• Farallons

The Farallones

The Farallon Islands within the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are home to some of the world’s largest great white sharks. These islands (Southeast Farallon and Maintop Island) off the coast of San Francisco are the winter water playground of adult great white sharks measuring 15 to 20 feet long. (4.5 meters to 6.1 meters). The sharks come to the Farallones to dine on the local population of Northern Elephant Seals.

Sample Itinerary

Day trips depart by 9 am  from Marina Bay Yacht Harbor (Richmond Marina) in San Francisco’s East Bay region and are generally 12 hours in duration. The price includes lunch and dinner on the boat. On the way to the Farallones, participants learn about the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the Farallon Islands, white sharks and other local wildlife, from a trained naturalist.

The 65 ft Derek M Baylis, a custom-built offshore research and education vessel, can comfortably accommodate 12 cage divers and 4 topside observers.

Sharks Spotted: Adult Great White Sharks

Viewing Season: The official season is from September 15th until November 30th.  We operate on select dates during the middle of this peak time.

Featured 2024 Day Trip Dates

September 29 | October  26, 27  | November 2, 3, 9, 10, 16

Cost: $925 for cage divers / $675 for topside observers.

Private charters for up to 16 cage divers are available. Call for pricing.

Participant Requirements: No dive experience required. Participants should be in reasonably good health and comfortable in the water. Minimum age requirement may apply for cage divers (typically age 16).

Trip Notes: Trips are conducted according to the terms of an educational permit (GFNMS-2015-011-A5)  issued to Incredible Adventures by the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.  A floating shark cage and surface-supplied air is used. Shark divers are supplied with a wetsuit, hood, boots and gloves. All participants are strongly advised to purchase dive insurance and must sign a release of liability. There is no shark guarantee. If you do not see sharks, there is no refund. We’ll take you to the best spots and do everything we can to insure sightings, but we cannot control nature.

San Francisco’s Farallon Islands

The Farallon Islands are part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

Sanctuary regulations enacted in 2009 prohibit the attraction of white sharks without a permit from NOAA. In 2009, Incredible Adventures was granted a permit to actively attract white sharks by using a mammal-shaped decoy. Incredible Adventures does not chum for white sharks or interfere in a white shark’s natural behavior in any way.

Viewing these giant creatures is a sight unlike any other. The Farallon Islands are a brutal place, where the seas can be rough and the weather miserable. That’s part of what makes viewing great white sharks off the coast of San Francisco an incredible adventure!

Peak shark sighting season at the Farallones is from late September through mid-November. Call 800-644-7382 to book your great white shark expedition today.

More Details

Farallons great white shark adventures are offered under the guidelines of a permit by the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. (GFNMS-2015-011-A5) The permit authorizes Incredible Adventures to use decoys to actively attract white sharks near its boat and shark cage. The decoys must be constructed of a soft material and shaped like a marine mammal native to the area.


We try to limit our San Francisco Dive Adventures to adults only. Some exceptions are made for teenagers or dive certified youngsters with extensive experience on the water. The day at the Farallones is a long one and seas can be rough. A seasick or grumpy child would ruin the trip for everyone. Please understand if we tell you your 8 year old isn't welcome.
No dive experience is necessary for those 18 and over. Our shark boats are staffed with certified dive instructors who oversee the safety of those in the shark cage. We use a hookah-style system. Air hoses extend down into the cage to allow for easy breathing.
If you're a cage diver, we'd like you to bring your own mask, if possible. It doesn't have to be an expensive item....just a mask that fits you and is suitable for snorkeling. (We have a few available on the boat for use, but can't promise that ours will be scratch free.) We provide our cage divers with everything else they will need for their time in the cage, including a hooded wetsuit, gloves, booties and weight belt. We also have plenty of towels on board.

If you plan to spend the day topside, remember to dress warmly. We recommend dressing yourself in layers, because it can be warm and sunny one minute and cold and foggy the next. We have some cameras and binoculars on the boat, but you may wish to bring your own.

We provide plenty of food and beverages for the day. If you have a special request, don't hesitate to ask. We can't make any promises, but we'll do our best to accommodate you.

Definitely! We put our topside observers to work manning our seal decoys and watching the horizon for fins. You'll hang out with our naturalists and deck staff, learning about white sharks and the Farallones and having an incredible time. Get ready to yell SHARK!!


As seen on Californa Live, NBC Los Angeles

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Cage diving with Great White Sharks

Derek M Baylis & Golden Gate Bridge

Seals on the rocky shore, Farallon Islands

The Farallons, 30 miles off the coast of California