The world‘s finest diving

Philippines Anilao pink fan fish shutterstock 261263369 optDANCES WITH MANTAS
aboard our favorite liveaboards
8 & 10- night trips … 2023

Picture yourself flying through the blue with giant Pacific Manta Rays …. while lurking all around you are sharks & dolphins … and possibly whale sharks & humpbacks. These expeditions will be teeming with marine life …. and incomparable encounters !


The majestic Pacific mantas, the type you’ll encounter at Socorro, are the largest of the ray family.   They swim by moving their wing-like pectoral fins, which can grow up to 7 meters wide, but usually average about 5 – 6 meters.  The interaction divers experience in their presence is initiated by the mantas.  For 25 years they have been exposed to the strange creatures in rubber suits who lumber off boats.   Seemingly, the mantas have become attached to the antics of these odd land creatures & enjoy the bubbles they emit. 

Philippines 5 photo composite optThe mantas will  come in very close – often less than 1 meter from a diver.  Often, they make eye contact with you, then swim along beside you.  Of course, it’s totally on their terms. We don’t approach …. they do.  And, they choose to do so year after year … with group after group.

What is perhaps even more extraordinary is that the local population of bottle-nose dolphins has learned to mimic the behavior of the giant mantas.  It is very likely that these wild dolphins will also move in to establish intimate contact with divers during your trip.   Sort of Two for the Price of One !   Some of the dolphins have developed a taste for playing with the human creatures who visit … and they can be very persistent !


Just after the New Year, humpback whales arrive at the Socorro Islands in an annual migration from the cooler waters of Alaska & Canada. Hundreds of them!  This is an epic journey through open ocean … thousands of miles to the small islands of the Revillagigedos Archipelago of Mexico.  In March & April you are ALMOST guaranteed to see their wonderful antics … and hear their haunting melodies.  They lend an extra magic to a Socorro diving odyssey. 

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{slider At 95 feet (29 meters), Nautilus Under Sea isn’t largest but don’t let that fool you. In terms of comfort, she is equal to the rest & is a true diver’s dream boat.  |dest|closed}  Comfortable, well laid-out and with all the amenities a diver is looking for, she’s nothing less than ideal.   One of the amazing things about her is that the entire main deck is now wheelchair accessible, including dining room & lounge, large new stateroom and dive stations …. with a ramp down to the lower swim platform.

For your non-diving hours the boat offers a large sundeck with lounge chairs & a hot tub on the upper deck (bridge deck), plus snuggely sofas, tables & chairs and a bar.    The remaining 6 cabins are located on the lower deck.  You can expect a fusion of Mexican and North American food with fresh baking, produce and vegetables.  If you have special dietary needs, please let us know at time of booking.  The chefs will make every effort to meet your requirements.

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{slider The 116-foot (35-meter) all-steel Nautilus Explorer was custom built for open-ocean cruising. She takes 25 lucky divers and her itineraries include Socorro & Guadalupe. |dest|closed} 

Nautilus Explorer has 4 decks, the top deck being exclusively a sun deck.  Below that you find the wheelhouse, the hot tub deck and 4 very large cabins.  On the third deck is the dive deck with stations accommodating 24 guests.  Also, a 5-ton hydraulic crane, water level platform and reinforced steel deck permits the staging of white shark cage diving and supports film and scientific crews. The lower deck houses the remaining 9 cabins. 

Also on the main deck, Explorer’s salon serves as the ship’s entertainment center with very “comfy” couches, a great library, a well stocked bar and select evening video showings, presentations and slide shows. You’ll also find a place to download digital images on dedicated PC and Mac computers and view them on a 42″ plasma TV. The roomy dining room, separate from the salon, features large picture windows and offers tasty cuisine. 

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{slider See an itinerary overview, which, as always, is subject to weather and sea conditions.  Also, you’ll find rates and inclusions, exclusions here.  Plus there there is a larger selection of liveaboards to choose from … with spaces remaining for the 2023 season … click to continue reading|dest|closed}


Multiple dates remain for 2023 on a wide variety of liveaboards

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Unique to each liveaboard and trip


You’ll want to arrange flights to Cabo San Lucas, on the tip of the Baja Peninsula in México, to arrive February 16 at the latest. (We recommend arriving at least a day early, however, in case you encounter flight delays or lost luggage issues).  The transfer to town from the airport takes about 45 minutes.

You can explore the vibrant city of Cabo by day & by night … or take advantage of doing a dive or two with the team at the Nautilus Dive Center.


The itinerary from island to island is dependent upon wind, weather and currents … but, barring unforeseen circumstances, you will dive Socorro, San Benedicto and Roca Partida.  The following gives you an overview of a 10-night trip.  On an 8-night trip you will have 2 fewer days of diving.

Days 1 & 2 : Boarding & crossing

Arrive at the Nautilus Dive Center for boarding no later than 7pm (departure is around 9pm).  The first night and the the following day will be spent at sea. Early evening, the ship will be in arrive at the Islas Revillagigedos. The crossing takes about 24 hours.

Days 3 – 8 : Socorro, San Benedicto and Roca Partida

Dive according to your mood and experience … five full, eventful days of diving

The special thing about diving in the Islas Revillagigedos is the omnipresence of large fish and the typically clear water.

Nowhere else do you see giant mantas so often and in such great numbers.  The manta rays will usually be found wherever the divers are, looking for interaction.  There’s some speculation that they like the feel of the bubbles on their bellies !   Whitetip reef sharks lie in groups in rocks at Roca Partida, while sharks patrol the cliffs, and whale sharks and even whales are seen regularly. There are electric rays, lobsters which are “XXL” and dolphins who are likely to harass you until you stroke them !  If you had the time, you would probably even find nudibranchs and other macro animals – as first a tiger shark swims by, then next a Galapagos shark, then a couple of mantas, followed by a pack of frisky dolphins, in all honesty, who has time for nudibranchs?

Day 9 :  Crossing

It’s now time to say goodbye to Islas Revillagigedos.  On the crossing back to Cabo San Lucas you have enough time to review your photos, to relax, to sunbathe or share your stories with other divers.

Day 10 : Departure

You will arrive at the port of departure late at night & will spend the final night on board, disembarking early on the final day.


NO shore leave as this is a restricted military area  .. NO night dives possible, national park regulations


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