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Dive Review of Reina Silvia in
Galapagos Islands

Reina Silvia, Jul, 2006,

by Greg Storey, TN, USA . Report 2906.

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 N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I took a mid July 2006 trip on the Reina Silvia (booked through Marc Bernardi of Aquatic Encounters). This was the best live aboard trip I have done, and certainly the best big animal experience I have had. Our lead divemaster was Victor Mendia. If you have read good reports about him elsewhere, let me say they are well deserved. Hands down the best divemaster I have ever been with on a trip.

In addition to the great land tours and all the top side wildlife, the diving was incredible. We were lucky enough to have very light current and relatively warm water at Darwin Island, where we did three days of diving after the southern dives at Plazas and Genovesa. Despite the slack current, we had dozens of schooling hammerheads on every dive at Darwin. And of course the highlight were the seven whale sharks. Three were on one dive, which also included the countless hammerheads, plus several large Galapagos sharks as well as silky sharks. That dive has the notation "lifetime best" in my log. The diving at the end of the trip (Cousins Island and Albany) was also good, although a bit colder water. Lots of white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, one manta, seahorses, and young sea lions that were a blast to dive with.

Diving is all done off of three tender boats. Each group has color coded tanks so the mate can spot his people when they surface. Time spent getting to the sites was always short, less than five minutes. The mates running the boats were very professional and extremely helpful. The one minor diving negative is that the gear area is on the level above where you board the tenders. However, you don't have to carry anything heavy up and down the stairs, you just put the wetsuit on upstairs then walk down with mask and fins. The BC and reg stay on the tank at all times, either in the tender boat or in a rack at the area where you board the tenders. The boat has a large platform that makes it easy for getting off and on the tenders.

The food on the Reina Silvia was quite good. The cabins were reasonably sized. I booked one of the two small ones for myself and had more room than I knew what to do with. My impression is that two people in the larger cabins fared just as well space wise. Overall, this was my best live aboard experience out of a total of eight live aboard trips.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Belize, Australia (GBR, Ningaloo, Coral Sea), Palau, Yap, Bonaire, Sea of Cortez, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 71-77°F / 22-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Nothing really specified. Dives were usually close to one hour.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A 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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