Galapagos Master

 

 

Built of steel, the Galapagos Master is set to be the most eco-friendly, dive liveaboard in the Galapagos Islands. She has 8 well-appointed modern cabins, a spacious interior and generous outside space for relaxation and dive gear preparation. Our experienced crew of 12 is waiting to welcome you aboard and show you the best of the Galapagos, both underwater and on land.

Communal areas comprise of a spacious indoor lounge, on the middle level, with cushioned bench seating and plasma screen for movie and photo viewing. Adjacent to the lounge is our indoor dining area complete with cocktail bar. An indoor camera set-up station, with numerous charging points (US flat pin plug) and storage drawers is situated to the rear providing ample room for a full photography charter group. Further camera preparation areas can be found on the rear deck next to the dive deck. The upper level has shaded outdoor bench seating with cushioned loungers from where our guests can enjoy the fresh air and views of The Galapagos.

For those who enjoy to relax in the sun there is the top level sun-deck or upper level bow area with additional cushioned loungers provided for your comfort. Guests are free to take advantage of the gangways on both the port and starboard sides to walk around the yacht or visit the Captain in his bridge on the upper deck.

The dive equipment set up is found on the aft deck of the lower level. We provide individual set up areas, with under bench storage for all your personal items. Rinse tanks are conveniently located for washing dive equipment and camera gear, whilst there are 2 shower heads for those wishing for a quick post-dive rinse down. A further 2 deck heads are situated on the starboard side of the boat, just in front of the salon entrance.

With the most spectacular pelagic diving on the planet, the Galapagos is one of those rare places where you can dive through hundreds of hammerhead sharks to find a whale shark cruising along.  Toss in silky sharks, sea turtles, giant morays and schooling fish in their thousands… And that’s just the first dive at Darwin! At Wolf Island you can expect huge Galapagos sharks and eagle rays up close whilst dives at Cabo Marshall will put you face to face with giant manta rays and inside a school of millions of black-striped salemas.  Mola mola (sunfish) may be seen in the depths too. Macro life is plentiful. Black coral bushes shelter seahorses, blennies, nudibranchs, hawkfish and frogfish. Sea iguanas are a unique sight, along with speedy penguins and playful sea lions. This is but a mere taste of why divers consistently proclaim the Galapagos to have the healthiest marine life in the Pacific.

 

Galapagos Itinerary

On a typical day we offer up to 4 day dives however the 4th day dive may be substituted for a night dive when the boat is anchored within a sheltered cove. A 7-night itinerary provides for between 18-20 dives, whilst during our 10-night itineraries, up to 30 dives will be possible.

The diving day aboard the Galapagos Master is scheduled as follows:-
Light Breakfast followed by a briefing and Dive 1 Full Breakfast, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 2 Lunch, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 3 Snack relaxation period, briefing and Dive 4, where possible Dinner To allow our guests to explore the Galapagos to its fullest, on days 2, 7 and 10, dives 3 and 4 will be substituted by an island visits at North Seymour, Santa Cruz or Isla Isabela.

Diving in the Galapagos can be challenging, even for the experienced diver. At many sites currents can be strong and visibility may diminish due to currents and an influx of nutrients. We highly recommend our guests have training beyond beginner level and a minimum experience of 50 dives, preferably in similar conditions. If our dive crew feel that you do not have the relevant skills or experience to dive the more challenging sites safely then they may stipulate that you sit out some dives.

Dive Sites

Punta Carrion – This boulder strewn reef provides a superb introduction to some of the larger pelagics we expect to see in the Galapagos, including white tip reef sharks but also the occasional hammerhead and Galapagos shark. Sea lions are ever-present and there is the opportunity for some macro critter spotting with sightings of neon nudibranchs. The wall has an average depth of 15m (50ft) and mild- medium current is to be expected.

Wolf Island – Named after the German geologist, Theodor Wolf, this extinct volcano reaches 253m (780ft) above sea level and lies some 160km (100 miles) northwest of Isabela Island. Land visits are not permitted however bird life, including red-footed boobys and vampire finch, may be spotted from the boat.

For our dives here we choose from a selection of reefs and walls, most having typically medium to strong currents where the use of gloves and reef hooks is advised. Schooling pelagics are the main draw with sightings of hammerheads, white tips and Galapagos sharks at each site. During the season (May – November)

whale sharks may also be seen here. Divers should also be on the lookout for red-lipped batfish, barracudas, moray eels and dolphins!

Darwin Island – This extinct volcano reaching 165m (490ft) above sea level was named in honour of naturalist Charles Darwin. It is amongst the smallest island within the Galapagos Archipelago and like Wolf Island, no land visits are permitted.

