Which different classes of boat are available?

We divide yachts into the following 6 classes:

• Tourist
• Tourist Superior
• FirstClass
• Luxury
• CruiseShips
• Diving

What types of cabin are available on yachts?

This varies greatly so it is best to check out individual yacht pages on our website for more information.

I’m travelling alone. Should I share a room or pay a single supplement?

Actually you can do either of the above. As long as you are willing to share your cabin with a stranger then there is no extra charge to the regular prices quoted on our website, and the boat operator will always try to match you together with somebody of the same gender (although this is not 100% guaranteed). If you do not wish to share your cabin with a stranger then you can choose to pay a single supplement to have the cabin to yourself – ask us the cost in each case as it varies by yacht but expect to pay between 60 and 100% extra.

What on-board services do the yachts offer?

Again this varies greatly by boat so please check the individual boat pages for more information.

When is the best time to book my Galapagos cruise?

Galapagos cruise availabilities are limited all year round so we usually recommend to plan as far ahead as possible. This is especially true if you plan to travel July, August, Christmas, New year or Easter when spaces are often fully-booked out well in advance.

 If your trip to Galapagos is intended to be a dream holiday for you and you would like a wide choice of yachts available to choose between then it is best to contact us between 3 and 12 months prior to travel.

If you have more flexibility in your plans in terms of yacht choice and travel date and are looking for a bargain then contact us 1 week before your date of travel and we will always try to find the best late deal available for you. This approach does, however, carry with it a much greater risk – you may get lucky and hook-up an awesome late deal or you may get unlucky and find that no good cruises are available at such short notice.

When are last minute prices available?

Typically from 2 to1 week before a cruise departure date.

Can I just head out to Puerto Ayora and book there?

It is possible to do this and there are agencies based at Puerto Ayora that can help you. You must be extremely flexible in your travel plans though as you will have to wait around in port until suitable cruise spaces become available – this may take only 1 day or may take over 1 week.

When is high season at Galapagos?

High season in terms of most popular month to travel to Galapagos and highest tourist volumes is in July, August, Easter, Christmas and new year.

 In terms of flight bookings high season runs from 15th June to 14th September and from 1st November to 30th April.

Different boats also have different definitions of high and low season, and some yachts run on just one season the whole year through. Check individual boat prices for each different definition.

What is included / excluded in a cruise?

Inclusions:

• Accommodationon twin-share basis
• 3 meals per day from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on final day
• All excursions as listed in the itinerary
• English-speaking naturalist guide
• Drinking water / tea / coffee (Not in bottles)
• Pickup and dropoff at the airport in Galapagos Exclusions:

• Air fare from mainland Ecuador
• Nationalparkentrancefee
• Visa control card
• Tipsto guide and crew
• Drinks from the boat bar
• Other personal expenses
• Dive immersions (optional)

In addition each yacht has it’s own policy on rental of snorkeling equipment – check individual boat pages for more information. There may be occasional variation to the above list depending on which yacht you are travelling on.

How much should I tip to the guide and crew?

The most important thing to remember is to never feel pressured to give any particular amount – tips are after all not an obligation but a reward to staff for good service. You can discuss tips with fellow passengers, and should remember that Galapagos guides actually receive an extremely high wage already in comparison to other Ecuadorians.

 

Tips are usually split between guide and the crew so you can choose different amounts to give to different people if you wish, or just give one amount to be shared equally between all crew.

As a general guide Travel Galapagos consider the following amounts to be suitable for tips:

4 days 5 days 8 days
Tourist – Tourist Superior $15 – 30 $20 – 50 $25 – 50
FirstClass $20 – 50 $30 – 75 $40 – 100
CruiseShips&Luxury $35 – 75 $50 – 100 $60 – 150

(Suggested amounts are per passenger and to be split according to personal preference between guide and crew).

Occasionally the boat guide or captain may pressure passengers to tip more than this but we urge our clients only to give what they feel to be appropriate and not to feel uneasy if giving less than is suggested.

Is the drinking water aboard a yacht safe to drink?

