Shark Cage Diving: Calypso Star Charter Review

Shark Cage Diving with a Great White Shark has to be one of the most incredible experiences of my trip. I headed to Port Lincoln in South Australia to check out Calypso Star Charter.

I’m stood in the cage peering out into the ocean when suddenly it appears. It started off as a shadow and slowly developed into the incredible creature that has survived 16 million years of evolution. The Great White Shark is incredibly casual and majestic as it stalked towards us. It’s scary to think that the shark can sense my heartbeat and would be feeling it quicken as it got closer. They can sense one billionth of a volt. It certainly knows I am there.

It was phenomenal to watch the shark chase the bait as it widened its jaws merely a metre away from where we were. You’ll feel an incredible adrenaline rush as you watch it clamp down its jaws with thousands of pounds of pressure. Even though you are in a cage the viewing gap is big enough to give you the sensation that you’re not in one. You can’t truly appreciate a Great White Shark until you have been down there with them.

Would I recommend this tour. Yes, yes and yes! The day tour lasts approximately 12 hours and it’s an enjoyable journey out past the Neptune Islands. You won’t just see sharks but scores of dolphins and even seals. The ship is very comfortable, friendly crew and the hostess really outdoes herself. You’ll be incredibly well fed throughout the day. The seafood platter was a rather nice touch.

At the end of the trip there was a customer feedback form and I honestly couldn’t suggest any improvements.

Now you’re probably wondering what this all costs and therein may lie a problem for some. At $495, this day tour is certainly not the cheapest but you have to look at the bigger picture. Do you get value for money? Personally, I would say so. There’s only a few places in the world that you can dive with Great White Sharks; Australia, South Africa and Guadalupe Island. At $495 this type of tour is actually very cheap compared to the competition. Look around on the internet and you’ll see many other operators that start at $3000.

This tour is rather accessible. You don’t have to have a diving certification and you don’t have to wear a tank either. The group was a mix of young travellers, backpackers and even a couple who were celebrating a 40th birthday. Due to the price tag this type of tour may be out of reach for some budget travellers or backpackers but I think I would rather have done this and forego some other tour or a few nights out. Was certainly worth it and experience you won’t soon forget.

Easiest way to get to Port Lincoln is to fly, unless of course you are driving through. Flights are reasonably priced from Sydney and Melbourne, and fly via Adelaide. I’d recommend booking a flight online with Qantas. Port Lincoln lacks any hostels and cheap accommodation options are slim . I stayed at the Pier Hotel (+618 8682 1322), which was clean, quiet, overlooks Boston Bay and is a short taxi away from where the tour departs.

This tour was sponsored by Calypso Star Charter. Images courtesy of Calypso Star Charter. The Pier Hotel offered Gap Year Escape industry rates for the duration of stay.

10 Comments

  • Nancy

    June 10, 2010

    Hun, that sounds beyond fabulous! I’m soooo doing that when I go back!

  • Eli

    June 10, 2010

    Dude, that price sounds totally worth it. Getting that close to a great white would be a once in a lifetime opportunity! It looks like good, old-fashioned, grab a snorkel and crap your pants kind of fun!

  • Amanda

    June 12, 2010

    This is one thing that is very high up on my bucket list. Sharks fascinate me. I can’t even imagine the sort of adrenaline rush that comes along with cage diving with Great Whites!

  • Erica

    June 14, 2010

    You know, I had never really considered this as a thing to “do” and now you have piqued my interest. Hubby and I are hoping to be in Australia at the end of next year and this definitely looks like an AWESOME experience.

  • Anil

    June 17, 2010

    Looks awesome – do they chum the waters to attract the sharks?

  • Marissa Toohey

    June 22, 2010

    How many sharks did you see? How many Great Whites? I have wanted to do this for ages and definitely will soon!
    M

  • Rebecca

    December 29, 2010

    SO want to do this – going to do it in South Africa in 2011 when I go back there!

  • wanderlass

    May 25, 2011

    How long were you underwater? How deep? You have to use compressed air and breathe thru a regulator? Wow!

  • Gap Year Escape

    May 25, 2011

    Yeah standard diving equipment but you don’t have to wear the tank on your back. We took it in turns about 45 minutes at a time. Doesn’t sound like much but trust me it was long enough… the water was freezing!

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