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“Whale Shark Experience”

Island Cat Charters & Excursions
Book In Advance
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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: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Loved this tour! Many reviews provide more specifics, I would just say if you can do it, DO IT. Like all of us on trip advisor/interwebs doing endless research on activities and where to stay trying to find the best experience... Just stop! This is truly the premier experience!

We stayed in Cabo San Lucas & Juan picked us up early, the ride was great rocking out to classic rock there & back. There is a stop in Todos Santos on the way back with a surprise that was a bonus & super fun.

Captain Chris was great with so many good stories. Chef Scott was ridiculously good, he even had a great birthday cake for me on board! Great drinks as well. Biologist Marianna was a wealth of knowledge and also had many stories and can make a mean drink:) Sam our snorkel guide was great and as you can see by the picture placed us perfectly several times ahead of the whale sharks!

Not to sound cliche but "seriously just do it!". Definitely a bucket list trip, hopefully for my family will probably become a yearly event if we are lucky.

Thank Jasonlynnjohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"captain chris"
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10 - 14 of 143 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Reviewed 25 March 2018

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

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