If you want to try your hand at shark cage diving in California, then this means you will be diving with Great White Sharks.
Compared to Florida, where you can scuba, swim, cage dive and snorkel with various different species of sharks. Yet, with California, you are limited to diving with only the Great White Sharks.
It is known that California is the best place in the whole world to spot a Great White Shark. Thus, this makes it the ideal place to go great white shark cage diving.
In this article, we will be discussing three of the best white shark diving tours you can look into around California.
Along with some other information that will help you make your decision whether great white sharks cage diving is for you.
How Much Does Shark Cage Diving Cost?
The average price of shark cage diving will vary depending on where you do it. Below, We are the average prices of shark cage diving that you may come across.
Los Angeles – LA is a popular destination to take part in shark cage diving. However, this can cost around $500 for a shark spotting trip on a boat that lasts around 90 minutes.
This isn’t a cage diving experience. Although, it is a much more affordable option to consider. As, you still may be able to see Great White Sharks, but you just won’t be in the water with them.
San Francisco – Next on the list is San Francisco, which is a day trip to the Farallon Islands. These islands are around a 30-mile trip away from San Francisco.
On average, you will be looking to spend between $475 to $800. However, the $400 mark is for shark spotting on a boat, while on the upper end of the price bracket means cage diving.
Sometimes this price can mean between 1 and 2 cage dives.
With this being said, San Francisco is the cheapest cage diving experience you will be able to find in California. Although Great White Sharks are harder to spot in these areas, it isn’t always the best value for money.
San Diego – In San Diego, you can spend between $3000 to $5000 on a 5-day diving trip and tour. On this tour, you will travel to Guadalupe island, which is around 260 miles south of San Diego.
However, you get 3 full days of cage diving with Great White Sharks.
These are the three cage diving experiences that you can experience in California. However, some have better benefits than others, which is what you are paying the price for.
For example, the San Diego tour is a lot more expensive than the other two tours, yet you are giving a lot more luxury and more days to be able to dive with the sharks
It is important to note that these prices can change, and may go up over time.
However, if you desperately want to see a Great White Shark and dive with one, then you need to be prepared to spend a bit more money to ensure that it happens.
Can You Swim With Sharks?
Unfortunately, you cannot swim with Great White sharks in California, and it is not advised that you do either.
Although, even though you can’t swim with sharks, you can in fact go snorkeling with leopard sharks instead. There are various places that accommodate this experience such as La Jolla Cove which is found in San Diego.
In other parts of the world, you may be able to swim with other sharks, but not in California.
Is Cage Diving With Great White Sharks Safe?
There is no denying that Great White Sharks are powerful and dangerous creatures.
Therefore, it would be foolish to suggest that it was absolutely safe to be in the water with a Great White Shark; however, plenty of precautions are taken to ensure your safety while in the water with these animals.
There are no reports of any divers being injured while cage diving with Great White Sharks. In various films, you may have seen cage diving go wrong, but these films are wrong and don’t showcase what really happens.
Thus, there have been no real reports of any divers getting attacked while cage diving. As a result, it is unlikely something is going to happen while you are cage diving with Great White Sharks in California.
For the majority of beginners, who partake in cage diving in California, will find that this happens from a stern mounted cage that has been attached using metal brackets to the boat.
Thus, this set up showcases that the cage you are in is extremely strong and made from durable materials to keep you as safe as possible.
In addition to that, it is important that you are aware that even Great White Sharks are scary animals. In fact, these sharks don’t want to eat you.
Humans aren’t in their diet, and they don’t go looking for humans to attack unless they have been provoked.
Furthermore, scientists have discovered that the Great White Sharks in these areas are quite sociable with one another.
Great White Sharks will work with other sharks to hunt down their prey, however, they won’t attack humans.
Instead, they have gotten used to humans and cage divers, therefore they will leave humans alone and carry on what they are doing.
Juveniles may be more curious about you when in the cage, however, they will never get too close, as they will be unsure of what you are.
If you are worried about your safety, then it is important to speak to the team running the cage diving experience before you set off.
Ask them about all their safety precautions, and they may put your mind at ease.
Although, it is important to note that most cage diving experiences have been running for extended periods of time, so they know what they are doing and know how to keep you as safe as possible.
Great White Cage Diving Trips Found In California
California isn’t the best state for diving with various different species of sharks. Yet, in recent years more and more sharks, and in particular great white sharks, are making an appearance around California.
There have been more reports of sharks coming up behind surfers, and in 2017 there was a report that 15 great white sharks were surrounding a paddle boarder.
This can all sound quite scary, yet it is nothing to worry about as the majority of great white sharks that are seen in LA are only juveniles.
In fact, it is a good thing that so many Great White Sharks are being seen, as it means that the marine ecosystem is healthy and wildlife is being attracted back to it.
The majority of Great White Sharks that are being seen are on the coasts of LA and San Diego. These sharks may be growing in numbers, and you may fit them to have a fight with other species of sharks.
Yet, these sharks aren’t causing any risks or harm to human life.
Since, the love for Great White Sharks has grown and their numbers have increased, it is known that shark watching has been increasingly popular.
The whale watching operator that is based near Dana Point has been offering coastal viewings, with a 90 minutes Great White Shark tour.
It isn’t difficult to find and see a Great White Shark in California. You have more chances of seeing one by going to one of the three largest cities of California.
In addition to that, you can always try the viewing tour at Dana Point, but that doesn’t come with a diving experience.
Below, we have gone into more detail of the three cage diving tours you can do in California.
