Orbridge looks forward to welcoming you on tour. Find frequently asked questions below to help you prepare for your travels.
NOTE: For guests confirmed on this tour, important Program Documents will be sent to the email address provided during the reservation process approximately four to five months prior to your departure date. Final Documents will be emailed and shipped via FedEx approximately two weeks prior to your departure date.
If you have questions about those documents or have questions not addressed below, contact Orbridge Guest Services at (206) 855-6929 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE TOUR
What is the activity level for this tour, and are there any physical considerations about which I should be aware?
Guests should be sure-footed on stairs and able to walk at least one mile on rocky, volcanic, and uneven ground. Some optional nature hikes will be over irregular and steep terrain. Guests should also be comfortable managing wet beach landings and boarding small vessels, both from shore and the deck of the Isabela II. Guests will experience varying altitudes to which they may not be accustomed. The maximum elevation is 9,350 feet in Quito, Ecuador.
For the optional post-tour, guests should be sure-footed on stairs of varying heights and able to walk at least two miles on rocky, uneven ground without assistance. The maximum elevation is 11,200 feet in Cusco, Peru.
When should I arrive and depart for my tour to take advantage of complimentary airport transfers?
Arrival and departure information is provided in the Air & Transfer section of the Confirmation Documents emailed to reserved guests approximately five to seven days after booking a tour. Guests who arrive and depart during the suggested times are eligible to receive complimentary airport transfers. If you need an additional copy of your Confirmation Documents or have questions, email email@example.com for assistance.
Is a visa required for this tour, or are there any special passport requirements?
A visa is not required.
A passport is required for all U.S. citizens traveling internationally.
Ensure that your passport has sufficient space for entry and exit stamps, and that it is valid for six months after the date of your return from this tour. U.S. passports issued to citizens 16 years of age or older is valid for 10 years.
Send a copy of your passport photo page to Orbridge at least 90 days prior to departure.
If you are not a U.S. citizen and are traveling abroad for tourism purposes, you will require a passport from your country of citizenship. You may require a visa, depending upon your country of citizenship's requirements for visiting countries on this tour. Check your visa status with those countries you will visit during your travel program and obtain visas, if needed.
Should you need the assistance of a visa specialist, we recommend using G3 Global Services. Along with the cost of the visa, a fee is charged for their service. Learn more here.
What is the local currency, and how can I purchase items while on tour?
The U.S. dollar is Ecuador's legal currency. The country introduced its only monetary unit, the centavo coin, in 2000 when it converted from the sucre to the U.S. dollar. Centavo coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50, are identical in size and value to U.S. coinage, and circulate within Ecuador alongside U.S. coins and banknotes.
The Isabela II and properties on land accept U.S. dollars and major credit cards.
ATMs are available in Quito. Check with your bank to ensure you can use your ATM card in a foreign country.
Major credit cards are widely accepted, however merchants may a minimum purchase.
Inform your bank or credit card company prior to departure that you will be using your card(s) in another country to avoid security blocks. Your bank or credit card company may charge a fee for international transactions.
For the optional post-tour, the Nuevo Sol is Peru's legal currency, however U.S. dollars are legal and accepted for payment, particularly in tourist areas. It is helpful to have Nuevo Sol (in small denominations) on hand for personal purchases and incidentals.
Currency exchanges can be completed at casas de cambio or foreign exchange bureaus, which are open long hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Do not exchange money on the street, as counterfeits are a problem.
What is the general climate/weather for this tour?
The Galapagos Islands typically have two distinct seasons. The warm season is December to June, characterized by warmer air and water temperatures with more precipitation, resulting in a more tropical-feeling climate. Air temperatures range from low 70s ºF to high 80s ºF. Water temperatures average 75ºF.
The dry season is June to November, characterized by cooler air and water temperatures with less precipitation, resulting in warm but less humid days with cooler evenings. Air temperatures range from high 60s ºF to high 70s ºF. Water temperatures average 70ºF.
Quito's higher-elevation climate is milder. Daytime temperatures range from high 50s ºF to low 70s ºF.
Check the predicted forecast for your travel dates on weather.com to help you prepare.
What electricity/power is used, and how should I be prepared for this?
All land accommodations in Ecuador visited during this program use 110V electrical outlets. A North American electrical device designed to operate in the 110V-120V range should work without a converter.
The Isabela II has standard North American 110V and USB outlets in each stateroom.
For the optional post-tour, Peru uses three types of outlets, and two of them may require the use of an adapter and/or converter:
- Type A—two flat parallel prongs (if your North American Type A plug has one prong wider than the other, it will need an adapter)
- Type B—two flat parallel prongs and one round ground pin (the standard plus in North America)
- Type C—two-wire ungrounded and unpolarized prongs (typically requires an adapter)
All land accommodations in Peru visited during the post-tour use 220V, Type A or Type B electrical outlets. Most North American devices do not fit Type A sockets and use 120 volts, so you will need to bring a Type A adaptor and a converter.
