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The Galapagos Explorer II is an authentic luxury vessel offering great comfort and top notch service while you spend your Galapagos vacation with us.

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Before your Trip

1. On line registration and conditions of the cruise contract

In order to expedite the Galapagos Explorer and INGALA registration you should fill out the personal information form provided by us. The INGALA registration is important to get a transit control card which is necessary to enter. Print this information for registration.

2. Dress code, recommendations for your island visits

We suggest wearing informal clothes during the day, however in order to maintain a spirit of casual elegance, during dinner we recommend a more formal dress code. Shorts, baseball caps, or sandals are not allowed during dinner. Bathing suites are only allowed in the Jacuzzi area, shorts are preferred in the ship’s public areas.

We recommend wearing light clothes when you visit the islands. Comfortable walking shoes appropriate for lengthy treks, a pair of sandals / TEVAS (with Velcro for wet landings) cotton shorts or pants or any other light fabric. Cotton shirts with long or short sleeves. Hats or baseball caps due to the intense sun on the islands, bathing suits, windbreaker jackets and sweaters during the cold and dry (drizzly) season from July to December.

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3. Galapagos National Park Regulations

You are about to visit a Natural Heritage Site, therefore you must follow the rules imposed by the controlling authorities such as the Galapagos National Park. During your visits the naturalist guides will emphasize these regulations:

  • Do not remove animals, plants, rocks or their remains (including (including shells, bones, and pieces of wood) from the islands.
  • Be careful not to transport any live animals to the islands, or from island to island.
  • Do not take any food to the uninhabited islands.
  • Do not touch or handle the animals.
  • Do not feed the animals. It can be dangerous, and it can destroy the animals' social structure and breeding habits.
  • Do not disturb or chase any animal from its resting or nesting place.
  • Stay within the designated visiting areas.
  • Do not litter while on land or sea.
  • Do not deface the rocks.
  • Do not buy souvenirs or objects made of plants or animals from the islands.
  • Do not visit the islands unless accompanied by a licensed National Park Guide.
  • Restrict your visits to officially permitted areas.
  • Conservation is everyone’s business. Please do not hesitate to show your conservationist attitude.

The Ecuadorian government declared the islands a National Park on July 4th, 1959; at the same time the Charles Darwin Foundation was created in Belgium. The Charles Darwin Station was created in Santa Cruz island to aid scientific research. It was inaugurated on January 20th 1964. Then in 1968 the Galapagos National Park began offering its services. Nowadays groups of no more than 20 visitors are led by certified guides. This regulation helps reduce the impact on this fragile eco-system and gives the islands a sense of seclusion and privacy.

 

4. How to find a Galapagos Explorer representative in the airport

As part of our commitment to offer personalized service of the best quality our expert representatives will assist you upon your arrival in Guayaquil or Quito. We are glad to answer any enquiries you may have and assist you with the connections to the archipelago and then board the luxurious M/V Galapagos Explorer II. You are required to follow these guidelines:

 

 

Upon your arrival in Guayaquil (counter No. 52) or Quito (counter No. 9) your guide or our airport representative will assist you through the luggage check-in at the SICGAL (Inspection system for prohibited items), it is important to be there because this unit sometimes opens luggage for inspection. You also have to go to the INGALA counter in order to receive your TCT( Transit Control Card) to enter the islands.

 

Our airport representative will take you to TAME airlines where an agent will receive and check your luggage, you will then receive:

  • Voucher holder, Cruise Voucher, Registration card, TCT card, A Galapagos Explorer II ID
  • A booklet with information about the islands, TAME airlines boarding pass, and the checked luggage ticket.

 

The airport representative will explain everything regarding the cruise documentation and will give you instructions about the island arrival process. Our crew will assist you when you need it, be it answering questions or helping you solve unexpected situations when boarding your flight. We will keep you informed of delays or flight inconveniences and give you the best support possible.

