Flotation device for snorkeling on Galapagos?

We are going on the August tour of the Galapagos. I am not a strong swimmer and was wondering if anyone knows if they have flotation vests for snorkelers on Isabella II. I would like to try snorkeling but am a little afraid without something to help with flotation. Has anyone gone in August, was the water rough? I was reading on another site (probably a smaller boat, too) that it was so rough they couldn’t eat dinner.


  • They provide life vests if you want to wear them. Is there any way you can practice snorkeling before you go because I think there is a learning curve. They provided wet suits also help type float. You really have to learn to breathe slowly and steadily so you don’t hyper ventilate and feel light headed. I find that snorkeling is quite tiring and also makes me ravenously hungry. I’ve been to the Galapagos twice, the last time in some areas the water was freezing cold, I jumped in and jumped out at one place, it was just too much for me.
    The roughness of the sea can vary a lot. I’m hoping Alan S will chip in with tips since he used to be a professional diver.

  • We did the Galapagos three times aboard Celebrity’s Xpedition. It is a bigger boat that carries around 100 people. We did the trip during the “cool dry season” and the water was cold, and the water was sometimes rough. It varied from island to island. It never got so rough that we could not eat ... or drink. We used flotation while snorkeling even though I was a competitive swimmer and Scuba diver. I don’t think I’ve ever snorkeled or dived in deep water without a BC.

  • Thank you for your helpful answers! I have been a little apprehensive about this trip so it helps to hear from others:)

  • edited June 2019

    For a novice, buoyancy is an absolute necessity. A vest + wet suit. As British says, if you have rarely snorkeled you need to practice. Go to your nearest city pool and try it out. Try clearing your mask and snorkel of water. Practice breathing. Don't plan on taking an u/w camera for photos, that will make things tougher, besides it will be hard to get good shots unless you are competent in the water and/or dive under a few feet.

    At the Galapagos there is a confluence of three ocean currents. One day the water will be cool, the next it will be cold. There is no telling when and where this will occur.

    I used to swim competitively, have snorkeled and done SCUBA diving around the world, and was a SCUBA instructor. In the Galapagos I used a warm water suit which is much thinner and less buoyant than the shorty wetsuits provided. Never the less, I didn't use additional flotation, but on the contrary wore a weight belt so I could more easily dive down to take photos of the friendly fishies: :o

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file