Galapagos Liveaboards – How to choose?

October 10, 2020

Let us help you choose which Galapagos liveaboard is right for you.

academy bay diving and whale sharks darwin arch

At the time of this writing there are 10 dive liveaboards in the Galapagos Islands. They all visit the Northern Islands of Wolf and Darwin, so which one do you choose?

Having lived in Galapagos for more than 10 years now and worked with all of these boats in some form or other, I will give you a quick run down on all of them, show you the differences between them, and hopefully help you to make your choice!

Of course, if you decide you would rather a land based dive package please click here to see all that we have available. These dive trips are not too shabby either!

This is just my humble opinión, but Let’s start with the boats we work with the most, due to

  • reasonable pricing for what they are offering
  • good service on board
  • good instalations on the boat – dive deck, cabins, rest áreas
  • last minute deals for lucky travelers in the right place at the right time

 

Humboldt Explorer

Humboldt Galapagos liveaboardThe Humboldt is a very good mid range option. The company that runs this boat and also the first class option Tiburon Explorer have been running dive boats in Galapagos and around the world for quite a few years now, and know how to provide good customer service and a great dive cruise.

It is one of the boats that can offer a last minute price if you are looking to book a cruise within the week of it’s departure, and they still have space of course. Due to the reasonable price (for Galapagos), and the good reputation they are pretty full year round, but you can snag a great deal if you are lucky.

You can see more details, pictures, itinerary and prices here.

This boat also offers some discount for group bookings of 8 or 16 passengers – ask us about it.

Itinerary: Monday – Monday

Departure: San Cristobal

Nitrox: on board – $150 fee

Max passengers: 16

Approx cost: $5495 – All the Humboldt passengers for the rest of the year have been upgraded to the Tiburon (lucky them!) so the Humboldt will go into maintenance and be back big and beautiful for 2021.

Points of Intrest

  • spends 4 days at Wolf and Darwin for máximum whaleshark and hammerhead chances
  • great last minute deals if they have space left
  • Hot tub on the deck
  • Great Crew
  • Visit North Seymour island – land tour
  • Complementary local beer & wine

Monday – Pick up from Airport – San Cristobal, transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Tuesday – Dive x 2 Punta Carrion & Early afternoon Land tour onto North Seymour Island. Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Wednesday – Dive x 4 Wolf Island

Thursday – Dive x 2 Wolf Island/ Dive x 2 Darwin Island

Friday – Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Saturday – Dive x 3 Wolf Island/ Afternoon departure to return South

Sunday – Dive x 2 Cousins Rock/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island & visit Giant tortoise reserve. Last dinner in town

Monday – Overnight travel to San Cristobal/ Transfer to airport

Humboldt Galapagos liveaboardHumboldt Galapagos liveaboard

Aqua

Aqua Galapagos liveaboardThe Aqua is relatively new, the name that is, this boat has changed operators quite a few times over the last few years, but I think they are on a good stretch now. The boat has been recently refurbished and is a very nice tourist class option. The itinerary still takes it’s passengers to Wolf and Darwin, but the cabins a are littel smaller, have bunk beds, and the recreational áreas are a Little smaller tan it’s first class cousins. The service provided will rival any on the higher class boats, so I would defiantely consider it if you are on a Budget. You can see more detailed information here.

Need to ask us a question?

Itinerary : Tuesday – Tuesday

Departure: Baltra Island/ Santa Cruz

Nitrox: on board – $150 fee

Max passengers: 16

Approx cost: $4295 – this boat has some spectacular deals for the next few months, with some dates being offered at $2495 per person. Unheard of prices on a tourist class boat to reach the Northen Islands. Check you dates.

Points of Intrest

  • spends 3 days at Wolf and Darwin and 1 day on the west coast of Isabela for some more variety.
  • great last minute deals if they have space left
  • Great Crew
  • Chance to dive with the Marine Iguanas at Cape Douglas

Tuesday – Pick up from Airport – Baltra, transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Wednesday – Dive x 2 Bartolome/ Dive x 2Cousins Rock / Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Thursday – Dive x 4 Wolf Island

Friday –Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Saturday – Dive x 3 Wolf Island

Sunday – Dive x 1 Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela)/ Dive x 1 Cape Douglas (Fernandina)/ Afternoon departure South

Monday – Dive x 1 Roca Blanca/ Dive x 1 Pinzon Island/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island – Puerto Ayora, somre free time in the afternoon.

