Diving Alaska Onboard The Nautilus Swell
Alaska is something every diver should experience. It doesn't matter if you have thousands of cold-water dives under your weightbelt or have never been in a drysuit before. You need to experience this. The scenery is stunning and spectacular. The diving is some of the best cold water diving in the world. And the animals topside are just as enthralling as the critters below surface; grizzly bears ambling along the beach, bald eagles more numerous than seagulls, humpback whales blowing right beside the back deck water level as you sip your morning coffee. This is the full meal deal from incredible diving, photo opportunities, kayaking and shore expeditions all the way through climbing up icebergs.
We offer a variety of Alaska trips; 8 days/7 nights, 11 days/10 nights, 13 days/12 nights and 15 days/14 nights. Different trip lengths appeal to different clients from different places. A Saturday-to-Saturday trip is perfect for someone who can only take a week off work while a 15 day trip is ideal for someone travelling over from Europe. Your days onboard will be jammed with activities but the primary focus will always be on diving (exception = whole boat charters).. Dives are planned around the slack tides which usually limits us to 3 dives per day. Night dives are not possible in the land of the midnight sun. Other activities may include whale watching, zodiac tours, shore expeditions and hikes and kayaking. Diving and itinerary is subject to the Captain's discretion but you can bet that we will do our absolute best to maximize your satisfaction.
Here is a sample itinerary of a 10 night trip.
Day 1: Evening board in Sitka
Day 2: Sergius Narrows area
Day 3: Dive Baranoff Island and relax in hot springs
Day 4: secret jelly fish dive (better than Palau) + salmon stream
Day 5: Dive Wooden Island and secret wolf-eel spot
Day 6: Le Conte calving glaciers and icebergs
Day 7: Pt. Adolphus whale watching, search for sea otter raft, afternoon dive
Day 8: Inian Island diving, whale watching and diving with sea lions
Day 9: more Inian Island
Day 10: Dive wrecks of the Princess Sophia and Princess Kathleen
Day 11: morning disembarkation
How To Get Here
Trips typically board in either Juneau or Sitka with 2 departures each season from Ketchikan. Seattle is the gateway city with frequent and affordable connections, thru-fares and "open-jaw" tickets on Alaska Air. The Nautilus Swell will be available for boarding at 6:00pm on day of departure and disembarks at 8:45 a.m. on the last day of your adventure.
About The Nautilus Swell
The Nautilus Swell has enjoyed a romantic and varied history having been in active service as a tug, a fishing charter boat and liveaboard dive vessel in all parts of the Pacific North West. Tried and tested she has been completely refitted and renovated three times. Most recently, she underwent a $3.5 million dollar refit in 2005 to bring her up to the high standard of modern liveaboard comfort and safety without losing the classic warm feeling of a vintage wooden vessel. She is at home in the waters of BC and Alaska and we are sure she will make you feel at home too, the moment you step onboard.
Diving from The Nautilus Swell couldn't be easier. Our 38 foot dive skiff Inde, previously used for 24 divers on the Explorer, will now be used for only 12 - 14 divers on the Swell and is essentially the "dive deck", with loads of room for storage. Once your gear is set up on Inde, a single step down from the mothership, you won't have to touch it again for the rest of the trip. A large multi-level camera table, covered drysuit rack, work station, gear storage area, and sparkling clear hot tub are located one flight of stairs up from Inde.
There are seven guest cabins all with ensuite heads and showers and individual temperature control.
2 superior suites on the main deck span the width of the superstructure with a door at EACH end of the cabin, portholes and bright light atmosphere. Just picture stepping outside in the morning with a cup of coffee in hand and sitting on the bulwark enjoying the beauty and stillness of Alaska. 1 superior cabin has 2 bunks. The other cabin has a 57" x 75.5" double bed.
There are 2 double staterooms on the hot-tub deck with bunks, a skylight, portholes and a door that opens directly outside. Both have private ensuites with very large heads and a shower.
There are also 2 single occupancy staterooms on the same deck that are very similar to the double staterooms (bunk style) except that the heads are slightly smaller. These cabins are available as a double if requested. The "Captain's Cabin" is at the forward end of this deck and accessible through the large, comfortable wheelhouse (where you are welcome to hang out). This cabin has the added bonus of being able to step out into the wheelhouse and enjoy the panoramic view. It has a 54.5" x 75" double bed.
The Nautilus Swell's modern galley is fully equipped as a commercial kitchen to allow our chef to produce the imaginative and fresh cuisine we are known for. Soups are homemade; bread, pastries and deserts are baked onboard and there is always lots to eat with up to 4 meals a day, a choice of entrees and plenty of snacks (including some that aren't good for you!). We offer a mix of both buffet and table service with a menu that combines North American and European tastes and also a touch of Mexico. We are happy to accommodate almost all special dietary requests - including vegetarian, vegan and all religious requests - as long as we have advance notice.
Length: 90 feet
Width: 22 feet
Draft: 11 feet
Displacement tonnage : 170 tons
Gross Tonage: 130 t
Net Tonage: 39 t
Engine: Detroit Diesel 12V149 800 Horsepower
Crusing Speed: 10 - 12 knots
AC Generators: 2 x 24 hours per day.
Watermaker : 3600 gallons per day.