- Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints.
- Do not disturb or remove any native plant, rock or animal.
- Always follow the trails that are marked out by the National Park Service.
- Do not take food on to the islands.
- Do not smoke on the islands.
- Do not litter.
- Do not touch or feed the animals.
- Do not use flash photography for close up animal shots.
- Do not buy any souvenirs made from native Galapagos products (except for wood).
- Clean the soles of your shoes after island excursions in order to avoid transporting seeds.
- One small daypack / backpack
- Fast drying slacks
- Sweater in the cooler months
- Hat with a brim and string
- Walking shoes/boots
- Sandals / Tevas
- Loafers for on board
- Bathing suit
- Insect repellent
- Extra camera batteries
|Land birds start nesting, generally after the first rains.
On Española Island adult male marine iguanas become brightly colored.
The green sea turtles arrive to the beaches for egg Laying.
Land iguanas begin reproductive cycles on Isabela Island.
|White-cheeked pintails start their breeding season.
Nazca boobies on Espanola Island are at the end of their nesting season.
Marine iguanas nest on Santa Cruz Island.
Nesting season of the Galapagos Dove reaches its peak.
|Marine iguanas nest on Fernandina.
Waved Albatrosses arrive to Española Island.
|Massive arrival of Waved Albatrosses to Española Island & start of their courtship.
End of hatching season of the giant tortoises.
Eggs of green sea turtles begin to hatch.
Land iguanas hatch on Isabela Island.
|Galapagos Penguins start showing remarkable activity.
Sea turtles are still hatching in Gardner Bay, Punta Cormorant & Puerto Egas.
Palo Santo trees begin to shed their foliage.
Waved Albatrosses on Española Island start laying their eggs.
Band-Rumped Storm Petrels begin their first nesting period.
Marine iguanas' eggs hatch on Santa Cruz Island.
|Giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island migrate from the highlands to the lowlands in search of suitable nesting places.
Beginning of the nesting season of giant tortoises.
Southern migrant birds on their way towards the north can be seen.
|Sea bird communities are very active (breeding), especially on Espanola Island.
Flightless Cormorant's court and nest on Fernandina Island.
Oystercatchers nesting on Santiago Island.
Whales & dolphins are more likely to be observed, especially off the western coast of Isabela Island.
|Galapagos Hawks court on Española and Santiago Island.
Migrant shore birds start to arrive, and stay on the islands until March.
Giant tortoises return to the highlands of Santa Cruz.
|Galapagos Penguins show remarkable activity on Bartolome Island until December.
Sea lions are very active, especially on western and central islands.
Most species of sea birds remain quite active at their nesting sites.
|Giant tortoises are still laying eggs.
Lava Herons start nesting until March.
Galapagos fur seals begin their mating period.
Boobies raise their chicks on Espanola Island.
|Sea lions are sexually active on the eastern part of the archipelago.
Breeding season for the brown noddies.
Band-Rumped Storm Petrels begin their second nesting period.
Sea lion pups are born.
|Hatching of giant tortoise's eggs begins and lasts until April.
Green sea turtles display their mating behavior.
Galapagos starts getting "green".
The first young Waved Albatrosses fledge.
Northern migrant birds on their way toward the south.
Snorkeling equipment is handed on Saturday. All passengers must fill out the snorkeling waiver in their cabin folder and return it to the Cruise Director. The complete equipment should be returned to the Cruise Director after the last snorkeling trip of the week. Passengers are responsible for their equipment during the cruise and will be charged for lost items.
Most of the snorkeling activities take place before or after island excursions, so that you will not miss the hikes. It is an optional activity while the rest of the passengers stay on board or on the beach.
Types of snorkeling
- From the beach: suitable for beginners, it enables you to start in shallow water and go as deep as you wish.
- From the panga: known as deep water snorkeling, where the panga takes the snorkelers to a site and waits for them. Previous snorkeling experience required.
According to National Park regulations, kayaking is only permitted at certain sites with a maximum number of 8 passengers in 4 double kayaks.
Like the snorkeling activities, kayaking takes place before or after island excursions.
No prior experience is required, life vests must be worn. The panga takes you to the kayak site, where you transfer to the kayak. A panga and a guide are always nearby to pick you up when you feel tired.
Once on board the crew will perform a safety drill. Please be sure to check exactly where the life vests are located in your cabin. Memorize your way to deck in case an emergency should arise. Life vests are provided while riding in the pangas to and from the islands and they must be worn by all passengers and employees at all times.
Always hold the guide or crewmember's hand while embarking or disembarking, since the boat ladder and deck may be wet and rocks on dry landings are often slippery. All handheld items must be handed first to the crewmembers, so that both hands are free for embarking & disembarking. Cameras should be placed in a plastic bag. Remain seated in the panga until directed. Always hold the nearest grab line. Furthermore, take care when walking on the yachts decks while it is navigating, especially in rough seas.
It is important for us to verify that all our passengers are on board prior to departure from visitor sites. The only way we can do this is by using a check list. Please sign in upon returning from every visit.
Guests should be in good physical health in order to be able to make the most of their Galapagos cruise, due to the fact that the daily nature treks may include walking on irregular and elevated terrain.
Getting in and out of the pangas occasionally requires some physical effort and some of the landings are on wet and slippery lava rocks.
If a passenger suffers from any medical condition, we advise him/her to consult a physician prior to booking the cruise.
All flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Ecuador’s capital Quito with a stopover in Guayaquil. We recommend arriving to Quito or Guayaquil 2 days prior to your cruise departure.
