The Best Liveaboards in Guadalupe25th March 2017 | Sarah Morlock
Diving in Guadalupe, off the coast of Baja California, is all about Great White Sharks. In fact, this is one of the four best places in the world to dive in with these massive creatures, and probably the most enjoyable of the four due to supreme visibility and warm waters. It’s often possible to see up to six Great Whites on a single dive.
All of the diving around Guadalupe Island is open ocean diving. Don’t expect to see colorful coral reefs or any major underwater landscapes. Most of the time, you’ll be diving in cages (both closed and open on top) over deep waters.
Because Isla Guadalupe is 250 miles (400km) from the Mexican mainland, diving this shark paradise is only possible by liveaboard. It takes about 18 hours to reach the island, so this may not be the trip for you if you suffer from seasickness.
Liveaboards traveling to Guadalupe depart from either San Diego, California in the United States or Ensenada on the northern Baja Peninsula of Mexico. The typical length of liveaboard trips to Guadalupe is 4 to 5 days, although some operators offer longer itineraries.
The best time to dive in Guadalupe is from August to October. Within these months, dozens of Great White Sharks arrive to feed on the elephant seal colonies located on the island’s coast. In addition, the sharks are attracted to the colder water in the fall. You’ll find an average surface temperature of just 66°F to 70°F (19°C to 22°C). During the other months of the year, liveaboards don’t typically travel to Guadalupe.
It’s also important to note that both snorkelers and divers alike are welcome on liveaboards in Guadalupe. Many boats offer cages that sit on the surface, allowing snorkelers to utilize a hookah system.
Best Luxury Liveaboard: Nautilus Explorer
The Nautilus Explorer is one of the only boats that was custom-built for discovering the Great Whites of Guadalupe.
Because diving is completed directly from the dive deck, you’ll be able to dive as often as you please on most days. Diving is carried out using reinforced, double-decker cages, and friendly crew members are always available to help you get kitted up. Some days 3 to 4 guided dives will be available.
For all the luxury you will experience under the water, you’ll enjoy just as much hospitality topside. A fully stocked bar, hot tub and plush salon are great for relaxing after a day’s diving. Each of the 13 well-fitted cabins will make you forget you are on a ship. Although the ship can carry 26 divers, you’ll always feel as if you have enough space aboard the Nautilus Explorer.
Best Mid-Range Liveaboard: Nautilus Under Sea
The Nautilus Under Sea, which was recently renamed as part of the Nautilus Fleet, is the best choice for underwater photographers and fully capable as a research vessel.
You’ll enjoy unlimited diving each day from 6:30AM until 5:00PM, and submersible dives usually start from 8:00AM. On every six-day itinerary, you’ll have three full days of cage diving. At night, the crew usually gives lectures on the area and its toothy inhabitants.
Although it is smaller than many other yachts sailing to Guadalupe, the Nautilus Under Sea has plenty of room for its crew and guests.
And if you’re worried about the long haul to Guadalupe, rest easy in the knowledge that the Nautilus Under Sea is designed to handle the open ocean with its custom-built, zero-stabilizers. All 16 guests can be accommodated in 8 spacious cabins.
For a well-priced liveaboard trip with a few luxurious amenities, the Nautilus Under Sea is an excellent choice.
Best Budget Liveaboard: Sea Escape
Offering 4-night trips to Guadalupe, the Sea Escape takes the final place on our list of the best liveaboards to these shark-filled waters.
This ship has a long history of travel. She was originally built for servicing the oil rigs of the Gulf of Mexico before becoming a sport fishing vessel in Biloxi, Mississippi. So you know she can handle the sometimes rough seas between the mainland and Guadalupe.
However, in 2009, the Sea Escape was completely refitted as a diving boat. Today, she offers both submersible and surface cages. And for those worried about diving at such a distant location, you can rest assured. The Sea Escape carries an onboard re-compression chamber.
The Sea Escape is also cheaper than most boats in Mexico. 18 guests are accommodated in 9 cabins with ensuite bathrooms. There’s plenty of space to feel comfortable in the common areas, which include a saloon, dining area and sundeck.
If you’d like to visit Guadalupe while saving a bit of money, the Sea Escape is the right choice for you.
The three liveaboards you’ve read about were hand-picked by our scuba diving experts, but there are a few more boats available. To see the full list of liveaboards in Guadalupe, click the button below.