Whale Shark Update

What’s Included
We provide a large and spacious sailing catamaran over 90% of the time, or if needed, we re-direct guests to our 96’ Cruising Yacht, or if maintenance or repair reasons require, to our 58’ Pilothouse Trawler. Each yacht comes with one or more licensed and certified snorkel boats, licensed captains, and marine biologists or certified guides.
Ground transportation is included along with, wetsuits, snorkel gear, a choice of full-face or standard snorkel masks, snorkel vests, towels, private bathrooms, private fresh-water showers, and reef-friendly sunscreen.
An onboard chef prepares meals, which are also included. We provide an array of beverages, snacks, and an open bar. We provide a marine biologist, or certified license guide as your hostess and snorkel leader. There are excellent areas to lie-out on board and enjoy your cruise. For service quality reasons, we self-restrict guest count to below our licensed capacity.
We are NOT a cattle-car style tour company!

Success Rate
Baja Charters has successfully operated the PREMIER whale shark encounter for eleven years with a 100% track record for locating whale sharks, PROVIDING the port was open and government regulations did not prevent access to the whale shark feeding zone. Once approved into the whale shark zone, it takes fifteen minutes to an hour to find these wonderful creatures.

Season & Regulation
Whale Shark season is October through April. Semarnat, the environmental agency of Mexico, and Conanp, the National Park Service, restrict the number of swimmers in the water with a single whale shark to five, plus a certified guide. The whale shark feeding zone became an underwater national park in 2019. It is tightly regulated. Time in the whale shark feeding zone is limited to three hours, during major holidays to only two hours. Three years in a row, the government has failed to open the Whale Shark zone on time. Governing agencies tend to apply further restrictions without notice.

Fitness Considerations
Children under seven are NOT allowed in a snorkel boat or with a whale shark. Strong swimming ability is normally NOT required. However, only guests that are reasonably fit and healthy, with good balance, should enter the water with a whale shark. If you are not strong enough to manage your weight getting into and out of the water on a stainless-steel snorkel boat ladder, it is best to stay in the boat and simply watch the whale sharks up close. This activity is NOT suitable for guests with heart problems, pregnant women over four months
along, or guests with mobility issues.

Whale Shark Activity
Swimming with whale sharks is one of life’s great outdoor experiences. However, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE you will be able to swim with a whale shark. Four federal agencies have overlapping jurisdiction over whale shark activities. Without prior notice, agencies will close the whale shark feeding zone for research and review, even within the established legal whale shark season. The impact of fluctuating federal requirements may affect park entry, and whether guests are allowed to swim with a whale shark. When this happens, and it does from time to time without prior notice, we automatically provide a modified activity as follows: We cruise approximately an hour further north beyond the controlled whale shark area to search for whale sharks. This adds time to the excursion, the costs of which we cover. We also include visits to two or three remote beaches, bays, and coves where, weather permitting, we put out kayaks, and other non-motorized water toys. These are not legal inside the whale shark feeding zone but are legal outside that specific area. Also included is swimming with tropical fish over corals and a visit to the sea lion colony of San Rafaelito, along with an onboard chef, meals, beverages, an open bar, private bathrooms and showers, towels, snorkel equipment, a separate snorkel boat with guide, and reef-friendly sunscreen. We will provide our best efforts to deliver a high-quality experience, regardless of whether we are able to locate whale sharks.

Covid-19 Compliance
The greater Cabo area was the first tourist destination in the world to be fully certified as a Health Secure Destination. Baja Charters complies with all the sanitary and security standards and regulations to operate in safety. Our Mexican state of Baja Sur is rated Green. However, masks are again required within enclosed spaces.

Conanp restrictions on access to the whale shark feeding zone do not permit us to allocate space to photographers on shared tours any longer. We encourage you to bring your own camera and take all the photos you wish. Subject to safety restrictions and availability, crew will assist you.

Winds and waves in the Cabo area are RARELY a good indication of winds and waves in La Paz. The sea around the whale shark feeding zone, is usually swimmable. We are careful to examine forecasts daily, but wave heights and wind forecasts are often wrong. We must reschedule the Whale Shark encounter during the Winter, two to three times each month for winds and wave action. Temperature and overcast do not restrict this activity. We provide wetsuits and shorties in adult sizes. We have some children’s sizes. On board, we have private bathrooms with hot water showers and fresh clean towels.

Cancellations and Rescheduling
You may cancel your private charter or shared tour 30 days or more, prior to your activity date and reschedule anytime within a 3-year period.

Refund Policy
If maintenance issues, or anything within the normal control of Baja Charters, prevents you from enjoying your booked cruise date, we will provide you with an alternative date that works within your travel plans, or refund your money completely. Baja Charters is NOT responsible for the Port Captain closing the Port, government edict, or changes in bureaucratic regulations without adequate notice. However, in these situations, we will provide an alternative date that works within guest travel plans, or issue an assignable, three-year cash certificate that may be used the same as cash for the same or any future activities aboard Baja Cat, Marylee, Lucky One, or Pacifica. 

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