Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

The Perfect Galapagos Diving Trip

Amazing Wildlife

Best Season

Luxurious Liveaboard

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If you are looking for the perfect diving trip, look no more. Welcome to Darwin and Wolf in the Galapagos Islands, the ultimate destination for awe-inspiring underwater adventures! Dive into waters teeming with hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, sea turtles, marine iguanas and more while exploring stunning underwater landscapes.

Whale shark high season

September is the best season to dive with whale sharks around Darwin and Wolf.

Diving with marine iguanas

Diving with marine iguanas feeding underwater at Cabo Douglas in Fernandina.

Hammerheads and Galapagos sharks

Darwin and Wolf islands are the best place to dive with these sharks.

Luxurious liveaboard

En-suite twin cabins. Gourmet-style dining. Wine, beer, liquor and spirits included. NITROX included.

22-29 September 2024

Seven nights aboard included. Three days diving on Darwin and Wolf islands and a dive with marine iguanas on Fernandina.

Price USD 7,395 in Deluxe Cabin

Based on a single person sharing. Flights excluded. Upgrade to Master Cabin for USD 300. See Payment Terms and Conditions for fees and other cost.

Galapagos Front Cover

Photographer aboard

The trip is led by Josef Litt, underwater photographer and author of GALÁPAGOS, the most comprehensive guide to the islands. Josef will share intriguing stories, interesting facts and his photographs on a handful of talks to add something a little special to this cruise.

Reserve your space with a card payment using the button above or contact us for wire transfer details..

Reserve your space with a card payment using the button above or contact us for wire transfer details..

Payment Terms and Conditions

Included in Cruise Rate:

  • Cabin accommodation
  • all meals and snacks
  • all beverages, including an open bar policy (beer, wine, spirits and liquors)
  • one 80 cu ft/12-litre tank
  • weights, weight belt
  • up to 4 dives per day on 5.5 days for 7-night cruises
  • Three land excursions
  • service of Dive Guides
  • transfers in the Islands between the airport and dock (on cruise departure dates only)
  • all other Galapagos Sky services and amenities.

Galapagos Sky is a dedicated scuba liveaboard, there is no discount for non-divers. 

Not Included in Cruise Rate, payable in addition to the cruise rate:

  • A hyperbaric chamber fee of USD 35 – must be collected in advance 
  • Nitrox (Enriched Air) USD 200 
  • Booking Fee USD 300
  • Fuel Surcharge USD 150 

Not included in cruise rate, payable by you to other providers:

  • Trip Interruption or Cancellation Insurance 
  • Dive Accident Insurance (DAN or DiveAssure) 
  • International Airfare to Ecuador (Quito UIO or Guayaquil GYE) 
  • Hotel stay in Ecuador (Quito UIO or Guayaquil GYE) 
  • Domestic Airfare to the Galapagos Islands (Quito UIO or Guayaquil GYE to San Cristobal SCY) 
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee is USD 100 
  • Transit card (TCT) USD 20 
  • Rental gear 
  • Gratuities to guides and crew. 

Payment Schedule and Cancellation policy

    1. Initial non-refundable deposit of USD 1,000 at the time of booking. Pay by card using a link provided or contact us for wire transfer details.
    2. An interim payment of 50% of the overall cost must reach our bank account by the 30th of November, 2023. this payment is non-refundable.
    3. The final payment must reach our bank account by the 31st of May, 2024. This payment is non-refundable.

Please see our full Terms and Conditions and cancellation policy here.

Hyperbaric Chamber Fee
The Hyperbaric Facility is located in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. The larger dive operators in Galapagos collect a mandatory USD 35 fee from each guest to keep the facility operating, staffed and with updated equipment. The $35 fee does not cover treatment at the facility. Divers must have dive accident insurance. Galapagos Sky collects this fee in advance of each cruise. The fee cannot be paid on board.

Gratuities for Guides & Crew
Tipping in Ecuador and tipping dive boat crew is standard practice. We recommend 10% of the charter or cruise rate as a tip/gratuity. The crew will provide an envelope and a Guest Comment Card at the end of the cruise. Envelopes and cards are placed in a locked box in the lounge area. Tips are divided and distributed equally amongst the Captain/Dive Guides and crew. Cash USD is preferred. Though larger bills of USD 50-100 are not accepted at shops and restaurants in town, they are still accepted as one form of payment for gratuities and for onboard accounts. Gratuity can also be placed on a Visa/MasterCard credit card. Please note that 2-4% is deducted from gratuities placed on credit cards for processing fees.

We believe our crew members provide world-class service, and we hope you agree.

Credit Card Payments Made On Board
Rental gear fees, boutique purchases, etc., are paid on the last day of the cruise. We accept cash (US Dollars in small and large denominations), MasterCard or VISA credit cards only. Personal bank checks and American Express are not accepted on board.

Dive Accident Insurance
Each diver is required to have Dive Accident insurance. Divers must note the company and policy number on the Application. The Hyperbaric Chamber donation fee does not cover any medical expenses if needed.

Travel Interruption/Cancelation Insurance
Josef Litt, DivEncounters, Inc. & Galapagos Sky will NOT provide a refund or cruise credit in the event you miss your cruise or circumstances beyond our control (such as weather) which may require us not to fulfil our full cruise itinerary. Therefore, we strongly recommend that all passengers travelling on Galapagos Sky invest in COMPREHENSIVE medical, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, including a Cancel for Any Reason Coverage Add-On at the time of your reservation. Many Travel Insurance policies must be purchased within ten days of making a deposit on a reservation. This investment will protect you and your financial commitment in the event of unforeseen travel delays/ airline cancellations, personal or family illness or injury that may not allow you to make your scheduled cruise.

