From $4750 USD
The most spectacular pelagic diving on the planet!
The Galapagos is one of those rare places where you can dive through hundreds of hammerhead sharks to find a whale shark cruising along. Toss in silky sharks, sea turtles, giant morays and schooling fish in their thousands… And that’s just the first dive at Darwin!
At Wolf Island you can expect huge Galapagos sharks and eagle rays up close whilst dives at Cabo Marshall will put you face to face with giant manta rays and inside a school of millions of black-striped salemas. Mola mola (sunfish) may be seen in the depths too.
Macro life is plentiful. Black coral bushes shelter seahorses, blennies, nudibranchs, hawkfish and frogfish. Sea iguanas are a unique sight, along with speedy penguins and playful sea lions.
This is but a mere taste of why divers consistently proclaim the Galapagos to have the healthiest marine life in the Pacific.
The Galapagos Master Liveaboard…. formerly known as Deep Blue, will be refitted and modernised by our experienced boat building team, to offer our guests a spacious and stylish liveaboard diving experience in the Galapagos. Re-launching in May 2015 we have a full range 7-night and 10-night dive trips available. Each will spend a minimum of 3 days at Darwin and Wolf Islands and offer land excursions. Explore the Galapagos to its fullest with the Master Liveaboards team.
Save up to US$615 in our Launch Special… Book a trip aboard the Galapagos Master departing between 1st May 2015 and 30th June 2015 and save 10% of the trip price. Offer is valid for both 7-night and 10-night trips, however spaces are limited so early booking is advised. This offer expires on 31st July 2014, is valid for new bookings only and does not apply to group charters.
Built in 2004 the yacht, known as Deep Blue, is set to join the Master Liveaboards brand and undergo a full refit in November 2014. The refit will be supervised by the experienced yacht builders of Worldwide Dive and Sail, Jan & Frank van der Linde, who have also brought you the Siren Fleet.
Communal areas comprise of a spacious indoor lounge, on the middle level, with cushioned bench seating and plasma screen for movie and photo viewing. Adjacent to the lounge is our indoor dining area complete with cocktail bar. An indoor camera set-up station, with numerous charging points (US round pin plug) and storage drawers is situated to the rear providing ample room for a full photography charter group. Further camera preparation areas can be found on the rear deck next to the dive deck.
The upper level has shaded outdoor bench seating with cushioned loungers from where our guests can enjoy the fresh air and views of The Galapagos. For those who enjoy to relax in the sun there is the top level sun-deck or upper level bow area with additional cushioned loungers provided for your comfort.
Guests are free to take advantage of the gangways on both the port and starboard sides to walk around the yacht or visit the Captain in his bridge on the upper deck.
The dive equipment set up is found on the aft deck of the lower level. We provide individual set up areas, with under bench storage for all your personal items. Rinse tanks are conveniently located for washing dive equipment and camera gear, whilst there are 2 shower heads for those wishing for a quick post-dive rinse down. A further 2 deck heads are situated on the starboard side of the boat, just in front of the salon entrance.
Built of steel and with a cruising speed of 12.5 knots the Galapagos Master is set to be the most eco-friendly, dive liveaboard in the Galapagos Islands when she re-launches in May 2015.
She has 9 well-appointed modern cabins, all en-suite with individual a/c control. A spacious indoor lounge and dining area are both on the main deck, meanwhile there is generous outside space on the upper deck and sun deck where our guests can relax in the shade or sun.
The dive deck is situated on the lower level and provides individual set up stations, camera rinsing facilites, 2 deck bathrooms and ample storage for all your diving gear and accessories.
Our experienced crew of 10 is waiting to welcome you aboard and show you the best of the Galapagos, both underwater and on land.
Punta Carrion – This boulder strewn reef provides a superb introduction to some of the larger pelagics we expect to see in the Galapagos, including white tip reef sharks but also the occasional hammerhead and Galapagos shark. Sea lions are ever-present and there is the opportunity for some macro critter spotting with sightings of neon nudibranchs. The wall has an average depth of 15m (50ft) and mild- medium current is to be expected.
Wolf Island – Named after the German geologist, Theodor Wolf, this extinct volcano reaches 253m (780ft) above sea level and lies some 160km (100 miles) northwest of Isabela Island. Land visits are not permitted however bird life, including red-footed boobys and vampire finch, may be spotted from the boat.