Is phone service and/or Wi-Fi available on this tour?
The Isabela II offers on-board computers with complimentary Wi-Fi, however, internet connection is low bandwidth and intermittent. Therefore, you should be prepared for no internet access while sailing. The vessel also has radio, telephone, and fax communications available for an additional fee.
International Direct Dial is available at reception on board. The rate is $2 + 12% VAT per minute (subject to change) and connection strength varies.
Your U.S.-based cell phone may or may not work depending on your phone plan. Prior to travel, check with your cell phone provider about international phone plans, international fees, and service availability.
Are there any environmental considerations I should be mindful of while on this tour?
While viewing wildlife in their natural habitat, we strive to minimize our impact on the animals and the environment. Your Expedition Leader will ask you to follow these guidelines:
- Litter, including biodegradable food waste, can be dangerous to wildlife. It's important to dispose of garbage properly. Carry it with you until you have access to a garbage bin.
- Stay on marked trails, and follow other instructions for trail use. This will minimize soil erosion, and protect the environment and homes of wildlife.
- Maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and any wildlife you encounter.
- While viewing wildlife, maintain a quiet voice so as not to disturb the animals or other wildlife watchers.
- Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife.
What are the luggage/packing requirements for this tour?
Flights to and from the Galapagos Islands restrict checked luggage to one 50-pound bag per person, one 17-pound carry-on bag (such as a camera case or daypack) that must fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat, and one small personal item, such as a handbag or tablet/small laptop.
The fee for overweight checked luggage is $2 per kilogram plus tax.
Airport inspectors will check bags for safety and any harmful species. Do not bring any fruits, seeds, flowers or other live plants.
On board the ship, you may store your bags in your stateroom, in the closet or under the bed.
For the optional post-tour, due to space constraints on the train carriages between the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, guests are allowed only one small carry-on, such as a backpack, for the overnight stay in Machu Picchu. The carry-on should weigh no more than 11 pounds and measure 62 inches overall (L + H + W). Your driver will transfer the remainder of your luggage to a secure storage room at the Cusco hotel until your return to the Sacred Valley. If you need to take additional luggage with you for the journey to Machu Picchu, it can be transported on a luggage car, but may travel on a different train and incur an additional fee.
What clothing/accessory items are recommended for this tour?
Travel light and bring casual, lightweight clothing.
Quito's higher-altitude climate is mild. Bring a light outer layer to protect from occasional rain showers and to cover bare shoulders when entering a church or cathedral.
Light, summer clothing is ideal for the Galapagos Islands' warmer temperatures and humidity. The ship does not have a formal dress code, but shoes or sandals, shirts, and pants or shorts are required in public areas.
Knee-high socks are recommended to wear under the rubber boots provided while visiting the Tortoise Center.
Closed-toe shoes, lightweight hiking boots or athletic shoes with a rugged sole, are helpful for walks/hikes on rocky paths and volcanic flows. Closed-toe sport sandals or waterproof shoes are appropriate for wet landings. The crew will advise about footwear prior to each excursion.
Also consider packing:
- Variety of swimwear and a rashguard
- Lightweight jacket or fleece
- Rain jacket and/or windbreaker
- Wide-brim hat with adjustable chin strap and ear covers
- Long-sleeve UV-blocking shirt
- Sunscreen (SPF 30 or stronger)
- Sun-blocking lip balm
- Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
- Collapsible hiking poles
- Waterproof bag to pack wet items for traveling home
The ship provides guests with masks, snorkels, fins, and shorty wetsuits (available in men’s sizes S-XXL, women’s sizes 6-16, and children’s sizes 6-16). We encourage you to pack any custom equipment that better suits your needs and fit.
A packing list will be included with your Final Documents. Use this form to personalize for your own needs.
ABOUT MY RESERVATION
How do I submit an update to my Guest Information Form?
The online Guest Information (GIF) does not allow you return and make updates once originally submitted. To update existing information, email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org, and your account will be updated accordingly.
To complete the GIF for the first time, access the secure online form here. It should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. The system will not save partially completed forms, so it's important to complete and submit the form in one sitting.
How do I provide my passport information or photo ID?
Access the secure passport form here to input information and upload an electronic copy.
Some domestic tours require us to collect a copy of the photo ID you plan to use while traveling in order to confirm on-tour arrangements. If you have been requested to provide a copy, upload a copy of your ID here.
How do I make a payment on my outstanding balance due?
To pay by check, make the check payable to Orbridge LLC and mail it to:
P.O. Box 1376
Poulsbo, WA 98370
To pay by credit card, click here to access our secure online credit card portal. Be sure to click “submit information” at the bottom of page one in order to be directed to the payment screen.
To pay by electronic funds transfer (EFT), click here to access our secure payment portal where you will be able to conveniently and securely provide your account and routing number.
Payments made by check or EFT may be eligible for a discount. Reference your final payment reminder or email email@example.com to learn more.