In the event of any departure cancellation and interruption or postponement of any cruise due to reasons including force majeure, Acts of God, war, civil disturbances, terrorist acts, insurgent acts, extremist acts, government interference, labour disputes and strikes, and when no substitute Vessel can be arranged for, the Company will issue a credit for the unused portion of the cruise to be utilized by the Passenger on a future cruise departure, subject to availability.

COVID-19 Specific Guarantee
We will provide guests with a Full Cruise Credit (FCC) to reschedule their cruise up to 24 months from their cruise departure if either of the following conditions is met:

      • Ecuador closes its borders or prevents travellers from entering due to governmental guidelines. 
      • And restrictions on your country of residence. 
      • Your country of residence prevents you from departing due to their governmental guidelines and restrictions on entry to Ecuador. 
      • Your country of residence, Ecuador or Galapagos, has a mandated quarantine. 
      • We recommend that all travellers purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy, preferably CFAR, should you need to cancel for any other reason.
      • Please check that your Travel Insurance policy covers medical illnesses, including COVID-19.
Diving and Diving Safety in the Galapagos

Please note that diving in the Galapagos is advanced due to strong currents, varying visibility and cold water. Temperatures range from as low as 55°F (13°C) to as high as 77°F (25°C) in different areas of the itinerary and seasons. Depths can be 20-30 meters (65-100 feet). Divers must be comfortable in these conditions, have very good buoyancy skills and ability to do negative (sometimes rapid) back-roll entries/descents from small boats. Recommended requirements include 50-100 open water dives, experience in currents, ability to remove gear in water and ability to get into small boats in choppy seas. We require recent dive experience and Nitrox certification before the cruise. PADI and DAN recommend a refresher course for divers who have been out of the water for six months or longer. All diving off Galapagos Sky is non-decompression diving without exceptions.

Diver to Dive Guide Ratio
With a full boat of 16 guests, divers will be placed in two groups of 8. Each group of eight divers will have one Galapagos National Park certified Dive Guide.

Private Dive Guide Services
For divers who wish to have a Private Dive Guide, we can provide an additional guide for $1750 per week. Private Dive Guide services must be made well in advance and are contingent on Dive Guide availability. The fee is added to the reservation invoice, and payment is made in advance. Divers with a Private Dive Guide dive with the group cannot be given a separate drop for safety reasons.Certification Cards
Certification cards must be shown to Dive Guides when checking in at the beginning of the cruise. Highest level of training and Enriched Air Nitrox card, please. E-cards are accepted on board. If a diver has recently completed their Enriched Air Nitrox certification, temporary cards are accepted on board.

Minimum Age
As the dive itinerary does not offer dives under 40ft/12m, divers must be at least 15 years old with proper training and experience.

Solo Diving, Side Mount, Rebreather, Doubles
Solo Diving, Side Mount diving and diving with Doubles or Rebreathers is not permitted now. In addition, stage or pony bottles are not available for rent.

Night Diving
Night dives are optional and conducted weather and conditions permitting on Day 3 at Wolf. However, divers must be experienced at night diving, carry a primary and backup light/torch (as all Certification Agencies recommend), and have a tank light. Underwater lights/torches are not available for rent or loan.

How We Dive Off Galapagos Sky
Dive Briefings will be given on board before every dive.

All diving is done from a panga (also known as an inflatable, rib or tender). The crew will place fins and cameras in the panga before each dive. Divers will gear up on the dive deck of Galapagos Sky. Divers will walk to the gangway and lower themselves into the panga with the crew’s assistance. Once seated in the panga, divers will be handed their fins to don. At the dive site, the Dive Guide will ask for a final self and buddy check, then give the signal to dive. All divers must simultaneously do a bankroll entry. Cameras will be handed to divers by the panga driver. At specific dive sites, divers will be asked to do a negative entry (no air in BCD) to ensure a quicker descent in stronger currents.

Divers are expected to follow and stay with the Dive Guide and follow signals and instructions. Divers who must end their dive before the planned dive time must be able to do a proper ascent with their dive buddy, complete a safety stop and signal the panga driver once safely buoyant at the surface. Divers who surface with the Dive Guide will be under the Dive Guide’s DSMB. Divers who surface before or away from the Dive Guide should deploy a DSMB if the diver has that skill before surfacing, or they should inflate their DSMB once safely buoyant at the surface. Dives are typically 50 minutes each. Most dives are between 60ft/18m and 100ft/30m.

Once the panga approaches a diver and the panga driver gives the OK, divers must hand up cameras and remove and hand up weight belts. Next, divers must remove their inflated BCD in the water and present the tank side to the panga driver, who will lift the gear on board. Divers will then remove, hand up fins, and climb the ladder back onto the panga.

Nitrox/Enriched Air vs Air
Nitrox/Enriched Air Certification by a recognized certification/training agency is required to dive with Nitrox onboard Galapagos Sky. Nitrox Certification Cards must be presented to Dive Guides at check-in on board. Our membrane system generally produces 32%. Certified Nitrox divers must analyze and log Nitrox mixes and MODs before each dive. Nitrox Analyzers are provided on board. Without proof of Nitrox certification, divers will be provided with air fills. Without Nitrox certification, all dives cannot be completed on Days 3, 4 & 5 at Wolf & Darwin due to recreational Non-Decompression Limits. Nitrox classes are not offered on board. Divers without Nitrox Certification will be required to hire a Private Dive Guide.

Snorkelling
The Galapagos National Park regulates all activities in Galapagos. Our permit does not allow for snorkelling at most of our dive sites. Many of our dive sites are in areas where surface conditions are unsafe for snorkelling. There is no discount for non-divers.

