Trip Information

Diving conditions

Water temps in summer average 65˚F, 70˚F in winter

The weather in the Galapagos has water temperatures ranging from 65-75˚F from December through May and 60-70˚F June through November. Water temperatures are at the higher end of the scale in both Darwin and Wolf. Air temperatures range from 75˚F or higher in the rainy season (December-May) to the mid 60s during the dry season (June-November), with nearly constant sea breezes. Currents can range from 1 to 5 knots at the sites we visit, and visibility is generally between 30 and 80 feet. Most divers are comfortable with a 7 mm wetsuit June through November with a hooded vest and gloves and a minimum 5 mm wetsuit December through May. Gloves and hood are strongly recommended. Your dives will be done from the pangas with an easy backward roll into the water. After you dive, your tank will be lifted back into the panga and you will board via its stern ladders.

MINIMUM AGE RESTRICTIONS

Under the age of 15 must dive with parent/guardian

The minimum certifiable age for divers is 10 for most scuba certification agencies; normally, the agencies restrict 10- and 11-year-olds to a maximum depth of 40 feet. Humboldt Explorer therefore allows children as young as 10 years to participate in our trips, with the following restrictions:

1. All children under the age of 15 must travel and dive with their parent or guardian, unless undergoing active training with an instructor. For this reason, a minimum age of 15 for divers is strongly suggested.

2. This itinerary offers no diving opportunities at depths less than 40 feet; diving opportunities for 10- and 11-year-olds are not available on this itinerary.

3. A parent/legal guardian will be required to sign the liability release on behalf of a child under the age of 18.

SAFETY STANDARDS

Dive insurance is required

To ensure your safety, we require the following of all divers:

  • 1. All divers must be certified as open water scuba divers by an internationally recognized certification organization.
  • 2. All divers must be experienced divers (we recommend that you have more than 100 logged dives) and have logged at least one dive within the 6 months prior to boarding the vessel. Dives are very often at an advanced level. Currents can be very strong and often divers are required to swim against them.
  • 3. All dives are guided by an instructor/naturalist guide.
  • 4. All divers must log in and out of the water with a member of the diving staff.
  • 5. All divers must have a submersible console. In addition, a timepiece must be worn by at least one diver in a buddy system. Dive computers are strongly recommended..
  • 6. Decompression and solo diving is not allowed under any conditions. The maximum allowed depth is 130 feet.
  • 7. Diving activities must cease when the consumption of alcohol begins.
  • 8. All divers must carry a DiveAlert, a surface signaling device, and an electronic beacon while diving (all available on board).
  • 9. Please note that, due to a combination of staff and equipment logistics, insurance requirements and local diving regulations, neither rebreathers nor diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs) may not be used aboard.
  • 10. Please note that flash photography is not permitted while taking photos of wildlife. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Directorate.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Soft luggage for easy storage
  • Very casual attire
  • All linens, soaps and shampoo are supplied
  • Hairdryers are not available on board
  • Note luggage weight restrictions

Packing for a liveaboard trip is much easier than packing for a land-based vacation. The climate doesn’t require much more than shorts, T-shirts and swimsuits though at sea the winds can be cold and jackets are often necessary. Soft luggage is recommended as it takes up very little space when empty. Sunscreen, sunglasses, a visor, raincoat, lightweight sweater or jacket, long-sleeved shirt, backpack, tevas and a hat are recommended.
Please remember that the Galapagos Islands straddle the Equator and the sun can be very strong at times. In case of rough weather or if you have a tendency towards seasickness, come prepared with motion sickness medications or Transderm patches from your doctor. If you have favorite CDs or DVDs, feel free to bring them.
All linens (including sheets, comforters, bath towels, hand towels, dive towels and wash cloths) are provided on board.
If possible, pack your regulator, dive computer, mask, a swimsuit, change of clothes, medications and toiletries in your carry-on bag. Having these few items with you will make an unexpected luggage delay far more bearable.
There is a limit on checked-in luggage for flights to and from Quito and/or Guayaquil to the Galapagos of one bag up to 50 pounds (23 kilos). An additional fee of up to US$2.00* per 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) to and from Quito will be charged for luggage over the limit and US$2.00* per 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) to and from Guayaquil. In addition, passengers are allowed a carry-on bag weighing no more than 17.6 pounds (8 kilos) and a personal item. This additional fee must be paid in cash at flight time.

*These prices could change at anytime.

