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Southern Channel Islands | Catalina, Clemente, Farnsworth

4 Full Dive Days at Santa Catalina, San Clemente, and Santa Barbara islands! 

Dive world class spots in the warmer waters of the southern channel. Sites included Farnsworth Banks, Ship Rock, and the Amphitheater!

What's Included

  • Free air fills
  • Accommodations in private bunks with pillows and blankets.
  • Night Dive (conditions permitting)
  • Divemaster and naturalists
  • 3 meals a day & snacks
  • Hot and cold beverages

Select Trip Dates

Select your trip dates

What's Included

  • Free air fills
  • Accommodations in private bunks with pillows and blankets.
  • Night Dive (conditions permitting)
  • Divemaster and naturalists
  • 3 meals a day & snacks
  • Hot and cold beverages

Trip Details

Southern Islands 4 Dive Day Adventure!

Come dive the warm waters of the Southern Channel Islands. Visit world-class dive spots like Farnsworth Bank, Ship Rock, Bird Rock, Seal Cove and Pyramid Cove. Our flagship vessel, the Vision, takes you to remote world-class dive sites and provides a live-aboard experience unequaled in California.

Our Southern Islands 4 Dive Day trip is an epic adventure perfect for divers seeking all that Santa Catalina, San Clemente and Santa Barbara Islands have to offer. 

Location Information

  • Departure Harbor: Santa Barbara Harbor. Santa Barbara
  • Destination: Santa Catalina, San Clemente, Santa Barbara Islands. Which islands are visited is condition dependent.
  • Make the Vision your home for an unparalleled live-aboard experience full of excellent diving, great food, beautiful scenery, and abundant wildlife.
Summer Camp at Catalina Island

Important Times

2022 Departures

July 8th – 12th

Limited Load December 26th – 30th

  • Boarding Check-In: 5:00 pm
  • CIEx Hosted Buffet: 7:30 pm
  • Mandatory Briefing: 9:00 pm
  • Departure: 10:00 pm
  • Dives: 4+ dives per day plus optional night dives
  • Return to Santa Barbara: 5:00 pm on fifth day of trip
underwater sea life

Trip Specific Information

  • Experience Level: Open Water and Advanced Divers
  • Minimum Number of Guests: 16
  • Maximum Number of Guests: 30
  • Minimum Age:  12 years old

How do we calculate ticket prices?

Ticket Costs

Itinerary

Meet your crew at the Sea Landing in the Santa Barbara Harbor (at 301 West Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA). 

You will board the Vision at 5:00 PM to load gear and check in with our crew. We will serve appetizers and snacks at 7:30 PM.

A mandatory briefing will occur at 9:00 PM, and all loading of personal items should be completed before then. All guests must be present for the briefing. After the briefing, and once the manifest has been signed, passengers are not allowed to leave the vessel. Weather permitting, we plan on departing right after the briefing at 9:30 PM. 

Check-in at 7:30 PM. Mandatory briefing at 8:30 PM. Departure at 9:30 PM.

Once the mandatory briefing has occurred, passengers are not permitted to leave the boat.

2-3 Dive Sites & 3-4 Tank Fills Per Day, Plus Optional Night Dives

Wake up at anchor to the sound of the ocean lapping against the Vision’s hull. Enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast and hot coffee or tea as you get ready to dive! Hot breakfast is typically served from approximately 7:00 am to 9:00 AM, and continental snacks are left out until about 10:00 am.

Dive gates open between 7:30 and 8 AM, after we get set up at the first dive site. Typical entry is a giant stride from either our port and starboard gates or the bow gate. If necessary, you may also enter from the rear swim step. Once your dive is complete, you will return to the boat via the submerged swim step for easy access up the stairs with your tank. Air and Nitrox tank fills will be handled by our crew during your surface interval.

Typically, after two dives, the boat is moved to a new site during lunch. The galley prepares a hot lunch around noon, with additional snacks put out after the third dive of the day. Depending on the weather conditions, we may add a third dive spot.

At the end of the day, we’ll anchor in a cove for dinner and dessert. Conditions permitting, a night dive will be set up. Alcoholic beverages may be brought on the trip and enjoyed after you have finished diving for the day. The Vision is equipped with a full shower room and hot, fresh water showers, and a wetsuit drying rack. In the evening, enjoy watching bioluminescence and the many fishes and pinnipeds that gather around our side-mounted squid light

We will do our best to accommodate night dive requests, taking weather and overnight anchorage requirements into consideration. We require the following for all night dives”

Night Dive Policies

We require the following for all night dives:

  1. At least 4 divers who wish to participate in the night dive are required.
  2. A primary and secondary light must be in working condition to enter the water, no exceptions.
  3. All tanks must have a beacon or chemical glow stick attached during the dive.
  4. No scooters on night dives.
  5. Divers must dive in pairs (buddy diving).