Tuesday– visit Giant tortoise reserve/ Transfer to airport

Aqua galapagos dive cruiseAqua Galapagos liveaboard

Tiburon Explorer

tiburon explorer galapagos liveaboardThe Tiburon Explorer is the luxury sister of the Humboldt Explorer, and arrived to Galapagos in September 2020. It is beautiful, very luxurious inside, large cabins and very big showers and bathrooms (for a ship). The top deck is fitted with a large hot tub, bar área and lounge, perfect for watching the Galapagos sea birds circling Darwins Arch after a long day of diving. This boat will also have some great last minute deals if they have spaces left, which I don’t think will be many once the world gets back some normalcy!

As the boat is brand new I don’t have a page for it yet, but you can ask us anything here.

Itinerary: Saturday – Saturday

Departure: Baltra/ Santa Cruz

Nitrox: on board – $150 fee

Max passengers: 16

Approx cost: $6395 – they do have some great deals for some dates between now and Jan 2021. $2000 off regular price to make it $4495…AMAZING!!! Check your dates.

Points of Intrest

  • spends 3 days at Wolf and Darwin for great whaleshark and hammerhead chances and also has 1 day on the west cost of Isabela to see the Mola Mola and Marine Iguanas
  • great last minute deals if they have space left
  • Hot tub on the deck
  • Great Crew
  • Visit North Seymour island – land tour
  • Complementary local beer & wine

Saturday – Pick up from Airport – Baltra, transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Sunday – Dive x 2 North Baltra & Early afternoon Land tour onto North Seymour Island. Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Monday – Dive x 4 Wolf Island

Tuesday –Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Wednesday – Dive x 3-4 Wolf Island

Thursday – Dive x 1-2 Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela)/ Dive x 1-2 Cape Douglas (Fernandina)/ Afternoon departure South

Friday – Dive x 2 Cousins Rock/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island & visit Giant tortoise reserve. Last dinner in town

Saturday –Transfer to airport – Baltra

tiburon explorer galapagos liveaboardtiburon explorer galapagos liveaboard

Galapagos Master

Galapagos Master LiveaboardThe Galapagos Master is run by another international liveabords group – Master Liveaboards, so you know you will be getting the first class treatment they advertise. The boat has 8 well appointed modern cabins, a spacious interior and generous outside areas. The upper deck cocktail bar is a great place to gather to relive the days diving adventures.

For more information and pictures please click here

Have a question for us?

Itinerary: Monday – Monday

Departure: San Cristobal

Nitrox: on board – $150 fee

Max passengers: 16

Approx cost: $5950 – The Master is giving a 40% discount for the rest of the year! AMAZING. So the cruise rates are – Lower deck $3521/ Upper Deck $3570

Check your dates 

Points of Intrest

  • spends 3 days at Wolf and Darwin for great whaleshark and hammerhead chances and also has 1 day on the west cost of Isabela to see the Mola Mola and Marine Iguanas
  • great last minute deals if they have space left
  • Visit North Seymour island – land tour

Monday– Pick up from Airport – San Cristobal, transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Tuesday – Dive x 2 North Baltra & Punta Carrion & Early afternoon Land tour onto North Seymour Island. Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Wednesday – Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Thursday – Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Friday – Dive x 3-4 Wolf Island

Saturday – Dive x 1-2 Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela)/ Dive x 1-2 Cape Douglas (Fernandina)/ Afternoon departure South

Sunday – Dive x 2 Cousins Rock/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island & visit Giant tortoise reserve. Last dinner in town

Monday – Overnight transfer to San Crsitobal/ Transfer to airport – Baltra

Galapagos Master LiveaboardGalapagos Master Liveaboard

Calipso

Calipso Galapagos liveaboardThe Calipso is one of the newer liveaboards in Galapagos, and is worth y of it’s first class category. The Cabins are spacious, the dining área and decks very nicely furnished, and the dive deck has plety of room for everyone and thier equipment.

