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.
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 2023 Day Trip Dates
October 22, 23, 28 & November 5, 12, 13, 18, 19
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.
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.
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.
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