Discover the magic of liveaboard diving on the Galapagos Sky. This five-star luxury liveaboard has all the amenities to ensure guests indulge in moments of pure relaxation. With two certified naturalist dive guides on staff, you will be immersed in the luscious landscape and natural biodiversity above and below the waters of the Galapagos Islands.
The elegant Galapagos Sky liveaboard delivers luxurious accommodations for guests to enjoy. Three spacious lounges, fine dining area of Ecuadorian and international cuisine, and a main floor salon featuring an audio/video entertainment center.
The 16-passenger liveaboard yacht features eight private en-suite cabins, all with private head/shower, mirrored cabinet and wardrobe, bathrobes, hairdryer and biodegradable, and marine-safe toiletries.
Itineraries may be changed due to current or pending weather conditions or at the Captain’s discretion for your safety. Itineraries can also be changed at the discretion of the Galapagos National Park who administer cruise itineraries.
Sunday (Embarkation day):
• Isla Lobos- Check out dive
When you arrive at the airport at San Cristobal on Sunday (Avianca flight 1636), the crew of the Galapagos Sky will personally meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you to the Galapagos Sky. Your luggage will be delivered to the dive deck for you. After everyone is on board, we will introduce you to the boat and do our mandatory safety briefings and drills. Then, we cruise to the area of Los Lobos for your check-out dive.
This will be your first underwater introduction to Galapagos sea lions and fur seals! Watch them Zoom in and out and dance playfully for you!
Even on the first day of your liveaboard cruise – you begin to see the myriad and diverse land formations which comprise the Galapagos Islands topside. It is then you realize you will see nothing like it in your lifetime.
•Bartolome – 1 dive and land walk
•Cousins 2 dives
Bartolome – Penguins can be seen at this dive site. Bartolome is a lovely area where guests enjoy a favorite land tour where they can climb to the top of the hill to where breathe taking views abound.
Cousins Rocks– this dive is an itinerary favorite and is done along a beautiful wall and allows for great viewing opportunities for corals, frog fish, sea horses, scorpion fish and octopus. It is also a great dive for large schools of Barracuda and also Hammerhead shark sightings. Sea lions will be your companions upon entry and on the safety stops.
By definition, the entire Galapagos Archipelago is geographically remote. But after this day of your live-aboard cruise finds you heading toward the most isolated, northernmost part of the Galapagos Islands – the uninhabited, untouched, twin cathedrals of world class diving – Wolf and Darwin Islands.
Tuesday-Thursday- Wolf & Darwin
• Tues-4 Dives a day at Wolf plus a night dive
• Wed- 4 dives at Darwin
• Thurs-3 Dives total, 2 at Darwin and 1 afternoon dive at Wolf before long transit back to central islands
Diving Wolf and Darwin
You’ll spend the next three days diving (up to four dives per day plus a night dive) the legendary islands of WOLF & DARWIN.
Most experienced divers will agree, Wolf and Darwin can provide some of the best diving encounters in the world! Whale sharks are common here from Mid May through November. At The Arch at Darwin, you will see hammerhead sharks either individually, in small groups, or large schools. Bottlenose dolphins are common. The reef contains many warm water varieties of fish found nowhere else in the Islands.
Once you see Wolf and Darwin – you’ll immediately understand why there are no shore excursions on this part of the cruise – there is no way up the vertical cliffs!
Darwin Island: Considered by many experienced divers as the very best dive site in the world, The Arch at Darwin island (actually several dive sites depending on where you enter, currents, etc) honors its reputation. It is warmer by a few degrees than the central islands. In one single dive you can find schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, large pods of dolphins, thick schools of skipjack and yellow fin tuna, big eye jacks, mobula rays, and silky sharks. From June to November, it is not uncommon to encounter whale sharks in multiple numbers on one single dive. The presence of occasional tiger sharks, black and blue marlin, and killer whales adds on to this amazing diving experience. If you still have time to look for smaller stuff, you’ll find octopus, flounders, and an enormous variety and abundance of tropical fish. Darwin Island is the biggest jewel on the Galapagos Crown.
