Estrella del Mar
Estrella del Mar is a nature lovers' liveaboard that conducts tours around some of the Galapagos' most interesting sites on cruises from 3 to 7 nights in duration. This is an affordable way to learn about and experience the wonders of the Galapagos Islands, with a dedicated naturalist guide on board to reveal to you the delights of this unique archipelago.
Length: 23 metres / 75 foot
Beam: 6 metres / 21 foot
Cruise: 8 knots
There are 8 twin cabins, each with en-suite bathroom facilities
. This means that the capacity of the boat is only 16 guests so you can enjoy your trip with a degree of exclusivity, avoiding large flocks of guests associated with some of the other boats. Estrella del Mar is a former liveaboard dive boat so it is fully prepared for touring around the region with a large saloon and dining area which are fully air-conditioned. Here you will find many natural history books relevant to the Galapagos plus there is a TV and DVD player so you can watch informative films or regular movies.
There is also a large sundeck where you can enjoy the sun and watch the ever-changing scenery, and spot marine creatures at the surface and on the shoreline. With a maximum of just 16 guests on each tour and a crew of 9, you can be assured of plenty of personal attention and warm Ecuadorian smiles from the attentive staff.
In between fascinating land, shoreline and snorkelling tours, you can enjoy a high standard of food during breakfast, lunch and dinner, all served on board. The various cruise routes focus on the central islands of the Galapagos and depending on itinerary, could include Espanola, Floreana, Darwin's Bay, Devil's Crown and Post Office Bay. In any case you will be in the safe hands of a tour operator with over 30 years of experience showcasing the very best that the Galapagos has to offer.
Scheduled departures, prices, destinations, durations...
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Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, guide service, shore excursions, transfers in the islands between shore and dock, airport transfers for same day arrivals and departures.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Galapagos entrance fee US$ 100, transit card US$ 20, both paid on arrival, departure taxes, travel insurance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid in advance.
Optional extras: Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, wetsuits, snorkelling equipment. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid in advance.
How to get there: Estrella del Mar departs from San Cristobal, Santa Cruz or Baltra depending on the tour itinerary. Guests fly into Ecuador and take a connecting flight, through Guayaquil or Quito, to the Galapagos Islands.
You will need to overnight in Guayaquil or Quito before flying on to the islands. To ensure easy flight connections to Galapagos, a 2 night stop-over is recommended. On the return leg you will probably need to overnight in Guayaquil or Quito since most international flights depart too early to make the connection possible. The flight from Galapagos arrives in Guayaquil (and then Quito) in the afternoon.
We will place your domestic flight requirements with the liveaboard operator who are responsible for booking the flights. We request your patience with this process since there are often waiting lists and slow confirmations of availability. You must inform us whether you are flying into Guayaquil or Quito before domestic flights can be considered. If you wish to extend your stay in the Galapagos Islands to enjoy other land tours please decide that early in the booking process to ensure flight availability.
For more information see our Galapagos travel information section.
Non-diver rate: Not applicable.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travellers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of 80% of the published price.
Dive clubs and group discounts: There is no group discount.
Whole boat charter rate (per night): US$6,743 assuming 7 nights. Please contact us for more details and for price for shorter charters.
Cabins, Berths, Showers, Bathrooms...
There are 8 Standard twin bunk-bed cabins available on all the Galapagos trips, each with their own private bathroom. 4 of the cabins are located on the upper deck, all with windows; and 4 more are on the lower deck and these feature portholes.
All the cabins have:
- Windows or portholes
- Private bathroom with toilet, hot water shower, hand basin, toiletries and towels
- Reading lights
- Cabinet, shelves and mirror
- 2 pin wall sockets with 110V electricity
- Bedding and space for luggage
- Fire warning system
- Life jackets
- Fire extinguisher
No. of bathrooms / showers - 11 / 11 - hot water
Land Visits, Island hopping, Sightseeing...
On Estrella del Mar you will discover all the very best of Galapagos' natural highlights. With your own certified nature guide you will go ashore for land tours, animal encounters, visits to research centres as well as sights of natural interest.
You will be treated to visits to locations where daytrippers cannot reach, rising early in secluded bays to enjoy breakfast before going ashore. If you want to see the best of the Galapagos and avoid the crowds of daytrippers then a liveaboard trip such as those offered by Estrella del Mar is a great solution.
Specific highlights depend on which itinerary you choose but typically they might include the legendary Charles Darwin Station where you can educate yourself in the natural wonders of Galapagos and their significance to the wider scientific world. You can also expect to visit a giant tortoise sanctuary, colonies of boobies, a lava tunnel, snorkelling with sea lions, spotting iguanas on the beach and more.
As an add-on to a diving trip to the Galapagos Islands or a stand-alone tour experience, you will never forget the incredible days spent drinking in the natural wonders of the Galapagos from the comfort and style of Estrella del Mar.
Crew, Facilities, Dive Courses...
The crew of 9 comprise:
- Tour Leader / Nature Guide
- 2 Cooks
- 2 Engineers
- 2 Deck Hands
2 Motorised dinghies - Main deck air-conditioned saloon with TV, DVD, music system, and books about the Galapagos Islands - Dedicated air-conditioned restaurant with bar - Sundeck and shaded area with sun beds - Drinking water dispenser
Menu, Cuisine Type...
Dining on board the Estrella del Mar means experiencing a variety of international dishes blended with several Ecuadorian and South American specialties. You can expect plenty of meat and fish dishes, as well as salad, soups and breads. There is a also a sizzling barbecue once a week.
- International food based on meat and fish, with some local dishes.
- Air-conditioned dining room with buffet meals and waitress service.
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are provided.
- Snacks include candy bars, biscuits, bread and fruit.
- Coffee, tea and drinking water are provided free of charge.
- Soft drinks, beer and wine are available for purchase on board.
- All dietary requirements can be catered - please send advanced notice.
- Cruise dining service begins with lunch on boarding.
- Built in 1989, upgraded in 2013
- Refurbished bi-annually
- Size - 23m x 6.5m
- Top speed - 9 knots
- Cruising speed - 8 knots
- 2 x 250 HP Detroit Diesel engines
- 2 x 50 KW Caterpillar generators
- Electricity 110V, 24 hours per day
- Water capacity - 15,000 litres
- Fresh watermaker - 4,000 litres per day
- Fuel capacity - 20,000 litres
- Waste storage tank
Navigation, Safety Features...
- Life raft (40 pax.)
- 2 x 50 HP Yamaha dinghies
- Furuno radar
- Furuno GPS
- Furuno fishfinder
- Furuno sounder
- Iridium satellite phone & mobile phone
- Searchlight and horn
- Bilge pump alarm
- Medic first aid box & trained staff
- Full alarm system
- Life jackets & fire extinguishers throughout
- Customer travel insurance is not provided - see our insurance programme for a competitive quotation