 

Diving Gear

It is highly recommended that divers bring their own gear. Advanced diving conditions common in Galápagos call for divers to be in their own known and properly fitting gear.

Wetsuit Recommendations
The general recommendation is if a diver is bringing one suit, a 7 mm with hood/hooded vest and layering garments. As water temperatures vary in different areas of Galápagos, we highly recommend divers bring their own hooded vest and layering garments for added thermal protection. Dry Suits are commonly used in Galápagos, with lighter undergarments in the warmer water and heavier undergarments in the colder water. However, trilaminate wetsuits are prone to damage caused by rough surface of rocks and are not recommended.
Divers must bring and wear gloves (1-2 mm) to protect their hands.

Dive Computers
Divers must use a dive computer or be able to show dive planning with a dive table to the Dive Guide to keep track of their non-decompression time. Rental dive computers are very limited, so it is strongly suggested that each diver bring their own dive computer with a backup dive computer, ideally with the same algorithm. If your dive computer is violated, you will not be allowed to dive until the computer has cleared.

Weights & Weights Belts
Weights and weight belts are available and included in your cruise rate. Most lead-weight pieces on board are 4 to 5 pounds. Small 1 to 2-pound or trim weights are not available. Also, soft weights are not available.

Tanks and Valves
Standard tanks are Aluminum 80 Cubic Foot/12 Liter tanks with an INT/yoke valve. Each tank has a removable insert to make the DIN first stage compatible. A limited number of Aluminum 100 Cubic Foot/15 Liter (DIN/INT compatible) tanks are available for an additional weekly rental fee of USD 60, paid directly on board. Steel tanks are not available. Please note on the Application the desire to rent 100 cu ft/15 ltr tanks when making rental requests before the cruise.

Reef Hooks
Galapagos Sky does not provide reef hooks to divers. If a diver is experienced and comfortable with reef hook use, they may bring their own along with a small cutting tool to cut themselves free if needed. Divers not highly experienced with reef hook use should not attempt learning in Galapagos due to strong currents. All divers must bring their own gloves to hold onto rocks in the current.

Diver Safety Equipment
The following pieces of surface safety devices are required for each diver entering the water:

  • Safety Sausage/SMB/Surface Marker
  • Dive Alert or similar audible surface signalling device
  • Nautilus Lifeline electronic surface tracking device.

If you have your own Nautilus Lifeline, the MMSI number is 735057585. These items are available for loan to divers while on board.

Rental Gear
If a diver must rent equipment, please understand that sizes, selection and quantities are extremely limited. Guests should note items to be rented and specific size(s) on the Application.

All fees for rental gear are paid directly on Galápagos Sky on the last day of the cruise.

USD Cash and Visa/MasterCard are accepted on board for payment. 

Not available for rent or purchase: Cameras, Gloves, Hoods, Thermal Vests, Torches/Underwater Lights, Knives, Steel Tanks, Pony Bottles 

Full Gear Rental Package $250 per week

  • BCD
  • Regulator/Gauge Set 
  • 7 mm Wetsuit
  • Mask
  • Snorkel 
  • Fins
  • Booties
  • (Computer not included)

Ala Carte Rental Items Cost per Week

  • BCD $80
  • Computer $75
  • Regulator/Gauge $80
  • 7 mm Wetsuit $45
  • Mask/Snorkel $25
  • Fins/Booties – $25 per charter
  • 100 cu ft/15 ltr tank upgrade $60

Rental wetsuits are all standard, full-length 7 mm. We only carry very limited quantities of SCUBAPRO/ Auqalung Mens and Ladies Small, Medium, Large and X-Large and Men’s XXL.

Divers must bring their own gloves, hood/hooded vest, and layering garments for added thermal protection. 

Rental BCDs are not weight integrated. Therefore, weight belts must be used with rental BCDs.

Fins are open-heel, adjustable SCUBAPRO Seawing Nova fins. Size Small through XL only. 

Rental regulator set-ups come with First stage (yoke), a Primary second-stage regulator, a Secondary second-stage regulator (octopus or an alternate air source), a Low-pressure inflator hose (standard connector), a submersible pressure gauge (SPG) and depth gauge (analogue).

Water Temperature

Water temperatures fluctuate throughout the year and are typically warmer in the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin and cooler in the western, southern and central islands of Galapagos. Thermoclines are common. Divers should be prepared for the water temps listed for all water temps: Western, Southern & Central AND Wolf & Darwin.

December – May: The water is warmer, clearer 65-80°F, 18-27°C.
June – November: The water is cooler, 60-77°F, 15-25°C.

Water Temperature Galapagos

Travel in Ecuador and to Galapagos

Passport/Visa
A valid passport, with at least six months and one day remaining before expiration, is required to enter Ecuador. In addition, the passenger must check with local immigration offices or the Ecuadorian Consulate before travelling to determine if a visa is necessary.

Immunisations
At the time of publication, no inoculations were required for visitors to Ecuador and Galapagos (excluding jungle areas). Please check with your local health office at least two months before your departure. Effective October 20, 2022, visitors to Ecuador and the Galapagos are no longer required to present a vaccination certification for COVID-19 or a negative Antigen or RT-PCR test result.

Time Zone
Ecuador is in the Eastern Time zone (GMT-5 on the mainland). Daylight savings time is not observed in Ecuador. Galapagos is one hour behind mainland Ecuador. On board, we observe mainland Ecuador time.

