Across the Gulf Stream from Florida’s east coast lies the Bimini Island Chain. These low-lying islands provide a fantastic destination for a long weekend cruise and a chance to become immersed in life as a marine explorer.
During this 3-night/4-day expedition, you’ll get firsthand experience exploring the marine ecosystems of The Bahamas with Dr. Steve Kessel, Shedd’s director of marine research and shark research biologist. Bimini offers some of the finest snorkeling, aquatic life encounters and beach exploration in the world. Enjoy delectable meals and rustic accommodations while experiencing and learning about marine life in this beautiful setting.
The trip will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified participants.
Wednesday, July 26 - Saturday, 29, 2023
The per person fee for this expedition is $3,000
(nonrefundable deposit of $1,000 due upon registration)
- 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
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.
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
- 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
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.
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.