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Galapagos Aqua

Galapagos Aqua exterior opt

Dom's comments: "The Galapagos Aqua has operated perviously in Galapagos but was in need of some serious "tender loving care".   A new operator, with long experience in Galapagos naturalist cruises, has taken over the operation and will run alternating naturalist and dive cruises.   Aqua's dive itineraries will include Darwin and Wolf.  She's less expensive than the larger, more luxurious vessels already diving the Galapagos and I'm confident that she will be a good choice for the very budget-conscious amongst you. "  .....   Dominick Macan

On board Galapagos Aqua


  • upper deck seating
    Aqua exterior in sunglow
  • aqua sundeck opt
    sunrise on the deck
  • dining room opt
    covered back lounge
  • upper deck twin opt
    interior dining
  • lower deck double twin opt
    interior dining & lounge
  • lower deck double twin
    lounge
  • twin cabin blue edit opt
    twin bunk cabin
  • Aqua upperdeck cabin8 opt
    twin cabin
  • main deck dive deck
    twin / double cabin
  • upper deck seating
    en-suite facility
  • aqua dive deck opt
    dive deck
  • aqua tender divers opt
    tender & divers
  • aqua panga darwins arch
    panga at Darwin's Arch


  • 4 upper deck TWIN CABINS
    with twin-size bunk beds - windows
    1 upper deck DOUBLE CABIN
    with double bed - windows
    1 main deck DOUBLE CABIN
    with double bed - ocean-view windows
    3 lower deck TWIN CABINS
    with double bed lower & upper twin bunk - portholes
    Each cabin has air-conditioning, closet, towels & bio-degradable soap, shampoo
  • up to 3 dives per day from 2 inflatable tenders
    12L aluminum tanks
    nitrox is available
    rental gear available
    dive deck with freshwater showers
    dive insurance is required
  • accommodation, meals, snacks
    water, tea, coffee
    compressed air, tanks, weights and weight belts
    airport transfers
  •  international & domestic airfares
    soft drinks & alcoholic beverages
    nitrox
    gear rental
    park fees, local taxes


Comfy surroundings at budget rates


Galapagos Aqua offers a good-size sun deck with lounging chairs as well as a small area in front of the bridge on the upper deck for both sunning and sight-seeing.   The upper deck also has a shaded exterior lounge at the stern end.   On the main deck, behind the master cabin, is found a good-sized lounge with bar and small library. 

The configuration of 9 cabins allow for nice flexibility in assigning cabins, as the maximum number of guests allowed by the park service is 16.  This means single divers may at times be able to arrange to have their own cabin.

The vessel and its machinery (hull, engines, generators, nautical equipment) underwent major maintenance & much of the equipment was replaced with new items. The interior was thoroughly refitted and the Aqua is now fit for the Galapagos.

SEE THE ITINERARY MAP ... DECK & CABIN LAYOUT ... YACHT SPECIFICATIONS ... EQUIPMENT & SAFETY FEATURES ..... open

 

DECK PLAN

Aqua sun deck optAqua upper deck optAqua main deck optAqua lower deck opt

ITINERARY MAP

Galapagos Aqua dive map opt

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Motor Yacht
Year Built: 1998 (Remodeled in 2019)
Category: Midrange
Length: 26 meter / 85 feet
Beam: 5.5 meter / 18 feet
Max Capacity: 16 passengers
Cabins: 9 (During the 2019 refurbishment 1 cabin will be added)

Intimate group size (max 16 guests)
26m / 85 ft long & 5.5m / 18 ft wide
8-9 m2 / 90 ft2 cabins, including private bathroom

DIVING AND FACILITIES EQUIPMENT:

Zodiacs: 2 Caribe (C-20 & C-17) with 50 HP Yamaha four stroke outboards
Max Speed: 9 knots
Electricity: 110v/220v
Engines: 2 x 250 HP Caterpillar
Generators: 1x 80 KW & 1x 60 KW Cummins

Diving Equipment on board:
2 dive tank compressors: Enriched air and Nitrox  (Bauer and Kaeser for air and nitrox)
Aluminum 12L scuba tanks with valves, belts and weights
Full personal diving equipment available for rent (BCD, regulator, mask, fins, 7mm wetsuits, hoods, gloves, boots, dive computer, torch, GoPro underwater camera)

Aqua’s Dive related Certifications:
Certified with PADI, DAN, EFR

Personal Marine rescue GPS, Storm whistle, Diving beacon, Surface marker tube
Diving Safety Equipment provided on board for free:

CREW

Crew: 8 members + 1 Instructor Guide and 1 Dive Master Guide. (For naturalist cruises only 1 bilingual naturalist guide)

MACHINERY

Engines: 2 x 250 HP Caterpillar
Generator: 1x 80 KW & 1x 60 KW Cummins

NAVIGATION

2 Radars + 1 AIS Radar
2 GPS with alarm and depth sounder

COMMUNICATIONS

VHF & HF radios
Satellite & mobile phones

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

1 Life raft
Bilge pump & Fire pumps
Full fire equipment, including life line
Fire extinguishers throughout the yacht & 3 CO2 banks
Oxygen Complete ­first aid and trauma kit
Emergency Life jackets in cabins


Itinerary


The Galapagos itinerary is controlled by the National Park who grants approval for all diving itineraries.  The following sample itinerary is based on tides, currents, winds and weather conditions and may vary.   Please note the itinerary starts at BALTRA .... not San Cristobal.