EQUIPMENT LIST

  • Bring your application/liability forms
  • Certification card
  • Rental equipment is available on board (please indicate need on application
  • DAN or other dive accident insurance card

The vessel provides tanks, weights and weight belts for your use. If you prefer to rent the rest of your equipment from us, we have all of the equipment that you will need. Please indicate on your application form what equipment you will require. Otherwise, the following items are the diver’s responsibility:

  • • Certification card
  • • Diving log book (strongly encouraged)
  • • Mask *
  • • Snorkel *
  • • Fins *
  • • Booties *
  • • Buoyancy Control Device (required) *
  • • Regulator w/alternate air source, submersible pressure and depth gauges (required)*
  • • Underwater time piece (required)
  • • Dive computer *
  • • Wetsuit – 3 mm to 5 mm *
  • • Hooded vest
  • • Gloves
  • • Dive light
  • • Tank Market Lights (required for night dives)
  • • Repair kit w/ spare parts
  • • Safety flag
  • • DiveAlert air horn for regulator

* Available for rent on board

Most of our guests bring their own complete set of dive gear. This is the ideal situation, however, due to weight limits or additional travel plans some of our guests choose to rent gear. We strongly recommend that you bring your own mask, gloves, booties, fins, hood or hooded vest and computer. A personal wetsuit is also a good idea if you have space. Diving in Galapagos can be challenging and it is important that you are comfortable.

DIVE INSURANCE

Dive insurance is REQUIRED!

Due to the nature of this trip and the very remote nature of the destination, all divers are required to have dive accident insurance when diving from the Humboldt Explorer, and to note the policy number on their application form.

Buying the appropriate travel and/or dive insurance before your holiday starts will make your vacation less stressful and more enjoyable. Here are some suggested considerations.

General Information

The information below is intended to help you assess your insurance needs, but is not meant to make representations about the coverage of any specific policy offered by an insurer or replace a consultation with a qualified insurance company representative.

There are several types of insurance in a variety of different policy configurations available to a dive traveler including (but not limited to):

  • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance coverage. This covers your expenses if you can't go on or finish your planned trip due to a covered illness or unexpected circumstance. These policies are sometimes available with or without flight coverage.
  • Travel assistance service coverage for things such as a lost passport
  • Emergency medical costs in a foreign country
  • Diver-specific accident and recompression chamber coverage
  • Medical evacuation coverage
  • Dive and camera gear coverage
  • Rental car damage


Check your existing insurance policy(s) first. They may cover some of your needs.

When comparing possible insurance you may want to consider coverage of:

  • Alternative travel costs. If you need to book different transportation/accommodations due to illness or additional event.
  • Emergency evacuation costs
  • Tropical weather conditions, including hurricanes, typhoons, fires and earthquakes, as these are sometimes excluded by insurance companies as "acts of God."
  • Car accidents
  • Coverage of just you or additional family members or traveling companions
  • Reimbursement of prepaid expenses, such as non-refundable deposits
  • Does the plan have deductibles?
  • Must you use only preferred providers (hospitals and physicians)?
  • Does the plan you're considering act as primary insurance, or is it secondary to other policies you may carry?
  • What are the policy's coverage limits? Are they per-incident or lifetime?
  • How often you travel. Is a policy that covers just one trip sufficient, or do you need a longer coverage period?

Some final thoughts:

  • Read all policy wording carefully
  • Review all details of the policy

Humboldt Explorer does not sell or endorse specific insurance policies or companies; the above information is offered as a service to our guests, but is not an exhaustive list of considerations.

DAN - Divers Alert Network

DAN membership provides coverage through TravelAssist for emergency situations, as well as becoming part of a worldwide network committed to scuba diving safety and injure prevention.

DAN membership, renewed annually, is required for insurance.

  • Individual membership
  • Family membership*
  • Non-US memberships

* Family membership may include spouse or significant other and all children under 24 years of age living in your household.

Once you are a DAN member, opportunities include :

  • Dive Accident Insurance: DAN offers three plans, with no mileage restrictions when you use your dive accident or injury coverage. Compare DAN plans.
  • Dive Equipment Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance
  • DAN Trip Insurance

DAN Trip Insurance Link Here :
https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/scuba-dive-insurance/

DiveAssure

DiveAssure offers you PRIMARY diving accident plans as well as dive-travel insurance plans that are designed specifically for divers.

