Argo is the latest ship of the Undersea Hunter Group. The home port of Argo is Puntarenas on the west coast of Costa Rica. Puntarenas is reached by car from the capital San Jose in just about 3 hours. Argo accommodates up to 18 divers.
The crossing to Cocos Island takes about 36 hours. Because of the long journey, extended 10 and 12 night excursions are offered from Puntarenas. You get 7-9 dive days, which makes the trip worthwhile. All divers must arrive in San Jose at least one day ahead of cruise start. It is also recommended to have one night after cruise end. Pick-ups are done only from 4 host hotels in San Jose.
Argo is a 40m long (130ft) dive vessel which has space for up to 18 divers. There is a beautiful sun deck available and the dive deck offers plenty of space. You can relax in the comfortable and stylish lounge and there is a separate dining area. Meals are served buffet style and they are plentiful and very delicious. A good quality coffee machine (also makes cappuccinos), is available for guests around the clock. Apart from coffee, tea, soft drinks and beer is also available for free.
Argo is an excellent vessel for divers. With the under water photographer in mind, they provide lots of space and rinsing bins for camera equipment and of course charging stations are available too. A Nitrox filling station is on board. Full support is offered to divers who bring their own rebreathers. The electronic equipment and safety standards of the Argo are state of the art. Furthermore Argo is equipped with two fiberglass dive boats.
There are 8 large double/twin cabins and the Owner's cabin. All cabins are equipped with private bathroom and individually controlled air-conditioning. All cabins are distinctly themed rooms, with hand painted artwork. All cabins come with a flat screen TV with DVD player, custom cabinetry, and a luxury, private bathroom with granite countertops, and 110V outlets.
Cabin 1, 2 and 4 are twin cabins with 2 separate beds on opposite sides of the cabin.
Cabins 3, 5 and 6 are double cabins with a queen bed, where they can add an upper bed if necessary.
The main deck houses the main salon, the galley, the dining room, camera and dive gear storage and the dive platform.
Cabin 7 is also a double cabin, on the upper deck, and where they can also add an upper bed if necessary.
Cabin 8 is also a double cabin with one queen size bed, where they can also add an upper bed if necessary.
Cabin 9 is the Owner's cabin on the upper deck with one queen size bed. The owner's cabin has the same fabulous amenities and features of the other Argo cabins. The addition of the cabin extends the upstairs party deck to almost twice its previous size.
On board of Argo it is all about diving. On the dive days 3 dives a day are offered. Each dive is accompanied by a dive guide, who leads the dive if desired, otherwise independent diving is announced. All dives are conducted after a detailed briefing with skiffs. Nitrox is free of charge. The dives are often quite long and no-decompression limits are reached quickly, so diving with Nitrox is highly recommended. Divers will individually be equipped with satellite tracking devices, to assure no one gets lost out in the open sea. A safety sausage is mandatory for each diver and should be brought on board. If you don't bring your own, Argo supplies safety sausages to all passengers. 12L (80 cu.ft.) aluminium tanks are provided. A limited supply of 15L steel tanks is available and should be requested in advance. The 12L tanks are standard INT (not DIN). The 15L tanks are DIN. Adapators are available. Water temperature is about 26C to 29C (78F-83F), although it can be a few degrees lower under the occasional thermocline.
The DeepSee submersible is available on almost all of the Argo and Sea Hunter trips. The submersible is usually placed on Argo, but is also available for Sea Hunter guests when both vessels coincide at the islands for 2-4 days. Guests have the opportunity (at extra cost) to explore the underwater world with the submersible up to 305m (1000ft) depths! An absolutely special and amazing experience for sure! It is recommended to reserve and prepay your DeepSee dives in order to guarantee your seat.
Cocos Island together with Galapagos are probably the most spectacular dive destinations in the world for big fish! Most dives take place on small offshore rocks and islands. Around here are cleaning stations, where large schools of hammerhead sharks are seen regularly.
Apart from hammerhead sharks which are seen on almost every dive, large schools of jacks, and barracudas will get your attention as well! Different species of sharks can be seen, such as silky sharks, silver tips and tiger sharks. That's not all, watch out for manta rays, mobula rays, whale sharks and dolphins which can be spotted on almost all excursions. Of course, turtles, lot's of moray eels and lobsters live here in big numbers. With a bit of luck you can see sailfish or whales chasing their lunch or dinner! If the conditions allow, night dives will be offered as well.
You should know...
While diving Cocos Island is extraordinary and beautiful, the Cocos Island area is very remote. It is not recommended for inexperienced divers because it is an open ocean destination that requires advanced open water diving skills. The minimum required level of certification to dive at Cocos is Open Water and it is strongly recommended having at least the specialties of deep & night diver. It is also recommended to have a minimum of 25 hours of diving experience, since some dives are deeper than 30m (100ft). Currents and visibility can be entirely different in just a few hours. The dive guide on board will always be the final authority as to wether a passenger can do any specific dive.
The vessel is in radio contact with the Undersea Hunter Fleet office in San Jose during office hours. There is also a satellite phone on board, which costs USD 3.50 per minute.
Argo is the perfect vessel, just right for the long journey to Cocos Island. It offers all services that divers can dream of. Technical divers cannot go past her!