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Farallon Islands, California Cage Diving Schedule
Great White Sharks Expeditions

Great White Diver in Stern Cage Great White (with radio tag) Great White Diver in Stern Cage

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Search Words: Great White Shark Diving Great White Cage Diving Guadalupe Island Isle of Guadalupe Mexico Great White Adventures Expedition Company Tour Operators Prison Beach Twin Canyon Discovery Bay Farallon Islands California Great White Shark Encounters Carcharodon carcharias Shark Anatomy and Physiology

Witnessing a very large White Shark attack consuming a 200 to 300 pound Elephant Seal is an extremely dramatic event. These predatory acts are bloody and violent. Though you may be observing this from the safety of the vessel, you may need to consider this aspect of your adventure and decide if this is an encounter you wish to experience. These events are purely natural and occur as part of the everyday life of these incredible animals. These types of events are truly unforgettable.

Expeditions to the Farallon Islands are approximately 12 hours in duration and include an early morning continental breakfast, hearty lunch, snacks and beverages, aboard the expedition vessel, Superfish. The Superfish is a very stable and comfortable dive platform. This expedition can accommodate up to 9 divers and 6 topside observers per trip, providing a personal atmosphere of instruction and information concerning White Sharks.

Farallon Islands Encounter

In late October of 2002, Eco-Photo Explorers completed a spectacular adventure with Great White Adventures to photograph Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Our expedition vessel at the time was the M/V Patriot which transported us to one of the most secluded locations on the California coast. Great White Adventures is now using another expedition vessel called the Superfish.

Our destination was the Farallon Islands (the Spanish word “farallon” means rocky promontory rising from the ocean), 30 miles (26 nautical miles) west of the Golden Gate Bridge. We used shark cages and surface supplied air to try and observe and photograph these magnificent animals. Impressive by any standard, the Great White Shark is the world's largest predatory fish. It ranges worldwide in temperate and subtropical seas, but is considered uncommon. They grow to an average size of 15 feet; the largest recorded specimen was 21 feet.

Hollywood may have given us the impression that great whites hunt humans, their diet really consists of seals, sea lions, dolphins, and fishes including other sharks. Attacks on humans are extremely rare, and probably cases of mistaken identity -- a human floating on a surfboard looks surprisingly like a sea lion or seal from below.

  • For more information, read our field notes of this expedition.

Lawrence Groth, president of Great White Adventures states that their trip to the Farallon Islands in 2001 had a success rate better than 80%, encountering White Sharks on 23 of 28 trips to South East Farallon Island (SEFI). Expeditions to the Farallon Islands are approximately 13 hours in duration. We departed from Alameda, California at 6:00 AM, returning approximately 7:00 PM. Trips run September through November (peak shark season), Tuesday through Sunday. All trips are limited to nine divers maximum. Great White Adventures will provide one two diver shark cage that is designed for maximum safety, excellent viewing and photography. All diving will be surface supplied or Hookah only.

The nutrient-rich waters surrounding the Farallon islands (in the south central part of the sanctuary) as well off Bodega Head and Point Reyes is actually part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary which was established 1981 to protect and preserve the marine birds and mammals, their habitats, and other natural resources in these waters and to insure the continued availability of the area as a research and recreational resource. The sanctuary, a 1,255 square mile area (948 square nautical miles) is larger than the state of Rhode Island and is home to thousands of seals and sea lions and has the largest concentration of breeding seabirds in the continental U.S. For more information on the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, please link to Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association.

The Farallon Islands, it's simply Shark Diving Heaven!

 2016 Reservation Information

The Fall season (September-November) generally provides the best weather for the Gulf of the Farallones region (peak shark season). However, weather is always a factor when operating a vessel on the ocean. Safety is the number one priority and adverse weather can effect your expedition schedule. The expedition company we work with always uses experienced and professional crews and have been conducting expeditions to the Farallones since 1998.

Reservations are required to reserve your spot on all expeditions. Please contact us by using our online form to see if your requested date is available. Since available dates can change without notice, please verify your trip selection before making any special arrangements, booking airfare or hotel accommodations.

  • Schedule (1 Day Trip) - Departs from Emeryville, California at 6:00 AM, returning approximately 7:00 PM
  • Dive trips run from September to November (7 days a week)
  • DAN Diving Insurance is highly recommended for all divers
  • Referrer - Eco-Photo Explorers
  • Click to view Landing Map
  • All prices subject to change

All Farallon expeditions are very educational and exciting for anyone who loves to be outdoors and on the ocean. During the trip you may encounter whales, porpoise and many other varieties of marine mammals and sea birds. To spend the day at South East Farallon island is an amazing experience that we wish more people could enjoy.

