Galapagos Shark Diving

Suggestions


Safety Standards 


 1. All divers must be certified as open water scuba divers by an internationally recognized certification organization.

2. All divers must be experienced divers (we recommend that you have more than 50 logged dives) and have logged at least one dive within the 6 months prior to boarding the vessel. Dives are very often at an advanced level. Currents can be very strong and often divers are required to swim against them.

3. All dives are guided by an instructor/naturalist guide.

4. All divers must log in and out of the water with a member of the diving staff.

5. All divers must carry a dive computer.

6. Decompression and solo diving is not allowed under any conditions. The maximum allowed depth is 40 meters / 130 feet.

7. Diving activities must cease when the consumption of alcohol begins.

8. A DiveAlert, a surface signaling device, and an electronic beacon while diving are strongly recommended.

9. Please note that, due to a combination of staff and equipment logistics, insurance requirements and local diving regulations, neither rebreathers nor diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs) may not be used aboard.

10. Please note that flash photography is not permitted while taking photos of wildlife. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorised by the Galapagos National Park Directorate.

11. DIVE INSURANCE IS REQUIRED

Due to the nature of this trip and the very remote nature of the destination, all divers are required to have dive accident insurance when diving in the Galapagos, and to note the policy number on their application form.

Buying the appropriate travel and/or dive insurance before your holiday starts will make your vacation less stressful and more enjoyable. 

12. Additional: which insurance to consider:

  • Emergency medical costs in a foreign country
  • Diver-specific accident and recompression chamber coverage
  • Medical evacuation coverage
  • Dive and camera gear coverage

13. Minimum age restriction of 10 years!

The minimum certifiable age for divers is 10 for most scuba certification agencies; normally, the agencies restrict 10- and 11-year-olds to a maximum depth of 40 feet. The boat therefore allows children as young as 10 years to participate in our trips, with the following restrictions:

  • All children under the age of 15 must travel and dive with their parent or guardian, unless undergoing active training with an instructor. For this reason, a minimum age of 15 for divers is strongly suggested.
  • This itinerary offers no diving opportunities at depths less than 12 meters / 40 feet; diving opportunities for 10- and 11-year-olds are not available on this itinerary.
  • A parent/legal guardian will be required to sign the liability release on behalf of a child under the age of 18.

Temperature & Diving conditions


The weather in the Galapagos has water temperatures ranging from 16 - 22˚C / 60-70˚F June through November. Water temperatures are at the higher end of the scale in both Darwin and Wolf. Air temperatures will be around 18˚C / 65˚ F during the dry season June-November, with nearly constant sea breezes. Currents can range from 1 to 5 knots at the sites we visit, and visibility is generally between 10 and 25 meter / 30 and 80 feet. Most divers are comfortable with a 7 mm wetsuit June through November with a hooded vest and gloves. Gloves and hood are strongly recommended. Your dives will be done from the pangas with an easy backward roll into the water. After you dive, your tank will be lifted back into the panga and you will board via its stern ladders. Note that both air and water temperatures vary from year to year and seasonal changes fluctuate. These parameters are for guidance only.

What to bring?


  • Valid internationally recognised dive license equivalent to Advanced Diver, (PADI) or Open Water dive license with more than 50 logged dives
  • All relevant forms completed with the required information, (medical, application etc.) - should be provided at least one month prior to sailing date!
  • Dive / travel insurance that covers Hyperbaric and Evacuation treatment
  • Nitrox certificate (for those wishing to dive Nitrox)
  • Your own dive equipment; rental equipment is available (please indicate need on application)
  • Liability Release (to be completed aboard)

The vessel provides tanks, weights and weight belts for your use. We strongly recommend to bring your own dive equipment.

If you would like to rent the dive equipment we can organise this for you. Please indicate on your application form what equipment you will require.

Otherwise, the following items are the diver’s responsibility:

• Certification card

• Diving log book (strongly encouraged)

• Mask *

• Snorkel *

• Fins *

• Booties *

• Buoyancy Control Device (required) *

• Regulator w/alternate air source, submersible pressure and depth  

  gauges (required)*

• Underwater time piece (suggested)

• Dive computer *

• Wetsuit – 3 mm to 7 mm *

• Hooded vest

• Gloves

• Dive light

• Tank Marker Lights (required for night dives)

• Repair kit w/ spare parts

• Safety flag

• DiveAlert air horn for regulator

* Items Available for rent

 

Most of our guests bring their own complete set of dive gear. This is the ideal situation, however, due to weight limits or additional travel plans some of our guests choose to rent gear. We strongly recommend that you bring your own mask, gloves, booties, fins, hood or hooded vest and computer. A personal wetsuit is also a good idea if you have space. Diving in Galapagos can be challenging and it is important that you are comfortable.

