MV Galapagos Master Liveaboard Review

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(93 votes, 2.59/5)
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Simply the best of everything

MV Galapagos Master dive boat review

The Galapagos Master, formerly the Deep Blue,  was founded with one purpose in mind: to take divers to the best diving locations on the planet with the very latest and best equipment and facilities onboard. The MV Galapagos Master is the Master Fleet’s vessel making the voyage to the world-famous Galapagos Islands.

The diving of the Galapagos Islands is sometimes challenging – there are often currents and the temperatures and thermoclines can be variable. However, for those wanting the ultimate in larger, pelagic marine life, the Galapagos is probably the best place to dive on the planet. In 1835 the Galapagos Islands were made famous by Charles Darwin and his legendary voyages onboard the HMS Beagle. The Galapagos islands have a rich history. With 20% of the life on the islands unique to their ecosystem and not found elsewhere on the planet, the islands are now a vitally important centre for marine and scientific research. The Galapagos Islands are one of the decreasing number of places on earth where there is the opportunity to see huge pelagic life such as hammerhead sharks, silky sharks and whale sharks. Or, on land (and sometimes in the sea!), to see iguanas and penguins. Absolutely stunning and on the bucket list of most experienced divers.

The MV Galapagos Master is a direct rival for the MV Galapagos Aggressor III. Built in 2004 and renovated in 2014 she is identical in size to her rival at 32m long and 7m in beam.

She is of steel construction, cruises at 12 knots, and claims to be one of the most eco-friendly liveaboards operating on the Galapagos Islands.

You can check the availability and prices for this Boat here.

Cabins and Boat Layout

The Galapagos Master has space for 16 guests and the 12 crew there to make your voyage a safe, fun and memorable experience.


mv galapagos master deck plan liveaboard review


On the lower deck of the vessel there are twin occupancy cabins. The cabin has en-suite bathroom facilities, individual air-conditioning and in-cabin entertainment.

The middle deck has cabins for double occupancy. Again, the cabin has en-suite bathroom facilities, individual air-conditioning and in-cabin entertainment.

mv galapagos master master cabin liveaboard review


mv galapagos lower deck cabin liveaboard review

Upper deck cabin

The upper deck cabins have larger windows and a more airy atmosphere. There are either twin or double occupancy based on your circumstances and – as with the lower and middle deck cabins – have en-suite bathroom facilities, individual air-conditioning and in-cabin entertainment.

When not in the cabin there are wonderful amenities onboard. The lounge area offers soft comfortable seating where you may relax with your travelling companions in air-conditioned comfort or make use of the entertainment system.


mv galapagos master lounge liveaboard review


Moving along the vessel is the dining area, complete with a cocktail bar for when the day’s diving is done. Here you’ll be treated to tasty buffet meals prepared each day by the onboard chef – a flavoursome combination of local and western dishes. Being hungry is not an option!

mv galapagos master sundeck liveaboard review

Sun deck

There is a benched seating area outside and, for sun-worshippers, an sun-deck on the top level complete with loungers. There’s also a cocktail bar here where you might watch the sun set with a cheeky drink.

Diving onboard Galapagos Master

For photographers there is an indoor camera set-up station with charging points. On the amply sized dive deck – located at the aft of the lower deck level – there is another camera preparation area.

There are individual areas for setting up your dive equipment, rinse tanks and fresh water showers located at the rear of the vessel on the dive platform.


mv galapagos master dive deck liveaboard review

Dive deck

Typically, four dives per day are offered. Due to the challenging nature of some of the sites training beyond beginner level is highly recommended, as are a minimum of 50 dives.

Diving is done in buddy teams. The dive deck is spacious and there’s ample storage space for your diving equipment in a personal locker. Nitrox is available for an additional fee and is highly recommended for making the most of your bottom time and extending safe limits.

The diving is conducted from support tenders. DIN adaptors are available onboard for those bring European regulators and Nitrox is available for those who sensibly choose to use it.


Departing from San Cristobal, there are a choice of 7 or 10 day itineraries. Dive site selection is obviously subject to the prevailing conditions.


mv galapagos route map liveaboard review


Where does this liveaboard dive boat go?

Check out the fabulous places where this dive boat travels to.
Note: some destinations may not be listed below, please enquire for more details.


Wolf Island and it's neighbor Darwin Island are the highlight of any Galapagos Islands Liveaboard.

Galapagos Diving Review

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No dive sites reviews found

5 liveaboard reviews for “MV Galapagos Master”

  1. Okay, more about it now. First, it’s expensive, hell yeah. But is it totally worth it? Hell yeah! The Galapagos Master is great, neat and cozy. The crew is very nice, full of little attentions. The food we are served was excellent, with no exception. Plus, they catered to my fiancée’s vegetarian diet. The room was cozy, great quality in everything and power in the shower, etc. Felt like a 5 stars hotel in all points!

    As for diving, that’s what brought us there and it was no disappointments! It’s been on our bucket list for years so we saved up a long time for this trip. Needless to say that swimming with dolphins and sea lions, seeing that whale shark, dozens of hammerheads and so many fishes made it so worth the saving and the trip!

