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Dive Review of Galatea in

Galatea: "Unique liveaboard program, excellent diving plus shore excursions", Apr, 2019,

by Gareth Richards, OH, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 13 Helpful votes). Report 10890 has 4 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Galatea is one of 3 liveaboards operating out of the Seychelles. We traveled in late March/early April 2019. I could not find many recent reviews about the Syechelles so I will try to be complete. We did a week on land, during which we did some day boat diving (see separate review), and then a week on a liveaboard (this review).

The seasons in the Seychelles are more about the wind direction; for one half of the year it is from the north and the other half from the south. During the months of March/April and September/October (according to our divemaster) is when the switch of direction occurs, and thus the waters are the calmest and the diving the easiest. Being just south of the equator the water is therefore the warmest at end of March, and while we were there it was 86-88 F at any depth.

The Galatea is well appointed and all cabins feature queen beds, with one Master cabin being available with a King bed. We had this cabin, and it also had an en suite bathroom with large shower and double vanity; and a separate half bath with toilet and sink. Quite luxurious compared to some liveaboards with bunks and tiny shower/toilet combo (looking at you, Solmar!) Food is 3 meals per day served at the rear deck where there is a large dining table. High quality dishes, vegetarian options available. Beer and wine are charged separately.

Diving is from 2 panga style dinghys with outboard engines (not zodiacs). Gear is maintained for you on these dinghies and you have an assigned station. Simply walk on to the dinghy and set off for the site. Little current, some surge at sites close to shore. The boat relocates to the main islands of the group (Mahe is home base, Praslin, Curieuse, La Digue, Grande Soeur and Marianne were all visited). Due to the warm water I dove in shorts and t-shirt only. Others used shorty or 3/2 full. Backroll entry. Pass up fins and weights and climb up ladder.

Diving is very good in terms of fish density and variety. We regularly saw all typical tropicals (snapper, parrot fish, squirrel fish, wrasse etc) but frequently also octopus, whitetip sharks, nurse sharks, few reef sharks, turtles both hawksbill and green, many eagle rays, blotchy ray and whip ray, stone fish, scorpion fish, nudibranchs, lion fish (several varieties), bumphead parrots, moray, huge napoleon wrasse, nudibranchs, box, puffer, and cowfish. At Beau Vallon (see Separate report) , not part of this liveaboard, we also saw clown fish and anemonefish. Soft corals are present, plentiful sea urchins including the unusual pencil urchin. Hard corals are nearly all dead, with the exception being near Grande Soeur where there is a huge area of intact healthy staghorn coral. In amongst the dead hard coral however there are often small patches around 6-12 inches diameter of new growth hard coral. These may be hardy varieties that have adapted. All in all due to the extreme variety and density of fish and other marine life, the diving is great and there is a huge amount to see.
I took all my u/w photo gear which is a housed mirrorless camera and full inon Z240 strobes. This is quite a hefty outfit. Small freshwater buckets for cameras were available but for a full setup these were too small. So it was a bit of an ordeal. No camera or charging station on deck. On the other hand, the cabin was so large I had plenty of space for setting out the gear, charging and exchanging batteries, etc. The outlets are European style E/F (2 pin) 240 v. so make sure your gear can handle the 240v and bring appropriate adapters. On land the UK style 3 pin were the most common (again 240).

The Seychelles sit on an underwater plateau which is at about 25m so all the dives were shallower than that. Temp of 86-88F always at any depth. Tanks on board were DIN but adapters for yoke are available so if you have non-DIN gear (as we do) it was not a problem. Make sure to tell the divemaster your gauge is in psi if appropriate and negotiate appropriate signals. T-sign like “timeout” indicates half a tank (100 bar, 1500psi).

The Galatea offers various itineraries but the most common is a combination diving and shore excursion trip. This offers the opportunity to go ashore on the different islands and participate in tours or simply lay on the beach. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Vallee de Mai (to see the coco de mer forest) as well as to La Digue where nearly all travel is by bicycle. On this itinerary therefore, some days are 2 dives in the morning and an afternoon excursion. This was fine with us and we enjoyed visiting the islands immensely. One evening a barbecue dinner on the beach was organized at the land tortoise sanctuary. Night dives were an extra fee of 10 euro (lights provided). In total from Sunday through Friday a total of 16 dives were available. The trip started at 1400 Saturday and check out at 0800 following Saturday.

Contrary to what is put in the intro section on the website, the level of service both on the boat and in the Seychelles in general was very high. Prices on land were not out of line with other premium locations. The price of the liveaboard was good value for the diving and excursions provided (included). Tipping culture is European, ie, not expected. I explicitly asked the divemaster about tipping the crew because normally on a liveaboard I expect to tip 10%, and came prepared to do that. He told me that is absolutely not the norm to base the tip on a percentage, but of course all tips are welcome. So I modified my tip slightly but close to what I had budgeted anyway.

Conclusion: a worthy liveaboard with high level of comfort, great food, great diving, interesting itinerary. Would work for a newer diver due to easy diving conditions with warm water and lots to see. Pay attention to the season and go when the wind is calm.
Websites Galatea   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Cocos, Philippines, Socorro, GBR, NZ, Bahamas, Mexico Pacific, Cayman, US Keys, Mediterranean (Cyprus, Corsica, Turkey), Belize, Roatan, Bonaire, Cozumel, BVI
Closest Airport SEZ Getting There Many options via Dubai or Doha (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar. Or non stop from Paris (AF).

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 86-88°F / 30-31°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 min limit
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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