The M/V Nortada is one of the latest addition to the liveaboard fleet in the archipelago, and is quickly gaining positive reviews. Built in France by naval builder Guy Couach, Nortada was completely rebuilt and refitted as a private live-aboard charter boat for small groups of up to 8 divers, starting operations as a scuba-diving live-aboard vessel for private charters. The ship offers an 8-day/7-night Galapagos diving tour that includes the world famous diving sites of the Wolf and Darwin islands. In addition to the up to 20 dives, the trip includes a total of three (3) land visits and Galapagos trekking excursions. Some of the specialized features that the Nortada offers its clients include a full re-breather and technical support, photo and video oriented departures, citizen science programs maintained in partnership by leading research institutions, and private celebrity expeditions. In occasion, there are fun departures of groups of friends and families. Whatever the reason, it is definitely an exceptional choice when looking to charter a diving cruise in Galapagos.
Nortada offers four lower-deck fully air-conditioned cabins, each with two single lower berths, private bathrooms, safety deposit boxes, lockers and drawers. The boat also features an extended occupancy option of up to 12 people (the additional guests can be accommodated in the four full size upper berths available in every one of the four cabins). The scuba platform has ample benches, outside showers, camera tables and re-breather rinsing facilities. In the upper deck a sun deck is next to the fly bridge. Two 15 foot inflatable tenders with 25HP outboard engines takes fully equipped divers to and from the dive site. Public areas consist of a main deck with bridge, galley, air conditioned dining room and lounge.
For optimum experience, all divers are provided with a Nautilus Lifeline bi-directional VHF/DSC marine radio with GPS, dive alert and DSMB. The 20 Nitrox compatible aluminum 80 cu ft./12 liter cylinders are filled by one of the twin Nuvair LP/HP Compressors. Two Nuvair nitrox analyzers are available on board. For technical and re-breathers, available upon request are redundant oxygen-clean Haskell Sport Boosters, one Tri Hunter 3000 gas mixing stick for Trimix blending, several nitrox compatible 40 cu. ft. / 6 liter aluminum stage cylinders, several 19 cu ft. / 2 liter steel re-breather cylinders with various valves, and one Analytical Industries Trimix Analyzer.
The crew to guest ratio is 1:1! This ensures the most personalized service possible. No wonder, it is easily on the top pick among the best diving cruise in Galapagos. The 8-member crew consists of the captain, a multilingual guide, engineer, international cook, two sailors on all full departures, and one PADI dive instructor who assists as the dive leader. As with the yacht itself, despite his rather young age, he is among the most skilled and knowledgeable professional in the region. Feeling already like plunging into the alluring sea world? Let’s talk! We are not inviting you to a conventional scuba tour, but a diving safari in the Galapagos Islands!
“The trip was excellent from beginning to end. The Isabella II was a fine ship and the crew and guides were all of the highest quality. I would recommend them to others. For us, the ship was the perfect size – not too small and not too large”