Haugan Cruises - Galapagos

Galapagos Luxury Cruises Redefined

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Galapagos Travel FAQs

Help yourself to the answers we've provided to the most frequently asked questions from our passengers regarding cruising in the Galapagos Islands. There are two sections: “Most Common Questions” followed by “Detailed Answers to Questions.”

During the booking process we will also send you a pre-departure document with helpful information on the Galapagos Islands, as well as mainland Ecuador.

If you still have questions please contact us and we will gladly assist. Contact Us

Quick Links to Questions and Answers

Most Common Questions

Detailed Answers To Questions

MOST COMMON QUESTIONS

When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands can be visited during any time of the year. The warmest season is from December to May (80°Fs to low 90°Fs (27ºC to 32ºC)). From June to November temperatures vary from low 70°Fs to high 80°Fs (21ºC to 26ºC). There is always an amazing amount of wildlife to be seen.

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What should I bring?

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellant
  • Small backpack
  • Hat with brim
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • T-shirts
  • Long and Short sleeved shirts
  • Wind breakers / light raincoat
  • Bathing suits
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sneakers with rubber soles for rough terrain
  • Outdoor Sandals
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Extra film, memory cards, discs, etc.
  • Spare batteries
  • Personal medication
  • Insurance documentation
  • Passport
  • Money (US$ cash in small denominations)
  • Major Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard)

Wetsuites and snorkeling equipment (mask, fins and snorkel) are provided onboard. Feel free to bring your own if you'd like! Use of snorkeling equipment is complimentary. Please read our comprehensive packing list article.

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What is included in the tour price?

Price includes ALL of the following:

  • Top quality bilingual local guide throughout duration of the cruise
  • Dedicated onboard cruise manager
  • All meals on board
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Snorkeling equipment (face mask, fins and snorkel)
  • Wetsuit (guests may bring their own)
  • Free use of all amenities on board
  • Free trip and planning service for all your needs in Galapagos and Ecuador
  • Free airport assistance - Mainland Ecuador (Quito & Guayaquil)
  • Free airport assistance - Galapagos Islands (Baltra & San Cristobal)
  • Free transfers between boat and airport
  • Free 24 hour helpline for personal assistance for your entire time in Ecuador
  • Free international flight confirmation service
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What is NOT included in the tour price?

Unless specifically stated in promotions prices do not include:

  • Gratuities/Tipping
  • Cancellation Fees
  • Medical Insurance
  • Bottled Sodas
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fees
  • Galapagos INGALA
  • Airfare from mainland Ecuador
  • International airfare

*Please note that the Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee and INGALA card are ONLY payable in cash.

These fees are subject to change without previous notice.

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Can I combine my Galapagos Cruise with other tours?

Many visitors sieze the opportunity to combine their Galapagos cruise with other tours on mainland Ecuador. As part of our service we provide FREE TRIP ADVICE & PLANNING.

This may be a day trip to the Indigenous Otavalo market, an extra hotel night, an adventure into the depths of the Amazon jungle or a trip to mystic Machu Picchu.

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DETAILED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

Air - Conditioning

There is air-conditoning throughout each vessel and in each accommodation.

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Airport Assistance

At Quito airport there will be a Haugan Cruises rep to help you go through check in. Once you arrive in the Galapagos you will pass through to baggage claim and our guide and crew members will greet you in the exit area. Your guide will escort you and the rest of the group to the vessel to be welcomed aboard.

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Baggage

There is a luggage allowance of one piece of 44lbs (20 kilos) plus 2 small carry-ons on flights to and from Galapagos. Any additional pieces can be left at your hotel in Quito or Guayaquil.

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Climate

The Galapagos Islands are isolated so the climate is determined by the surrounding ocean currents and 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 rains unpredictably.

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Communication & Telephone Use

In the main ports on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Islands there are plenty of internet cafes to make international calls. There is no Wi-Fi or cell phone reception during the cruise due to the isolated area.

