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Top 10 Liveaboards in the Galapagos Islands 2022

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The Galapagos Islands are a large volcanic archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean. Classed as part of Ecuador, it takes around 1.5 hours by plane to reach this stunning collection of islands. Galapagos is considered as one of the best places on earth to see wildlife, both on land as well as under the surface of the ocean. Roughly 1000km off the coast of Ecuador, these islands are pretty remote, with isolated terrain, which protects its endemic species of plants and animals. Charles Darwin visited these incredible islands in 1835, where his observations inspired his theory of evolution.

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So we’ve gathered the best boats and made it possible to compare prices across all the different booking platforms. This way, you’ll get the best boat for your needs at the best price.

Start by sorting the boats after your budget, and find a liveaboard that fits your budget and your needs:

Top 10 Liveaboards in the Galapagos Islands 2022

All the top liveaboards in the Galapagos Islands:

Sort by your needs:

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Length of trip

Facilities

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1/11
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Enjoy the breathtaking Galapagos in style. Choose between the two different seven-night cruises Grace offers and explore one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Grace is a modern ship, with a history, ready to accommodate up to 18 guests in its spacious 9 cabins. During the trip, visitors can make their trip unique through snorkeling, kayaking, riding in Zodiac boats, or hiking. When not exploring the mesmerizing nature, the beautiful sun deck and indoor and outdoor lounge are always ready to give just the relaxing moment one needs. While enjoying a tasty buffet, the yacht that hosted Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer of Monaco on their honeymoon will be your perfect getaway.

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:2016
  • rentalRental equip:Yes ($)
  • diversMax divers:18
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Many people reported that the beauty of The Grace is only surpassed by the indescribable beauty of the Galapagos Islands.
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    Some people stated that the crew was exceptional from the waiters, bartenders and chefs everyone played a role in ensuring the best trip was possible.
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    Divers said that the water was delightful and the dives were some of the best they have encountered.
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    The chef prepared awesome meals everyday with a touch of native dishes thrown in.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSome divers noted that the brief before the dives were short and didn't cover all the potential risk in diving.
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1/17
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Board the Galapagos Legend for an exciting 3, 4, 7, or 14-night cruise around the amazing Galapagos. With different itineraries available, this liveaboard is ready to bring you to various islands and plentiful of wildlife-spotting opportunities, and a rich array of water-dwelling creatures and land animals. Galapagos Legend has 55 cabins with different sizes and utilities, including balconies to some of them. The liveaboard has also plenty of leisure facilities, including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and a gym. Sun terrace, indoor saloon, bar, as well as the upper deck outdoor lounge and BBQ area, are just a few of the places available for relaxation. And of course, for those who love to post some of those gorgeous photos so the world can envy you, Wi-Fi is always available.

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:2016
  • rentalRental equip:Yes ($)
  • diversMax divers:100
  • camera_stationCamera station:Yes
  • internetInternet:Yes ($)
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:Yes ($)
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Some people stated that the naturalist was insightful and knew the islands like the back of her hand guiding them to various rare animals and sights.
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    People on the cruise really liked the panga rides as well as the snorkeling activities and everything was organised in a timely manner.
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    Many people were happy with the bird sightings at the North Seymour Island.
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    Some divers said that the crew and staff were attentive ensured that everyone was safe and happy.
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    Some people noted that the Galapagos Legend is a fast ship and getting to multiple destinations in one day was the norm.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSome divers noted that the excursions were hurried.
  • check-markA few people claimed that the food was bland and lack freshness.
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1/13
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Explore the beautiful islands and majestic blue waters of Galapagos with the Estrella del Mar yacht. The beautiful Estrella del Mar is a popular choice for a small group or families, as it could accommodate a maximum of 16 guests in its 8 spacious cabins. It includes itineraries that will truly be enjoyable. Aside from the impressive itineraries in the islands of Galapagos, the experience is supplemented by the experienced crew members of Estrella del Mar, which ensure the comfort and safety of everyone on board.

