M/V Sky Dancer: 7 Nights Cruise


Departure: Sunday

Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal, the crew of the Sky Dancer meets you at the airport and escort you to your dive live - aboard. After the initial briefing, there is a mandatory check - out dive at Isla Lobos where we encounter sea lions. At sunset, we circumnavigate Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that abruptly juts up almost 500 feet out of the ocean. Here we see blue - footed boobies, masked boobies and magnificent frigatebirds on the cliffs.

In the south side of Seymour Island and no deeper than 50 feet deep, the northern channel is superb. It features an enormous "field" of garden eels, stingrays, a school of spotted eagle rays, white tipped reef sharks, and thick schools of grunts, snappers & goatfish. When Dr. Silvia Earle described Galapagos as "the fishiest place in the world", she had probably dived this dive site.

On Bartolome, a lunar landscape stretches out in front of us. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 - ,inutes up a steep slope to the summit of a once active volcano. From the top, gaze out across a panoramic view including the famous "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone. Down below, crystal clear water invites you to swim with tropical fish. Penguins often swim in this area.

We spend the next three days diving WOLF & DARWIN with up to four or five dives per day on Wednesday and Thursday and two dives on Friday before returning to the Central islands. Most experienced divers will agree, Wolf and Darwin are the best diving sites in the world! Sightings of the whale shark is common here. There are no land visitor sites here, just serious diving. At the Northern Arch at Darwin, Hammerhead sharks are not uncommon, nor are bottlenose dolphins. The reef contains many warm water varieties of fish found nowhere else in the Islands and is the most consistent place to see Hammerheads

Darwin Island: Considered by many experienced divers as the very best dive site in the world, The Arch at Darwin island honors its reputation. It is warmer by a few degrees than the central islands. In one single dive you can find schooling hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, large pods of dolphins, thick schools of skipjack and yellow fin tuna, big eye jacks, Mobula rays, and silky sharks. From June to November, we can almost guarantee whale sharks in numbers of up to 8 different individuals in one single dive. The presence of occasional tiger sharks, black and blue marlin and killer whales, adds on to this amazing diving experience.

At Cape Marshall on the eastern side of Isabela island, we encounter rocky volcanic cliffs, that drops down to the ocean floor as an almost vertical wall. You might see large animals like manta rays, marbled rays, hammerhead sharks mola mola (sail fish) and marine turtles, but also Chevron barracuda, snappers, yellow fin tuna, rainbow runners, wahoo and groupers. There are also a lot of smaller fishes like creole fishes, parrot fishes, scrawled filefishes, pacific box fishes and tiger snake eels. This afternoon, we disembark for a land visit along the shore at Puerto Egas, SANTIAGO (James) looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow - crowned night herons.

Gordon Rocks, off South Plaza Island, an advanced dive, is famous for white - tipped, hammerhead and the Galapagos shark, large moray eels, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, sting rays, fur sea lions, sea turtles, Amberjacks, reef fish, sponges and black coral. Dive with Wahoo, tuna, sailfish and other big pelagic fish. Divers consider the wall at Gordon Rocks one of the best dive sites in the Central Islands. The current is strong and the maximum depth is 100 feet.

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Island of Santa Cruz. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. Get your picture taken with the giant tortoises. Observe year - old tortoises and learn about the captive - breeding program. Stroll through the town of Puerto Ayora (population: 15,000) - the largest town in the Galapagos. Buy souvenirs, mail postcards and absorb local charm in the social heart of the Islands.

This morning, we visit the Interpretation Center to learn more about the natural and human history of the Islands before returning to town to connect with your flight back to the mainland.

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