The M/V Humboldt Explorer comfortably accommodates 16 passengers in 8 air-conditioned cabins, all of which have private bathroom facilities including showers. Most cabins have twin beds that convert to larger beds for couples, flatscreen televisions and windows to maximize the view of the Pacific Ocean and Galapagos Archipelago. Cabins are on the main and lower decks. The air-conditioned salon on the main deck includes dining tables, TV, VCR, CD/DVD, video library and lounge area. Sunning/viewing areas, ample seating and a hot tub are located on the top level.
The dive deck is equipped with individual gear bins, camera table, recharging station, air and nitrox filling stations, tank racks and a separate fresh water rinse tank for underwater camera equipment. Diving operations are conducted from two large pangas (tenders), easily boarded from the dive deck. The Humboldt Explorer is also equipped with a satellite telephone for outgoing calls worldwide.
Itineraries are subject to change but generally start and end from San Cristobal Island and include diving on Darwin and Wolf. Please see the itineraries tab for a sample itinerary for the M/V Humboldt Explorer.
Length: 34m, Beam: 6.5m, Main engines: Detroit Diesel 6V92, 350 hp, Generators: 2x Perkins 73 kw, Maximum Speed: 10 knots, Fuel Capacity: 20,000 litres, Range: 1,800 nm
2 electric Bauer compressors with nitrox membrane, producing 32% nitrox and 2 Rigid hull inflatable tenders, used for passenger transport and diver pickup
Navigation and Safety
Life rafts (2), life rings/strobes, life vests/strobes, emergency position locator, flares, oxygen and first aid equipment.
Please note that Nitrox is highly recommended due to the depths and lengths of dives at Wolf and Darwin. A diver on Air will not be able to complete all 4 dives at Wolf & Darwin. Nitrox certification cards must be presented to our Dive Guides on board to be able to dive Nitrox.
We encourage divers to arrive and stay on the Ecuador mainland 2 nights before travelling onto the Galapagos. You are travelling a long way on the trip of a lifetime and we want you to join your liveaboard rested and hydrated. In addition, in case your luggage is delayed for any reason, we also recommend 2 nights.
Guayaguil is the best option, as the internal flights are slightly less expensive and most internal flights departing from Quito stop in Guayaguil on the way. Also, Quito is at slight altitude, so you may not find it as restful to overnight in this city to recover from a flight. However, Quito may be the best option if you are extending you travel on the Ecuador mainland.
An overnight in the city is always required on the return due to international flight times, in case of internal flight delay.
Your final schedule will be tailored according to flight seat availability at time of booking. If you would like to make your arrangements for more travel on mainland Ecuador, we can tailor the international flights to fit your schedule where available.
Extend your stay? With so much to discover in the Galapagos, we recommend an extension on Santa Cruz Island at the Hotel Silberstein in Puerto Ayora, home to the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Schedules & prices
Boat Only price per person includes: transfer between San Cristobal airport / local hotel and Humboldt Explorer, full board basis on board (excluding final evening meal), including local alcoholic and soft drinks, 3-4 dives a day (days vary) air tanks, weight belt and weights.
Extras to be paid in Resort:
Galapagos National Park fee: $100
Hyperbaric Chamber fee: $35
Tourist transit card: $20
Fuel Surcharge: $150
Supplements in Galapagos:
Nitrox: $150 per week
Full equipment (not including computer): $250 per week
The Galapagos Islands lie on the equator 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. Evolved over millennia and isolated from any continental landmass, the Galapagos enjoys a completely unique biodiversity that is simply spectacular. These actively volcanic islands host a distinct and unique flora and fauna, including prehistoric creatures found nowhere else on earth.
Thirteen primary islands, five smaller islands and numerous islets and rock formations make up part of the Ecuadorian National Park System and are a World Heritage site in their own right. This includes the world famous diving mecca of Darwin & Wolf.
Several oceanic currents meet in the island group. This has led to an abundance of marine life that has few equals anywhere in the world. The mixed temperature range underwater delivers a fascinating and rarely seen mix of tropical and temperate fish species.
Many divers are drawn to the Galapagos by the presence of large schools of rays and sharks, which are encountered year round. Various species of turtle breed in the islands, whilst endemic marine iguanas have adapted to local conditions, feeding off the sea algae that thrives in the waters that surround the islands. Inquisitive seals and penguins provide divers with unforgettably thrilling shows as they perform their aquatic acrobatic displays. Occasionally divers are afforded an encounter with some of the islands rare species like Mola Mola, flightless Cormorants and Port Jackson Sharks.
Whale Sharks and more Whales
From May to November cooler currents rich in nutrients attract many of the great pelagic plankton feeders. During these months, The Galapagos Islands are recognised as one of the world’s best locations to encounter Whale sharks in large numbers. Numerous species of whales are also regularly seen in the Galapagos over these months. The most common encounters are with Melon Headed, Pilot and Humpbacked whales that migrate to the coast of Ecuador in August and September. Water temperature can vary from 17 - 24ºC.
In December to April, the waters rise slightly in temperature with shifting Oceanic currents, and in come the rays. Water temperature is a slightly warmer 21 - 26ºC. Large Mantas, schools of mobula rays, cow nosed rays, spotted eagle rays and marble rays are frequent visitors.