Great White Shark Tour Near Dana Point In Los Angeles
Off the beaches of Los Angeles, there are various Great White Sharks to be spotted. The best time to spot sharks around LA is during the spring.
As mentioned before, the whale watching company is now offering Great White Shark tours off Dana Wharf.
For this shark spotting experience, you will be looking to spend around $400. This will give you a 2 hours boat trip around Dana Point, where you will be looking out for sharks.
This is the cheapest trip you can purchase, and it’s an easy way to spot sharks, which means you don’t get wet.
Although, it is important to note that this isn’t a cage diving tour, as you never get into the water. In addition to that, you will normally see juvenile great whites, not adults.
Thus, if you are looking to see huge sharks, you may be a little disappointed.
This 90-minute trip will cost you only $400 and starts in May and runs throughout the year.
Great White Shark Tour Off Farallon Islands Near San Francisco
For a long time, the Farallon Island area was known as the go-to place to see Great White Sharks near San Francisco.
Today, the Farallon Islands are still a popular place to go, with the wildlife reserve being 30 miles away from San Francisco.
It is known that you can spot these sharks in these waters near fall time. You can potentially see much larger adult Great Whit Sharks.
This experience will cost you under $1000, and you will be able to dive in the waters with the sharks. With this experience, this is mainly a day trip, so hopefully on the day you will come across a Great White Shark.
In the San Francisco area, you will come to access the larger Great White Sharks. Although visibility in the waters is very limited, it can make spotting these sharks more of a challenge.
You can do a Great White Shark tour in the San Francisco area either from a boat, in a cage, or as part of a private charter, Yet overall, this trip will be around 12 hours long, and food isn’t always provided.
The price can vary between £375 to $775. For $375 you can expect more of a shark spotting experience. If you pay around $775 then you can expect to go cage diving.
Great White Shark Tours At Guadalupe Starting From San Diego
This is the most expensive Great White Shark you will come across, yet it is also the most rewarding.
The Guadalupe Islands are a volcanic island which are around 250 miles off the coast of San Diego. Either get there by boat or catch a bus to Ensenada.
Overall, with this experience you will be looking to spend thousands of dollars, but you will get a 5-day Great White Shark cage diving experience.
You will spend most of it traveling to the island, then on days 2 to 4 you will spend the majority of days diving.
Typically, each cage dive lasts around an hour, so you can get around 8 dives a day. Then on the fifth day, you come back to San Diego.
It is known that there are a lot of Great White Sharks around this area, so you will get to witness them.
In addition to that, unlike the San Francisco dive, the waters are really visible in San Diego, therefore you will have great viability in the water.
Especially, as you have 8 dives a day, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to spend plenty of time with these sharks in the water.
With that being said, this is the most expensive shark trip out of the three we have been talking about. Also, out of those 5 days you are paying for, you only spend 3 diving, the other two are spent traveling.
However, you will be able to see more Great White Sharks here than anywhere else. You will get to view adult and juvenile sharks, all various sizes.
If you are really lucky, you may be able to see the mysterious Cal Ripfin, otherwise known as the Shredder. This is due to the fact that their dorsal fin looks as if it has been shredded.
For a long time, this shark was a popular sight here, however, the Shredder hasn’t been seen since 2011. A lot of people think he may have moved on, but others still aren’t sure what has happened to him.
We cannot deny that the price for this trip isn’t cheap, as it is around $3000 to $5000. However, this covers the boast of the dives, your sleeping arrangements and all your food covered as well.
Thus, you get quite a lot out of your money. Especially if seeing a Great White Shark is your dream, and you have tried the other princes with little success.
For this experience, they run between September to December. Although, it is worth noting that the seas in this area start to get a little rough in November.
Therefore, if you want to take this trip for a 5-day experience, you may want to book it for October at the latest.
What Is The Best Great White Shark Diving Experience?
We have discussed three of the best and most popular Great White Shark cage diving experiences that you will be able to find in California.
Each experience has its own pros and cons, depending on your budget and what you are after out of the experience.
If you happen to have a smaller budget and not a lot of time, then the Los Angeles experience is going to be much better suited for you.
However, if you want to see greater Great Whites than the juveniles that the Los Angeles experience provides you with, then you may want to take a look at the San Francisco experience instead.
I may be slightly pricier, but you will get to see larger sharks. There is also the option to be able to go cage diving with the San Francisco experience as well, but that will cost you more money.
However, if money and take isn’t a problem, then the San Diego shark cage diving experience is the best option to go for. It provides you with everything you need.
In addition to that, you get the most amount of dives possible, and it also has the best visibility in the water, so you can see a lot more of the ocean.
If that wasn’t enough, with the San Diego trip, you get to see a larger selection of Great Whit Sharks, at different ages and sizes.
Also, you get to live on a boat for 5 days and all your meals are prepared for you. It is a once in a lifetime experience that you won’t forget.
If seeing a Great White Shark is on your bucket list, then you want to do it right. Thus, the San Diego 5-day trip may be a better option for you.
However, if money and time is limited, then you do have the choice between the San Francisco and Los Angeles Great White Shark experiences as well.
California is the best state to go to if you want to see a Great White Shark. As you can see, there are three popular Great White Shark cage diving experiences for you to choose from.
All these experiences will allow you to see a Great White Shark. Although, some experiences allow you to get closer to these sharks than others.
There are Great White Shark diving experiences in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego for you to look into.
We hope this article has been helpful and given you a better insight into cage diving and Great White Sharks in California.