Face-to-Face with the Great White Sharks
OF GUADALUPE ISLAND
The SHARKS! WOW! After a few slow hours in the morning the first two days, the remaining dive time was non-stop action with sometimes as many as 4 sharks circling the cages and appearing from the blue from all angles. This shark cage diving trip is both an adrenaline rush and an experience of extreme beauty and awe.
This is my 9th trip to Guadalupe Island and it has been, by far, the best I’ve seen. Great white sharks on every dive and most dives had multiple sharks. It is hard to beat being in the cage with 4-5 great whites circling the cage. This has got to be one of the most exciting experiences you can have
– Dan O.
The ship itself and the accommodations were impressive from the start. The staff has been amazing from minute one. You all heard of people being so kind they’re willing to give you the shirt off their back, in my case Jorge the deckhand gave me the cap off his head because the ever so popular great white cap sold out. The chef and service staff were amazing from making delicious meals and providing prompt service with a smile every time at all times.
– Enoc G.
One of my biggest dreams has always been to dive with the great white sharks. We started off early in the morning, the mist was hanging heavenly down over the mountain and the water was calm and blue. Went down in the 2 person cage with Captain Baron. After only a couple of minutes it was there, so graceful just gliding through the water. A young male around 3,5 meters circled our cage for about 30 min. Once we were back on the surface I was filled with happiness and peacefulness after making one of my dreams come true and to share the water with one of the most beautiful animals on earth.
– Emelie E.
From the moment we stepped onto the ship, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. From the boat, to our room, to the crew, the food, and the diving, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. We were spoiled from the solicitous crew to 3 days of extraordinary diving. Every day was better than the last and more than a perfect 10! I couldn’t have asked for a better or more memorable trip. Thank you to each and everyone of the wonderful crew!!!!
– Kim R.
Food was fantastic! Sleeping quarters very comfortable, they thought of everything in the dive area–hot showers, baby shampoo for defog, listerine dips for regulators and plenty of shelving for our photography equipment. Don’t know the chefs’ names but they are excellent. Really great trip and all very comfortable and professional.
– Julie G.
What can I say. The trip was a once in a lifetime experience. Seeking Great Whites at such close observation was amazing and the crew really made this a terrific trip. Everyone worked so very hard to make sure that the trip was a success and the exceeded all possible expectations. Bravo!!!!!
– Harry D.
We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. It exceeded whatever expectations we had. The diving and shark action were spectacular, the food was great and the crew a pleasure to have looking after us. We appreciate all the effort to make this vacation experience as enjoyable and trouble free as it turned out to be.
– Craig S.
This trip on the Nautilus Belle Amie went above and beyond my expectations! The crew worked so hard and they worked diligently together, taking on responsibilities that might not have been theirs. They treated us like family and were always there when I needed something. I was very impressed how they remembered names of the guests. I only met them (the staff and guests) 6 days ago, but I feel like we have been friends for years. As far as the shark cage diving goes, I was expecting it to be fantastic. Even saying that, this trip still exceeded my expectations! I hope to return to Guadalupe Island again and when I do, it will definitely be with the Nautilus team! Thank you much for giving me one of the greatest experiences of my life! I look forward to seeing you again!
– Stephanie H.
Meet in San Diego, sail from Ensenada.
Slice 8 hours off your ocean transit time by jumping aboard “Shredder”!
*90 minute coach transfer plus border clearance.
Guadalupe Island Itinerary
Day 1 – Welcome Aboard!
Meet in San Diego. Sail from Ensenada, slicing 8 hours off your ocean transit time by jumping aboard “Shredder”, our luxury Volvo highway coach. Our goal is to get you down to the boat as effortlessly and comfortably as possible. Your adventure begins when you join us at our San Diego Dive Center. We ask everyone to please be there by 7pm… read more >
at the latest. “Shredder” (named after one of our favourite great white sharks) usually departs at 7:30pm and will whisk you down to Ensenada in 2.5 hours including clearing the border.