Darwin and Wolf
These two islands are located 14 hours sailing north of the main island group. The seas surrounding Wolf and Darwin support large concentration of the marine life that makes the Galapagos the dive destination that it is. Certainly no dive itinerary to the Galapagos is complete without a visit to Darwin and Wolf. Schools of hammerheads, dolphins and rays make these islands a highlight for many divers visiting the Galapagos. The whale shark aggregation occurs in the warmer water surrounding these islands.
Hammerhead sharks and other shark species make regular appearances in numbers year round.
Because of their isolation, most species have evolved in different ways to their mainland relatives and even within the archipelago species have developed differently. Of the extraordinary animals to be found many are reptiles, such as the great tortoise, large land iguanas, numerous lizards and three species of non-poisonous snakes.
Up to three quarters of a million seabirds flock to the islands, including a third of the world's blue footed boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, albatross and petrels. Aside from the extraordinary marine and land borne wildlife, the islands themselves are a fascinating place to walk around, with dramatic volcanic cones and solidified lava flows.
Regaldive holidays to the Galapagos Islands are completely tailormade to your personal requirements, giving the option to extend your liveaboard holiday with a land-based stay for as many nights as you choose. With so much to discover in the Galapagos, we recommend an extension on Santa Cruz Island at the Hotel Silberstein in Puerto Ayora, home to the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Continental Airlines via Houston to Quito (ESTA USA visa waiver required).
KLM and Iberia may offer good UK regional departures.
The Galapagos Islands are reached via a 90 minute flight from Quito or Guayaquil. You normally fly into San Cristobal.
Extra nights: A minimum of one night on the outbound and one night on the inbound is required in Quito or Guayaquil, due to international flight schedules and internal flights.
We encourage divers to stay on the Ecuador mainland 2 nights before travelling onto the Galapagos. You are travelling a long way on the trip of a lifetime and we want you to join your liveaboard rested and hydrated. This also helps in case your luggage is delayed.
Internal flight luggage allowance: 23kg, plus 10kg hand baggage. Excess, overweight and oversize baggage fees apply.
Passports & Visas & insurance
Please always check your own entry requirements regardless of your nationality. Your passport should always have at least 6 months validity on date of return travel.
British Nationals are currently granted a 90 day tourist visa on entry.
Always check for last minute changes in entry requirements at the Foreign & Commonwealth website www.fco.gov.uk
Nationalities other than British citizens should check with their own consular office.
On February 2017, a decree was issued by the National Assembly of Ecuador, whereby all travelers entering the country will be required to show proof of either public or private health insurance for their entire stay in Ecuador. If the traveler cannot provide proof of said insurance, immigration officers could deny the traveler entrance into the country.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure. For the most up to date advice please consult your travel clinic or GP. Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Galapagos Islands area of Ecuador, but we always recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio.
Please note that liveaboard itineraries can change without notice. The itinerary will depend on several factors including, but not limited to, weather, diving ability of guests & the number of other boats already present at the various dive sites. All dive sites visited are subject to weather conditions and are at the discretion of your dive guides and vessel captain.
The diving in Galapagos is not for novice divers. Before attempting to dive in Galapagos you should be completely comfortable in the water and comfortable with all aspects of your equipment. Having experience of diving in cold water with a thicker wetsuit and hood, as well as experience of diving in strong currents, up currents and down currents is highly recommended. Experience in mixed surface conditions, mixed currents and varying water temperatures, proficient use of a DSMB and the ability to cope in buddy pairs or on your own should you become temporarily separated, is imperative.
Regaldive advise that guests booking on to a Galapagos liveaboard should be minimum PADI Advanced or equivalent and have more than 50 logged dives. Humboldt Explorer recommend divers to have logged 100+ dives.
The water in the Galapagos is relatively cold, ranging from 15 - 26ºC between May and November and 20 - 26ºC between December and June. Divers are highly recommended to wear a minimum full 7mm wetsuit or semi-dry with a hood and vest, or 5mm layers.
The visibility in the Galapagos is often limited, due to the high nutrient content of the water. Visibility can be as low as 4m and as high as 30m but the average is 15m. Visibility varies between dive sites and with the time of day and can even change during a dive. The visibility at Darwin & Wolf tends to be higher than in the Southern islands.
Diving from Pangas
Diving in the Galapagos is conducted from small boats called pangas. The currents in Galapagos are strong and so it is important the divers enter the water together as a group.
The majority of dive sites are small islands that break the surface of the water and then taper down. Because of this, it is impossible to bring the dive yacht directly over the dive site.
Divers suit-up on the main yacht before stepping over to the panga. The panga then approaches the dive site and the divers back-roll into the water.
A mandatory check dive will be required of every diver on the first day of the charter, regardless of diving certification or experience. Every dive in the Galapagos will be guided – this is a requirement of the Galapagos National Park. Please note that, due to frequently strong currents, it is mandatory for each diver to carry a DSMB and small light on all dives. A method for attracting attention through noise and reflective light, plus a system such as EPIRB is highly recommended; some of these items can be hired or will be offered as part of your liveaboard.
Please note for Humboldt Explorer: All divers must carry a DiveAlert, a surface signaling device and an electronic beacon while diving (all available on board).
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