Humboldt Explorer - More Information

The vessel

Large camera table
Recharging Station
The dive deck is equipped with individual gear bins, large camera table, recharging station, air and nitrox filling stations, tank ranks, and a separate fresh water rinse thank for underwater camera equipment.

Diving operations are conducted from two large pangas (tenders), easily boarder from the dive deck. The Humboldt Explorer is also equipped with a satellite telephone for emergency calls worldwide.

Diving Conditions

Water temps in summer average 65o F, 70o F in winter
The weather in the Galapagos has water temperatures ranging from 65 -70 degrees F from December through May and 60 – 70 F June through November.
Water temperatures are at the higher end of the scale in both Darwin and Wolf.
Air temperatures range from 75 F or higher in the rainy season (December-May) to the mid 60’s F during the dry season (June –November), with nearly constant sea breezes.
Currents can range 1 to 5 Knots at the sites we visit, and visibility is generally between 30 and 80 feet.
Most divers are comfortable with a 7mm wetsuit June – November with a hooded best and gloves and a minimum 5mm wetsuit December – May.

Gloves and hood are strongly recommended. Your dives will be done from the pangas with an easy backward roll in the water. After you dive, you tank will be lifted back into the panga and you will board via its stern ladders or with assistance from the side.

Minimum age restrictions

Under the age of 15 must dive with parent/guardian
The minimum certifiable age for divers is 10 for most SCUBA certification agencies; normally, the agencies restrict 10 and 11 years old to a maximum depth of 40 ft.

Explorer ventures therefore allows children as young as 10 years to participle in our trips, with the following restrictions:

  1. All children under the age of 15 must travel with their parent or guardian, unless undergoing active training with an instructor.
  2. This itinerary offers no diving opportunities at depth less than 40 feet; diving opportunities for 10 and 11 years olds are not available on this itinerary.

For this reason, a minimum age of 15 for divers is strongly suggested.

Safety Standards

Dive insurance required
To ensure you safety, we require the followings of all divers:

  • All divers must be certified as open water scuba divers by an internationally recognized certification organization.
  • All divers must be experienced divers (we recommended) that you have more than 100 logged divers) and have logged at least one dive within the 6 months prior to boarding the vessel. Dives are very strong and often at and advanced level. Currents can very strong and often dives are required to swim against them.
  • All dives are guided by an instructor/naturalist guide and due to Galapagos National Park regulations all divers must dive with the guide at all times.
  • All divers must log in and out of the water with a member of the diving staff.
  • All divers must have a submersible console including SPG & depth gauge, time piece or dive computer with these functions.
  • Decompression diving is not allowed under any conditions. The maximum allowed depth is 130’ (110’ on nitrox).
  • Diving activities must cease when the consumption of alcohol begins.
  • All divers must present proof of dive insurance per Galapagos National Park regulations.
  • All divers must also carry a Dive/Alert, a surface signaling device, and an electronic beacon while diving (all available on board). Guests are responsible for all items they borrow from the vessel.
  • Please note that, due to a combination of staff and equipment logistics insurance requirements and local diving regulations, neither rebreathes nor diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs) may be used aboard Explorer Ventures vessels.

What to bring

Soft luggage for easy storage
Very casual attire
Packing for a live aboard trip is much easier than packing for a land based vacation.
The climate doesn´t require much more than shorts, T-shirts and swimsuit though at sea the winds can be cold and jacket are often necessary. Soft luggage is recommended as it takes up very little space wen empty.
Sun screens, sunglasses, a visor, raincoat, lightweight sweater or jacket, long sleeved shirt, backpack, tevas and a hat are recommended.
Guest traveling through Quito who is interested in day’s tour may wish to bring some items of clothing for slightly cooler temperatures and good walking shoes. Please remember that the Galapagos Island straddles the equator and the sun can be very strong at times.
For this reason please make sure you have sufficient strength sunscreen. In case of rough weather or if you have a tendency toward seasickness, come prepared with motion sickness medications or Transdermal patches from your doctor.
If you have a favorite CD’s or DVD’s, feel free to bring them.

All linens supplied
Soap supplied
Hairdryers not supplied
All linens (including sheets, comforters, bath towels, hand towels, dive towels, and wash cloths) are provided on board.

Carry-on packing
If possible, pack your regulator, dive computer, mask, a swimsuit, chance of clothes, medications and toiletries in you carry-on bag. Having these few items with you will make an unexpected luggage delay far more bearable.

Luggage weight restrictions
There is a weight limit on checked-in luggage for flights to and from Quito and/or Guayaquil to the Galapagos of 44 pounds (20 kilos). An additional fee of up to 1.70* per 2.2 pound (1 kilo) to and from Quito will be charged for luggage over the limit and US$1.50* per 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) to and from Guayaquil.
In addition, passengers are allowed a carry-on bag weight no more than 17.6 pounds (8 kilos) and a personal item. All additional luggage fees must be paid in cash al flight time.
*These prices could change at any time. Groups travelling together with a representative are less likely to be changed additional fees.