Our crew will be ready to greet you dockside in Ensenada with big smiles and trays of champagne. Next stop: Guadalupe Island tomorrow evening, and in calm water by dinner time! Our big, comfortable ships are the only large, steel, stabilized dive boats in this part of the pacific and you can expect the best ride possible, although it’s always a good idea to bring anti-seasickness meds. Captain Mike has always joked that drugs and alcohol make for the perfect crossing – we are pretty sure he means Gravol and a nice glass of wine.< read less
Day 2 – At Sea
Today we will be travelling and relaxing at sea. An orientation will be held in the morning, followed by a fire and boat safety drill. A drill? On holiday? Don’t worry, it is for your safety but we will make it lots of fun. We are proud to have the first, and some of the only, ISM safety certified passenger vessel dive boats in the world. There are many strict requirements that we meet and comply with. Shark 101 will be in the afternoon, then you will have a chance to try out a shark cage on the back deck! Cocktail hour is at 7pm, although our guests often enjoy some cocktails well before that!… read more >
Guests who have signed up for onboard WiFi will have all day to send photos home via email and WhatsApp. Guadalupe Island should appear over the horizon in the early evening, ensuring our guests have a calm night in the protected anchorage to relax and get a restful sleep before the next morning’s excitement of diving with our sharky friends first thing! Just say “NO” to all the other shark boats with noon departures and morning arrivals with a big rush to get the cages in the water. < read less
Day 3 – Let the Sharking Begin
Our theory on how shark trips should operate is very simple. Have loads of large comfortable cages in the water (up to 5 cages on the Belle Amie). Open the cages for diving at 6:30am. Leave the cages open until dusk. Have lots of divemasters in the water and on the dive deck to ensure an excellent diving experience for our guests. We provide virtually unlimited diving in our surface cages, and provide at least three dives a day for certified divers in our submersible cages. We love doing Shark ID in the late afternoon, followed by cocktail hour and our famous (and delicious!) Mexican Taco Fiesta on the top deck.
Day 4 – Rinse & Repeat shark cage diving
Cages open at 6:30am and you can start diving as early, or late as you want. One of the best things about the way we operate is that you can almost always jump into a surface cage and stay in as long as you want. The current record onboard stands at 31.5 hours in the cages over three days! Certified divers can make at least three dives a day in our deep-diving submersible cages, and there is often the chance to get an extra dive or two in these cages as well. We have a simple goal – we want to make sure you can dive as much as you want, for as long as you want. And don’t worry about missing a meal if you are in the water… read more >
– our chefs and hostesses will cook up breakfast to order or save a plate of food for you.
Many of our divers love warming up in the hot tub or the dive deck showers between dives. Our water makers produce more than enough hot water for you to shower in your private ensuite cabin whenever you want. The only difference between using the hot tub or your private shower is that we feel more comfortable serving you snacks and drinks when you are in the hot tub… jejeje.
Provided it is not too windy, “theatre under the stars” on the top deck will be on offer tonight. Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is always a favourite, followed closely by The Perfect Storm! Gazing up at the clear, starry Mexican sky from your comfortable lounger creates much more than a 5-star experience: it is a many-thousand star experience! < read less
Day 5 – The last shark cage diving day always comes too quickly!
Today is our last day of sharking! We want to give you every possible second in the water at Guadalupe, so we stay on-site until 5pm before swinging the cages onboard and heading back north to Ensenada. This means you get the maximum amount of time possible with your new toothy friends before heading home.
