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Frequently Asked Questions

When planning a visit to new place, especially a foreign country, it is perfectly normally to have many questions. This is why Dreamkapture Travel provides you with this easy guide to the often asked questions about preparing to go to the Galapagos Islands.

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about cruises in the Galapagos. We have separated the questions in two groups: “Most Commonly Asked Questions” and “More Specific Subjects.”

If you have a question which is not addressed here you can always contact us, and we will happy to answer your question. Contact Us

Most Common Questions:

When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands are a year round destination and can be visited during any time of the year.

The high seasons are generally considered to be mid-December through January and June through August, as this is when most foreign visitors arrive, but visiting year-round is not a problem.

The wildlife is always there, and you can see birds courting and young in their nests during any month. The exception are waved albatrosses, which leave en mass in mid-December and stay at sea until late March then they begin to arrive on Espanola Island.

The warmest season is December to June with air temperatures 77°F to 90°F / 25ºC to 32ºC. The water temperature during this period ranges from 68°F to 80°F / 20ºC to 27ºC. From December to June is the warm season better for snorkeling.

From July through November air temperatures vary from low 68°F to 80°F / 20ºC to 27ºC.

The water temperature during this period ranges from 64°F to 75°F / 18ºC to 24ºC. June to December is the cooler season better for wildlife viewing.

Monthly Temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High Air Temperature Fahrenheit 84 86 84 82 82 78 76 74 76 77 78 80
30 30 31 31 26 26 26 26 26 27 28 29
Low Air Temperature Fahrenheit 70 74 74 72 72 68 66 64 62 64 66 68
22 24 24 24 22 21 19 19 19 20 21 22
Average Water Temperature Fahrenheit 74 76 76 76 74 74 72 66 68 70 72 74
23 24 24 24 23 23 22 19 20 21 22 23
Average Rainfall (inches) 1 1 2 1.5 .75 .25 .5 .25 .5 .25 .5 .5

No matter which time of the year you decide to go, there are always lots of wildlife to be seen.

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What should I bring?

Here is a helpful list of the important things to bring with you to the Galapagos.

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Small backpack
  • Hat (preferably with a brim)
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • T-shirts
  • Long and Short sleeved shirts
  • Wind breaker / light raincoat
  • Bathing suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Tennis shoes rubber soles for on the ship
  • Flip Flops
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Extra film, memory cards, discs
  • Spare batteries or charging device
  • Medication which you may be taking
  • Insurance documentation
  • Passport
  • Money (US$ cash)
  • Insect Repellent (only as a precaution)

Wet suits and Snorkeling equipment are available on the ships usually as a rental (Upper class ships will often include these items, but it varies from ship to ship). If you already have a mask, fins, snorkel, and/or a wet suit it is always better to bring your own for the sake of the fit and comfort.

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Are there things I should not bring?Do Not Bring

There are things which you will probably be better off not bringing to the Galapagos or to Ecuador.

The Do Not Bring List:

  • Fruits, Vegetables, and Dairy Products to the Galapagos. The Galapagos islands are biologically protected area. If you are planning on bringing snacks with you avoid these are not allowed.

  • Travelers Checks: Nobody wants to cash these in Ecuador, not even the banks. You are better off bringing a credit card with ATM capabilities.

  • Foreign Money: It is better that you come to Ecuador with United States dollars. You can change Euros, but the exchange rate will not be good. The ATM's here will dispense US dollars, and will make a better exchange rate automatically. Other foreign currency is extremely difficult to exchange.

  • Bills larger than $20. $50 and $100 bills can be a curse here. Not many people want to take them, especially for smaller purchases. You will find the stores and businesses will be reluctant to make change for big bills. Taxi drivers are notorious for not having change and it is best to have small bills to pay the exact fare to avoid problems.

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What is included in the cruise price?

What is included can vary from ship to ship. But here are list of the basic items on all ships.

Prices includes ALL of the following:

  • Bilingual Naturalist guide for the entire cruise
  • All meals on board
  • Water, coffee, and Tea
  • The Excursions specified within the itinerary
  • Accommodations in a double cabin
  • Flights tickets are usually included in your price; if not it will be clearly stated.

Below are additional items which could be included depending on the ship you choose. We will confirm what will be included on the ship of your choice prior to your purchasing a cruise.

  • Snorkeling equipment (mask, fins, and snorkel... these are available on all ships but is usually as a rental, especially on Tourist and Tourist Superior cruises)
  • Wet suits (Wet suits are usually a rental for about $5 per day of use. The Luxury ships normally include these as part of your cruise.)
  • Snacks after excursions. Normally there are always snacks.

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What is not included in the cruise price?

Unless an item is specifically stated in a promotion, your cruise will not include:

  • INGALA Migration card ($10; obtained at the airport in either Quito or Guayaquil)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100; purchase in airport in the Galapagos)
  • Alcohol and Soft drinks
  • Tips for the crew and naturalist guide

    These items vary from ship to ship

  • snorkeling equipment
  • wet suits

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What is the difference between cruises?

This question can be applied to several specific characteristics of the choices you may have when deciding on a Galapagos cruise.

There are differences in the class of ship, style of the ship, what the ship provides to its passengers, itineraries, number of days of the cruise, and cost.

Class of ship:

There are 4 classes is cruise ships: Tourist, Tourist Superior, First, & Luxury. The most significant differences among the cruises is going to be...

  • Space aboard the ship. Space can be a critical comfort issue with some people. Spaces in the cabins, in the common rooms, and the deck will depend on the physical size of your ship. The better the class the more space you are going to have. First and Luxury Classes are going to have bigger ships, often with the same number of passengers as the smaller ships, but not necessarily more people.

  • Quality and Quantity of Service. Much like a hotel the better the class the more extras you will have. With each step up in class you will have... better food, better guides, better rooms, a better ship! Also you will find extras items included such as: buffet style meals, snorkeling equipment or wet suits included, additional presentations about the Galapagos, and many of the Luxury class ships have kayaking available.

  • Destinations. Some destinations are more desirable than others due to the animal and plant life or the geological features. Some locations may be only on the itineraries of First and Luxury class ships. This is due to the speed of the ship and the cost of fuel to reach these locations. Isabela and Fernandina islands are examples of this. These are both fantastic places, but there is a cost involved in getting there. Otherwise the destinations visited are usually visited by most of the ships at some point during a 15 period.

  • The operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without warning due to weather conditions, National Park regulations or unforeseeable circumstances.

  • Type of Ship. There are four basic styles of ships cruising the Galapagos: Motor Sailboats, Catamarans, Yachts, and Cruise Ships. Use the links to learn more about each type of ship.

