Effective February 1st, travel regulations will go into effect in the Galapagos Islands which are designed to help protect the environment there, while presenting travelers with a better experience for years to come.
The new regulation from the Ecuadorian government, which oversees operation of the Galapagos National Park, states that no vessel operating in and around the Galapagos can visit the same location more than once within a 14 day period. The hope is this regulation will disperse visitor traffic throughout the region, keeping overcrowding to a minimum, and protect the unique and fragile ecosystems there for years to come.
Initially, there was some fear that small ship companies would extend their itineraries to 14 days to easily meet the new regulations. However, knowing cruise passengers have a preference for shorter 7, 10, and 12 day adventures, the cruise companies have become creative in how they plan their itineraries. And, instead of explicit day-to-day itineraries, cruise suppliers are providing a general itinerary, leaving the details to what is approved by the Galapagos National Park at the time of sailing.
Though the published itineraries may be high-level at best, the experience hasn’t changed, and in some cases, has improved through diversity. You’ll still experience dancing Blue-footed Boobies, swaying Marine Iguanas, charismatic Galapagos Penguins and Sea Lions, Galapagos Tortoises and more. You’ll also experience the evolution of these pristine islands, moving west to east, from volcanic deserts to lush tropical ecosystems. And you’ll leave with memories of experiences that last a lifetime.
For more information or to speak with a travel agent,
contact Sunstone Tours & Cruises at 1-888-815-5428.