Wolf Island: One of those magical islands, with several dive sites to choose from. If you want to see sharks, you are at the right spot. This is a place for schooling hammerhead sharks, large aggregations of Galapagos sharks, and occasionally whale sharks. Seeing dolphins, large schools of tuna, spotted eagle rays, barracudas, sea lions and sea turtles is common. The bottom is littered with hundreds of moray eels, many of them free swimming. Being several degrees warmer than the central islands, you can look for many representatives of the Indo-Pacific underwater fauna. On a night dive here you will also enjoy spotting and watching the Red Lipped bat fish walk along the bottom of the sea!
• Cabo Douglas 1 dive – Marine iguana dive
• Punta Vicente Roca up to 2 dives and Panga ride if time allows.
Cabo Douglas: On the western side of Fernandina Island, we will do 1 dive Friday morning. Here you can expect to see Galapagos Penguins, Marine Iguanas, Flighless Cormorants, Sea Lions, Seahorse, Sea Turtles, Horn Sharks, Red Lipped Batfish, and occasional hammerhead sharks and white tip sharks. Also keep an eye out for chevron barracuda, snappers, yellow fin tuna, rainbow runners, and wahoo. There are also a lot of smaller fishes like creole fishes, parrot fishes, scrawled filefishes, pacific box fishes, and tiger snake eels.
Punta Vincente Roca: Our coldest yet rapidly increasing favorite dive – steep, deep vertical wall covered in soft coral, sponges, and endemic black coral. Regular sightings of mola mola (oceanic sun fish,) sea horses, bullhead sharks, red lipped bat fish, various shrimp and many other marine invertebrates. Keep your eyes open for fly bys from the flightless cormorants, penguins and maybe even a marine iguana. Our after-dive panga ride offers great topside photo ops for penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, sea lions, blue footed & nazca booby Birds, magnificent frigates and noddy terns. The diving here is chilly (particularly below the thermocline – but not to be missed!).
• Northeast tip of Isla Pinzon/Islote Dumb- 1 dive
• Puerto Ayora/Highlands tour
Isla Pinzon – While diving Isla Pinzon you will be provided opportunities for encounters with a variety of species of sharks, sea lions, mantas, eagle rays, and moray eels. Many Species of fish and tropicals including yellow tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, moorish idols, steel pompanos, snappers, grunts, creole fish, and barracuda.
This dive is then followed by a transit to Itabaca Channel where guests will be transferred by bus (at approx. 1400h and approx.. 45 minute ground transfer) to visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz to see the Galapagos Tortoises in their natural environment; and visit to Puerto Ayora. Guests will then be transferred back to Itabaca Channel to board the Galapagos Sky approx. 1900h for dinner on board. The Sky will then return to San Cristobal for Sunday morning cruise completion.
Sunday Morning- Land Tour and Day of Departure
• Interpretation center.
Arrive San Cristobal—(Land Excursion) visit the Interpretation Center where an interesting human history of Galapagos is presented, town walk (last chance for shopping). Late morning departure.
We look forward sharing our Exceptional Underwater Adventures with you!
Name: Galapagos Sky
L.O.A.: 100 feet
Beam: 24 feet
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Range: 2,400 miles
Fuel Capacity: 8,000 gallons
Water Capacity: 6,000 gallons
Desalinated Production: 4,500 gallons per day
Compressors: two high / two low pressure
Voltage: 110 and 220 volts
Navigational Aids: VHF and HI-SUB radios, GMDSS, color radar, echo sounder, Furuno GPS
Safety Aides: EPIRB (emergency position indicator radio beacon)
Highlights of Ecuador
While the Galapagos Islands are the main attraction for SCUBA divers, this South American country has much to offer.
Before of after your liveaboard cruise, spend a few days exploring the historic city of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or travel outside the city limits to the Andean Highlands. Here you can visit Otavalo, known for the indigenous population and bustling artisan market. Travel north and you’ll find Cotacachi, famous for it’s leather goods, giving them the title of “leather capital of the world”. Or unwind in the hot springs at Papallacta, taking in views of the volcanic peaks of Antisana.