For our dives here we choose from a selection of reefs and walls, most having typically medium to strong currents where the use of gloves and reef hooks is advised. Schooling pelagics are the main draw with sightings of hammerheads, white tips and Galapagos sharks at each site. During the season (May – November)whale sharks may also be seen here. Divers should also be on the lookout for red-lipped batfish, barracudas, moray eels and dolphins!
Darwin Island – This extinct volcano reaching 165m (490ft) above sea level was named in honour of naturalist Charles Darwin. It is amongst the smallest island within the Galapagos Archipelago and like Wolf Island, no land visits are permitted.
Perhaps the most famed dive site is “Darwin’s Arch” which provides an amazing drift dive along the wall at an average depth of just 9m. Medium to strong currents are to be expected but bring with them hammerheads, black tips, silky and Galapagos sharks – and in large numbers! Schools of jacks are a common sight, along with turtles, angelfish and moray eels. Occasional sightings of tiger sharks, manta rays and bottle nose dolphins make for a thrilling time spent here. Whale sharks may also be seen between May – November.
Douglas Cape – Situated on the northwest point of Fernandina Island, this wall dive, with an average depth of 20m (70ft), offers something truly spectacular and is now famed for the feeding marine iguanas that congregate here along with sea lions, fur seals and speedy penguins!
Punta Vicente Roca – Alternatively known as “The Ice Box”, due to its chilling thermoclines, this point off the Northwest coast of Isabela Island offers a wall drift dive, along which mola mola can be spotted. The occasional Port Jackson shark may also be seen as well as the endemic Camotillo (White spotted sand bass).
Roca Redonda – This underwater volcano, with its bubbling streams of natural gas (fumaroles) plays home to schools hammerheads sharks and barracuda. With typically strong, changeable currents and some down currents, the diving here is challenging, though with an average depth of 18m (60ft).
Cabo Marshall –The craggy volcanic walls are covered with black coral bushes and the sheer variety of marine life is astounding. Sightings of manta, mobula and cownose rays are to be expected during the warm season (November – May). Meanwhile shark varieties include scalloped hammerhead, Galapagos and white tips. Let’s not forget the sea lions and turtles!
Cousin’s Rock– One of the most photographically productive dives of the region, Cousin’s Rock is formed of coral covered rock and lava flow. Sea fans, hydroid bushes, red sponges and small hard corals encrust ledges and overhangs, sheltering hawkfish, nudibranchs, frogfish and seahorses. Plenty of larger visitors are also seen including giant manta and mobula rays, spotted eagle rays and hammerhead sharks. The wall drops beyond 30m (100ft) but rises up shallow to just 3m (10ft) providing an ideal spot to end your dive playing with the sea lions.
Tagos Cove – On the west side of Isabela Island, opposite Fernandina Island, this shallow reef is an excellent late afternoon dive, where we have the opportunity to find seahorses, frogfish and long nosed hawk fish.
Punta Albermale – Drifting along this wall on the north of Isabela Island, we stay at an average depth of 25m (85ft) to see manta rays, hammerheads, turtles, schools of barracuda and tuna.
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Itinerary & Schedule
On a typical day we offer up to 4 day dives however the 4th day dive may be substituted for a night dive when the boat is anchored within a sheltered cove. A 7-night itinerary provides for between 18-20 dives, whilst during our 10-night itineraries, up to 30 dives will be possible.
The diving day aboard the Galapagos Master is scheduled as follows:-
Light Breakfast followed by a briefing and Dive 1
Full Breakfast, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 2
Lunch, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 3
Snack relaxation period, briefing and Dive 4, where possible
To allow our guests to explore the Galapagos to its fullest, on days 2, 7 and 10, dives 3 and 4 will be substituted by an island visits at North Seymour, Santa Cruz or Isla Isabela.
Diving in the Galapagos can be challenging, even for the experienced diver. At many sites currents can be strong and visibility may diminish due to currents and an influx of nutrients. We highly recommend our guests have training beyond beginner level and a minimum experience of 50 dives, preferably in similar conditions.
Water temperature ranges from 21-30°C (70-86°F) between December and May when manta rays are more commonly sighted. However it drops to an average of 16-24°C (60-75°F) between June and November when the Humboldt Current comes up from the south, bringing with it plankton; making this the best time for seeing whale sharks. Thermoclines can also be expected and divers are advised to bring suitable thermal protection.
Schedule and Rates for 2015