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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Galapagos Islands

Aggressor Fleet: "Amazing Variety in the Galapagos", Feb, 2017,

by Caroline T, MD, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 9589.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Galapagos diving is some of the most diverse, unique, and incredible. It is well worth the price. While it is definitely not for beginners, at least during our trip, it was not the impossible physical challenge that is described on many websites. We had new divers (less than 50 dives) who were in excellent physical shape, extremely experienced divers in their 70s, and a number of women who were not deterred by the cold water. However, you do need to be a safe, confident, and careful diver, due to the remote locations and the fact that you and your buddy will be on your own at times.

February is 'warmer' so we often had water temps in the high 70s. I felt like my 7 mm was a tad much on several dives at the beginning of the week. However, at the end of the week, the temperatures drop in to the high 60s at some beautiful sites - iguanas feeding, red lip batfish, gato sharks, etc. And then i was glad to have my 7 mm, hood, and to fill my suit up with warm water before i backrolled in...

Sometimes on a dive trip, it feels like 7 days of the same, even though you are visiting different sites. same style (drift, wall) and similar animals and sea life. Galapagos was like nothing i've ever experienced. One dive you are in 15 feet of water playing with sea lions, the next you are out in the blue looking for dolphins, and for the third dive you hold on to a rock watching hammerheads come in from the blue, not to mention the turtles and rays. And that's just one day. The topography of each island underwater is diverse as the views above land. The iguana feeding sites were covered in brilliant green, purple, and red algae. We also dove deep for mola molas on the first day (and saw them!) and spent time with some red lipped bat fish on an incredible wall dive towards the end of the week.

The dive crew on board the Agressor III in Galapagos was top notch. They change every two weeks, so you won't know who you'll have, but we were fortunate to have Richard and Nelson. They are naturalist guides trained by the park, who have made a career in the galapagos as dive guides. They truly loved the natural environment and were even more excited about identifying new creatures than our group was - and that's saying a lot. They were also very experienced, careful, but in a way that still allowed diving to be fun and relaxed. They always made sure to keep it interesting and paid close attention to what the group needed - more time with hammerheads, a change in scenery, etc. We clearly loved the seals and sea lions, so we got a lot of time with them.

To dive Galapagos, you do need to be a confident and safe diver. Entry is a one time shot via backroll off a small panga. You return to the boat on your own with your buddy. Given the conditions, its not practicable for the dive guide to keep track of the whole group. We would separate at the end and come up when we were out of air - there was no possibility of signaling the dive guide to let him know that you were departing. The boat drivers would then come pick you up. You would propel/be pulled up on the panga. I used the ladder once, but it was so small, that i shifted back to the pull out of the water method. Some of the men pushed themselves out of the water, but that was a unique occurrence.

Finally, the boat itself. This is not the most luxurious boat i have ever experienced. It had just gone thru two weeks of dry dock fumigation. Our closet smelled like someone stored a leaky gasoline tank in it during those two weeks. We raised a concern, but were just told to air it out. That made the room uninhabitable, so we just closed the closet door and periodically opened the window during the week - it was fine, although our clothes stank at the end of the week. The shower was warm and big enough to use, but the overall bathroom was tiny. The air conditioning made a terrible vibrating racket, but we just shoved a flip flop in it to keep it from vibrating. that worked great.

I'd definitely splurge for the cabins on the upper level. The windows were awesome as we had a view of each island we visited and the stars at night. The roof deck on the boat is incredible - a perfect mix of shade and sun, great in the mornings and the evenings.

Food is served by Winter - the most amazing server i've ever had on any boat. He put up with all of our strange requests with a smile and complete professionalism. The food was a nice variety. We had several vegetarians, so the variety of vegetables was better than a regular live aboard.

Finally, our group arranged a pre-trip excursion on Isabela island for four days before the live aboard. This was really great and i recommend it to anyone who is going this far. We got to see all of the amazing parts of the Galapagos - volcanoes, tortoises, iguanas, penguins (!), and of course, the boobies. The live aboard really only does one quick hike on a island with no animals, so you don't have the opportunity to experience all of the great top-side attractions of the Galapagos. We stayed at Iguana Crossing - great rooms, great location, and great food. Don't stay anywhere else. Oh, and the speed boat to Isabela, is nothing of the sort. If we did it again, i would look in to splurging on the inter-island flight, although i'm not sure how expensive that would be with gear, etc.

Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Philippines, Truk, Caribbean, Galapagos, Egypt, and Florida
Closest Airport Galapagos Getting There Thru Quito or Guayaquil. Arrive at the airport early for the day of your connecting flight to the islands. You have to wait in several lines to get a special visa for galapagos, have your bag checked for invasive species, check in for your flight, maybe pay for your excess baggage, and go thru security.

Dive Conditions

Weather dry Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 68-78°F / 20-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth, 60 minute dive.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 4 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 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments camera stations near the dive deck with chargers, air, etc. Dive staff was careful and thorough in delivering cameras to the divers once they were seated in the pangas.
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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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