If you’re asking the question what is a liveaboard in the Galapagos Islands, and you are considering a dive-focused trip to the Galapagos Islands, this article not only explains what a Galapagos liveaboard is, but it also includes handy tables of dive liveaboards that visit the Galapagos Islands.
The following tables are included in this article:
- All Galapagos liveaboards.
- Top 3 liveaboards Galapagos compared by customer rating out of 10.
Liveaboard Galapagos meaning
A liveaboard in the Galapagos Islands is a dive boat and is like a floating hotel where you scuba dive, eat, sleep and enjoy other activities whilst you are on the boat. Other activities on Galapagos liveaboards include land excursions, snorkeling, kayaks or getting to know your fellow divers.
If you are interested to learn more about what you do on a liveaboard, this article is a good one to read next: What do you do on a liveaboard?
The best way to dive anywhere in the world is by a scuba diving liveaboard. You can check the latest and best deals on liveaboards using Liveaboard.com below, which opens in a new window:
What are the advantages of a Galapagos liveaboard?
- You do more dives on a liveaboard.
- Better chance to do night diving.
- Most liveaboards are all-inclusive, so your dives, dining and accommodation are all included.
- You will meet likeminded guests interested in scuba diving.
- No need to worry about finding a dive buddy.
- Dive remote dive sites that are out of range of day boats (e.g. Darwin and Wolf Islands).
- Arrive at popular dive sites before the day boats.
The following table of all scuba diving Galapagos liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, followed by Scuba Diving Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating, see below), so the Galapagos liveaboards with the highest customer rating and the best SDE lux rating will be at the top of the list. If you want to change the list order, use the “Sort by” dropdown below.
All Galapagos liveaboards
|Discover Liveaboard||Customer Review (Max 10)||SDE Lux Rating %||Liveaboard pros||Liveaboard cons||Itineraries||Kayaks|
|Review Link: MV Tiburon Explorer; Booking Link: MV Tiburon Explorer||9.7||85%||aircon cabins, available for charter, caters for dietary requirements, ensuite cabins, paid internet, paid nitrox, scuba gear rental||no flexible or extra flexible booking, no diving courses||8 Days/7 Nights||NO|
|Review Link: MV Galapagos Sky; Booking Link: MV Galapagos Sky||9.5||81%||aircon cabins, available for charter, caters for dietary requirements, ensuite cabins, free nitrox, scuba gear rental||no flexible or extra flexible booking, no diving courses, no internet||8 Days/7 Nights, 11 Days/10 Nights||NO|
|Review Link: MV Calipso; Booking Link: MV Calipso||9.4||85%||aircon cabins, available for charter, caters for dietary requirements, ensuite cabins, flexible booking, diving courses, free internet, paid nitrox, scuba gear rental||none from the main list of pros vs cons||8 Days/7 Nights||NO|
|Review Link: MV Galapagos Aggressor III; Booking Link: MV Galapagos Aggressor III||9.1||65%||aircon cabins, available for charter, caters for dietary requirements, ensuite cabins, diving courses, paid nitrox, scuba gear rental||no flexible or extra flexible booking, no internet||8 Days/7 Nights||NO|
|Review Link: MY Aqua; Booking Link: MY Aqua||9||65%||aircon cabins, caters for dietary requirements, ensuite cabins, flexible booking, diving courses, paid nitrox, scuba gear rental||no internet, not available for charter||8 Days/7 Nights||NO|
|Review Link: MV Humboldt Explorer; Booking Link: MV Humboldt Explorer||8.9||58%||aircon cabins, available for charter, caters for dietary requirements, ensuite cabins, paid nitrox, scuba gear rental||no flexible or extra flexible booking, no diving courses, no internet||8 Days/7 Nights||NO|
|Review Link: MV Galapagos Master; Booking Link: MV Galapagos Master||8.6||69%||aircon cabins, available for charter, caters for dietary requirements, ensuite cabins, flexible booking, scuba gear rental||no diving courses, no internet||8 Days/7 Nights, 11 Days/10 Nights||NO|
Top 3 liveaboards Galapagos compared by customer rating out of 10
The following three Galapagos liveaboards were scored 9.4 or more by customer reviews:
|Discover Liveaboard||Review Link: MV Tiburon Explorer; Booking Link: MV Tiburon Explorer||Review Link: MV Galapagos Sky; Booking Link: MV Galapagos Sky||Review Link: MV Calipso; Booking Link: MV Calipso|
|Customer Review (Max 10)||9.7||9.5||9.4|
|Scale rating||is rated 'Exceptional'||is rated 'Exceptional'||is rated 'Superb'|
|SDE Lux Rating %||85%||81%||85%|
|Itineraries||8 Days/7 Nights||8 Days/7 Nights, 11 Days/10 Nights||8 Days/7 Nights|
|Shaded dive area||YES||YES||YES|
|Meal Options||Al Fresco Dining, Full-board Option||Al Fresco Dining, Full-board Option, Set Menu Dinner||Al Fresco Dining, Full-board Option|
|Western style food||YES||YES||YES|
|TV in cabin||YES||NO||YES|
These three best customer rated Galapagos liveaboards where also the highest rated on the Scuba Diving Luxury Rating too (see below). The MV Tiburon Explorer and the MV Calipso both score 85%.
