Dive in Darwin and Wolf, Galápagos, With an Unbeatable Value Liveaboard!

Overall Rating

9.8

Marine Life
Professionalism
Sustainability
Value
10.0/10
9.7/10
9.7/10
10.0/10
RowenaMulleners
NL
Rowena M verified review
Advanced Open Water Diver
100+ dives
9.3/10
6 months ago

Great diving experience, crazy marine life! Best food on a live aboard. Nice boot for this price range. Would love to visit again.

ClaireMogford
GB
Claire M verified review
Divemaster
100+ dives
10/10
11 months ago

An incredible dive experience! I had high expectations of diving in the Galapagos but they were surpassed on the Aqua Explorer liveaboard. We had incredible encounters with a huge range of marine life, guided by two excellent guides who were also naturalists and therefore able to also give us tours of the shoreline. The boat itself was spacious and very comfortable with roomy cabins, more than enough communal space even with a full boat and we were very well look after by the crew - including delicious food with lots of variety and plentiful portions. Overall an amazing trip - book now, you won't regret it!

KevinBoot
NL
Kevin B verified review
Divemaster
100+ dives
10/10
11 months ago

An amazing adventurous trip to the Galapagos islands aboard the Aqua liveaboard! Diverse landscapes and marine life, excellent service from all the crew (guides, naturalists, dive briefs, chef preparing delicious food, cleanliness of boat etc.).

IsabelleBarbier
FR
Isabelle B verified review
Open Water Scuba Instructor
300+ dives
9.8/10
11 months ago

Show Original (Français)

We took a small group of divers on the Aqua and the week was absolutely fantastic. The route is very well designed, with a few "easy" dives at the start, during which we could observe oceanic manta rays, our first hammerhead sharks, green and hawksbill turtles and more. Then three days in Darwin and Wolf. The conditions were so good at Darwin's Arch (with little currents, warm weather and excellent visibility) that the crew adjusted the timings slightly so that they could do an additional dive. Finally, other dives at the end of the route during which we saw mola-mola, marine iguanas, and even a cormorant at a depth of 16 meters! The guides are excellent, this is the only dive boat in the Galapagos that employs naturalist guides, and that makes all the difference. Great briefings, they know where to go, and between dives they took us bird, penguin and iguana watching in zodiacs! Also, during the first dives, the guides really paid attention to the weight of each one, sometimes advised to take blocks of 15L, and thus, we were all able to make memorable dives without being limited by the air for example and by being comfortable. The last day, we were able to take a dive and were on land to see the famous giant tortoises from which the Galapagos take their name. Finally, the chef prepares fabulous little dishes, with a wide variety of dishes (more than 5 for each main course), desserts served at the table, hot soups, and really nice snacks between dives (empanadas, hot chocolate, etc.) . One person had a gluten-free diet and they adapted the menus for them, even concocting suitable desserts! Perhaps, on the other hand, would it be possible to limit dry cakes to individual packaging? The cabins are simple but comfortable. We always had hot water, and appreciated the towels waiting for us on the dive deck. Overall fantastic dives with a well-honed organization, and a motivated and friendly crew! I highly recommend!

TinaPanizza
CH
Tina P verified review
Brevet plongeur niveau 3
300+ dives
10/10
12 months ago

Show Original (Français)

Wonderful diving trip with a professional and environmentally friendly team. We were won over by the friendliness of the crew, the professionalism of the guides and the quality of the outings.

RinepeDec
FR
Perrine D verified review
Advanced Adventurer
50+ dives
10/10
11 months ago

Show Original (Français)

This was our first diving cruise for my fiancé and I, still "little divers", with about fifty dives to our credit. We were lucky to come across Seacrush and especially Isabelle, who was absolutely brilliant, professional, available, responsive, reassuring and above all very nice, from start to finish. We had a lot of excitement but also a little trepidation. Will we be up to it? Won't the conditions (especially current) be too difficult? How is life on board during a week? In summary, we had one of the most amazing weeks of our life! - the boat: everything is perfect, we were in a cabin on the lower deck, very comfortable, sufficiently spacious with a small functional bathroom (and hot water of course!). The common areas are very pleasant, inside and out. The space dedicated to preparation and diving equipment is well thought out and practical (with hot showers too !!). Finally, we eat very, very well, always with a hot drink and snacks after the dives. So I come to ... - the team: great! Professional, smiling, friendly, they pampered us all week! And of course a big thumbs up also to the perfect dive guides. Their training as a naturalist allowed us to learn a lot, a real advantage. - the dives: what to say ... grandiose, wonderful and unimaginable? At least all of that and more. A unique ecosystem in the world, very rich, very varied, very beautiful. (I'm not going to spoil it). And regarding the conditions, finally, we may have been lucky because they were good, but even the strong currents did not "cool" us! In short, it is doable, with a minimum level required all the same. In short, although the wonderful divers who shared this week with us have a lot to do with the success of this cruise, we can only recommend Seacrush and the Aqua with your eyes closed, you will not be disappointed!

Why we love it

Dive over 7 days on the best dive sites of the archipelago and see schools of hammerheads at Darwin's Arch, Galápagos sharks and eagle rays at Wolf Island, giant manta rays at Cabo Marshall, schooling fish in their thousands, Galápagos endemic sea iguanas, speedy penguins and sea lions. With only 16 divers on board, and 11 dives at Darwin and Wolf, this is the best value liveaboard in Galápagos!

Conservation

The liveaboard is committed to Green Fins guidelines for responsible diving, and provides ecological soap and shampoo on board.