Return to Santa Barbara

On the third night of the trip, we will begin our journey back towards the Northern Channel Islands, diving at either Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, or Anacapa Island on the last day of our trip. After 2-3 dives we will begin the journey back to Santa Barbara Harbor.

Estimated return time to Santa Barbara Harbor is 5:00 pm

Cuisine

cheese and crackers aboard the ship

Organic Produce from Tutti Frutti Farms

We source most of our produce from the local farmer’s markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays in order to serve a seasonal, sustainable, and healthy menu.

We can accommodate the following diets and ALL severe food allergies:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free (we do not provide gluten free bread, we’ll just cook without gluten, or have a GF option)

If you have any severe food allergies, please inform us at least 7 days prior to departure so our galley can plan correctly. Thank you.

Channel Islands Expeditions employs world-class chefs with decades of experience. Learn more about what to expect from our galley chefs.

Accommodations

Visit our accommodations page for more information about your stay on one of our custom dive vessels.

Destination

The Southern Channel Islands are Santa Catalina, San Clemente, San Nicolas, and Santa Barbara.

These four islands offer a diverse set of wildlife, geology and diving opportunities. From warm waters to remote offshore diving, the southern islands offer something for everyone

Santa Catalina Island is the largest and Santa Barbara is the smallest. Learn more about the Southern Channel Islands here.

Catalina Island is well known for its calm, clear, and warm waters. Ease of access makes Catalina the most popular channel island for divers. Verdant kelp forest full of garibaldi, yellowtail, kelp bass, white seabass, giant black sea bass, and leopard sharks abound in the offshore waters of Catalina. Purple hydrocoral and abundant nudibranchs are found at Farnsworth Pinnacles. Catalina offers a wide variety of incredible diving for both newly certified and experienced divers.

Learn more about Catalina Island here.

San Clemente Island is home to the clearest, warmest waters in the Channel Islands. Giant kelp beds, schools of fish, coral banks, deep pinnacles and shear walls make diving here unforgettable. In the summer, waters can reach over 7o degrees. World-class diving spots are located at both the east and west ends of the island.

Learn more about San Clemente Island here.

Even though Santa Barbara Island is the smallest Channel Island, it is home to some of the most incredible dive sites within the Channel Islands. With magnificent underwater arches, plentiful purple hydro coral, and a large sea lion rookery, Santa Barbara offers divers a rich wildlife experience. The unique underwater formations are great for photographers and the abundant game is ideal for hunters.

Read more about Santa Barbara Island here.

Pre Trip Planning

Learn more about what to bring on our trips by visiting our Planning Page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need boat transportation?

No. All CIEx trips are vessel supported and include boat transportation to and from your island destination. 

What dive certifications do I need for this trip?

You need a current open water certification to dive on this trip.

What is the age limit?

The minimum age is 12 years.

What are your dive restrictions?

At each dive site we open the dive doors and check each diver off as they exit to the water. The dive doors are open for 90 minutes at each site. All divers must return to the boat at the set time or they risk being asked to sit out the next dive. We do not limit your dive time, but we strongly encourage each diver to stay in the limits of no decompression. Between each dive is a mandatory 60 minute surface interval.

Each diver is responsible for their own safety and their buddy. CIEx keeps a deck master and a divemaster on each trip along with a dive assistant that helps with gear and tank fills. The CIEx dive crew reserve the right to check dive computers and make recommendations for diver safety at any time.

CIEx is committed to running the safest dive boats in the world, thank you for helping us with that!

How many people can sleep in an oversized bunk?

Each person is assigned one bunk. Our night watch crew is tasked to focus on the safety of the passengers on board the vessel at all times.

How difficult is the diving?

This trip is for advanced divers. We will be diving at sites with various depth potentials and possible strong currents

We understand that years of experience and recent experience are two different things. So if this is your first time diving in 5 years or more, we suggest you start with our Discover 2 Day/2 Night trip where you can brush up on your skills in more controlled environments and the help of an instructor or divemaster.

Can we land on the islands and hike?

This trip does not include landing or hiking on Santa Cruz Island. If you want to hike on the Channel Islands, we recommend that you book a 4-Day Expedition Trip with us! Because you are not paying a National Park entrance fee, you cannot take advantage of the National Park’s terrestrial areas.

Do you offer Nitrox Fills?

Yes, we offer Nitrox fills for certified divers. Unlimited Nitrox fills are $25 a day.

Why are your trips so much more expensive than other dive trips in the area?

A great question that we’re happy to answer in more detail.

