The 16-passenger Galapagos Sky, a live-aboard diving ship that was refurbished in 2010, now offers even more comfortable accommodations while continuing to provide the perfect base from which to enjoy the incredible diving of the Galapagos Islands. The yachts “Live-Aboard Diving Cruises” in the Galapagos are 8-day/7-night cruises whose itinerary offers approximately 17-19 dives (one check-out dive included) and three (3) land excursions on every trip. In addition to diving the “central islands” of the Galapagos archipelago, every voyage of the vessel travels to Wolf and Darwin Islands, arguably sites with the best in the world! In addition to mantas, sharks, and seasonal whale sharks, you will be able to photograph Galapagos invertebrates in vibrant color… and keep an eye out for mola molas! For your filming needs, there is an onboard photographic and video lab, a light table and daily E-6 development.
“The trip to the Galapagos was really fantastic! Although it was quite short, the trip itinerary made time for us to do quite a lot of things. Everything went very smoothly, too.”
AM: When you arrive at the airport at San Cristobal on Sunday, the crew of the Galapagos Sky will personally meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you to the Galapagos Sky. Your luggage will be delivered to the dive deck for you. After everyone is on board, you will be introduced to the boat and the mandatory safety briefings and drill.
PM: In the afternoon, we cruise to the area of Lobos Island for your check-out dive. This will be your first underwater introduction to Galapagos sea lions and fur seals! Watch them zoom in and out and dance playfully for you! Even on the first day of your live-aboard cruise – you begin to see the myriad and diverse land formations which comprise the Galapagos Islands topside. It is then you realize you will see nothing like it in your lifetime.
AM: Bartolome is a lovely area where guests enjoy a favorite land tour where they can climb to the top of the hill to where breathe taking views abound. Conditions permitting, snorkeling with penguins will be allowed.
PM: This dive off Cousins Rocks is an itinerary favorite. It is done along a beautiful wall and allows for great viewing opportunities for corals, frog fish, sea horses, scorpion fish and octopus. It is also a great dive for large schools of Barracuda and also Hammerhead shark sightings. Sea lions will be your companions upon entry and on the safety stops.
AM: Wolf Island is one of those magical islands, with several dive sites to choose from. If you want to see sharks, you are at the right spot. This is a place for schooling hammerhead sharks, large aggregations of Galapagos sharks, and occasionally whale sharks. Seeing dolphins, large schools of tuna, spotted eagle rays, barracudas, sea lions and sea turtles is common. The bottom is littered with hundreds of moray eels, many of them free swimming. Being several degrees warmer than the central islands, you can look for many representatives of the Indo-Pacific underwater fauna.
PM: On a night dive here, you will also enjoy spotting and watching the Red-lipped batfish walk along the bottom of the sea!
AM/PM: Considered by many experienced divers as the very best dive site in the world, the Arch at Darwin Island (actually several dive sites depending on where you enter, currents, etc.) lives up to its reputation. Warmer by a few degrees than the central islands, in one single dive you can find schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, large pods of dolphins, thick schools of skipjack and yellow fin tuna, big eye jacks, mobula rays, and silky sharks. From June to November, it is not uncommon to encounter whale sharks in multiple numbers on one single dive. The presence of occasional tiger sharks, black and blue marlin, and killer whales add to this amazing diving experience. If you still have time to look for smaller stuff, you’ll find octopus, flounders, and an enormous variety and abundance of tropical fish. Darwin Island is the biggest jewel on the Galapagos Crown.
This tour will take you to the legendary Darwin and Wolf islands, where three days will be spent diving (going on up to four dives per day, plus one at night dive) in what are unquestionably two of the best diving sites on the planet. The range of amazing underwater species in the areas around these islands will likely leave you speechless. From mid-May through November, there is a great chance that you will encounter Whale sharks here, while at “Darwin’s Arch” you will encounter the occasional lone Hammerhead shark or even entire schools blotting out the light above. Then too, the reef is home to many warm water varieties of fish found nowhere else in the islands, and contacts with Bottlenose dolphins are common. While there are no shore excursions on this part of the cruise – the vertical cliffs of these two islands prevent these – the diving in the Darwin/Wolf islands area more than a good tradeoff.
