Andy Sallmon​

Looking for the ocean’s ultimate predator?  The thrashing, ferocious, blood thirsty killer that strikes fear into our hearts… a relentless man-eating machine!

Then turn on the TV, put Jaws on, and relax on your couch.

You won’t find any of that at Guadalupe Island. But if you’re interested in seeing real Great White Sharks acting as real Great White Sharks, then join SD Expeditions for one of the most eye-opening experiences of your life.

In the world-renowned crystal blue water of Guadalupe Island, over a hundred Great White Sharks make their way to this small, offshore island every summer between early August and mid November.  Some scientists believe they come to mate, and others believe they come to feed on the resident seal population – but the truth still remains a mystery.  When it comes to science and white sharks, we really don’t know much.

What we DO know is that there is no other place in the world where you can see, witness, and experience Great White Sharks in such phenomenal conditions and beautifully clear water.  It is truly amazing the first time you realize you’re staring into the pupils of a 16 foot white shark, and not only is he staring back – but their eyes are blue, and not the lifeless black spots portrayed by the media. This ‘wow’ moment will happen over and over again, as you begin to create your OWN idea behind what truly makes a Great White Shark, and how misrepresented they have been.

We will board our 5 day cage diving trip in sunny San Diego, before motoring into Mexico and making the 1-day journey to Guadalupe Island.  We’ll arrive at Guadalupe before the break of dawn and after our white shark and cage diving safety orientation your experience begins.  For 3 days we will immerse ourselves in the mysterious world of the Great White Shark, providing a chance for each and every guest to come face to face with their child hood nightmares – and hopefully develop a sense of wonder and respect for these amazing creatures.

Because the scientific community has been tracking the Guadalupe White Sharks over 10 years, we are able to identify every distinct shark by its unique mottling pattern across its body – which is as unique as a fingerprint.  At the end of every day of cage diving, we will look over our photos from the day and identify the sharks we’ve seen, so that we can do our part to white shark research.

Unlike any other experience in the world, this Great White Shark cage diving trip will truly leave you a little different – you’ll never think of these apex predators in the same light again. 


Interesting Facts:

  • There are estimated to be 10,000 great whites left worldwide.
  • White sharks can grow to 20 feet and over 5,000 lbs.
  • The oldest white shark fossils date back 16 million years ago.
  • White sharks have been around SIXTY FOUR times longer than humans.
  • White sharks are 1 of only 4 warm-blooded sharks, allowing them to hunt agile prey.
  • White sharks have societal heirarchies: Females dominate males, larger sharks dominate smaller sharks, and residents dominate newcomers.
  • Recently scientists have noticed some groups of White sharks travelling in social ‘clans’ of 2-6 individuals.
  • White Shark are one of the only sharks to perform spy-hopping, lifting their head out of the water to see or smell.
  • Since the beginning of the International Shark Attack Foundation database over 230+ years ago, there have only been 69 fatal white shark attacks on humans – many were not confirmed to be White sharks.

Interestingly, recent studies into the lifestyle of Great White Sharks are leading researchers to believe that the sharks may actually be open ocean sharks and NOT coastal sharks – spending most of their time in huge areas in the middle of the ocean (most California white sharks were found to spend their time milling around halfway between California and Hawaii), and only select sharks come in close to the coast every few years to mate. The females don’t seem to occupy the same general areas as the males, but instead ‘follow’ in their trail a couple hundred miles behind. To date no one has seen a White Shark mating ritual and very little is known about their reproduction.


What We’ll Do:

 First night:

  • Arrive in San Diego around 6 pm
  • Board the live aboard vessel at 8 pm
  • Depart San Diego at 9 pm aboard the live aboard vessel.

Day 1:

  • Travel 23 hours to Guadalupe Island
  • Wetsuit fitting, Camera set up, get ready for the diving tomorrow

 Day 2:

  • Shark Diving Cage orientation at 7 am
  • 8 am Begin 1 hour cage rotations
  • 5pm Happy Hour Cage Diving Ends
  • White Shark Identification and photo uploads from the day

Day 3:

  • Same as day 2

Day 4:

  • 7am Shark Diving Open Rotation
  • 8am Begin 1 hour cage rotations
  • 1 pm Depart from Guadalupe Island begin 23 hour travel

Day 5:

  • Arrive in San Diego between 3 and 6 pm
  • Return home with stories, photos, and a trip you’ll never forget

The boat we will be using is an 80 foot live-aboard dive boat meant for the open ocean. We only take 16 shark divers so that every person can get in as often as possible. It is fully Coast Guard registered and certified vessel equipped with all standard safety equipment. Rated to hold 33 passengers, we carry 16 guests, a researcher and our underwater photographer. Food and beverages are provided to keep you energized over the duration of the trip – if you have any special requests feel free to let us know.


