What’s included in the “Galapagos cruises” price?
Services aboard ship on Galapagos cruises include: accommodation in double cabins, all meals, the tours mentioned (which vary according to duration, ship and cruise category), a bilingual naturalist guide and all island transfers between the airport and your ship.
What is not included?
Internal flights to the Galapagos archipelago, entrance to the Galapagos National Park ($100 US – value to be paid at Baltra airport), transit card ($20 US – value to be paid at Quito or Guayaquil airport), tips, alcoholic beverages and personal expenses, as well as $41 US in airport taxes from Quito ($36 from Guayaquil) for international flights.
What is the recommended tip amount?
We recommend that you tip your guide, usually between US$5 and US$10 per passenger per day of travel. Of course, this value is not obligatory, but if you found the service very good, you can be more generous!
How do we receive receipts, invoices and tickets?
We can send you all the documents you need for your trip by e-mail (scanned). E-tickets are the most widely used and are therefore valid as copies. The rest of the documents will be copies of invoices and other supporting documents required for your trip, the originals of which will be given to you on arrival in Ecuador. In order to minimize our ecological footprint, we avoid printing anything.
What is the standard of the naturalist guides working on the different boats?
The majority are level II and III naturalist guides with several years’ experience and Galapagos guide licenses. All naturalist guides are fluent in Spanish and English, while very few speak French or other foreign languages such as German, Italian, Russian or Portuguese. It is therefore generally difficult, but not impossible, to obtain a French-speaking guide. However, with a great deal of forethought, we can organize a cruise with the few French-speaking guides working on the archipelago, or, if the size of the group allows, send an interpreter at an additional cost.
What can you bring back from the Galapagos?
There are beautiful stores on various islands, but the archipelago is governed by extremely strict laws. When you visit this ark of life, you expect to discover unspoilt, untamed nature. Be careful when bringing back a souvenir not to contribute to its destruction. The trade in shells, turtle shells, rare wood carvings, coral or, worse still, live animals attracts some ill-informed travellers, dangerously threatening the balance of nature for the benefit of a few merchants. So let’s be conscious and responsible travellers and apply a few simple rules that won’t interfere with our enjoyment. In the countries where we travel, let’s show our convictions about the need to preserve species.
Will we have time to snorkel?
You’ll have plenty of time to snorkel throughout your cruise. Most boats provide the necessary equipment (mask, snorkel and fins), but it is of course advisable to bring your own. When diving, there are certain standards to be observed. Coral is an extremely fragile organism that develops slowly. It can be damaged by human activities such as diving and boating. Avoid touching any coral, starfish, etc., and avoid walking on them. On some dives, you may swim with turtles or sea lions. Do not feed the animals, as this could lead to unnecessary dependence on humans.
Do I have to pay to rent snorkeling equipment?
Some boats lend out equipment free of charge, while others charge around $25 US for an 8-day cruise.
Will I need a wetsuit for snorkeling?
No, it’s not necessary, but depending on the season, a wetsuit (2 mm) or Lycra could make the swims more pleasant.
Do we need to change money for the Galapagos?
In the Galapagos, as in mainland Ecuador, the US dollar has been adopted. Airport taxes and national park entrance fees are paid in cash. There are cash dispensers in Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, but we strongly recommend that you bring cash for tips, extras and souvenirs.
What should we bring?
First of all, we advise you to pack light! We also recommend that you pack two suitcases when you leave for the Galapagos: the one with your warm clothes for the rest of your trip on the mainland, will stay at your hotel in Quito. The second, with your belongings for your stay in the Galapagos. The maximum weight authorized by national airlines is 20 kg per person, plus a maximum of 5 kg of hand luggage. Don’t forget to mark your luggage and close it securely. You can bring one bottle of alcohol per person, as well as fully sealed products.
Is group travel for me?
We recognize that many of our travelers are experiencing group travel for the first time. That’s why our itineraries give you more flexibility, especially when we’re in a city. We have also developed free walking and cycling itineraries.
How many travelers are in your groups?
We prefer to travel in small groups. Our European tours have a maximum of 14 participants, and our major expeditions a maximum of 12.
I’m traveling alone. Do I have to pay extra?
Most of our travelers travel alone. That’s why Nature Experience has a simple no-supplement policy, meaning we’ll find you someone to share your room with and, if that’s not possible, Nature Experience will pay the supplement for you (with the exception of the Nature Experience tour). However, if you prefer not to share your room, a single occupancy supplement is available on most of our tours.
Can I put together my own group?
We also specialize in tailor-made tours. Whether it’s a group of friends, a family or a school group, we’ll work with you, using all our resources to make your dreams come true.
What kind of hotels can I expect?
We prefer accommodation that is typical of the region. These are charming inns or 2-star to 4-star hotels. For more information, please refer to the description of the trip you are interested in. Some itineraries include camping, in which case we provide all camping equipment (except sleeping bags).
How do I get to my destination?
Nature Experience offers all its travelers the best airfares on the market.
What are the additional costs?
We take an all-inclusive approach. All park fees, tours and transportation are included, as well as most meals. We also offer transportation to and from the airport if you arrive on Day 1 and leave on the last day of the expedition. Otherwise, a transfer can be arranged for a small supplement. Visa fees, vaccinations, tips and expenses of a personal nature are at your own expense. Consult one of our agents to obtain the best possible airfare.
How do I prepare for my trip?
When you register, you’ll receive a technical file on the region(s) you’ll be visiting. This file will tell you if you need visas, vaccinations and help you prepare your luggage. Information on the country(ies) visited is also included.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.