Galapagos April 2018

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shocked

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Lake Oswego, Oregon
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Hey All,

So, we are considering doing a liveaboard in the Galapagos next April (2018). We spoke with the rep from the Galapagos Sky at the Scuba Show in Long Beach this weekend (May 2017) and it sounded good.. When i got home I read some reviews and they seem mixed.. (canceled trip with no notice, poor equipment, general poor boat maintenance, etc). Do any of you have any feedback?

Having been on several liveaboards now, I have decided that it is impossible to really get a feel for a boat based on pictures. Every boat seems to look great in the pics, but there have been times I went back and checked the pictures to make sure I was on the same boat..

What we want is the best quality liveaboard in the Galapagos.. this is apparently what everyone wants.. and people have different taste.. if the Four Seasons is my benchmark for a hotel, and someone elses benchmark is a Courtyard Inn Suites, we are never going to agree on what nice is :)

That said, what do you guys recommend as far as the highest level of quality (boat/staff) in the Galapagos?

Oh, and what about April? Good month to go?

Thanks all
 

randpchi

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Did the Humbolt Explorer and had a great time. Maybe not the "Four Seasons" of liveaboards but it was pretty good and the crew was professional and worked hard to make sure everyone was happy.
 
OP
shocked

shocked

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Randpchi,

Sorry, I was not trying to be a snob about it :) but I am sure many of you know what I mean about the drastic differences in reality vs pics.

I really appreciate the Humbolt Explorer info.. I will check them out for sure.

Thanks again!
 

randpchi

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Welcome. Yeah I understand what you mean about pics, they make the boats look a lot better than they are. Check out the Aggressor boat too, they should be nice but are more expensive. Don't think you could go wrong with either. The diving is worth it.
 

EVMia

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Tbar

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Australia
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Have a good look at the itineraries. I would compromise the boat to get the best itinerary. The Humboldt Explorer spend more time a Wolf and Darwin than other boats but then misses what I see as a key dive site, Vicente Roca and Marshall Cabe.

Depending what you want to see and water temps different times are better. I think the most popular time in August to October as this is when you have greater chance of Whale Sharks at Darwin.

We want on Astea, defiantly not a 'high class' boat but a great itinerary was good and the service great. We went is September and dived with Whale Sharks :) and Mola Mola at Vicente Roca :)
 

Dom@DiveAdvice

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We have been chartering dive live-aboards in Galapagos since my first trip back in 1986 and as we charter more than a dozen trips for our clients each year, we know the boats well. We try to choose the top boats at the best time to be there and are delighted to assist clients with their plans and questions.

April is a fine time to be there for warmer waters, blue skies and plenty of fish – but unlikely to have any encounters with whale sharks. Dec thru May is what some describe as the Manta Season and although the likelihood of huge schools of hammerheads is not unlikely, warmer water temps can sometimes push them deeper at that time.

Galapagos is really an all year round destination and when you go is a personal choice but for many photographers and experienced divers, the favorite time to be there is from June thru November, with optimum months in most years being August, September & October. That period you should see everything in larger numbers, plus the largest whale sharks you will ever come across. However the disadvantage of that time is the waters are cooler and the sky can be overcaste by what they called the Garua. It is a grey drizzle that starts most days but often will burn off my mid-day, but can linger !

With regard to which boat – I saw mention of the Astrea and although she is acceptable as low budget platform to dive Galapagos, she does not have the space or refinements of the other available options, plus she does not have any trips schedule for April.

The following are the liveaboards that will be there in April and quite honestly, I think the master stateroom on the GPS Sky would be an excellent choice. After that the Aggressor III is a lovely boat, with a gracious and refined interior and everything you expect from a 5 star operation. The April 19 cruise now only has a lower deck twin cabins and as I would recommend an Upper deck Master stateroom for you, that would mean the April 26 cruise where they still have upper deck master cabins.

The Humboldt Explorer is a fabulous boat and we charter her frequently. The only thing against her at that time is what has been mentioned regarding her itinerary. During the whale shark season from Jun thru November, having four full days at Darwin and Wolf is, in my opinion, the best itinerary during that period, however in April my preference would be, as pointed out by another post, to spend time with the Mola Mola and marine Iguanas at Vicente Roca and Cabo Marshall.

Its a compromise with a 7 night trip and in fact if you can take the time for 10 nights, that gives you best of all options.

The newest liveaboard that has not so far been mentioned, but which I rate highly and is of equivalent comfort and space to all of them,with top crew and guides, is the Galapagos Master, owned and operated by the Master/Siren Fleet. A lovely boat that was completely rebuilt from the keel upwards a few years ago and I would definitely put her in line for contention. She does have two ten night dive cruises in April where we still have an Upper deck double available on both cruises.

Apr 1-8 7 nights Galapagos Sky 1 female dlx spaces $5895

Apr 5-15 10 nights Galapagos Master Photo Tour from $7075 DIVE ADVICE

Apr 8-15 7 nights Galapagos Sky 8 dlx + 2 mstr spaces from $5895

Apr 15-22 7 nights Galapagos Sky 8 dlx + 6 mstr spaces from $5895

Apr 16-23 7 nights Humboldt Explorer 9 spaces $5095 + $150 fuel

Apr 19-26 7 nights Aggressor III 7 spaces Baltra @ $5995

Apr 23-May 3 10 nights Galapagos Master 5 spaces from $7075

Apr 23-30 7 nights Humboldt Explorer 16 spaces $5095 + $150 fuel

Apr 26-May 3 7 nights Aggressor III 16 spaces Baltra @ $5995


These are your choices for April and you can see more about them on our website or on each boats’ website. I am happy to discuss any questions in greater depth if you choose to contact me. I can also send you interior images of all.

At your service.

Dominick Macan
Dive Advice Travel
dom@diveadvice.com
www.diveadvice.com
Tel: +33 492 94 02 99 (France)
SKYPE: adventuredom

Live search for dive liveaboard spaces … for up-to-date liveaboard availability worldwide

"In Partnership with Amazing Adventures Travel of Mill Valley, California"
 

DiveTheGalapagos

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Ecuador
If you are flexible, I would not go in April. Fewer hammerheads and no whale sharks. You definitely need a western itinerary at that time of year. I like the western itinerary, however, if you are at Darwin and Wolf during high season, it's hard to leave thousands of sharks as that just doesn't get old. But the western itinerary does offer a diversity and amazing land-before-time views.

Almost any live aboard operating in a remote destination is going to have problems at some point. If they need a part, it might not get shipped out in time and they are only in port to receive things for a day or so. I've seen situations where the engineer who needed to repair could only fly in day of departure which caused passengers to miss day 1. Most do work hard to avoid that or take care of you in that unfortunate situation or refund you.

The cancellation with no notice was, literally, a mistake with an employee at the company who lost his job over it. It was awful for all involved. Contact me if you wish to discuss that one further. Sky has no rental equipment at all. If you aren't bringing your own, you'll need to rent in San Cristobal which has a limited and well used small selection of yes, fairly poor equipment. No one has really great equipment rental in Galapagos, though some shops in Puerto Ayora do have a better selection than others. Unfortunately, if you are boarding from San Cristobal or aboard Aggressor, you don't get into Puerto Ayora to see what's available without arriving a day early. I do keep a limited cache of equipment in Galapagos for that very reason.

There is no luxury boat in Galapagos as of now. All have good food, good dive service (warm towels, hot drink, snack, dive deck heads, hot water showers on dive deck, etc), cruise at roughly the same speed. We do have a comparison chart on our website here. Again, I'm happy to discuss if you wish to call.
 
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