Tonight we will have our last Shark ID session. Shark ID helps the scientists we work with by providing them with incredibly valuable information on … read more >
shark population, movements and developments. Our guests and crew have helped identify (and name!) many of the 322 individual Great White sharks in the bay that we dive in at Guadalupe Island. Conservation, research and regulation are all dependent on constant census and identification work. Your adventure with Nautilus matters. A portion of every charter fee goes to supporting science and conservation. In 2018, we were excited to launch our bespoke shark ID software, which uploads data in real time from our ships via our satellite system to a public domain shark ID database and sends automated email alerts to the scientists that we work with. < read less
Day 6 – Return to Ensenada
Sadly, your time onboard will come to a close when we arrive in Ensenada at 1:30 p.m. Before you disembark, we will ensure you get a copy of the trip highlights DVD that our crew has put together. “Shredder”, our luxury coach, will be ready to transport guests to either Tijuana or San Diego. … read more >
It will be sad for us to say goodbye. Hopefully we will see you again very soon. Even though diving with Great Whites is a powerful, amazing experience, we refuse to say it is “once in a lifetime” – many guests get hooked on white sharks and soon return for another adventure. We have been lucky enough to have guests return as many as 17 times! We cannot wait to welcome you onboard so you can discover for yourself why these trips are so incredibly popular!
And remember, dive safe! And always dive with a Nautilus LifeLine Marine Rescue GPS. < read less
White Shark Calendar
July and August features rowdy gangs of male sharks. Female great whites start showing up in August. “Big Mommas” October and November.
Water & Surface Temperatures
Surface weather is similar to southern California and can be quite hot during the day and cooler overnight.
The Best Great White Shark Diving on the Planet
The best great white shark (Carcharodon Carcharias) encounters in the world are at Guadalupe Island and Nautilus is the best way to get in the water with them. That is a big statement to make, but we can back it up!!
The simple truth is that there are loads of great whites at Guadalupe, and a surprising number of them choose to interact with the shark boats. 322 individual white sharks have been identified just in the bay that we dive in, and we’re still counting! Partial proceeds of every trip go towards supporting shark scientists, research and conservation efforts, and the continuing effort to identify and learn more about this population of animals. We typically see around 7 great white sharks at a time on 3 out of 4 submersible dives a day. We dive in aqua blue water, with 125 feet or more of visibility. The island itself is 25 miles long and provides a sheltered and calm anchorage during the 3 dive days. These are stunning numbers and it is what makes Guadalupe Island the best great white shark diving on the planet.
But it is not just about the number of sharks and the amazing interaction. 5 operators are permitted to operate in the Guadalupe biosphere reserve, which gives you options when it comes to picking the right boat. We humbly suggest that when it comes to the shark cage diving and the experience, there is no better option than Nautilus.
We are very proud of our ships, the incredible men and women from around the world who crew them, and our commitment to safety and excellence in guest experience. We don’t think that it is a coincidence that twice as many divers choose to voyage out to Guadalupe with us compared to ALL of our competitors combined. In 2019, we anticipate staging 20,000 dives with our favourite sharkies!! Just the scenery alone at Guadalupe is quite stunning and feels almost like Jurassic park, as if you are at the edge of the earth in the deepest, darkest and most remote part of the pacific.
It doesn’t matter if you are a super experienced diver who has seen almost everything, a first-time shark diver or a non-diver braving our shark cages, all are welcome! We cater to a wide variety of dive skill levels and interests – ultimately, it is always about the shark cage diving experience.
We strive to arrive on site the evening before diving starts, to ensure a nice calm dinner, a peaceful quiet sleep, and as early a start as you wish on your first dive day. Sleeping in and having a late breakfast is also encouraged!! It’s your vacation after all. We put as many cages in the water as needed to provide “freestyle shark diving”, which means that certified divers always get 3 or more submersible cage dives (our speciality) and everyone gets virtually unlimited diving in the surface cages. We say BAH to regimented “hour in/hour out” tightly-scheduled diving and WAHOO to being able to jump into a surface cage whenever you want, for virtually as long as you want. Our cages open early and stay open late. We also ensure you get a full dive day on our last day on station. That’s what we call the Nautilus difference.
We love what we do – from our operations team of 11 staff, Mexico shoreside support team of 15, or the 80 crew onboard the ships. Each and everyone of us hopes that you will join us, and we are all committed to providing you with the the best darn possible vacation.