Best Galapagos Liveaboard – My 2020 Review & Dive Guide

Galapagos is one of the most stunning ocean locations available for you to dive into and enjoy.  Read my full review of the best Galapagos Liveaboard Diving Holidays. In this guide, I’ll be taking you through everything you need to know when looking for the perfect Galapagos liveaboard, the marine life you can expect to see and the best dive sites. 

Of course, it’s famous for its amazing wildlife, such as its unique tortoises, but it’s also spectacular to explore beneath the waves.

Why not dive the Galapagos and take a look at the unique wildlife? Marine life such as manta rays, eagle rays, whale sharks, sea lions and more are all easy to spot through the liveaboard diving experience.

“There is no better way to explore the varied dive sites than by a liveaboard

Best Galapagos Liveaboards


Pictured: Galapagos Master & Sun Deck

What We Love

What We Don't

The Galapagos Master is an aptly-named Galapagos liveaboard experience, offering you all the dining, living and diving services and standards you’d ever demand from an exclusive trip to the heart of the region. This huge cruise is built with divers in mind, meaning that you’ll have plenty of storage for your equipment and chances for you to fill up your tanks and visit the Galapagos Islands.

There’s four chances per day to dive into the best-loved, crystal clear waters the islands have to offer. You’ll set sail from San Cristobal, and will have plenty of chances to unwind at the onboard cocktail bar at the end of a long day of swimming into the depths. You’ll also have plenty of chances to explore the stunning Darwin and Wolf islands, perfect for those divers really looking to get the best of the region.

  • Nine cabins available for up to 16 guests
  • Nice and friendly for new divers and snorkelers
  • Full buffet and cocktail bar services
  • Seven and ten night bookings available
  • Chances to see eagle rays, Galapagos sharks and more

Pictured: Humboldt Explorer & Dive Deck

What We Love

What We Don't

The Humboldt Explorer is a brilliant pick for a diving trip for you to explore the Galapagos islands from – with Wolf and Darwin, as well as the central archipelago, likely to appeal to anyone keen to see a whale shark or two. This is definitely a Galapagos dive liveaboard which is built for wildlife lovers, meaning that there’s always something curious to spot beneath the glistening waters.

The diving experience here is great and is one of the most affordable eight-day excursions you’ll get from scuba diving across the Galapagos islands. This well-stocked 33m vessel offers plenty of equipment storage, as well as opportunities for you to rent equipment and gear whenever you might need it. Visit Seymour Island and take a diving trip to the North Male Atoll. 

What’s more, the boat is nice and roomy, with 8 double rooms and an attentive crew waiting to help you during your journey. Great to relax on as well as to explore the full Galapagos dive from, this is one of my top liveaboard diving picks without question.

  • Comfortably welcomes up to 16 guests
  • Helpful crew of seven
  • Diving equipment available to rent
  • Diving instructors and support available for new divers
  • Bar and dining menus available

Pictured: Aqua & Communal Sun Deck

What We Love

What We Don't

Aqua is a hugely popular cruise offering you the chance to explore the Galapagos islands with full comforts of the best of the liveaboard experience. Roomy, airy and with plenty of opportunity for you to stretch out and relax, Aqua will also take you to some of the best-loved dive sites and locations across the whole of the Galapagos. Not sure where in the Galapagos islands you’d like to travel to first? Aqua’s itinerary is varied and will take you to the best hotspots so you can sample the most famous dives.

With a full diving area and nitrox available, this is a cruise that’s built for those looking to dive Galapagos at their leisure. It’s also replete with dining suites and a helpful crew, meaning that whether you are taking on the Galapagos liveaboards for the full scuba diving experience, or just to kick back and relax for a while, Aqua has you covered.

Do take advantage of the brilliant prices. It’s rare you’ll get this good a dive in the Galapagos without paying a fair bit more!

Enjoy excellent diving with strong currents but the chance to catch a glimpse of whale sharks and sea lions.

  • Eight comfortable cabins for 16 guests
  • Dedicated diving decks and equipment
  • Varied schedule – available for as few as three nights
  • Great for kayaking and hiking holidays, too
  • Take in the best of Wolf and Darwin

Pictured: Galapagos Aggressor & Hot Tub

What We Love

What We Don't

The Galapagos Aggressor III has a fantastic name, and a truly fantastic experience to back that up, too! This 32m vessel will take you across some of the most crystal clear dive sites across the Galapagos islands, offering you plenty of opportunity to spy local sharks and other marine life. The luxury experience can’t be understated – there’s indoor saloon features, full hot tubs and even internet throughout. But why would you be wasting your time on the internet when you have all that wonderful water and marine life to explore?

Thankfully, the Aggressor III gives you plenty of excuses to just get out and dive. The full diving suite here will give you ample space to refuel and even private locker room, meaning that you can always keep track of your dive gear from trip to trip.

As all good liveaboard diving experiences in the Galapagos islands, this cruise will give you the chance to explore the islands of Wolf and Darwin, before circling around to give you the full tour of the highly visible waters. It’s a little more expensive than most of the choices on our list, but for the perfect luxury liveaboard diving experience, you really can’t do much better.

