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Dive Review of Master Liveaboards in
Galapagos Islands

Master Liveaboards: "Galapagos Islands December 2016", Dec, 2016,

by Gregg Backemeyer, FL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 9498 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Galapagos Islands was a bucket list trip and unfortunately it did not rate an "A". My biggest complaint was of my own doing. I KNOW to never count upon a provider's equipment yet I let myself listen to their insistence that they had LOTS of men's 7mm wetsuits on board the Deep Blue. Ha! They had 2 men's suits and none to fit me. So I left my Pinnacle Marino wool 7mm at home. What a serious mistake. I had to squeeze into a too small suit for every dive. You will need a 7mm for this trip. Each island is different with varying water temps but be prepared...some have quite chilly waters and strong currents. I used my reef hook twice but my gloves got a good work out most dives.

They did spend a good amount of time at Darwin and Wolf islands. These 2 islands are the highlight of the trip and a good distance from port. Only a liveaboard can get you there.

The food was excellent, the cabin good. We opted for the upgrade of an upper deck cabin and it had a large window. I never saw the cabins down below. The main lounge is nice and they had a plethora of movies on a hard disk. We had a New Year's Eve party on the top/sun deck which was a hoot. Many of the crew had costumes. The hors d'oeuvres and beverages were quite good.

Jimmy, the dive master who gave all of the briefings, was a funny guy. I did feel safe on all dives. Get in Solon's grouping if possible. He found a lot more in the water and rates as excellent. They had Nautilus Lifelines available but I always bring my own. I almost always dive with a radio and have seem some wild water in Socorro, French Polynesia and other places. I also brought my own SMB but they had some to use. Diving NITROX was the only option - no air available. Yet they charge for the week's use of it. Hmmm...

As we all know diving is not an amusement park ride. Nevertheless I was disappointed that we never saw any penguins while in the water. And we only saw a few marine iguanas. Due to ecological factors their population was devastated recently but they are making their usual comeback. We did a couple land-based island tours which were good. Based upon what I learned while there 2018 would be a good year to visit based upon the rate of recovery of the marine iguanas.

This is truly a unique place and the amount of marine life in the water here is over the top. But we saw no large pelagics or turtles to speak of. And I was under the impression that this place had tons of turtles.

There is no point to fly into or out of Quito unless you have a couple days to tour the Andes. The temp in Quito, at altitude, can be as much as 30 degrees cooler than Guayaquil. All flights to the islands are out of Guayaquil so if you fly into Quito you have to take another flight to Guayaquil, anyway. I stayed at the Wyndham's in both cities and both were nice. The property in Quito was a little newer and nicer but I preferred the ambience of the Wyndham in Guayaquil on the water adjacent to the marina.

To their credit, Master Liveaboards did provide me with a healthy voucher to use on their Siren Fleet. Those boats look very nice. I plan to use it in Indonesia in 2018.
Websites Master Liveaboards   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving French Polynesia, Mexico, Caribbean, Guadalupe Island, Socorro Island, Windward/Leeward Islands, South Florida, ABC Islands, Honduras, Hawaii, Panama, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas (Tiger Beach, Bimini, et al), Saba, BVIs, AVIs, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Solomon Islands, Galapagos Islands and more..
Closest Airport Guayaquil, Equador Getting There Either through Quito or Guayaquil but all flights to the islands are out of Guayaquil

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 65-78°F / 18-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 25-85 Ft/ 8-26 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All dives were pretty much strictly led by a dive master
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The Deep Blue's set up for photographers was average and not great. But it was OK. They had a kind of weird set up with many of the outlets being right outside the main salon in an area that also had "lockers". Charging batteries outside off the dive deck was a challenge at times due to limited quantity.
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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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