26 August 2016 - 07 September 2016
Number of Nights
7 days onboard vessel
Divequest arranged guides
The Galapagos is simply 'The' place to dive at some point your life! Positioned on the equator some 1,000 km out into the Pacific Ocean from mainland Ecuador lie the islands known as ‘las islas encantadas'. Here the tips of huge underwater volcanoes emerge from the ocean and occupy a unique location.
The cold Humboldt current from Antarctica and a warm current that runs southwards from Central America intersect which creates the amazing experience of encountering penguins and sealions, that may originally have journeyed north from the ice-filled waters of Antarctica, and also angelfish, Moorish Idols and turtles that are more usually associated with warm, coral seas. Shoals of Hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and huge shoals of fish create amazing dive experiences which have to be seen to be believed.
August-September is peak season for Galapagos as it is the best time for Whale sharks and humpback whales.
We have 5 cabins available on Galapagos Sky liveaboard for a week of unforgettable diving. The trip also includes some land excursions and there is the option to extend your trip by adding on a visit to Equador or Bonaire.
Galapagos Sky carries a maximum of 16 passengers and is one of few Liveaboards that operate in this area. Trips are extremely popular and boats get booked up years in advance. We are on board for 7 days and cover some of the best dive sites in the area including Wolf and Darwin Islands.
On these sites Scalloped Hammerhead sharks school in large numbers, sweeping their wide heads backwards and forwards as they patrol, whilst magnificent Manta Rays, their mouths stretched wide, glide quietly by as they scoop up huge quantities of plankton. Diving in the Galapagos is like taking a journey in a time machine: some of the species seem to have stepped straight from prehistoric times and others appear to be so alien that they could have been created on some far-flung planet.
Above the waves, the stark and beautiful islands of the Galapagos are largely unspoilt by development and are carefully protected as one of the most precious of the world’s natural showpieces. It was here that Charles Darwin formulated his theories on evolution through natural selection about 150 years ago.
A check-out dive at North Seymour at the start of the week will get divers used to the currents and thermoclines that can be expected during the course of the week and it may be here that one first encounters an impressive school of hammerheads or the amazing phenomenon of diving with Blue-footed Boobies, gannet-like birds which hit the water like arrows and dive to depth of 5 or 6 metres, leaving a U-shaped trail of bubbles as evidence of their ‘flight’ through the water.
Crossing the equator to the southern hemisphere, we come to the thrilling dive site of Cabo Marshall on the north-east coast of Isabela, which is famous for its encounters with Manta Rays. Here in the strong currents can be found huge schools of the endemic Black-stripped Salema, White-tip Reef Sharks, Galapagos Sharks and a variety of rays, eels and large groupers.
Without doubt the finest, most thrilling diving is found around the small islands of Wolf and Darwin, two exceptional dive sites to the north of the equator and well away from the usual cruise itineraries. These two sites live up to their reputation of being ‘the’ place for big animal encounters. Perhaps because of the remoteness of the area, the animals here show less fear of divers and several people have reported Galapagos Sharks coming to within one metre.
Conditions around these remote uninhabited volcanic rock islands can be very variable and there are sometimes big swells. At about 20 to 30 metres one can often see clouds of hammerheads passing over. The rocks and crevices hold Green Morays and well-camouflaged scorpionfish. Watch the water here and you may see the steely glint of silver combined with sooty black as this is a famous mating site for jacks. The fish life is so profuse that many divers describe these dive sites as ‘wall to wall fish’. It is well worth sitting on a rock, or simply holding on, just as a bird-watcher would settle down in a hide, and simply watching as quietly as possible as the waters of the Galapagos reveal their finest show of creatures great and small parading in their thousands. Rays, hammerheads, Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles – the list is seemingly endless – pass by unafraid of the aliens in their midst. Here too Galapagos Penguins, Flightless Cormorants and boobies can be observed gracefully diving in a habitat which they merely ‘borrow’ in search of food.
Norwich to Amsterdam to Quito to San Cristobel and back again
KLM and AeroGal
See detailed itinery
1 bag of 23kg
Transfer to Airport (UK)
Christal Seas Scuba may arrange a transfer from the dive centre to/from airport at an additional cost
Number of Places
10 (Only 2 spaces left!)
Total of £5,533 for a Deluxe cabin or £5,637 for Master cabin. This is dependent upon flight prices at time of booking so please book as soon as possible to secure the best price.
Full board accommodation, including soft drinks, local beer and wine with dinner
5 full days of diving (up to 3 dives per day) on air or nitrox plus one or two dives on the last day
Land excursions on some days.
Extras payable locally:
Galapagos Transit Control Tax - £6 per person
Hyperbaric Chamber Fee - £22 per person
Galapagos Park Fee - £63 per person
£500 deposit required to hold your place and next installments of £500 due October 2015 and January 2016 prior to final balance due in April 2016. Please complete the Divequest online booking form to secure your booking. Please note Divequest charge 2% on any payments made on credit card but there are no charges on debit card and bank transfer.
Although not particularly difficult, Galapagos offers more challenging diving conditions than the average tropical diving area. Divers should be experienced before exploring this wonderful place. Strong currents, surge and swell can combine with cool waters and occasional spells of poor visibility. Although surface temperatures can reach 27°C in the hottest season (December-March), the presence of thermoclines means that the water at 20 metres is usually considerably cooler and divers are recommended to wear a 5-7 mm wetsuit.
Call 01603 485000 or click the 'Contact Us' button to book your place!