Swimming with Sharks

“Shark Week” Expert to Lead Exclusive 10-Day shark adventure in the Galapagos.

For travelers who think they’re ready for a high-adrenaline experience, the Discovery Channel and Gap Adventures are currently offering an exclusive trip to the Galapagos Islands in the company of their esteemed Shark Advisor and Director of Biological Programs for Washington D.C.’s National Aquarium, Andy Dehart. For those brave enough to meet the man in the grey suit face to face, this one-of-a-kind journey (taking place June 19-28, 2010) will give fellow travelers a unique opportunity to dive into Dehart’s extensive knowledge of sharks through enriching lectures and multiple snorkeling expeditions.

Dehart has appeared on numerous Discovery Channel productions including Sharks Under Glass (2003), Shark Feeding Frenzy (2007), Day of the Shark (2008), Shark After Dark (2009) and Day of the Shark 2 (2009). “I have been fascinated with sharks since age five and lucky enough to have spent the last 20 years studying and encountering more than 40 different species,” said Dehart. “This adventure trip lets me share my world with travelers and dive into the curiosity of the Galapagos Islands.”

The 10-day trip begins in Quito, Ecuador, where guests will have a day at leisure to explore several museums scattered throughout the city before flying the next day to the Galapagos Islands (Baltra/Bachas). Once there, guests will board a 16-passenger catamaran, their home base for the next nine days, which features a Jacuzzi, freshly prepared meals in the dining room and bar, plus spacious outside decks for relaxing. A Level III Naturalist Guide and dedicated Cruise Director will ensure that guests experience the best of the island’s extraordinary ecosystem, both onboard and on land. Throughout the trip, Dehart will give a series of lectures on sharks, discussing his role as shark advisor for Discovery Channel’s highly acclaimed “Shark Week” and debunking the myths about the feared predators.

Dehart will get you thinking about who the real predators are — around 250,000 sharks are killed each day, mainly due to the greed that comes with selling the endangered species’ fins, as seen in Rob Stewart’s hit film Sharkwater. “Shark fin soup is a delicacy in China,” Dehart explains. “We see this with tigers and elephants. We are certainly the predator here. It’s an interesting twist. Sharks are the perfect predators, but they’re being hunted to the point they’re endangered.” Sharks may be the most feared and misunderstood of God’s creatures–given that their survival is under serious threat from fishing and other human activities, we think this is a great opportunity to learn and understand more about them in the midst of their own environment. Besides, who can resist that killer smile?

Price: US$4299 p/person. Trips include arrival transfer, daily breakfast, comfortable accommodations with en suite bathrooms, and some amenities. Prices exclude airfare and each tour consists of group sizes ranging from six to 16 people with trip lengths from three to 24 days. Marine explorers interested in joining Discovery Channel “Shark Week” personality on this unique excursion can book at www.discoveryadventures.com.

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