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[8 days] Diving with Scientists in the Galapagos Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

  • Trip Type: Small-Group (Guided)
  • Group Size: Up to 16
  • Departure Date: Multiple Fixed Dates
  • Trip Start: 20 Jul, 2021
  • Trip End: 27 Jul, 2021
  • Duration: Weeklong (7-9 days)
  • Physical Rating: Mildly Strenuous

Spend 8 days scuba diving in the Galapagos, one of the most beautiful locations on earth, while supporting the Galapagos Whale Shark Project (which was featured in the BBC Blue Planet II series).

Highlights:

  • Cape Marshall
  • City of Mantas
  • Darwin’s Arch (Note: this famous rock formation collapsed on 17 May 2021 due to erosion; it now resembles two pillars  instead of an arch and is being referred to as the “Pillars of Evolution.”)
  • Wolf Island
  • Punta Vicente Roca
  • Cape Douglas
  • Cousin’s Rock
  • Highlands with giant tortoises (land excursion)

You will do 2-4 dives a day on this trip, for a total of ~20 dives. There’s also the opportunity for a night dive. Every dive trip is accompanied by whale shark scientists from the Galapagos Whale Shark Project, which is featured in the BBC Blue Planet II series. For every diver, the organization donates to the research of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project. This team is studying the unique population of adult whale sharks in the Galapagos. Each scientist will provide you with extensive knowledge about whale sharks and will teach you at the same time how you as a diver can support the conservation of marine wildlife such as whale sharks, giant manta rays, sea turtles, other shark species, rays, molas, whales and other endangered animals – in the Galapagos and worldwide. You can also expect to learn about underwater photography while onboard (please note: you need to bring your own camera), and be taught about photography using what you have.)

On this trip, you’ll spend very little time on land. The majority of the experience is on the yacht and underwater. You’ll visit islands that not all boats visit, including sites that primarily attract divers.

The yacht for your Galapagos eco dive liveaboard provides a unique and unforgettable experience, with the best service and diving that you could hope for. The boat has nine cabins with private bathrooms, air conditioning, electricity, and all that you may need to make your stay comfortable. Three meals a day are included, as well as ‘pre-breakfast’ and snacks between dives.

🌤️ Seasonal Notes: Every year, only a few shark conservation dive departures are offered. These align with the best shark diving season and the best months to dive in the islands of Galapagos and Cocos (July – October). See all available departure dates under “Covid Precautions” (listed there so you can travel safely at a date that suits you).

📋 Itinerary

This itinerary is customizable. Contact Yūgen Earthside for more information.

Day 1: Baltra Island [Galapagos Islands, Ecuador] (arrival day)
Dive Check
Day 2: Cape Marshall / City of Mantas
Day 3: Darwin Island
Day 4: Darwin's Arch & Wolf Island
Day 5: Wolf Island
Day 6: Punta Vivente Roca / Cape Douglas
Day 7: Cousin's Rock / Santa Cruz
Day 8: Baltra Airport (departure day)

🌱 Sustainability

🌱 We not only care about our travelers, but we care about the local communities and the environment. When you book a tour with us, you become an active collaborator of the local and international foundations we work with in order to do our part. Whether it is educating children on the coast of Ecuador, or helping out conservation projects in the Galapagos, we care.

↔️  Tourism dispersal: This trip takes travelers off the beaten path and avoids tourist "hot spots".

🌎 Behavioral awareness education: We specifically discuss with travelers how to act responsibly in this destination, and why that's important.

🛥️ The crew of the boat is all local people who are paid fair wages.

💧 The boat uses water flow reducers.

🤝 We support other local and international projects that provide jobs and assistance to local communities.

🧪 Clients travel with scientists to collect data that furthers our understanding of whale sharks and other marine wildlife. This helps us promote conservation through education and awareness.

💡 Travelers and locals will exchange knowledge with locals, have an opportunity to learn from one another, and gain a new perspective on their own environment.

🍴 We focus on serving locally grown foods and locally-bought meat.

  • Clear sustainable travel policy
  • Social / Environmental Impact
  • Tourism Dispersal
  • Behavioral Awareness Education
  • Adhere to Strict Environmental Standards
  • Conserve Ecosystems/Preserve Biodiversity
  • Use Environmentally Friendly Products
  • No Animal-Harming Tourism
  • Focused on Minimizing Waste
  • Responsible Waste Management
  • Local/Organic Food Served
  • Use Water Flow Reducers
  • Provide Local Employment
  • Fair Wages / Fair Trade
  • Ensures Good Working Conditions
  • Supports Local Businesses
  • Engage with Local Communities
  • Act Mindfully of Local Health
  • Inclusive & Non-discriminatory Hiring
  • Provide Authentic Experiences

📌 Location

Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip.

A specific route map is included in the downloadable detailed itinerary.

🏷️ Pricing

🏷️ Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
🏷️ See the full list of price inclusions and exclusions in the downloadable detailed itinerary.