In remote areas the vessels maintain communication using radio.

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Cruise Attire

The dress code aboard the vessels is informal, although sometimes guests like to tidy up for dinner or dress nice for special occasion. As long as our guests are comfortable, this is what is most important.

On island visits please bring comfortable lightweight clothing and appropriate shoes for the terrain.

You will need one pair of shoes or sandals for your time onboard and another pair for your time during excursions. This is done in order to stop the spreading of seeds from island to island. See also “What to Bring” section for a more complete list.

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Customs

The Galapagos Islands does not have a customs department since there are no international airports. However, in order to prevent the introduction of new species to the islands you are not allowed to take items such as fruit, flowers and seeds. Your luggage will be x-rayed and inspected to detect these items.

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Documents Required

According to Ecuadorian Immigration regulations, every foreign passenger entering the country must have a passport with a time validity of at least 6 months beginning from the day of your departure from Ecuador. Contact the nearest Ecuadorian embassy for the latest visa requirements.

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Duration of Trip (recommendations)

The majority of cruises in Galapagos last between 5-8 days. We recommend the 8 day cruise so that you can include the very best Galapagos has to offer. However, our 4 and 5 day itineraries have been carefully organized to include excellent visitor sites.

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Electricity

110V AC on all vessels and Ecuador.

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Entrance Fee

The Islands are part of the Ecuadorian National Parks system. There is an entrance fee of US$ 100 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. Credit card or travelers checks are not accepted.

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Flights to / from Galapagos

All Galapagos tours start with a flight from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Islands. The flight from Guayaquil to Galapagos takes approximately 1.5 hours. The flight from Quito stops at Guayaquil and then flies on to the Islands. The total travel time from Quito to the islands is approximately 2.5 hours. Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you directly to the boat.

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Flight Confirmations

There is NOT a requirement to confirm domestic flights (this includes flights from Quito/ Guayaquil to & from the Galapagos Islands). For international flights we provide a free flight confirmation service.

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Food

All meals on board are included in the cruise price. During the booking process please define your dietary requirements. Haugan vessels can accommodate vegetarians, vegans, kosher, gluten-free and lactose free diets. If you have a specific diet different from these, please let us know during booking in order to accommodate your needs.

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Galapagos National Park & Marine Reserve

The Galapagos National Park protects 97% of the Islands´ land mass. 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.

We strictly adhere to the rules of the Galapagos National Park. All our cruise itineraries are approved annually by the National Park. Itineraries cannot be deviated due to the strict regulations. All our passengers are always accompanied by a fully qualified Galapagos National Park guide.

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Health

Passengers 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 ensure that they are capable of undertaking the trip. In addition, passengers should advise of any pre-existing conditions and/or associated medical needs during booking, prior to traveling.

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Helpline

We have a FREE 24 hour helpline for personal assistance for your entire time in Ecuador.

Toll-Free US: 1-800-914-9832

Toll-Free UK: 080-8234-1399

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Insurance

Beginning February 1st, 2018, the Ministry of Tourism created a new regulation stating all visitors to Ecuador MUST show PROOF of a valid health insurance at port of entry.  Apart from this, we strongly recommend travel insurance for the following unexpected circumstances: unforeseen cancellations, international medicine, baggage loss and/or baggage delay, loss of personal belongings, stolen personal objects, unexpected illness/injuries during trip.

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Internet

In the main ports on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Islands there is access to Internet. Haugan vessels do not have wi-fi due to the isolated location of the islands.

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Island Visits

Guests will two visitor sites each day. Once ashore your guide will lead you along marked trails explaining the natural history and wildlife. Island visits are done at a leisurely pace allowing plenty of time to enjoy and photograph the amazing wildlife and scenery. Please do not stray from the group. Visitors must be accompanied by a guide at all times. There is often an opportunity to swim, kayak, or snorkel during these visits.  Your guide will advise you on which of these activities are available as the park authorities have a strict guideline as to what activities can be done at each visitor site.