Have more than a few extra days to spare? Journey to the Ecuadorian Amazon where you will be immersed in an array of natural wonders and have the opportunity to experience exotic creatures often reserved for your dreams! Jungle lodges will serve as a base to take in the abundance of life and explore everything from the rain forest canopy, jungle floor, the river and sky.
Whether you have a day or a week left to spare. No SCUBA dive vacation is complete without some topside exploration. Ultimate Dive Travel can help arrange all components of your travel, making a complete dive package to suit you needs. Ask a consultant today about trips to the Galapagos Islands and beyond!
Most frequent questions and answers
The Galapagos Sky offers live-aboard cruising all twelve months of the year and visits the unbelievable islands of Wolf and Darwin on every trip. There are two “seasons” for Galapagos diving – WHALE SHARK SEASON (from June to November) and MANTA SEASON (December through May).
“Yes – on every trip”. The Galapagos Sky visits what divers consistently consider to be the most “High Octane” dive sites in the Galapagos Archipelago if not the world (weather permitting). Galapagos Sky schedules up to four dives a day (and a night dive) out at the remote islands of Wolf and Darwin for the pleasure of the divers.
The 15 main islands (and numerous smaller ones) which make up the Galapagos archipelago lie 605 miles west of mainland Ecuador, the islands’ home country. These islands straddle the Equator with Wolf and Darwin islands at the northern most tip.
Yes. A trip to the Galapagos Islands would not be complete without seeing some of the unbelievable flora and fauna of this fabled archipelago. You cannot go ashore on Wolf and Darwin (they are uninhabited and have sheer cliffs rising right out of the sea) but we do feature 3 guided land tours on other islands.
The Galapagos Sky luxury live-aboard was launched in June of 2001 by its current owner, Santiago Dunn. It has been in continuous diving operation in the Galapagos Islands for the last decade. The vessel receives frequent upgrades and routine maintenance to stay in peak operating condition.
DivEncounters, Inc. is the worldwide representative for the Galapagos Sky located in Miami, FL, USA. It was formed by Peter A. Hughes and Santiago Dunn, the owner of Galapagos Sky. Santiago is also the President of Ecoventura, a well respected Galapagos travel company since 1990.
Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador is a 4 hour, 10 minutes flight. Flights to the Galapagos Islands from Guayaquil via Avianca (formerly Aerogal) are 1 hour and 40 minutes. International flight schedules do not allow most passengers to make the connection in one day – so most of our guests overnight in either Guayaquil or Quito, Ecuador on both ends of the trip. We are happy to make hotel arrangements for you.
Yes. For guests traveling through the capital city of Guayaquil, we recommend a one night stay at both ends of your live-aboard cruise. If you wish to stay in Ecuador for several days (or longer) we recommend that you stay (on one end of the trip) in the highlands city of Quito, Ecuador. It’s an amazing place filled with continuous vistas of the Andes mountains, a proud and friendly indigenous culture, world famous for its crafts, and has multiple opportunities for rain forest tours.
Manta Season is the “warm season” in the Galapagos Islands. Air temps go up a few degrees from Whale Shark Season, but shifting oceanic currents bring warmer water to the Galapagos, particularly to the northernmost Wolf and Darwin Islands. Expect anything from 70 to 82 degree water during this season. The Hammerhead action is fantastic (as it is all year) but during the warm season, we see a tremendous increase in manta and ray activity. It’s possible to see giant mantas, large (200 plus) schools of Mobula rays, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, cow-nosed rays, and marble rays. In general, seas are calmer topside in the Manta Season (less wind) but the underwater currents (responsible in a large part for the diversity and abundance of Galapagos marine life) will be present! Expect a brief rain shower in the central islands – but typically Wolf and Darwin are dry and warm. (more info)
As the name suggests – Whale Sharks! Up to 35 feet in length, these giant fish (the largest in the sea) may be seen at any time of the year in Galapagos – but with startling regularity during these 7 months. Water temperature is 60 – 75 F, 15 -24 C, so we do advise 5 – 7mm wetsuits. During these months, the prevailing trade winds blow at 10 – 15 mph at different times during the day. Multiple whale shark encounters on multiple days are not uncommon. (more info)