Dates:
30th June to 7th July, 2019

The duration of this trip is 8 days and 7 nights. The first day of diving will be the 1st of July, and the last, the 6th of July. The group will check out on the 7th to begin the journey back home.

 

Spaces available:
A maximum of 15 divers.

Location:
The legendary Galapagos islands, located off the coast of Ecuador.

The Galapagos islands of Ecuador need no introduction for those who have even the slightest curiosity in the natural world. Discovered by Spanish sailors in the 1500’s, these fabled islands became Ecuadorean territory in 1832, just 3 years before Charles Darwin set foot on them. The rest as they say is history. In modern times, the Galapagos islands are on the bucket list of anyone who dreams of seeing gigantic land tortoises, blue footed boobies, the finches that Darwin made famous, iguanas that swim into churning waters to feast on the rich algae that grows below the surface.

Divers return with stories of schooling hammerheads, sea lions that swim right by your nose as if you were a play thing, patrolling Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, lazy white tips, dive bombing penguins, whale sharks that chase the cold waters of the Humboldt current. Schools of fish so large they block out the light from above. Squadrons of rays that glide effortlessly in the currents.

It’s location at the Equator and the confluence of three great oceanic currents, the cold South Equatorial current, the warm Panama current and the cold, deep Cromwell current, makes the Galapagos a magnet for wide range of creatures and a must see destination for every diver. It goes without saying that this trip promises to be a once in a lifetime experience.

Our trip has been timed for the end of June \ July to coincide with a drop in water temperatures that we hope will increase our chances of seeing more whale sharks on this tour, without it getting to temperatures that are well below what tropical water divers would have been exposed to so far.

For a more comprehensive list of what you can expect to see as part of this itinerary, please go through the trip reports from our boat, the Galapagos Sky, using the links below :

March 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017

Nitrox is provided for free on this trip so that we can get the most out of our time underwater. The dive profile of the sites here are such that repetitive dives at depth will be required for the best possible sightings of enigmatic pelagics. Without the use of Nitrox it will not be possible to do all the dives in a day without losing a lot of No Decompression Time on repetitive dives and hence, we strongly recommend that you do the Nitrox certification prior to this trip if you do not have it already. Please mail if you would like more information about the same.

Diving:
This package approximately 18 (18) dives over 5 and a half diving days. Our total cruise duration is 7 days.

The tentative itinerary will be as follows ;
Sunday ( Isla Lobos ) – Embarkation day. Orientations, dive and safety briefing, and check dive Monday ( Northeast Isla Pinzon \ Islote Dumb and Cousins ) – 3 dives
Tuesday ( Wolf Island ) – 4 dives, plus a night dive
Wednesday ( Darwin Island ) – Home to Darwin’s Arch and schools of hammerheads, 4 dives Thursday ( Wolf Island ) – 3 dives
Friday ( Cabo Douglas \ Punta incente Roca ) – 3 dives, including 1 for marine iguanas
Saturday ( Bartoleme \ Puerto Ayora ) – 1 dive, Highlands tour
Sunday ( San Cristobal ) : Land tour, disembarkation, late morning departure from Galapagos.

Required certification level:
SSI Advanced Adventurer \ PADI Advanced Open Water diver with Nitrox certification.
Due to the challenging nature of some of the dive sites, a minimum of 50 dives experience is mandatory. For the following reasons, we will not be able to conduct any courses during this trip unfortunately.

Equipment:
Dive equipment rental is not included in this package, however guests wishing to rent may do so, and pay for the same directly to the liveaboard. Please keep in mind that equipment is available in limited quantities only so please inform us well in advance about your requirements. A full set of equipment consists of BC, regulator, 7 MM wetsuit, fins, booties, mask, snorkel, and dive computer and costs USD 325 for the week.

For those divers with their own equipment, we would suggest bringing added insulation such as a 3 MM inner vest, hoods, and neoprene gloves in addition to their regular wetsuit, since the temperatures underwater can vary greatly mid dive.

Boat:
Our stay for the week will be on the M/V Galapagos Sky. Launched in the year 2001, this is a 33 metre liveaboard that holds up to 16 passengers in a total of 8 cabins.

Cabins can be configured with twin or king size beds, with 4 cabins below deck, and 4 cabins on the top deck with sea views. All cabins are air conditioned, with ensuite shower and toilet, marine safe, wardrobe and amenities.

The whole boat is air conditioned with a separate lounge and dining area. All meals are included as part of this trip, with dinner being a plated service. Beer and wine are also included with dinner.

The boat also has a large dive deck and ample storage space for all diving and camera equipment, plus the services of two experienced local guides.

Please mail in case you have any special requests.

 

Meals:
All meals are included as part of this itinerary. In addition, free beer and wine are included with the dinner service, while additional alcoholic beverages are provided for sale on board. Meals will be a mix of Ecuadorean and International cuisine. The day will start with a morning beverage service, and breakfast, lunch and dinner planned around the diving schedule. Dinner will be served as a plated service, with beer and wine being complimentary. The chef is also happy to cater to any special dietary requirements with prior notice.

Travel:
All guests will need to reach San Cristobal airport in order to make the transfers in time. There are daily return flights from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal and vice versa. Guests will need to arrive in Quito or Guayaquil on the Saturday before their flight to Baltra on Sunday.

The following flights may be taken to get to San Cristobal at the start of the trip :

Quito ( UIO ) – Guayaquil ( GYE ) – San Cristobal ( SCY ) : Avianca 1636, departs at 9 A.M, arrives at 11.30 A.M

Guayaquil ( GYE ) – San Cristobal ( SCY ) : Avianca 1636, departs at 10.35 A.M, arrives at 11.30 A.M

Please do not take the Avianca flight that arrives in Baltra at 1 P.M as this means you will miss the boat departure from port.

Additionally, since it takes time to complete the formalities for the Galapagos park permit and TCT card, please make sure to be at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of departure.

The following flights apply for the start of our return home :
San Cristobal ( SCY ) – Guayaquil ( GYE ) : Avianca 1637, departs 12.30 P.M, arrive at 3.25 P.M
San Cristobal ( SCY ) – Guayaquil ( GYE ) – Quito ( UIO ) : Avianca 1637, departs 12.30 P.M, arrives at 5 P.M The boat will ensure that all guests are brought back to the airport at the appropriate time.

Transfers : Transfers will be arranged to and from the liveaboard to the airport at the start and end of the trip. As always, please drop us a line if you are in any doubt about the travel arrangements required in order to make the cruise on time.

Insurance: Dive insurance is MANDATORY for this trip. Due to the amount of travel required to get to the Galapagos islands, and the remote nature of some portions of our trip we strongly advise that in addition to dive insurance, that each guest invest in a comprehensive plan that covers travel cancellation, medical expenses and so on. DAN and DiveAssure are two options to consider, and guests are advised to check with their preferred travel operators as to other options that are suitable for them.

Visas: Ecuador offers a visa on arrival to all Indian passport holders for a period of 90 days.
However, guests are advised to keep in mind that depending on the travel route that they opt for, that they

may be required to apply for transit \ full visas from a 3rd country eg. Schengen or U.S visa. Please mail us if you wish to discuss a suitable travel routing.

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