Local Currency
The country of Ecuador uses the US Dollar. Starting June 1, 2021, large denominations of USD currency, including $50 and $100 bills, are not accepted for payment at shops and restaurants in the Galapagos, including the airports. For incidental purchases, we recommend guests bring $1, $5 and $10 bills, as change is not always readily available. There is usually a surcharge if credit cards are accepted in shops and restaurants. Large bills are accepted on board Galapagos Sky.

Language Spoken
English and Spanish are spoken aboard Galapagos Sky by Dive Guides and Captains. All guests must speak English or Spanish for safety reasons.

Shipping and Storage of Luggage
We have been unable to find a reliable service for shipping items in or out of Galapagos or mainland Ecuador. For that reason, we are unable to make a recommendation for shipping services. Best to keep your luggage with you during your travels.

Getting to Ecuador
All guests must make their own international air travel arrangements into either:
Quito, Ecuador: Mariscal Sucre International – Airport Code UIO,
Guayaquil, Ecuador: Jose Joaquin De Olmedo – Airport Code GYE.

Arrive in either UIO or GYE by Friday or Saturday morning before Sunday’s scheduled departure date. Please be in mainland Ecuador for at least full 24 hours before the flight to Galapagos. Allow for contingency plans if flights are delayed, cancelled or if baggage is delayed.

Do not arrive at UIO or GYE Saturday evening, night or on Sunday morning flights. Please allow for contingency plans if flights are cancelled/delayed. Do not plan to take the last flight of the day on Saturday into Ecuador, which will not give you options if that flight is cancelled.

Divers should be rested, alert and adjusted to time-zone changes when boarding Galapagos Sky.

Hotels in Quito (UIO)
Wyndham Airport Quito
Hotel Location: Closest to Airport
Transfer: Provided by Hotel Shuttle every 30 minutes
Rates*: SGL: $130 DBL: $135 TRP: $175
Reservations Office or Guest/Travel Agent

Patio Andaluz
Hotel Location: In the Historic Center
Transfer: Taxi
Rates*: SGL: $145-$195 DBL: $162-$210
Reservations Office or Guest/Travel Agent

Illa Hotel
Hotel Location: San Marcos neighbourhood
Transfer: Taxi
Rates*: $445-$545
Reservations Office or Guest/Travel Agent

Casa Gangotena
Hotel Location: Historic area
Transfer: Taxi
Rates*: $550-$696
Reservations Office or Guest/Travel Agent

* Rates are subject to change
Arrangements can be made by the Galapagos Sky Reservations Office or by the Guest/Travel Agent directly

Hotels in Guayaquil (GYE)
Oro Verde
Hotel Location: Near Airport
Transfer: Provided by Hotel
Rates*: SGL: $125-$165 DBL: $145-$226
Reservations Office or Guest/Travel Agent

Hotel del Parque
Hotel Location: Near Airport
Transfer: Taxi or Private Transfer
Rates*: SGL: $340 DBL: $355 TRP: $423
Reservations Office or Guest/Travel Agent

* Rates are subject to change
Arrangements can be made by the Galapagos Sky Reservations Office or by the Guest/Travel Agent directly

We require that hotel accommodation information for the night before departure is noted on each guest’s Application.

Getting to Galapagos
There are two airports in the Galapagos Islands:
San Cristóbal: San Cristóbal Airport – Airport Code SCY
Baltra: Seymour Airport – Airport Code GPS

Galapagos Sky departs from Tiburon Martillo Muelle Ecoturistico (Ecotouristic Dock Hammerhead Shark) in San Cristóbal making SCY the airport to fly into.

All guests must be on board Galapagos Sky and checked in by 11:00 am Galapagos Time on departure day.

Prearranged, Group Booked Flight With Airport Assistance
As a very convenient service, through our Reservation Office, guests may prearrange flights to/from Galapagos through our pre-booked seats with Avianca Airlines Flight 1630 and Flight 1631 from/to Quito UIO or Guayaquil GYE to San Cristobal SCY. Passengers who purchase their tickets through Galapagos Sky for the Avianca Flight 1630 on their cruise departure day will receive assistance with the check-in procedure and the option to prepay the TCT transit card and Park entrance fee. A representative from our sister company, Ecoventura, has your Boarding Pass and TCT card ready. In addition, they will tag your luggage with your name and cabin number and accompany our passengers on this flight.
On the day of departure, please be at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil one and a half hours (90 minutes) before departure for check-in. Specific Travel Day Instructions, guests’ vouchers, and pre-departure information will be sent.
Upon arrival in Galapagos, passengers form a line to process passenger Passports and Park entrance fees. Please inform the Park representative that you are travelling with Ecoventura/ Galapagos Sky if you have prepaid the Park fee. They will have a list of prepaid passengers and hand you your receipt. You will then claim your luggage. With your luggage, exit the airport. Our Guides will be waiting for you outside the doors with a Galapagos Sky sign. They will take you and your luggage a short 5-7 minute drive to the dock area where all will be loaded into pangas for transport to Galapagos Sky.

Baggage Allowance with Avianca
One checked bag 23 kg (50 lb) max, and one carry-on bag 10 kg (22 lb) max + personal article (laptop case, backpack, purse). An additional checked 23 kg (50 lb) bag costs USD 25. Additional bag rates at the check-in counter fluctuate. Please see Avianca’s website for details.

