Enjoy the Galapagos Islands
One place that always comes to mind when you talk about Ecuador, are the enchanting Galapagos Islands.
This archipelago shelters one of the largest diversities of plant and animal species in the world relative to its size and location.
The Galapagos Islands is considered one of the world's foremost destinations thanks to its perfect weather all year round, as well as all the life experiences you can only enjoy when you're here.
We have prepared several activities with the Zenith Seal of Approval for the best time you'll ever have.
In order to help make the best of your Galapagos Cruising Experience, we at Zenith have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions from our travelers. If your question isn't listed on this list, please feel free to contact us using the Live Chat, officie, phone or contact forms available throughout our site. We'll be happy to assist you.
Which different classes of boat are available?
We divide yachts into 5 classes:
- Deluxe Class: Best overall experience when your travel budget is highest
- First Class: Offering great comfort and experience for moderate to high budgets
- Tourist Superior Class: A nicely balanced experience of comfort at a nice price range
- Tourist Class: A good economic option offering suitable comfort and focus mostly on the tour experience
- Economy Class: Focus mostly on the tour experience while still offering comfort and quality at an affordable price-range.
What types of cabin are available on the yachts?
This varies greatly, so it is best to check out individual yacht pages on our webiste for more information on each specific yacht based on class, review their itineraries and referencial price. For Special Zenith-Traveler pricing and custom tours, contact us at any given time.
If I'm traveling alone, Do I have to share a room with a stranger or pay a single supplement?
Actually you can do either of the above. As long as you are willing to share your cabin with a stranger, then there is no extra charge to the regular prices quoted on our website, and the boat operator will always try to mach you together with somebody of the same gender (although this is not 100% guaranteed). If you do not wish to share your cabin with a stranger, then you can choose to pay a single supplement to have the cabin to yourself. The cost in each case may vary by yacht but expect to pay between 70 and 100% extra.
What is and isn't included in a cruise?
Specific items will vary from one cruise to another, however this list shows what mostly applies to all ships.
- Accommodation on board
- 3 meals per day from lunch the first day to breakfast the inal day
- All excursiones mentioned in the itinerary
- English-speaking naturalist guide
- Drinking water / tea / coffee
- Transfers in Galaagos
Price does not include:
- Air fare Quito/Guayaquil - Galapagos - Quito/Guayaquil
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US $100 per person (to be paid in cash in Galapagos airport)
- Transit control card INGALA of US $20 per person (to be paid in cash in Quito/Guayaquil Airport)
- 12% ~ 14% VAT tax on cruise rate.
- Fuel surcharges on cruise or flights
- Tips to guide and crew
- Drinks from the boat bar
- Other personal expenses
- Dive immersions (optional)
When are Last Minute prices available?
Typically prices start t fall 1 month or 15 days before departure, and if spaces are still available then rates may fall further 1 week or less before a cruise departure date. As this is not mandatory for boats, the availability of last minute pricing will change every month and spaces will be limited so we recommend booking as soon as possible.
When is High-Season at Galapagos?
High season in terms of most popular month to travel to Galapagos and highest tourist volumes is in July, August, Easter, Christmas and New Year. Some of the yachts also have different definitions of high and low season with different processes accordingly, while other yachts run on just one season the whole year through. There may even be special events occurring depending on the dates of your trip. For information, contact us.
Why are some prices not listed?
For Last Minute Deals we usually put Ask when the price is either too low to post, or multiple rates apply on the same dates based on your cabin of choice.
When the price is too low to publish, it means that this is a deal unique to Zenith Travel to provide you with the most of your travel experience.
For Land and Cruise, a mix between the two or any of our other package deals, when we don't publish the rate, is because it'll be constantly changing due to many factors. We strive to provide the best and most complete packages out of all tour operators to truly provide the best deal for the money. When in doubt, simply give us a call or drop us a line and we'll further assist you.
Can I just head out to Puerto Ayora and book there?
It is possible to do this and there are agencies based at Puerto Ayora that can help you. You must be extremely flexible in your travel plans though, as you will have to wait around in port until a suitable cruise space is available - this may take as little as 1 day or as long as 1 week.