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Jacuzzi

Depending on sea conditions and based on the itinerary, please check with your Guide or Cruise Manager for the Jaccuzi schedules.

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Language

All our tours are primarily conducted in English. Although, under request we can provide English, Spanish, and German speaking guides.

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Landings

Access to visitor sites may be rocky terrain, beaches or a boat landing. Landings are described as dry or wet.

Dry landings are easily performed, guests will disembark the pangas on a surface for proper docking.

Wet landings happen when a beach is the only way of going on land. Follow your guides instructions at all times when disembarking the panga at any landing.

Some sites may have no landing at all.  This means guests will enjoy a panga ride around the visitor site.

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Money & Debit / Credit Cards

The local currency in The Galapagos Islands and throughout Ecuador is the US dollar. In the Islands, most major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners) are accepted at hotels and restaurants. In smaller stores small cash denominations will be accepted. Tip: Don't try to break a $20 for a purchase less than $5.

There are Banco del Pacifico branches on the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. Both have ATM machines that accept MasterCard, Visa and cards affiliated with the Cirrus, Maestro, Banred and ATM system. Travellers checks are rarely accepted.

All Haugan vessels accept cash and credit cards (Visa & MasterCard).

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

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Seasickness

By global standards the Galapagos waters are considered to be calm. However, passengers may still be affected by seasickness or motion sickness. Haugan's double hull, espeically MT Camila with three hulls, make each vessel more stable and thus reduce motion sickness.

If you suffer from motion sickness it is suggested to avoid the months of August and September when the seas are generally the roughest. Various sea sickness medications exist and are readily available from pharmacies. Please contact us if you have any further questions on this topic.

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Shopping

Haugan maintains a stock of toiletries, basic medications, hair dryers, etc. When in port guests will have an opportunity to browse some of the shops to purchase souvenirs.

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Smoking Policy

Smoking is not allowed in the Galapagos National Park or within enclosed areas of the boat. Smoking is permitted in the dedicated smoking area, although guests are asked to to be considerate of other passengers who may be within the vicinity.

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Snorkeling & Wetsuits

Snorkelling equipment and wetsuits are complimentary all year round. However, some guests sometimes prefer to bring their own to ensure the perfect fit. Please advise 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.

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Tipping / Gratuities

In Galapagos, it is customary in the Ecuadorian culture to leave a gratuity for the guide and crew separately. Tipping is NOT a requirement and should be given at the guest's sole discretion based on the level of service received and each guests beliefs.


If a guest wishes to leave a tip, please use the the envelopes marked "CREW" and "GUIDE" that will be left in the accommodations on your last day.


Please put the envelopes in the gratuity box that will be left in the dining area on the day of your departure.


All the money in the "CREW" envelope will be shared equally among the crew members.


Here is a guideline based on past experience. If service was excellent, the average tip has been $22 per person per day for the entire ship's crew and $10 per person per day for the guide.


Please understand that this is just a suggestion: tipping/gratuities are a very personal matter and it entirely depends on the value of the service you received.

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Transfers

Transfers on the Galapagos Islands.
All transfers from the airport on the islands to the boat are included in your cruise. Our guide will greet you at the airport and escort you to the boat where your captain and cruise manager will welcome you aboard. We will also have a crew member to personally take care of all your baggage.

Transfers in Quito or Guayaquil.
Transfers between the airport and your hotel in Quito or Guayaquil (and vice versa) can be arranged for you. We have personnel dedicated to transferring our guests between the hotel and the airport.

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Water

Reverse osmosis is used in order to produce potable water. The water from the taps is perfectly safe to drink but guests are still provided complimentary reusable water bottles to refill from the water dispensers.

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Water Temperature

December to May: 70ºF to 80ºF (21ºC to 26ºC)

June to November: 65ºF to 75ºF (18ºC to 24ºC)

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We hope you found the answers you were looking for!

If you still have questions, contact us and we will gladly assist. Contact Us