Travel Delays
If a travel delay should arise before your departure to Ecuador, please contact our USA office at +1 (305) 262-3483 o info@galapagossky.com.
For our passengers travelling on Saturday to Quito or Guayaquil who are experiencing travel delays, cancelled flights or difficulties that will impact their Saturday arrivals and Sunday departures, please get in touch with us via cell phone or via WhatsApp at these numbers or via e-mail at

Travel Emergency E-mail help@ecoventura.com

 

Ecoventura Travel Emergency Contacts

Elena Cordova – Phone/WhatsApp: +593-98-502-5615

Maria Fernanda Benites – Phone/WhatsApp: +593 96-977-2721

Email: help@ecoventura.com

Ecoventura Airport Representative Contact Information
Sundays Only

Quito (UIO): Sebastian Bravo – Phone/WhatsApp: +593-98-502-5818

Guayaquil (GYE): Jorge Lombeida – Phone/Whatsapp +593-99-102-7100

Independent & Earlier Arrival to Galapagos
If you arrive in Galapagos (SCY or GPS) before the cruise departure date (Sunday), please make your way to the dock area Tiburon Martillo Muelle Ecoturistico (Ecotouristic Dock Hammerhead Shark) on San Cristóbal Island on departure day (Sunday).

You will pay the migration control transit card TCT USD 20 (cash only USD) in Quito UIO or Guayaquil GYE airports and the Galapagos National Park entrance fee USD 100 (cash only USD in $10 or $20 bills) upon arrival in San Cristóbal (SCY).

All guests must be on board Galapagos Sky and checked in by 11:00 am Galapagos Time on departure day.

Please call our Captain to arrange a meeting at the Tiburon Martillo Muelle Ecoturistico /Ecotouristic Dock Hammerhead Shark.
The cellular phone number to reach our Captain via Whatsapp or call is: +593-99-016-7139

Taxi Service in San Cristóbal
Taxi service in San Cristóbal is inexpensive. The charge will be just a few dollars (USD cash, $1 and $5 bills only) from the airport or hotels to the dock. Unfortunately, taxis do not take credit cards.

Ferry Service in Galapagos
Ask your hotel to arrange a Ferry service between islands upon arriving in Galapagos. Please note there are two docks in the area. Galapagos Sky meets at the Tiburon Martillo Muelle Ecoturistico (Ecotouristic Dock Hammerhead Shark).

No Fly Time
For time out of the water before flying, Divers Alert Network (DAN) and the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) offer the following guidelines:
• A single dive within the no-decompression limits: 12 hours
• Repetitive dives of multiple days of diving: 18 hours
Our last dive on the itinerary is Saturday morning, allowing 24 hours out of the water before flights back to Ecuador on Sunday.

Early Disembarkation Option (Saturday) in Baltra/Santa Cruz
Guests who have continuing travel plans on Santa Cruz or departing from Baltra (GPS) airport may wish to disembark on Saturday before (approximately noon Local time) or after the Galapagos Tortoises land tour visit (approximately 2:00 pm (14:00) Local time). Please note that Galapagos Sky typically arrives at about noon Galapagos Time / 1 pm (13:00) Mainland Time at Santa Cruz on Saturdays, which does not allow for flights out of Baltra GPS on Saturdays. Please let the Sales & Reservations Office know if you wish to disembark on Saturday so we can advise the Captain in advance. In addition, guests may want to arrange for their luggage to be sent to their hotel in Santa Cruz, then continue on the Land Tour with their Galapagos Sky yacht-mates before saying goodbye on Saturday from Puerto Ayora. Guests will make these specific arrangements with our Captain once on board.

Disembarkation (Sunday) in San Cristobal
On the day of disembarkation in San Cristobal, Galapagos Sky is in the harbour at Shipwreck Bay before the sun rises. After breakfast on board, we typically disembark around 9:00 am to visit the Gianni Arismendy Interpretation Center in Cerro Tijeretas. While guests discover more about the Galapagos Islands’ human history, the crew will take their luggage to the airport. After visiting the Interpretation Center, the staff will transfer guests to the SCY San Cristobal Airport for flights back to mainland Ecuador. If guests stay in San Cristobal, our crew can assist them with getting a taxi to their hotel, although most hotels are within walking distance of the dock area. If a guest needs to be on shore earlier that morning, our crew can arrange that too.

Galapagos National Park Fee and TCT Tax
Galapagos National Park entrance fee (national park tax) is USD 100 (cash only USD in $10 or $20 bills only) per person. The fee is divided among various entities including the GNPS, Marine Reserve, agriculture, municipalities, INEFAN and INGALA. The fee for nationals of one of the Andean Community of Nations or Mercosur is USD 50 (cash only USD in $10 or $20 bills) per person. Rates are subject to change at any time until the day of departure.
All visitors must procure the TCT card (Tarjeta de Control de Transito) to Galapagos for USD 20 (cash only). This card allows INGALA, the institution that controls migration to the islands, to better regulate the flow of all arrivals and departures to and from the Galapagos islands.
Rates are subject to change at any time until the day of departure.

Galapagos Sky Application
All guests of Galapagos Sky must complete our Application and sign/date and have a witness sign/date our Waiver form before boarding. You will receive this form from the Trip Leader, and you must return the form with all information 75 days before departure.
Dietary restrictions, rental gear needs, emergency contact information, passport information, how you arrive in San Cristóbal and hotel information for the night before departure are some of our application questions.

Boat Details

Galapagos Sky is a 100ft (33m), 16-passenger luxury liveaboard yacht custom designed and built for the purpose of scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands. Launched in 2001 by the builder and owner Santiago Dunn, “Sky” has cruised the islands of the Galapagos Archipelago for nearly a decade. Providing thousands of divers with high-octane, extraordinary Galapagos diving experiences.

Our Galapagos liveaboard cruises also offer a full line-up of luxury accommodations, excellent food, “extra touch” amenities, and the best and most qualified crew in the Galapagos. Galapagos Sky has carefully selected only the most knowledgeable, competent and hospitable Captains, Guides, and crew in the region. Our crew go out of their way to ensure our guests have an impeccable experience on board and underwater.

