Monday, 23 July 2012

What should I pack for my Galapagos cruise?

When planning a Galapagos cruise, one of the first questions that arises is: what should we pack for the trip. This video is a guide in words and pictures of what to pack for the trip.

Your luggage should be limited to one medium-size suitcase and one small carry-on bag. The airline restricts and enforces the amount of luggage passengers may bring to the islands to 1-piece weighing no more than 20kg (44 lbs). Arrangements can be made to leave extra bags at your hotel in Quito where you will stay before and after the cruise.

Your carry-on bag should contain all important travel papers, film, camera equipment, traveller’s checks, toiletries, medications, swimsuit, and one change of clothing.

For the daytime in the Gal├ípagos, clothing should be lightweight, casual, and comfortable, shorts and a loose comfortable t-shirt or tank top. However, you might want to bring long-sleeved shirt for sun protection.

Shorts should be just fine for all landings. For cold mornings, you might want zip-off trekking pants (like The North Face Horizon Convertible Pants).    
A wide-brimmed or long-billed hat and a pair of sunglasses are essentials for protecting face, eyes, ears and neck from the bright and scorching equatorial sun. breathable Gore Windstopper is ideal for the islands and a rain jacket or poncho with hood could be handy if it rains.
To carry your additional clothing and waters bring a collapsible lightweight nylon  backpack, like The North Face Flyweight Pack.

An old pair of sneakers (running shoes), or a pair of sport sandals (Keen Footwear, Teva, Chaco, Merrill) is necessary for “wet” landings from the boat. Most wet landings are wet because the pangas come up on sandy bottoms. You can then change into walking shoes or leave on your sandals.

For ‘dry landings’  running-shoe types of footwear or low hiking shoes are suitable. Full hiking boots won't be necessary, you will always be on paths.
Shoes  should be sturdy, as well as comfortable, because the lava terrain is hard on the soles. Bring older shoes, that will suffer the damage of saltwater, volcanic rock, and sand. I did use my Keen Newport waters sandals for all landings (both wet and dry) and did not change.

On board use a pair of light sailor shoes or sandals.

Also remember swimwear and sandals for the beach and snorkelling gear, if not provided by the tour operator.

The Celebrity Xpedition Dress Code
On a ship with such an outdoor-based itinerary as Galapagos, casual is obviously the order of the day, but guests seemed to enjoy changing out of their daytime swimmers and shorts and dressing fairly smartly for dinner in the evenings.

For dinner and evening, it is slightly more formal attire, Bring one set of casual city clothes/skirt or a simple sun dress.  Men don't need to bring a jacket. At night, a sweater or sweat suit will be suitable. For evening use Rubber soled shoes or boat shoes. 

Nights can be chilly, so include a medium to light fleece jacket or sweater for the evening. Bring only one (or two) pairs of light pants to the Gal├ípagos. 

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