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“Bucket List Must Do!”

Island Cat Charters & Excursions
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US$400,00*
and up
Espiritu Santo Island All Inclusive Sailing Trip...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Island Cat provides All Inclusive, PREMIER charters and excursions. Guests visit beautiful isolated locations experienced by only the fortunate few. Island Cat is a large and spacious sailing catamaran cruising to remote coves, beaches, and bays, on the inside Sea of Cortez. This is the area famously known as the “World’s Aquarium.” Our sailing grounds are the second most biologically diverse marine environment on the planet. An intimate cruise features snorkeling with an array of tropical fish over shallow tropical reefs, swimming with sea lions, or whale sharks in season, beach-combing, exploring, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc. Charters include chef-prepared meals with an open bar, served by a skilled and educated crew. A marine biologist is hostess and snorkel leader. Everything is provided; snorkel gear, wet suits, kayaks and paddleboards, and a dive boat for getting up close to aquatic sea life in its natural environment.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed 2 April 2018

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"captain chris"
in 13 reviews
"yogurt"
in 9 reviews
"light breakfast"
in 6 reviews
"smaller boat"
in 7 reviews
"marine biologist"
in 12 reviews
"todos santos"
in 11 reviews
"bloody mary"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful boat"
in 5 reviews
"whale sharks"
in 65 reviews
"fajitas"
in 3 reviews
"guacamole"
in 7 reviews
"luxury van"
in 2 reviews
"pico de gallo"
in 2 reviews
"separate trips"
in 2 reviews
"famous hotel"
in 2 reviews
"full bathrooms"
in 2 reviews
"the galley"
in 2 reviews
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11 - 15 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2018

The knowledge of the staff, the facilities of the Catamaran and the food were all top notch. Marianna Padilla-the biologist on board is a wealth of info on Whale Sharks and the deck hand----- was also an experienced boatsman and whale shark enthusiast. He was been snorkeling with Whale Sharks since he was 8 years old so he really believes in the regulation and protection of this gentle giant. The day we went out was quite choppy so swimming with the Whale Sharks was exhausting but exhilarating. The only thing I would change was HOW LONG we were out with the Island Cat. We went to see the whale sharks in 2 separate trips on the small boat and then had lunch and then drove back to the marina. It felt so short. Granted it was 4-5 hours. But we had to drive back to Cabo too on the Island Cat shuttle. We would have loved a few hours just sun bathing on the catamaran after the whale sharks and relaxing. If we were to do it again, we would have booked a longer tour with the Island Cat or stayed in La Paz to allow for more time on the boat and less travel time to and from Cabo. This is an expensive tour btw and I wish for $250 per person we had more time on the Island Cat. Other than the time issue, it was a really memorable experience.

1  Thank Avery M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Terry N, Director of Sales at Island Cat Charters & Excursions, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2018

Thank you Avery,

Here is the most recent update on the whale shark excursion situation:

Success Rate
Island Cat has successfully operated the premier whale shark encounter for five years running and has never failed to find whale sharks during the official season, which runs from October through April. However, it is important to point out that we are operating in the open sea, not in an aquarium. It takes fifteen minutes to an hour, or longer, to find the gentle giants.
Included
We are a large and spacious sailing catamaran with one or more 22’ assist boats for getting you up close and personal to the whale sharks. We provide all the snorkel gear needed along with a choice of full-face or standard, snorkel masks. We include two meals on board, along with a host of drinks and snacks, an open bar, a marine biologist as your snorkel leader and hostess, private bathrooms and showers, and on and on it goes. NO ONE DOES IT LIKE WE DO. We are The Premier Provider. Over half our annual business comes from returning guests.
Regulation
As of this year, Semarnat, the governmental agency charged with protecting the whale sharks, have restricted the amount of time swimmers may be in the water with a whale shark. The time limit in the whale shark feeding zone is now 30 minutes. Changes to polices, with which we must comply, are frequent. We are also required to have GPS auto-reporting to Semarnat each time we enter the feeding zone, along with a host of other reporting requirements placed upon those of us who are certified to swim with whale sharks. This agency caused two boats to be seized in December for being in the whale shark zone without current certifications. We were told that heavy fines have been levied against other operators that failed to adhere to their new regulations. We are in compliance.
Weather
The waves and winds around the whale shark feeding zone, are reasonably calm. Much more so than the Cabo area. However, that does change during the winter months without much advance notice. We are careful to exam wind and wave predictions for the immediate area, but weather forecasts are not particularly good, and wrong at least half the time. Nothing like the US and Canada, and other localized first-world weather reporting. Furthermore, the winds and waves of the Cabo area are NO indication of what is going on in La Paz. Last year we had to cancel the Whale Shark encounter six times over a seven-month period for weather, and we have been shut down three times this year through January 2018. That’s less than once per month, but it does happen. We provide a full refund, if this situation develops.
Wetsuits
Some guests want extra protection in the colder months, where the air temperature gets down into the 70’s F. Island Cat has wetsuits and shorties available for free, in all adult sizes for both women and men. We also have private hot water showers and fresh clean towels for when you exit the water.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2018

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2018

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 March 2018

WOW! I can not possibly put into words the feelings from this tour. Amazing, Incredible, Bucket List, Dream Come True, Awesome, and none of those truly express how enormity of this tour. Due to recent legislation in regard to whale shark watching/swimming this tour company educates you and gets you the best sightings possible. The large catamaran is not able to get close to the whale sharks, hence the panga that takes you to get up close and personal. Sure, you can take a panga for the whole tour, but that would be a long and slow ride and leave little time for snorkeling with these magnificent creatures. Not only that, but Chief Scott fixes an amazing lunch as well as snacks. Mariana was our swim guide and she also had to make some phone calls as the swim time that we were given was much later in the day. She worked her magic and was able to get our swim time moved up to match our arrival time. She is so knowledgeable about the whale sharks and is incredible skilled when it comes to swimming with them. Leo was our panga captain and he also kept a good eye on those who were being “left behind” by the whale shark. He would maneuver the panga over to pick us up and then drop us off close again. Between Mariana and Leo, I felt very safe and comfortable in the water. I knew that they were always looking out for us. Sammy (?) was a great host and kept the drinks flowing for those who chose to have a drink or two. Captain Chris was in charge of the catamaran, he was friendly and knowledgeable as well. The ability to use a restroom and showers to wash off the salt water was a huge perk. I am a big girl and they had wetsuits that fit me. Don’t let size stop you from this experience! Practice swimming with a snorkel and fins, as this is not the leisurely drop in the water and watch sharks that I thought it was. The whale sharks are constantly moving unless you get lucky to see them stop and get vertical to feed. That all being said, I can’t tell you enough how much I loved this trip. From the pick up at our hotel to the drop off…just amazing.

1  Thank DeanaByTheSea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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