Galapagos Cruise: New Itineraries for 2011

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In an effort to mitigate the negative effects of tourism in the Galapagos, the National Park has decided to enforce new restrictions on cruises.  Specifically, this means that four-day itineraries will not be offered any longer and vessels will operate with 15 day itineraries.  Those 15-day itineraries will be split up into shorter itineraries, but it looks like some of these details are still being discussed.  One of our local operators, Metropolitan Touring, sent us an update about this new proposal.

“15-day Itineraries Proposal of the Galapagos National Park

The Galapagos National Park has issued a notice to all Galapagos operators informing that, as of February 1st, 2011 all Galapagos vessels must operate with 15-day/14-night itineraries, which can be cut into two 7-night itineraries or as two 6-day/5 night and one 5-day/4-night itinerary.

The purpose of this measure is to re-arrange all itineraries in an orderly way and to control the number of persons visiting a determined visitor site at a given time.  Each vessel has to present its proposed itinerary for approval by the GNP, who will then assign the visitor sites according to each individual site’s acceptable load of visitors.

The different association of tour operators ADATUR, ASOGAL, FENACAPTUR, CAPTURGAL, airlines and hotels, have gotten together to work with the GNP to obtain the best possible definition and to put in place any change at the appropriate time, so as to allow you to arrange your travel programs in an efficient way.

Of course, nobody wishes to oppose a project that is geared toward the preservation of the islands; however, things are not clear enough to the main tour operators, who have gotten together to request an additional analysis of all the commercial, economic and logistics implications.

Currently, we don´t have a final resolution. Metropolitan Touring, as usual, is always ready for dialogue and mutual understanding among all actors of the public and private sectors, to identify the best alternatives and solutions in relation to the above matter.  We will keep in touch as the situation develops.”

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