Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Galapagos Sky in
Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Sky: "Great trip aboard Galapagos Sky", Jun, 2018,

by Christopher Watt, MA, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 10329 has 3 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 $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We were on the Galapagos Sky June 3-10, 2018. Great trip. We flew Boston-Miami-Guayaquil, with one night in Guayaquil on the outbound trip at the Oro Verde Hotel. Nice accommodations, comfortable beds and quiet. Guayaquil is your choice if you just want straight out-and-back to Galapagos; Quito is better if looking to do some mainland touring. Flew to San Cristobal the next morning on Avianca, the advantage being that flying from Guayaquil, it is non-stop. Guayaquil airport is new, quite modern and easy to navigate. Ecoventura, who seems to be the on-land partner of the Sky, had reps at the airport who helped us with our luggage and check-in and quickly got us through the Galapagos quarantine check at Guayaquil airport. Arrival in San Cristobal airport was easy enough – just another customs-type check and guard dogs that liked to lick visitors and jump up and down on their luggage.

The Galapagos Sky is a well-run boat with accommodations for 16 guests (we had 14 on board). Folks from US, UK, Germany and Canada. Dive experience from relative newbies with about 25 dives to instructors. Fortunately, the less experienced folks hired private guides, a win-win for everyone.

The diving came in 2 main flavors = warm water (81F) exhilarating diving at Wolf-Darwin and cool water (61-low 70s F), calmer diving everywhere else we went. The initial dives prior to Wolf-Darwin were useful to get everyone dialed in to what for many was unfamiliar gear, thicker wetsuits and new weighting. My buddy and I had been diving the previous week in wetsuits in New England with water temps in the low 50s, so a nice change. We wore 7mm suits with lavacore shorts/vests on the colder dives. Given how much barnacle crawling you are doing at Wolf-Darwin, it was nice to have the heavier suits even in the warmer water.

June is supposedly the start of the whale shark season and we were not disappointed, seeing them on almost every dive at Darwin up close and personal (I think we saw a total of 7). Huge schools of hammerheads. Large pods of dolphins above and below the water. Mantas. Galapagos sharks. The marine iguanas. An orca drive-by on the surface. Mola mola. Incredibly playful sealions on almost every non-Wolf-Darwin dive. Batfish. The scale of the marine life, especially at Darwin, is hard to describe. Big, numerous and close!
As expected, the diving was certainly advanced at Wolf & Darwin, where there were definitely strong currents at times. Negative entries were the rule, and once you reached the bottom you found a crevice and/or grabbed onto a barnacle-covered boulder to brace against the current and sit tight to watch the amazing marine life show in front of you. For us, sometimes the current was pretty pedestrian; on a few dives it was like being a flag being whipped by a strong wind, sometimes going hand-over-hand to get in position against the current. Good to use the shelter of large rocks or other formations to make moving around easier.

There were three important safety procedures we were briefed on during the prep for the remote diving at Wolf and Darwin: (1) SMB usage; (2) Divealert; (3) be utilized in that order in the event of separation from the zodiacs. The Sky had spares of all 3 for folks to use. I had my own sausage/spool and Divealert and had practiced with them at home in New England before the trip. The EPIRB is easy enough to use and clips easily into a pocket.

On one dive, our group moved from one viewing area to another, but I thought we were heading into the the time I realized where everyone else was going the current had me and away I went. I knew the right decision was to go with the current and not blow all my gas trying to swim back to the group. One of the group saw me and came along - I sent up my SMB, we did our safety stop calmly, and then surfaced 300-400 yards from the nearest zodiac in relatively bumpy seas - I could see the boat every second or third wave. I got my 6 foot sausage fully inflated and my buddy began blowing his whistle. The zodiac driver said he indeed saw us the whole time given my big sausage that I was constantly lifting as high as I could...but it was a good 10-15 minutes before they got to us, as they were picking up the rest of the group. No big just illustrates the need to be comfortable in current and doing blue water ascents, deploying an SMB and making yourself visible. You also needed to watch gas consumption, since swimming to keep up with whale sharks burns gas fast and you can quickly get deeper than you expect….and we seemed to encounter whale sharks towards the end of our dives. Since you tend to be spread out underwater and due to current, gas monitoring and the decision to start heading up is definitely a little more up to you vs. a “typical” holiday where DMs more closely monitor group gas usage and head up when the first person hits X PSI level.

