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Home FAQ'S
FAQ's

Galapagos Islands, Athala II and Eclipse most important information you need to know before travelling: 

Galapagos National Park Rules

  • 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.

Recommended Packing List

  • One small daypack / backpack
  • T-shirts
  • Fast drying slacks
  • Shorts
  • Wind-breaker
  • Sweater in the cooler months
  • Hat with a brim and string
  • Walking shoes/boots
  • Sandals / Tevas
  • Loafers for on board
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra camera batteries

Galapagos Major Natural Events

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

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.

MARCH

APRIL

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.

MAY

JUNE

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.

JULY

AUGUST

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.

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

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.

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

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

Snorkeling equipment is handed out 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.

Kayaking

According to National Park regulations, kayaking is only permitted at certain sites. Like the snorkeling activities, kayaking takes place before or after island excursions, and it´s a great way to experience Galaspagos. 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.

Safety on Board

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.

Flights

Starting from the 1st of December 2013, all incoming and outgoing flights to and from Galapagos, operate under a new time schedule.

Please check the following table concerning both our vessels and cruise departures:


THE M/V ECLIPSE 7 NIGHT CRUISE

All flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Ecuador´s capital: Quito, with a stopover in Guayaquil. The M/V Eclipse operates from Saturday to Saturday with the following AEROGAL schedule:

Origin Destination Flight number Departure time Arrival time
Quito Baltra 2k034 10:20  12:50(GALAPAGOS TIME)
Guayaquil Baltra 2k034 11:55 12:50(GALAPAGOS TIME)
Baltra Quito 2k035 13:30  18:00(CONTINENTAL TIME)
Baltra Guayaquil 2k035 13:30  16:25(CONTINENTAL TIME)

 

THE M/V ECLIPSE 5 NIGHT CRUISE


For those passengers who have chosen our short 5 night cruise and return on Thursday to Quito or Guayaquil the following flight schedule applies:


Origin Destination Flight number Departure time Arrival time
Baltra Guayaquil 2k033 10:10 13:00(CONTINENTAL TIME)
Baltra Quito 2k033 10:10  14:35(CONTINENTAL TIME)

 


THE M/V ECLIPSE SHORT CRUISES


For passengers booked on our 3 & 4 night cruises arriving or departing on Wednesday to/from Galapagos we will use the following flight schedule:


Origin Destination Flight number Departure time Arrival time
Quito Baltra 2k032 07:05  09:30(GALAPAGOS TIME)
Guayaquil Baltra 2k032 08:40  09:30(GALAPAGOS TIME)
Baltra Guayaquil 2k033 10:10  13:00(CONTINENTAL TIME)
Baltra Quito 2k033 10:10  14:35(CONTINENTAL TIME)

 


M/C ATHALA II 7 NIGHT CRUISE


All flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Ecuador´s capital: Quito, with a stopover in Guayaquil. The M/C Athala II operates from Saturday to Saturday with the following AEROGAL schedule:


Origin Destination Flight number Departure time Arrival time
Quito Baltra 2k034 10:20  12:50(GALAPAGOS TIME)
Guayaquil Baltra 2k034 11:55  12:50(GALAPAGOS TIME)
Baltra Quito 2k081 10:30  14:55(CONTINENTAL TIME)
Baltra Guayaquil 2k081 10:30  13:20(CONTINENTAL TIME)

 


M/C ATHALA II 5 NIGHT CRUISE


For those passengers who have chosen our short 5 night cruise and return on Thursday to Quito or Guayaquil the following flight schedule applies:


Origin Destination Flight number Departure time Arrival time
Baltra Guayaquil 2k033 10:10  13:00(CONTINENTAL TIME)
Baltra Quito 2k033 10:10  14:35(CONTINENTAL TIME)

 

Passengers boarding in Quito have to be at the airport's national terminal at 08:30 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 10:30 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.

Family Cruises On Board The Eclipse

Family Departure Cruises are selected cruises during the year that intermix discovery with entertainment. Cleverly planned activities are set into the daily agenda that allow children to learn about the magic and mysteries of the Enchanted Islands. This is an excellent chance for them to become familiar with fantastic and unique species, to comprehend evolution, and other topic of interest.

We assing a Child Coordinator, who is certified Galapagos Naturalist Guide, to organize discovery and learning exercises throughout the cruise.

Adults are more than welcome to accompany a group of children, as long as the group does not exceed the limit of 10 passengers per guide.

On family departures children are accepted from the age of 4, on non-family departures children are accepted from the age of 7. The M/V Eclipse offers approximately 20 family departures a year, so that families could choose the best sailing date.

Since children are more active than adults, the Child Coordinators will organize separate activities such as:

  • Educational briefings
  • Beach games
  • Various on-board activities
  • Special menus at mealtimes
  • Board games, movie nights, etc

Climate And Water Temperature

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).

Information

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 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 M/V Eclipse we have both 110 & 220 volt electrical outlets and on board the M/C 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: Both the M/V Eclipse and M/C Athala II are equipped with a satellite phone. The cost per call can be paid directly on board. Additionally the M/V Eclipse also offers internet service. Passengers can quickly access WIFI network in all social areas, by purchasing one of the internet plans on board. Passenger may also access internet service during their visit to Puerto Ayora. Many internet cafes will be available and international calls can be made using the local telephone company.

Laundry service: The M/V Eclipse offers a laundry service during the cruise. Items are returned within 48 hours. On board the M/C 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.

A Day on Board

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 12 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.

 

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General inquiries:
info@oagalapagos.com

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Our office hours are 8h30 to 17h30, Ecuador Time