  • Number of Days in the Cruise. There are several choices for the duration of days in a cruise and the different options allow for different budgets and time schedules. You can find 4, 5, and 8 day options are the most common among the ships. Each ship has its specific itinerary and some ships will have 6 and 15 day options available.

Is a 5 day cruise better than a 4 day?

This depends on the itinerary of the ship. There are places in the Galapagos which are of more interest than others. Often the 4 day cruises will visit the places which are more geologically unique, are animal abundant, and are the least impacted by humans. An 8 day cruise is the best way to see the most in the Galapagos. On an 8 day cruise you will see the entire scope of the particular ship's itinerary. In conclusion: between a 4 and 5 day cruise... more does not always mean better. Our sales staff can explain the difference between the 4 and 5 day options on any particular cruise you like.

  • Cost. This is simple, the higher the class of ship, the more the cost is going to be. Also 4 days are going to be less expensive than a 5 day or an 8 day cruise. Some of the cost involved with the Galapagos are the same regardless of which cruise you choose. These are the Park Permit $100 and the INGALA Transit card $10. Airfare varies between airlines also with the time of the year (season).
  • Price Ranges including flights:

    • Tourist Class: 
      • 4 days: $1200 - $1350 +
      • 5 days: $1300 - $1500 +
      • 8 days: $1650 - $2000 +

    • Tourist Superior:
      • 4 days: $1250 - $1800 +
      • 5 days: $1650 - $2000 +
      • 8 days: $1900 - $2800 +

    • First Class:
      • 4 days: $1325 - $2100 +
      • 5 days: $1550 - $2250 +
      • 8 days: $2100 - $3500 +

    • Luxury Class:
      • 4 days: $1600 - $3000 +
      • 5 days: $1800 - $3500 +
      • 8 days: $2700 - $8000 +

The above prices ranges are provided as a reference guide only and are not intended as exact prices for cruises, and they Do Not include the cost of park permits or flight tickets.

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Can I start and end my cruise on the same days I am flying?

YES you can!
On the day your cruise is beginning or ending there will be an airport pick up and drop off. This is to pick up new passengers to begin their Galapagos cruise and to return other passengers to the airport to depart the Galapagos.

This is the normal procedure with all the ships in the Galapagos. If you are beginning your cruise on the same day you arrive in the Galapagos you will be picked up in the airport by a representative of the ship. If you are flying out on the day you end your cruise you will be provided transportation to the airport in time for your departure flight.

*There are exemptions to this. There are some cruises that finish later on the last day and would require your departure flight be the next day. Also there are flights that arrive too late in the day to begin your cruise that same day.

Dreamkapture Travel arranges airline flights to the Galapagos for the same price as the airlines. When you book with Dreamkapture Travel, we make certain that you are on a flight / airline that does not conflict with your cruise schedule. This can be extremely critical if you only have a set amount of time to visit the Galapagos.

Let Dreamkapture Travel arrange you flight needs after you have decided on a cruise. It is always best to purchase you cruise first and then the flight. This way you do not restrict you cruise options and Dreamkapture can work with cruise ship for reserved seats on the airlines.

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Most Common Mistakes
people make when buying a Galapagos cruise.

Buying a Galapagos Cruise can be complicated because there are numerous factors involved that have to work together to make it all happen.

Here is a list of mistakes people do which make it difficult to buy a Galapagos cruise; especially Last Minute Cruises.

  • I Expected to Show Up and Everything Would Be Okay.
    Lack of Planning can cause many of the obstacles some people encounter when trying to go the the Galapagos. Even if you are planning on buying a Last Minute option, a little planning and preparedness will make things happen a lot easier. Being prepared with cash, flexible travel dates, and knowing what you are looking for and what to expect considering price will make the buying experience much more pleasant.

  • Banks, ATM's and Credit Cards in Ecuador.
    "My Bank Card is not working!" You are in a foreign country and every country will have different banking procedures and limitations. Do not assume your bank card will work like you expect it to here in Ecuador. You should contact a representative at your bank and inform them that you are in Ecuador and that you will be making sizable withdraws to purchase a Galapagos cruise.

  • Going to Pay Everything With A Credit Card. No Money
    "I Cannot Get That Much Money In Cash!
    " Most agencies in Ecuador offer the best options for cash purchases. In addition, The ease of using a credit card for purchases is not like what you may be used to back home. Regulations with the banking system here make it difficult. Credit cards can usually only be used in person (no Internet or over the phone), and they may include sales tax and user fees. So having some cash on hand and making sure with your bank that you have access to your money in Ecuador can be very beneficial.

  • Not Allowing Enough Time.
    "I Do Not Have Enough Time for That!" That could be several things. May be you need several days to withdraw enough money in cash for a cruise purchase. Some people have small limits for the bank cards they are traveling with. Or it could be that you are such a hurry to get the next thing that you did not allow enough flexible time for the Galapagos cruise you would like to take. This can be resolved with be prepared in advance by having money with you, talking to your bank about limits and being in Ecuador, and planning some time for taking care of such inconveniences so that they do not disrupt your travel plans.

  • Unrealistic Expectations of Time and Days.
    "I Want to Go On A Galapagos Cruise Tomorrow." This can include all of the above circumstances. To go the the Galapagos you will need a flight, to go on a cruise you will need to know what is available, and you will need money. Travel Agencies, Ship Operators, and Banks all have business hours. Flights and cruises need to be checked for availability and this can only be done during business hours (9:00 am to 5:00 pm). Banks also have hours and ATM's have limits. It is unrealistic to expect to leave the next day if you have not planned in advance. Even if you already have your flights, if you arrive in Ecuador after 6:00 pm it is going to be next to impossible to purchase a cruise. This is especially truth if you are coming on a Saturday or Sunday because offices will be closed.

  • Not Knowing the Procedure to Secure a Reservation.
    "I did not know that I would need a cash deposit to secure my reservation." To secure a reservation on board any ship will require a cash deposit in a short amount to time. This time is provided by the ship operator as a courtesy and can be as long as a few days to a few hours depending dates of the cruise and the demand for spaces on the ship. The deposit needs to be received by the agency before they can confirm you on a cruise. As mentioned above, this cannot be done by credit card. You either need to have cash with you or access to cash quickly. If you not in the same city or country as your agency you will need to wire money to them. The most common method is Western Union. Either way you will need to be prepared to make a deposit in a short matter of time.