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:
  • rentalRental equip:No
  • diversMax divers:16
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4.1

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Some divers said the diving instructor was professional and offered insights into the different marine life and best practices for when you snorkel.
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    Many divers said the Estrella del Mar offered a great experience although it wasn't that luxurious but made up for that with value.
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    Many people were happy with the cuisine on-board the liveaboard.
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    The consensus of the majority of people is that they will return some day for the awesome experience.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSome divers said they did not like the fact of being woken up at 6 am in the morning.
  • check-markThe quality of the boat is lacking a bit compared to other liveaboards.
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1/15
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Experience the best of the Galapagos Islands with the Natural Paradise liveaboard! The luxurious boat was built in early 2016 and was especially designed to provide utmost comfort to its guests. It has indoor and outdoor dining areas, sun lounges, and a dive deck with platform. Not to mention the range of beautiful itineraries the Natural Paradise offers. Surely, guests will have a once in a lifetime experience in the stunning waters of Galapagos!

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:2015
  • rentalRental equip:Yes ($)
  • diversMax divers:18
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Many people were happy with extensive cruise taking the divers to various locations to dive.
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    Many divers said that they were pleased with the crew as they were insightful and offered valuable advice.
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    Some people stated that the amenities on the boat exceeded their expectation and the private balconies was ideal for the elderly.
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    Several divers reported that sun deck was appealing to regenerate after a long day of activities.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markA couple of people noted that they weren't happy with the way the crew needing a tip after the trip was already payed for.
  • check-markSome divers said they would of liked a better itinerary to different islands of their choosing.
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1/8
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Explore the best of Galapagos in style with Camila! The one of a kind yacht was built in May 2018 and was specifically designed to provide luxury to all its guests. The intricate planning of the boat mirrors the convenience it provides to all of its users. Camila features an indoor lounge, an indoor saloon, a briefing room, and impressive sun decks with a Jacuzzi and lounge bar. Wet suits, snorkeling gears, and kayaks are also available for everyone’s use. Surely, this will be an epic Galapagos experience!

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:2018
  • rentalRental equip:Yes ($)
  • diversMax divers:16
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Many divers loved the 2 panga rides a day that takes you to different islands and allows you to explore.
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    Many divers said the snorkeling was a pleasant experience as they got to see a lot of wildlife and learn a new skill.
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    Some people stated that the guide was friendly and very knowledgeable ready to tackle any question you may have.
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    The food was well prepared and each day the chef prepared something special.
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    The consensus is that the Camilla is a great tour boat that will leave you with valuable memories.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSome divers said that the itinerary is to hectic and they had no time to rest.
  • check-markSome people were taken back by the roughness of the journey at night.
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1/14
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Experience the most authentic expedition in the Galapagos Islands with Mary Anne! The amazing ship, however small in its 52 meter (171 feet) stretch, offers actual sailing involvement. It has over 1000 m² of canvas sails and since it has no engine support, guests are encouraged to participate in the raising of sails. It is a unique cruising experience as the skilled Mary Anne crew members are more than willing to share their knowledge and skills during the expedition. This schooner also features a fully airconditioned indoor salon, majestic sun decks, elegant dining areas, and spacious diving platforms. It will truly be a grand Galapagos experience with Mary Anne!

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:1977
  • rentalRental equip:Yes ($)
  • diversMax divers:24
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4

Reasons to buy:

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    Many divers said that the Mary Anne offered 3 large common areas,the bar, library and dinning room. which was great for socializing with guest.
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    Many people were happy with the buffet tables the chef presented to the passengers.
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    Several divers commemorated the diving instructor on showing them the sea life and taking them to hidden spots.
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    Some people stated that the itinerary was well planed out and that they were busy for the whole seven day journey.
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    The staff was also a highlight of the trip as they were very engaging and friendly.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSome divers said that the anchor made a lot of noise when it was pulled up when they started moving in the evening.
  • check-markA couple of people noted that in the evening there was a scarcity of activities to occupy the time.
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1/12
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Experience the best of the Galapagos Islands with the high-class yacht Samba! The luxury boat started its first voyage in 1966, and was recently revamped to provide all of the modern facilities and amenities to its guests, including all of the new interiors and furniture, entertainment systems, as well as engines and navigation systems. It houses 7 spacious cabins with side by side beds, just perfect for a small group or family. The welcoming and skilled crew on-board will assist the guests on their itineraries.

