I went on the trip with Joe Romero and Paul De Gelder in October 2019. Could not have asked for a... read more
I went on the trip with Joe Romero and Paul De Gelder in October 2019. Could not have asked for a... read more
Everything was amazing! This was an experience of a lifetime. The accommodations, crew, food... read more
I always wanted to do a great white cage diving trip, so I googled those trip in the US. Islander Charters was one of the first to pop up, so I read about them and contacted them to book a trip. Everything from initial communication to the trip itself was flawless. The office staff got me booked and squared away fast, and the boats crew went above all expectations to make this trip very special. The boat was well kept up, the rooms were very nice, food was amazing, and the crew worked diligently to make the experience better than I could have hoped for. I have recommended this company to many of my friends and I will be booking another adventure with Islander Charters. You could not ask for a better vacation.
Once in a lifetime journey. The crew and food were unbelievable! You won't be disappointed, and will definitely go home with an experience of a lifetime. Extremely knowledgeable crew that catered to every request. Saw 16 different great white sharks on our cage dives, many of them multiple times. Safety was the crew's number one concern.
I was recommended Islander Charters by an acquaintance and i am so glad I listened. This was a standout experience of my life from the service, food, professionalism and of course the amazing sharks. We were so well looked after by the FANTASTIC crew who worked round the clock to make sure we were safe, well fed, had a drink when we wanted one and made sure we had the best experiences in the water. It was such a privilege to spend a few days with these wildlife professionals led by Jimi Partington. Food was exceptional by Mike who created mind-blowing meals for us on the ocean. Captain Dave made sure that we were safe with the weather and when the swells got big he and his crew worked tirelessly to keep the boat and us all safe.
The shark encounters were second to none. I have done cage diving in other parts of the world and this was in a different league. It was so exceptional and I cannot wait to return and urge any one considering booking this trip to do so now with islander. I was also highly impressed with the pre trip booking process with all the pre departure info and packing lists being sent to me and questions answered by Juliet.
Please don't change a thing, Islander. You really are the best of the best and I am so happy to have been on this trip with you all.
TRIP OF A LIFETIME! If you want to see the Great White Shark up close and personal, this is the trip for you. The crew were very knowledgeable about the Sharks as well as the Island and surrounding area. The Sharks are drawn to the cage by the hard work of the crew, who are constantly wrangling them to the cage. They are actually touching the bars and I believe some of them were putting on a show for the divers! Very clean restrooms and berthing area. The food is prepared by a professional chef that serves 3 excellent main meals along with snacks and fresh fruit all day. I can't say enough about the crew and to my surprise actually are fishing for the chum instead of bringing frozen fish to use. All the passengers were extremely friendly and shark minded so there is plenty to talk about every night after your day of diving is done. The Dive Master Jimi is a Shark Expert and has appeared on the Discovery Channel for Shark Week. His stories alone make the trip worth the money. This is a MUST DO Trip! Thank You, John, Jimi, Rick, Dave, Ken, Nate and Matty. I'll see you next year.
Divemaster Jimi is a super fantastic host and a Great White expert!
He and the Islander Crew know how to bring you this experience. This is a Great White Shark Expedition. You are aboard a fishing boat with its sole purpose to get you up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. This is not a floating hotel with up to 32 divers. On my trip we had 11 Great White aficionados. Lots of underwater time, I was under for close to 15 hours and 4 hours straight on the last day. The sleeping quarters are small, but they are clean and I had no trouble sleeping. Perhaps the rocking of the boat helped. Speaking of which, if you are prone to sea sickness (I'm not), I would highly advise taking Dramanine for the trip, after all it is a 220 mile ocean crossing, weather dependent.
Al the cook did a good job feeding us. The freshly caught Tuna Sushi was a hit!
There are only two bathrooms on-board and the crew made sure there were always clean and there is lots of hot water for showering.
The first day we saw over 12 Great Whites, the overall count was 25+ for the 3 days of diving. Each with it's own personality. My videos are over the top, especially the one of a 14 foot female coming straight up from the bottom, gliding by us in the 30 foot submerged cage (total different perspective there....). Those vids can be found at "The Great White Conservation and Scientific Research" Facebook Page. Would definitely do this trip again...
I took my first trip out in Guadalupe Island last September 2015 with another company. I loved the experience and the trip, but something did not feel right for me, so I decided for my return to try Islander Charters & SDX. Both companies had great reviews but for some reason I couldn’t explain Islander Charters & SDX felt more right for me this year. First of all I paid less money than I did last year, second of all on their price they include the rental of all diving gear, and also you don’t have any extra charges for your drinks or the Mexican visa. Everything is included in the price you pay. As the advantages lead on their end more and the fact that are a fishing boat I figured that they must know the real deal. And so I booked with them. To be honest when I found out that the vessel has only two bathrooms, considering the fact that I am a girl, it felt a bit weird, but I figured baby wipes would do the job for me! I decided to head out on this season first trip (8-13 September) and I was a bit skeptical. Usually things go wrong on the first trip, but I took the risk and flew out from the other end of the world to be a part of them.
The trip started and I met an entirely different crew from the one I met the year before. People that were polite and close to my age and most importantly they all had knowledge, people willing to work and stay up late to help you out if you needed anything. They never complained or bragged about anything and they all were more than willing to reply on any answer you asked and share their knowledge with you, make you feel comfortable about everything. Being a sea lover person I knew straight ahead that I needed to take some Dramamine pills with me just in case I needed them. You don’t need to hold a degree in nuclear physics to figure out that an open ocean might play games with you and suffice to say I cannot hold responsible the captain, the crew or even the company that we got a rough sea! Nature has her own personal ways! Yes we had a bit of a rough trip from Ensenada to Guadalupe but it was adequate to the open ocean, so just one pill did the work for me and I slept like a baby. The rooms are not that big, but you don’t head out on a diving trip to spend time in your room or sleep that much now do you? If you want privacy or the comfort and fluffiness of a king bed you go on a cruise around the islands or you book hotel weekend spa! When your adult decision is to go on a diving trip, you go out there to dive and socialize with the other people that joined the same trip with you and you know from the start that you share a big common love with them. Don’t forget that you are in the middle of nowhere so you need to socialize with people and the fact that Islander does not offer satellite internet is absolutely great! On my last year’s trip I decided to pay an extra of $150 for wifi service that never worked and I did spend many hours over my phone trying to send one message to my parents. On the other hand they give you the option to make a call from their satellite phone and pay just for that call. I couldn’t figure on my own how to call Greece and Johnny (our captain) tried to assist me but still we couldn’t get a line out. So instead of telling me that there is no solution for my problem and that I had to wait till we returned back, he offered to call his wife and asked her to call my parents on my behalf and advise them that I am ok so they wouldn’t worry. I loved him for that! Such a small but great human gesture that meant the world to me. The next day he had found out for me how we could make a call to Greece so we even managed to call them from out there. So as you can see even that problem was taken care for me.
Upon arriving in Guadalupe, Jimi our dive master and guide, fully explained the going in and out of the cages the importance of safety and he set out a scheduled rotation for our dives, giving each group/ individual a set of 5 hours out of 10 diving hours per day in the cage, but that was dissipated after each person took his first turn, and the “shark freaks” went in the cages for as long as they wanted! I spend more or less an average of 6 to 8 hours per day in the cage and one of the people I had the pleasure to meet there spend 9-9,5 hours in the cage every day! We absolutely loved it, and why wouldn’t we?!
So as I said before, this was the first trip for the season, and nobody could have known what we would see. Our group saw 25 – 30 different sharks and 10 of them were females! Last year I only saw 7 different ones and they were all males and I went on a later time than I did this year! So again, nature! You cannot predict what is going to happen. Last year I saw no surface breach, I saw no open wide mouths, not even a fin in the surface; I just saw sharks cruising by and I remember saying to my friends back home that Guadalupe does not have interesting sharks and that all the interesting ones must be in Cape Town and Australia! How little did I know! This year I saw all the real action and I conclude to the fact that this is because of our great crew. They all knew how to properly and safely handle sharks, they knew which shark would pose action for us, they knew their behavior, which one was shy and which one was a teaser, which one was a show off etc etc. The crew together with the sharks gave out for us an amazing “show”! They even managed to keep interested 7 sharks at the same time in the visible area for us! I am sorry but I’ve seen many documentaries and I do know many things about sharks and their behavior and I know for a fact that they don’t play along with one another, but never ever have I seen a video of 7 great white sharks cruising by the visible area distance at the same time! So a huge thanks to our crew Jimi, Ken, Matt, Dave and Nate for that!
My concern for the bathrooms got cleared out from the first day and I didn’t even have to use my baby wipes. Yes there are only two on board and the male ratio of guests/crew compared to the ratio of female guest was more, BUT both bathrooms were super clean at all times so I just brought my baby wipes intact back home!
To conclude, I am definitely returning back to Guadalupe with Islander Charters and SDX next year. I wish I could return this season but as you can understand flight times from Greece to San Diego are too long to handle on the same year!
Ps. Come to think of it, yes I did have a problem! I asked for the trip to last longer but I couldn’t get to convince our captain! I even thought of giving him a sleeping pill but guess what?! All the crew are certified to drive and handle the boat! I’ll be more prepared next year! haha