Our yachts operate from Saturday to Saturday with the following Aerogal airline schedule:
||12:10 GALAPAGOS TIME
||12:10 GALAPAGOS TIME
||17:15 CONTINENTAL TIME
||15:40 CONTINENTAL TIME
Passengers boarding in Quito have to be at the airport's national terminal at 08:15 am for check-in. Our representative will meet them at the Aerogal counter to give them their travel documents. Passengers boarding in Guayaquil have to be at the airport at 10:00 am for check-in. Cruise vouchers will be delivered to the hotel or the local tour operator.Upon arrival on Baltra island passengers are met by our guides after passing through passport control. Passengers are then transported on Aerogal buses to the vessel anchored nearby.
Taking children to the Galapagos Islands is an immensely rewarding experience. For this reason we have developed selected family departures on board the Eclipse during the months of March, April, July, August and December.
Specialist guides can be assigned to educate and entertain your children throughout the day for groups of a minimum of 10 children, while you enjoy the cruise at your own pace, in the knowledge that your children are in safe hands and making their own discoveries about the history of evolution and the wonders of the islands. However, if parents wish to take their children with them in their group, they may do so.
Adults are more than welcome to accompany a group of children, as long as the group does not exceed the limit of 16 passengers per guide.
On family departures children are accepted from the age of 5, on non-family departures children are accepted from the age of 10. The Eclipse offers around 20 family departures a year, during spring break, the summer holidays and the Christmas period.
Since children are more active than adults, the guides will organize separate activities such as:
- Faster and educational walks
- Beach games
- On-board activities
- Special briefings for children
- Special menus and mealtimes
From December to June we have the rain season and the temperatures range goes from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F). During this season, warm waters from the Panama Basin flow through the Galapagos, producing a sea temperature of 20°C to 27°C (68°F to 80°F).
From July to November we have the dry season and the temperatures range goes from 20°C to 27°C (68°F to 80°F). During this season, cooler waters from the Humboldt Current are driven to the islands, causing the water temperature to drop to 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F).
Local time: One hour behind Ecuador's mainland
On-board languages: English and Spanish
On-board currency: US Dollar
On-board payments: Please keep track of your consumption of alcoholic beverages in order to avoid any confusion at the end of the cruise. Each beverage should be signed for. The total bill should be paid at the end of the cruise in US Dollars. We accept Traveler's Checks, Visa, MasterCard and American Express for payments over US$50.00. Passengers do not need to carry cash on board and bills should be paid the evening before the last day of the cruise, in order to avoid any inconveniences on the day of disembarking.
Food and drink: All meals are served buffet style in the al fresco dining area or in the dining room. All non-alcoholic beverages are included.
Special meals: Some travelers have special dietary requirements. In this event, Oceanadventures should be contacted at least 30 days prior to the start of the cruise. Every effort will be made to accommodate any special requests, subject to the products' availability in Ecuador.
Drinking water: As part of our continued effort to protect the environment, all guests will receive a complimentary water bottle upon arrival and refill is available.
Electrical current: On board the MV Eclipse we have both 110 & 220 volt electrical outlets and on board the MC Athala we have 110 electrical outlets in the cabins and social areas with exception of the dining room where we have 110 & 220 volt electrical outlets.
Dress Code: We require that shoes, shirts and trousers/shorts be worn in the lounge, dining room and library. We also require that gentlemen wear long trousers for dinner.
Smoking policy: Smoking is forbidden inside the yachts. However, smoking is permitted in the al fresco dining area or on the sun deck. Please ask the bartender for an ashtray; do not throw your cigarette stubs or ash into the water.
Gratuities for crew and guides: We are often asked what gratuity is appropriate for guides and crew and our response is that the quality of service should determine the amount of any tip. From past experience, we recommend an amount in the range of US $100 - US $200 per passenger per week for the crew (to be divided among all the crew members) and between US $40 - US $80 per passenger per week for the guide.
The total tip would therefore be somewhere between US $140 - US $280 per passenger in total.Please bear in mind that this is merely a suggestion, since we believe that gratuities are a very personal matter.
Comment cards: The night before the end of the cruise, the Cruise Director will issue a comment card for passengers to fill out. We appreciate the time our guests take to do this because it is through their comments and suggestions that we can constantly improve our service. Please deposit the completed comment card inside the box provided for this purpose. Neither the guide nor the crew has access to the comment cards; only our Galapagos office manager will open the box.
Communication / Internet service: If you need to contact your home or office for any emergency, the yachts are equipped with a satellite phone. The cost of your call can be paid directly on board. We will inform you, prior to calling, of the current price of an international call. Internet service is currently unavailable on board; however, during your visit to Puerto Ayora, internet cafes will be available and national and international calls can be made using the local telephone company.
Laundry service: The Eclipse offers a laundry service during the cruise. Items are returned within 48 hours. On board the Athala II this service is not available at the moment.
Soft drinks: All soft drinks are complimentary.
Coffee, tea and snacks: Coffee, tea and snacks are available at all times. After each excursion snacks and fresh juices are served in the al fresco dining area or in the lounge.
The day begins early with a wake up call at around 06:45 am. Breakfast is usually served between 07:00 and 07:30, followed by the first shore excursion at 08:00. The English-speaking naturalist guides take passengers to hike, swim, snorkel, bird watch and take great close-up photos of the flora and fauna.
Lunch is usually served at 12.30, followed by sunbathing or a siesta while the yachts cruise to the next island. At around 15:00 passengers disembark for the afternoon excursion, returning between 17:30 and 18:00.Each evening before dinner there is a lecture and briefing. Dinner is served around 19:30.Groups of no more than 16 visitors are led by a naturalist guide certified by the Galapagos National Park Service. This policy is intended to reduce the impact on the fragile ecosystems while providing a sense of solitude and privacy on the islands.