The DiveAssure advantage:

  • Primary coverage
  • Duke University oversight of diving accident cases
  • Travel and diving insurance in one policy
  • Exclusive coverage for:
  • Missed liveaboard departure
  • Lost diving days due to health, weather, mechanical breakdown and other reasons.
  • Lost diving equipment - reimbursement/rental allowance
  • Cancellation/Interruption (Curtailment) due to inability to dive
  • And much more

DiveAssure offers several single and family plans.
DiveAssure Link here: https://diveassure.com/en/home/

Other insurance options

The following links are to companies also providing insurance coverage, most offer general travel insurance and may not offer diving insurance.

  • Allianz Travel Insurance
  • CSA Travel Protection - Insurance available online!
  • Travelex
  • Travel Guard
  • Travel Insured
  • Universal Travel Protection
  • Travel Insurance - Compare and Save Today on Travel Insurance!

Humboldt Explorer does not sell or endorse any of the above services or representation of services

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE

  • Passport required
  • Transfers within Galapagos are included in your package for same-day arrivals
  • Tourist Card and Galapagos National Park fee requires cash
  • Note flight schedules

Passports with a minimum of 6 months remaining before the expiration date are required for all arriving foreign nationals. If in doubt about visas, contact the Ecuadorian Consulate for specific requirements from your country.
Transfers within the Galapagos are included in your package for same-day arrivals, and you will be met at the airport in Galapagos by one of our guides. The vessel will leave port on Monday at approximately 2:00 pm.
The vessel arrives at its final destination port on Monday morning. The Sunday evening meal is on island and not included in the price of the trip. Transportation is organized and included for transfer to the airport. The departure tax from Quito and Guayaquil is now included in international flight prices.
Please note: Flight times, prices and the Galapagos airport of arrival are all subject to change with little or no notification, and flights often run late. We strongly encourage our guests to plan on arriving at least one and preferably two days prior to your flight to the Galapagos Islands, to ensure that your luggage is with you or to make up for any travel delays. We also recommend that guests plan on an extra night in Quito or Guayaquil upon departing Ecuador. The earliest time a guest can reliably expect to connect to another flight is 10 pm on the last Monday of the trip. Ticket holders are required to check in a minimum of 3 hours prior to flight time for all international departures, even when connecting from an Aerogal or Tame flight. If you are booking your own domestic flights, the Humboldt Explorer departs from San Cristobal (SCY), not Baltra (GPS). Passengers flying into Baltra must arrange their own transportation to San Cristobal.

MEALS

Please list on the application form any dietary needs you have.

Aboard the Humboldt Explorer, lunch and evening meals usually consist of salad, potatoes, rice, chicken, beef, pork and fish. Breakfast is the usual fare of eggs, pancakes, toast and fresh fruit. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests, please indicate so on your application form. Please note that specific brands of soft drinks, dressings and foods are often unavailable in the islands, and that it can be very difficult for us to find low-fat or soy
products, fresh fruit, fish, and other items common elsewhere. While we will do our best to accommodate your requests, please be realistic and consider bringing some of your own foods if the lack thereof may constitute a health risk or seriously compromise your enjoyment of your holiday.

CURRENCY

US dollars are widely accepted

The US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador; therefore, it is not necessary to purchase currency before arriving. Most major credit cards are accepted widely when shopping ashore, however, additional fees are charged in Ecuador for the use of credit cards.

ONBOARD CHARGES

Major credit cards are accepted on board

Though all meals, most beverages, transportation between islands, and much more has been taken care of with your trip payment, there are additional items which you may charged to your onboard bill. These include retail items (shirts, scuba accessories, etc.), scuba instruction, rentals, nitrox, premium alcoholic beverages, and crew gratuities.

The bill may be paid at the end of the trip using cash, Visa or MasterCard.

American Express, traveler’s checks and personal checks are not accepted on board, and we are unable to advance cash on credit card charges. Gratuities and onboard charges are best paid in cash. This avoids any additional Ecuadorian taxes and service fees. Credit cards are subject to the 12% VAT plus 5% in bank fees. Bills will be settled onboard on Sunday morning. ATM machines are available in Quito, Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora and San Cristobal

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Vital messages may be passed to guest by calling the operations office at 1.800.322.3577
  • Internet access is not available aboard
  • Outgoing calls may be made from the Humboldt Explorer via satellite phone. Please be aware that a charge is assessed for both incoming and outgoing calls.

CREW GRATUITIES

Crew gratuities are not included in your package. The crew works very hard, 7 days a week and up to 12 weeks at a stretch, providing the best possible service for our guests. The industry standard for crew gratuities on dive trips (if of course you are happy with the service which you have received) is between 10% and 15% of the package price per passenger. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated.