• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Calipso-New Galapagos Liveaboard

Discussion in 'South America' started by DiveTheGalapagos, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. DiveTheGalapagos

    DiveTheGalapagos ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    540
    44
    28
    There will be a new Galapagos liveaboard beginning operations May 2, 2019. She was one of the original Ecoventura boats (Eric, Letty, Flamingo, Galapagos Sky) that is still undergoing a complete rebuild: New motors, new generators, new compressors and Nitrox system, back to the studs rebuild on the entire interior, sundeck with jacuzzi and they added a new dive deck which will have camera tables, rinse tanks, hot showers and a head.

    The itinerary includes Darwin, Wolf and the western sites with the addition of a site only scientists or others with special permission have dived over the last few years, Marchena. You can see some old photos before the rebuild here. Departures are on Thursday from San Cristobal.

    The owners are a pretty remarkable family from Galapagos. The brothers and sister grew up watching Jacques Cousteau. Their father was a fisherman and named his fishing boat Calipso. As part of the arduous process of getting the permit to dive, the father traded in his fishing boat to help his children get the dive permit. Carlos (Jr) is defending his thesis next month for his PhD and runs a respected foundation he founded in Galapagos. Sister Gabriela is a biotech engineer who studied in the UK. Brother Fabian has his masters in environmental impact studies and brother Bolivar exports contaminants out of Galapagos for recycling on the mainland. Like I said, a remarkable family. And yes, in Ecuador, Calipso is spelled with an 'i', not a 'y'.

    They are offering the introductory rate of $4945 pp for the first 3 months of operation: May, June & July of 2019. Get in touch if you would like to know more or are interested in a departure.

    9_Starboard_Rendering.jpg

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    superheavydeathmetal likes this.
  2. superheavydeathmetal

    superheavydeathmetal Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Cincinnati
    93
    20
    8
    Excellent! My goal is to dive the Galápagos in 2020 or 2021.
     
    DiveTheGalapagos likes this.
  3. Mistralopithek

    Mistralopithek Garibaldi

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Europe, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean
    3
    2
    1
    Whether Calypso or Calipso, it is a good omen for any dive boat out there. Good seas and maybe we'll see each other one day.
     
  4. Dianshan

    Dianshan Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Netherlands
    3
    0
    1
    Looking to do a liveaboard in May! Would you recommend this boat for diving? Concerned with new operation that they may not be as experienced with dealing with dive operations (although they are very much experienced with naturalist cruises).
    Also have you heard about Galapagos Aqua liveaboard? Apparently they are new too but offers a more budget friendly rate
     
  5. DiveTheGalapagos

    DiveTheGalapagos ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    540
    44
    28
    Galapagos Aqua is not new. It was Penguino, then Astrea and has now been rebranded to Galapagos Agua. It's more of a tourist class boat than Calipso and others with a price that reflects that. Calipso is a nicer yacht, more spacious, a better dive deck, no bunk beds, sundeck with jacuzzi and all systems as well as every inch of interior and exterior common space are new. So it depends on what you're comfortable with and what your priorities are.

    PS...Calipso has been pushed back to July, so if your dates are in May...
     
  6. Dianshan

    Dianshan Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Netherlands
    3
    0
    1
    Thanks for the information! It's good to know the previous names of the Galapagos Aqua so at least it is not a totally new operation and seems like it does have experience in running a dive liveaboard. We are fine with less comfort as long as the diving is managed well and the price point is a big plus. Trying to find more information about this liveaboard but there is almost none - I guess also because it's being rebranded and refurbished.

    And unfortunately Calipso cannot be considered since it is delayed.
     
  7. aimwich

    aimwich Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: CA
    1
    0
    1
    Do you have a sense of how smooth the dive operations will be, how experienced the crew will be, etc. given it’s a new boat? Starting to research a trip from June-August to try to see some whale sharks before the water gets completely freezing...
     
  8. Dianshan

    Dianshan Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Netherlands
    3
    0
    1
    Booked a trip on Galapagos Aqua for end May. Can update our experiences after the trip. Hopefully they use the period March-May to ramp up the experience
     
  9. DiveTheGalapagos

    DiveTheGalapagos ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    540
    44
    28
    Sorry Aimwich, I was in Germany for the boot Dusseldorf show. I have worked in Galapagos since 2007, exclusively in diving since 2009. We are very selective about dive guides and go above and beyond on diver safety. Our dive guides and dive operations will be excellent. Certain guides won't be used simply because they have the certification issued by the Park about 17 years ago. Some of those guides would not be qualified dive masters outside Galapagos. There have been some I have literally refused to send clients onboard with. So our standards are high. Lots of experienced crew members, so no worries there.

    People don't realize how important each job is to the success of their trip...the Captains, the First Mate (timonel), the pangeros (driving the Zodiacs), the engineers responsible for the right Nitrox mix, the cabin boys responsible for cleaning your cabin, the chef and chef's assistant...they all are vital to the experience. As well as the people in port who prep the boat before you board. If you've ever been on a trip that ran out of soda or beer, you understand that last part.

    I had a lengthy conversation with a free diver who had made a film in Galapagos. She may have been the first person I've met who admires pangeros as much as I do. I've spent quite a bit of time in the pangas with them and there is simply no way I have the vision for diver bubbles they have. It's almost miraculous to me. They see if a diver ascends early. They see if a group breaks up. And every time, they are there for divers who have surfaced. We joke about our dive guides that they have 30 meter sighting ability in 20 meter visibility.
     
  10. Dom@DiveAdvice

    Dom@DiveAdvice Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives:
    Location: South of France
    353
    37
    28
    You may like to view my posts under Trips & Market place where there is more information on this boat.

    To be honest, none of the "new dive boats" starting operations in 2019 are brand new. It is almost impossible to bring a new boat into GPS because of permit issues. They are all boast that have operated in the past under different names but are now under new operators and being extensively refitted and will be "like new". The Aqua was built 1998 and had a major refit in 2019. She now has new operators (who also run 5 other boats in GPS) and is currently in a yard in GYE undergoing an extensive refit including new engines, compressors, work to interior and exterior, new safety equipment including Nautilus Lifelines for every diver. She will be like a new boat and classed as Tourist Superior. She will start scheduled trips end of April. Rental gear - complete set of Scuba gear (BCD, Regulator, 7mm Wetsuit, Fins, Mask, Snorkel, Boots, Hood, Gloves) is $250 + 15% local tax if paid on board. Nitrox $150.

    If looking to book a trip then I am happy to send you all rates by e-mail - please contact me offline at dom@diveadvice.com

    FYI - the $3495 is an intro rate thru June and after that it is $3995 lower deck and $4195 upper deck for all ensuite AC cabins. Rates for 2020 will rise by $100 per week to $4095 lower and $4295 upper.

    For those looking at the CALIPSO, she has also been completely re-built from the bottom up and I feel sure that she will end up being one of the top dive boats operating in Galapagos. With an intro rate of $4945 for July thru September (for bookings made prior to March 31), she is also an incredible value boat when compared with some of the competition. For those who need it, she will also offer access to internet on board.

    She can also be booked thru our European or US offices.
     

Share This Page