  • Planning on Paying for Last Minute Cruise with a Bank Transfer.
    Bank transfers are an easy way to pay for cruises if you are booking 10 days or more in advance. But, they are usually not excepted for last minute purchases. Transfers do not happen insubstantially and amounts received need to be confirmed after fees and currency has been converted. Besides this, there is the matter of the deposit which will still need to be received to secure the reservation. If the time is short, you will still need to wire the deposit to the agency or pay in cash.

  • I was Planning on Paying with PayPal.
    PayPal does not work here in Ecuador like it might work for you back home. It is currently impossible to link a PayPal account to an Ecuadorian Bank account. This means the money going through PayPal will still need to go to an out of Ecuador Bank, and then the problem is getting the money back into Ecuador to pay the ship for your cruise. This money will still have transfer time, fees, etc. which makes PayPal not a practical option for payment

The best thing for buying a Galapagos cruise is to be in contact with an agent before you arrive. A little planning can go a long way in making your experience a great one instead of a self-inflicted awful one.

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More Specific Questions:


Most ships have Air Conditioning. Only a few of the Tourist Class and one or two of the Tourist Superior Class do not have air conditioning. If this is important to you, check the specification on the web page for the ship(s) you are interested in, and it will be stated there.

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Airport Assistance

We provide you simple step by step instructions to guide you through the mainland airports. Once you arrive in the Galapagos, a representative from your selected ship will be looking for you. They will normally have a sign with the ship's name on it. When all the new guests are gathered you will then be shuttled to the ship to begin your Galapagos cruise adventure.

First Class and Luxury cruises will also assist you with your luggage in the Galapagos airports.

In Guayaquil, Airport pick-up is available by a private service which Dreamkapture can arrange for you. There is an additional cost for this service of $15 per vehicle required ( it can be more if there is a longer wait for your arrival). You need to confirm with Dreamkapture to arrange this and provide your name, flight number, arrival time, number of people in the group, and the amount of luggage you are traveling with.

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ATM's and Banks in the Galapagos

There are ATM's and Banks in the Galapagos, BUT there are only a few.

On the island of Santa Cruz in the city of Puerto Ayora you will find a Banco Pichincha, Banco del Pacifico, and there is a Banco Bolivano near the docks. There are a limited number of ATM's in Puerto Ayora! The number is about 4 or 5.

On the island of San Cristobal you will find a Banco del Pacifico with and ATM. There are only a few ATM's in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno!

There are NO ATM's in Puerto Villamil on Isabela island.

There are NO ATM's at the airports in the Galapagos that are accessible before paying your park permit.

It is always best to have money with you and confirm that your bank card will work with the above banks before going to the Galapagos.

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Baggage / Luggage

The airlines have a luggage allowance of one piece of 50 lbs (22 kilos) plus 2 small carry-ons for flights to and from Galapagos.

Dreamkapture Hostel in Guayaquil offers free storage to clients who purchased their cruise with Dreamkapture Travel. Otherwise there is a fee of $5 per bag, per week.

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Cabins on the ships

Cabins on most of the ships are generally small and will consist of two birth beds (bunk), and will have a private bathroom. The size of the cabins will usually increase with the higher class of ship you take your cruise on.

Your cabin will be assigned to you when you board the ship and this will depend on what level you have purchased your cabin (upper deck cabins have an additional cost). The majority of the ships do not provide a choice of a particular cabin. Cabins are categorized by type and assigned by the level of your purchase.

It is possible to make a cabin request, but there are no guarantees. On first and luxury class ships it is more likely a requested cabin can be secured, depending on availability.

There are a few options of a matrimonial beds in the Tourist and Tourist Superior classes and you will find more on First and Luxury Class ships. But most cabins on all the ships will have single beds.

Here are some of the ships
which offer double or matrimonial bed cabin options:

King of the Seas Angelito Archipell I & II Athala
Merak Daphne Cachalote Beluga
  Encantada Fragata Coral I
  GalaExplorer Galaxy Coral II
  Galvaven I Majestic Cormorant Evolution
  Guantanamera Mary Anne Eclipse
  Samba Millennium Eric
    Monserrat Evolution
    Nemo II Flamingo I
    Nemo III Grace
    Odyssey Isabela II
  Reina Silvia Journey I
    Santa Cruz Letty
    Seaman Journey Pinta
    Tip Top III Queen Beatriz
    Treasure of the Galapagos Queen of Galapagos
    Galapagos Voyager Xpedition
    Xavier Sea Star
    Yolita II Silver Galapagos

The cabin size is determined by the type of ship, for example a First or Luxury Class Catamaran or Cruise ship will have larger rooms with both beds being on the floor and more opportunities for matrimonial beds than that of a motor yacht or sail boat.

If you are traveling alone, you will have a roommate while on the cruise. Your roommate will be the same sex as you, (only a few ships mix sexes in the rooms and you would be informed of this option prior to purchase).

The price of a private room for one person is normally double.

Some ships do offer triple cabins (for 3 people). These ships are:

Tourist Superior First Class Luxury Class
Not available Galaxy Coral I, Coral II
at this level Millennium Cormorant Evolution
  Nemo II Eclipse
  Santa Cruz Eric, Letty, Flamingo
  Seaman Journey Galapagos Legend
  Treasure of the Galapagos Silver Galapagos

Often this third bed is for children only. Contact Dreamkapture for a specific ship's policy for a 3 person cabin.

You can find descriptions of the cabins on each of the ship's web pages. All ships are listed at: Quick Ship Pick page.

Also to read more on the differences between classes see:
What is the difference between cruises.

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Cameras & Underwater Photography

It is certain you will want to have photos of your trip to the Galapagos Islands. Bringing your own camera is a must. Whether you use a digital or conventional camera, you will find that you will be able to charge batteries on all the cruise ships (110 v).

If you are wanting to have some underwater photos and you do not already have an underwater housing for your camera, it is best to buy a single use camera. Probably the easiest one to find here in Ecuador is the "Sport Single Use" camera. Kodak Single Use Camera

  • Waterproof up to 50 feet.
  • Clearest, sharpest pictures! Loaded with Kodak Ultra Max 800 speed, 27 exposure film for clearer, sharper pictures than any underwater camera.
  • For outdoor and daylight use only.

This camera usually sells for about $15-$20 and you can find it in the Ecuacolor camera stores in most of the Malls in Ecuador.

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Camping in the Galapagos

Most of the Galapagos is protected areas and the areas which you can explore on your own (without a guided tour or cruise) are very limited.

There are some options for visitors to "camp" while in the Galapagos. These locations are specific and require permission from the National Park or camping on private property. Most camping is done as part of an organized tour.

