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Swimming with Sharks Cost


How Much Does Swimming with Sharks Cost?

 
low costOpen-Water Swims: $100-$3,600average costAdvanced Dives: $2,000-$3,600+high costMulti-Day Adventures: $2,950-$3,900+

Swimming with sharks is available off chartered boats from Isla Guadalupe in Mexico or the Farallon Islands off California, east to the Bahamas.

Typical costs:

  • Open-water or cage-less swims typically cost $100-$3,600, depending on the location and number of dives. Off the Isla Mujeres in Mexico, home to the large plankton-eating Whale Sharks a day swim cost about $100-$150. A little more heart-pumping action may be found in the Bahamas with free swims amidst Tiger Sharks, Reef Sharks or Hammerhead at $100-$150 in a two-tank dive surrounded by the local sharks during feeding. Diving certification with basic tank skills are required.
  • Divers with Advanced Open Water Certification[1] may seek out the larger species in open waters for about $2,000 for a five-day package or $3,600 for nine days. A two and a half-hour briefing prior to diving covers the location, depth, type of interaction expected and safety procedures. Divers stay in the water as long as the sharks are nearby and the divers are comfortable for the shallower 15' dives with Tiger Sharks and up to about one hour at a time for the deeper dives. Depending on the diver's oxygen-absorption levels, one-five dives per day are possible.
  • For Great White sharks and other very large predators, organized dives are completed in metal cages in rotations of 20-60 minutes. The cages rest just below the water level with divers using a dedicated air system. A one-hour onboard class is required for non-certified divers. Submersible cages drop to levels around 100 feet and require full diving certification. Because boat trips out to areas where Great White sharks live may often take more than 20 hours of travel, most trips are several days and dives long. Isla Guadalupe[2] sits 160 miles off the coast of Baja California in 70-degree waters with about 100 feet of visibility. Cost for the five or six-day adventure including dives, equipment, meals and lodging is $2,950-$3,450, depending on choice of stateroom. One exception to distance is the rocky Farallon Islands[3] that sit 26 miles west of San Francisco and is a breeding ground for seals that attract the Great Whites. The water temperature averages 52 degrees and visibility is about 20 feet. Cost is about $775 for a one-day cage dive and includes diving air, weights and belts, continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages. In the Bahamas, cage divers will need to be fully certified for multiple-day shark packages that cost $3,100-$3,900.
Related articles: Swimming with Dolphins, Passport, Travel Insurance, Digital Camera, Swimming Lessons

What should be included:
  • Most cage diving services include weights, dedicated air systems and training on how to behave[4] in the presence of underwater predators.
  • Beer and wine are provided with meals on many of the longer trips.
Additional costs:
  • Open Water Certification registration costs about $120, plus about $400-$960 for the lessons, depending on location and class size. A dive mask[5] can cost $30-$1,500, depending on the quality of the material used from rubber to hypoallergenic silicone and style. When choosing a mask[6] , a secure fit on the face is the first step. Some dive companies will require all dive gear to be black or dark colored.
  • Bringing along a witness or Topside Observer costs about $375 for a day trip. Operators warn that when in a feeding ground, watching a Great White consume a 300-pound seal is dramatic and violent.
Discounts:
  • Active-duty military personnel may receive a group discount through different suppliers.
Shopping for swimming with sharks:
  • USA Today has listed 10 great places to swim with sharks[7] including the Outer Banks in North Carolina over centuries of shipwrecks and Isla Guadalupe in Mexico.
  • ScubaDivingCertification.org offers a quick online guide to selecting a diving certification agency[8] .
  • Before selecting a diving company, ask if the boat and crew are certified by the US Coast Guard[9] or other reputable agency.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.seesharks.com/bahamas.html
  2.  www.seesharks.com/guadalupe_island.html
  3.  www.greatwhiteadventures.com/farallon_details.html
  4.  www.elasmo-research.org/research/diving.htm
  5.  www.leisurepro.com/Cat/Context_954/Masks/958.html
  6.  www.thescubaguide.com/gear/masks/choosing-a-mask.aspx
  7.  travel.usatoday.com/destinations/10great/2010-07-29-swim-with-sharks_N.htm
  8.  www.scubadivingcertification.org/what-should-i-know-before-i-choose-a-scuba-certif...
  9.  www.uscgboating.org/browser.aspx
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