Yes.

How much do drinks cost at the yacht bar?

Prices vary by yacht and are certainly more expensive on the first and luxury cruises. As a general idea beer and soft drinks should cost approximately between $2.50 and $3.5 while wine and cocktails are usually a little more expensive.

Can I take my own food/drink aboard?

Most yachts prohibit taking your own alcoholic drinks aboard but provided that you exercise tact and caution then the crew will often turn a blind eye to it, i.e. drink your drinks privately some nights and buy drinks from the bar on other nights.

 Only wrapped foods such as chocolate bars can be taken into the National Park and wrappers should always be properly disposed of after use.

Can a yacht cater for vegetarians and/or special food requests?

Yes, provided that you let Travel Galapagos know in advance then we will always communicate this to the boat operator to ensure that the yacht chef is prepared to cater for vegetarians as well as any type of food allergy.

 Please remember though that South America does not typically cater very well for vegetarians, but most yacht chefs will do their best for you.

How do I meet the guide/yacht in Galapagos?

If you are flying from mainland Ecuador on the first day of the cruise then it is really very simple – the guide will be waiting for you at the arrivals area of the airport.

 

If you are already in Galapagos some days prior to the start of the cruise then ask Travel Galapagos how, when and where to meet your guide. Usually you will have to return to the airport to meet him/her.

Do yachts have electricity points aboard?

This depends upon which yacht you are travelling on – most of the more modern boats do have US-style 2-prong 110V electricity points, while some of the older yachts do not.

What is the smoking policy on yachts?

Smoking is strictly prohibited in cabins and inside the yacht. Passengers may only smoke on deck and should be respectful of other non-smoking passengers.

Can children/babies travel on a cruise?

Each yacht has it’s own policy for children/babies – ask Travel Galapagos if you are planning to travel with your young family and we will recommend a suitable yacht.

What happens in the case of mechanical problems during my cruise?

Mechanical problems do sometimes arise and may affect your cruise but really happens in less than 5% of trips. When such issues do pass the boat operator should always try to find a suitable solution to minimize the impact on your cruise but it really depends on the exact situation as to what the solution will be.

 If the problems adversely affect your trip and you are unsatisfied with the boat operator’s solution then Travel Galalpagos will always try to represent your case for you. In some cases it is simply not possible to do more than register a complaint with the boat operator and relevant authorities; in other more extreme cases we may be able to get some form of refund from the boat operator.

It is true that sometimes boats get swapped at the last minute?

Boat swaps are a very rare case too but do occasionally happen when mechanical problems are so severe that your first-choice yacht simply cannot operate.

A boat operator has the responsibility to find a yacht of either equal or better category level than your original yacht and Travel Galapagos always pressure the operators where possible to ensure that a suitable boat swap is offered.

What happens if a passenger becomes sick during my cruise?

If sickness is not serious (e.g. a stomach bug or sea-sickness) then the passenger can rest in their cabin whilst the rest of the group continue with the cruise activities.

 In the case of serious sickness it may be necessary to return to port so that the passenger can receive hospital treatment, and this can cause loss of activities in the cruise for the other passengers aboard. Fortunately such cases are rare but can and do occasionally occur. In such cases neither the boat operator nor Travel Galapagos can offer any form of refund to other passengers as such cases are outside of our hands. The boat operator will try to ensure that the negative impact to the cruise is minimal and Travel Galapagos will help out with any paperwork that is necessary for a travel insurance claim for lost activities on the trip.

We recommend that passengers travel with a basic first-aid kit and adequate travel insurance.

How can I avoid the problem of sea-sickness?

Sometimes the Galapagos seas can be rough and that can make some passengers feel a little sick aboard. Most people find that standard motion-sickness remedies help to ease discomfort so this is a must for your packing list. For passengers who are known to suffer from sea-sickness we recommend either choosing a more stable vessel such as a cruise ship or catamaran, or selecting a land-based tour.

Do all yachts hold safety certification?

In order to operate at Galapagos all yachts must hold valid safety certificates.