Itinerary for Galapagos Aqua.  You'll have up to 4 dives per day .... including Darwin & Wolf.  The exact itinerary is always weather and conditions dependent ... however, this itinerary is valid unless conditions dictate a change and the plan will always be to visit the following sites  ...   continue reading

Day 1 TUESDAY

Your guide will meet you at the airport, assist you with the luggage and accompany you on the short bus rideand panga ride to the Aqua. After greeting the crew and the captain, your cabins will be assigned to you and then you will enjoy your first lunch on-board. After lunch, you'll motor to your first dive site.

1 dive - North East Baltra (check out dive)
The gradual rocky slope that extends from Seymour Island’s northeastern shore provides habitat for salaams, yellowtail grunts and blue striped snapper. You might also spot groups of eagle rays, marble rays, manta rays, stingrays, jacks, hammerheads and, on a good dive, marlins. Don’t forget to look up from time to time to observe blue-footed boobies diving in to catch a meal.

Day 2 WEDNESDAY

1 dive - Bartolome Point – Bartolome Island
Amazing rock formations capture the eye here. Bait balls are common and they attract Galapagos penguins, sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks, a variety of rays & pelagic fish. Expect plenty of sea turtles & reef fish plus manta rays and hammerheads out in the blue.

2 dives - Cousins Rock
This dive site offers terraced steps that drop down to a sandy bottom at 130 feet (40 meters). The steps are covered in black corals, habitat for the Pacific Seahorse. Under the overhangs created by the “steps,” you’re most likely to discover white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and moray eels. Schools of barracuda, manta rays and hammerheads are often lurking further out in deep water.

Day 3 THURSDAY

3 or 4 dives – Wolf Island
Wolf Island is one of the most iconic scuba diving sites in the world. Several species of birds haunt this island while sea lions play on the rocks below. Below the waterline, you’ll swim with massive whale sharks (in season), schooling hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, silkies, eagle rays and mobula rays … plus, bluefin tuna, turtles, and thousands of reef fish. And, you can always expect a dolphin pod to come whizzing along.

Day 4 FRIDAY

4 dives - Darwin Island
Darwin Island, with its famous arch, is the next highlight of your scuba adventure. Manta rays, eagle rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and the occasional whale shark wow divers with their presence. But, the pièce de résistance is the huge number of sharks brought in by the strong current: schools of hammerheads, silky sharks, black-tip sharks and Galapagos sharks.

Day 5 SATURDAY

3 or 4 dives– Wolf Island
Land visits are not permitted, however, bird life such as: red-foo- ted boobies and vampire finches may be spotted from the boat. You'll dive a selection of reefs and walls, most have medium to strong currents, where the use of gloves and reef hooks is advised. Schooling pelagics are the main attraction, but you can also see hammerheads, white tips and Galapagos sharks

Day 6 SUNDAY

1 dive AM - Punta Vicente Roca
The sloping wall here is covered with invertebrates ranging from frogfish to seahorses but the main reason for this dive is that you often find the intriguing mola mola on the outside of the wall where they come to be cleaned. Remember to watch for diving penguins and playful sea lions.

1 dive AM - Cape Douglas
Cabo (Cape) Douglas dive site is located on the North West side of Fernandina Island. It has an active shield volcano ‘La Cumbre’, which has been subject to eruptions within the last ten years. Flightless cormorants have a nesting site here. These amazing birds evolved to live on this barren island by learning to swim and hunt underwater, instead of flying, due to the lack of land predators. Marine iguanas have also evolved to survive here. Add to the list plenty of sea lions, turtles, pelicans and Galapagos penguins.

Day 7 MONDAY

1 dive AM - Roca Blanca
This area is rarely visited by divers and is recognized for encounters with six different species of shark, plus manta & eagle rays, sea lions, moray eels, lobsters, loads of tropical fish and occasional sightings of baitballs.

1 DIVE PM - Pinzon
This is a small island about 1 hour from Puerto Ayora. It is a great spot which offers many playful sea lions, turtles, and red lipped batfish.The deep drop off wall is for more experienced divers and offers sea horses, rays, different species of sharks, and lobster. In the warmer months, Pinzon is a favourite site for the Manta Rays and pods of dolphins.

Day 8 TUESDAY

AM - Highlands land tour (Santa Cruz)
With clear weather, this area boasts beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where you can observe the giant tortoise of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.


Your cruise logistics


There are flights from Quito (stop over in Guayaquil) and Guayaquil to the airports of Baltra or San Cristobal, where your cruise will begin. Your flight will take 30 minutes to get from Quito to Guayaquil and about one hour and a half from Guayaquil to Galapagos. Flights to Galapagos are generally scheduled in the morning; return flights around noon. 

After your flight from the mainland, a guide will meet you and escort you on a short bus ride and a inflatable dinghy-ride to the yacht.  Upon disembarkation on day 8 you will be assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, and transferred by dinghy to shore, then to the Seymour Ecological Airport, where you will take the shuttle back to the airport.

READ ABOUT GALAPAGOS DIVING

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