Within the park area camping is only allowed in a few authorized areas on some of the islands. Authorization to camp from the Galapagos National Park requires that you request permission at least 48 hours in advance of your planned camping dates from the National Park.

Camping on private property is something you would need to research prior going to the Galapagos and make the necessary arrangements with the property owner.

Smoking and Camp Fires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park. Fires of any kind are a danger to the flora and fauna of the Galapagos and are forbidden.

You need to contact the Galapagos National park to determine whether or not this will be a possibility for you.

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Children in the Galapagos

Many families travel together, and the Galapagos islands are no exception.

If you are traveling with children and are planning on visiting the Galapagos, here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip.

  • Children 12 and older are the same price as adults on the airlines and the cruise ships.

  • Park permit for children under 12 years old is $50 (adults $100)

  • Only some of the ships offer a discount for children.

  • Some ships do not allow children under 12 years old on board.

  • Ships have set limits to the number of passengers on board.

  • Cabins are usually 2 beds and only allow 2 passengers to a cabin. It does not matter if they are adults or children.

  • Smaller ships may not be appropriate for small children and most ships have limited deck space.

  • Children will not be allowed to run around on the ships.

  • It is the parents responsibility to supervise their children, not the crew members.

Some ships do have somer cabins which allow 3 passengers in them; the third usually being a child. You can see a list of these ships here under the heading "Cabins".

If you have specific questions regarding a particular ship's policy on children, contact us by email and Dreamkapture Travel will provide you an answer.

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The Galapagos Islands are isolated so the climate is determined almost entirely by the ocean currents, which in turn are influenced by trade winds that push the currents. In general, December to May are the warmest months with temperatures of 80ºF to 90ºF (26ºC to 35ºC). June to November is cooler 70ºF to 80ºF (20ºC to 26ºC).

Mainland Ecuador - Highlands: It is spring-like most of the year. May through November is dry with an average temperature of 70ºF (20ºC). December to April is slightly cooler though still very pleasant.

Mainland Ecuador - Coast: The average temperature is 83ºF (28ºC), with a hot, rainy season from December to May and a dry season from June to December.

Mainland Ecuador - Jungle: In the Jungle the climate is hot 77ºF (25ºC), humid and rainy.

You may also want to read: Water Temperatures and Weather

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Communications / Telephone

You will find land line phone service and cellular coverage in some locations in the Galapagos. But this is only in the main islands. While on your cruise in the more remote areas there could be days when you will have no phone signal. The ships maintain communications by radio. In the cities of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal you will be able to find Internet Cafes and Cabinas to make international phone calls.

Larger ships in the First and Luxury classes may have satellite Internet available. This service is NOT included and there is an additional charge for Internet

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Clothing...What should I wear?

You are on vacation, dress comfortable and informal. When visiting the islands bring comfortable lightweight clothing. If you sunburn easily, you should take this into consideration as well. For the evenings bring long pants and a wind-breaker / light jacket. Shoes are another item which should not be neglected. Good shoes are a must for many of the locations you will be visiting. The Galapagos are mostly made of lava, and lava is hard sharp type of rock. But there will be destinations where flip-flops are just fine.

On some of the First Class and Luxury ships you maybe required to dress for dinner; casual with shoes, no shorts, etc.

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Customs and Forbidden Items

The Galapagos are part of the Ecuador and have no international airports. But in order to preserve this special place and prevent the introduction of new species to the islands you are not allowed to take items such as fruits, vegetables, cheeses, eggs, flowers and seeds. Your luggage will be scanned at the SICGAL inspection station prior to you checking in for your flight.

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Departure Date / I have a specific dates which I can travel

Maybe your schedule is inflexible or you only have a short window of time which you can visit the Galapagos. How do you know what is available? At Dreamkapture Travel we sell every cruise ship and this means we can provide you will all the potential options available. Provide us with your travel dates, number of people in your group, and budget and we can tell you what is available to match your needs. Contact Us. 

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Documents RequiredDocuments Passports

According to Ecuadorian Immigration regulations, every foreign passenger entering the Country must have a passport with a time validity of at least 6 months from the day of arrival to Ecuador. A Visa is not required by anyone regardless of their nationality if they will not be staying more than 90 days.

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Duration of Trip

There are 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, and even 15 day cruises.

Almost all of the ships only offer the 4, 5, and 8 day options.
This is due to structure of their itineraries. Only a few ship have the 6, 10, 11, and 15 day options.

An 8 day cruise will include all the destinations of the particular ships itinerary. For example if the cruise starts on Sunday then you will visit all the different locations on the itinerary and end the cruise by returning to where you started the next Sunday.

The 4 and 5 day cruises are halves of the 8 day cruise. Most cruises have a halfway point when they will be in or near a port location. At this halfway point they say good bye to some guest and welcome new ones aboard. The 15 day cruise are a northern 8 day cruise and a southern 8 day cruise combined. Only a few ships are offering this option.

If the numbers do not add up for you this is because your first and last day on any cruise will be a half day. On the first day you will have an afternoon activity and on the last day an early morning activity. These half days are part of every ships schedule to bring on new passengers and to get others back to the airport on time for their return flight.

Dreamkapture Travel encourages our clients to spend a few days on the islands either before or after their cruise to take in some of the sites which were not part of the cruise. If you are scuba diver you will definitely want to make time to dive in the Galapagos.

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The ships all have 110v electricity on board, and some also offer 220v.
The electricity in Ecuador is 110v with North American standard plugs. If necessary you should bring your own adapter.

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Entrance Fee

The Islands are part of the Ecuadorian National Parks system. There is an entrance fee of $100 U.S. dollars for adults and $50 for children under 12. The fee is collected on arrival in the airport in the Galapagos Islands and is ONLY payable in cash. There is no ATM access in the Galapagos airports. You need to have the money with you prior to leaving the mainland. Credit cards or travelers checks are not accepted.

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Flights to / from GalapagosAerogal plane

All Galapagos trips start with a flight from mainland Ecuador from the cities of Quito or Guayaquil. There are no direct International flights to the Galapagos Islands. The flight from Guayaquil to Galapagos takes approximately 1.5 hours. The flight from Quito usuallystops at Guayaquil and then continues to the Islands. The total travel time from Quito to the islands is approximately 2.5 hours.

All the flights to the Galapagos leave in the morning hours, usually early. The return flights depart late morning or early afternoon from the Galapagos. These return flights arrive back in Quito or Guayaquil in the afternoon, usually before 6:00 pm.

It is possible to begin your cruise the same day as you arrive in the Galapagos and you can depart on the same day your cruise ends. Not all flights arrive early enough to begin cruises. If you already have your flights, inform your Dreamkapture sales person of the the dates and times of the flights. This way conflicts can be avoided between cruise ship options and your flight times.