Wilderness Disclaimer:

At SD Expeditions we use all means necessary to provide you with the safest interaction possible. We are diligent about checking the latest weather reports and shark updates to remain well informed, and we only offer White Shark expeditions during the peak season when weather is best. However, we are out in the open ocean, working with wild animals. Although we aim to minimize it as much as possible, there is always the possibility that mother nature may not be in our favor or expectations may not be met. That being said, we have not had a shark-less White Shark trip since beginning 8 years ago.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Has anyone ever been bit?

No one has ever been bit on an SD Expeditions shark diving trip (or any SDE expedition). We teach you proper shark diving technique so that you, and the sharks, stay safe.

We must always remember that these are wild animals, and we are entering their environment. For this reason we follow safe and proven methods to not confuse or provoke the sharks in any way. Every day you shark dive you will be given a Biosphere shark-diving permit in the form of a small bracelet that shows we conform to and stand by safe shark diving practices. By keeping with a standardized baiting and ‘shark attractant’ protocol, we not only benefit the Isla Guadalupe Biosphere by working within regulations, we stand for the purpose behind the rules – to ensure and protect Great White Sharks so we may continue to marvel at these beautiful animals for generations to come.

Like all sharks, Great White Sharks are NOT ‘mindless killers’. These sharks are intelligent, shy, and curious. The sharks approach all objects (including humans!) very cautiously, slowly acclimating themselves to our presence. Over time they will become more comfortable, and more inquisitive, and we have the experience to monitor the disposition and well-being of every shark in our presence so we can provide you with the closest and safest encounter. You can expect some VERY close passes, often within a foot or two!

Our hope is that you will come to embrace our shark diving safety protocols as much as we do so that we can keep these sharks around for many more to see.

Do I need to be scuba certified?

Nope! During our shark diving expedition we operate on an ‘air hookah’ system, which is almost as if each diver has their own really long snorkel, while breathing off a specially formatted scuba regulator. We recommend you be in reasonable physical condition, and if you are not scuba certified we require you to attend a one-hour shark cage diving presentation while aboard the ship. The more comfortable you are in the water, the better you’re experience will be, so for completely new divers we recommend you take an ‘discover scuba diving’ or ‘discover snorkeling’ course at your local dive shop to get used to the feeling.

What do I need to bring?

You’ll need:

  • All dive gear is provided, however if you have your own mask we recommend you bring it
  • Clothing and bathing suit for 5 days on the liveaboard
  • Towel, sunscreen, sunglasses or a hat
  • All food and drink is provided in trip cost, if you have special dietary restrictions or allergies please let us know ahead of time so we can alert our chef
  • If you are prone to motion sickness bring some seasick medication
  • Any other personal items you think you will need!

If you are in need of any gear, let us know.

Do I need a camera?

Sure! If you have an underwater camera (or you’re a photographer) by all means bring it. And if you don’t have an underwater camera, don’t worry – at the end of the trip you will be given a DVD with the best videos and photos from the trip!

How close will I get to the sharks?

Great White sharks are wild animals, and we are in their ocean. They will come as close as they feel comfortable, and the calmer you are the less likely they will be frightened away. Expect some very close passes within a couple feet from your cage.

Will I see male or female Great White Sharks?

Earlier in the season (around the month of August) the “smaller” (12-14 feet) males migrate to Guadalupe Island and remain for a month and a half or so. Towards the end of the season, the weather can become a little more unpredictable but that is when the really huge females start to arrive (around late September to early October) and they can be up to 17 feet long.

What do I do with my belongings?

You can keep anything you need for the trip on the boat.

How long is the expedition?

We will board around 8pm the first night, and hope to return the fifth night by 4pm, and no later than 7pm.

Trip Information


Depart San Diego, CA
Shark diving at Guadalupe Island, MX

Number of Guests:



5 days




To book your spot on our available shark diving dates, call us at:

(858) 707-5666