The non-Wolf-Darwin diving was definitely lower visibility and colder, but with less current. Great stuff to see, but definitely a full 1-2 notches lower on the adrenaline scale vs. Wolf-Darwin.

Diving was all via 2 zodiacs, with half of the guests in each. We maintained the same groups all week. We were a little worried since the division between zodiacs seemed completely random selection, but it all worked and we loved our zodiac dive family. Entry was via backroll. Re-boarding was either the ungraceful “breaching whale” approach over the side or via a small ladder. Zodiac rides were typically pretty short – 3-5 minutes, except at Darwin, where it was a solid 10 minutes out to Darwin’s Arch from the more protected mother ship location.

The Sky is a good, comfortable boat. We booked a lower level cabin mid-boat, which made things a little easier on rougher crossings between islands. 2 single beds and a relatively roomy attached bathroom with separate shower stall, sink and toilet. Plumbing all worked well and AC in the cabin was more than adequate. Good amount of storage in a closet, drawers under the beds and a few shelves. There were some outlets for charging in the cabins.

Common areas include the main deck salon with a sitting area and booths for meals (same level as dive deck)….a outdoor seating area on the second deck on the stern (along with additional cabins on this level) and the partially-shaded sun deck on the top deck with chaise lounges and hammocks. Plenty of room to spread out and find your own space between dives. Showers and bathroom on the dive deck. Camera table was sizeable and had air hose. Charging area was a little cubicle adjacent to the camera table, with both 220V and 120V charging capability. We did not have many large camera people on our trip, so this all worked pretty well. A variety of snacks were available 24/7 – cookies, granola bars, etc. Multiple water coolers (helps to being your own water bottle). Sweet tea also 24/7 as well as hot tea and instant coffee. Brewed coffee was generally available from 6-9AM.

Crew was fantastic – attentive, service-oriented, good sense of humor and hard working. They definitely got charged up when we had close whale shark or other unique marine life encounters and their enthusiasm was contagious.

Air temps were comfortable. Although this is technically the beginning of the cooler season, all we wore were t-shirts and shorts. Air temps were pretty consistently in the low 70s-low 80sF.
The trip included 2 land excursions – hike uphill at Bartolome Island to an amazing view over a volcanic landscape, and a visit to Santa Cruz town which included a trip to see the giant tortoises. Both worthwhile, as we were first timers to the Galapagos.

The return flight was a little bit of a slog, as we arrived back in Guayaquil mid afternoon Sunday and then had an 8 hour wait for an 11:30PM red-eye flight to Miami that arrived at 4:45AM. We arrived home in Boston at about 11:30AM Monday morning (liveaboard is Sunday-Sunday)

All-in-all a great trip – great boat/crew, incredible marine life encounters, a random group of guests who jelled well together. Definitely recommended.
Websites Galapagos Sky   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving New England, FL Keys, St. Lawrence River, Red Sea, Maldives, Italy, UK/English Channel, Turks & Caicos, St. Vincent, Roatan, Costa Rica, Belize, Hawaii, Bermuda, Raja Ampat, Lembeh, Little Cayman
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 61-81°F / 16-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30-70 Ft/ 9-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 45 minute dives, but not rigidly enforced
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 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 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Crew was careful at handling cameras and would hand them down to you from Zodiacs if you prefered. All cameras were rinsed and left on the camera table to dry after dives. I brought some microfiber towels for wiping down my housing when needed.
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 3 Helpful votes
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 155 dive reviews of Galapagos Islands and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest Dive & Adventure Travel
specializes in everything Galapagos. Let us plan your trip so see schooling hammerheads in the birthplace of evolution.

Want to assemble your own collection of Galapagos Islands reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2023 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.07 seconds