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:1966
  • rentalRental equip:Yes ($)
  • diversMax divers:14
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

3.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Several divers reported that the dive excursion in the caves was their highlight of the trip.
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    Many divers said the crew were friendly and quick to react on any request.
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    Some people stated that they enjoyed the hike along the beaches and it contributed to forming bonds with fellow tourist on the Samba Cruise Ship.
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    The evening was full of games that was presented by the crew for enjoyment.
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    Some people stated the boat was cozy and intimate without an excess of people cramping the experience.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markA couple of people noted that some of the diving equipment wasn't the right size and as a result some of the team could not join in the activities.
  • check-markSome divers said the dive boat looked a bit old as oppose to the Samba Cruise Ship.
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1/14
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Explore the best of Galapagos with M/C Anahi. The luxurious boat was built to provide comfort and convenience to all its guests, divers and non divers alike, as it is equipped with all the necessary facilities and the most well-appointed amenities. Surely, M/C Anahi will be the best boat for your Galapagos adventure!

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:2006
  • rentalRental equip:No
  • diversMax divers:16
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Many people were happy with going to the jungle and camping in the outdoors.
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    Several divers commended the diving instructor on making the experience immersive and all inclusive.
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    Some people stated that the cabins were always clean and the boat itself is in an immaculate condition.
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    The food on-board the Anahi is world class and they cater to everyone's needs.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markA few people claimed that there were minor issues with the air conditioner as it got extremely hot.
  • check-markSome divers said that there were a limited amount of animal wild life.
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1/15
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The prominent vessel Yolita Yacht II has a vast experience of cruising in the turquoise blue waters of the gorgeous islands of the Galapagos. What makes it different from the other liveaboards of its kind are the world-class facilities and comfort it offers, which are not available in most of the higher categorized liveaboards. Get ready to enjoy an intimate trip with comfort.

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:
  • rentalRental equip:No
  • diversMax divers:16
  • camera_stationCamera station:No
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4.1

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Many people were happy with the large cabins and spacious environments on-board the Yolita II.
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    Several divers reported that the diving instructor presented the safety procedures very well and made everyone feel at ease.
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    Many divers said they have not experienced such diversity of marine life in one location.
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    Some people mentioned that in the evening they indulged in a variety of board-games presented to them by the crew.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSome divers said that the noise of the engine kept them awake at night.
  • check-markA few people claimed that the air-con was off for a half a day while some of the travelers were on a hike.
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1/20
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Glide gently in the tranquil waters of the three paramount oceanic currents. The stunning archipelago of Galapagos offers an amazing range of sensational underwater diving experiences for enthusiastic divers. Explore the spectacular views of giant whale sharks, iconic manta rays, schools of hammerheads, turtles, Galapagos fur seals and sharks, and the exceptional marine life biodiversity are few of the utmost attractions by diving with the MV Galapagos Sky liveaboard. This cluster of islands have a National Park and Marine Sanctuary and around 90% of the water and land sites are well-protected. Get ready to dive with this outstanding liveaboard that offers utmost facilities.

Key facts:

  • yearbuiltYear built:2014
  • rentalRental equip:Yes ($)
  • diversMax divers:16
  • camera_stationCamera station:Yes
  • internetInternet:No
  • min_logged_divesMin logged dives:No minimum
  • nitroxNitrox:No
  • airconAircon:free

Our Overall Review

4.1

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Several divers commended the isolated location of the dives as it exposes you to a more diverse marine life.
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    Some people were thrilled at the fact that you could organize a small party catered by the crew.
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    The food on the Galapagos Sky was well received by the majority of the travelers.
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    Many people felt like this was the best experience of their lives.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markA few people claimed that not all the bathrooms were in working order without any signs indicating such.
  • check-markIt was observed by the travelers that there was a shortish of towels when returning from a hike.

