Hammerhead Sharks, Coral Reefs & Wreck Diving in the Caribbean: An Adventure Diving with Sharks in the Bahamas
Explore the underwater world of the Bahamas on this ten-day itinerary, diving between two islands that are home to the most extraordinary shark diving experiences. Enjoy Stuart Cove's famous shark feeding diving in New Providence, before hopping over to Bimini to dive with great hammerheads and snorkel with wild dolphins.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Dive Stuart Cove's Shark Adventure where you will experience a feeding dive, attracting huge numbers of Caribbean reef sharks
- Explore additional dive sites around Nassau, including the wreck used in the James Bond film; Thunderball
- Dive with Great Hammerheads in Bimini, with incredible opportunities for underwater photographers
- Snorkel with wild dolphins in Bimini, including Atlantic spotted and bottlenose species
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Day 1: The Adventure Begins
Your dreams of diving with sharks in the Bahamas becomes a reality today as the adventure begins with a direct flight to Nassau. The flight takes around ten hours, arriving the same day, so you'll want to make sure you have a good book to read before trying to get some sleep.
On arrival into Nassau, you will be met and transferred to your hotel which will take around ten minutes. Settle into your colourful bungalow before heading out to enjoy a drink and delicious dinner at the restaurant, toasting the start of your holiday.
Days 2-4: Shark Diving and More in New Providence
Spend the next three days exploring all that the waters of New Providence have to offer, diving with the famous Stuart's Cove dive centre, which is just a ten-minute drive from your hotel. You will be picked up each morning and transferred back to your hotel at the end of the day.
Stuart Cove started his diving career on New Providence Island over 20 years ago, when he first began to interact with the island's shark population. His connection with the island's sharks has led to his involvement with Hollywood blockbusters such as 'Never Say Never Again' which, in turn, began the 'Shark Adventure' which entices divers from all over the world to the Bahamas.
The shark diving will take place every afternoon as a two-tank dive just off the west side of the island, which attracts a huge number of Caribbean Reef sharks. The first dive is a "Free Swim" with the sharks on a beautiful wall or sloping reef. The sharks will accompany you throughout the dive as you are near to the feeding site, and they are accustomed to the proceedings. No bait will be used on this dive which keeps the sharks curious and makes for a more natural experience. The second dive is the famous shark feeding dive. You will spend this dive kneeling on the sandy bottom, forming a semi-circle around a professional shark feeder, who will place a bait box in the middle. The feeder uses the bait box and a pole spear to control the release of a bait, which influences the sharks' behaviour. The sharks will gather in huge numbers (30 or so!) and get very close to the divers, making for an incredible experience.
Whilst shark feeding can be controversial, this experience which was developed by Stuart Cove, attracts divers and tourists from all over the world and has enabled the species to be protected in the Bahamas for many years. It is why such healthy shark populations are seen throughout the islands of the Bahamas and it also helps to eradicate the image that so many people associate with sharks, thanks to films like 'Jaws'.
These days are not just about diving with sharks, there are some great dive sites to explore on two-tank dives every morning including walls, wrecks and reefs. These sites are often patrolled by Caribbean reef sharks and are home to beautiful gorgonians as well as myriad reef fish. Highlights also include the 92-foot tug called the Tears of Allah, which appeared in the James Bond film, 'Never Say Never Again' and the Vulcan Bomber wreck, which was custom-built for another Bond film: Thunderball. Both sites can be dived together on a single tank!
Spend your days diving with sharks and exploring the incredible underwater world of the Bahamas, before discovering the delights of New Providence when you return to dry land.
Day 5: Onwards to Bimini
Today you will be leaving New Providence for the next stop on your Bahamas shark diving experience. You'll be transferred back to the airport in good time for your 30-minute flight to Bimini, then, once you've arrived, make your way to your hotel which is only five minutes from the airport.
Settle into your room before heading to meet the dive team, ready for the next few days of diving.
Days 6-9: Diving in Bimini
Spend the next few days diving until your heart's content on the beautiful island of Bimini. Your dive centre is based at the hotel and three of the days will be entirely focused on diving with great hammerheads, who are the stars of the show here.
These dives will take place in the late morning and early afternoon, when you will head out to the hammerhead site from the marina by boat. The shark handlers will then begin to bait the water and add fish oils to try and bring in the sharks. They usually turn up an hour or more after this, which is when you will get the chance to enter the water, to experience these incredible animals up (very) close and often with excellent visibility.
Once the sharks have come in they normally stay around for a good few hours, swimming at distances that can be less than an arm's length from the divers. Diving with these sharks in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas is an unbelievable experience to share with these magnificent, wild marine creatures. You'll be able to see for yourself the sheer size of the animals and their extraordinary shape; it's an astonishing and humbling sight. Add in a bull shark or two and a nurse shark and this is truly one of the best opportunities for shark diving in the Bahamas - particularly for underwater photographers.
During these days you'll also get the chance to go on daily two-tank dives to explore the other dive sites of Bimini. With direct exposure to the Atlantic Ocean, the reefs here are some of the most spectacular in the Bahamas. Explore beautiful corals, wrecks, canyons and blue holes that host an abundance of life, including dolphins, eagle rays and more, all in gin clear waters.
These days are jam-packed with some of the best diving interactions the ocean offers. Enjoy your days at sea, before spending your evenings relaxing in the resort and exploring on land.
- Dolphin experience - Bimini is one of the few places on earth you can swim with wild dolphins so I would highly recommend this! Seeing dolphins is not guaranteed but the chances are pretty high.
- Fishing - bone-fishing is particularly good in the Bahamas
- Kayaking - Bimini is home to numerous mangrove-fringed lagoons, creeks, and ponds teeming with wildlife and kayaking is a great way to experience them.
- Sharklab Tours - Bimini is home to the world-famous Bimini Biological Field Station (BBFS), known locally as the "Sharklab". This station specialises in shark research and conservation of the Ocean's systems.
Day 10: Home time
Sadly today marks the end of your adventure diving with sharks in the Bahamas. Pack your bags ready for the short drive to the airstrip, getting there in good time for your domestic flight back to Nassau which will take around 30 minutes.
On arrival into Nassau, if you have a few hours to spare, we recommend heading back to Compass Point to enjoy a delicious dinner before catching your flight home.
Your international flight departs in the evening and takes around eight hours, flying through the night, arriving back in the UK the following morning.
Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.