  • Welcomes up to 16 guests
  • Private staterooms available
  • Large sundeck to relax on
  • Flexible dining experience
  • Air conditioning

Pictured: Galapagos Sky & Indoor Saloon

What We Love

What We Don't

Last but absolutely not least, the Galapagos Sky is a mammoth luxury vessel built to show you the best dive sites Galapagos has to offer. Cruising the most popular islands at a pace that even novice divers will be happy to acclimatise to, you’ll get the chance to dive amongst and spot eagle rays and sea turtles. From the comfort of your own luxury cabin, you’ll also be able to suit up to take on a day of spotting sharks and exploring the wider islands.

Sky offers some of the most chilled-out diving Galapagos really has to offer. Its luxury build and cabins will likely offer a spectacular choice for cruise lovers, too! There’s lots of entertainment on board, which means that you really feel like you’re sailing via home away from home.

Few liveaboards give you the same luxury and diving opportunities that Sky manages – and if you ask me, it’s well worth the price of admission.

  • Welcomes up to 16 people
  • Full dive deck and equipment
  • Luxury cabin accommodation
  • BBQ and full dining service
  • Rent more gear if you need to
The biodiversity across the Galapagos region never ceases to amaze me. It is a bucket list destination for divers all over the world.
Katy Jane

Best Diving in Galapagos

Shark Point

As you can imagine, Shark Point is full of – wait for it – sharks. It’s a little way off Wolf island, which means most the liveaboards on this list, if not all of them, should drop you off near here.

However, a word of warning – the visibility isn’t fantastic here compared to the rest of the dives across the Galapagos islands, meaning this is probably going to be an adventure best suited to experienced scuba divers. Take a look if you’ve a few years behind you.

Location: Close to Wolf Island

Species: Mainly Galapagos sharks and dolphins

Visibility: Low (UNSURE OF EXACT)

Temperature: (UNSURE OF EXACT)

Daphne Minor

Daphne Minor is another dive site that’s likely to be popular with experienced swimmers and scuba fans. It’s a nice, smooth dive, pretty clear, and it’s easy to get to via Santa Cruz. If you’re looking for eagle rays, the area is absolutely awash with them.

Therefore, again, if you are a confident diver and don’t mind taking the time to swim through milder currents, your prize here is going to be a wonderful ray habitat that’s never likely to be overly fierce.

Location: Close to Santa Cruz

Species: Eagle rays, manta rays, sharks

Visibility: (UNSURE OF EXACT)

Temperature: (UNSURE OF EXACT)


Cape Marshall

Cape Marshall is a firm favourite with plenty of divers in the region, and that’s largely thanks to the fact that the rock you’ll find as you scuba down is truly magnificent! Ancient and rugged, you should get plenty of visibility into the best of what lies beneath the water, too. It’s a real treat for anyone looking to explore some of the wider watery expanses across Galapagos.

Location: Isabela

Species: Sunfish, marbled rays, hammerhead sharks

Visibility: (UNSURE OF EXACT)

Temperature: (UNSURE OF EXACT)

What You’ll See

Of course, one of the best reasons to go diving in Galapagos – whether you travel from San Cristobal or elsewhere – is to take a look at the marine life. While there are plenty of interesting sights on land – such as the majestic, ancient tortoises – it’s out at sea where you’ll find some of the wildest sights the area has to offer.

If you’d like to swim alongside sea lions and sea turtles, there are calming waters here to help you drift along with some of the most stunning creatures of the deep. It’s also a beautiful hotbed – literally – for rays and sharks, meaning do tread water carefully if you’re a novice.


Best Time to Dive in Galapagos?

That all depends on the creatures you’re looking to spot! If you visit here via liveaboard from December through to May, you’ll likely spot manta rays, but the temperatures are going to be blazingly hot!

Visit at other times of year, and you’ll actually find things to be a bit cooler. These temperatures bring forth the whale sharks. It’s possible you’ll spot a variety of sea critters – but these schedules tend to be on point.

Why Book a Liveaboard in the Galapagos?

Why not? There may be no better way for you to get out towards the region’s famously clear waters, meaning that now really is the time to look for a floating holiday with all the necessary diving accoutrements. The liveaboards I’ve listed here are amongst the best across the islands, offering you plenty of dive opportunities with facilities and home comforts.

Booking a liveaboard in Galapagos is really easy. Click any of the links I’ve listed for you above, and take a look at all the facilities and amenities. You’ll get the chance to tailor your holiday, too, meaning that you can pick when you’d like to travel, and for how long.

Itching to dive into the waters surrounding Galapagos? Make a point of booking a five-star liveaboard experience now.

How to Book?

If you want to book the best Galapagos liveaboard, then follow these easy steps:

  1. Read through the boats that I have listed, they are in order- showing the best first.
  2. You don’t need to commit, but you can see the full details by clicking the “Check on Liveaboard” button.
  3. Take a look at the available dates, the rooms and the destinations.
  4. Simply, check the terms and conditions, once you’re happy you can pay your deposit or settle it in one. 

Booking a liveaboard is easy, maybe too easy. 

The reason I say this, is because there are lots of operatives running. Some that aren’t reliable. I only recommend because they’re the cream of the crop and the most professional in the industry. 

My cruise selections are all placed above.

Galapagos Liveaboard Reviews

Source: Tripadvisor

Katy Jane

Thank you for reading. I started to share my passion for diving. I am an environmental educator, scientist and now an MSDT diver. This platform has been made to create, connect and share my knowledge in the world of diving.

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