The top Deck with Jacuzzi, Bar and Al fresco diving área is the most popular área of the boat, and is perfect for sipping an ice cold refreshment after a long but enjoyable day of diving.

For more information and pictures please click here

Itinerary: Thursday – Thursday

Departure: San Cristobal

Nitrox: on board – $150 fee (free for 2020)

Max passengers: 16

Approx cost: $5495 – the Calipso crew are giving a $1000 discount (so the cost is $4495) for departures for the rest of the year, they are also offering free nitrox and 1 night stay in Quito or Guayaquil on your way out to Galapagos.

Have a question or want to book your dive?

Points of Intrest

  • spends 3 days at Wolf and Darwin for great whaleshark and hammerhead chances and also has 1 day on the west cost of Isabela to see the Mola Mola and Marine Iguanas
  • WiFi onboard
  • Jacuzzi on top deck
  • Seasonal itinerary change to see Mantas at Cabo Marshall

Thursday– Pick up from Airport – San Cristobal, transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Friday– Dive x 2 Punta Carrion & North Seymour/ Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Saturday – Dive x 4 Wolf Island

Sunday –Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Monday – Dive x 2 Darwin Island/ Dive x 1-2 Wolf Island

Tuesday – Dive x 1-2 Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela)/ Dive x 1-2 Cape Douglas (Fernandina)/ Afternoon departure South (from JUNE – DEC) (from JAN – MAY you dive at Cabo Marshall)

Wednesday– Dive x 2 Cousins Rock/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island & visit Giant tortoise reserve. Last dinner in town

Thursday – Overnight transfer to San Crsitobal/ Transfer to airport – Baltra

Calipso Galapagos liveaboard

The Galapagos SKY

Galapagos Sky liveaboardThis is the boat with which I have worked the least. They do not offer last minute spots, which we sell a lot of, and are the most expensive in the market, with a price of approx $6800 for 8 days in 2020.

The company has been running for years in Galapagos, and has the service of a dive cruise boat down pat, with 8 luxury cabins featuring private ensuites and fully airconditioned, it is one of the first class boats.

Have a question about the SKY?

Itinerary: Sunday – Sunday

Departure: San Cristobal

Nitrox: on board – $150 fee

Max passengers: 16

Approx cost: $6805 – I not aware of any specials. Check your dates.

Points of Intrest

  • spends 3 days at Wolf and Darwin for great whaleshark and hammerhead chances and also has 1 day on the west cost of Isabela to see the Mola Mola and Marine Iguanas
  • Hot tub on the deck
  • Great Crew
  • Visit Bartolome island – land tour

Sunday – Pick up from Airport – San Cristobal, transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Monday – Early morning Land tour onto Bartolome Island/ Dive x 2 Cousins Rock Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Tuesday – Dive x 4 Wolf Island

Wednesday –Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Thursday – Dive x 2 Darwin Island /Dive x 1 Wolf Island

Friday – Dive x 1-2 Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela)/ Dive x 1-2 Cape Douglas (Fernandina)/ Afternoon departure South

Saturday– Dive x 1 Pinzon/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island & visit Giant tortoise reserve. Last dinner in town

Sunday – Overnight transfer to San Cristobal/Visit Interpretation Center/Transfer to airport

Galapagos Sky liveaboard Galapagos Sky liveaboard

Agressor III

I am sure everyone has Heard of the Agressor dive liveaboard company. They used to run 2 cruises here in Galapagos, but upgraded the boat and stayed with just one a few years ago. The service on the Agressor is very nice and the instalations are what you would expect from a first class liveaboard.

The itinerary is varied and gets you over to Isla Fernandina & the west coast of Isabela as well as Wolf and Darwin. The partially covered sun deck is equipped with deckchairs, hot tub and bar service, and soft drinks, local beer and wine are complimetary.

You can see more detailed information here

Itinerary: Thursday – Thursday

Departure: Baltra

Nitrox: on board – $150 fee

Max passengers: 16

Approx cost: $6595 – The Aggressor is offering a couple of dates at $2000 off the normal price! (That never happens in Galapagos!) and other dates with a 25% saving. These trips need to be booked by the end of the month, so don’t think too ling about it.

