Gala Cruises - Penguino Explorer Yacht (Live-Aboard dive cruise)

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The Evolutionary Melting Pot of Marine Life; This legendary Ecuador diving destination is often considered by experienced divers to represent something of a pinnacle in their scuba careers. In that sense, many agree that the Galapagos Islands have, quite simply, the best liveaboard diving cruises in the world!

Dag til dag reiseplan

Day 1: Depart from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island. Meet and start cruise. 
Day 2: Bartolomè Island, Cousin Islet (2 dives)
Day 3: Wolf Island (3 dives)
Day 4: Darwin island (4 dives)
Day 5: Wolf island (Derrumbe, Punta Shark & Banana dive sites; 3 dives)
Day 6: Punta Vicente (Roca), Marshall Corp, Coca Port (City of Mantas); 3 dives
Day 7: Pinzòn Island, Charles Darwin Station (2 dives)
Day 8: Santa Cruz Highlands visit; Departure from Baltra back to Quito/Guayaquil

All Galápagos itineraries are subject to change according to the Galápagos National Park restrictions and weather conditions. These itineraries are designed to satisfy the needs of both divers and non-divers: 


Diving GalapagosNamed one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World by CEDAM international, the Galapagos waters will make you wish that you could somehow shout out through your regulator to your diving partners all the wonders you see.

Imagine a realm where penguins swim in equatorial seas, no one bats an eye at four-eyed fish, and iguanas are found eating their algae meal submerged in the saltwater. Imagine dolphins leaping about in phosphorescent water and becoming the new friend of a playful sea lion pup. Open your eyes... you are imagining diving the Galapagos.

Marine life in Galapagos is extremely varied, abundant and marvelous. That is the reason the islands are considered one of the seven submarine wonders of the world. Divers find thousands of large and small fish, sea lions, rays and turtles. In some places, divers can observe dozens of hammerhead sharks, scuba dive with dolphins and even find a white-tipped reef shark.

Why pay the extra money to dive the Galapagos Islands!
Cousins Island - on the NW side of Santiago Island; for diving on walls, slopes and ledges.  You'll see a wall full of Galapagos ‘endemic’ species, black coral with lots of life on it, sleeping green sea turtles and the biggest sea horse of the Pacific - more than 25cm long.  Schools of Hammerhead sharks, Eagle rays and Barracudas; but one of the best experiences must be seeing playful sea lions together with fur seals.
Wolf and Darwin Islands - considered one of the the best diving sites on the planet.  These islands are cleaning and feeding stations for all fish, big and small including amberjacks, whale sharks, trumpet  and coronet fish, butterfly fish and Marbled rays. Amazing diving here!  Darwin is even smaller than Wolf and a further 3 hours sailing time, it is here that you find the beautiful arch formation,  ‘Darwin’s  Arch’.

Day 1 (Tue): Arrival to Baltra Island 
Our guide will be waiting for you at Baltra’s airport, once the whole group is complete; will be transferred to the same island’s dock to board the GalaExplorer Yacht. Then a meeting will be held in the meeting hall in which the guide will welcome you on board. After a fine lunch served, divers will gather at the diving platform where they will be informed some aspects to be considered for your first dive and the respective equipment as the yacht is sailing to Northeast Baltra Island for your first dive or Weight check. Once this activity is completed, the yacht will continue its itinerary, dinner will be served during navigation. 

Day 2 (Wed): Bartholomew (1 Dive) – Cousin Rock (2 Dives) 
Bartholomew’s Pinnacle Rock – A Great place to start your diving cruise as this is a quiet place without much power down down to a maximum depth of 20 meters in which you can observe white tip sharks, green turtles, different types of rays, Red-Lipped Batfish and variety of tropical fish. After the first dive, buffet breakfast will be served in the upper deck. Cousin Rock – The second dive will take place on an islet located at the North side of Bartholomew navigating 15 minutes on the Yacht. In this site you can see: 
Seahorses, Bloody Toadfish, Eagle rays, sea lions and fur seals. The topography of the site is a hillside full of 
holes, making this a perfect hiding place for different species such as moray eels, lobsters and prawns, 
through the area you will find black corals and different species of Corals. When you return to the yacht you may take a hot water shower and dressed to enter the dining room where a delicious buffet lunch will be served. After a deserved break the third dive will take place in the same site

Day 3 (Thu): Wolf Island (3 dives) 
On this distant island in the Galapagos Archipelago 3 dives will be made, which will be on the Landslide and Caves. The Landslide – On this site 2 dives will be made, the topography of the place is a slope reaching a 
maximum of 25 meters where you will see large schools of hammerhead sharks and Galapagos sharks, 
it is possible to see open water species such as Carey and green turtles, occasionally also you can see the 
great Whale Shark, giant Manta Rays and Eagle Rays. Between the rocks you can see large morays, 
scorpion fish among other species. The Cave (optional) – It is a place where each one of the divers needs a personal flash light as it is possible to enter an underwater cave which is worth exploring, here you can see Morays, lobsters, scorpion fish, Nudibranchs, this is why we recommend to be cautious when grabbing a rock, there are turtles all over the area and a variety of fish, before entering and leaving the cave it is possible to see Galapagos sharks and black tip sharks. At night you will have the opportunity to make a fourth dive depending on weather conditions.