  1. The western islands of the Northern Channel Islands are more than 80 nautical miles from Santa Barbara Harbor. This is a great deal of fuel, much more than the eastern islands from Ventura and Oxnard.
  2. Crew costs are going up. Minimum wage in California $14/hour and will be $15/hour next year. Most of our crew is paid more than that and is required to be on duty for a 12 hour period at at time. This is easily the largest expense of running these boats.
  3. We have added an additional crew member to enhance the overall safety of the operations.
  4. Maintaining boats has always been expensive, but if you’ve been to the hardware store lately, you’ll agree that things are more expensive now than ever before. Imagine what that means for boat parts!
  5. We have increased the quality of our food and accommodations so that you can expect a world class experience on all trips!

Testimonials

tanner
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

1st Sea Kayaking Experience

Amazing experience led by Garrett and his team to the Channel Islands. I had travelled from Hawaiʻi for this 4 day adventure. I'm not a diver (they had a ton of opportunities for them) but was able to free-dive and go kayaking. I had never kayaking on the ocean like this but felt incredibly confident with the instruction from the guides and crew. Incredibly competent and friendly, the trip felt completely about the participant experience. Kayaking around and seeing all the Harbor & Elephant seals and sea lions was an amazing experience. Their knowledge on the water, the wildlife, and especially the history of the place made for an experience I've been recommending to friends since the trip. Great grub too!
5/5stars

- | Google

mark r
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Kayaking Channel Islands

Did this with my wife and 4 of our friends. Drove up from the IE , 2 hour drive, well worth it! What a great crew! Very knowledgeable about the island and surrounding area. Going in and out of the caves was awesome, though challenging at times but that made it even more enjoyable. If you are considering this trip, DO IT! We WILL do it again.
5/5stars

- | Yelp

david c
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Anacapa Caves

Great outfit. Very professional guides, safety and COVID conscious. I went on a trip to Anacapa Island in mid-November. The cruise out was pretty quick. The wildlife on the way was excellent. The caves and rocks on Anacapa were wonderful to play in. I will return again when the Gray Whales begin to head back up the coast. I highly recommend them.
5/5stars

- | Yelp

Chuyên L.
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Channel Island National Park

Channel Island National Park so amazing and beautiful places. And The Wild Blue Adventurer was professional. We loved it . Thanks You so Mụch for get we the nice trip .
5/5stars

- | Yelp

john s
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Father and Son day

I had an epic day with my son in late July 2020. Our guide Phil was a UCSB grad, marine biologist who was in area, as his normal guiding in Antarctica was limited due to Covid. The boat staff was knowledgeable, friendly and worked hard to make our day both enjoyable and safe. Only 8 people on a boat that can hold 30-40 and they were very Covid compliant. Masks in the boat at all times (except lunch - bring your own food) and outdoor seating but could take off masks in the double kayaks. Really easy and felt safe and compliant. 10 out of 10 and I'm a tough critic.
5/5stars

- | Yelp

yelp
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

5 Night Liveaboard Trip

Recently went on a 5 night, 6 day liveaboard trip off the Truth. The crew and captains were all very nice and welcoming. The boat has great safety protocols to ensure us divers were safe throughout the entirety of this trip. Chef Tim was fantastic! I have never had better quality food on a boat trip, and he has definitely set the bar high. We had amazing homemade dishes almost every meal, he had vegetarian and vegan options as well. I would 100% recommend this boat to anyone interested in planning a multi-day dive trip to the Channel Islands.

5/5stars

- | Yelp

jelly fish
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Kayaking Anacapa Arch

We had a wonderful time kayaking through the sea caves and Anacapa Arch.  All the on board staff were excellent.  We will definitely come back and do a different tour with them.

5/5stars

- | Yelp

go blue icon
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Great Family Day Adventure

We had the BEST first time kayaking experience with Blue Ocean. Garret and his crew are great! The Anacapa tour is something special... we all loved it! It was a perfect day for our family. We highly recommend!
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor

go blue icon
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Another great day kayaking with Blue Ocean

We had a great day at Anacapa with Garrett, Jordan and the rest of the crew. We paddled for about 3 hours but it is not too strenuous, so if you are wondering if you can do it, you probably can! Thank you, Blue Ocean Crew!
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor

go blue icon
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

LOVED IT! Truly an amazing experience that I will never forget. Awesome crew, wonderful day, all around great time. I hope to do it again some day!
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor

go blue icon
Southern Islands Four Dive Days
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

A great time!

Even though it was a foggy day, we had a great time. The boat crew was great and friendly. Garrett the guide was knowledgeable and friendly. He even saved a pelican-"Birdie Sanders" .
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor