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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Galapagos Islands

Aggressor Fleet: "Wonderful, but expensive and less diving than prior years.", Oct, 2017,

by Randall S Preissig, TX, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 32 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 9927 has 2 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 N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my 4th and 5th trip on the Galapagos Aggressor, dating back to 1998. I will report on both trips.
Galapagos is on most every experienced diver's bucket list, and for good reasons--schools of hammers, mobula, eagle rays, jacks and more; the world's largest whale sharks; diving marine iguanas; mola molas; and MUCH more. But seeing whale sharks, molas and others can be seasonal, dependent on El Nino or La Nina, or just plain hit and miss. On both my week trips the current was often reversed from its usual direction and nutrients clouded the water considerably. This may be due to a developing El Nino which has a very bad effect on Galapagos diving. Our groups only sighted 5 whale sharks total in 2 weeks. Hammers were scarce and poorly seen due to the cloudy water(compared to usual). And the water was even colder than usual, with several dives in the 50's (!!!) and the warmest in the low 70's. Anyone with less than a 7mm semidry with a 3-5mm hooded vest was cold. I rarely miss a dive, but missed 3 of 20 of the first trip as my 7mm just wasn't enough to warm me for 4 dives a day. I made all 20 of the second trip after renting a 3mm XXL jumpsuit to go over my 7mm semidry. And speaking of 20 dives per week(one a check out dive)--this is just too few for a $5,000++ per week liveaboard! I wasn't clear if this was a new park regulation--I think not--and it was less than the 22-24 I had on my prior 3 trips.
Another change was the crew. Now all Ecuadorians, only one was fluent in English and did all the communication with the English speaking guests. This was only a minor inconvenience.
Important: the "cold water season" is June through January, with October and November the coldest. You will see the most pelagics in the coldest water--but this can mean diving in 50 and 60 degree water every dive. You will see the most whale sharks in Oct. and Nov., but the water is not only frigid but the water and weather are rough. Feb. through April are "warmer" water, but the big stuff is MUCH less seen!! Consequently, fewer divers go these months, even though you may see a few mantas then. And if there is an El Nino, don't go! I did in 1998 and wondered for 15 years why everyone thought Galapagos was so great.
This is absolutely world class diving, and the Aggressor fleet is the standard of the live aboard industry. If you're ready for "the big stuff", this is where you'll see it. Stay away if you are a beginner(less than 100 dives, little experience in strong current), physically limited, or "can't keep warm". And many combine the travel with a visit to Machu Picchu.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Raja Amphat, Lembeh, Komodo, Alor, Thailand, Sipadan, PNG, BVI, Bahamas, Tahiti, Palau, Chuuk, Ponape, Guam, Australia, Hawaii, Myamar, Fiji, Cocos, Galapagos, Socorro, 3 Caymans, Bonaire, Cozumel, Belize, Etc.
Closest Airport Baltra, Galapagos Getting There You must fly through Ecuador, often requiring long layovers or overnights both ways. Expensive

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 57-72°F / 14-22°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Unfortunately, Aggressor has converted its Galapagos diving to "group diving" with all 16 divers and two guides together. This significantly limits your chances of seeing hammerheads and other animals up close, if at all. FOR ADVANCED DIVERS, THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT LIMITATION!
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Crowded table with little oversight to prevent "splash" from air hoses, etc. Good care of cameras by the crew while loading/unloading.
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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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