TRAVEL TIPS & EXTENSIONS

Ecoventura: Enhanced cleanliness and sanitation protocol

AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team

The health, safety and wellbeing of all Ecoventura’s guests and crew members have always been and will continue to be our number one priority. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic we have further enhanced our our already strict cleaning and disinfection procedures in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests, as well as helping to protect the Galapagos Islands’ fragile ecosystem and the local community.

We continue to closely monitor the global situation, following the guidelines and recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), local, and national health authorities, and the Galapagos National Park authorities to ensure a clean and safe environment for everyone. Each department has developed a complete cleanliness and sanitation plan that consists of precautionary measures throughout all aspects of the guest experience. Below you will find a summary of our enhanced protocols.

Our guest experience

All guests will maintain a social distance of at least 3 feet between themselves and other people including the crew.

A maximum of 8 guests, 2 crew members and 1 naturalist guide are allowed per zodiac for each transfer to maintain social distancing.

Guests will receive a hot hand towel with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer ingredient and their hand luggage, backpacks and bags will be gently sprayed with a disinfecting mist. Subsequently, guests will be accompanied to their cabins by the crew.

All cabin amenities will be disinfected prior to each cruise. Guests will receive a personal alcohol-based gel bottle and, to avoid any cross contamination, we have removed all paper and stationary from all cabins. Hand-sanitizing stations will be placed throughout all social areas of our yachts, with additional signage throughout guest and staff areas to remind everyone of important health and hygiene protocols, such as handwashing and physical distancing.

During the welcome briefing the biosafety measures to be followed during the cruise will be explained. The briefings will be held at the main lounge and dining room to keep the distance and they will be short and precise. Instructions for activities will be placed in a glass frame in the main lounge.

For activities such as panga rides, glass bottom boat, snorkeling and guided walks a maximum of 8 guests, 1 crew member and 1 naturalist guide are allowed per zodiac.

Captains will be in contact with other vessels to avoid coinciding in locations at the same time to avoid agglomerations.

Cleaning and disinfection procedures followed in our yachts

Shoe disinfection trays have been placed at the entrance of each yacht.

Cleaning products approved by the Galapagos National Park, which are effective against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and blood borne pathogens are being used in all yachts.

We have increased the frequency of deep-cleaning, while disinfecting with ozone machines (HEPA filters) all common areas, public spaces and guests’ cabins (in addition to crew quarters), with an emphasis on high-contact surfaces such as stair railings, door knobs, coffee stations, water dispensers, coffee tables, dining and bar surfaces, social area restrooms, jacuzzi and sun deck areas. Crew members follow strict cleaning and sanitation charts in every stateroom and social area.

We have intensified and increased the cleaning of air conditioning recirculation filters every week, to guarantee the proper operation of the system, prior to each cruise.

Use of PPE for Guests

All guests are required, by Galapagos National Park, to wear a mask, covering mouth and nose, during every visit and whenever riding on the panga. Guests can take off their masks aboard, but always must maintain the minimum social distance requirement (6 feet) among other groups.

Snorkel Equipment

Even though all of our expedition equipment is undergoing deep cleaning and disinfection procedures (and will be disinfected after every activity), we highly suggest all our guests bring their own mask and snorkel.

Mandatory procedures followed by our crew

All crew members residing in the Galapagos Islands will be tested before boarding. The crew arriving from the continent will have to pass all the controls and procedures established by the local Galapagos airports. They will follow complete disinfection procedures before boarding Ecoventura’s yachts. All crew members will be closely monitored on a daily basis for any symptoms (including a temperature reading) while aboard. They will be required to wear the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) based on their roles and responsibilities and will have to maintain a social distance of at least 3 feet between themselves and with guests.

They have received detailed training on Ecoventura’s sanitation protocols, in addition to learning how to identify flu or virus-like symptoms, and follow procedures as stated in the ISM (International Safety Management) manual. Hand hygiene is the main measure of prevention and control of infection, and will be done with water and soap, following the right technique of the World Health Organization.

No crew member is allowed to disembark on any populated island, unless ordered by the captain of the yacht.

While on their disembarkation period, crew members have been recommended to self-isolate and their health will be closely monitored by our Human Resources Department.

Food & Beverage

We continue to reinforce our methods of identifying and managing food safety related risk, including Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), as well as the cleanliness and disinfection of our dining areas, bars and kitchens. We have eliminated our buffet service and replaced it with a menu a la carte adjusted the dining areas to allow social distancing among groups, and placed screen protectors in the bars and buffet table. To reduce capacity in the dining room during meals: On board Origin and Theory, the sundeck will be open for meals. On board Letty, room service will be offered during dinner. On board Galapagos Sky, a table for 4 people will be enabled on the Dolphin deck.

We have emphasized the cleaning and disinfection of kitchens and bars, with strict food safety standards. We follow a disinfection process in all the tableware, glassware and cutlery, as well as the utensils used by our concierges and waiters during the service. Service personnel will adhere to strict security procedures while serving all food and drinks. In order to avoid direct contact with paper, we have removed physical menus and created digital ones that will work through QR codes. The kitchen will be disinfected with ozone 3 times per week and only authorized crew members will be allowed to enter the kitchen during their working hours.

If you have any questions or wish to receive more complete information, please contact our Quality and Control Manager at quality@ecoventura.com

We have been certified with the World Travel and Tourism council Safe travels stamp which allows travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

 

Our crew hopes to see you soon when it is safe to travel again, and looks forward to welcoming you back to Origin, Theory, Letty and Galapagos Sky.

To download our Enhanced Cleanliness and Sanitation Protocol please click here.