Nortada is the newest diving yacht in Galapagos, starting its operation in early 2015. A new concept in Galapagos diving, she normally takes only 8 divers, making her a fantastic, intimate choice. Over 8 days you will dive at world-famous Wolf and Darwin Islands, plus the exciting addition of the top three dive sites in the north-west region of the archipelago. Isabela and Fernandina dive sites are where Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Marine Iguanas and several other endemic species, along with Manta Rays, Mola-Mola and different types of Baleen Whales, are usually sighted
Enjoy the most intimate diving vessel in the Galapagos Islands
Dive at the world famous Wolf and Darwin islands which are considered to be two of the best diving sites in the world.
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Santa Cruz Area
Day 2: Baltra and Santiago Area
Day 3: Wolf Island
Day 4: Darwin Island
Day 5: Wolf Island
Day 6: West Isabela Area
Day 7: East Isabela Area
Day 8: Santa Cruz and Blatra Area
Day 1: Arrival, Check Dive and Time in Town
Meet at Tip Top Diving at 11h30 in Puerto Ayora. If your are flying in on the day of arrival, a transfer to the dive center can be arranged for an additional fee. Diver registration and equipment selection (if needed) are done at the dive center. Transfer to the boat and board to meet the crew.
Lunch on board and check dive at Academy Bay. The objective of the check dive is to sort out weight requirements and test equipment.After the check dive there will be time for ATM visits, souvenir shopping and sightseeing of the local town.
A welcome cocktail and dinner will be served on board. Nortada will depart at midnight with destination Punta Carrión.
Day 2: 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: Wolf Island
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 nightdiving. Meals are scheduled around diving, usually with one dive before breakfast and one diveafter 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: Darwin Island
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: Wolf Island
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: Cape Douglas and Punta Vicente Roca
One or two dives are done in Cape Douglas followed by a short transit of about 90 minutes to Punta Vicente Roca 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: Cape Marshall, Puerto Coca and Manta Ray City
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: Puerto Ayora and Transfer Out
Breakfast and check out from Nortada followed by a land visit to Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Charles Darwin Research Station. The breeding center land visit will provide with an opportunity to learn about the breeding programs for giant tortoises and land iguanas. If required, a transfer to the airport with a visit to the tortoises in the wild can be arranged for an additional fee.
Departs - Friday (weekly)
Ship Cabins: M/Y Nortada
Nortada offers four lower deck, fully air conditioned cabins with two single lower berths, private heads, lockers and drawers. The boat also features an extended occupancy option of up to 12 people. The additional guests can be accommodated in the four full size upper berths available in every one of the four cabins.
Nortada is a completely rebuilt and refit private
live-aboard charter boat for small groups of up to 8 divers. Public
areas consist of a main deck with bridge, galley, air conditioned dining
room and lounge.
The scuba diving platform has ample benches, outside showers, camera
tables and rebreather rinsing facilities. In the upper deck a sun deck
is next to the fly bridge.
Two 15 foot inflatable tenders with 25HP outboard engines takes fully
equipped divers to and from the dive site. All divers are provided with
a Nautilus Lifeline bi-directional VHF/DSC marine radio with GPS, dive
alert and DSMB.
Ship Deck Plan
Country of origin: France
Boat location: Galapagos Isl
Boat Name: Nortada
No. of passengers: 8+
No. of cabins: 4
Length: 25.9 m / 84.5 ft
Draft: 1.52 m / 5 ft
Beam: 5.48 m / 18 ft
Cruise speed: 10 knots
Power: 100 / 220 volt
Air Conditioned: Yes
On-board accommodation (twin cabin occupancy)
All meals during voyage
12lt / 80 cft AL air cylinder, weights and weightbelts
All dives and land visits where allowed
Naturalist Dive Guide(s)
Tender and transportation to/from dives sites
Selected safety equipment
Water, coffee tea, juices and snacks on-board
What's not included?
International and internal airfares
Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable