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Dive Review of Reina Silvia in
Galapagos Islands

June, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by David Vik, Illinois, USA
Report Number 1396
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Southern California, Texas Gulf, everwhere in  Caribbean, Hawaii,
Micronesia, Polynesia, Andaman Sea, Mexican Baja
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
65   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits encouraged; we were treated as adult, advanced divers  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Separate camera rinse tanks. No official camera table/area. We used the
dining room tables (there were more than enough tables to accomodate us,
both sitting for meals as well as extra tables for equipment)
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
This trip was everything I had hoped for and more! It exceeded my
expectations, (which were high) so bonus points for that accomplishment.
The boat is in excellent condition overall, obviously well maintained and
cared for. The rooms are adequate, with additional closet space and private
bath. Air conditioning in the rooms very good, and adjustable to suit
taste. Meals were excellent, and matching dining room service.

I have been on many liveaboards throughout the world and this was certainly
one of the best overall. The diving is done from 3 zodiacs (nice spacing
for 16 divers); the drivers are attentive, and right there for you upon
completion of the dives. I had one dive where I was caught drifting the
"wrong" way at Darwin (toward the outside of the arch), but the
zodiac driver was right there and didn't miss a beat. Kudos! 

Diving highlights:

Our naturalist/dive guide was Victor Mendia, and he was outstanding!! He
knows how to time the diving/land tours to avoid the big cruise ships. Shot
professional quality trip video. Best dive guide yet.

Northern Islands(Darwin): 7 different whale sharks (with 15 separate
encounters) including one 45 footer with 4 bottlenose dolphins swimming
around her (on video!); "hundreds" of scalloped hammerheads (one
dive produced the famous "hundred hammerheads in silhouette"
shot); many galapagos sharks, including a nose to camera bump (his
curiosity, not mine!); "thousands" of single dive
site yet

Archipelago: Sea Lions, turtles, white tip reef sharks, sea horse,
schooling mobula rays, eagle rays, and snorkeling with galapgos penguins.
Wear your 7mm, be in shape, and have at leat 100 dives before you go to
Galapagos. You simply won't enjoy it if you don't have the skills. The land
tours for surface intervals are amazing. Being up close and personal with
the blue-footed boobies, frigates, pelicans, sea lions, iguanas, and giant
tortise will produce amazing photos, and even better memories.

I booked with Aquatic Encounters and will certainly repeat in the future.
Marc Bernardi is knowledgeable, friendly, and the trip mechanics went
smoothly. Watch the luggage weight coming back to the mainland from the
islands, and don't be afraid to "ship cargo" for your overweight
bags, it went smoothly. (from mainland to the islands the overweight bags
were "overlooked", the return out of the islands was not, so be
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Other dive reports on M/Y Reina Silvia

All Galapagos Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Galapagos Islands
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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