    Would we do it again, and on the same boat? Tomorrow! :)

  2. My 18-year old son and I spent 7 days aboard the Galapagos Master (July 2nd to 9th, 2018). A little bit of information about us first. We are both experienced PADI AOW, warm water/wetsuit divers (I have over 400 logged dives, and my son has about 250). We have dived in over 20 countries around the world and we dive frequently throughout the year. However we are relative new to dry suit diving (less than 20 dives each). The Galapagos has long been on our must-do list and we were excited for the opportunity. My son as a genetic eye disease and is legally, but not totally blind. I informed the Company ahead of time about his condition and that we’d probably require a little extra time and help during scuba setup. Where am I going with this? You’ll see in a moment.

    The ship itself – the Galapagos Master – is a fine ship. Each passenger is assigned a station. The scuba deck is small and cramped, the stations are really,close to,one another and the corner stations are especially problematic because they cannot be used by 2 adjacent divers at the same time. It is next to impossible to properly clean equipment after the final dive on the final day as the wash tanks are too small.

    We had one of the deluxe cabins in the upper floor. The beds themselves were the most uncomfortable I have ever slep in and each passenger is only provided with a single tiny pillow. The waters we travelled through were rough. The blinds could not be properly secured and banged open and shut continually during the night. Very disturbing and prevented getting a good nights rest. It’s clear management knew about this issue as they try to use Velcro tape in a slipshod manner to “fix” the problem.
    The food while edible was amongst the worst I have had on any live aboard. My son thought it was better than I did.
    Diving in the Galapagos is considered challenging send best suited for advanced divers due to currents and low visibility. However this is still no excuse for the poor attention given by the crew to the safety of the divers.
    The first dive was a check out dive. I asked and was assured that we would have assistance to confirm our weights. During the first dive the dive master promised to check everyone’s buoyancy and assist with adding/removing weights. However when the time came for my son and I, he completely ignored us and failed to check us. Afterwards I brought this to the attention of the other dive master but they really didn’t seem interested.
    Due to my son’s disability we would would start preparing for our divers 30-45 minutes before everyone else. Rarely did any of the crew offer any assistance unless asked.
    Safety is always a major priority on all dive boats I have been on, but the safety on the Galapagos Master is extremely poor. There is no role call or tag system.
    Everything is always rushed and because divers have t9 leave the area while tanks are refilled, there often isn’t enough time to properly recheck equipment between dives. The staff do not double check the gear setup before divers leave the boat for the pangas. More than a few times divers entered the water without their tanks opened. This is particularly serious in situations where we performed negative entry. On at least 3 separate occasions, dive tanks on various different divers were not properly secured to the BCs resulting in them slipping out either before entry or underwater.
    Underwater the diver masters are inattentive and overlooked serious complications. On many dives. The 2 dive groups got intermingled and divers got lost, ending up in the wrong groups. My son encountered an equipment problem during a negative entry dive. During setup, no one had noticed that his manual pull purge valve cord had become entangled and jammed open so that he could not inflate his BC at all. Fortunately I was by his side and was able to fix the issue, but the dive master and the rest of the group were unaware of the issue and we ended up being left behind and eventually stranded/separated from the rest of the group.
    The diving itself in the Galapagos was exhilarating and exceeded our expectations. However the trip was marred by a poor experience with this company.

  3. I have made two trips on the Galapagos Master, and hope next year to do another. I found the crew attentive and professional, the accommodations comfortable (except for the curse of a snoring roommate on my second trip) and the diving extraordinary. Both times the guides were exceptional, committed to maximizing guest’s enjoyment of a truly memorable experience while also properly protecting the environment that brought us there. It’s advanced diving, and you need to be comfortable with strong currents and less than ideal water clarity on some dives, but for any serious diver, the Galapagos has to be first on the bucket list.

  4. This company has no regard for the safety of its passengers.

    Trip to Darwins Arch, No Life jackets provided, guests asked the driver to back away from Darwins and just ignored buy the driver.

    Due to the drivers incompitence a wave capsized the zodiac and my wife got trapped underneath suffering a near drowning incident, lost thousands of dollars of camera no compensation offered for the loss or trauma, she has not dived since.

  5. Just back from an exceptional 10 day / 11 night trip on the Galapagos Master (March 25 – April 6, 2019). A combination of factors made this trip one of the best liveaboard excursions I have ever made. The diving was superb (hammerheads by the score, marine iguanas, Sunfish (Mola’s), sea lions, eels, turtles etc. No Whale Sharks or Mantas for our group on this trip. The conditions ranged from ripping current to heavy surge to slack water. Being comfortable in challenging diving conditions is a must on some dives particularly around Darwin’s Arch, but this made the dives even more exciting. Diving with a group of six experienced divers from the UK really helped.

    Most of the divers used compact cameras in housings doing natural light photography. There were no “big camera rigs” on board. They would have been a real challenge in some of the currents and the risk of damage to valuable gear would be high, though there were dives when this would not have been an issue.

    The two dive guides (Natalia particularly) were exceptional as well as all the support staff on the Galapagos Master. The facilities worked well, though we missed one dive because of concerns about air quality. This was quickly resolved (tank flushing & a filter change). The “Panga” drivers were great helping with gear as did the boat staff before and after dives.

    The food was good. Nothing exceptional, but plentiful and fresh. The Espresso machine was well used. The hot chocolate after each dive was very welcome. The two land excursions were very informative.

    The accommodation was fine, and I was extra fortunate to have a cabin to myself (luck of the draw) because of a cancellation.

    I would not hesitate in recommending the Galapagos as a destination and the Galapagos Master as a liveaboard. To some extent what you get out of these trips is a function of what you want to put in. I hope to go back again.

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(93 votes, 2.59/5)

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