We always recommend that people arrive in Ecuador at least two days before their Galapagos trip just in case there is some sort of airline delay or other problem that might make them miss their Galapagos flights. Weather problems at airports in the USA the last two weekends have reinforced that this is a good idea. Winter weather has caused a lot of flight cancellations across the US, and many of our passengers have found themselves stuck in airports wondering if they would get to Ecuador in time for their flights to the Galapagos.
Fortunately, most of them made it– let’s hope their luggage made it too! (Note to self: always carry on the plane any items you can’t go without on your trip. For example, if going trekking, wear your hiking boots and your rain/wind jacket) Others, however, were not so fortunate and didn’t even get to leave the USA until after their Galapagos yacht had left port.
What happens if your flight to Ecuador is delayed so that you miss your flight to the Galapagos to meet up with your boat? Well, quite simply, you miss the boat! Boats in the Galapagos are on very strict schedules as they have to stick to their Galapagos National Park approved itineraries. They can’t wait around for a day for you to arrive. They have to leave on schedule — with or without you!
Missing your flight to the Galapagos is a big pain in the behind, but sometimes it is possible to catch up with your trip. First, you will need a different flight to the Galapagos, and at busy times there are limited or no seats available. Then, you will have to get to the boat. Depending on when you arrive and the itinerary of the boat, this could be easy, such as meeting the group while they tour Santa Cruz Island (next to the Baltra airport). Or, the itinerary may take the boat far from any Galapagos airport, making it very difficult to rejoin the cruise. In this case, if you are lucky, you can hire a speedboat to take you to your yacht. If that isn’t possible, you may have to wait for the boat to get to an area that is closer to the airport. All of this is nearly impossible to do on your own, but if you’ve booked your trip with a reliable yacht company (through Detour, of course!), they will help will all of this.
Any expenses incurred in getting to your boat are your obligation, and it can be expensive. You will need hotels on different nights in Ecuador and maybe the Galapagos, and spaces may be very limited. You may need to hire a speedboat to take you to your yacht, which can cost $500 or more depending on where you are going. You may also have to purchase new tickets to the Galapagos, if flights are even be available.
So, the best idea is to plan to go to Ecuador several days before your Galapagos trip to try to avoid any problems.
Our passengers the past few weeks have been fortunate they booked yachts with our high-quality, hand-selected local outfitters. These local companies have gone out of their way to make sure the passengers who missed their flights caught up with their trips. Kudos to Angermeyer Cruises and Galasam!