Darwin Island: The biggest jewel on the Galapagos crown, it’s easy to see why “Darwin’s Arch” is often pointed to as the world’s best dive site. On just a single dive here, you can find jaw-dropping schools of Hammerhead sharks, dense shoals of skipjack and yellow fin tuna, and large pods of dolphins, in addition to Big eye jacks, Silky sharks, Galapagos shark and Mobula rays. Plus – especially between June and November, when the presence of the Humboldt Current is the strongest – it’s likely that you’ll encounter numerous Whale sharks on that same single dive. And adding to this amazing diving experience is the presence of the occasional Tiger shark, Black and blue marlin, and killer whales, though you’ll also find smaller octopus, flounders, and an enormous variety of tropical fish off Darwin Island.
Wolf Island: Like its neighboring island, Wolf Island presents a number of sites from which to choose in the waters surrounding it. You’ll be in the ideal spot especially if you’re search of schooling Hammerhead sharks and expansive collections of Galapagos sharks, not to mention the occasional whale shark. Just above and below the waves, its common to spot leaping dolphins and sea lions, while deeper down you’ll run into sea turtles, large schools of tuna, Spotted eagle rays, and barracudas, until reaching a bottom sheltering hundreds of moray eels – many of them free swimming. You’ll also have a chance to sight the rare Red lipped bat fish strolling walk along the bottom during one of your night dives here. All of this and more is what make Wolf Island a diver’s paradise that mustn’t be missed.
AM: At Cape Douglas, on the western side of Fernandina Island, we will do one (1) dive Friday morning. Here you can expect to see Galapagos Penguins, Marine Iguanas, Flightless Cormorants, Sea Lions, Seahorse, Sea Turtles, Horn Sharks, Red Lipped Batfish, and occasional hammerhead sharks and white tip sharks. Also keep an eye out for chevron barracuda, snappers, yellow fin tuna, rainbow runners, and wahoo. There are also a lot of smaller fishes like creole fishes, parrot fishes, scrawled filefishes, pacific box fishes, and tiger snake eels.
PM This afternoon, we will visit Punta Vicente Roca for up to two (2) dives. The coldest yet rapidly increasing favorite dive – steep, deep vertical wall covered in soft coral, sponges, and endemic black coral. Regular sightings of mola mola (oceanic sun fish,) sea horses, bullhead sharks, red lipped bat fish, various shrimp and many other marine invertebrates. Keep your eyes open for fly-bys of flightless cormorants, penguins and maybe even a marine iguana. The after-dive panga ride offers great topside photo ops for penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, sea lions, blue footed & Nazca booby Birds, magnificent frigates and noddy terns. The diving here is chilly (particularly below the thermocline – but not to be missed!).
AM: While diving Pinzon Islet, you will be provided opportunities for encounters with a variety of species of sharks, sea lions, mantas, eagle rays, and moray eels, as well as many species of yellow tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, Moorish idols, steel pompanos, snappers, grunts, creole fish and barracuda.
PM: This dive is then followed by a transit to Itabaca Channel where guests will be transferred by bus (at approx. 14:00 p.m. and approx. a 45 minute ground transfer) to visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz to see the Galapagos Tortoises in their natural environment; and visit to Puerto Ayora. Guests will then be transferred back to Itabaca Channel to board the Galapagos Sky.
AM: Arrival on San Cristobal Island for a land excursion to the Interpretation Center (where an interesting human history of Galapagos is presented) and a town walk (last chance for shopping). Late morning departure from the San Cristobal airport back to the Ecuadorian mainland.
|Master||JAN 01 - MAY 31, 2017||US$ 5,895|
|JUN 01 - DEC 31, 2017||US$ 6,095|
|Twin Deluxe||JAN 01 - MAY 31, 2017||US$ 5,695|
|JUN 01 - DEC 31, 2017||US$ 5,895|
“Thanks so much again! Surtrek, a realiable travel partner and service provider of Operation Earth for our Galapagos Expedition program!”