With Shark Week programming coming to the Discovery Channel July 22, here are five ways to plan a family trip to enhance your understanding of our oceans and the creatures that live in them.
1. Summer of Shark, Princess Cruises
Join Princess Cruises' Discovery at Sea program, offered in partnership with the Discovery Channel, for a fully immersive experience. Children and teens can head to Camp Discovery, where age-appropriate shark-themed activities will be underway. For more of an adrenaline rush, ask about the shark diving and whale shark encounters available on some sailings.
2. Cancún, Mexico
Two at a time, along with a guide, don a life jacket or wet suit and fins before jumping in for a swim with imposing but peaceful whale sharks. No touching is allowed, but you can swim alongside these plankton-slurping vegetarians as they thrust forward their supersize square jaws and begin filtering everything in their path.
3. Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas
On the Leap of Faith slide, you’ll twist and turn through a tunnel, dropping almost 60 vertical feet, before emerging in a clear acrylic tube deep within a shark-filled lagoon. For those who want to stay dry, panoramic windows offer views of hammerheads, reef sharks and barracuda. The more adventuresome can don specially designed underwater helmets and walk with the sharks inside their exhibit.
4. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Join the trip to Cabo Pulmo to experience 300 species of fish and 200 marine invertebrates as well as bull sharks. For the more adventuresome, ages 15 and older, consider the Cabo Shark dive that includes swimming with hammerhead and mako sharks. The organization’s founder and professional shark dive guide, Jacopo Brunetti, encourages shark viewing and diving as an eco-sustainable activity.
5. Family Dive Trips
Learn to dive as a way to learn about sharks and other creatures of the deep. Tom and Margo Peyton, co-owners of Family Dive Adventures, recommend Bonaire, Grand Cayman and St. Lucia for beginners and early diving practice. The company provides group and custom dive trips and has certified more than 5,500 children. Ask about Kids Sea Camp.