Galapagos Dive Liveaboards

Liveaboard trips are the only way to reach two of the Galapagos' most important diving highlights: Wolf and Darwin. These are some 16 hours across the water from the rest of the islands and it is here where you will find some of the largest schools of Hammerhead Sharks you are likely to see anywhere in the world. This is also one of the best places in the world to dive with Whale Sharks – Aqua-Firma clients have been lucky enough to see full grown individuals more than 15 metres in length.

There is a huge amount of other marine life to see at these dive sites and others in the archipelago, including manta rays, blue spotted rays, sealions, white tip sharks and Galapagos penguins. Our clients have even seen schools of dolphins underwater so large that they have been impossible to count amongst the hammerhead sharks.

Special Itineraries
Here you can find all of our special diving liveaboard departures which have a unique or rare offer included to make your trip to the Galapagos even more complete.

Leading Whale Shark Researcher and Professional Photographer, Dr Simon Pierce, will be hosting our Special Shark & Photography Galapagos liveaboard timed to run during peak whale shark season in August 2026.

Simon conducts whale shark research throughout the world, including the Galapagos which is the best place to see huge pregnant and post-pregnant females. Joining this liveaboard will provide you with a unique opportunity to find out the very latest in whale shark research, as well as insights into other species of sharks and rays, plus local endemic species such as marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins and more. Onboard workshops will also provide you with the opportunity to learn how to get the best out of your underwater camera gear and how to use software to edit your prized images.

Motor Yacht Dive Liveaboards
Our partner liveaboards are well equipped with diving licenses to Wolf and Darwin secured long into the future. These boats are large and comfortable, with plenty of space on deck and below. Nitrox, SCUBA equipment and digital cameras are available for rent onboard most boats. Each boat takes a maximum of 16 divers in deluxe and master suite cabins.

Aggressor III is a dive liveaboard yacht with 4 decks. There are 4 deluxe staterooms on the lower deck, each with twin beds, and 4 master staterooms on the upper deck, each with a queen bed which can be changed into twin beds, giving the boat a capacity of 16 guests. Aggressor III comes with many spaces for relaxation during your journey: the main deck has a restaurant and lounge; the upper deck has an open-air lounge and there is a sun deck with a shaded cocktail area and hot tub. Presentations are given onboard by crew and guides regarding fish identification and other topics related to the Galapagos and conservation.
Aqua is a dive liveaboard boat with 9 cabins for 16 guests. On the lower deck, there are 2 cabins with double lower and single upper bunk beds and a cabin with single bunk beds. The main deck only features 1 double cabin. The upper deck supports a double cabin and 4 single bunk cabins. Aqua has some relaxation spaces where you can enjoy your journey and its views. These include a lounge and dining area on the main deck, a shaded outside area on the upper deck and a sun deck.
Galapagos Sky is a dive liveaboard boat with 8 cabins – 4 master cabins and 4 deluxe cabins – for 16 passengers launched in 2001 by the builder and president, Santiago Dunn. Master cabins can have a king-size bed or twin beds and large windows whereas deluxe cabins always have twin beds and porthole windows. All cabins are ensuite. Onboard, there is a sun deck with day beds, chaise longues and hammocks, a spacious lounge with Apple TV and pre-loaded films, ideal for presentations and dive briefings, a library and a bar. Free Wi-Fi is also offered onboard. The yacht, as well as great diving experiences, comes with great accommodation, excellent food and a helpful and friendly onboard staff and crew.
Galaxy Diver II is a dive liveaboard boat rebuilt in 2023, giving it modern and efficient functionality. A diving itinerary is offered as well as a naturalist itinerary with no diving activities – both are 8 days and 7 nights in duration. Both itineraries give you the opportunity to take part in many different activities, such as snorkelling, kayaking, panga rides and hiking.
Humboldt Explorer is a 16 passenger Galapagos dive liveaboard ship, renovated in 2023. Onboard are 8 air-conditioned ensuite cabins, each with a TV and ocean view – cabins 3 & 4 are twin with side-by-side beds while all other cabins can be converted between a twin layout or be drawn together to create a queen size double.

When to go
Hammerhead sharks aggregate in schools around Wolf and Darwin throughout the year but are usually seen in highest concentrations in the warmer season – December to May – when the water is usually lacking plankton and visibility is better. This is also a great time to see Giant Manta Rays and Sunfish. Manta rays are sometimes seen leaping high out of the water or swimming close to the surface – things you will only see if you stay out on deck between dives.

You are very likely to see whale sharks between June and October whilst your chances fall to about 50/50 between November and May. This coincides with a period when cooler plankton rich waters flow into the Galapagos, bringing with them large numbers of pelagic fish and whales. It is this influx of fish that is essential to the survival of Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, fur seals and sealions. During El Niño years, the arrival of these cool currents can be delayed and shortened, meaning lean times for these species.

Galapagos sea temperatures are always cooler than you would usually expect on the Equator. They are at their warmest around the New Year with sea surface temperatures reaching about 23°C (73°F). They reach their coolest in August when sea surface temperatures drop to about 18°C (64°F). In both seasons, thermoclines can take temperatures down by as much as 5°C (9°F). Typical underwater wear would include a 7mm wetsuit with a hood, but the ability to layer is useful since temperatures can vary considerably between the warmer north and colder south of the region.

AQUA-FIRMA – For the Best of Above & Below Water Galapagos
Something to bear in mind when choosing a dive liveaboard trip which incorporates Wolf and Darwin is that your opportunities to explore on land will be much more limited than on a naturalist yacht safari. Whilst on these trips you will be able to land and explore islands in the main island group, it is not possible to land at Wolf and Darwin, so days spent here are very much dive focused and not recommended for accompanying non-divers.

Aqua-Firma are experts at combining land and sea travel and we can help you to make up for this by arranging additional land or boat-based exploration for you before or after your trip. The other alternative is to conduct a non-diving yacht safari in which snorkelling can be incorporated daily, whilst we arrange boat dives from a land base for as many days as you wish to extend your stay in the islands. Please contact us to discuss or visit our Galapagos home page for an introduction to all the kinds of trip we can arrange.

Diving Experience Required for Galapagos
There are many levels of dive site around the Galapagos, so it is worth discussing with us what kind of diving trip in the islands is right for you. Some sites offer reasonably confined water surroundings, whilst other can involve strong currents and thermoclines. The best is to Contact Us to discuss your recent diving experience. For clients who need some topping up, we regularly arrange land-based diving prior to a liveaboard trip. Even experienced divers find this a great way to enjoy an even more rewarding dive liveaboard trip. To conduct liveaboard diving in the Galapagos, you will need to be the equivalent of PADI / NAUI / SSI Advanced or higher, with 30+ dives and plenty of dives conducted in the 12 months prior to your liveaboard trip.

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AQUA-FIRMA Trip Photo on BBC News - Expanding Galapagos Marine Reserve

Trip Reviews from the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Island Guide

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