Who is it for?

For passionate experienced divers. Strong currents attract the pelagic, this is why most sites are challenging. Minimum of 50 logged dives required.

Prices and Dates
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  • 7 nights cruise, in a twin shared accommodation basis with en-suite bathroom and air-conditioning. Upper and main deck cabins available for a little extra - ask us.
  • 19 dives
  • All meals (international and Ecuadorian dishes, served in buffet style). Vegetarian or special meals available on demand.
  • Water, coffee and tea
  • Weights, belts, and scuba safety equipment (personal marine rescue GPS, storm whistle, diving beacon, and surface marker buoy)
  • Towels
  • Transfers in Guayaquil or Quito if the flight has been booked with the dive cruise company (ask us)
  • All transfers in the Galápagos (airport-yacht-airport), and one land excursion the day of arrival, provided you book the local flights we recommend you (ask us)

  • Additional fees, payable locally: $100 (about ... EUR) Galápagos National Park Tax, payable on arrival in Galápagos and $20 (about ... EUR) Ingala Transfer Card, payable on arrival at Guayaquil or Quito Airport
  • Full dive equipment rental (BCD, regulator, mask, fins, 7mm wetsuits, hoods, gloves, boots, dive computer, torch)
  • Nitrox
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for the crew
  • Flight tickets and overnight-stays at hotels
  • Travel insurance (Medical coverage, Trip cancellation & Dive Accident insurance)

Dive briefing!

Marine Life

  • Galápagos Marine Reserve, established in 1998, is the second-largest marine preserve in the world
  • The Marine Reserve has been added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 (an expansion from the Galápagos National Park which was recognized in 1978)
  • Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galápagos are a "melting pot" of marine species: the extraordinary diversity of marine life is unmatched anywhere else in the world
  • Nearly 20% of marine life in Galápagos is endemic, found nowhere else on earth, such as the world’s only marine iguana and the most northern-living penguin
  • Due to the island topography, pelagic species such as tuna, manta ray, and hammerhead shark can be seen extremely close to the shoreline
  • The diversity of underwater terrain is exceptional and cannot be found anywhere else in the world

Dive Conditions

  • Season: December to May is when manta rays are more commonly sighted and it's also the best season to see plenty of hammerheads. Warmest season but also expect daily rain showers and cloudier skies. June to November is when the Humboldt current comes up from the south, bringing with it plankton and making this the best time for seeing whale sharks. Cooler temperatures with occasional showers.
  • Currents: medium to strong
  • Visibility: 10 to 20 m (30 to 66 ft)
  • Water Temperature: 23° to 29°C (73° to 84°F) from December to May and 22° to 27°C (72° to 81°F) between June and November, with some thermoclines
  • Depth: shallow and deep dives

Dive Sites

  • On a typical day, we offer up to 4 dives.
  • A total of 19 dives on 5 different islands of the Galápagos!

DAY 1: Tuesday

  • Morning: pick-up from Baltra airport (GPS) at 11 am
  • Afternoon: North Seymour, Baltra island (Check Dive)

DAY 2: Wednesday

  • Morning: Cabo Marshall, Isabela island (2 dives)
  • Afternoon: Manta Ray City, Isabela island (1 dive)

DAY 3: Thursday

  • Morning: Darwin's Arch (2 dives)
  • Afternoon: Darwin's Arch (2 dives)

DAY 4: Friday

  • Morning: Darwin's Arch (2 dives)
  • Afternoon: Wolf island (2 dives)

DAY 5: Saturday

  • Morning: Wolf island (2 dives)
  • Afternoon: Wolf island (1 dive)

DAY 6: Sunday

  • Morning: Vicente Roca Point, Isabela island (1 dive)
  • Afternoon: Cape Douglas, Fernandina island (1 dive)

DAY 7: Monday

  • Morning: Cousin's Rock, Santiago island (2 dives)
  • Afternoon: Tour of Highlands in Santa Cruz to see the giant tortoise and lava tunnels

DAY 8: Tuesday

  • Morning: Transfer back to Baltra Airport at 9 am (GPS)

The Team

  • Dive operator in the area since 2008
  • Boat renovated in 2019
  • Languages spoken: English, Spanish
  • Maximum 8 divers per guide

Safety Information

  • Equipment Recommended: a 7 mm long wetsuit, a hood, dive gloves, an SMB, a reef hook, and the usual diving equipment. All can be rented on board.
  • Insurance: Both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend DAN Europe that has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote.
  • Nearest Hyperbaric Chamber: Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island
Visas, flights, and more!

Visa Requirements

How to get there

  • You need to first go to Guayaquil (GYE) or Quito, at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Ecuador.
  • Plan to arrive in Ecuador at least 1 day before the cruise departure.
  • The next day, take a domestic flight from Quito to Seymour Airport (GPS) in Baltra island.
  • In all cases, we recommend to spend an additional night before the cruise in Santa Cruz island in Galápagos, to ensure you do not miss any connection and are well-rested before diving.

More...

  • Bring reef-safe sunscreen, a hat, mosquito repellent and long clothes (dengue is present in the Galápagos).
  • December to May has an average day time air temperature of 23° (73°F) with daily rain showers and cloudier skies.
  • June to November is drier, but with cooler temperatures - average of 21° (70°F) - with local rain showers generally confined to the highlands of the larger islands. Evening temperatures can drop to just 15° (59°F) so bring extra trousers, jumpers and a windbreaker.
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