Guadalupe Great White Sharks
Guadalupe Island (Mexico) is the top destination for great white shark encounters. This small volcanic island located in the Pacific 240 kilometers (150 miles) off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula outperforms both South Africa and Australia with shark-seeing consistency and watching conditions. Only Guadalupe Island can boast shark viewing in beautiful clear blue water with 125 – 150 foot visibility. We recently identified 171 unique great white sharks in the bay where we stage our double decker submersible cage diving operations which guarantees unforgettable encounters.
Diving with Sharks
We offer a rich and natural experience of shark encounters on these trips by descending down to 30 feet where great white sharks naturally spend their time. We don’t need to use chum at depth; the sharks are already there. We have seen up to six great whites at once circling the cages. Without chum these great whites are more relaxed, exhibit MUCH more curiosity, and come in MUCH closer to the cages. Best of all, our cages are double-deckers, which means you can venture onto the upper deck and outside the bars to truly go face-to-face with great white sharks out in the open. It is an unforgettable rush when a great white looks at you from 50 feet away and then swims over for a very close look.
For your safety, all diving is done using a hookah system – otherwise known as surface supplied air – and our custom designed double decker cages. These cages are designed to provide maximum protection for you AND for our sharks. It is vitally important that the sharks are never affected or injured during their interaction with us.
Mexican park regulations require that you stay within the cages at all times including keeping your arms, hands and cameras inside. Feeding the sharks and the use of camera strobes and lights is strictly prohibited. Please do not contaminate the beautiful clear blue waters of Guadalupe with suntan lotion or any other contaminants.
You will be accompanied by one of our divemasters on all dives for your safety and to increase your chances of shark sightings. You should be ready and dressed in your wetsuit 10 minutes before your scheduled cage time. We recommend DUI weight harnesses and approximately 40 lbs of lead depending on your weight and type of wetsuit. Please see any of our divemasters for assistance. Note that a 5 – 7 mm wetsuit is usually adequate to keep you warm but we do have hoods, hooded vests and extra gloves available for loan if needed.
For your additional safety, each cage is equipped with backup sets of scuba gear for each diver in the exceptionally unlikely event of a problem with the hookah system. The cages are normally entered and exited through an upper hatch but there is also an emergency escape hatch painted red if needed. This hatch must remain closed during normal operations.
July to November Diving with great white sharks and going face-to-face with them at 30 feet is an unforgettable experience but also very different than most people imagine. We believe in natural interaction and instead of using oil and blood and chum at the surface, we use submersible cages with open top decks to descend down to where the sharks naturally congregate. Natural interaction results in more sharks, more interaction and unforgettable up close encounters. July and August features rowdy gangs of male sharks acting just like groups of teenage boys! Female great whites start showing up in September. October and November features the enormous 18 foot dominant females affectionately known as “Big Momma’s”. Over 171 individual great whites have been identified in the bay that we dive in.
Your Guadalupe Trip Starts Here
Voyages are typically 5 nights/6 days. Number of shark-dives on the trip is virtually unlimited. On the first morning upon arrival we do warm-up dives and afterwards the pool is always open. Each submersible cage will take 3 divers + 1 dive master, 3 times a day. Current record is 31.5 hours of cage time over 3 dive days. Cages close at 5 p.m. on the last dive day to get ready for the steam home.
We also offer 10 and 15 night Guadalupe combo-trips. 10 night trip combines diving with the great white sharks at Guadalupe Island with scuba diving in the giant kelp forests of the California Channel Islands and San Benito Islands and other remote islands on the Pacific side of Baja California. 15 night expedition in November combines Guadalupe and San Benitos with the famous giant mantas and dolphins of Socorro Island.
Your trip begins in San Diego or Ensenada where you will board the Nautilus Explorer or Nautilus Belle Amie (AKA Where’s John). Both are custom designed for divers to the highest possible level of comfort and safety with a layout that utilizes every square foot of available space. Everything is first class and certified to the same exacting international SOLAS and ISM standards as the largest cruise ship.
Exceptional Modern Boats
All Guadalupe adventures are available on the Nautilus Explorer or Nautilus Belle Amie. Both ships are custom built, stabilized, beautiful white boats built to SOLAS standards. Each have accommodations that suite all preferences ranging from a luxurious premium suites with their own entry to the deck to triple and quad occupancy staterooms.
An unforgettable experience. Picture it – dive to 30 feet and go face to face with great white sharks in crystal clear, calm and sheltered water. Typically outstanding visiblity of 125 feet plus.
Plethora of Sharks. We use submersible cages with open top decks to descend down to where the sharks naturally congregate. There are 120 individual white sharks identified so far just in one bay that we dive in (shark Bay!). See up to 5 sharks at any given time.
Our treat! Relax in the hot tub or enjoy a drink on the sundeck. Snacks are always offered all day long. Have fun at the wine & cheese party, and at night head up to the sun deck and enjoy a movie under the stars. Don’t forget our great selection of spirits and wine from around the world.
With over 25 years of operational experience, we have learned that the safest alcohol policy is to restrict guests from bringing their alcohol onboard. We provide a wide selection of beer, wine and alcohol from the ship’s bar at every reasonable prices. Please contact our operations office 60 days prior to your trip for a variation from this policy otherwise the crew will politely but firmly restrict all guests on your trip from bringing their own alcohol onboard.
Go diving with great white sharks in 40 feet of clear blue water! Guadalupe Island (Mexico) is the top destination for great white shark encounters. This small volcanic island located in the Pacific 240 kilometers (150 miles) off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula outperforms both South Africa and Australia with shark sighting consistency and watching conditions. Only Guadalupe Island can boast shark viewing in one-hundred-twenty-five-foot visibility. The bay where we stage our submersible diving operations counts a population of 94 great white sharks, which guarantees unforgettable encounters. The Nautilus Belle Amie offers convenient evening departures, virtually unlimited diving, the opportunity to watch the great whites out in the open in 30 feet of clear blue water from the top deck of our double-decker submersible cages and all the services of a luxury liveaboard – from gear rental to attentive hospitality and a sparkling-clear hot tub.
What We Say
We offer a rich, natural shark experience. Using submersible cages we take you down into the sharks’ world where they prefer to spend their time. We don’t need to use chum at depth; the sharks are already there. We have seen up to six great whites at once circling the cage and even bumping up against it in a gentle way. Without chum around they are more relaxed, exhibit MUCH more curiosity, and come in MUCH closer to the cages. Best of all, our cages are “double-deckers”, which means you can venture onto the upper deck and outside the bars to truly go face-to-face with great white sharks. It is an unforgettable rush when a great white looks at you from 50 feet away and then swims over for a very close look!
Diving is done via surface supplied “hookah” with backup dive gear in each cage. Our submersible cages go up and down every 30 minutes. The great whites often follow the submersible cages up to the surface and will hang around providing great viewing from our cage at 15 feet and our stationary 3-meter long surface cages tethered off the stern of the Nautilus Belle Amie.
*Price does not include taxes.
Sea conditions in our anchorage are generally calm with 25 – 40 meter visibility in very blue water. Water temperatures are around 23 degrees Celsius. 5 – 7 mm full wet suit is recommended for all seasons.
No special experience required. Divers in submersible cages are escorted by a divemaster.
The Nautilus Belle Amie is heavy 550-ton stable oceanic vessel. On the crossing, the seas are usually 1.5 – 2 meters although they can also be flat calm or occasionally (maybe once per season) we experience 3-meter waves. Sea state is no problem for almost all divers especially if guests use the scopolamine patch. Our anchorage at Guadalupe is sheltered and calm.