What physical condition is required for the cruise?
Elderly people and people with physical problems could have difficulties when going on some excursions. Visitors should be in reasonably good physical condition because some of the hikes include some climbing in hot weather.
However most of the hikes require moderate physical activity at a moderate pace, during this time our guides will describe what you are seeing on the islands.
How long do the excursions last?
Visits to the islands last 2 to 4 hours, this enables passengers to finish their excursion and have free time to explore the authorized areas always accompanied by our guides.
How late are the social areas open?
The hours of operations of our social areas are as follows: Solarium can be accessed until 24h00, hot tub area from 10h00 to 23h00. Library is open 24/7. Hospital is open 24/7 as well. Massage services are available previous appointment..
What should I bring for hikes?
For short hikes we recommend wearing comfortable clothes: shorts, bathing suits, hats, sun-block, sneakers (avoid using new ones), windbreaker jacket, binoculars and camera..
What difficulties could arise while snorkeling?
Snorkeling requires some physical and mental preparation. If you do not have experience with this activity your guide will show you the basics. A life vest will be provided. You will need to sign a release form before practicing the activity.
What happens during the excursions to the islands?
You must stay on the trail marked by the Galapagos National Park and maintain a moderate pace on the islands. The guides will explain the landscape and any unusual activities.
What safety tips can you offer prior to snorkeling or diving?
Diving and snorkeling require some physical and mental preparation. It is important to listen carefully to the instructions given by the guides.
You must keep in mind that marine currents in Galapagos can be treacherous especially when you are in the open sea. You must be extremely careful when you engage in repeated immersions. Water visibility can change quickly from clear to dark especially in the first 50 feet making you lose your points of reference. Wetsuits are a must especially for those who are diving from July to November.
I’m not sure I can go on the hikes, what can I do?
If you are worried about your ability to perform any of the hikes please talk to our coordinator guide before the excursion. Our Coordinator guide will give you an alternative program so you can enjoy your stay to the fullest.
Do you provide the snorkeling equipment?
Masks, fins and wetsuits in average sizes are available for rent during the entire cruise.
When are meals served?
Meals require informal attire and are served in our dinning room. Meal times may vary slightly but they are usually served as follows: Breakfast is served at 7h00, Lunch at 12h30 and dinner at 20h00. We offer international cuisine and Ecuadorian specialties. Delicious snacks are available after the excursions.
Is it safe to drink the water onboard?
Yes, the water onboard is filtered and purified by an inverse osmosis system; it also has an ozone filter that ensures its drinkabilty. We guarantee the quality of our water without harming the ecosystem.
I require a special diet during the cruise, what should I do?
If you are vegetarian or allergic to certain foods; feel free to notify your requirements to your travel agent at least 30 days prior to your cruise.
When you receive your cruise documents you will also receive a registration card. This should be filled in with personal information, food allergies, special food requirements, or special diets. This card should be given to the waiter the first day of the cruise.
What is the difference among the suites?
The Renaissance and Deluxe with balcony categories offer private balconies, in addition to the amenities of the other categories. They are located in the upper decks. The Premium and Classic suites are similar in their distribution, decoration and amenities but they are located on different decks. All the cabins have panoramic windows, except for the Classic Magellan suites which have portholes.
How big are the beds?
The single and queen bed are 2,10 x 1,60 meters and the twin bed is 2,10 x 0,80 meters.
Is there a safety box inside the suites?
There is a safety box which can only be opened with the room key that you’ll receive upon arrival. This service is free of charge.
Are there single and triple accommodations available?
Yes, you can request them to the Reservations Department of Canodros S.A. You may get: Renaissance, Deluxe Balcony, Premium or Classic suites.
Do all suites have windows?
Yes all suites have windows. Suites in the Magellan deck have port holes; suites in the other decks have windows.
How do I pay the Galapagos National Park Tax?
You need to have your passport, the transit control card from Ingala, and cash to pay the Galapagos National Park tax. The park authorities will receive the payment at your arrival and will give you the receipt.
What’s the distance from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands?
The distance between Guayaquil and San Cristobal is 572 miles.
When is the best time to visit the Galapagos islands?
Galapagos is a sub-tropical destination. Most seabirds and reptiles nest throughout the year, which is why you can see the courtship, mating, and hatchings at any time of the year.
How many tourists travel to Galapagos annually?
150.000 tourists from around the world visit the islands every year. You can find detailed statistics of visitors in the Galapagos National Park web site.
In what time zone are the Galapagos?
Ecuador is located in the oriental time zone (GMT -5 in mainland). The Galapagos is one hour less than Ecuador mainland time. On board we use continental time.
