Dive Advice Travel
dive liveaboard specialists .... the world's finest diving
The 26-meter (85-foot) Galapagos Aqua sleeps up to 16 guests. Recently refitted with all new equipment, she's a good choice for Galapagos diving on a moderate budget.
Dom's comments: "Although Galapagos Aqua operated previously in Galapagos, a new operator, with long experience in Galapagos, took over the operation and totally rebuilt the vessel. Aqua's dive itineraries include Darwin and Wolf at a lower rate than the larger, more luxurious vessels in these waters. She's an ideal choice for the more budget-conscious amongst you. " ..... Dominick Macan
4 upper deck TWIN / DOUBLE cabins
2 twin beds or 1 large double & large picture windows
1 main deck double cabin
double bed & picture windows
2 lower deck TWIN / DOUBLE cabins
2 twin beds or 1 large double
2 lower deck TWIN cabins
2 twin beds & port windows
All are ensuite, with individually controlled air-conditioning, a strong-box & hairdryer.
up to 4 dives per day from dive tenders
12 liter steel tanks (15 liter available at extra cost)
DIN and Int valves
water temperature: 21-30°C (70-86°F) December - May
16-24°C (60-75°F) June - November
Divers must have Advanced Open Water, Nitrox Certification & 50 logged dives minimum
accommodation & diving
meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages
compressed air, tanks, weights & weight belts
airport transfers in Galapagos
some land trips as per scheduled itinerary
services of crew & guides
international & domestic airfare
full scuba rental gear & wetsuit (please request in advance)
15 liter steel tanks
Galapagos National Park fee, Ingala card & Hyperbaric Chamber fee
Galapagos Aqua and its machinery (hull, engines, generators, nautical equipment) underwent major maintenance & much of the equipment was replaced with new items in 2019. The interior was thoroughly refitted, rendering her into quite a different vessel ... and making Aqua now quite a fine fit for Galapagos.
Aqua offers a good-size sun deck with lounging chairs as well as a small area in front of the bridge on the upper deck for both sunning and sight-seeing. The upper deck also has a very inviting shaded exterior lounge with a bar at the stern end ... and 4 cabins with picture windows mid-ship. On the main deck, behind the master cabin, is a comfy lounge & dining area with bar and small library, while, as usual, the dive deck is found in the aft quarter of this deck. The remaining 3 cabins are found on the lower deck.
Aqua is relatively unique in the Galapagos experience as she does both diving and naturalist trips. If you're interested in doing back-to-back trips, please don't hesitate to talk with us about it.
LAYOUT & SPECS
Type: Motor Yacht
Year Built: 1998 (Remodeled in 2019)
Length: 26 meter / 85 feet
Beam: 5.5 meter / 18 feet
Max Capacity: 16 passengers
Cabins: 9 (During the 2019 refurbishment 1 cabin will be added)
Intimate group size (max 16 guests)
26m / 85 ft long & 5.5m / 18 ft wide
8-9 m2 / 90 ft2 cabins, including private bathroom
DIVING AND FACILITIES EQUIPMENT:
Zodiacs: 2 Caribe (C-20 & C-17) with 50 HP Yamaha four stroke outboards
Max Speed: 9 knots
Engines: 2 x 250 HP Caterpillar
Generators: 1x 80 KW & 1x 60 KW Cummins
Diving Equipment on board:
2 dive tank compressors: Enriched air and Nitrox (Bauer and Kaeser for air and nitrox)
Aluminum 12L scuba tanks with valves, belts and weights
Full personal diving equipment available for rent (BCD, regulator, mask, fins, 7mm wetsuits, hoods, gloves, boots, dive computer, torch, GoPro underwater camera)
Aqua’s Dive related Certifications:
Certified with PADI, DAN, EFR
Personal Marine rescue GPS, Storm whistle, Diving beacon, Surface marker tube
Diving Safety Equipment provided on board for free:
Crew: 8 members + 1 Instructor Guide and 1 Dive Master Guide. (For naturalist cruises only 1 bilingual naturalist guide)
Engines: 2 x 250 HP Caterpillar
Generator: 1x 80 KW & 1x 60 KW Cummins
2 Radars + 1 AIS Radar
2 GPS with alarm and depth sounder
VHF & HF radios
Satellite & mobile phones
1 Life raft
Bilge pump & Fire pumps
Full fire equipment, including life line
Fire extinguishers throughout the yacht & 3 CO2 banks
Oxygen Complete first aid and trauma kit
Emergency Life jackets in cabins
The Galapagos itinerary is controlled by the National Park. The following itinerary is a sample itinerary. Your actual cruise will be also based on tides, currents, winds and weather conditions. Please note the itinerary starts at BALTRA .... not San Cristobal.
