QUALIFICATION NEEDED: Experienced divers only with minimum PADI Advanced Open Water. Minimum of 100 logged dives.
Please note that the itineraries can change depending on weather and logistics at the Captain’s discretion.
The Galapagos Islands are a National Park and Marine Sanctuary. Over 90 percent of the land and all of the waters are protected. You’ll be visiting a part of the world which has changed little since the time of Charles Darwin. It’s unique location at the confluence of three major currents make it one of the busiest, fishiest, and magical underwater places on earth.
The 16-passenger Humboldt Explorer provides 8 air-conditioned rooms located on the main and lower decks; each has a private bathroom, flat screen television and an ocean view. All rooms except rooms 3 & 4 (forward below deck) can be converted to either one queen bed or two twin beds. The yacht features a partially covered sun deck with a jacuzzi and ample seating, a salon area with dining, a bar and entertainment area. The large dive deck includes a bathroom, large camera table with charging station, individual storage areas, rinse bins for cameras and another for gear. Diving operations are conducted from two large pangas (tenders), easily boarded from the dive deck. Days aboard the Humboldt Explorer generally involve a 6:30am dive followed by breakfast, a dive at 10:30am, lunch at 12:00pm and afternoon dives at 2:00 pm and 4:30pm (when there are no long transits). Dinner is served at approximately 7:00pm. Under current National Parks guidelines, night dives and land visits are strictly regulated.
Darwin and Wolf Islands: Four days are spent here where encounters with hammerhead sharks, large pods of dolphins, manta and mobula rays (Dec-May) and whale sharks (Jun-Nov) are common. Divers will be mesmerised at the abundance and variety of marine life here including octopus, tropical fish and large schools of pelagic species.
Cousins Rock: Manta and devil rays are a common sight, as well as huge schools of the endemic black striped salema.
Punta Carrion: 40 ft. - 90 ft. dive with White Tipped Sharks, Stingrays, Eagle Rays and Marbled Rays, Scorpion Fish, Sea Turtles and Sea Lions.
Diving in the Galapagos can be strenuous due to its currents and surge, varying water temperatures, limited visibility and diving from tenders. The trips are ideal for intermediate and advanced divers with a minimum of 100 logged dives.
Monday - Day of Arrival
Isla Lobos - 1 dive
Guests fly to the Galapagos Islands from Mainland Ecuador, arriving in the late morning. The dive guides will meet the guests at the airport and escort them to the Humboldt Explorer. Guests will board the vessel after 1:00pm. After lunch and briefings, the Humboldt Explorer will depart for a short crossing to Isla Lobos for a check out dive and safety briefing. After dinner the vessel will depart to the next scheduled destination.
Isla Lobos: This is a short dive in a sandy bottom with the focus of checking the skills of every diver. Your first underwater experience in Galapagos will introduce you to sea lions and fur seals! Watch them zoom in and out and dance playfully for you!
Punta Carrion - 2 dives
Following your morning dives, you make a land visit to North Seymour Island. Walk the path around the island to see the large colonies of Blue Footed Boobies and Frigate Birds. Sighting of Sea Lions and Marine Iguanas are also common. Following the visit you depart for the Northern Islands, a journey of over 16 hours.
Punta Carrion: This is a fantastic introduction to the rich waters that bless these islands. Here you will encounter your first sharks, sea lions and rays on great boulder strewn reefs. Punta Carrión's dive sites are in the Itabacca channel between Santa Cruz and Baltra islands. The coastline is barren and rocky with a few scattered trees like many of the Galapagos islands but sally lightfoot crabs brighten the rocks up with their bright red backs and blue and yellow faces. There are also sea lions sleeping on the rocks and red kites and pelicans all around the Itabacca channel giving you a taste of the amazing wildlife that covers the Galapagos National Park.
Wolf Island - 4 dives
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!
Wolf Island -2 dives
Darwin Island - 2 dives
Following a further 2 dives on Wolf Island this morning you will sail on to Darwin Island for the afternoon dives.
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.
Darwin Island - 4 dives
Today there will be a further 4 dives on Darwin Island, followed by a return sailing to Wolf Island where you will moor overnight.
Wolf Island - 3 dives
After this morning's diving, you will set sail for Cousins Rock a journey of over 20 hours.
Cousins Rock - 2 dives
There will be 2 dives this morning before lunch. This afternon you will travel by bus to the Santa Cruz Highlands to visit the giant tortoises in their natural habitat. You may also wish to visit the town of Puerto Ayora and the Darwin Centre on your own. Dinner is taken ashore in Puerto Ayora (not included). After dinner, you will return to the Humboldt Explorer at 8:30pm for your final sailing to San Cristobal.
Cousins Rock: 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.
Monday - Day of Departure
This morning you will depart the vessel by 9:00am. Guests are free to visit the beach in town to see sea lions and marine iguanas in their natural habitat or take a short walk to the Interpretive Centre. Transfer back to the airport for your flight back to Quito or Guayaquil.