Find out more about the yacht’s cabins, layout, equipment, services and dining here.

Cellular Phone Connection
Cell Phones with International plans will work on San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz. Wifi is not available onboard Galápagos Sky.

Satellite Phone
To make outgoing calls to anywhere in the world, minutes can be purchased on the Galápagos Sky Satellite Phone located in the Bridge at USD 3.33 per minute. Guests may also bring their own personal or rented Satellite Phones, which will work from the upstairs sundeck outside.

Dining/Food
All meals and snacks while aboard Galápagos Sky are included in your cruise rate. Gourmet-style menus using locally sourced ingredients from providers who act sustainably are creatively prepared by our culinary school-trained chefs. Depending on the dive schedule, either a full breakfast will be served first thing in the morning or a light continental breakfast followed by a dive, and then a full breakfast will be served. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. Dinner is fine plated. Your dinner order will be taken in the morning. Snacks are provided throughout the day. Chips, crackers and cookies are available on the bar. Ecuadorian and International cuisine is served.

Special Requests
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, No Seafood, Kosher, Dairy Free, etc, dietary preferences can be accommodated; please note when completing your Application.
Please note that Kosher requests must be received 60 days prior to departure.

Sustainable Foods
25% of our food comes from Galapagos, and almost 52% is organic. We mainly source fruits and vegetables from San Cristobal and meats and dairy from Santa Cruz Island.

Dress/Attire
All meals are casual, comfortable attire. Shoes may be worn on board. Please note that the temperature in the dining room and main salon is kept cool.

Beverages/Open Bar
Wine, beer, liquor, spirits, coffee, tea, water, juice, and sodas are included in your cruise rate. Galapagos Sky does have a full bar. Premium wines and liquors are available for purchase. Your first alcoholic drink of the day marks your last dive of the day. Your bar tab for premium wines and liquors will be kept, and payment is made on the final day of the cruise. Filtered water is available to fill reusable water bottles; we encourage guests to bring their favourite reusable bottle.

Emergency Contact
For friends and family of travelling guests who wish to get a message to a passenger on board the Galápagos Sky, please call our Miami Sales office Monday thru Friday, 9 am – 5 pm EST, during regular business hours at +1 (305) 262-3483. If after hours Monday – Friday or on weekends, please email info@Galapagossky.com or help@ecoventura.com and your message will be forwarded to the boat and guest as soon as possible.

Electricity
110/AC 60 cycle Type B (same as in North and Central America) with some 220 outlets on the dive deck. The main lounge area and all cabins have Type B outlets.

Laundry Services
Because we operate in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, we do not offer laundry services on board. Laundry services are available in town in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and Puerto Ayora.

Dive Deck
Galápagos Sky’s dive deck was designed with the diver’s needs in mind. Camera table, charging station for camera batteries, hot showers, bathroom, separate rinse bins for wetsuits and separate rinse bins for cameras. Each dive station has individual bin storage under the seat. Dive deck towels are labelled with numbers to coordinate with the diver’s seat location. Towels are heated. Our crew is very experienced and helpful with gear donning, mask rinsing, hanging wetsuits, etc.

Cabins
Conservation and Responsible Tourism
Ecoventura and Galapagos Sky have created a partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park GNPD to support research and conservation projects directly related to biodiversity conservation – including research and monitoring trips, community outreach, scientific equipment, boat maintenance, and education through scholarships for Galapaguenos to study at a local university. 100% of proceeds from select charters on Galapagos Sky and our sister yacht, the ORIGIN, are donated to support the fund.

Single-use plastic water bottles have been phased out in Galapagos. Please bring your own reusable water bottle. We provide filtered water in the lounge area and on the dive deck. Our crew will gladly wash your personal bottle upon request.

Please help us on board by separating out your garbage, recyclables and organics/ food waste. In our lounge area and on the sun deck, you will find separate bins for each. Please know that our crew also separates out recyclables, batteries, oils and food waste in our very best efforts to protect the Galapagos Islands.

Please consider the environment when packing for Galapagos. Please, use environmentally friendly lotions and sunscreens. Avoid plastic wrappers, bags, straws, or styrofoam.

The Minister of the Governing Council of Galapagos has resolutions in place that restrict the use of certain plastics in Galapagos. In early 2017, Ecoventura decided to restrict the use of plastics on board all the vessels and successfully banned the use of plastic straws and single-use plastic bottles. We are conscious of the damage plastics can cause, which is why we started this initiative and are continuously working on making more changes for the future.

Our Itinerary

Find the up-to-date itinerary of Galapagos Sky diving here.

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Gallery of Underwater Photographs from Cuba

Gallery of Underwater Photographs from Cuba

Gallery of Underwater Photographs from Cuba

Cuba is such an intriguing country. Thanks to its economic situation, Cuban reefs are exposed to less environmental stress than others in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, active protection of some of the marine reserves ensures an abundance of large species unseen else in the Caribbean.

I can’t wait to visit Cuba again in March 2020!

Check the planned trips in my blog.

Join me on one of my trips and bring back your own photos!

Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

22-29 September 2024

If you are looking for the perfect diving trip, look no more. Welcome to Darwin and Wolf in the Galapagos Islands, the ultimate destination for awe-inspiring underwater adventures! Dive into waters teeming with hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, sea turtles, marine iguanas and more while exploring stunning underwater landscapes. With challenging diving conditions and a commitment to conservation, Darwin and Wolf offer a genuinely unparalleled diving experience. Welcome to a world of wonder and excitement beneath the waves of Galapagos!

read more

Gallery of Underwater Photographs from the Galapagos

Gallery of Underwater Photographs from the Galapagos

Gallery of Underwater Photographs from the Galapagos

I look forward to going to the enchanted archipelago again in the next few days, hoping for extraordinary encounters with the spectacular fauna of Galapagos.

