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 today. Possible dive location: Cape Marshall/ City of Mantas – Located on the northeast side of Isabela Island is Cape Marshall also called 'Ciudad de las Mantas' (City of Mantas), named for how common it is to see giant mantas. The plankton-rich waters of this area are an attraction for many species of rays - like the eagle ray or giant manta, white tip sharks, sea lions, green sea turtles and many more. The topography is beautiful and invites divers to enjoy their first dives in the Galapagos Islands. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
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, Black tips 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. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.
You will have up to five dives including a night dive (weather dependant). Possible dive location: Darwin Island for two dives - This is 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.Afternoon Wolf Island for two dives - The powerful marine currents around Wolf are part of the reason that you will see so many sharks. Schooling hammerheads, Galapagos, Black tip & Silky sharks are the usual protagonists. Dolphins are often present as you end the dives with a drift in the blue. Eagle rays and large schools of fish, snappers, grouper and jacks patrol the drop-off. 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 & 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: Cousins Rock/ Santa Cruz. With two dives in the morning at Cousin's Rock you can often find playful sea lions, Eagle rays, Golden rays & sometimes Mobula and Giant Pacific manta rays. The underwater topography provides refuge for sleeping turtles & white tip sharks whilst the steep walls are covered by marine invertebrates. Two species of black coral, sponges & 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 black tip sharks. Amongst the corals we sometimes find Pacific golden sea horses and frogfish. After the morning diving you will head over to Santa Cruz Island. Here you with visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to see Giant tortoises in the wild, & a visit to a lava tunnel & often mistaken for volcanic craters, Los Gemelos – or “The Twins” in English – are sinkholes. 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.
Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra, where we will take the airport shuttle. Your guide will accompany you to the check-in counters in the departure hall. Transfer to Seymour Airport (Baltra Island) (IATA code GPS). Breakfast included. Transfer included on the day of disembarkation only.