We do not recommend this option as it is often more expensive and if you could not find a good deal, you will find yourself on the islands without a tour.
Can children/babies travel on a cruise?
Each yacht has its own policy fr children/babies - please let us know if you are planning to travel with your young family and we will recommend a suitable yacht.
Can a yacht cater for vegetarians and/or special food requests?
Yes, only if you let us know in advance so can rely this information to the boat operator to ensure that the yacht's chef is prepared to cater for vegetarians as well as any type of food allergy.
Do yachts have electricity points aboard?
This depends upon which yacht you are travelling on - Most of the modern boats have US-style 2 or 3-prong 110v electricity points in each cabin, while some of the older yachts will only have these points in the common areas.
What is the smoking policy on yachts?
It varies per yacht but naturally smoking is forbidden in cabins and inside the yacht. In some cases passengers may be able to smoke on deck but should be respectful of other non-smoking passengers and nature. Never throw cigarrettes or ashes away except for directly onto ashtrays. Help us keep oceans and our environment clean.
What happens in case of mechanical problems during my cruise?
Mechanical problems do sometimes arise and may affect your cruise but the probability of this happening is less than 5% of trips. When such issues do pass, the boat operator should always try to find a suitable solution to minimize the impact on your cruise but it really depends on the exact situation as to what the solution will ultimately be.
If the problems adversely affect your trip and you are unsatisfied with the boat operator's solution then Zenith Travel will always try to represent your case for you. In some cases it is simply not possible to do more than register a complaint with the boat operator and relevant authorities; in other more extreme cases we may be able to get some form of refund from the boat operator. This is yet another reason why it is important to book your trip with a reliable Tourist Agency such as Zenith Travel who cares deeply for their passengers.
How can I avoid the problem of sea-sickness?
The Galapagos Islands are in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (known as the "Doldrums" by early seamen), a tropical belt along the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans known for calm waters, and historically feared by sailors in the past for the exact reason it is preferred by most sailors now: lack of strong winds. For this reason, no ship in the Galapagos has the needs for stabilizers. Some pitching or rolling may be noticeable during the cooler months (May-Nov), but even then we rarely have guests bother by motion sickness. Our experience is that most of the time, discomforst is psychosomatic. We suggest guests bring ginger items (candied ginger, ginger gum, jelly, etc).
Which airlines fly to Galapagos?
Currently flights to Galapagos are handled by TAME, Aerogal - Avianca and LAN
Can zenith Travel organize my Galapagos Flight booking for me?
For sure we can! - We always look after both the flight bookings and ticket issue for our Galapagos clients. If you prefer to book your own flights then in most cases it is not a problem, but please do let us know first so we can inform you of which airline / flight you need to be on. Also note that with certain yachts you (and we) will be obligated to issue the tickets directly with them - In some cases the yacht operator may even charge a cost if the tickets are not emitted directly through them.
Can I fly on different dates than my cruise?
Yes. You can fly out before your cruise starts and/or back after it finishes, but only subject to available space on the new date you would like to book. Just let us know in advance.
How many airports operate at Galapagos?
Only 2 airports receive flights from mainland Ecuador: Baltra and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - San Cristobal.
There is also a small airport on Isabela Island in operation for occasional small plane flights from Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.
Is airport transfer included?
In Quito / Guayaquil transfer is not included, unless otherwise specified for special trip deals. You are expected to make your own way to the airport. At Galapagos your guide will meet you at the aiport and have transportation waiting take you to the yacht.
I have additional questions. Who can answer them?
For most questions, our Zenith agents and operators will be able to help you directly. If necessary, they'll provide you with the contact of the entity that'll be able to answer your question. You may start by filling out the contact forms on our site with your inquiry, or contact us directly at our main office, provided phone numbers or live-chat tool.
We look forward to hearing from you.
In order to help make the best of your Galapagos Trip, we at Zenith have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions from our travelers. If your question isn't listed on this list, please feel free to contact us using the Live Chat, officie, phone or contact forms available throughout our site. We'll be happy to assist you.