Take note, that not all the flight arrival times will work with the beginning time of the ship departures. Also, some ships require that flights are arranged through the ship.

Dreamkapture Travel can secure your flights and avoid all the possible problems with restrictions and scheduling. It is always best to secure your cruise first and then secure flights to accommodate the cruise dates.

Dreamkapture Travel offers all cruises with flights. We can also provide pricing without flights if you already have your flight tickets.

The weight limit for flights to the Galapagos is 50 lbs / 23 kg.

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Flights tickets to the Galapagos

Dreamkapture Travel arranges your flight tickets to the Galapagos and this is included in the price you will be quoted. If you already have flights let our salesperson know so that they can provide you with an adjusted price quote.

Flights are usually one of these options:



High Season: July, August, December
Low Season: January - June and September - November

Other combinations are available as well.



Prices vary from airline to airline. Which airline is used will depend on availability of spaces on the planes.

Often people think it is best to buy their flight tickets first and then book a cruise...


Buying your flight tickets first can greatly complicate things by limiting your choices for cruises due to conflicts between ship's schedules and flight times. The ships will not normally wait for someone arriving on a later flight. Also your return flight can effect your options for cruise. In addition, changing flight tickets can be difficult and expensive.

When Dreamkapture Travel arranges your flight tickets there will be no conflict between the flight times and the ship’s schedule. We are also able to draw upon the reserved seats which each ship has to obtain your flight. Some ships are very specific about airlines in order to avoid just such situations.

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Food can vary from traditional Ecuadorian dishes to something more international. If you are a vegetarian or have any special dietary needs please let us know in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements. All meals on board are included in the price of the cruise.

On the Tourist and Tourist Superior Class ships meals are normally served as a fixed or single plate meal.

On the First and Luxury Class ships meals are normally buffet.

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Galapagos National Park & Marine Reserve

The Galapagos National Park protects 97% of the land mass on the islands. In addition, the Galapagos Marine Reserve protects a further 138,000 square km of sea surrounding the Islands.

The Park’s mission is to protect, conserve and manage the Islands ecosystems and its biological diversity for the benefit of humanity, local populations, science and education.

All the ships strictly adhere to the rules of the Galapagos National Park. All cruise itineraries are approved annually by the National Park. All ships passengers are always accompanied by a fully qualified Galapagos National Park guide.

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Daily trips to the islands involve getting in and out of small boats known as pangas, which require some physical effort and balance. Daily nature walks may include walking on irregular ground including boulders. Briefings will be given by your guide in advance of the landings to better help you determine the levels of difficulty.

It is advisable that guests should be in reasonably good health and physical condition to fully enjoy a cruise in the Galapagos Islands. If a passenger suffers from any medical condition that might impact their travel experience they should consult with their doctor before traveling to the Galapagos to ensure that they are capable of undertaking the trip. In addition, passengers should advise us of their condition and associated medical needs prior to travel.

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It is recommend that passengers buy trip cancellation insurance. In addition, we also recommend the following insurances: life, international medicine, baggage loss and baggage delay, loss of personal belongings lost or stolen personal objects during the length of the trip.

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In the cities of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island, Puerto Villamil on Isbela Island you will be able to find )Internet Cafes where you can connect to the Internet

Only a few of the first and luxury class ships offer satellite )Internet This service is NOT included and it is an additional charge on board the ships which do provide it.

None of the Tourist Superior, or Tourist class ships offer on board Internet service at this time.

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Island Visits

The ships will anchor and guests will visit a minimum of two sites each day (with the exception of the first and last day). You will leave your ship to the island on a "panga" (local name for dinghies). There are two kinds of landings in the Galapagos: Dry and Wet. A dry landing would consist of stepping out of the panga onto a solid dry surface such as a dock, large rock or concrete slab. A wet landing would mean you are stepping out of the panga onto a beach. With the wet landing you would be barefooted and carrying your shoes in your hand.  Once ashore your guide will lead you on marked trails explaining the geology and natural history of the location, and you are encouraged to ask your Islands buttonguide questions. Your treks will be done at a leisurely pace allowing plenty of time to enjoy and photograph the amazing wildlife and scenery. There is often an opportunity to swim and/or snorkel during these visits should you wish.

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Land Based Tours in the Galapagos

It is possible to go a on land based tour of the Galapagos.

The land based tours work in a similar way as the cruises. There are 4, 5, 8 day options. You will spend each night in a hostel or hotel depending on which class you choose for your tour. During each day you will visit multiple locations. At the end of each night you will return to your lodging.

The land based tours are similar to Island Hopping but consist of multiple days in an organized tour.

All your meals and an English speaking naturalist guide are part of the land tours. You can read more about the land based tours by clicking the link: Land Based Galapagos Tours.

* Most of these tours include destinations which require boat travel to reach. If you have chosen a multiple island tour; there will be boat travel required to complete the entire tour. It possible that some travel by boat will be required to visit some locations on a single island tour.

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All the naturalist guides are bilingual and tours are conducted in English and Spanish if required. Some guides speak multiple languages and it is possible to arrange tours in other languages. This needs to be done in advance. There would be an additional cost for a guide who speaks a language other than English or Spanish.

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The shores of the islands and the access to visitor sites can have rocky surfaces or beaches. Landings may be dry or wet. Dry landings are easily performed, as you will find a flat rocky surface for proper docking with the outing boats or sometimes a real pier as a landing place. When a beach is the only way of accessing a visitor site, it is performed as a wet landing. These are also quite simple since you just remove your shoes and socks, proceed to the front of the dinghy (or panga), and while swinging your legs out, you gently slide off the side of the panga, and will not wet yourself any higher than knee level. Afterwards, dry your feet, put your shoes on, and you will be ready to go. From time to time you may find rougher swells than the usual ones, and so the wet landing requires extra caution. At any landing, please, follow the instructions of the staff in charge.

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Last Minute Deals on CruiseLast Minute Deals

Last Minute Pricing happens about one week or a little more before the ship embarks. The reason for these deals are to sell the remaining spaces on the ship before the it sails.

Most often this can save you some money when purchasing a Galapagos Cruise.

The pros are:

  • You can save money on a cruise.

  • You may be able to get a better ship within your budget.

The cons are:

  • Your choices are limited to what is available.

  • The number of spaces can be limited (not good for larger groups).

  • You will need to be able to pay right away
    • Most operators are Cash Only
    • Limitations on your ATM withdraws
    • May require additional days before the trip to gather funds to pay

  • If you already have purchased your flight tickets and have set travel dates, this can restrict your choices that will work within your travel dates.