  • Soft luggage for easy storage
  • Very casual attire/clothing
  • All linens and soaps are supplied
  • Hairdryers are not available on board
  • Note luggage weight restrictions on your flight to Galapagos or Ecuador

Packing for a live-aboard trip is much easier than packing for a land-based vacation.

 

The climate doesn’t require much more than shorts, T-shirts and swimsuits though at sea the winds can be cold and jackets are often necessary.


Soft luggage is recommended as it takes up very little space when empty.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, a visor, raincoat, lightweight sweater or jacket, long-sleeved shirt, backpack, tevas/sandals and a hat are recommended.


Please remember that the Galapagos Islands straddle the Equator and the sun can be very strong at times.


In case of rough weather or if you have a tendency towards seasickness, come prepared with motion sickness medications or Transderm patches from your doctor.


All linens (including sheets, comforters, bath towels, hand towels, dive towels and wash cloths) are provided on board.


Arrival / Departure


  • Passport required
  • Transfers within Galapagos are included in your package for same-day arrivals / departure
  • Tourist Card and Galapagos National Park fee requires cash
  • Note your own flight schedules

Passports with a minimum of 6 months remaining before the expiration date are required for all arriving foreign nationals. If in doubt about visas, contact the Ecuadorian Consulate for specific requirements from your country.

 

Transfers within the Galapagos are included in your package for same-day arrivals and you will be met at the airport in Galapagos by one of our guides. The vessel will leave port on Monday at approximately 2:00 pm.

 

The vessel arrives at its final destination port on Monday morning. The Sunday evening meal is on island and not included in the price of the trip. Transportation is organized and included for transfer to the airport. The departure tax from Quito and Guayaquil is now included in international flight prices.

 

Please note: Flight times, prices and the Galapagos airport of arrival are all subject to change with little or no notification, and flights often run late. We strongly encourage our guests to plan on arriving at least one and preferably two days prior to your flight to the Galapagos Islands, to ensure that your luggage is with you or to make up for any travel delays. We also recommend that guests plan on an extra night in Quito or Guayaquil upon departing Ecuador. The earliest time a guest can reliably expect to connect to another flight is 10 pm on the last Monday of the trip. Ticket holders are required to check in a minimum of 3 hours prior to flight time for all international departures, even when connecting from an Aerogal or Tame flight. If you are booking your own domestic flights, the Humboldt Explorer departs from San Cristobal (SCY), not Baltra (GPS). Passengers flying into Baltra must arrange their own transportation to San Cristobal.

Meals


Please list on the application form any dietary needs you have.

 

Aboard the boat, lunch and evening meals usually consist of salad, potatoes, rice, chicken, beef, pork and fish. Breakfast is the usual fare of eggs, pancakes, toast and fresh fruit. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests, please indicate so on your application form.

 

Please note that specific brands of soft drinks, dressings and foods are often unavailable in the islands, and that it can be very difficult for us to find low-fat or soy products, fresh fruit, fish, and other items common elsewhere. While we will do our best to accommodate your requests, please be realistic and consider bringing some of your own foods if the lack thereof may constitute a health risk or seriously compromise your enjoyment of your holiday.

Currency & Onboard Charges


US dollars are widely accepted.

 

The US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador; therefore, it is not necessary to purchase currency before arriving. Most major credit cards are accepted widely when shopping ashore, however, additional fees are charged in Ecuador for the use of credit cards.

Major credit cards are accepted on board.

 

Though all meals, most beverages, transportation between islands, and much more has been taken care of with your trip payment, there are additional items which you may charged to your onboard bill. These include retail items (shirts, scuba accessories, etc.), scuba instruction, rentals, nitrox, alcoholic beverages, and crew gratuities.

 

The bill may be paid at the end of the trip using cash, Visa or MasterCard.

 

American Express, traveler’s checks and personal checks are not accepted on board, and we are unable to advance cash on credit card charges.

 

Gratuities and onboard charges are best paid in cash. This avoids any additional Ecuadorian taxes and service fees.

 

Credit cards are subject to the 12% VAT plus 5% in bank fees.

 

ATM machines are available in Quito, Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora and San Cristobal.

 

Crew gratuities are not included in your package. 


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