Nortada Cruise the best option for diving in the Galapagos Islands; on board a small personalized dive yacht.
A live-aboard concept in the Galapagos Islands, NORTADA is a private charter cruise for small groups. Built in France by Naval Builder Guy Couach, Nortada is a completely rebuilt and refit private live-aboard charter boat for small groups of up to 8 divers.
The boat started operations as a scuba diving live-aboard vessel for private charters in the Galapagos Islands in February 2015.
Nortada is operated by the Owner, a local fisherman with a business licence to run dive tours in the Galapagos National Park.
DECKS AND CABINS
Length: 85 feet
Beam: 18 feet
Draft: 5 feet
Cruising speed: 12 knots
Dive Equipment and Facilities:
- Gas Filling: Twin Nuvair HP compressors; Nitrox / Trimix LP system features compressor, membrane and Helium intake. In select departures: redundant Oxygen Clean Haskell Sport Boosters, portable Tri Hunter 3000 Gas mixing stick.
- Cylinders: 30 aluminum 80 cu ft / 12 liter cylinders, 15 for air and 15 for Nitrox; 15 aluminum 100 cu ft / 15 liter cylinders. All cylinders fitted with XS Scuba PRO DIN Insert valves. In select departures: 10 nitrox compatible 40 cu ft / 6 liter aluminum bailout cylinders rigged as stage / sidemount. 20 steel 19 cu ft / 2 liter rebreather cylinders fitted with various valves.
- Gas Analysis: 02 Nuvair Nitrox analyzers. In select departures: 01 Analytical Industries Trimix Analyzer.
- Diver safety: 08 Nautilus Lifeline bi-directional VHF/DSC marine radio with GPS; 08 Dive Alerts; 08 Reef hooks; 08 DSMB’s. Miscellaneous: Complete toolkit and a selection of solid lead weights and trim soft pouches.
Day 1: Friday
Transfer to the boat and meet the crew. Meeting point at Puerto Ayora passenger’s pier at 12:30. Lunch onboard. Check dive.
The objective of the check dive is to sort out weight requirements and test equipment.
A welcome cocktail and dinner will be served on board. Nortada will depart at midnight with destination Punta Carrión.
Day 2: Saturday
Punta Carrion – Baltra – Cousin Rock
Usually starting at 6 am, one morning dive is done at Punta Carrión or the north-eastern portion of Baltra Island. First dive is followed by breakfast while Nortada refuels in Baltra. After refueling, two hour navigation will take you to Cousin Rock for one or two dives. Number of dives depends on the day’s schedule.
Punta Carrión and Baltra N/E are considered “warm up” dives where dive procedures and equipment are tested and enforced or adapted. Depending on the conditions, encounters with white-tip reef sharks, Mola-Mola, sea horses and several types of reef fish are possible.
Cousin Rock is one of the most popular dive sites in the central islands. The islet is formed by volcanic tuff. Cousins and other dive sites in the area are characterized for their eroded surfaces covered by soft corals and gorgonians.
Highlights include nudibranchs, frogfish, seahorses, sea lions, eagle rays and schooling fish.
Day 3: Sunday
Up to 4 dives during the day at Punta Shark Bay, El Derrumbe, Islote La Ventana y La Banana. Wolf Island is located at North West of the Archipelago. Up to 4 dives are done on this day.
Wolf is known as “The Meca of sharks”. Divers are usually able to swim alongside several species of sharks, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays and colorful schools of fishes. Wolf also offers an opportunity to explore the erosion underwater caverns and tunnels. Although 40 meter deep, the Anchorage is a great place to watch the Galapagos red-lipped batfish and a popular site for night diving. Meals are scheduled around diving, usually with one dive before breakfast and one dive after lunch. The better part of the night is spent in the anchorage and transit to Darwin starts in the early AM of day 4
Day 4: Monday
Up to 4 dives during the day; it is located at North West of the Archipelago. Up to 4 dives are done on this day.
Darwin is considered as one of the best places to dive over the world. Divers are usually able to see several species of sharks, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays and colorful schools of fishes. Schooling hammer head sharks and whale sharks are the highlights of dives at Darwin’s Arch. Meals are scheduled around diving, usually with one dive before breakfast and one dive after lunch. Transit back to Wolf and dinner. Navigation is roughly 20 nautical miles / 2 hours.
Day 5: Tuesday
Up to 4 dives during the day at Punta Shark Bay, El Derrumbe, Islote La Ventana y La Banana. Up to 4 dives are done on this day.
Navigation to Cape Douglas will be 100 nautical miles and can be rough at times.
Day 6: Wednesday
Punta Vicente Roca – Cape Douglas
One or two dives are done in Punta Vicente Roca followed by a short transit of about 90 minutes to Cape Douglas for one or two dives. Up to 4 dives are done on this day.
Isabela and Fernandina dive sites are where Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Marine Iguanas and several other endemic species can be seen consistently. The highlight in Cape Douglas are the marine iguanas feeding underwater but red lipped batfish, horn sharks and Mola-Mola plus different types of Baleen Whales, are usually sighted during this day..
Day 7: Thursday
Cape Marshal – Manta Ray City or Roca Blanca
Located in the northeast coast of Isabela, these volcanic walls are sparsely covered with black coral bushes. During January to May, divers usually enjoy encounters with Giant Mantas; schools of fish, including the endemic black-stripped Salema, white-tip reef sharks, Galapagos sharks and some hammerheads. Up to 4 dives are done on this day.
Day 8: Friday
Breakfast and check out from Nortada followed by a land visit to Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Charles Darwin Research Station and transfer to the airport.
The breeding center land visit will provide with an opportunity to learn about the breeding programs for giant tortoises and land iguanas.
- Panama season for departures starting January 1st to May 31st.
- Humboldt season for departures starting June 1st to December 31st.
- 12l / 80cft air cylinder, weights and weightbelts.
- All dives and land visits where allowed Accommodation (twin cabin occupancy).
- All meals and snacks served on board.
- Water, Coffee, Tea, Juices.
- Naturalist Dive Guide(s).
- Tender & transportation to / from dive sites.
- Selected safety equipment
- Roundtrip airfare to Galapagos, $100.
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee, $100.
- Galapagos Transit Control Card, $20.
- Tips to crew
- Alcoholic beverages
Prices are subject to change without prior notice