Frequently asked questions Formalities & services
Do I need a passport or visa to go to Galapagos?
A passport is required. Your travel agency can advise you of any visa requirements when traveling to Ecuador.
Before checking-in on the airports of Quito or Guayaquil, every visitor to Galapagos must purchase a Galapagos Transit Control Card (US$ 20 per person in cash, since March 1, 2015), apart from the Galapagos National Park entrance fee (for international passengers generally US$ 100 per person in cash). This visum-like ID card helps INGALA restricting migration and visits to the islands. Please keep this ticket carefully with your passport as you will need to show it again when you leave Galapagos.
Are there any luggage restrictions?
Domestic airline regulations permit 20 kilos (44 lbs) per person for your luggage excluded small carry-on flight bags. See also the Packing list with our suggestions. We recommend not to bring access luggage when you have booked a cabin on sailing catamaran Nemo I. The storage space in these cabins is limited, but there is some additional storage room available on board.
What time zone is used in Galapagos?
Ecuador is in the Eastern Time Zone (GMT-5). Galapagos is one hour behind mainland Ecuador (GMT-6).
Can I pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee with my credit card or travel checks?
Unfortunately the payment can only be in cash.
Pastel_Distribucion_tributo_2011Where does my Galapagos National Park entrance fee go?
The Park entry fee collected upon a visitor’s arrival to Galapagos is used to help fund Park management and community and conservation projects in the islands. The beneficiaries are as follows:
Galapagos National Park Service (40%)
Municipal Governments (25%)
the Galapagos Provincial Board (20%)
Galapagos Marine Reserve (5%)
the Quarantine and Inspection System (5%)
and the Ecuadorian Navy (5%).
How can I pay my expenses on board?
Incidental expenses on board and suggested tipping fees can only be paid in cash US Dollars.
Are there ATMs in Galapagos?
Yes, there are cash machines in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz, in the harbour and 3 more sites) and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal, in the harbour), but just a few. In Puerto Villamil (Isabela) and on Floreana there are NO ATMs. Until 2014 the airports did not count with ATM’s, but since December 2014 there is a cash machine in the check-in hall of the airport of Baltra.
Please don’t rely fully on them and also take your National Park Entrance fee in cash. Consider ATMs only for individual land-based extensions (before or after your cruise), or for emergency situations. These might be empty, or there might not be enough time during your land visit.
Is there WIFI or Internet on board, and can I make mobile phone-calls?
Galapagos is a remote destination, and mobile phone- and Internet-connections are still erratic and expensive. In and around Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz), Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal) and Puerto Villamil (Isabela) you can use your mobile devices to communicate with the outer world. These settlements also count with Internet cafes, which you might visit during a town visit.
A certain provider might have connection on one of the uninhabited islands (including Española !), while another has not. Most remote islands such as Fernandina, northern Isabela and Genovesa are NOT covered by these communication networks, so over there you still can enjoy Galapagos fully undisturbed.
We neither have WIFI or Internet on board, nor a satellite telephone. In emergency situations the crew can always communicate to the outer world by our HF radio or VHF radio (marine telephone).
Can I charge my batteries and equipment on board?
Yes you can. In your cabin are US-style electrical outlets of 110V/220V. Don’t forget to bring adapters when you come from a country where distinct outlets are used.
Do you have a dress-code on board?
No, we don’t have a special dress-code on board in the way of the Luxury Class cruise ships. After the excursions there is time to fresh-up and change your outdoor clothes for casual wear. We just ask you to take of shoes after boarding (you can bring indoor-shoes with rubber soles or slippers for yacht-use, if desired). In Galapagos we have an extra reason for this policy. We have to do our utmost to avoid that seeds under our shoes get dispersed on other islands and introduce new species.
See the Packing list which clothing is practical during your cruise, for the different activities and climate zones.
Do you have laundry service on board?
No we don’t. But occasionally you can wash some clothes with biodegradable washing powder in your bathroom.
Are there smoking areas on board, or is it strictly forbidden?
For your own safety and health a non-smoking policy is enforced in the interior areas aboard. Smoking is only allowed at the Sun Deck (neither on the islands)
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