While the Maui Ocean Center boasts an impressive half a million visitors each year, only a select number of those decide to take advantage of one of the coolest (and thrill-seeking) features at the aquarium, the Shark Dive Maui.
As a regular visitor to the Maui Ocean Center, one of the most fascinating and memorable attractions is the 750,000 gallon Open Ocean exhibit, which holds more than 20 sharks, including a hammerhead and tiger shark, giant broad stingrays and thousands of other tropical reef fish. For those of you looking for a way to spice up your next vacation, the Shark Dive Maui allows you to climb into the shark tank for a scuba dive unlike any other you’ll experience in Hawaii.
You must be scuba certified and at least 15 years old to participate, and it’s a great place to bring along a GoPro or even hire a personal underwater videographer/photographer to capture your time in the tank. You’ll get up close and personal with the sharks, and groups are limited to two divers plus an instructor to insure you get the most out of your experience. Friends and family members are encouraged to explore the aquarium and come along to watch you swim in the exhibit.
Once you arrive and check in with your dive master, you will be shown a video about the animals you can expect to see during your dive before heading back to gear up. All divers and guests will be given a chance to ask specific questions about the animals and their behaviors, which gives you a great look into the life of these magnificent underwater creatures. Divers will even be given a chance to feed a spotted eagle ray and collect shark teeth from the bottom of the exhibit!
What You’ll Need:
- Reservations – Shark Dives are offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15am
- Dive Gear – Weight belts and air tank are provided, but you will need to bring all the rest of your gear, including a wetsuit, mask, BCD, fins and regulator
- Scuba Certification Card
- Cost – $199 per diver plus tax, which includes free admission for one guest plus 20% off for up to four other guests
- Dive lasts about 30-40 minutes
- Exhibit averages about 20 feet deep
If you’re up for a dive in the shark tank (or just feel like watching), you can buy Maui Aquarium Tickets or call (808) 892-3177.
All photos taken by Peter Rimkus of Two Tank Photo.