onboard etiquette

your conduct onboard
Passengers on M/Y Grace

Your fellow passengers deserve to be treated the same way you would like to be treated. If something is not to your liking, you can always talk to your naturalist guide, cruise director or captain and they will do everything in their power to accomodate you. Openly complaining creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and affects the experience of every person onboard. Remember that your fellow guests are on holiday and the last thing they want to hear is bad temper and complaints.

You will find that the small yacht experience allows for guests to get to know one another by sharing the wonderful Galapagos experience. Every guest becomes a part of this experience so it is also up to you to complemement the wonderful sights and sounds of the Galapagos.

As a common courtesy to other guests, please be punctual. Your naturalist guide or cruise director will let you know and announce the activities’ departure times. They will also announce wake up calls and dining hours.

your captain
and crew
Yacht Captain

Your captain and crew are here to accomodate you and make your trip safe and comfortable. Your captain is the maximum authority onboard. Whatever he says must be done just like an airline pilot. Your captain is here first and foremost to make your trip safe and to take you to the places listed on your Galapagos National Park approved itinerary. Our captains are encouraged to go off course if they encounter an unexpected sighting like a school of dolphins but it is entirely up to his judgement to do so.

Your crew will treat you with the utmost courtesy and respect. We expect our guests to be likewise polite to our crew.

Alcohol Beverages

Alcoholic beverages are not part of your all-inclusive cruise. They must be paid separately at the end of your cruise. The legal drinking age in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador is 18.

For your safety and that of your fellow guests, please drink responsibly and with moderation.

If our captain is informed that a guest is past a moderate drinking level and may become a safety and health risk, he will suspend bar service to that guest.

your ship

Your ship will be your home for 8 days. We actively maintain your ship so that it is up to your standards for every cruise. We very much appreciate you taking care of your accomodations so that future guests can enjoy the same quality you have experienced.

Thank you in advance.

your attire
Galapagos Attire

For the daily activities such as disembarking from your ship, walking and hiking on uneven terrain, we recommend you dress comfortably minding the physical nature of the activities. Bring comfortable walking or hiking shoes, shorts or light pants, a hat, sunglasses and sun screen lotion. For the rainy season you may bring a light water resistant poncho or raincoat.

For snorkeling you will need a bathing suit. You may bring your own wet suit, masks, snorkels and fins although we offer these onboard for every size.

You may dress the same attire as for your daily activities for breakfast and lunch. We recommend you wear something a little more formal for dinner. Pants and collared shirts for men. Pants or skirt and a collared shirt or blouse for women.

For more information on what to bring click here.

the rules and regulations
of the galapagos national park

The most important rules and regulations of the Galapagos National Park for visitors are the following:

  • Always follow the marked trail and never leave it.

  • Do not touch the animals.

  • Do not take souvenirs from the islands.

  • Do not get too close to animals.

  • Do not litter.

  • Do not smoke on the islands.

  • Do not take food to the islands.

  • Clean your shoes' soles before disembarking in the islands. You may have carried some seeds endemic to one island and would not want to introduce them to another.

  • Fishing is prohibited on the Galapagos National Park’s marine reserve.

  • If you see anyone violating these rules, notify your guide immediately.

  • Anytime you disembark your ship and set foot on the Galapagos National Park, your naturalist guide is the maximum authority.

  • Always stay close to your guide. This is the best way to avoid accidents.

  • Do as your guide instructs at all times. Your guide knows the terrain and wildlife like the palm of his/her hand.

  • If you have anything on your mind, do not hesitate to ask your guide. They are very knowledgeable and friendly.

  • Always follow the marked trail. Do not leave the trail at any time, otherwise you might stumble upon wildlife and harm yourself, the animals and plants.

  • Animals in the Galapagos are completely unafraid of humans. They will not get out of your way, so mind your step! Many animals such as boobies, lizards, iguanas and sea turtles will nest in the marked trail and cross your path frequently.

  • Some species like the Sea Lions are very friendly and may approach you. Do not touch the animals and maintain a safe distance! It is in your hands to keep these animals unafraid of humans.

on health and safety
your safety

In order not to put your life and that of others at risk, you must follow your captain’s and cruise director’s instructions while onboard, specially in an emergency. Your captain and crew work under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and International Safety Management (ISM) guidelines and will perform an emergency evacuation drill at the beginning of your cruise. Please take this drill seriously. Your ship and its equipment are ISM and SOLAS certified.

Embarking and disembarking your ship requires you to have good balance as it involves hopping to/from the dinghy or panga from/onto your ship. This is a relatively safe process, which is why our crew will aid you every time.

If you were to be in an accident and depending on the gravity of your accident, the captain may turn the ship back to port, call for an air ambulance or call the M/V Evolution’s onboard doctor to your location. Such remedies may result very expensive, which is why we recommend you hire trip insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation.

Every time you disembark your ship and set foot on the Galapagos National Park, you must abide by the instructions of your naturalist guide. His/her duty is to keep you safe while guiding you through the National Park.

A dry-landing involves disembarking the dinghy or panga onto “dry” terrain although it is usually onto wet and slippery lava or rocks, which is why you should always let your guide or crew help you in this process.

A wet-landing involves disembarking the dinghy onto a beach. You will get your feet wet. Again, always let your guide and crew help you disembark the dinghy otherwise you may end up falling over into the water. For every wet-landing we will provide you with towels to dry your feet.

your health

Visiting the Galapagos involves walking and hiking on top slippery lava, rocks and generally on uneven terrain and depending on the time of year, under hot weather conditions. Having a good sense of balance and being in good physical condition are absolutely necessary.

In order to avoid serious accidents and even death, you must be in good health to travel to the Galapagos Islands. The Islands are remote and do not have good medical facilities. We encourage all our guests to hire trip insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation just to be safe. Being in good health greatly minimizes your chances of serious injury. It is your responsibility to disclose your health condition to us. Failure to do so may result in your captain preventing you from doing certain activities that may put your life at risk.

vaccinations / immunizations

No vaccinations/immunizations are necessary to travel to the Galapagos and Ecuador. If you have extended your trip to include a visit to the Amazon, we strongly recommend you get vaccinated for yellow fever. We also recommend that the normal routine vaccines should be up to date: Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR Vaccine), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTP Vaccine) and Polio vaccine.

medical services in the galapagos and ecuador

Modern hospital facilities are not available in the Galapagos. The towns of Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo have small hospitals and drug stores. We recommend to bring your own medicine as brands may change from one country to another, or a specific medicine may not be available. Due to the lack of services and medical facilities we strongly recommend you get emergency medical evacuation insurance. Modern hospital facilities are available in Quito and Guayaquil.

M/V Evolution has a doctor on board 24/7. M/Y Grace does not have a doctor on board but any emergency requirement can be coordinated with Evolution’s doctor.

diet guidelines

As a general recommendation, DO NOT drink tap water anywhere in Ecuador. Drink only bottled water. We have desalination plants onboard which generate fresh water but as this water comes from the ocean, we do not recommend you drink it. Instead, we provide fresh, purified water bottles onboard. Also, avoid clams (which are served uncooked) and any uncooked or unpeeled products. Do not eat in any place or restaurant not recommended directly by us. Do not eat at local markets.

We cater all special diet requirements, except for Kosher food (which should be requested in advance).

special needs

Ecuador is just beginning to apply mandatory facilities for special needs i.e.: wheelchair ramps, wide doors, etc. BEFORE you book a particular tour you should inquire about the possibility of attending your particular disabilities.

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