 

5. What to bring and luggage restrictions (SICGAL)

What to bring:

  • Clothing, Casual outfits for Dinner (shorts and sneakers are not allowed)
  • Long-sleeved cotton shirts and T-shirts, Light trousers (made of cotton or any other light fabric)
  • Shorts, Windbreaker jacket, Hat or baseball cap, Bathing suits
  • Shoes, A pair of comfortable shoes for hiking, A pair of sandals (with Velcro for wet landings)

Equipment

  • Sunglasses with strap, An extra pair of contact lenses (in case of using them)
  • Sunblock (minimum15 spf ), Insect repellent (mosquitoes are not carriers of malaria but could pose a problem specially on Bartolome island from December to July)
  • Wetsuits (for expert snorkelers. They are unnecessary from December to July)
  • Personal grooming toiletries, Personal medicine, Plastic bags for personal electronic equipment
  • Reading material (available on board), A small notebook and pencil, Personal sewing kit
  • Camera and camera equipment, Photo film (available on board), Binoculars

RESTRICTED PRODUCTS BY THE SICGAL: SESA-SICGAL applies the quarantine system in the Galapagos in order to avoid the arrival of foreign species to the islands. All the cargo and luggage that arrive at, depart from or are transferred from one island to another are inspected in Ecuador and in Galapagos. There is a list of products that are not allowed in the islands.

 

PROHIBITED PRODUCTS: To preserve human health and the native species of the Galapagos Islands, these products are not permitted in the Galapagos, fresh vegetables and fruits, animal products, animal by-products or dairy products. Live animals, pathological samples, dry coffee beans, genetically modified organisms, forest species or their disseminative parts, grass and its disseminative parts , fresh flowers, medicinal plants and their disseminative parts, banana leaves, microorganisms (fungus, bacteria, etc) earth and sand or animal vaccines.

 

6. Payments of onboard, expenses and gratuities


Expenses onboard the Galapagos Explorer II can be paid in United States dollars. American Express, Visa and Master Card are also accepted. Tips are personal; however a gratuity is expected for crew members that assisted you during your stay. We’ll provide a gratuity recommendation guide on the last day of your trip.

 

7. Special diets

The Galapagos Explorer II offers the finest food and superb service. In our effort to cater to every passenger’s need we can arrange for special diets. 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.

 

8. Health Condition Information

Elderly people and people with physical conditions could experience problems when participating in some excursions. We recommend our guests 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 exertion at a moderate pace, during this time our guides will give talks about the islands.


Canodros S.A reserves the right to refuse admission to those passengers who fail to notify any physical impediments or passengers that, to the company’s criteria, represent harm to themselves, other passengers, crew members, or cruise operations.

 

9. How to stay in touch with your family

We are committed to giving our passengers a pleasant stay without worries. On board you’ll find the following services: international calls, Internet, and fax so you can stay in touch with your family 24 hours a day. This is a detailed list of our services:

  • International calls: Can be made directly from your suite using satellite service. The cost per minute is US $6.00 (including the first minute) Cruise Telephone: 874—762014651, Fax number: 874-762014652, Cell phone number: 593-99484443.
  • Internet: Wireless internet service is available throughout the ship including your cabin. The cost of the service is $15 for a one-hour card and $25 for a two hour-card.
  • Fax service: same rate as telephone calls. It is important to consider that a written letter without graphics or drawings takes approximately three minutes, as the document is sent via satellite.

10. Time and Basic Schedule

Mainland Ecuador time [Eastern Standard Time, GMT (-5)] is one hour ahead the Galapagos Islands time [Central Standard Time, GMT (-6)].
On board we operate with the Eastern Standard Time to take advantage of daylight.

 

Basic Schedule
06:30 Wake up call.
07:00 Breakfast Buffet.
08:00 Disembarkation, morning excursion.

 

Return to ship
11:30 Optional conference or video presentation.
12:30 Lunch Buffet.
15:00 Disembarkation, afternoon excursion.

 

Return to ship
19:45: Briefing regarding next day’s visit, lectures and social activities.
20:00 pm Dinner.
21:30 pm Lectures and social activities.
* (This information is subject to change).

FAQ'S

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.

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How late are the social areas open?
The hours of operations of our social areas are as follows: Solarium can be accessed until 24h00, Jacuzzi area from 10h00 to 23h00. Library is open 24/7. Hospital is open 24/7 as well. Massage services are available previous appointment.

Food & Beverages

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.

 

Cabins

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 3,00 meters and the twin bed is 2,10 x1,50 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.

 

Destination

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).

 

Cruise documents

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.

 

Luggage

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.

 

Program

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.

 

What is included in the program?

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.

 

Program does not include

What is not included?

Air fare, fuel surcharge 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.


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