Scuba Diving:

Scuba Diving in the Galapagos on Our Luxury Liveaboard Dive Yacht


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There are few places on earth where visitors can experience the thrill of getting up close and personal with quite such a bewildering array of animals as the Galapagos Islands.

“In a lifetime spent making natural history films, I’ve been to many wonderful places, but none more extraordinary than here, the Galapagos Islands” raved David Attenborough, who knows a thing or two about thrilling wildlife encounters.

For many, one of the things that really puts the Galapagos on the map is the wildlife beneath the waves; the waters around the islands are well-known to offer some of the greatest diving experiences anywhere on the planet, with multiple shark species, a huge number of tropical fish and rays, as well as whale sharks, sea turtles and marine iguanas all regular sightings when diving the seas here.

multitude of fish while diving in the galapagos islands

So if scuba diving is your thing, look no further than our liveaboard luxury yacht Galapagos Sky.

First, for those looking to dive in the Galapagos, it is worth knowing a little about how things work in the islands. The Galapagos National Park authorities regulate itineraries for all touring vessels in the Galapagos Islands. In general, diving from the vessels that visit the islands is not allowed. So, whilst visitors on our luxury expedition yachts Origin, Theory and Evolve can enjoy a fantastic range of excursions including snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and zodiac rides, not to mention land-based expeditions including treks and bird-watching, diving isn’t permitted.

However, a handful of vessels do have a permit that allows for scuba diving, and, as luck would have it, our very own luxury liveaboard Galapagos Sky is one of them.

Galapagos diving yacht

Of course, guests staying on our other Galapagos expedition cruises do have options if you would like to dive:

– The day our yacht is in port in Santa Cruz, you can arrange to scuba dive with a local dive shop. We would be happy to provide transportation to/from the dive shop, although note guests taking this option will miss the visit we offer to the Darwin Station and tortoise reserve in the highlands that day.

– Before or after your week-long itinerary, stay at a hotel in Santa Cruz or San Cristobal, and arrange to dive on day trips with a local dive shop.

– Book a two week trip; one week on Origin/Theory or Letty and one week on our dive liveaboard, the Galapagos Sky, to really make the most of your time in the Galapagos. All vessels in the Ecoventura fleet begin and end the cruise in San Cristobal on Sunday, meaning a seamless transfer from one yacht to another. What’s more, for those opting for two weeks back to back, we are offering a 5% discount.

With the Galapagos marine wildlife drawing visitors in from far and wide, a week on board Sky is not to be missed.

scuba with whale shark in the Galapagos

With a maximum of 16 passengers on board, the Galapagos Sky provides an exclusive diving experience, with luxury accommodation and fine dining on board and highly experienced guides and crew, ensuring you’ll have an extraordinary Galapagos experience both above and below the water.

Our diving itinerary offers approximately 19 dives over the course of a 7-night cruise, as well as various land excursions to explore the islands.

The Galapagos Sky is one of just a few dive boats that spends 3 full days at the remote northern islands of Wolf and Darwin – often regarded as among the best dive spots in the world and famous for the huge gatherings of hammerheads and other sharks.

Scuba under Darwin's Arch in the Galapagos Islands

And whilst Darwin’s Arch – an iconic rock formation instantly recognizable to anyone who knows the area – collapsed last year after centuries of erosion (now known affectionately as Darwin’s Pillars), nothing has changed about the spectacular diving underneath as sharks and rays still gather in thrilling numbers.

rare scuba diving location in the Galapagos

In addition to the extensive dives available around Wolf and Darwin, the Sky itinerary has another ace up its sleeve. “We are fortunate to be able to dive with the endemic marine iguanas at Cabo Douglas – many scuba-liveaboards in the Galapagos don’t have Cabo Douglas on their permit” explains Amy Lionetti, our resident diving expert. “They are like miniature Godzillas, feeding on underwater algae for up to an hour at a time” and are a truly memorable sight for all luck enough to have experience it.

Galapagos marine iguana eating - scuba diving photo

Back on board, we have revamped our menus to focus on delicious, locally-sourced and sustainable cuisine, using the best that the Galapagos and Ecuador have to offer. What’s more, with the exception of certain premium wines and spirits, we now have an open bar policy, so a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic offerings are included in your rate.

Diving in the Galapagos is available all year round, with incredible marine diversity every week of the year. Conditions do change however, as a result of changing sea currents and temperatures.

scuba divers at Galapagos sunset

June to November is whale shark season, so the best opportunity to spot these gentle giants. Lucky visitors might spot them gliding through the water accompanied by an entourage of other species, including cleaner fish, tuna, mackerel and remoras.