Watch this space, new imagery coming soon!

In the meantime, check the stories from the islands in my blog.

Join me on one of my trips and bring back your own photos!

Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

22-29 September 2024

If you are looking for the perfect diving trip, look no more. Welcome to Darwin and Wolf in the Galapagos Islands, the ultimate destination for awe-inspiring underwater adventures! Dive into waters teeming with hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, sea turtles, marine iguanas and more while exploring stunning underwater landscapes. With challenging diving conditions and a commitment to conservation, Darwin and Wolf offer a genuinely unparalleled diving experience. Welcome to a world of wonder and excitement beneath the waves of Galapagos!

read more

What Does David Beckham Know About Whisky?

What Does David Beckham Know About Whisky?

What Does David Beckham Know About Whisky?

In 2014, the world-famous football striker lent his fame to whisky in a blue square bottle. Arguably an overpriced product seemed to be the vehicle for attracting new customers by shattering the perception of whisky as an old fashioned drink.

The Scotch Whisky Association reported yet another record-breaking year. In 2018, over two million people visited Scotch Whisky distilleries, and forty-one bottles were shipped overseas each second. Mr Beckham was onto something.

Wee Witchie, the smallest spirit still in the Mortlach Distillery

Wee Witchie. The smallest still in the Mortlach Distillery.

Photograph © 2019 Josef Litt

Abandoned spaces…
We often visit abandoned or disused industrial spaces in the distilleries that are usually unavailable to the public.

Photograph © 2019 Josef Litt

So many people told me about their underwhelming experience with whisky. However, Scotch comes in many different styles and qualities. Some say there is whisky for everyone; one only needs to find it. Add the authentic heritage, craftsmanship, passion in whisky-making and here is a recipe for life-long enjoyment.

I hardly ever appreciated spirits as a drink and whisky was no exception. My own journey of acquired taste started ten years ago when I tried a smoky single malt distilled on the Isle of Islay. I stumbled onto the “my” whisky by pure coincidence. Over the years, I was lucky and privileged to help others to find their favourite style and appreciate Scotch Whisky in its diversity.

Some whiskies are smooth and smell after flowers, some are smoky and medicinal. Why is that? Best to find out directly from the makers!

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”
— Mark Twain

Laphroaig Distillery

An evening at the Laphroaig Distillery. Taken from a hired boat on the way from Isle of Jura to Port Ellen.

Photograph © 2015 Josef Litt

bottles of Scotch are shipped overseas each second

In the first half of this year, I took two groups of people to some of the distilleries in Scotland. The itinerary of the trips reflected the attendees’ knowledge and previous experience. With the group keen to learn the basics, we explored the differences in styles of whisky, we talked about the production process and how it affects the liquid in the bottle. We tasted a carefully selected variety of whiskies of the highest quality from all corners of Scotland before moving to the Isle of Islay for a couple of days of pure indulgence. There we enjoyed whiskies one cannot buy in shops, often straight from the casks in the distillery cellars.

We learnt about malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation. We found out how much the different barrels influenced the whisky inside, and we filled our own bottle with whisky of our choice comparing the liquid matured in various woods. Weather was lovely, and we had loads of fun.

 

A flying Scotsman in April weather

A flying Scotsman in April weather. Sudden weather change surprised us at the Glenfarclas distillery. Some attempted to fly off to a warmer place.

Photograph © 2019 Josef Litt

Tasting the “beer”.

Photograph © 2019 Josef Litt

With the other group, we went straight to the deep end of the annual Speyside Whisky Festival. On specialist tastings, we compared styles of whiskies from a single distillery produced in different decades. Some of the bottles carried a price tag worth tens of thousands of pounds. Distillery managers took us to distilleries usually inaccessible to the public and allowed us into areas mothballed due to modernisation but still containing the old machinery. We lived an enthusiast’s dream.

I would add that the same is true for knowledge, joy and laughter. We did not have the opportunity to taste Mr Beckham’s whisky from the square blue bottle, but we came out of the trip well-equipped to assess its quality and value.

Get in touch if you are interested in joining me on one of the future trips.

Whale Sharks, A-bombs and the Hubble Space Telescope

Whale Sharks, A-bombs and the Hubble Space Telescope

Whale Sharks, A-bombs and the Hubble Space Telescope

Pregnant whale shark female at Darwin Island in the Galapagos. In 2014, members of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project reported sightings of 27 whale sharks, all females, all but one pregnant around Darwin Island in the Galapagos archipelago.

Photograph © 2011 Josef Litt

We know very little about the biggest bony fish in the oceans, the whale shark.

Whale sharks are the world’s most giant fish, growing up to twenty metres in length – more than a bowling lane and almost as long as a passenger train coach. We don’t know how fast they grow and what is their maximum age. The best estimates are that the big ones may be more than one hundred years old.

The Atomic Bomb Method

Scientists determine the age of sharks by counting growth rings in their vertebrae. This method seems to provide reliable results for younger animals. However, one needs an atomic bomb to make the reading more precise in case of the older sharks. The nuclear tests performed in the 1950s and 1960s increased the amount of radiocarbon in the atmosphere. The radioactive material entered the oceans and imprinted a timestamp in the whale sharks vertebrae. Today, this timestamp helps to establish the age of older individuals.

