Ever dream of exploring the wild world of the Galapagos? One of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, we’ll show you the best scuba liveaboard trips to take in the Galapagos if you want to see this exciting region for yourself.

Why go scuba diving in the Galapagos?

While the famous English naturalist Charles Darwin was intrigued by the geological characteristics of Galapagos Island in Ecuador, it was the immensity of its local wildlife that really attracted him after first arriving in 1835. This eventually became Darwin’s study site on his Evolutionary Theory on Natural Selection. More than 180 years after Darwin set foot on the island, the same immense wildlife has attracted divers from all parts of the world, especially to witness the natural bounty hidden beneath its waters. In other words, the Galapagos Island has not changed due to its isolation and offshore location.

The best way to see Galapagos Island, 1,329 kilometers (826 miles) from the Ecuadorian Capital City of Quito, is by liveaboard trip. And if you already have a reservation, then prepare yourself for an amazing shark diving adventure as the diving sites of the Galapagos Islands are filled with a thriving population of hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks, tiger sharks and the world’s largest fish–whale sharks. On top of sharks along with other marine megafaunas like whales and dolphins, colorful reef-associated species are thriving in the thousands, making your dive safari experience in Galapagos more amazing. You also have to take note that aside from diving, most of the liveaboard vessels will take you to a Naturalist tour allowing you to step foot on the island and see what Darwin saw 180 years ago.

While there are over 50 liveaboard vessels cruising to the Galapagos Island, note that most of them only offer the Naturalist Adventure Tour. This only involves a trek to the island and guided snorkeling trips. The list below offers scuba diving excursions as well.

The Best Galapagos Scuba Liveaboard Trips: At a Glance

Liveaboard# of RoomsNitroxWifiLengthCostPADI TravelLiveaboard
Calipso8YesYes35m$$$CheckCheck
Galapagos Aggressor III8YesNo32m$$$CheckCheck
Aqua9YesNo26m$$CheckCheck
Humboldt Explorer8YesNo34m$$$CheckCheck
Nortada4NoNo26m$$$CheckCheck
Galapagos Master9YesNo32m$$$CheckCheck
Galapagos Sky8YesNo30m$$$CheckCheck
Blue Spirit10NoNo31$$$CheckCheck

The Best Galapagos Scuba Liveaboard Trips: In Depth

CALIPSO

Year of Commission: 1991 (renovated 2019)
Capacity: 16 guests

The Calipso is a 35 meter (115 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari tours to the Galapagos Island. It has 8 cabins that can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Upper Deck Twin Cabins and the Main Deck Twin cabins. It has onboard amenities like the air-conditioned saloon fitted a fully stocked bar, a sun deck, jacuzzi and an Alfresco dining area that serves delicious snacks and meals.

The diving itinerary of the Calipso involves a 7-day journey aptly called the “Galapagos Dive Cruise”. Aside from the popular diving spots of the Galapagos island like Darwin’s Arch and Shark Point, the Calipso has an up-to-date and modern itinerary that now includes Marchena which is a new diving site often explored scientists.     

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

GALAPAGOS AGGRESSOR III

Year of Commission: 1993 (renovated 2011)
Capacity: 16 guests

The Galapagos Aggressor III is a 32 meter (105 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that specializes in sailing the waters of the Galapagos Island. It has 8 cabins that can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Deluxe Staterooms and the Master Staterooms. Its onboard amenities include the spacious saloon, a sun deck that is fitted with a bar, grill, jacuzzi and a dining area that serves American cuisine.

The diving itinerary of the Galapagos Aggressor III (called “Explore Galapagos) involves a 7-day journey towards Galapagos’ best dive sites such as Wolf Island and Darwin’s Arch. On a daily basis, you will be performing 4 day dives and 2 night dives. If you happen to be onboard the Galapagos Aggressor III during August, then prepare to interact with the largest fish in the world as whale sharks abound this offshore island during this month.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

AQUA

Year of Commission: 1998 (renovated 2019)
Capacity: 16 guests

The Aqua is a 26 meter (85 feet) long dive yacht that specializes in offering both the naturalist cruise and liveaboard diving to the Galapagos Island. It has 9 cabins that can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Double Deck Cabin, Twin Deck Cabins, and the Double Master Cabin. It has onboard amenities such as the main air-conditioned lounge, a shaded outdoor lounge, bar and a dining area that serves International and Local Ecuadorian gourmet meals.