This can be a great way to save money, but time is of the essence and it is good to be able to react quickly. Most often buying with cash is your only option and you will need to pay for the entire cruise before it begins. Spaces on ships can sell out at anytime! Also see paying for the Galapagos: click here.

Dreamkapture Travel contacts the ships your are interested in to confirm there is space available and the Last Minute Prices. Contact us with your travel dates to find out what we have that matches your needs. For more advice on Last Minute Deals Click Here.

Also click here to visit our Last Minute Dealsweb page.

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The currency in Ecuador is the United States dollar. On the Islands, most major credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners etc) are widely accepted, except in smaller stores.

You can find Banco Pichincha and Pacifico branches on the island of Santa Cruz and Banco Pacifico on San Cristobal. Both have ATM machines that accept Master Card, Visa and cards affiliated with the Cirrus, Maestro, Banred and ATM system. It maybe possible to change travelers checks but this is more difficult and a there is a service charge.

Important note: Most shops, restaurants, individuals, and even some banks will not accept $100 bills, we recommend taking smaller denomination of the money.

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Myths about the GalapagosDreaming Mermaid

There are several myths about the Galapagos which continue to be spread around by travelers. They have almost become like urban legends. Here are some of the myths about the Galapagos...

  • If you wait until the very last minute, you will get a better price on a cruise ship.

    • Last Minute pricing happens about a week or more before a ship departs. Once the price has been lowered it seldom drops to an even lower price again. Waiting until the last moment at this point will not save you money and has the possibility of greatly effecting your vacation plans, especially if you do not have the time to secure another option. Besides you would need to be able to pay right away and not with a credit card to benefit from the Last Minute Deal prices. 

    • Another thing that people often neglect to take into consideration is "What Time of Year" they are traveling to the Galapagos. If it is high season there usually is no need by the ship owners to drop prices to get people on board. So just because your friend got a great deal some time in the past does not take in the account the circumstances surrounding what your are trying to purchase and when. 

    • Most of the ships only have accommodations for 16 passengers. These ships can become completely booked in a short time. So while you are waiting for another price drop; somebody else has purchased the spaces on the ship. A thing to remember: travel agencies all over the world are selling these very same limited spaces on the Galapagos ships.

    • This can be extremely risky. The Galapagos is a popular point of visitation in both busy season and low season. In low season... it is backpacker High season, because so many travelers come to find bargains. Spaces are limited and can sell out quickly. Do not mess up your Galapagos vacation by continuing to look for a better and better deal, when someone else is going to see a good deal and buy it.

    • All the above issues also include going to the islands to purchase your cruise there because you heard you can save even more money. This could end up being a disaster for you. If everything is sold out. You could end up without any cruise at all or waiting a week our more for something to become available. If you are 2 or more people looking to get on the same ship, your chances are exceedingly slimmer of finding a ship with numerous spaces available. Do you really want to gamble you Galapagos experience on what you heard from a fellow traveler?

    • Also see: Last Minute and for advice on purchasing a Last Minute Deals click the link.

  • You lose a day on ships when they let passengers on and off. I need an 8 day cruise without any breaks.

    • You do not lose time, let alone a whole day, when ships are making their transfers of passengers leaving and new ones coming on. You will still have a morning destination and an afternoon destination just like all the other full days.

    • Most of the ships in the Galapagos offer different cruises with different number of days. These cruises will all over lap; making it virtually impossible to avoid a transfer day. Even the day you begin and end your cruise will be a transfer day for someone else.

    • Only a few of the ships have 8 day only cruises and they are mostly First Class and Luxury. So if you believe this myth, you had better be prepared to pay $$$ to avoid it.

  • On the sailboats they will use wind instead of motors to cruise the Galapagos .

    • There are numerous ships in the Galapagos with the option to be "under sail," such as some of the catamarans, motor sailboats, and regular sailboats. But, all of these ships will use their motors when cruising the Galapagos, especially at night.
    • The ship have schedules to keep and cannot rely on the wind at to help them stay on schedule.
    • If conditions allow it, usually, the ship will raise there sails and use the wind to help them along.

  • I can save money by taking a ship or military plane to the Galapagos.

    • A long time ago these were options, but are not available for non-Ecuadorians anymore. What few and occasional military flights that go to the Galapagos which are willing and able to take a couple of passengers ONLY provide flights to residents of the Galapagos. Besides, there is NO where you can go to wait, buy, or find out information about this. Cargo ships are the same way. The cargo ships take 2 or 3 days to reach the Galapagos. There are NO special accommodations for guest, and there were many claims of women passengers being assaulted. These are NOT OPTIONS for you to save money getting to the Galapagos.

  • Land tours and daily Island tours are just as good as taking a cruise.

    • If you are someone who is prone to sea-sickness, this options maybe better for your Galapagos visit, because you will be able to experience the Galapagos without the discomfort of feeling motion sickness.

    • Daily Island tours will take you to the most visited places in the Galapagos. These places will have more visitors than most destinations in the Galapagos. The daily tours Do Not go everywhere the cruise ships go to; not even close. The majority of destinations in the Galapagos are ONLY accessible by the cruise ships.

    • Many of the locations on the Land tours are places that you could go on your own if you wanted to.

    • Another thing to consider is the cost. On day-by-day cost including meals and lodging, daily tours are only a little less than a cruise.

  • I will save money and explore the Islands on my own.

    • The Galapagos National Park is 97% of the land space in the Galapagos Islands. This means your access to most of the islands is restricted. You cannot go to most of the islands on your own, you cannot go without a guide, you cannot get to most places without a boat, there is little hiking, no free camping, and you will not see all the abundant animal life in the which inhabits the islands.

    • The little exception to this is the Island of San Cristobal which allows a little more individual access to the island by hiking or exploring on your own.

    • The Galapagos is a very unique place. It is the most pristine national park in the world. This is why it is so protected, and to experience it fully you need visit the islands in the proper way.

  • It is best to buy the flight tickets first and then book a cruise.

        This can cause problems.

    • Buying your flight tickets first can greatly complicate things by limiting your choices for cruises due to conflicts between ship's schedules and flight times. The ships will not normally wait for someone arriving on a later flight. Also your return flight can effect your options for cruise. Another situation; changing flight tickets can be difficult and have an additional expensive.

      When Dreamkapture Travel arranges your flight tickets there will be no conflict between the flight times and the ship’s schedule. We are also able to draw upon the reserved seats which most ships have to obtain your flight. Some ships are very specific about which flights will work with their schedule.