Day 4: (Fri): Darwin Island (4 Dives) 
In this wonderful island 4 dives will be made in the bow, the most famous and well known for scuba diving in the Galapagos Island and the world. The Bow – This for being the most distant island of the Archipelago is a very special place as everywhere you look you will see fabulous species, whether in the sky watching lot of birds like Blue Footed Boobies, Red Footed Boobies, Frigates among others; and if you look at the ocean’s surface you may see lots of dolphins’ fins, and occasionally a dolphin jumping. It is also possible to see large schools of hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, but the main attraction is the great Whale Shark which it begins to be observing from the month of July to November, it is worth to note that the other animals are found throughout the year.

Day 5 (Sat): Wolf Island (3 dives), Landslide, Shark, Shark Tip Bay and Banana 
This day the activities of the Landslide and Cave will be repeated. The Landslide – On this site 2 dives will be made, the topography of the place is a slope reaching a maximum of 25 meters where you will see large schools of hammerhead sharks and Galapagos sharks, it is possible to see open water species such as Carey and green turtles, occasionally also you can see the great Whale Shark, giant Manta Rays and Eagle Rays. Between the rocks you can see large morays, scorpion fish among other species. The Cave (optional) – It is a place where each one of the divers needs a personal flash light as it is possible to enter an underwater cave which is worth exploring, here you can see Morays, lobsters, scorpion fish, Nudibranchs, this is why we recommend to be cautious when grabbing a rock, there are turtles all over the area and a variety of fish, before entering and leaving the cave it is possible to see Galapagos sharks and black tip sharks.

Day 6 (Sun): (3 dives) Punta Vicente Roca, Marshall Corp, Puerto Coca and City of the Mantas 
Punta Vicente Roca - The first dive is very early in Punta Vicente Roca, this is a unique immersion in 
which divers should focus on the ground and corals to achieve find the seahorses which are found throughout the area , it is also possible to observe the cat shark, red lipped batfish, you may also see the Mola Mola fish and lots of sea turtles, it is important to note that these species could be found all year long. When ending the diving, you could go on the zodiacs to see the flightless cormorants and penguins which are all year in the area. Then we will sail for 5 hours to reach the other side of the island having the chance to see from the boat several volcanoes such as the Ecuador, Wolf and Darwin until we arrive to Marshall Corp where 2 dives will be made, lunch is during the navigation.

Day 7 (Mon): Pinzon Island (2 dives), Charles Darwin 
In this small island in the center of the Archipelago will be held the last 2 dives in the morning, in which you can see the Red lipped bat fish, giant mantas from 3-6 meters, marmalade pan rays and lots of sea turtles. Past noon is planned to be on Santa Cruz island to visit Charles Darwin Research Station and its interpretation center to observe giant land tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. 

Day 8 (Tue): – Baltra and Isla Mosquera Islet 
Mosquera Islet – A small sandy island where its main inhabitants are the sea lions, as here there is the whole year a colony of this playful specie while doing snorkel, after this visit we continue to Baltra airport for our flight back to Quito/Guayaquil.

NB! ***All itineraries are subject to change without prior notice due to National Park regulations, weather condition or major force ***

Viktig Informasjon

Dive Cruises include:

  • 2 to 4 dives per day (Diving as per the itinerary)
  • Shared accommodation (single surcharge 70% of cruise cost)
  • Transfers from and to the airport within the Galapagos Islands
  • Pre-breakfast (only on diving cruises)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
  • Soft drinks (coffee, tea, purified water and juices)
  • Technical equipment: tanks, weights, weight belt.
  • Diving Master 8/1 (8 divers per each Dive Master)
Not included:
  • Transit Card (USD 10) & Galapagos entrance fee (USD100)
  • Flight Quito/Guayaquil - Baltra - Quito/Guayaquil
  • Nitrox (USD120/per week)
  • Personal equipment: Wetsuit, boots, fins, personal regulator, mask, BCD, lights, cameras
  • Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • All airport taxes

Other Information:
Pricing: Price is based on per person in Lower Deck / Bunk Beds sharing. For upgrade to Main Deck / Bunk beds ass USD133 per person. For upgrade to Upper Deck / Master Cabin Bunk Beds add USD367 per person
Guaranteed departure: all departures are confirmed with a minim of 8 diver, but if 6 confirmed divers 7 months before of departures the cruise will become a confirmed departure. (If we have 4 divers 9 months before we will also guarantee the departure).
When is best time to go diving? June-December, with September-November offering up bigger stuff, but colder water temps. It is cold water diving all year-round, but even COLDER at this time of year, with thermoclines too. 7mm wetsuits (or two!) will be needed, as well as hood and gloves during this time.
Dive experience & min requirements: Experienced Divers: More than 60 logged dives and 3 night dives. Our cruise demands experienced divers.
Intermediate Divers: More than 30 logged dives.
What are the diving conditions like? Galapagos diving conditions can be challenging. Currents are moderate to strong and may require you to grab hold of the rocks below the surface so you don´t drift away. Surge can offer up difficulties during your safety stops. The average visibility is 10 – 21m (30 – 70ft), but can often be even less. Divers must follow their Dive Master rules and the Galapagos Marine Reserve rules at all times. Divers must stick with the group and Dive Master constantly, remain with their buddies, and ascend in pairs. Safety Stops are obligatory for all Galapagos dives
IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS: Valid international diving license, Medical Certificate, Diving Insurance (DAN)
More than 60 logged dives, Experience in the open sea and with strong currents.
Note: The operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without prior notice due to weather conditions, Galapagos National Park regulations, operational issues, force majeure, or any consideration at the Captain’s discretion, without being liable for refunds of any kind

See our destination video for this trip:
© Penguino Explorer Cruises / Gala Cruises

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