They are also offering great deals for group bookings through 2023! Pay 5 get 1 free/ Pay 8 get 1 free/ Pay 14 get 2 free. Again these deals are only valid for booking before OCT 31st, 2020.

Are you and your buddies thinking about diving in Galapagos in 2021, 22 or 23? Don’t miss these amazing savings! Want to check some dates?

Points of Intrest

  • spends 3 days at Wolf and Darwin for great whaleshark and hammerhead chances and also has 1 day on the west cost of Isabela to see the Mola Mola and Marine Iguanas
  • Seasonal itinerary change to see Mantas at Cabo Marshall
  • Jacuzzi on top deck
  • Complementary local beer & wine
  • Visit Bartolome island – land tour

Thursday– Pick up from Airport- Baltra, transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Friday– Dive x 2 Punta Carrion/ Early afternoon Land tour onto Bartlome island/ Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Saturday – Dive x 4 Wolf Island

Sunday –Dive x 4 Darwin Island (June – Dec)/ Dive x 4 Wolf Island (Jan – May)

Monday – Dive x 2 Darwin Island/ Dive x 1-2 Wolf Island (June – Dec)/ Dive x 4 Cabo Marshall (Jan – May)

Tuesday – Dive x 1-2 Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela)/ Dive x 1-2 Cape Douglas (Fernandina)/ Afternoon departure South

Wednesday– Dive x 1 Cousins Rock/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island & visit Giant tortoise reserve. Last dinner in town

Thursday –Transfer to airport – Baltra

Aggressor Galapagos liveaboard Aggressor Galapagos liveaboard

Nortada

Nortada Galapagos liveaboardThe Nortada is one of the smallest liveaboards that heads to Wolf and Darwin, but it’s passenger count is also less, giving a personalised experience to smaller groups of 8-12 passengers. The cabins are a Little smaller than most of the other boats, with 3 berths in each, though the 3rd bed is only used with charters and groups who are comfortable to share. The lounge and diving área are comfortable, and the dive deck is certaily sufficient for it’s needs.

See more detailed information here

Itinerary : Friday – Friday

Departure: Baltra Island/ Santa Cruz

Nitrox: on board: $150 fee

Max passengers: 8-12

Approx cost: $5500 – I am not aware of any specials

Points of Intrest

  • spends 3 days at Wolf and Darwin and 1 day on the west coast of Isabela for some more variety.
  • great last minute deals if they have space left
  • Chance to dive with the Marine Iguanas at Cape Douglas
  • Personalised service for smaller groups

Friday – Pick up from Puerto Ayora main pier (Isla Santa Cruz)/ transfer to boat, lunch, breifing & check dive

Saturday – Dive x 2 Punta Carrion/ Dive x 2Cousins Rock / Depart for Wolf and Darwin early afternoon – 16+ hours transit.

Sunday – Dive x 4 Wolf Island

Monday –Dive x 4 Darwin Island

Tuesday – Dive x 3 Wolf Island

Wednesday – Dive x 1-2 Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela)/ Dive x 1-2 Cape Douglas (Fernandina)/ Afternoon departure South

Thursday – Dive x 1 Cabo Marshall/ Dive x 1 Roca Blanca/ Arrive to Santa Cruz island – Puerto Ayora, somre free time in the afternoon.

Friday– visit Charles Darwin Research Station/ Transfer to airport – Baltra

Nortada Galapagos liveaboard Nortada Galapagos liveaboard

Blue Spirit

This boat is Brand new, so new that it has not made it out to Galapagos yet.

It was suppoed to take it’s maiden voyage late 2019, but was held up with some buidling permits, and now by Covid 19.

It promises to be a nice first clss liveaboard, but we are still waiting for the finished pictures and arrival to Galapagos. I will update as soon as it arrives.

Danubio Azul

This dive cruise is an economic option for visiting Wolf and Darwin. It is small, but eventually does arrive.

Due to past inconveniences with some of my passengers, this boat has a long way to come before I will provide further information about it for my readers.

 

So there you have it. If you have any questions about the Galapagos liveaboards that I have missed, please don’t hesitate to ask!

After reading all this you have decided that you might prefer a land based diving package you can check the amazing dive sites we visit here.

 

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