Galapagos liveaboards including flights
Unfortunately there are no Galapagos liveaboards with flights, so you will need to book your flights separate to the liveaboard booking. It’s recommended to first book your liveaboard and secure your dates, before you book your flights to the Galapagos Islands.
Also, check which port the Galapagos liveaboard will depart from (San Cristobal (SCY) or Baltra (GPS)) to make sure you arrive at the right place to board your chosen dive boat. Some liveaboards include airport transfers too.
But also make sure you check the flight arrival times vs the liveaboard departure times, as you don’t want to miss your departure.
But also on your return, and sorry to state the obvious, make sure you leave at least 24 hours after your last dive before boarding your plane. This means you may need to book into a hotel for at least one night on your return from your Galapagos liveaboard trip. But why not extend your stay and book on a few days stay on a Galapagos resort before you fly home.
What is SDE Lux Rating %
The column headed “SDE Lux Rating %” is my own Liveaboard Luxury Rating which I’ve assigned to all liveaboards. To discover how the rating is calculated for your chosen liveaboard dive boat, click the liveaboard name link in the “Discover Liveaboard” column above (also this is explained in more detail below).
To help you to choose the right diving liveaboard for you, the “Scuba Diving Earth Liveaboard Luxury Rating” (SDE Lux Rating) means you can compare each liveaboard with other liveaboards on a like-for-like basis. This makes choosing the right liveaboard much easier.
The maximum rating for any liveaboard is 100%, and this rating is split between the 6 features listed below:
- Diver benefits: A higher ‘diver benefits‘ score means there are more features specifically for scuba divers. These include onboard nitrox, dive courses, gear rental etc.
- Liveaboard design features: The higher the ‘liveaboard design features‘ score, the more the dive boat has been designed with scuba divers in mind. This includes whether the dive boat was custom built for divers, if it has charging stations, outside showers etc.
- Cabin luxury: A high score in ‘cabin luxury‘ means the cabins on the liveaboard offer better features. These might include ensuite cabins, air-conditioning, daily housekeeping, seaviews, TVs etc.
- Onboard comfort: A high score in ‘onboard comfort‘ means there are more onboard features to make your dive trip feel more luxurious. These include what towels are provided on the liveaboard (always important for travelling light), complimentary toiletries, crew ratios etc.
- Food luxury: If you are a foodie then ‘food luxury‘ will be important to you, as a high score on this rating will mean there’s more on offer. These might include the type of food served onboard, the dietary requirements catered for, vegan food, vegetarian food, buffet style, fine dining etc.
- Drink luxury: If you like a drink in the evenings you may look for a higher score in ‘drink luxury‘ score, but this score also includes drinking water and soft drinks too.
The “SDE Luxury Rating Total” is calculated by adding the totals from each of the above features and benefits. The higher the SDE Luxury Rating, the more features and benefits the liveaboard has, which leads on nicely to how to use the SDE Luxury Rating.
How to use the SDE Luxury Rating score
When choosing the liveaboard dive boat for you, your decision is helped by customer scores, which is how the liveaboards in the above table are sorted in descending order.
If you are stuck choosing between two or three of these liveaboards, where each one has a high customer score out of 10 and that have itineraries you like, use the SDE Luxury Rating score to help narrow down your choice.
Think about it like using Booking.com when searching for the best hotel to stay at. Booking.com also use a customer score where each customer rates hotels out of 10. This is similar to the liveaboard customer rating, which is also rated out of 10.
But let’s say you only like to stay in hotels rated 9 and above on Booking.com, but you also want the hotel to have WIFI or parking, or to have a swimming pool etc. The features each hotel has is secondary to the score out of 10.
In the case of liveaboards, the SDE Lux Rating system can also be used as a secondary tool in the same way to help you determine which liveaboard offers the best features to suit you.
Each of the liveaboards linked-to from the above table will be individually scored. Which means that if cabin luxury is important to you, focus on this score to help you choose your liveaboard. But if diver benefits are your top priority, use this score first, and so on.
I hope you enjoyed this article about what is a liveaboard Galapagos
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about what is a liveaboard Galapagos), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkelling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.