Arrive at Seymour Airport (Baltra Island) (IATA code GPS) (please book an early flight) and meet your local representative from Galapagos Shark Dive. They will transfer you to the vessel, roughly a 10-minute drive. Meet your fellow divers & the crew. After everyone has settled in their cabins the guides will give a briefing on ship life, national park rules and diving safety. Afterwards, a delicious buffet lunch will be served. before your briefing on the dive platform, for your first dive, a test dive. This will be at a nearby anchorage in calm shallow waters. Maximum depth of 12m. Although plentiful fish and usually sea lions and other species are to be seen, the objective is to check weight and equipment for the following days. Lunch & dinner included. (Please note: this is a sample itinerary only, the crew will find the best diving with location and dive sites subject to weather and diving conditions; with the safety of the divers and crew foremost; and that there is no guarantee to see any stated Discovery).
You will have up to three dives. Possible dive location: Bartolome Island - An early morning dive close by Bartolome in a sheltered area with a rock/sand seabed that provides a variety of habitats for many different fish species; Green sea turtles, white tip reef sharks & stingrays are commonly sighted here with numerous colourful parrotfish & wrasses. Possible Dive sites: Roca Cousins - The underwater topography provides refuge for sleeping turtles and white tip sharks whilst the steep walls are covered by marine invertebrates. Two species of black coral, sponges and colonial tunicates are a colourful backdrop for the abundant fish that frequent this emergent volcanic cone; The currents often found here attract some of the larger shark species such as hammerheads and blacktip sharks + we often find playful sea lions, Eagle rays, Golden rays and sometimes Mobula and Giant Pacific manta rays. After a late lunch, we steam over to Wolf Island approx. 16-hour steam. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
You will have up to four dives. Possible dive location: Wolf Island - The powerful marine currents around Wolf are part of the reason we see so many sharks; Schooling hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, Blacktip and Silky sharks; Dolphins are often present as we end our dives with a drift in the blue. Two turtle species, the Green and Hawksbill are frequently sighted along the rocky walls and slopes of this island. Eagle rays and large schools of fish, snappers, grouper and jacks patrol the drop-off as well. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
You will have up to four dives. Possible dive location: Darwin Island - All four dives are at the same site, the world-renowned Darwin Arch. We drop on to a rocky ledge and from a protected position watch the marine life swim by. Hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, Blacktips and Silkies. Marine turtles abound and Bottlenose dolphins often pass by overhead. Huge schools of fish, tuna, jacks and Creole fish swim in the blue whilst dozens of other species inhabit the coral covered platform and ledges. This is also the realm of the biggest shark of them all, the Whale Shark. Frequenting the Islands between June – December over 95% of all sightings occur here at the Arch. Of these, a staggering 99% are female and in an apparent state of advanced pregnancy. Why they come to this rocky volcanic outcrop remains a mystery and one that the Galapagos Whale Shark Project team is trying to solve. After our last dive, the vessel returns to Wolf to anchor overnight. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
You will have up to four dives. Possible dive location: Wolf Island - Another full day exploring the diverse dive sites of Wolf. The dives may take us to the swim through arches and along the spectacular walls and cave entrances. Again the local conditions will decide which are the best options dependent on current and swell. More time to observe the sharks and marine megafauna or study the massive diversity of life that inhabits the large coral heads and boulder slopes. Towards evening we set sail for the north of Isabela Island, once again sailing overnight. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
You will have up to three dives Possible dive location: Punta Vicente Roca - This morning we will dive at Punta Vicente Roca. Best known for the frequent sightings of Mola alexandrini, the southern ocean sunfish. The Molas approach the wall to visit the cleaning stations where wrasses and angelfish await. Sea lions and Galapagos fur seals abound and often follow divers playing with bubbles and darting in and out of schools of sardine sized Brown striped Salemas. The wall is one of the most diverse of all Galapagos for marine invertebrates and is one of the favourite sites for macro photography. Brightly coloured blennies, Long nose coral hawkfish, frogfish and sea horses can be found amongst the solitary corals, anemones, tunicates and sponges. Green sea turtles are present all year and whales are often spotted in these waters. Possible sites: Cabo Douglas - After sailing across the Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island we will dive at Cape Douglas. Showcased by many documentaries including BBC’s Blue Planet I & II, this is where marine iguanas are to be found feeding in the shallow bays between 5-10m. A unique experience that can only be had in the Galapagos we also find the endemic flightless cormorant and Galapagos penguins feeding here. The cold ocean upwelling from the Cromwell current brings a myriad of life to an apparently stark volcanic shore.. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
As today is your last day you will have the up to two dives. Settle any accounts that you have. Farewell dinner. Possible dive location: Roca Blanca & Pinzón Island - Roca Blanca is a small emergent rock that only recently has been added as a new dive site. Diverse marine life includes sharks, turtle and rays including the Giant Pacific manta ray with a wingspan of up to 7m. The cooler upwelling waters that surround this rock off the south-east coast of Isabela island make for exciting dives with frequent bait balls of Salemas. After the early morning dive, we return to the boat for a hearty breakfast as we sail to Pinzon Island. Our last dive is off a small rocky outcrop south of Pinzon island. A sandy slope where Red-lipped batfish can be found even during the daytime leads to a dramatic wall. Sea lions, turtles, rays and sharks are the usual inhabitants of this area. Big schools of mixed grunts, jacks, tuna as well as the tropical Moorish idols, King Angels and Parrotfish make this a memorable send-off to the trip. Afternoon: After the dive, we will go to Santa Cruz Island. Here we visit the Charles Darwin Station and the Giant Tortoise Rearing Centre. Afterwards, you will have some free time to walk around the town of Puerto Ayora, maybe do some souvenir shopping or enjoy a cold beer and meet local people. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
Before going to the airport for flights back to the mainland we make the last stop in the highlands of Santa Cruz to see Giant tortoises in the wild. The group will then continue on to Baltra Island for check-in for flights. Transfer to Seymour Airport (Baltra Island) (IATA code GPS). Breakfast included. Transfer included on the day of disembarkation only.