It is possible to encounter rough seas or bad weather?
Due to strong currents, you may experience moderate movements while the ship is sailing. Most passengers are not affected by this but if you get dizzy easily; we recommend bringing medication to prevent discomfort or sea sickness
What is the weather like?
There are two seasons with some rainfall. Galapagos has a precipitation of 10 inches per year, and it is not considered a rainy area. From December to May fresh currents decrease and the temperature rises as the weather is warm and sunny, with occasional drizzle. In June the temperature decreases with moderate breezes, which continue until November, this period is also called "Garua". (Drizzle).
When do I receive my travel documents?
In Quito and Guayaquil airports our representatives will give you all the cruise documents and important information regarding the cruise. Our staff will be located at the domestic departure counters one hour and forty five minutes before your flight departure.
Do I need a passport or visa to go to Galapagos?
You will need your passport. Your travel agency will tell you if you need a visa to travel to Ecuador.
Who will receive me at the Galapagos airport?
Upon your arrival to Puerto Baquerizo or Baltra in San Cristobal or Baltra airport, passengers will be received by our guides (they’ll have a sign with the GEII logo) and then transferred to the ship in private buses. Once you are on board you will receive orientation and safety instructions.
Is there a baggage allowance?
The local airline that operates the flight to San Cristobal and Baltra allows a maximum baggage weight of 20 kilos (approximately 44 pounds). We recommend locking your luggage.
How do I pay for my personal expenses on board?
On board expenses can be paid in US dollars, American Express, Visa and Master Card are accepted on board. For payments in cash, bills under US$50.00 American dollars will be accepted.
How do I pay for the cruise?
Payments can be made by electronic transfer directly to our bank or by credit card. Please check with you travel agency for accepted credit cards.
When should I book my cruise?
We recommend that you book your cruise at least six months before the departure date, and twelve months ahead during major holidays.
Is there a senior discount?
We do not offer any type of discount.
Is there something else I should know?
The terms and conditions of the cruise contract can be found on the cruise ticket. The information applies to the passengers and their luggage. You should read the terms and conditions carefully before accepting the contract.
How are the transfers and landings to the island excursions?
The passengers are transferred to the islands in zodiacs, small boats, or dinghies (locally called “Pangas”). Landings can be wet or dry. Zodiacs usually go to the nearest point ashore letting the passengers disembark. There will always be someone to help when disembarking.
What are the arrival and departure days?
Cruise A: operates form Wednesday to Saturday.
Cruise B: operates from Saturday to Wednesday.
Cruise C: operates from Wednesday to Wednesday.
Cruise D: operates from Saturday to Saturday.
Is the cruise itinerary subject to change?
Cruise programs, flights and connections are followed as scheduled in the contract unless the Galapagos National Park director changes the cruise itinerary, in this case the cruise captain will choose another direction, ports of call and maritime routes that will be most beneficial for the passengers and the ship, however this would not mean that the cruise has not fulfilled the contract.
Can children travel?
Children under 7 are not allowed on board and people under 18 must be accompanied an adult.
Are tickets and transfers included in the cruise rate?
Airfare is not included but we can include and issue the ticket. Airfare is subject to change, we’ll provide you with the fare when you book your cruise. Transfers are not included in the cruise rate but we can offer the service at an additional cost.
What does the cruise rate include?
The cruise rate includes excursions on the islands and activities during the trip. Guided visits to the islands, lectures and conferences instructed by our expert guides. All onboard meals are included. Pre-boarding material such as Galapagos explorer’s guide. Land transportation and luggage transportation on the islands, airports and the ship.
What is not included?
Air fare, fuel surcharge (June 2008 to December 2009) Galapagos National Park tax, Galapagos transit control card, governmental departure taxes, overweight luggage charges, and all the personal expenses such as laundry, mini-bar, phone calls, internet, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, wine and Champagne, boutique purchases, massage service, photography service and gratuities for the crew members that serve you on board. (we will give some tipping recommendations)
How much should I tip?
Our recommendation is US $6, 00 per night per person, this will be distributed among the guides, and US $12, 00 per night per person to be distributed among the ship’s crew.
How long is the flight from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal or Baltra?
The flight from Quito stops in Guayaquil and lasts thirty minutes. From Guayaquil to San Cristobal or Baltra the flight lasts an hour and thirty minutes approximately..
What airline takes me to Galapagos?
All the international connections are to mainland Ecuador. The passengers of the Galapagos Explorer II are automatically confirmed in a flight to the Galapagos Islands. Once your cruise has been booked we will take care of booking your local flight to Galapagos, for more information consult your travel agency.