  • Deposit per person

    30% of trip price

  • Price per person

    Double room occupency

    $ 5935
  • Single room supplement

    50% of double room rate

    $ 2968

ℹ️ Other Info

📧 If you're ready to book this trip or have any questions, contact us!

To reserve your spot on a tour, a 30% deposit will be required. Final payment (balance due): 120 days prior to departure. The deposit is not refundable.

Refund options:

  • 364 to 120 days before departure: 30% of the regular rate will be retained; 70% of the regular rate will be refunded.
  • 119 to 0 days before departure: 100% of regular rate will be retained; 0% of the regular rate will be refunded. (Exception: If the space is filled by another person, then we will refund the amount paid by the replacement.)

NEW CANCELLATION TERMS FOR COVID:

We are, and will stay, flexible! If you can't join us due to COVID reasons (border closing, flight cancellation, positive COVID test, etc.) our ship will give you the opportunity to reschedule your dive trip to a later date in the next year(s) depending on when you can and want to travel again. You will have a free choice of which date suits you best and have priority in booking. This policy will continue for the year 2021!

📅 This trip takes place on the following dates. Book for when you feel comfortable and safe to travel. You may also privatize this trip (only travel with those whom you book the trip with) and choose your own departure date.

Jul. 20th, 2021 - Jul. 27th, 2021
Jul. 27th, 2021 - Aug. 03rd, 2021
Aug. 24th, 2021 - Aug. 31st, 2021
Jul. 19th, 2022 - Jul. 26th, 2022
Jul. 26th, 2022 - Aug. 02nd, 2022
Aug. 16th, 2022 - Aug. 23rd, 2022
Aug. 23rd, 2022 - Aug. 30th, 2022
Jul. 18th, 2023 - Jul. 25th, 2023
Jul. 25th, 2023 - Aug. 01st, 2023
Aug. 15th, 2023 - Aug. 22nd, 2023
Aug. 22nd, 2023 - Aug. 29th, 2023
Sep. 12th, 2023 - Sep. 19th, 2023

⚕️ Be sure you have traveler's insurance.

😷 Travelers need a negative PCR result for COVID-19 within 96 hours before going to the Archipelago. Travelers with a vaccination certificate can enter the archipelago without restrictions. Socially distance yourself when possible, and have both a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.

💭 Q: What does the Physical Rating of "Mildly Strenuous" mean?
Travelers should be prepared for 2 dives a day. They should be in a fit condition and be certified, open water divers.

💭 Q: What are the accommodations like?
Tourist Superior Cruise

💭 Q: Is this trip recommended for solo travelers, women, LGBTQ+, and POC travelers?
Solo travelers stay in a single cabin. Only when requested, they can share the cabin with another traveler of the same gender. The project is led by a female scientist who of course will do everything to make women and travelers of LGBTQ+ community feel safe and welcome.

💭 Q: Why dive in Galapagos?
Once you dive Galapagos your life and diving will NEVER be the same! Galapagos offers a unique variation on wildlife that you only can find here! In Galapagos, you can actually DIVE with the mightiest of all sharks… the Whale Shark! Galapagos is the only place in the world where 99.8% of the whale sharks are truly HUGE adult females swimming up to 15 meters / 45+ feet in length! Nearly all of them seem to be pregnant as they have massively extended abdomens. Galapagos might be THE place where whale sharks give birth - which is one of the reasons that scientists from all over the world come to Galapagos to study this UNIQUE population.

💭 Q: Why dive with us?

  • Because YOU support the research of 'Galapagos Whale Shark Project' directly & and help us find more ways to protect these gentle giants!
  • Daily presentations related to Galapagos Islands & Galapagos Whale Shark Project.
  • Small group - maximum of 15 passengers 4 divemasters - 1 divemaster per 4 divers.
  • Dive with the Whale Shark experts and underwater photographers: Jonathan R. Green, Simon J Pierce, Sofia Green, and Jenny Waack.
  • Get details about the research project in Galapagos and behind-the-scenes insights of the filming of 'BBC Blue Planet II' directly from the project leader, Jonathan.
  • Become a Shark Ambassador - Learn how to provide data to actively support Whale Shark Research. You can get engaged with shark conservation now and make a difference wherever you go diving worldwide.
  • We always travel responsibly! On our Eco Dive Tour, we will pay attention to how to travel economically responsibly and behave respectfully to wildlife. Photography instruction and practical advice about photography on land and underwater will be provided directly on board by the underwater photographers.
  • We offer translation onboard in English, German, Spanish, and French.

About gear:

  • We recommend that you bring your own gear as it fits best and will make you feel more comfortable for Galapagos' diving conditions.
  • Any rental payments made on board are subject to a 15% local tax and fees.
  • Please note that limited sizes and quantities are available.
  • We recommend you reconfirm your rental needs at the moment of booking.
  • Refund fees are applicable to any lost or damaged equipment rented.
  • Refund fees will be confirmed at the moment of booking.
  • Rental rates are subject to change.