Come scuba dive on the M/Y Galapagos Sky, a 16-passenger, 100-foot first-class dive and live-aboard yacht. Custom-built in 2000, the M/Y Galapagos Sky offers the newest and best-equipped vessel for Galapagos dive tours. The nine-person crew includes a captain, two dive instructors or divemaster/naturalist, and six crewmembers who create the best Galapagos Island diving experience on the islands.
The Galapagos Islands have excellent scuba diving, especially the renowned northern islands of Wolf and Darwin, which are famous for schools of hammerhead sharks, giant manta rays, and whale sharks. In between dives, you can walk the shores and marvel at the volcanic rocks dotted with rare plants, seabirds, and reptiles.
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Arrive at the San Cristóbal airport on Sunday and begin the first day of your amazing Galapagos Islands Diving tour! Upon arrival, you're greeted personally by the crew of the Galapagos Sky. The crew members of the live-aboard Sky will assist you with your luggage at the airport and personally conduct you to the luxury yacht that will be your home base for the next week. Your luggage will be delivered to your luxury cabin and once everyone is on board you'll receive a tour of the yacht. After rehearsing the mandatory safety information and drills the Sky sets off towards Los Lobos for your first dive of the week. In Los Lobos you have your first of many meetings with the resident fur seals and sea lions of the Galapagos.
Your first evening aboard the ship will be complete with cocktails and appetizers as view the famous Kicker Rock volcanic formation from the comfort of the upper deck. Kicker Rock consists of two vertical rock formations that tower 500 feet above the ocean. View the nesting spots of frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and masked boobies as the Sky encircles these magnificent monoliths.
Your first day aboard this live-aboard diving cruise has been a unique introduction to the prolific wildlife and diverse scenery that will be your mainstay throughout the week.
Today's itinerary includes a land excursion to Santa Cruz along with two dives at Cousin Rocks. In the morning, the Galapagos Sky will motor to Santa Cruz Island where you step ashore to see the Galapagos tortoises that played such a key role in Darwin's theories. You'll also have a chance to visit the Scalecias Forest which is abundant with birdlife. A stop at the Twins, which are two large sinkholes, and the underground tunnels formed by the lava tubes will make this special morning complete.
The afternoon will consist of two dives at Cousins Rocks. These are wall dives which allow opportunities to view a variety of underwater species ranging from sea horses, frogfish, coral and octopus. Playful sea lions will accompany you along the way.
As you sleep following this eventful day, the Captain and crew of the Sky will head north toward Wolf and Darwin Islands. These islands are part of the most remote and isolated of the entire Galapagos Archipelago and will provide an unforgettable Galapagos Islands diving experiences.
The next three days will be spent on what are arguably two of the best diving sites in the world. With up to three dives per day you're able to get a full dose of the unique aquatic life that abound at Wolf and Darwin. Hammerhead sharks, bottlenose dolphins, and many varieties of warm water fish swim these waters. As you dive Galapagos waters from mid-May through November, there's a greater chance to see whale sharks as well. There are no shore excursions over these three days simply because there is no access up the steep cliff walls that constitute these islands.
Darwin Island, named for Charles Darwin, is famous for the marine life that is found below its surface. The water temperature is a few degrees warmer than the water near the central islands. You might see schools of hammerhead, Galapagos sharks, and silky sharks along with large pods of dolphins, yellow-fin tuna, horse-eye jacks, and Mobula rays in a single dive. With up to three dives per day there's also plenty of opportunities to view octopus, flounder, and a wide variety of beautifully colored tropical fish. Occasionally, you'll see tiger sharks, killer whales, and marlins which truly adds to this already special Galapagos diving experience.
Wolf Island consists of several different dive site options, and various species of sharks can be found throughout its waters. Swim with schools of hammerhead sharks, large groups of Galapagos sharks, and the occasional whale shark. It is common to spot dolphins, tuna, barracudas, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and sea lions as well. Hundreds of free swimming moray eels can be seen along the bottom of the ocean floor during this part of the Galapagos dive. Like Darwin Island, the waters at Wolf Island are several degrees warmer than the central Galapagos Islands, which means there will be aquatic life similar to the underwater fauna found in the Indo-Pacific.
Spend this morning with a dive at Roca Redonda. Cooler water temperatures provide some variation in the marine life that you encounter during the dives. Bigeye jacks, barracudas, king anglefishes, hammerheads and wahoos are just a few of the aquatic life you can possibly to see. Underwater volcanic vents release warm water which bubbles in streams up to the surface.