Available dates for: Cage Divers (C), Topside Observers (T)
Diving Requirements


October November

Cage Diver
Price: US $775 per person (10 divers max). Includes cage diving, diving air, weights and weight belts, continental breakfast, lunch, snacks, beverages, beer, wine.

Topside Observer
Price: US $375 per person (5 people max). Topside Observers may accompany one or more of the cage divers or just come along for the ride to enjoy all the sights and sounds above the surface. Although being in the water and meeting a Great White Shark face to face is the ultimate experience many shark encounters may be viewed from the surface. When natural predations occur most of the feeding activity takes place on the surface in full view of everyone.

The expedition price does not include souvenirs and gratuities for the crew. Although the expedition company has a very successful expedition record, they cannot guarantee a Great White Shark encounter on every trip. It would be irresponsible to claim some sort of control over Mother Nature. In reality, Great White Sharks are wild animals that have their own schedules and priorities. They live in an extraordinary environment that at times, does not cooperate according to our schedules. Weather is always an important factor when operating offshore. The expedition company does however, promise to take you to the best place at the best time and provide you the best opportunity to encounter a Great White Shark.

Weather cancellations can and do occur. The expedition company does not provide a refund due to weather cancellation. Their policy is to reschedule trips during the current season or the following year and is an industry-wide standard.

Physical Requirements - Although being a certified diver is a plus, it is not required. The expedition company does recommend completing a Discover Scuba introductory course (available on the boat) if you are not certified. You must be at least 13 years of age to cage dive. All minors must be certified and accompanied by a parent or guardian.

If you wish to cage dive, some basic physical abilities are required. You, as a diver should be able to enter and exit the cages on your own. Example: Can you easily climb in and out of a swimming pool without the use of stairs or a ladder? You should be in reasonably physically fit condition. If you have existing conditions such as cardio pulmonary disease or other conditions or illness that require medication and or frequent access to medical facilities you may not be eligible to participate in these activities. Some physician approval may be required for other conditions such as diabetes, asthma etc. The maximum weight limit for cage diving is 250 lbs. If you weigh more than 250 lbs and are physically fit, then arrangements can be made to accommodate you.

Cage Dives:
All diving will be surface supplied or "Hookah" only. The cage can accommodate up to 4 divers at a time. Divers will rotate approximately every 30 minutes, alternating throughout the day. During the expedition, decoys are utilized to attract White Sharks to the surface and the cage. This method has proven very successful and is generally accepted for use inside a Marine Sanctuary.

Reservation Request Form
All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required!
Name of Expedition*
Live-aboard/Dive Boat*
Type of Activity*
make at least one selection
Shark Cage Diving (US $775 per person) - requirements
Topside Observer (US $375 per person)
Number of Reservations*
9 divers & 6 topside observers per trip
Shark Cage Diving (10 max)  Topside Observer (5 max)
Full Name*
500 char limit
Daytime Telephone Number*
Evening Telephone Number
Email Address*
insert other country
Requested Dates & Questions*
only insert text in this field (No HTML)
2000 char limit
How did you find us on the web?
only insert text in this field (No URL's)
1000 char limit

Filling out this form gives no guarantee of locking in your requested reservation date. Please note, since dates fill fast the trip dates listed above may not be current. Do not book hotels or airline tickets until you have contacted the expedition company to make sure your requested date is actually available! Upon receiving this information, our staff will be in touch with you shortly to confirm your request.

Eco-Photo Explorers takes our customers privacy seriously! Any information gathered from this form will not be sold or given out to any other company, organization or person and will only be used by Eco-Photo Explorers to help maintain our quality service to our customers.

Eco-Photo Explorers is acting only as an authorized referral agent for the shark diving expedition company (Great White Adventures, Shark Diving International). The expedition company is solely responsible for the services advertised, including, but not limited to, trip availability, price terms and conditions, and all other legal obligations.

All customer requests and information sent to Eco-Photo Explorers will always be forwarded to the expedition company in good faith. Eco-Photo Explorers will also try to assist customers should the expedition company not communicate back to them in a reasonable amount of time.

Please review ALL form information listed above before pressing the [Send] button.

