About the Nautilus Explorer
There are hundreds of vessels in the worldwide fleet of large, liveaboard dive boats. We pride ourselves and differentiate the Nautilus by offering a recently built ship that was custom designed for divers to the highest possible level of comfort and safety with a layout that utilizes every square foot of available space. Our crew takes exceptional pride in keeping the boat spotlessly clean and running smoothly. Everything is first class and certified to the same exacting international SOLAS and ISM standards as the largest cruise ship.
A Safe, Comfortable, Well-run Ship
Your comfort is our priority everywhere onboard. The Nautilus Explorer is a happy ship and carefully designed to be very safe with heavy, strong steel construction and extensive soundproofing. The vessel's hullform, passive stability system and bulbous bow provides for a remarkably easy ride while heavy-duty commercial grade systems ensure that you have a smooth-running voyage. A water level platform aft of the dive deck provides easy entry into dive skiffs, kayaks and Laser sailboat.
Imaginative and fresh cuisine is one of the cornerstones of our business. 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. Having a chef and 2 hostesses means that we can take excellent care of our guests. Most special dietary requests can be cheerfully accommodated with advance notice (including "quasi-kosher").
For a small ship, the Nautilus feels "plenty big" (or so our guests tell us). There is ample room to find a quiet place to read, chat, fill out your divelog or journal or work on editing the images you shot that day - whether in the separate dining room, main salon or one of the upper sundecks. And there is nothing like a soak under the stars in the sparkling clear fresh water of our hot tub after a day of diving or exploration. The main salon also serves as the ship's entertainment centre with very "comfy" couches, a great library, a well stocked bar and select evening video showings, presentations and slide shows.
We offer accomodation on the Nautilus Explorer to suit all price levels and preferences ranging from a luxurious premium suite on the hot-deck to a cost effective triple occupancy stateroom on the lower deck.
All nine lower deck staterooms have private heads with separate shower stalls, central air conditioning and measure 90 square feet. Six of the staterooms have side by side beds. Two of the staterooms have large double beds and additional storage area. One triple occupancy suite has a double bed with 2 single bunks facing.
Three superior suites on the hot-tub deck measure 145 sq. ft and have large exterior windows. They each have private facilities, a desk and either bureau or wardrobe. Two of these suites have doors that open directly outside. The third suite boasts a large flat screen TV and DVD player.
Our premium suite is also located on the hot-tub deck and is twice the size of the other suites. It has a separate bedroom and lounge each with a large flat screen TV and DVD player, private facilities with a full-size bathtub and shower plus large private windows looking out on an ocean view. In 2011, the lounge in this suite will be refitted with a beautiful floor to ceiling picture window.
The Nautilus Explorer is a Millenium Boat Built and Launched in Vancouver, B.C. in 2000
- 116' long, 27' wide. Small ship size with a much bigger feel.
- 11 - 12 mph cruise speed.
- Steel hull and superstructure for your safety.
- 7000 gallon fresh water capacity and 3600 gallons-per-day water maker allowing you to shower as often as you like.
- Quiet twin 70 kw gensets operating 24 hours per day with precise voltage and frequency control. Ship's power is 110 volts ac , 60 Hz)
- Air-conditioning and heating throughout. Comfort in every climate.
Dive Destinations in Mexico:
Get out from behind the bars and go diving with great white sharks in 40 feet of clear blue water. Guadalupe Island (Mexico) is the top destination for great white shark encounters. This small volcanic island located in the Pacific 240 kilometers (150 miles) off the west coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula outperforms both South Africa and Australia with shark-seeing consistency and watching conditions. Only Guadalupe Island can boast shark viewing in one-hundred-twenty-five-foot visibility. The bay where we stage our submersible cage diving operations counts a population of 94 great white sharks, which guarantees unforgettable encounters. The Nautilus Explorer offers convenient evening departures, virtually unlimited diving, the opportunity to watch the great whites out in the open in 40 feet of clear blue water from the top deck of our double-decker submersible cages and all the services of a luxury liveaboard - from gear rental to attentive hostesses and sparkling-clear hot tub.
San Benitos Island and Baja California
We visit San Benitos during our combination trips. Whether it is combined with cage diving with the Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island or with some of the best west coast diving to be had in the California Channel Islands, it is a perfect addition, bringing variety with its unique kelp forest diving and untouched wildness. Divers commonly see an interesting mix of temperate fish as well as panamic sub-tropicals and silky and white tip reef sharks, wahoo and some tuna. Also we have seen horn shark, guitar ray, bat ray and, of course, the orange Garibaldi. Lobsters and abalone are abundant. The boat departs from Ensenada and we offer luxury highway coach pick up from San Diego and Tijuana. Trip length ranges from 10 night to 15 night.
The Sea of Cortez
Fall is the ideal time of year to dive the Sea of Cortez with the best visibility, warmest water and calmest seas of the season. It is always exciting to see hammerhead sharks and they usually appear at Gordo Bank in early September and the El Bajo seamount by mid-October. Whale sharks are typically present off El Mogote and may provide an unforgettable addition to your trip. The colony of California sea lions at Los Islotes are quite famous and will entertain you for hours with their playful underwater antics. Moray eels are so numerous at certain sites that we joke about them living in "moray condos". There are lots of turtles in these waters and you will likely spot large schools of jacks, tunas, lots of small rays, garden eels and species of fish too numerous to count. Giant manta rays are present but sightings have been sparse in the last couple of years. Invertebrate life includes stony corals, seafans, gorgonians and yellow colonial tubastrea corals. Unforgettable topside experiences may include watching whalesharks choosing to approach the Nautilus Explorer and use the side of the boat as a backboard to feed on plankton, dolphins, pilot whales and the absolutely spectacular starlit Mexican sky at night.
These are very relaxing trips but be warned that there isn't the same "edge" as voyaging out to Socorro Island with giant mantas and sharks everywhere. Sea of Cortez trips are very enjoyable and we liken them to swimming in a giant aquarium with an amazing diversity of animals in bath temperature water. Surface temperatures range from well over 100 degrees in September to the mid eighties in November. Water temps vary from 76 to 86 ° F (25 to 30 ° C) and diveskins, 3 mil or 5 mil wetsuits are very popular. There is a remote chance of a tropical storm early in our season but is very unlikely. Most days will be sunny with the very occasional day that is either overcast or rainy. The first "Norte" (or north wind) does not usually blow until late November but may restrict our diving itinerary for a day or two if it starts early.
On the Nautilus Explorer we are always "up" for trying new things and we do our very best to provide the most excellent experience possible, consequently, our itinerary may vary from trip to trip. You can very likely expect to dive the wreck of the 300' ferry Salvatierra, Los Islotes, Las Animas, El Bajo, La Reyna, Isla Cerralvo, Suwanee Reef and El Mogote. Depending on the weather and diving conditions and our guests' inclination, we may voyage as far south as Cabo Pulmo, Gordo Bank or Cabo San Lucas.