What are Guaranteed Departures?
Guaranteed Departures are tour dates that we can already confirm are 100% certain to run as they already have the minimum number of people booked.
To guarantee a departure we normally require 4 paying passengers, but for some tours we only require 2 paying passengers.
This means that if the tour you want to book is NOT guaranteed yet, it is very likely that it WILL be after you book. You can always ask us if the tour will be guaranteed with your booking.
How Many Departures are Guaranteed?
Almost all of our tour departures in the Galapagos Islands are guaranteed to run. Some tours are guaranteed more than 1 year ahead of time. Other dates may not get guaranteed until 2 months ahead of time. Every week we receive more bookings and guarantee more departures.
My Tour is Not Guaranteed, Should I Worry?
No, not at all. It usually means we are waiting for 1 or 2 more people to book your tour. It may also mean that we are still working to confirm a specific tour service, such as a boat or hotel on one of the islands. Because Galapagos National Park rules change quite often, the permits for every boat and visitor site can change with little notice. This means our Galapagos team needs to constantly work with our partners to make sure we always run our tours with the best services, and travel experiences, possible.
Do you ever Cancel Tours?
Almost never. It is extremely rare for us to cancel a tour if someone has already booked on it. This happens less than once per year, it is very uncommon. As we require full tour payment at 60 days before the departure, that is the latest date at which we will wait to guarantee a departure.
What about Natural Disasters?
Just like any tour operator, there are things that can occur which are out of our control. We live on remote islands in the Pacific Ocean. Problems rarely happen in the Galapagos but tsunamis, civil unrest or airline strikes can result in tours being unable to run. We have not had any of these situations occur in many years. But, should such an event happen, your travel costs should be covered by your cancellation travel insurance - which we always highly recommend purchasing.
The same rules apply for our tours on mainland Ecuador, as well as Peru and our other travel destinations.
Benefits of Guaranteed Departures
The main benefit of guaranteed departures is that you can safely book other travel plans for before/after your Galakiwi guaranteed tour. If you find a great deal on airfare and your departure is guaranteed, you can book it knowing your tour will definitely run. For travelers who are booking multiple tours or are on an extended vacation this is helpful in making sure your Galakiwi travels fit perfectly into the rest of your travel plans.