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Weather & Water Conditions:  local weather
Water temperature averages 52 F to 56 F
Visibility averages 20'

Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

Required Dive Equipment: (to be provided by you)
Mask, Wet Suit (7mm optimum), Hood, Boots, Gloves, Weight Belt (if not standard size), Spares

DO NOT Bring:
Fins, BC's, Tanks, Regulators, Weights (unless you do not fit a standard size), Spear guns

Suggested Clothing:
Sunscreen, Towel, Warm Jacket, Sunglasses, Hat


Hotel Information

We recommend these hotels due to its convenient location. Please call the hotel directly for reservations and be sure to mention the expedition company's name: "Great White Adventures" or "Shark Diving International" to see if guests will receive a discounted or Corporate rate.

Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
1800 Powell St. Emeryville, CA 94608
Bus: 1.510.658.9300, Fax: 1.510.547.8166
Toll Free: 1.800.423.0908

Directions & Transportation | View Google Hotel Map

Double Tree Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center at the Berkeley Marina
200 Marina Boulevard. Berkeley, CA 94710
Bus: 1.510.548.7920, Fax: 1.510.548.7944
Toll Free: 1.800.222.TREE

Use the expedition company's "Corporate Code" 0002672001 when booking. Directions & Transportation | View Google Hotel Map

Airport Shuttle Servicee:
Shuttle Service offered by Bay Porter
1.877.467.1800 (Bay Area Toll Free)
1.415.467.1800 (Outside the Bay Area)

Rates are subject to change, so please call ahead. You will need your Airline and Flight arrival time to make your reservation with Bay Porter.


Underwater Photography & Videography

Great White

Optional Equipment: (not necessary)
Photographers are welcome and the crew will make every effort to accommodate your needs as well as provide fresh water for your cameras.

Keep you camera as streamlined as possible. This will make it easier to operate while inside the cage. All cameras are welcome and remember to charge your batteries!

Since these sharks are large and come close to the cage, a 15mm, 20mm or 35mm lens is suggested. Many find a 20mm optimal. Since the waters around the Farallones can be hit-or-miss, we recommend you use strobes on the first few dives. If you are blessed with good visibility you may want to leave the strobes in your cabin, but it's your choice to bring it or leave it.

Try using (ISO 100) for your ISO sensitivity which is good for bright sunny skies and good visibility, but you may want to bump up your ISO sensitivity a notch or two (ISO 200-400) if the skies are cloudy or the water quality isn't up to par.


The Vessel

Courtesy: GWA/SDI

The Superfish is the only Great White Shark dive boat operating in US waters and is a compilation of commercial capability and industrial strength with creature comforts. Equipped with modern electronic navigation equipment to meet the demands of operating safely and effectively in the offshore environment, the Superfish has proven to be an excellent platform for both commercial and recreational activities. Customers will really appreciate the Superfish's size (54 ft), speed and maneuverability, while they enjoy her comfort and stability.

Cage Dives: All diving will be surface supplied or "Hookah" only. The cage can accommodate up to 4 divers at a time. Divers will rotate approximately every 30 minutes, alternating throughout the day. During the expedition, decoys are utilized to attract White Sharks to the surface and the cage. This method has proven very successful and is generally accepted for use inside a Marine Sanctuary.


Expedition Company

Great White Adventures (GWA) is one of the best expedition groups you can travel with if you're planning to visit the Farallon Islands. GWA is an organization that promotes conservation and protection of the marine environment while providing adventurers with a rewarding and educational experience. Great White Adventures as well as Eco-Photo Explorers believe that education and enjoyment of our environment is the key to its protection. We all hope you will come away from your adventure with a new found respect and appreciation of the ocean and all of its inhabitants.

We have traveled with Great White Adventures on multiple trips and highly recommend their operation. Great White Adventures runs a sister company called "Shark Diving International (SDI)" because they are now providing shark diving trips that span the world. They have an unblemished safety record which is priority number one, an extremely professional and experienced crew, as well as having the best shark cages we have ever been in to date. You will not be disappointed.

Great White Adventures (GWA)Shark Diving International (SDI)


Multimedia Programs & Published Articles

Multimedia Program - Inside the Cage: Shark Cage Diving in North America
Join Eco-Photo Explorers as they venture inside the cage right here in North America to dive with Blue Sharks in California, Rhode Island and New York. This program will conclude with heart-stopping action from Mexico’s Isla de Guadalupe, home to some of the largest Great White Sharks in the world.

Scuba & H20 Adventure Magazine

2013 Article Release
Inside the Cage: Shark Cage Diving in North America
Scuba & H20 Adventure Magazine (October 2013 Issue)
Web Article: PDF | Online


Shark Related Information

Divers Alert Network

DAN Diving Insurance is
highly recommended for all divers...

2002 Field Notes | Expedition: Guadalupe Island | Great White Homepage

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Last Modified: April 14, 2016

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