The day will be complete with two more dives at Vicente Roca. Two separate coves on this island provide plenty of Galapagos dive opportunities that abound with shimp, lobsters, marine invertebrates, anemones, and the occasional Mola Mola. When you're not diving into the Galapagos waters, you have the chance to explore the island via a panga boat ride or some snorkeling.
If you are traveling in January through May, you spend Saturday with 2 dives at Cape Marshall. Cape Marshall is on the eastern side of Isabela Island and is well known for its volcanic cliffs that drop almost vertically to the ocean floor. There is a chance of seeing large animals such as the mola mola, manta and marble rays, hammerhead sharks, turtles, yellow fin tuna, barracuda, wahoo, groupers, and rainbow runners. Don't overlook the smaller fish: tiger snake eels, big eye puffer fishes, scrawled filefish, creole fishes, pacific box fishes, and parrot fishes can also be seen on this dive.
This afternoon, go ashore at Puerto Egas for a land tour in search of aquatic life that has been caught in tide pools such as colorful starfish and octopus. We also watch marine iguanas feed on exposed algae while the tide is low. The bird life is also fantastic with many great blue herons, lava herons, yellow-crowned night herons and American oystercatchers. We make a stop at the grottos near the end of our walk. Here, Galapagos fur seals play in pools of deep water.
This afternoon marks the last dive of the week, with a dip into Albany Islet where you swim with sea lions, tropical fish, and white tip sharks.
If you are visiting the Galapagos in June through December, you spend the morning with two diving excursions at Marchena Punta Espejo. Red lipped batfish will entertain you in the shallows, and you once again have the chance to see schools of hammerhead sharks. Also, be on the lookout for cow nosed rays, marine turtles, blue-striped snappers, surgeonfish, spotted morays, and scorpion fish.
The Galapagos Sky will motor to the Itabaca Channel on the north side of Santa Cruz after the final dive on Saturday. Arriving around 9pm, any guests who have extended their vacation will depart for their extension in Puerto Ayora.
We visit the Interpretation Center on Sunday morning in order to learn more about the natural history of the archipelago before returning to town in order for you to fly back to the mainland.
Dates & Rates
*Weekly departures starting on Sunday year round
- Cabin accommodation
- All meals, snacks, beverages (including Beer and Wine with Dinner)
- Air or nitrox filled tanks, weights, weight belt, up to 4 dives per day on 5.5 days for 7-night cruises/ 8.5 days of diving on 10 night cruises
- 3 land excursions
- Service of naturalist guides and dive masters
- Transfers in the Islands between airport and dock (on cruise dates)
- All other Galapagos Sky services and amenities.
- Trip interruption or Cancellation Insurance
- Diver’s Addident Insurance
- International airfare to Ecuador
- Domestic Airfare to the Galapagos Islands
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee
- Transit card
- Hyperbaric chamber fee
- Gratuities to guides and crew.
The M/V Galapagos Sky has the following specifications:
L.O.A.: 100 feet
Beam: 24 feet
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Range: 2,400 miles
Fuel Capacity: 8,000 gallons
Water Capacity: 6,000 gallons
Desalinator Production: 4,500 gallons per day
Compressors: two high / two low pressure
Voltage: 110 and 220 volts
Navigational Aids: VHF and HI-SUB radios, GMDSS, color radar, echo sounder, Furuno GPS
Safety Aides: EPIRB (emergency position indicator radio beacon)
Master Stateroom: cabins 1-4 are located on the Dolphin deck (deck plans) and have two twin beds (that can be joined together), private facilities, window view, mirrored cabinet, wardrobe, bathrobes, hairdryer, biodegradeble toiletries, fresh towels daily, air conditioning and volume controls.
Deluxe Stateroom: cabins 5-8 are located on the Iguana deck (deck plans) and have two twin beds, private facilities, Port light view, mirrored cabinet, wardrobe, bathrobes, hairdryer, biodegradeble toiletries, fresh towels daily, air conditioning and volume controls.
FAQ & More
When is Manta Season?
Manta season is December to May and considered the warm season in Galapagos and typically visibility is at its very best during this time.
What will I see at this time of year?
HAMMERHEADS! Lots of them and of course Mantas - giant mantas for sure, but also large (200 plus) schools of mobula rays, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, cow-nosed rays, and marble rays.
When is Whale Shark Season?
Whale sharks are in the Galapagos from June to November - Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are the largest fish in the sea, and large adults may reach 40 ft. (12.2 m) in length, and mature adults are typically 30+ ft (10 m) in length. They may weigh 40,000 lbs or more. Only a few of the great whales (mammals) are larger.
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