  • I will save hundreds of dollars by just going to the Galapagos and buying a cruise there!

    • This is like gambling on your vacation. What you don't know could greatly effect your Galapagos plans.

    • What are you going to do when you get the Galapagos islands and there is nothing available for your days there?

  • Do you know...

    • How busy it is the time of year you are going to the Galapagos?

    • Which ships are operating?

    • Do you know the differences between itineraries?

    • Do you know where, how, or who to contact to find out about the availability on ships?

    • Is the lowest price the best option? Why do you think nobody else had bought a certain cruise?

  • The spaces on the ships are very limited and usually sell out well in advance. This is especially true during high seasons and with the best ships and best itineraries in the Galapagos.

  • If you are on a tight budget, this could be extremely hazardous because the economic ships are very limited in number and they are smaller ships with less spaces.

  • More than one person? This could even be more difficult because what happens if the ship only has one space available?

  • Is the lowest price your only concern? Not all itineraries or all the ships the same. There could be a very good reason you might find a good deal on price in the islands... nobody else wanted it.

  • There are many factors involved in securing a good Galapagos cruise. Why would you want to jeopardize your vacation with bad planning.

    This is a matter of your comfortability of assuming risk. Our recommendation is that you do some planning in regards to your Galapagos visit. Even 1 or 2 weeks before your target date can make a significant difference in your overall experience in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Read about better ways to save money.... click here.

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Paying for your Galapagos CruiseCash Money

There are several methods for making deposits and paying for your cruise.

  • Paying by cash

    • Make a Direct Deposit to our bank account in Ecuador. This can be done in any city in Ecuador where our bank has a branch.

    • Paying in cash in our office in Guayaquil

  • Wire Money

    • We accept:
      • Western Union
      • Money Gram
    • (fees are paid up front before the wire is made)

  • Bank Transfer

    • Transfer money from your bank account to ours
    • This method takes time; up to a week. This is Not an option for paying for Last Minute Purchases.

Our sales staff can thoroughly explain the differences, limitations, and consequences of each of these payment methods available to you. This way you can determine which is going to be the best for you.

We also encourage you to review our Payment and Cancellation policy.

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Prices of Cruises

The prices of cruises vary from ship to ship, from class to class, and to the number of days of the cruise. Also the prices of cruises are often changing due to the demand and availability of spaces on the ships. Most ships only have 16 passengers or less. The more economical Tourist and Tourist Superior Classes tend to sell quickly once Last Minute Pricing is available.

Here are some pricing guidelines to help give you and idea of cost. These prices are Including flights.

Tourist Class buttonTourist Class:

  • 4 days: $1200 - $1350 +
  • 5 days: $1300 - $1500 +
  • 8 days: $1650 - $2000 +

Tourist Superior buttonTourist Superior:

  • 4 days: $1250 - $1800 +
  • 5 days: $1650 - $2000 +
  • 8 days: $1900 - $2800 +

First Class buttonFirst Class: 

  • 4 days: $1325 - $2100 +
  • 5 days: $1550 - $2250 +
  • 8 days: $2100 - $3500 +

Luxury Class buttonLuxury Class:

  • 4 days: $1600 - $3000 +
  • 5 days: $1800 - $3500 +
  • 8 days: $2700 - $8000 +

We update our prices for Last Minute Cruises daily. In addition, we do contact every ship to confirm your price and availability before you purchase. When you are working with us you will be getting the most update prices for cruises in the Galapagos.

At Dreamkapture Travel there is no difference in price between buying your cruise in our office in Guayaquil or with us through the Internet. We offer the same great prices to all our clients.

We also recommend that you read

What is NOT included in the cruise price?

Last Minute DealsTo see what Last Minute Deal prices are currently visit the Last Minute Deal web page. If there is something you are interested, contact us from this page and we will provide you with more detailed information.

Why cruise prices are not posted on Dreamkapture's web site?

Prices of cruises can and do fluctuate frequently. Prices change because of the season, the availability of spaces, and the demand for the spaces.

Here at Dreamkapture Travel we sell every ship in the Galapagos, and as part of our service we contact the ships which match your needs to check the availability of spaces and the current prices. This way you will receive from us the most up-to-date information and best prices. This allows us to give you the a low current price for your travel dates without posting a high price on our web site that does not need to be changed like other web sites do.

We send current prices of cruises in all our response emails for cruise search inquiries.

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Refunds and Cancellations

 Reimbursements are extremely rare and limited in value. If a consolation is possible, it will be determined by the ship’s company; not the travel agency, and may include a service fees.

 There are no refunds if you discontinue the tour for any reason.

Travelers are always encouraged to obtain the appropriate Travel Insurance and to confirm the coverage they will have relating to Galapagos cruises.

Cancellation Policy

If it becomes necessary for you to cancel your trip, the following fees will apply and will be computed as of the date of the receipt of a written cancellation notice.

Cancellation Fee Schedule:

  • 61 or more days prior to start of tour: Full refund of your deposit less a small administrative fee of 10% of tour price or $100 whichever is greater (this covers bank transactions, money wire/transfer fees, and financial costs, etc. for canceling your trip). All costs involved with refunding the money will be assumed by the client.
  • If a refund is applicable, it will not be instantaneous. Refunds generally will take a minimum of 14 business days to analyze and process. The time involved with this process is not limited to 14 days and can be greater.  
  • 60-0 days prior to the start of tour: The Fee is 100% of tour price regardless of the reason for cancellation.

You should read the Disclaimer-Cancellation policy of the travel agency carefully and be aware of your limitations before purchasing your cruise.

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Scuba DivingScuba button

The Galapagos Islands are a world destination for scuba diving. The waters are a little colder but the abundance of animal life is amazing.  In addition to reef fish and schooling fish, you will have the opportunity to scuba with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, manta rays and much more.

Conditions in the Galapagos are more suitable for experienced divers, but there are opportunities for beginners.

There are three types of diving options in the Galapagos:

  1. Day Trips
  2. Live-A boards
  3. Diving as part of a cruise (only a very ships offer this)

Day trips are offered out of Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The day trips are more economical, usually consisting of two dives, and the price varies according to distance traveled.

Dreamkapture works with all the best dive operators, and we can help plan out your diving experience Prices begin around $200 per day and include complete equipment rental, boat transportation, and a sack lunch.

Live-Aboard diving would involve numerous dive days on the ship and visiting some of the more remote dive locations. The Live-Aboard options will cost about $575 per person per day. These dive ships only do very limited land visits (usually only Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands).

