Get face to face with great white sharks! No scuba certification necessary.
Located 180 miles off the west coast of Northern Baja California, Mexico, Guadalupe Island is now considered the top destination for viewing, photographing and filming the apex predator of the sea – The Great White Shark. With a large population of these sharks along with unusually clear, blue water, this mostly uninhabited island can only be reached by live-aboard excursions departing from the port of Ensenada, Mexico. With easy access through San Diego, California these trips boast a 100% success rate in shark encounters and are open to divers and non-divers alike!
These incredibly close and intimate shark encounters take place from inside our securely constructed shark cages insuring the utmost safety for the divers inside. Our proprietary swivel system connection to our swim platform makes entering and exiting our cages safe and easy even in choppy weather. Solmar V offers 4 night/5 day adventures, offering both surface and submersible cage diving opportunities. A maximum of 4 divers are permitted in the surface cages with one hour dives ensuring at least 4 hours a day for these heart stopping encounters. The submersible cages take a maximum of 2 divers accompanied by a qualified shark expert to depths of 30-40 ft. Although the surface cages are open to both certified and non-certified guests alike, the submersible cages are limited to certified scuba divers and add an extraordinary perspective for viewing these majestic creatures.
The Great White’s migrate down the coast of California into Mexico in Late July. They congregate at Guadalupe Island in the months of August, September and October which are the best months to schedule these trips. Not much is known as to why they stay at Guadalupe Island for the summer before continuing on their migration route. One theory is a food stop. Guadalupe is home to the Guadalupe fur seal, elephant seal and California sealion. With the surrounding waters also teeming with yellowfin tuna, these sharks could definitely be beefing up before continuing on their journey.
Regardless of the reason for their mass gathering at Guadalupe Island in the summer months, this provides a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity to encounter these magnificent animals in their own environment and should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Access is through San Diego, CA where you are met by a Solmar V staff member and escorted to Ensenada, Mexico (1 ½ hours) in an air-conditioned motor coach to board the vessel for your departure to Guadalupe. Visas are complimentary and handled at the border crossing with the assistance of our staff so after reaching San Diego the rest is easy.
Since most shark trips are only 4 nights/5 days with 3 full days of cage diving, this leaves plenty of time to schedule a few days before or after in San Diego for other diving or non-diving activities. San Diego is home to Sea World and the famous San Diego Zoo along with numerous seaside resorts and attractions
The 112 ft. luxury live-aboard, Solmar V, pioneered cage diving at Guadalupe Island. No live-aboard has made more cage dives at this Island than the crew of the Solmar V. Our experience with these sharks optimizes our guest’s encounters with these amazing creatures.
Solmar V sample itinerary is as follows:
DAY 1: A luxury motor coach will pick you up at the “host” hotel, San Diego, California at 10 AM and transfer you to Ensenada, Mexico. It is recommended you arrive the day before and stay one night at this “host” hotel. (Note: our pre-trip information sheet you will receive specifies address and contact information for the “host” hotel). You will arrive at the Solmar V by 12 noon with immediate departure to Guadalupe Island.
DAY 2: Arrive early morning to Guadalupe Island and after setting up the cages, we start rotating teams into the cages as soon as the first shark appears. This does not usually take very long and, for the most part, when one shows up others are not far behind. All the photos on our website of the great white sharks were taken by individuals who have actually traveled to Guadalupe with us. Therefore, you can see that they come quite close to the boat and the cages.
DAY 3 & 4: Cage diving all day with plenty of great photo opportunities. Remember we are one of the only liveaboards to offer a three man cage that is lowered 30 ft. for a different perspective. Must be certified for this cage and our guests are accompanied by one of our shark experts. Start back to Ensenada at the end of day 4.
DAY 5: Arrive to port mid-day where the luxury motor coach will be waiting to take you back to San Diego. Return time to San Diego is between 4 – 6 PM depending on border traffic. We recommend arranging your departure flight after 8 PM or the next day.
The above includes all meals (gourmet dining daily and wine/beer with dinner), snacks, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, beer, and cage diving while on the Solmar V plus round-trip luxury motor coach transfers from San Diego to Ensenada and back to San Diego.
The total price of the trip for 2015 is as follows: $2995.00 + 16% Mexican IVA Tax = $3474.20 sub-total per person + $15.00 (National Park fee) = $3489.20 total per person.
Why choose the Solmar V?
- Safety. We pioneered cage diving at Guadalupe! Our experienced and professional crew put safety first. We have a 100% safety record since we started in 2005!
- We travel to Guadalupe Island at the height of the migration period for the sharks through that area. Even though we do not guarantee encounters, we have been traveling to Guadalupe Island during August, September and October since 2005 and, so far, have a 100% success rate of encounters with great white sharks.
- We only take 20 guests which, in turn, allows for a maximum amount of cage time. We operate two 4 person surface cages plus one 3 person submersible cage and this enables us to rotate 10 divers every hour. Since we operate from sunrise to sundown, that’s lots of cage time!
- The Solmar V has a great topside shark viewing deck right above the surface cages where our guests can watch the action between dives. It is low to the water and provides the opportunity to capture great pictures and video of the sharks around the cages. If the sharks happen to come out of the water after the bait, the pictures or video from this deck can be amazing!
- Lots of sharks! Our crew and shark experts on board the Solmar V have photo identified over 140 different sharks at Guadalupe. Plus, we have observed a significant increase from year to year in the number of different sharks visiting the area. This is the highest group of great white shark photos identified in the world.
- Visibility at Guadalupe Island is excellent – it is not uncommon to see 100 ft. or more! This gives our guests plenty of opportunities to catch the perfect photo of the great white shark in its natural environment.
- Warm water. The water temperature at Guadalupe Island is 67 – 73°F; other destinations the water temperature can be as low as 50°F.
Solmar V is the only boat at Guadalupe that has adopted the use of 10 ft. extension platforms in each corner of the stern (rear of the boat) enabling our shark wranglers to have much better control of the baits used to tease in the sharks enabling us to safely bring the sharks very close to the cages.