Juvenile whale shark, Darwin Island, Galapagos

Juvenile whale shark. We encountered this juvenile on top of the shallow platform underneath the Darwin Island in the Galapagos.

Photograph © 2011 Josef Litt

On the way to Darwin Island in the Galapagos
The world is round…
The expectation and anxiety grow on the way to the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin in the Galapagos.

Photograph © 2011 Josef Litt

The Hubble Space Telescope Method

To paraphrase Douglas Adams in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: ‘Whale sharks are big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big they are.’

From that slightly facetious perspective, it is no surprise that the scientists use the Hubble Space Telescope to identify individual whale sharks. The spots behind their gills form an ornament as unique as a fingerprint. Jason Holmberg, the co-founder of WildMe.org, adapted an algorithm used by NASA with the telescope to recognise and compare the patterns. Thanks to that anybody who photographed a whale shark anywhere in the world can upload their images to the Wildbook for Whale Sharks. Almost 8,000 people identified more than 10,000 whale sharks during close to 60,000 sightings. The data give scientists information about the distribution and movement of the gentle giants, hopefully leading to their adequate protection.

‘Whale sharks are big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big they are.’

The boats anchored in the San Cristobal marina.
An evening at San Cristóbal marina, Galapagos The crews are preparing for their journeys to Darwin and Wolf islands.

Photograph © 2011 Josef Litt

million US$ a year

The Value of a Whale Shark

Since 2016, IUCN describes the whale sharks on its Red List as Endangered. The reason is the demand for shark fins in Asia and the nature of whale shark meat, often referred to as ‘tofu shark’. Infuriatingly, despite their size, they also end up as bycatch. Since early 2017, whale sharks enjoy protection as migratory species in more than 125 countries. A number originating from research in 2004 estimates their value to tourism at over USD 47.5 million a year – an amount that is indisputably higher today. Hopefully, governments will realise the species’ importance and enforce the protection they committed to.

Darwin's Arch, Galapagos
Darwin’s Arch a mile away from the Darwin Island. The deep sea surrounding Darwin Island may serve as a breeding ground for whale sharks.

Photograph © 2016 Josef Litt

Magic sunset in the Galapagos
Magic sunset in the Galapagos

Photograph © 2011 Josef Litt

The Whale Sharks’ Birthplace

Members of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project in 2014 reported sightings of 27 whale sharks, all females, all but one pregnant around Darwin Island in the Galapagos archipelago – this seems to be a typical situation confirmed by tourists’ observations. Jonathan R. Green, the leader of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project, explores a hypothesis that the deep sea surrounding Darwin Island serves as a breeding ground for whale sharks. However, nobody has ever seen a whale shark to give birth or breed.

I heard a fisherman speculate about the reason why the whale shark males avoid the Galápagos. Their little cousins, the silky sharks, frequent the islands waters in search of food. Remoras belong to their favourite staple. An attacked remora would hide among the whale sharks’ claspers to protect itself. The ferocious silky shark will hardly differentiate between a remora and a clasper. The poor male whale sharks are afraid that they may get hurt in such a sensitive place, so they avoid Galápagos at all cost. I wonder whether there is a scientific base to this speculation.

Claspers of an adult male whale shark are formed from the rear end of their pelvic fin. They channel semen into the female’s cloaca during mating.

Photograph Simon Pierce https://www.simonjpierce.com.

Galapagos Front Cover

Buy GALÁPAGOS on Amazon now.

Ending with a Hairy Story

Whale sharks were never seen feeding at Galapagos, which gives the following story* a whiff of a fairy tale.

‘As with any other animal on the Galápagos, and it should be a good practice anywhere in the world, touching whale sharks is strictly forbidden. This was not a well-observed custom some time ago, perhaps ten or twenty years back when, according to a local legend, one of the naturalist guides nicknamed Zorro Plateado, or Silver Fox, used to ride the whale sharks holding on to their dorsal fin. As if this was not enough, he supposedly dragged himself from the dorsal fin and then plunged headfirst over the animal’s upper lip into its gaping mouth. Disappearing into the poor whale shark’s maw, he was gushed out after a moment in a shroud of his bubbles, in slight disarray, but unharmed. The animal seemed to be unperturbed, it turned slowly and swam away. The diver’s equipment could have easily injured the whale shark, and I indeed believe that such acts would not be tolerated today.’

I was pleased to be contacted by the family of Zorro Plateado in reaction to this story. I welcome first-hand information rather than an unconfirmed narration by somebody else. Zorro declines the story featuring him and a whale shark as untrue. The truth is that he was honoured with a plaque from the Charles Darwin Foundation for his constant efforts in teaching the children the importance of conservation. He also plays an important part in CDF’s Shark Ambassador Program.

I hope I will have a chance to meet Zorro in person soon.

*A spoiler citation from Litt, Josef. GALÁPAGOS. Mostly Underwater Books. The United Kingdom, 2018.
A similar story was also mentioned in Bantin, John. Amazing Diving Stories. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2012.

Whale shark in the Galapagos
A diver, small camera and a whale shark. Touching whale sharks is strictly forbidden.

Photograph © 2017 Ivan Jiskra

Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

Diving Galapagos aboard Galapagos Sky

22-29 September 2024

If you are looking for the perfect diving trip, look no more. Welcome to Darwin and Wolf in the Galapagos Islands, the ultimate destination for awe-inspiring underwater adventures! Dive into waters teeming with hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, sea turtles, marine iguanas and more while exploring stunning underwater landscapes. With challenging diving conditions and a commitment to conservation, Darwin and Wolf offer a genuinely unparalleled diving experience. Welcome to a world of wonder and excitement beneath the waves of Galapagos!

read more

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