Day 1 TUESDAY
Your guide will meet you at the airport, assist you with the luggage and accompany you on the short bus rideand panga ride to the Aqua. After greeting the crew and the captain, your cabins will be assigned to you and then you will enjoy your first lunch on-board. After lunch, you'll motor to your first dive site.
1 dive - North East Baltra (check out dive)
The gradual rocky slope that extends from Seymour Island’s northeastern shore provides habitat for salaams, yellowtail grunts and blue striped snapper. You might also spot groups of eagle rays, marble rays, manta rays, stingrays, jacks, hammerheads and, on a good dive, marlins. Don’t forget to look up from time to time to observe blue-footed boobies diving in to catch a meal.
Day 2 WEDNESDAY
1 dive - Bartolome Point – Bartolome Island
Amazing rock formations capture the eye here. Bait balls are common and they attract Galapagos penguins, sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks, a variety of rays & pelagic fish. Expect plenty of sea turtles & reef fish plus manta rays and hammerheads out in the blue.
2 dives - Cousins Rock
This dive site offers terraced steps that drop down to a sandy bottom at 130 feet (40 meters). The steps are covered in black corals, habitat for the Pacific Seahorse. Under the overhangs created by the “steps,” you’re most likely to discover white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and moray eels. Schools of barracuda, manta rays and hammerheads are often lurking further out in deep water.
Day 3 THURSDAY
3 or 4 dives – Wolf Island
Wolf Island is one of the most iconic scuba diving sites in the world. Several species of birds haunt this island while sea lions play on the rocks below. Below the waterline, you’ll swim with massive whale sharks (in season), schooling hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, silkies, eagle rays and mobula rays … plus, bluefin tuna, turtles, and thousands of reef fish. And, you can always expect a dolphin pod to come whizzing along.
Day 4 FRIDAY
4 dives - Darwin Island
Darwin Island, with its famous arch, is the next highlight of your scuba adventure. Manta rays, eagle rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and the occasional whale shark wow divers with their presence. But, the pièce de résistance is the huge number of sharks brought in by the strong current: schools of hammerheads, silky sharks, black-tip sharks and Galapagos sharks.
Day 5 SATURDAY
3 or 4 dives– Wolf Island
Land visits are not permitted, however, bird life such as: red-foo- ted boobies and vampire finches may be spotted from the boat. You'll dive a selection of reefs and walls, most have medium to strong currents, where the use of gloves and reef hooks is advised. Schooling pelagics are the main attraction, but you can also see hammerheads, white tips and Galapagos sharks
Day 6 SUNDAY
1 dive AM - Punta Vicente Roca
The sloping wall here is covered with invertebrates ranging from frogfish to seahorses but the main reason for this dive is that you often find the intriguing mola mola on the outside of the wall where they come to be cleaned. Remember to watch for diving penguins and playful sea lions.
1 dive AM - Cape Douglas
Cabo (Cape) Douglas dive site is located on the North West side of Fernandina Island. It has an active shield volcano ‘La Cumbre’, which has been subject to eruptions within the last ten years. Flightless cormorants have a nesting site here. These amazing birds evolved to live on this barren island by learning to swim and hunt underwater, instead of flying, due to the lack of land predators. Marine iguanas have also evolved to survive here. Add to the list plenty of sea lions, turtles, pelicans and Galapagos penguins.
Day 7 MONDAY
1 dive AM - Roca Blanca
This area is rarely visited by divers and is recognized for encounters with six different species of shark, plus manta & eagle rays, sea lions, moray eels, lobsters, loads of tropical fish and occasional sightings of baitballs.
1 DIVE PM - Pinzon
This is a small island about 1 hour from Puerto Ayora. It is a great spot which offers many playful sea lions, turtles, and red lipped batfish.The deep drop off wall is for more experienced divers and offers sea horses, rays, different species of sharks, and lobster. In the warmer months, Pinzon is a favourite site for the Manta Rays and pods of dolphins.
Day 8 TUESDAY
AM - Highlands land tour (Santa Cruz)
With clear weather, this area boasts beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where you can observe the giant tortoise of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.
There are flights from Quito (stop over in Guayaquil) and Guayaquil to the airports of Baltra or San Cristobal, where your cruise will begin. Your flight will take 30 minutes to get from Quito to Guayaquil and about one hour and a half from Guayaquil to Galapagos. Flights to Galapagos are generally scheduled in the morning; return flights around noon.
After your flight from the mainland, a guide will meet you and escort you on a short bus ride and a inflatable dinghy-ride to the yacht. Upon disembarkation on day 8 you will be assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, and transferred by dinghy to shore, then to the Seymour Ecological Airport, where you will take the shuttle back to the airport.
DIVE & TRAVEL
Comprehensive dive insurance
Full travel insurance plans
Pays directly to service providers
24/7 medical hotlines