Dive Insurance

Due to the nature of this trip and the very remote nature of the destination, all dives are required to have dive accident insurance when diving from the Humboldt Explorer, and to note the policy number of their application form. See our website for further information and options on dive and travel insurance.


Passport required
Passport is required for all arriving foreign nationals. If in doubt about visas, contact the Ecuadorian Consulate for specific requirements from you country.

Transfer within Galapagos are included if delay contact 011.593.9703.1382
Transfers within the Galapagos are included in your package for some day arrivals, and you will be met at the airport by our tour operator.
If you miss any of your flights and are not able to make it to Ecuador or the Galapagos o schedule, please contact us, at 011.593.9703.1382 and notify us of your updated arrival time should you have that information, and where you may be reached in the meantime.
The vessel will leave port on Monday at approximately 1:00 pm. Retrieving lost luggage after the vessel departs on charter is impossible.
It can be retrieved when the vessel returns to port at the end of the charter.

Departure tax requires cash
The vessel arrives at its final destination port Monday morning.
Sunday night’s dinner is in town and is not included the price of the trip.
Transportation is organized and included for transfer to the airport. There is a departure tax, payable in cash, of US$40.80 in Quito, US$26 in Guayaquil (both subject to change) upon leaving on a flight from either Quito or Guayaquil.

Scheduling flights
Please note: Flight times, prices and the Galápagos airport of arrival are all subject to change with little or no notification, and flights often run late.
We strongly encourage our guests to plan on arriving at least one and preferably two days prior to your flight to the Galapagos Islands, to ensure that your luggage is with you or to make up for any travel delays.

We also recommended that guest plan on an extra night in Quito or Guayaquil upon departing Ecuador.
The earliest time a guest can reliably expect to connect to other flights is 10 pm on the last Monday of the trip. Thickets holders are required to check-in a minimum of three hours prior to flight time for all international departures, even when connecting from an Aerogal or TAME Flight.

Equipment list

Bring your application/liability forms
Certification card
The vessel provides tanks, weights, and weights belts for your use. If you prefer to rent the rest of your equipment from us, we have all of the equipment that you will need. Please indicate on your application form what equipment you will require. Otherwise, the following items are the diver’s responsibility:

  • Certification Card
  • Diving log book (strongly encouraged)
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • Booties (if you wear them)
  • Buoyancy Control Device (required)*
  • Regulator w/alternate air source*
  • Submersible pressure and depth gauges (required)*
  • Underwater time piece (required)
  • Dive computer (recommended)*
  • Wet suit – 5mm to semi-dry .5 - .7mm*
  • Hooded vest
  • Gloves
  • Repair kit w/spare parts

*Available for rent on board


Please list on the application form any dietary needs to have.
Aboard the Humboldt Explorer, lunch and evening meals usually consist of lots of fresh vegetables, rice, chicken, beef, pork and fish.
Breakfast is the usual fare of eggs, ham, cereal, toasts, and fresh fruits.
Snacks are available, between dives, if you have any dietary, restrictions or requests; please indicate so on your application form.

Please note that specific brands of soft drinks, dressings any food are often unavailable in the islands, and that it can be very difficult for us to find low-fat or soy products, fresh fruits, fish and other items common elsewhere.
While we will do our best to accommodate your requests, please be realistic and consider bringing some of your own foods if the lack thereof may constitute a health risk or seriously compromise your enjoyment of your holiday.


US dollars are widely accepted
The U.S. Dollars is the official currency of Ecuador; therefore, it is no necessary to purchase currency before arriving.
Most major credit cards are accepted widely when shopping ashore, however, additional fees are charged in Ecuador for the use of credit cards.

On board Charges

Major credit cards are accepted on board
Though all meals, most beverages, transportation between islands, and much more has been taken care of with you trip payment, there are additional items which you may change to you on board bill. These include retail items (shirts, etc.), scuba instruction, rentals, nitrox, premium alcoholic beverages, and crew gratuities.

The bill may be paid at the end of the trip using cash, Visa or Master Card.
American Express, traveler’s checks and personal checks are not accepted on board, and we are unable to advance cash on credit card charges.

Traveler’s checks are not accepted in Ecuador non can they easily be changed into cash. Gratuities and onboard charges are best paid in cash.
This avoids any additional Ecuadorian Taxes and service fees. Bills will be settled on board on Sunday morning, ATM machines are available in Quito, Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora and San Cristobal.


Vital messages may be passed to guest by calling the operations office at 011.593.9703.1382 internet access is not available aboard.
Outgoing calls may be made from the Humboldt Explorer via Satellite Phone.
Please be aware that a charge is assessed for both incoming and outgoing calls.

Crew Gratuities

Crew gratuities are not included in you package.
The crew works very hard, 7 days a week and up to 12 weeks at a screech, providing the best possible service for our guests.

The industry standard for crew gratuities on dive trips (if of course you are happy with the service which you have received) is between 10% an 15% of the package price per passenger.
You generosity will be greatly appreciated.