Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, please check our terms and conditions, trip information, and clothing and equipment in the Pre-Trip Planning section of each tour. There is a lot of information that may answer your questions.
- Are there any electrical outlets on the boat to plug in cameras, computers, etc.? Is there an internet connection? Do cell phones work?
Cell phones work in some areas while in Baja, Washington, Canada, and Alaska, but don’t count on them to work all the time. We do not have internet service for our guests. We have regular 110 electrical outlets on the boat and in each cabin, so you can plug in battery chargers, computers, CPAPs, etc. We suggest that you don’t bring hair dryers, as you will be limited in your use of them. We don’t run our generator at night to maintain silence. Electricity is still available at night, but we’re on batteries at that time.
- Do we have to pay extra for alcoholic beverages?
No, we provide wine and beer as well as other beverages on all trips on the Catalyst. We do not provide hard alcohol. It is BYOB. For the trips in the Sea of Cortez on the Westward, we supply wine, beer, and well spirits.
- How much should we plan for tips for the crew, and how do we pay?
Wishing to express their appreciation, passengers often inquire about tipping. All tips are given at the total discretion of the guests and are neither mandatory nor expected. (Although the crew sure enjoys receiving them!) We are aware that in many countries, tipping is not a standard policy, but for those who wish to tip, the current standards suggest 5 to 15% of the cost of the trip. Tips are given discretely to the captain in cash in the envelope provided and are divided equally among all the crew. If you prefer to use a personal check, please write one to each crew member and give it to the captain to distribute. We cannot accept credit cards on board. The crew consists of four: the captain, engineer, cook, and naturalist/kayak guide.
- What's the minimum age for children aboard the boat?
If it is a whole boat charter, we take any age. However, we have found that children 12 and older gain more from our trip than younger children unless the younger child is with older siblings. We do try to place families on empty charter weeks first so that if there are adults who prefer not to travel with children, they have the option to make that choice. We have found, however, that children add a great deal to the experience for everyone. They rise to the occasion, surprising many adults with their curiosity and maturity, making it a good experience for everyone. We do want parents to understand that the crew is not there to entertain or babysit the children. The crew members have jobs to do, but they do engage with the children to share the working of the vessel and the environment around them, as they do with the adults.