For its naturalist cruise, the Aqua will disembark on a 3 to 4-day journey while the diving expedition is usually a 7-day trip. Most of the dive sites that will be explored are Darwin’s Arch and Wolf Island. In between dives, guests can go snorkeling or trekking in one of the many established hiking trails.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

HUMBOLDT EXPLORER

Year of Commission: 2009 (renovated 2014)
Capacity: 16 guests

The Humboldt Explorer is a 34 meter (111 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that specializes in both diving and naturalist tours in the Galapagos Island. It has 8 cabins that can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Twin-bed Staterooms and Double Staterooms. Its onboard amenities include the air-conditioned saloon that has a full audio and video entertainment system, a bar, a sun deck fitted with a jacuzzi and a dining area that serves freshly-cooked foods.

The itinerary of the Humboldt Explorer involves a 7-day journey towards Galapagos Island taking their guests to an amazing diving adventure in Darwin’s Arch and Wolf Island that are known for its healthy shark population. It also offers its signature Naturalist Tour where you can set foot in one of the islands and interact with marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

NORTADA

Year of Commission: 1986 (renovated 2013)
Capacity: 10 guests

The Nortada is a 26 meter (85 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that specializes in small group diving in the Galapagos Island. It has 4 cabins that can accommodate up to 10 guests where all their rooms are classified as Double Cabins. It has onboard amenities such as the main saloon that is fitted with a TV and DVD player, a sun deck and a dining area that serves Western and Local dishes all prepared by their in-house chef.

The itinerary of the Nortada involves a 7-day journey towards Wolf and Darwin’s Arch in the Galapagos Islands where you can perform up to 20 dives during the entire expedition. On top of diving, you will also do land excursions to the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center where they breed giant tortoise and the Charles Darwin research station.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

GALAPAGOS MASTER

Year of Commission: 2004 (renovated 2015)
Capacity: 16 guests

The Galapagos Master is a 32 meter (105 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that sails to one of Charles Darwin’s study sites on his Theory of Natural Selection – the Galapagos Island. It has 9 cabins that can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Lower Deck cabins, the Middle Deck Cabins and the Upper Deck cabins. Its onboard amenities include the air-conditioned saloon that is fitted with cushioned bench, complete audio/video entertainment system, a sun deck and a dining area that serves freshly cooked food all served in buffet style.

The diving cruise itinerary of the Galapagos Master (called the “Master the Galapagos”) involves a 7 or 10-day journey to Galapagos where they take their guests to Wolf Island and Darwin’s Arch for an unforgettable shark diving experience. All your dives will be assisted on a tender boat and guided by 2 divemasters.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

GALAPAGOS SKY

Year of Commission: 2001
Capacity: 16 guests

The Galapagos Sky is a 30 meter (98 feet) long Luxury Liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari adventures to the Galapagos Islands. It has 8 cabins that can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Deluxe Staterooms and the Master Staterooms. It has onboard amenities that include the main saloon fitted with a TV and bar, a sundeck that is fitted with loungers and a dining hall that serves freshly prepared foods served in buffet style.

The itinerary of the Galapagos Sky involves an 8-day journey towards the shark-enriched diving spots of Galapagos Island like Wolf and Darwin’s Arch.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

BLUE SPIRIT

Year of Commission: 2001 (renovated 2019)
Capacity: 16 guests

The Blue Spirit is a 31 meter (102 feet) long first-class yacht that offers naturalist tours and diving expeditions to the Galapagos Island. It has 10 cabins that accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Lower Deck Cabins and the Upper Deck Cabins. Its onboard amenities include the main saloon fitted with a full audio/video entertainment system, a sun deck and a dining area that serves Western and Ecuadorian food all served in buffet style.

The itinerary of the Blue Spirit involves a 5 or 8-day journey towards the main diving spots Galapagos Island – Wolf and Darwin’s Arch. All their underwater adventures guarantee shark sightings from the small white-tip reef sharks up to the largest fish in the world – the whale sharks. In between dives, guests will disembark on a land-based excursion to Bartolome Island and the highlands of Santa Cruz where you can see herons, penguins and marine iguanas basking on bare rock.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

Check out more liveaboard trips around the world


The Salt Sirens is a participant in the PADI Travel and Liveaboard.com affiliate programs, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to our affiliate partners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.