just a few warmer ones for the evenings or if it starts raining.  You should also bring rain gear and one or two bathing suits for swimming.

You might want to bring a small bag for the excursions, a water bottle and at least two pairs of walking shoes (one might get wet when you have to step into water to get ashore). The sun on the equator is really strong, so make sure to bring sunblock (at least SPF 30) as well as sunglasses and a hat.
As it can be relatively difficult to buy things on the islands, you should not count on being able to buy things there. It’s a good idea to bring enough film and batteries for your camera because they are more expensive on the Islands and the films are often not of a very good quality. Do not forget your camera as you will really regret it!
Insect repellant, a travel alarm clock, binoculars and a flashlight are also items that may come in handy.

Is there a dress code onboard?
On the Journey fleet clothing is totally informal. At night you may want to wear long sleeve shirts and casual slacks. Remember it is an expedition cruise.

Can I smoke onboard or on the islands?
It is not permitted to smoke in the cabins or on the islands. However, you can smoke on specified deck areas.
What is the currency in Galapagos?
The currency in Galapagos is the same as that of mainland Ecuador:  US Dollar.

What do I do if I run out of cash?
There is a “Banco de Pacifico” in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) and Puerto Baquerizo (San Cristobal)  Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:00am - 3:30pm. The ATM accepts only Mastercard and Cirrus (operates 7:00am – 11:30pm) but does not always work.

What is the electric current onboard?
110V, 60 Hz in cabins and passenger areas. 220V outlets are available on certain parts of the boat.
Is it possible to make phone calls to my home country?
Our Journey fleet is equipped with a cell phone that enables us to contact the mainland in cases of emergency.  All our cruise ships have a stopover in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) where it is possible to make international phone calls and/or use an internet café to send emails. Cell phones work in the Galapagos on certain Islands and visitor sites, usually on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal you will be able to get signal, so you could always bring your own cell phone if it works on international roaming.

Are children allowed on board?
We do not recommend that children under the age of 7 participate in a Journey cruise as the strict regulations on the islands are not adequate for them. However, we will embark all children under the age of 18 under the sole responsibility of their parents or legal guardians.

Are single or triple suites available?
Yes, single and triple suites are available at an additional charge.
Do you have to be in a certain physical condition?
Some of the trails on the islands are quite rough so passengers should be in a relatively good physical condition. You should be able to walk a mile unassisted, and be able to climb steps.
Are there medical services available?
Only first aid is available on Galápagos but all vessels do have radio contact with the mainland in case of emergency. There are no hospitals on the islands so in the case of a serious illness you would have to return to mainland.

Is seasickness common?
Most people are not affected by seasickness but the constant motion of the ship might bother you, especially if we happen to encounter rough seas. So if you are prone to seasickness you should take some medication, just in case.
Are you able to cater for people with special dietary requests?
Yes, just let us know about 2 weeks in advance and we will arrange a special diet for you.

How much should we tip the guide and the crew?
Tipping primarily is a personal matter. However, in Galápagos tipping the guide and crew is very common and if you want to be polite you should look to tip around 8-10% of your cruise price all in all.
What kind of guides does the Galapagos Journey fleet use?
Naturalist level ll and lll guides who have been trained by the Charles Darwin Station and licensed by the Galapagos National Park accompany all boats.  All of our guides speak English and have a thorough knowledge of the wildlife of Galápagos.

Are there wet landings?
A small zodiac takes you from the yacht to the shore on the expeditions.  There are some landings that are “dry”, meaning you can step directly onto land whether it is volcanic rock or sand.   Likewise, there are also some wet landings, meaning that you will have to wade ashore in shallow water (being anything from ankle to knee-deep). The water may splash so you should pack your camera and other valuables in a plastic bag.

What documents are required?
According to Ecuadorian Immigration regulations, every foreign passenger entering the Country must have a passport that is valid for more than 6 months from the day of arrival to Ecuador.