Only a few of the cruise ships allow diving. This is a new feature in Diving Cruises2012 and requires a minimum of 2 divers. The diving portion of the cruise is slightly different than that of the regular passengers to accommodate the scuba diving. You can read more about this at Dive Cruises.

At Dreamkapture we are able to provide you with Scuba Diving itineraries and make all the arrangements for your diving days while you are in the Galapagos. We work with all the best Dive Operators in the Galapagos and when you let us arrange it for you there is absolutely NO extra charge!

If you want to know more just Contact Us with your scuba diving specifics and days if possible. We will provide you inclusive prices and dive locations.

It also possible to obtain your PADI certification in the Galapagos! Dreamkapture Travel can provide you information on this too.

 Please visit our Scuba Diving Page: Diving in the Galapagos

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Seasickness / Motion SicknessSeasick

By comparison the waters around the Galapagos are considered to be calm. But some people are susceptible to motion sickness (sea sickness). The motion will be felt more on smaller ships than the larger ships, and there can be differences between the style of ships. For example catamarans are known to be the most stable.

Another thing to take into consideration is where your cabin is located. The higher up the cabin is the more the motion will be felt. If you do suffer from motion sickness then you should try to avoid the months when the seas are generally the roughest (August and September). Also there are also various sea sickness medications and aids readily available from pharmacist and other suppliers. These can be obtained over the counter here in Ecuador. One brand is called: Mareol.

Medication should be taken prior to feeling the sick, or before you go aboard your ship.

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On the larger ships you will often find memorabilia which you can purchase: T-shirts, baseball caps, handmade Ecuadorian jewelry and other items. There may even be a gift shop on the luxury ships.

When you are in port cities or at the airport there will be an opportunities to browse some of the shops to purchase local crafts and souvenirs.

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Smoking Policy

Smoking is not allowed within the Galapagos National Park or within enclosed areas of the boat. Smoking is permitted on deck though and guests are asked to be considerate of other passengers who may be within the vicinity.

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Snorkeling & Wet suits

Snorkeling equipment and wet suits are available on all the ships.

Usually the equipment is an additional rental. Snorkeling equipment in the Galapagos only includes:

  • mask, snorkel, and fins
  • the rental is for the entire cruise ($25-30 usually)

Wet suits are separate from snorkeling equipment and these will rent by the day ($5.00 usually).

Please let us know if you think you will be wanting a wet suit, and we can let the ship know your size and to have one available on board. Many of the ships do not have a selection of wet suits available on board, and these need to be prearranged. Please advise us of your size in advance (XS, S,M,L, XL).

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Time Zone

The Galapagos Islands are GMT -6 hours and do not change their clocks for Daylight Savings (because they are on the equator). This means that in the summer months they are the same time as Mountain Daylight Time but in the winter months they are the same time as Central Standard Time.

The Time Zone in mainland Ecuador is Standard Time GMT (UTC) - 5.

This is the current date & time in Ecuador.

Simply put the Galapagos islands are one hour behind from the mainland time. For example if it is 4:00 pm in Guayaquil or Quito it will be 3:00 pm in the islands. This will also reflect with your arrival time on your flight ticket as Galapagos time.

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Tipping / Gratuities

In the Galapagos, it is customary to leave a gratuity for the guide and crew separately. Gratuities are at the sole discretion of the passengers and should be based on the level of service received. Usually a tip is between 8% and 10%.

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Transfers on the Galapagos Islands.
All transfers from the airport in the Galapagos to the boat are included in your cruise if you are flying in on the same day your cruise is beginning. The same is true if you are flying out on the same day your cruise is ending.

If you are going to be in the islands prior to your cruise, you will be required to be at a meeting place. The default location is at the airport. In some special circumstances it may be possible to have a meeting point in Puerto Ayora or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. This will depend on where your ship is anchored on that day and the ship's schedule. A representative from the ship expecting you and most likely they will have a sign with the ship's name on it.

Transfers in Quito or Guayaquil.
Transfers between the airport and your hotel and hotel to airport in Quito or Guayaquil are usually done by Taxi. Taxis are safe and dependable at the airports. There is the option of a special pick up by a private taxi service. Contact us to inquire the price of this.

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On board most ships use reverse osmosis to produce fresh water. The water from the taps is safe to drink on the ships. If you have hesitations you might feel more comfortable drinking bottled water.

On the mainland you should ONLY consume bottled water.

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Water Temperatures and Weather

December to June: 68ºF to 80ºF (21ºC to 27ºC)

July to November: 64ºF to 75ºF (18ºC to 24ºC)

In regards to snorkeling, you may be more comfortable by obtaining a wet suit (rental on board) in the colder months.

There are two seasons in the islands: garua and hot

Between the months of June and November, when the Southeast Trade winds are stronger, the South Equatorial Current and the Cromwell Undercurrent predominate the Galapagos Islands. The air and the sea are cooler. Often, a fine drizzle falls; this is the garua, which gives its name to the season.

Dry Season (windy-dry): June to November ave. 22 Degrees Celsius

Snorkeling conditions: Since the water temperature reaches the "untrue" tropical range, one can expect generally waters with some current, and a slight decrease in visibility due to the amount of plankton particles suspended in the water column. This is the snorkeling season where a wet suit is likely to provide a higher comfort in the water. Note that wet suits are available for rent on some vessels.

From December to May, the Northeast Trade winds blow and the hot Panama Current prevails in the Galapagos. The heat increases and rainfall is abundant.

Hot Season (warm-rainy) : December to May av. 25 Degrees Celsius

Snorkeling conditions: since the water temperature reaches the "true" tropical range, one can expect generally calm waters, virtually non strong currents, and high chances of visibility.

The winds and the ocean determine life in Galapagos.

The archipelago has a varying climate, marked by a scarcity of rain. The majority of the islands are arid, though there is lush vegetation growing in the highlands of the larger islands.

Galapagos lies at the meeting place of winds and ocean currents coming from the north and the south. These determine the climate of Galapagos and the distribution and abundance of its species.

Also see: When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?

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What is NOT included in the tour price?

These are items which are not included in the price of your cruise unless specifically stated in a promotion.

Not Included:

  • Gratuities / Tips to Guide and Crew
  • Cancellation/medical insurance
  • Drinks (except water, coffee, teas, which are complimentary)
  • US$ 100 Galapagos National Park entrance fee*
  • US$ 10 INGALA Card; monitors population in the islands*
  • Airfare from mainland Ecuador ($330 - $424 depending on departure city and season)
  • Wet suit rental (if needed)
  • Snorkel equipment (this will depend on the ship you choose)

* Please note that the Galapagos National Park fee and population control card are only payable in cash.

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