Nautilus Explorer

Nautilus Explorer (Nautilus Explorer)

Nautilus Explorer is a 35-metre purpose-built dive vessel, built to the highest standards of safety and comfort. She was launched in 2000. The staff and crew pride themselves on matching each charter to the individual needs of the divers on board. In their own words: “As an owner-operated long range luxury dive boat, we strive to offer a unique combination of professionalism, warmth, adventure and some terrific diving”.

The crew keeps this lovely white vessel spotless and with her passive stability system she glides smoothly through the water, cutting clean lines as she goes. High standards are the watchwords in every department, from the sparklingly clean hot tub to the blissful peace and calm on the boat, attained through extensive sound proofing. Meals are prepared by the chef and two galley assistants, offering a blend of fresh and imaginative cuisine from their home countries of Canada and Mexico. Four meals are offered each day and breads, pastries and deserts are baked on board, so don’t plan on dieting whilst on a Nautilus Explorer cruise. The bar has already achieved a degree of fame for its beers from over 30 microbreweries, the magically mixed margaritas and a good wine list, not to mention a choice of 11 single malts!

The lower deck has nine air-conditioned Staterooms, each with a private head, shower and washbasin. Seven staterooms have a double bed and an additional single bed, while two have a double bed only (so are sold exclusively to couples or singles). All the Staterooms are the same size. Two Executive Suites are located immediately forward of the hot tub on the Upper Deck. With large picture windows, a private outside entrance, desk, hanging closet and shelves as well as a private washroom with shower, these cabins can definitely be considered very comfortable. Suites can be configured with either a ‘quasi-king’ or 2 double beds. There are four bunk berths in the Dorm, of which only 2 berths are usually occupied, though if not all the other cabins are full, more spaces in the Dorm may be sold (the ship’s operating capacity is 24, although there is space for 26, so the boat is never completely full). A head, sink and shower are situated outside this cabin. The Dorm is the only area of this lovely boat which is not air-conditioned, though the room has fans and fresh air intake/outlet.

The main deck is where you will find the salon, which serves as the ship’s entertainment centre, and it is here where you can snuggle down on a comfortable sofa, enjoy the contents of the library and the evening video and slide presentations, as well as sample the contents of the well-stocked bar! The separate dining room is forward of the salon. For a small ship, spacious Nautilus Explorer has a ‘big feel’. There is plenty of room to find a quiet place to work on photographs, read, chat or check out the identification guides.

Nautilus Explorer has four large cages which were professionally designed and built with full engineering certification. Cages are square or rectangular, each offering space for several divers. Each cage has wraparound bi-level viewing openings that allow photographers unobstructed views (without corner posts) while either standing up or kneeling on the sealed cage bottom. Two cages will float behind the boat and two submersible cages will be attached to booms on either side of the boat, offering 360° views of the shark action. The sharks often swim under the boat at depths of up to 16-20 metres. The submersible cages go up and down every half an hour from 0630 until the light begins to fade. Bold divers can stand on the upper deck of the submersible cages, outside the bars: Great White encounters do not get any better than this!

An unlimited supply of surface air is available (by hookah system) which means that you don’t have to be a certified diver to enjoy the shark encounters! Rental gear is available by advance reservation.

From early September to late October, Nautilus Explorer offers 5 nights trips to Guadalupe Island, starting and finishing in San Diego, with 3 full days of Great White Shark encounters. Trips commence at the Ramada San Diego Airport hotel. Check-in for the cruise should be before 1830 (please dine before checking in as dinner on this night is not included). The coach is scheduled to depart at 1900 for the 2-hour road transfer to Ensenada, Mexico, where you will join Nautilus Explorer. Transit time to Isla Guadalupe is around 19-20 hours and the passage is usually smooth. There will be 3 full days of cage diving allocated on a ‘1 hour in, 1 hour out’ basis, though by days 2 and 3 keen divers and photographers can usually get even more cage time if they wish. Cages are usually in the water by 0630 and are withdrawn around 1830 on days 1 and 2, but are drawn out of the water by 1700 on day 3 to facilitate departure. Diving or swimming outside the cage is, unsurprisingly, not allowed. The boat arrives back at her berth in Ensenada between 1500-1600 on the last day of the trip and you will then be transferred to San Diego Airport or the Ramada.

It is a tremendous privilege to dive with the Great White Sharks of Guadalupe and a conservation fund was created in January 2006 to provide direct action to help protect this particular population. The fund is under the auspices of the International Community Foundation in San Diego ( US$150 of every trip fee is donated directly to the fund.

Operates In:  Mexico

Schedule:  Variest throughout the year.  Please contact us for departure dates.

Price: Costs vary depending on location and duration of cruise.


  • Return transfers by road between San Diego and Nautilus Explorer at Ensenada
  • No of nights (depending on cruise) on Nautilus Explorer on a triple/share basis in a Triple Stateroom with full board including non-alcoholic beverages
  • 3 full days of diving 

Please note:  The above prices are for short trips to Guadelupe.  The vessel offers longer charters to other areas.

Cabin Upgrades: Available

Please note: There is a port fee of US$65 (subject to change), payable in cash on the boat.

Single Occupancy Supplement: Please contact us.

Air Travel: Our in-house IATA ticket agency can arrange your air travel in connection with your holiday from a departure point anywhere in the world, or you may arrange your own air travel if you prefer. We can tailor-make your itinerary to your personal requirements, so if you would like to make a stop-over or two, make a side trip to some other destination, or travel business class rather than economy, we will be happy to assist. Please contact us about your air travel requirements.

Front view of Nautilus Explorer (Nautilus Explorer)

Premium Suite interior (Nautilus Explorer)

Premium Suite lounge (Nautilus Explorer)

Premium Suite lounge (Nautilus Explorer)

Premium Suite bathroom (Nautilus Explorer)

Double Stateroom interior (Nautilus Explorer)

Double Stateroom interior (Nautilus Explorer)

Superior Suite bathroom (Nautilus Explorer)

Triple Stateroom interior (Nautilus Explorer)

Triple Stateroom interior (Nautilus Explorer)

Hot tub antics (Nautilus Explorer)

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Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: Certificate

Divequest is a division of Birdquest Ltd, which is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY.