Experience the islands that inspired the works of Charles Darwin.

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1 Galapagos Destination Guide Experience the islands that inspired the works of Charles Darwin. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

2 The Galapagos Islands - Introduction Situated 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos archipelago consists of 19 islands and more than 40 islets, created six million years ago when they emerged from the Pacific in a flurry of volcanic activity. The Galapagos Islands offer a unique interaction with nature and their name is synonymous with the celebration of the diversity of species on Earth. Discovery The islands were discovered in 1535 by Tomás de Berlanga, who sent the first known description of the Galapagos to the King of Spain:...nothing but seals, and turtles, and such big tortoises that each could carry a man on top of itself, and many iguanas that are like serpents. He also remarked on the tameness of the creatures:...so silly that they do not know to flee, and many were caught in the hand. Perhaps our first association with the word Galapagos is the name Darwin and for good reason. He sailed into the Galapagos Islands in 1835 on board the Beagle and was amazed by the extraordinary life he found on the islands. Wildlife Each island forms a unique ecosystem, a series of specialised relationships that have adapted to the volcanic and isolated nature of the islands. As a result, the Galapagos Islands are home to a wide variety of endemic species. From albatrosses to tortoises, pelicans to iguanas, cormorants, sea lions, turtles, flamingoes, sharks and whales, there is jaw-dropping wildlife in action everywhere you turn. There is simply nowhere like the Galapagos and the barren landscapes of these remote islands have not lost any of their haunting beauty since Darwin s days. This is one of the last wildernesses on earth, where you can merrily swim with turtles and bob around in the water with penguins.

3 General information Time zone GMT - 6 hours Capital city Puerto Baquerizo Moreno San Cristobal. Overview The Galapagos are a melting pot of marine species and have been described as a living museum and showcase of evolution. The larger islands are Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago and San Cristobal, which formed by a combination of dynamic volcanic activity and the continual force of the vast Pacific Ocean. Population 24,900 inhabitants Currency US Dollar Credit Cards We accept Travellers Cheques, Visa, MasterCard and American Express for payments over US$ Passengers do not need to carry cash on board and bills should be paid the evening before the last day of the cruise, in order to avoid any inconveniences on the day of disembarking.

4 What to pack for your cruise Temperature guide and climate December to June is the rainy season and temperatures range from 25 C to 32 C (77 F to 90 F). During this season, warm waters from the Panama Basin flow through the Galapagos, producing a sea temperature of 20 C to 27 C (68 F to 80 F). From July to November is the dry season and temperatures range from 20 C to 27 C (68 F to 80 F). During this season, cooler waters from the Humboldt Current are driven to the islands, causing the water temperature to drop to 18 C to 24 C (64 F to 75 F). One small daypack / backpack T-shirts Shorts Light-weight waterproof jacket Sweater in the cooler months Hats Walking shoes / boots Sandals / flip flops Bathing suit / swimming trunks Sunglasses Sunblock Insect repellent Camera Extra camera batteries Communication & internet The boats are equipped with a satellite phone. The cost of your call can be paid directly on board. Internet service is currently unavailable on board; however, during your visit to Puerto Ayora, internet cafes will be available.

5 Flight access & transfer details Flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Ecuador s capital Quito with a stopover in Guayaquil. We recommend arriving to Quito or Guayaquil 2 days prior to your cruise departure. Passengers boarding in Quito have to be at the airport s national terminal at 08:15 am for check-in. Our representative will meet you at the Aerogal counter to give you your travel documents. Passengers boarding in Guayaquil have to be at the airport at 10:00 am for checkin. Cruise vouchers will be delivered to the hotel or the local tour operator. Upon arrival on Baltra Island passengers are met by our guides after passing through passport control. Passengers are then transported on Aerogal buses to the vessel anchored nearby. Food and drink All meals are served buffet style in the al fresco dining area or in the dining room. All non-alcoholic beverages are included. Special meals If you have special dietary requirements, please contact Sanctuary Retreats at least 30 days prior to the start of the cruise. Every effort will be made to accommodate any special requests, subject to the products availability in Ecuador. Dress code We require that shoes, shirts and trousers/shorts be worn in the lounge, dining room and library. We also require that gentlemen wear long trousers for dinner. Smoking policy Smoking is forbidden inside the yachts. However, smoking is permitted in the al fresco dining area or on the sun deck. Please ask the bartender for an ashtray; do not throw your cigarette stubs or ash into the water.

6 Baggage restrictions & laundry service Baggage restrictions: 20 kilograms per person and one carry on. Laundry service: The Eclipse offers a laundry service during the cruise and items are returned within 24 hours. There is currently no on board laundry service for the Athala II. Passport and visa information The documentation and fee required for obtaining visas varies according to both your nationality and where you are applying from. It is the sole responsibility of guests to check if a visa is required to enter the Galapagos Islands as this can change. All passports must be valid for 6 months and have 2 clear pages free. Health advice There is no risk of malaria or yellow fever in the Galapagos Islands. However, we recommend you to visit your doctor before travelling in case of any other medical conditions you may have.

7 Sailing dates & family cruises All cruises depart on Saturday from Baltra, apart from the 3 night cruise which departs from Puerto Ayora on Wednesday. Guests booked on our 4 night cruise option disembark on Wednesday, while those on the 5 night cruise disembark on Thursday. Our 7 night cruise passengers stay on board until Saturday. Please refer to the sailing dates for more information. For our family departures on the M.V. Eclipse, children are accepted from the age of 4. Specialist guides are assigned to educate and entertain your children throughout the day. The guides will organise separate activities such as shorter walks, beach games, on board activities, special briefings and kid s menus and mealtimes. To see more information on what sets our family cruises apart, please click here. Contact details for Sanctuary Retreats For cruises in the Galapagos Islands Tel: (0) This country guide is intended for advice only, and while every care has been taken to ensure that the descriptions, facts or opinions are accurate, please ensure you make your own inquiries before travelling. It is the traveller s responsibility to make sure passports, visas and travel insurance are correct prior to your journey. Selected Images are copyright and cannot be reproduced without the expressed permission of Jonathan R. Green

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