- Where are the Galapagos Islands?
The "Enchanted Islands" of Galapagos are found in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles west of Ecuador. Made famous by the studies of Charles Darwin that became his "Theory of Evolution," the volcanic islands of Galapagos have been declared a National Park of Ecuador.
- What is included in the scuba charter?
Accommodations aboard the vessel, diving, compressed air tanks, weights and weight belts, airport transfers on day of arrival and departure, meals and snacks, non-alcoholic and local alcoholic beverages are include in the charter rate.
- What is NOT included in the scuba charter rate of $3,395?
Airfare is NOT included in the charter rate. You will need to purchase airfare from your home to Ecuador (Guayaquil) as well as inter-island airfare from Guayaquil to San Cristobal, where the boat will depart. Aerogal Ailines operates the inter-island flights, Aggressor fleet automatically blocks 14 seats on these flights, so we have to purchase these tickets through aggressor for an APPROXIMATE cost of $380.00 USD roundtrip.
Also, NOT included in the charter price is a mandatory one night hotel stay before in (Guayaquil) and after in (Quito) the boat trip. MJW Adventures will make arrangements for the group at the Guayaquil Oni Park Hotel on Wednesday September 24, 2008 and then at the Quito Hilton Hotel on Thursday October 2, 2008. The estimated cost will be $75 per night, per person. Based on double Occp.
- Do I have to purchase my flights from Ecuador (Guayaquil) to Galapagos (San Cristobal) through Aggressor Fleet/MJW Adventures?
Yes. Airline tickets for the flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands must be purchased through Aggressor Fleet, Limited. Airline tickets for International flights from the US (or any other country) to Ecuador may be purchased through your local travel agent. Airfare is not included in the charter rate. Our charter will depart from San Cristobal.
- How many days is the charter and how many dives can I make?
A Galapagos Aggressor charter is seven days, Thursday afternoon to Thursday morning, with five and one-half days of diving. Most guests make up to three dives a day. Diving begins on Thursday afternoon and ends about midday on Wednesday.
- When should I arrive in Ecuador?
You MUST arrive in Ecuador (Guayaquil) at least one day prior to the vessel's departure, on Wednesday, Septyember 24, 2008, in order to meet the flight schedule to Galapagos from the mainland. If you do not make this flight schedule, you will not meet the vessel's departure time. Your travel arrangements should include a one night stay-over (prior to the vessel departure) in Guayaquil (see above Question 3) which are on the mainland. On the return we will have a one-night stay on Quito.
- Are there any taxes or fees not included in the charter price?
Yes. The Galapagos Park Entry fee is $100.00 US. A $70 port fee is collected when passengers settle their onboard tab. The International Airport Departure Fee, due at check-in to flights departing from Guayaquil is $25.00 US and departing from Quito is $31.60 US. These fees are not included in the charter rate and US dollars are the preferred payment. They are levied by the Ecuadorian government and are subject to change, so please check with your travel agent before your trip. There is a 12% sales tax on all onboard services.
- Do I need a passport?
U.S. citizens are required to have a passport for international travel. For details on travel requirements for U.S. citizens, please visit the U.S. State Department's web site. Non-U.S. citizens should check with the appropriate consulate.
- How do I meet the Galapagos Aggressor on the day of departure?
Once you arrive at the airport in Galapagos,(Guayaquil) you will be asked to pay the National Park fees. (keep your receipt, you may have to present it latter) A MJW Adventure group leader & aggressor guide will be there to welcome you, take care of your luggage, and drive you to the vessel.
- Where do the Galapagos Aggressors dock?
The Galapagos Aggressor I and II depart from San Cristobal year round. The bus ride to the port is 5-10 minutes from the airport.
- What is unique to Galapagos diving?
Lots of large pelagic’s, particularly the schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks. White-tip reef sharks and Galapagos sharks, are also abundant, as are manta rays, eagle rays, golden rays, turtles, sea lions, fur seals, schools of tuna, jack and snapper. Whales sharks and dolphins are frequently sighted. There is also the opportunity to snorkel with penguins and marine iguanas.
- What is the diving like in Galapagos?
Diving around the Galapagos Islands is more difficult due to its ruggedness, currents and slightly cooler temperatures. Diving from the dinghies has advantages, but can be physically challenging for some. The opportunity to see great numbers of sharks on virtually every dive, along with other large pelagics, makes it all worthwhile.
- What is the water temperature? Will I need a wet suit?
The water of the Galapagos Islands are a unique mixture of warm and cold water, ranging between 65F and 85F, with thermoclines about 65F. We recommend a 1/4" (5mm) wet suit with hood and booties year round. The water conditions are constantly changing.
- Is there dinghy diving?
Yes, all dives are made from a dinghy.
- Is there night diving?
No, The National Park Service of Galapagos has prohibited night diving in Galapagos due to extreme conditions on most dive sites.
- Are there any land tours?
Yes, your Galapagos Aggressor vacation includes fabulous land tours lead by highly-trained, multi-lingual naturalist guides.
- What type of topography can I expect to see in Galapagos?
The islands are volcanic in origin and are therefore mountainous. Some volcanoes are still active.
- Is it customary to offer a crew gratuity?
We believe gratuities should be voluntary and based upon the quality of the service the crew has provided. When setting your account, the Captain will have an envelope for gratuities to be divided equally among the crew. Gratuities may be left by cash, credit card, or travelers checks.
- What is planned for Wednesday afternoon and evening after we return to port?
Wednesday afternoon the Galapagos Aggressors will dock in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz to provision for the next week. Guests will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Galapagos Aggressors' crews host a cocktail party Wednesday evening. Dinner is not served on board. This meal is not provided with the cruise. The crew will recommend a restaurant in town. You will need cash, many restaurants and shops do not accept credit cards. At midnight, the vessel returns to San Cristobal.
- When is check-out time on the vessel?
Check-out time is 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning. The crew will transport you and your luggage, with the group, to the local airport, and assist you with the check-in. We will fly to Quito and check in to the Hilton Hotel for a one night stay. See above Question 3
- Where is the nearest recompression chamber?
The nearest recompression is in Guayaquil.