Perhaps the most famed dive site is “Darwin’s Arch” which provides an amazing drift dive along the wall at an average depth of just 9m. Medium to strong currents are to be expected but bring with them hammerheads, black tips, silky and Galapagos sharks – and in large numbers! Schools of jacks are a common sight, along with turtles, angelfish and moray eels. Occasional sightings of tiger sharks, manta rays and bottle nose dolphins make for a thrilling time spent here. Whale sharks may also be seen between May – November.

Douglas Cape – Situated on the northwest point of Fernandina Island, this wall dive, with an average depth of 20m (70ft), offers something truly spectacular and is now famed for the feeding marine iguanas that congregate here along with sea lions, fur seals and speedy penguins!

Punta Vicente Roca – Alternatively known as “The Ice Box”, due to its chilling thermoclines, this point off the Northwest coast of Isabela Island offers a wall drift dive, along which mola mola can be spotted. The occasional Port Jackson shark may also be seen as well as the endemic Camotillo (White spotted sand bass).

Roca Redonda – This underwater volcano, with its bubbling streams of natural gas (fumaroles) plays home to schools hammerheads sharks and barracuda. With typically strong, changeable currents and some down currents, the diving here is challenging, though with an average depth of 18m (60ft).

Cabo Marshall –The craggy volcanic walls are covered with black coral bushes and the sheer variety of marine life is astounding. Sightings of manta, mobula and cownose rays are to be expected during the warm season (November – May). Meanwhile shark varieties include scalloped hammerhead, Galapagos and white tips. Let’s not forget the sea lions and turtles!

Cousin’s Rock– One of the most photographically productive dives of the region, Cousin’s Rock is formed of coral covered rock and lava flow. Sea fans, hydroid bushes, red sponges and small hard corals encrust ledges and overhangs, sheltering hawkfish, nudibranchs, frogfish and seahorses. Plenty of larger visitors are also seen including giant manta and mobula rays, spotted eagle rays and hammerhead sharks. The wall drops beyond 30m (100ft) but rises up shallow to just 3m (10ft) providing an ideal spot to end your dive playing with the sea lions.

Tagos Cove – On the west side of Isabela Island, opposite Fernandina Island, this shallow reef is an excellent late afternoon dive, where we have the opportunity to find seahorses, frogfish and long nosed hawk fish.

Punta Albermale – Drifting along this wall on the north of Isabela Island, we stay at an average depth of 25m (85ft) to see manta rays, hammerheads, turtles, schools of barracuda and tuna.

 

 

Getting there and away… The Galapagos Master embarks and disembarks at the island of San Cristóbal. Book your international flight into and out of Quito or Guayaquil International Airport in Ecuador from where there are daily domestic flights to San Cristóbal (SCY). Our representative will meet you at the airport. Embarkation time is depending on flight arrivals; disembarkation at the end of the cruise will be just before 10 am allowing plenty of time for your onward domestic connection. International flights are possible to some destinations on the day of disembarkation but please ensure you allow plenty of time for transfers and check in.

On arrival… The Galapagos Islands are a province of Ecuador. Passport holders of most Western and Asian countries will be issued with a visa on arrival into Ecuador that allows for stays of up to 90 days, please make sure that your passport has validity of at least 6 months beyond the period you intend to stay in Ecuador. If you are travelling with medication please bring your physician’s prescription with you.

Staying there… The local currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar (USD). Larger hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants will normally accept Visa and Mastercard for which a charge of 4 – 10% may be levied. We work with a number of hotels and resorts. Should you wish to extend your stay in the Galapagos, the Worldwide Dive and Sail travel team will be pleased to assist you.

Climate and weather… The Galapagos Islands straddle the equator and weather is roughly divided into two seasons; ‘warm’ and ‘dry’. The warm season, generally begins in December has average daytime temperature of 23°C (75°F) with daily rain showers and cloudier skies. The dry season, typically begins in May/June, bringing cooler temperatures with an average of 21°C (70°F) with local rain showers generally confined to the highlands of the larger islands. Evening temperatures can drop to just 15°C (59°F) therefore we advise guests to bring warm clothing for the cooler evenings.

Time zone… The local time in mainland Ecuador is 5 hours behind UTC (GMT), whereas Galapagos is 6 hours behind UTC (GMT).

Health… Dengue is a concern in Galapagos; protect yourself with repellent and by wearing clothing with long sleeves, trousers or long skirts/sarongs.  Eating or drinking food or beverages from street vendors carries health risks and travelers should exercise caution. We produce our own purified water on board the Galapagos Master and all attention is given to food hygiene standards and safety. We recommend you visit a health care provider who specializes in travel medicine prior to your travels to address any and all concerns you might have with a professional.


Group Trips:

Special: 

Galapagos Group Trip - Last 2018 Spots on Super Sale!
Nov 19-29, 2018 - now ONLY $2995

Prices are boat only and per person based on twins share. New bookings only. Cannot be combined with other offers.