MV Nortada Liveaboard Review

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(56 votes, 2.98/5)
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Expensive, and Luxury!

MV Nortada dive boat review

For a more bespoke, intimate and personal experience of the world famous Galapagos Islands, the MV Nortada, operated by Rolf Wittmer Turismo, is the logical choice. Less cabins, less guest and a more private experience.


If you’re one of those divers seeking 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 which acted as a catalyst for his world-shattering ‘On The Origin Of Species’ work; the Galapagos islands have an amazing legacy to the natural world. Due to their relatively isolated location 20% of the life on the islands is unique and not found elsewhere on the planet. The islands are a crucially important centre for scientific research. There’s the opportunity to see huge pelagic life such as hammerhead sharks, silky sharks and whale sharks here. Or, on land (and sometimes in the sea!), to see iguanas and penguins – as in the video clip below.



Nortada was originally built in France by Guy Couach, this wonderful vessel has been extensively re-imagined to make a home for 8 lucky divers to tour the Galapagos Islands. She is 25.9m long, 5.4m in beam and cruises effortlessly at 12 knots courtesy of her Cummins engines – slicing through the waves to take you to your destination. Rolf Wittmer Turismo, who have over 30 years of local experience, had the vessel refurbished in 2014. The diving operations are managed by Galapagos Tip Top Dive & Training Facility who, offer up to 20 dives a week – claimed to be more than any other vessel operating in the area.

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


Cabins and Boat Layout


In contrast to some of the competition such as Galapagos Aggressor III and Galapagos Master, Nortada has berths for just 8 passengers, two divemasters and the boat crew.


mv nortada floor plan liveaboard review

Deck plan


The four passenger cabins are all located on the lower deck. Each of the cabins has en-suite bathroom facilties and storage for personal belongings. The beds are two twin single beds with an upper single bunk. All cabins are air conditioned.


mv nortada cabins liveaboard review



Making your way upstairs to the main deck there is a salon area. Again, air-conditioned for your comfort, here you may choose to relax with a book or a cold drink. Adjacent to that is the dining area complete with entertainment system.


mv nortada salon liveaboard review


mv nortada dining area liveaboard review

Dining Area


There is also an outdoor seating area where you may unwind and take in the stunning views. Or, sun yourself upstairs on the sun deck.


mv nortada sundeck liveaboard review

Sun deck and life rafts


You’ll be well fed about Nortada with a combination of local and western dishes and, when the diving is completed, alcoholic drinks are also available onboard.



Diving onboard Nortada


Diving is the priority of the voyage and you won’t be disappointed. The diving deck/platform has large benches and plenty of storage for all your diving equipment.


There are outside fresh water showers and rinse tanks for ensuring your various toys and gadgets remain salt-free.


mv nortada dive deck liveaboard review

Dive deck


The diving itself takes place from one of two 5m long inflatable boats. 4 divers plus guide on each. Each is powered by a 25hp outboard engine and will take you to the optimum point to make your entry.


Due to the challenging nature of diving these waters, every diver is provided with Nautilus Lifeline with GPS, dive alert and a DSMB.


The boat is fully equipped for technical divers wishing to maximise their bottom time. So, whether you’re a recreational Nitrox diver, Trimix diver or CCR diver – they have the technology to facilitate your experience.


The boat is available to be chartered to request depending on the purpose of your diving.





The itineraries are typically 7 days and aim to take in the very best diving available subject to conditions.


Expect to pay around EUR3,743 for this length trip. This equates to 467/day. However, please note that this does not include some extras such as port/marine park fees, crew tips, alcoholic drinks and equipment rental. Please contact us for further details.

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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2 liveaboard reviews for “MV Nortada”

  1. My wife and I were on the Nortada from 28 Feb through 2 Mar 2018. The diving was excellent . . . as it would have been from any boat that visited the same dive sites. The food was good, the dive masters were outstanding, the cabins were at the waterline and, therefore, dark and a bit musty. I don’t know how they compare with cabins on other similarly-priced boats.

    The trip was NOT, however, as advertised: One of the major, advertised selling points for the boat is that it only has 4 cabins. Therefore, a maximum of eight divers: “All . . . departures are run with two dive masters diving from two tenders. This renders . . . an increased supervision ratio (of 4 divers per dive master). In reality there were 10 divers . . . the company rented out the captain’s cabin, of all things, forcing two of the crew to sleep in the lounge. Of the 10 divers, three were inexperienced and wound up having a tender to themselves where the dive master could hold their hand while diving. And I mean, hold their hands. He really did that with one of the divers through all twenty dives. This left 7 divers crowded into the other tender, which was not safe when the divers rolled into the water. On several occasions we got our feet tangled on entry. It also meant that the dive master had to supervise 7 divers scattered in wild current. This was NOT the same as the 4 divers per tender the company advertises.

    The literature advertises that the boat is equipped to handle rebreathers. It is not.

    The literature advertises “Nitrox/Trimix LP systems features compressor, membrane and helium intake”. The boat is not equipped for Nitrox or any other mixture other than straight air.

    The literature states: “EMERGENCY OXYGEN is located on top deck”. In fact, there is some sort of cylinder on the top deck. It is not marked OXYGEN and, if it does contain oxygen, I would be reluctant to use it. It is almost eaten through with rust and gives the appearance of something salvaged from the bottom of the ocean. If it were a dive tank, I not only would refuse to use it, I would refuse to dive with the company that supplied it.

    • Hi Bill, thank you for posting. your review is very helpful, there are very few reviews for 2018 and none for 2019. Based on your review I doesn’t seem they are safe enough. I would have use them if they would have good reviews but unfortunately their reviews are not good on other websites either. Thank you for posting.

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