Best time to go

Diving in Galapagos is great all year round. The conditions are calmer in the warm season from December to May with water temperatures of 23-25°C/75-80°F

Related Reviews

The Galapagos consists of 13 major islands and 7 islets just waiting to be explored. It is possible to dive from shore, however, a liveaboard is highly recommended in order to fully immerse yourself in all the Galapagos has to offer. PADI recommends 10 liveaboards at this location.

Top Liveaboard Dive Sites

Gordon Rocks

Gordon Rocks is one of those dive sites that can easily be classed as one of the best in the world. Known as the ‘washing machine’ to the local dive centers, this is not a dive for the faint-hearted. Located within a volcanic crater, this dive site is awe-inspiring before you have even descended. Home to some of the strongest currents in the area that blow between large pinnacles of rock. Sometimes, your dive guide will tell you to hold on to the rocky bottom if the currents are moving too quickly. However, don’t be put off by the currents, Gordon Rocks is known for having the most magnificent marine life found on the planet. Make sure you keep looking up to the surface, as there is nothing more exciting than seeing huge schools of hammerhead sharks circling above you.

 Cousin’s Rock

Located off the Coast of Santiago Island is Cousin’s Rock, another incredible dive site for the advanced diver. The dive site consists of terraced steps that lead down to a sandy ocean floor, situated at approximately 40m below the surface. Covered in black corals, keep an eye out for seahorse clinging onto the steps. The marine life at this location is epic, you’ll see wildlife including turtles, white tip reef sharks, and moray eels and manta rays just to mention a few.

 Kicker Rock

Kicker Rock is another fantastic dive site that should not be missed. This top dive site can be experienced by both divers and snorkelers, so if you’re traveling with a non-diver, this is the perfect location for you. Kicker Rock is located off the coast of San Cristobal and is aptly named as it looks like a shoe coming out of the water. When diving between the rocks you’ll see turtles, wrasse, surgeonfish, Galapagos sharks and even hammerheads. If you’re lucky, then you’ll see marine iguanas hunting for food. It really is an experience like none other.

Information to know about liveaboard diving in the Galapagos Islands

  • The northern islands of Galapagos around Darwin and Wolf Island are known to have the highest density of marine life than anywhere else in the world, with the Galapagos Islands as a whole having over 10 times more marine life than that of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Currents surrounding the islands can be extremely strong so this location is not recommended for newbie divers.
  • Diving around the Galapagos is available all year round.
  • There are two main seasons, the wet and the dry.
  • Wet season takes place between January through to June. At this time of year, the days are usually pretty sunny, however, that is interrupted by brief but forceful rains, which wash over the land.
  • Air temperatures stay around 30C/86F, whereas the water temperature ranges from 20C/68F-25C/77F. Around the months of January through to May, the weather calms and so does the ocean, providing the perfect environment for hammerhead sharks and manta rays.
  • Dry season, also known as ‘Garua’ to the locals, is from July through to December. There is a lot less rain however, at this time of year, the weather cools slightly to 22C/72F.
  • Water temperature ranges from 17C/63F-20/68F.
  • Visibility is a lot lower around the dry season due to high levels of nutrients in the water.
  • The dry season is known as the peak season for both tourists and divers as with its nutrient-rich waters, comes incredible marine life including the migratory whale sharks. If you’re hoping to see these gentle giants make sure to plan your trip around June through to November.
  • It is important to remember that no matter what time of year you plan to dive around the Galapagos, water temperature can vary greatly due to the intense currents.
  • Getting to the Galapagos Islands is fairly straightforward. You need to start by getting from your location to Ecuador and from there, flights go from either Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito or Jose Joaquin De Olmedo in Guayaquil. Flights from these locations fly to Santa Cruz, San Cristobal or Seymour.
  • The local language of the Galapagos Islands is Spanish however due to the popularity of the islands, almost everyone speaks English.
  • The currency used in Galapagos is the USD.

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