December to May is the warmest season for Galapagos diving, and these months are often associated with large gatherings of hammerhead sharks. One truly spectacular phenomenon is known as a “wall up”, when huge groups of these sharks gather in tight proximity at reef points to form a solid wall – a sight not for the faint-hearted.

Galapagos Islands hammer head sharks

The warm season is known as “Manta” season, and for good reason – many rays, including giant mantas as well as mobulas, spotted eagles and golden rays to name a few, gather in large schools at this time of year.

For those interested in more information, take a look at the Sky website where you will find further details on the diving set up, as well as the vessel itself.

If you have any questions about the liveaboard diving experience, or would like to plan your trip, please get in touch with us today – we look forward to welcoming you on board.

VIP – Private Moments package:

Private moments is a compilation of VIP services we can provide our guests on the Theory and Evolve.


Ecoventura has curated services for clients who want a truly unique experience while in the Galapagos. Whether its celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary or guests who appreciate spending private moments while on a luxury expedition cruise, Ecoventura offers a magical experience to last a lifetime.


The VIP private moments package includes:

  • A Private naturalist guide on all excursions (limit one guide for 2-4 guests)

  • Private VIP transfers to/from the airport in Galapagos (SCY) and the yacht

  • One Private zodiac ride at sunset (Baroness Point on itinerary A or Tagus Cove on itinerary B) or a private dinner served on the sundeck

  • A private table in the dining room can be arranged at any meal

  • A welcome gift of customized locally made Panama Hats or Ecuadorian chocolates and a gift item from the boutique.


Additional charge:  $800 per person in 1 suite, $ 400 per person in 2 suites (max 4 guests)

 

 

Family Departures:

"To do so as a family and witness your children or grandchildren first hand taking in the stark beauty of the islands, searching for tortoises under sour apple trees, or blowing bubbles in the ocean with sea lion pups is equal parts amazing and unforgettable."


{Kelly S, California (USA) August 2020, Theory}



Galapagos Luxury Family Cruises


Onboard the Ecoventura fleet, we offer designated family departures geared toward families who prefer to travel with other families with children, teenagers, college-age, and multi-generational. Luxury family departures are offered during major school breaks and feature exclusive age-appropriate activities that bring the magic of the Galapagos to a multi-generational audience.


During departures with teenagers, for example, our excursions will be faster in pace and more physically demanding. Expect longer hikes and more kayaking and snorkeling opportunities. Travelers with teenagers who book on our summer family EPI departures can participate in a cultural exchange with local Galapagueño students through Ecology Project International. This, of course, is only an example of how we can customize the specific family departure based on the age group aboard.


The following 2023 are designated as family oriented on one of the two luxury yachts Origin or Theory or the first-class Letty. As a reminder, Itinerary A is for our Beaches and Bays, Southern and Central Route. Itinerary B is for our Volcanic Wonders, Western and Northern RoutePlease check with us at the time of booking. Some family trip dates may already be sold out.




  • January 01-08-A 2023

  • February 19-26-B 2023

  • March 12-19-A 2023

  • March 19-26-B 2023

  • March 26-02 April-A 2023

  • April 02-09-B 2023

  • April 09-16-A 2023

  • June 11-18-B 2023

  • June 18-25-A 2023

  • June 25-02 July-B 2023

  • July 02-09-A 2023

  • July 09-16-B 2023

  • July 16-23-A 2023

  • July 23-30-B 2023

  • July 30-06 August-A 2023

  • August 06-13-B 2023

  • August 13-20-A 2023

  • November 19-26-A

  • December 24-31-B festive

  • December 31-07 January-A Festive


 

Discounts for Children on Galapagos Family Trips


Children age 17 years and younger at the time of sailing are entitled to a 15% discount off the cruise rate. Children age 11 and under have 30% discount on airfare and the park entrance fee is $50 with proof of age and a copy of the child’s passport showing date of birth. Children age 5 and under are not accepted unless the parents or legal guardians sign a hold harmless release.  Designated family and family teen departures are offered during school breaks. Children age 4 and under are  permitted on private charter only. 



Read Blogs About Galapagos Family Cruising



 

Culinary - Tastes of Ecuador:

"The food was sensational, plentiful, fresh and fantastically prepared. I loved the Ecuadorian-inspired dishes and the lunches on the sun deck. Additionally, every excursion was followed by tasty tapas and fresh juices."


{Patricia, Guest, Origin - June 2021.}



Galapagos Islands Culinary Cruises


Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so rather than resting on our laurels after our hugely popular culinary departures over the years, we decided to up the ante.

Enter, stage left, Estuardo Vilela, head chef of Ecoventura’s fleet of luxury yachts, Origin and Theory (to be joined in 2023 by sister ship Evolve). Estuardo is responsible for curating menus and feeding 20 passengers three exquisite meals a day, seven days a week (not forgetting the endless amuse bouches and snacks offered up between excursions), as well as the yachts’ hardworking crew.

