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  • Live aboard Shedd’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II and experience life at sea as a marine explorer
  • Snorkel with Caribbean reef sharks in crystal-clear waters
  • Tour the world-famous Bimini Biological Field Station (also known as Shark Lab)
  • Travel through the mangrove channels of Smuggler’s Pass and search for eagle rays in Bonefish Hole
  • Explore coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds and learn about the importance of these unique habitats and how we can protect them
  • Snorkel the world-famous S/S Sapona shipwreck and learn about marine life associated with artificial reefs
  • A shark swims near a Shedd research expedition in the Caribbean.
  • A school of yellow fish, about the size of an adult's hand, swim among fan-like clumps of coral.
  • The bright branches of an orange coral look like grasping fingers.
  • The R/V Coral Reef II, Shedd's research vessel, viewed from above in the calm warm waters of the Bahamas.
  • The beautiful blue waters of the Bahamas, when viewed above, reveal a multitude of sandy shoals dropping into deep darker areas.

Steve Kessel, Shedd's Director of Marine Research, aboard a small research boat in the Bahamas.

Your expert trip leader

Steven Kessel, Ph.D., has worked extensively with a wide variety of marine species and has a well-established reputation as a conservation scientist. At Shedd, he oversees a suite of research projects aimed at protecting economically important species in The Bahamas. His own original research is aimed at better understanding Caribbean shark species to protect them from further decline.

The R/V Coral Reef II, Shedd's research vessel, is a floating research laboratory station in the Bahamas.


Shedd Aquarium’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II will act as our primary base of operations and home during the trip. It is equipped with the comforts necessary to make such a trip enjoyable. Cabins and bathrooms are shared, with two single-bed bunks in each stateroom. In addition, the boat is air-conditioned and has a water maker system with hot water for showering.


  • Accommodations for 3 nights/4 days on the R/V Coral Reef II
  • Chef-prepared meals and snacks each day
  • Guided snorkels with Shedd Aquarium’s experienced staff
  • Visit to Bimini Biological Field Station (aka Shark Lab)
  • Snorkel, mask, fins and personal flotation device

Not included

  • Airfare to/from Miami
  • Travel costs to/from the R/V Coral Reef II
  • Hotel accommodation in Miami the nights before and after the expedition
Three people lean over the side of the boat to look at sharks.

Getting there and getting home

You will need to make your own travel arrangements to and from Miami where you will meet the group on the dock at Merrill Steven’s shipyard on the morning of July 26 (time TBD). You may also want to book a hotel on the evening of July 29, since disembarkation will be sometime late in the day. Shedd will be happy to make recommendations for hotels the night before and after this excursion. We recommend booking your return flight home anytime on July 30 from Miami. Because many airfares are nonrefundable, please confirm with us before finalizing your plans.

Participant qualifications

Participants must be at least 13 years of age and must show proof of full COVID vaccination. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in the ratio of 2:1. Current requirements also include showing proof of a negative COVID test taken 72 hours prior to departure.


Email Shannon Fuller for more information.

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