galapagos sky

Galapagos Sky - Itinerary

Galapagos Sky visits Wolf and Darwin Islands on every trip – the diving there is arguably the best in the world! The Galapagos Sky itinerary has two days with long (you’ll be asleep) overnight navigations in order to get to these crown jewels of world class diving. You will enjoy up to four dives per day at Wolf and Darwin.

The first day and last two days of each cruise on Galapagos Sky will feature 2 dives per day, and these sites in the “central islands” showcase the diversity of Galapagos diving. Besides our resident mantas, sharks, and whale sharks, this is also the time to photograph little Galapagos invertebrates in vibrant color. During these parts of your cruise, you’ll also walk in the steps of Charles Darwin, with 2 guided land excursions on islands that are untouched by time.

As on any live-aboard or diving adventure – Itineraries may be changed due to current or pending weather conditions or at the Captain’s discretion for your safety.

Your Galapagos Cruise Itinerary*

Sunday

When you arrive at the airport at San Cristobal, the crew of the live-aboard Galapagos Sky will personally meet you, help with your luggage, and escort you to the Galapagos Sky. Your dive bags will be delivered to the dive deck on SKY, and personal luggage to your cabins. After everyone is on board, we will introduce you to the boat and do our mandatory safety briefings and drill. Then, we cruise to the area of Los Lobos for our check-out dives.

This will be your first underwater introduction to Galapagos sea lions and fur seals! As the sun sets, you’ll enjoy cocktails and appetizers on our shaded, open air, upper deck as “Sky” circumnavigates the amazing twin-rock formation of Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido). Two inspiring towers of volcanic rock soar 500 ft. above the ocean and point directly to the sky. Blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and magnificent frigate birds nest here on the vertical cliffs. Even on the first day of your live-aboard cruise – you begin to see the myriad and diverse land formations which comprise the Galapagos Islands topside. It is then you realize you will see nothing like it in your lifetime.

Monday

Seymour Island, Northern Channel, and Bartolome Island: Galapagos Sky visits Wolf and Darwin Islands on every trip – the diving there is arguably the best in the world! The Galapagos Sky itinerary has two days with long (you’ll be asleep) overnight navigations in order to get to these crown jewels of world class diving. You will enjoy up to four dives per day at Wolf and Darwin.

The first day and last two days of each cruise on Galapagos Sky will feature 2 dives per day, and these sites in the “central islands” showcase the diversity of Galapagos diving. Besides our resident mantas, sharks, and whale sharks, this is also the time to photograph little Galapagos invertebrates in vibrant color. During these parts of your cruise, you’ll also walk in the steps of Charles Darwin, with 3 guided land excursions on islands that are untouched by time.

As on any live-aboard or diving adventure – Itineraries may be changed due to current or pending weather conditions or at the Captain’s discretion for your safety.

Tuesday to Thursday

You’ll spend the next three days diving (up to four dives per day) the legendary islands of Wolf and Darwin. Most experienced divers will agree, Wolf and Darwin are the best diving sites in the world!

Whale Sharks are common here, particularly from mid May through November. At the Northern Arch at Darwin, you will see Hammerhead sharks either individually, in small groups, or large schools. Bottlenose dolphins are not uncommon. The reef contains many warm water varieties of fish found nowhere else in the Islands and is the most consistent place to see Hammerheads. Once you see Wolf and Darwin – you’ll immediately understand why there are no shore excursions on this part of the cruise – there is no way up the vertical cliffs!

Darwin Island: Considered by many experienced divers as the very best dive site in the world, The Arch at Darwin island honors its reputation. It is warmer by a few degrees than the central islands. In one single dive you can find schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, large pods of dolphins, thick schools of skipjack and yellow fin tuna, big eye jacks, Mobula rays, and silky sharks. From June to November, we can almost guarantee whale sharks in numbers of up to 8 different individuals in one single dive. The presence of occasional tiger sharks, black and blue marlin, and killer whales adds on to this amazing diving experience. If you still have time to look for smaller stuff, you’ll find octopus, flounders, and an enormous variety and abundance of tropical fish. Darwin Island is the biggest jewel on the Galapagos Crown.

Wolf Island: One of those magical islands, with several dive sites to choose from. If you want to see sharks, you are at the right spot. This is a place for schooling hammerhead sharks, large aggregations of Galapagos sharks, and occasionally whale sharks. Seeing dolphins, large schools of tuna, spotted eagle rays, barracudas, sea lions and sea turtles is common. The bottom is littered with hundreds of moray eels, many of them free swimming. Being several degrees warmer than the central islands, you can look for many representatives of the Indo-Pacific underwater fauna.

Friday

At Cape Marshall, on the eastern side of Isabela island, we encounter rocky volcanic cliffs which drop down to the ocean floor as an almost vertical wall. You might see large animals like manta rays, marble rays, hammerhead sharks, mola mola (oceanic sun fish) and marine turtles. Also keep an eye out for Chevron barracuda, snappers, yellow fin tuna, rainbow runners, wahoo and groupers. There are also a lot of smaller fishes like creole fishes, parrot fishes, scrawled filefishes, pacific box fishes and tiger snake eels.

This afternoon, we disembark for a land visit along the shore at Puerto Egas, looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter Galapagos Fur Seals. Once on the edge of extinction – their numbers today nearly match that of the very common Sea Lion population!

Saturday

Gordon Rocks, off South Plaza Island, an advanced dive, is famous for white-tipped, hammerhead and the Galapagos shark, large moray eels, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, sting rays, fur sea lions, sea turtles, Amberjacks, reef fish, sponges and black coral. Dive with Wahoo, tuna, sailfish and other big pelagic fish. Divers consider the wall at Gordon Rocks one of the best dive sites in the Central Islands. The current is strong and the maximum depth is 100 feet.

Plus, you’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Island of Santa Cruz. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. Get your picture taken with the 100 + year old giant tortoises, and learn about the captive breeding program. Stroll through the town of Puerto Ayora (population: 20,000) – the largest town in the Galapagos. Buy souvenirs, mail postcards, and absorb local charm in the social heart of the Islands.

Sunday

This morning, we visit the Interpretation Center to learn more about the natural history of the Islands before returning to town to connect with your flight back to the mainland.

M/V Galapagos Sky motors to Seymour Island and we explore the northern channel, only 50 feet deep, and “once in a lifetime of diving” wide! It features an enormous “field” of garden eels, stingrays, schools of spotted eagle rays, white tipped reef sharks, and thick schools of grunts, snappers and goatfish. When Dr. Silvia Earle described Galapagos as “the fishiest place in the world”, she may have been speaking about the Northern Channel!

After diving, the next stop is Bartolome Island, a stark, lunar landscape inhospitable to most plants and animals. You’ll pass in Darwin’s footsteps for the first time on your live-aboard cruise as you make your first of 2 shore excursions. Sky’s tenders will deliver you to a small stone pier (you don’t have to wade ashore), and you’ll walk 30-minutes up a steep, but very well maintained, trail to the summit of a dormant volcano.

From the top, marvel at the 360 degree, multi-island views – including the famous “Pinnacle Rock”, a huge, tilting rock obelisk that is one of the most photographed landmarks in the Galapagos Islands. This is not the time to leave your camera back aboard the Galapagos Sky!

* Please note: Scuba Travel cannot guarantee that the above itinerary will be the exact one that you will experience. As on all liveaboard or diving adventures, itineraries may be changed due to current, pending weather conditions, or upon the discretion of the captain. All changes are for your safety.

 
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