Estuardo and his team are continuously innovating and experimenting, introducing new ingredients and dishes to create sumptuous menus that challenge and dazzle in equal measure. In anticipation of taking to the seas for another culinary cruise season, the team has recently released their updated menus, and we’re confident they won’t disappoint.

What Dishes to Expect on a Culinary Cruise


Dishes such as Grilled Octopus Basque-style and Crab croquettes served with kiwi chutney and lemon confit are expertly created in quite possibly one of the most compact kitchens on Relais & Chateaux’s prestigious books. But this in no way hampers Estuardo’s efforts.

“Cooking on a yacht that has a small kitchen is not a limitation, as long as there is a passion for cooking” Estuardo explains. With three or four courses for dinner and a menu that changes every day, passengers are guaranteed never to tire of Estuardo’s offerings.


Given the location, and the fact that ingredients are sourced locally where possible – around 70% of ingredients come from the surrounding islands – seafood features heavily. The grilled prawns with cilantro gremolata, and langoustines in garlic aioli, are particularly divine!

But the menus are highly varied, with a host of dishes available to choose from each day, from various soups through to beef filet with tamarind chimichurri, and everything in between, as well as a host of desserts for those with a sweet tooth!

"Cooking on a yacht that has a small kitchen is not a limitation, as long as there is a passion for cooking."


{Estuardo Vilela - Head Chef - Ecoventura}



Media and Accolades


"Our luxury expedition yachts, Origin & Theory, are the only Relais & Chateaux vessels in the Galapagos – an accolade we at Ecoventura take great pride in. Relais & Chateaux is the watchword not only for luxury accommodation and second-to-none service, but mouth-watering cuisine." explains President, Santiago Dunn.

Travel Writer Sam Bradley had the pleasure of chatting with Estuardo about his cooking experiences in the Galapagos and he shares them in the well-known We Said Go Travel blog. It’s heartening to hear how rewarding it is for Estuardo to see happy smiling guests enjoying his food, and in some instances, sharing his kitchen too!

“Not long ago we had a charter group on board, and one of the guests had organized rare white truffles. I was very excited to be preparing these for the first time, and the client happened to also be a chef so together we prepared a delicious risotto!” Estuardo recalls the story.

Whilst the main purpose of our passengers travelling to this unique corner of the globe is typically to admire the phenomenal flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands, our aim is to elevate their overall experience to the highest degree in terms of luxury, service and cuisine.

Drinks Are On Us!


Alongside Estuardo’s enticing menu for Origin & Theory, we are also very proud of our newly released selection of signature and classic cocktails – all of which are part of our open bar policy.

It’s hard to envisage a better way to reflect on a busy day exploring the Enchanted Isles than relaxing early evening on deck sipping a refreshing Pisco Sour… or might that be a Kicker Rock? Hang on, what about a Rabida Spritz? Perhaps with such a tempting line up, it’s rather hard to imagine after all!

Best come and sample for yourselves, so please do not hesitate to contact the team who would be delighted to help organize your “Gourmet Galapagos” adventure.

Culinary Departure Dates


Truth be told, with our open bar, all-inclusive meal schedule and epicurean delights throughout the day, each an every departure on our luxury yachts have a culinary focus. However, we do occasionally have guest chefs come aboard on specific dates.

Read Blogs about Galapagos Culinary Cruises


Photography Expeditions:

Famed local photographers will help you capture and preserve your trip to the Galápagos Islands in beautiful photographs. Travelers will learn basic lighting tips, receive a printed guide featuring images of the Galápagos’ endemic creatures, and participate in a farewell slideshow featuring some of the finest work produced during the sailing. This photography sailing will be held on the Origin.


Departure dates:

October 16-23 (B) 2022 – northern & western route

October 23-30 (A) 2022 – southern & central route

Join us on a Focus on Photography departure in 2022 - Ecoventura

Yoga Retreat Sailings:

Join like-minded travelers and pursue your passion for yoga in the most inspiring place on earth with our yoga-themed sailing in December 2018. Your host, Ecuador-born Gustavo Plaza, is a skillful yogi with more than three decades of experience in a variety of practices, including alignment-based yoga, meditation, Pranayama, eastern philosophy, and Yoga Nidra. Onboard the Origin, travelers will begin each morning with a yoga class, before gathering in the dining room for a nutritious, sustainably harvested breakfast. Throughout your journey, Plaza will lead regular afternoon yoga sessions and will prepare you for a restful sleep one evening with a Yoga Nidra to cultivate relaxation and self-awareness.


 

Departure Dates for 2022 to be confirmed.