Galapagos Photo Workshop: May 2020
2020 Galapagos Islands Underwater Photo Workshop
This will be an epic trip with a rarely offered 10-night trip to see hammerheads, mantas, marine iguanas, penguins, batfish, seahorses, Galapagos sharks and more. The trip is timed for the best hammerhead & iguana encounters, best visibility, and best water temps. Extra time at Darwin plus 2 - 3 land tours.
May 18 - 28, 2020
Led by Mark Strickland
10 Nights for:
Lower Cabin $7,450 per person
Upper Cabin $7,600 per person
✓ We book resorts/ liveaboards that offer the best overall value
✓ Gear discounts and other benefits
✓ Great support if flight/weather issues occur
✓ "Bluewater helped me out when I needed it most, the airline wouldn't let me board because of a Visa issue. They saved my butt" - Ray Tsusuki
Quote from previous trip leader, Scott Gietler: "I have put together an epic trip to the Galapagos, where we will help people get incredible photos of hammerhead sharks, mantas, marine iguanas, penguins and more. I have picked a boat with the best possible itinerary for this purpose at the best time of year - this will truly be a trip of a lifetime."
The unique and isolated islands of the Galapagos are home to truly extraordinary creatures: Schooling hammerheads and a large variety of other sharks, mantas, sea turtles, and sea lions, as well as endemic species such as penguins, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and extensive schools of fish.
Scott has done extensive research to choose the best possible time of year and route for our Galapagos trips.
The Galapagos Master is a first-class yacht with capacity for just 16 divers. Its spacious cabins and well-designed dive amenities ensure a comfortable and relaxing trip. A spacious indoor lounge boasts cushioned bench seating and plasma screen for photo viewing, and there is an indoor camera set-up station with numerous charging points and storage drawers situated to the rear, providing ample room for a full photography charter group. Further camera preparation areas can be found on the rear deck next to the dive deck.
With this 10-day itinerary, guests will get up to 30 dives - a vast increase from the 20 dives included in most 7-day trips!
Marine Life to Photograph
Thanks to their extreme isolation, the Galapagos Islands have some of the most unique marine life on the planet. Here are just a few examples of marine life you're likely to see: dolphins, sea lions, penguins, turtles, marlin and large schools of fish, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, whale sharks, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, eels, and manta rays. This is a wide-angle photographer's paradise, but don't leave the macro lens at home: frogfish, octopus, seahorses, nudibranchs and other small subjects are found at various dive sites. Finally, visitors often encounter penguins, flightless cormorants, and marine iguanas.
This is the warm season in the Galapagos with the highest water and air temps. Brief afternoon rain showers are common, but expect the sun to reappear after the rain. Water temperature is 70-86F (21-30C) with some cooler thermoclines at depth. The northern islands are generally colder. Visibility stays between 40-100 feet (12-33 meters).
✓ All meals and snacks throughout the cruise
✓ Coffee from the espresso machine, tea, fruit juice, and soft drinks
✓ Daily photo workshops
✓ Up to 30 dives
✓ Three land-based tours
✓ Airport transfers
✗ Park fee ($100 cash, paid upon arrival)
✗ Hyperbaric chamber fee ($35)
✗ Ingala Transit Card ($20 payable at Guayaquil International Airport)
✗ Nitrox ($200 for a 10-night trip - recommended!)
✗ Airfare, additional transfers, and hotels
✗ Alcoholic beverages
✗ Equipment/computer/underwater torch rental
✗ Dive insurance
The itinerary can be variable and will be planned according to the direction of the trip leader and cruise director on board. They will have a good idea at that time of the conditions at the various locations. Here is an example of a typical itinerary:
> Monday: San Cristobal embarkation and checkout dive (1 dive)
> Tuesday: Morning, Carrion Point (2 dives). Afternoon, North Seymour (land visit).
> Wednesday: Darwin (4 dives)
> Thursday: Darwin (4 dives)
> Friday: Wolf (4 dives)
> Saturday: Wolf (2-4 dives)
> Sunday: Douglas Cape (3 dives)
> Monday: Vicente Roca Point/Marshall Cape (3 dives)
> Tuesday: Morning, Roca Redonda (2 dives). Afternoon, Albermale Point (dive + land visit)
> Wednesday: Morning, Cousin Rock (2 dives). Afternoon, Charles Darwin Station (land visit)
> Thursday: San Cristobal disembarkation
The new Galapagos Master liveaboard used to be the "Deep Blue" - a very well-laid out boat. The Master Liveaboard fleet, owned by the Siren Fleet (WWDS), is refitting the boat with new engines, new compressors, new generators, new water-makers, individual air-con, an entertainment system in each room, a dedicated camera station, new dive gear for rent, and Nautilus lifelines, along with many other small improvements.
Mark Strickland’s life-long interest in the sea has included over 10,000 dives and careers as a lifeguard, boat captain, and scuba instructor. His passion for underwater photography has led him to many top dive locales, including the Virgin Islands, Australia, and Thailand, where he spent 17 years as Cruise Director on a series of liveaboards. Mark now resides in Ventura County, California. Currently, Mark leads several dive trips each year to his favorite destinations, while working on a career-spanning large-format pictorial book. Learn more about Mark here.
Trip Leader Testimonials
"What an amazing trip! Mark made it for us, and I so much appreciate that. I can't thank him enough. We really enjoyed meeting him and spending time with him, and learning from him. He is a wonderful instructor and his sessions were great. You can be assured that we will cross paths again on another workshop." - Greg Clifton, Fiji October 2018 photo workshop guest
"Thanks to Mark for a great trip. It was a lot of fun sharing the Naia and all the diving with him. His workshop presentations are incredible, I cannot believe the scope and depth he presents. He's really good at it, I’m impressed." - Phillip Colla, Fiji October 2018 photo workshop Guest
"Over many decades of diving, I've gone on a number of photo workshops on liveaboard trips, but none come close to the standard set by Mark Strickland! Every day we had an hour or more discussion about some aspect of underwater photography, including some specialized topics that helped a lot, plus an image review of three or four shots each diver had taken that day. Mark's critiques were always constructive and our photos got steadily better. Mark is also a great guy, fun to travel with, fun to dive with. He never minded being asked for help, either! All in all one of the best trips ever! And we for sure will go on another of his trips soon!" - Tom Baker
"I'm a better shooter as a result of Mark's instruction" - Mark Hatter
"Mark was patient, knowledgeable, organized, and friendly. He had a concern for all of us--travel-wise and photography-wise. He was one of the best." and "Mark and Adam made me a tremendous fan of Blue Water Travel and will absolutely guarantee that I will book another trip with them again. You guys more than rock." - Dr. Ray T.
The trip will begin and end in San Cristobal. When the time comes (no sooner than 1 year before departure) we can assist you with flight suggestions and booking. Guests will fly into Guayaquil International Airport (code GYE), then take one of several daily 1-hour flights to San Cristobal (code SCY). Embarkation begins on May 18; it is recommended that guests arrive on the 17th, or early morning on the 18th.
> Deposit: $600
> Payment 2: $1,300 - Due 4/15/19
> Payment 3: $3,500 - Due 10/15/19
> Final Payment - Due 1/15/20
Got Questions? Ready to Book?
Call Bluewater Travel at 310-915-6677 or email email@example.com and let them book your dream vacation at the best price!
Galapagos Photos & Video from Previous Trips