Great White Shark Tour – Cape Cod

Exploring Chatham’s Shark Alley

Join us for the trip of a lifetime!  Down Cape Charters is proud to offer exclusive small-group shark viewing tours along the coast of Chatham, Monomoy Island and Nauset Beach.  Dubbed “Shark Alley”, this stretch of open Atlantic offers the rare opportunity to witness one of the most feared – and often maligned and misunderstood – predators on the planet.

Our tours cover basic white shark anatomy and physiology, state and federal conservation efforts and the subsequent rise in shark sightings over the past decade.  Passengers will observe the local seal colony population and learn about the fragile balance between seal conservation and public safety.

Whether you opt for a Private Charter or a scheduled Group Tour, our experienced captains are pleased to welcome you aboard!  In coordination with a professional spotter pilot and plane, we’ll search Shark Alley for an encounter with the largest predatory fish in the sea!

Notes:

  • Please refer to our online calendars for exact departure times and availability.  Reservations are also subject to spotter plane availability.  We will contact you directly if spotter plane cannot be secured for your desired date/time.  
  • All shark tours include the services of a licensed captain, all required equipment and permits, and spotter plane services for 2 hrs.  Complimentary bottled water is also included.  See the FAQ’s at the bottom of this page for information on which food/beverages are allowed to be brought on board.
  • Catering service is also available through the Wequassett Resort’s ON THE WATER DINING MENU.  To place an order please reply directly to your confirmation email at least 36 hours before your tour.  Items will be added to your total and delivered to the boat before departure.

Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity, Down Cape!

Our Vessels

Down Cape Charters uses several vessels for its Shark Alley tours.  Groups of 7 or more passengers will default to Bellamy, a 32ft USCG inspected vessel capable of holding up to 14 passengers offshore.

Groups of 6 or less will generally utilize one of our center console style boats ranging from 27-30ft in length.

Neither style of boat is better or worse.  Bellamy offers a little more protection from the elements.  The center consoles offer 360 degree open views which is great for wildlife spotting.

Subject to availability, smaller parties who prefer the more enclosed design of Bellamy (and are willing to pay the increased rate) can book as a party of 7-10 passengers at checkout.

Shark Alley Tour

Private Charter

PRIVATE CHARTER RATES:

1-6 Passengers    $1,950.00

7-10 Passengers  $2,325.00

11-14 Passengers  $2,650.00

Duration:  3 hrs

Shark Alley Tour

Scheduled Group Tour

GROUP CHARTER RATES:

$295.00 per seat (All ages)

Duration:  3 hrs

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to cancel my reservation? What if there is bad weather?

For cancellations made 48 hours or more in advance a full refund will be issued.  Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance will be charged 50%.  No-shows and cancellations made less than 3 hrs before the trip will be charged full price.  We regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies as a cause for late cancellation.

We will not operate in hazardous weather conditions such as heavy rain, thick fog, high winds or thunder and lightning.  However, no guarantees can be made that every day will be perfectly sunny.  So we will operate as usual in overcast conditions, light fog and in intermittent sprinkles.  The final decision on weather related cancellations rests with us and reservations should be considered upheld unless you speak with us directly over the phone.  If weather cancels your reservation we will make every effort to reschedule for another day.  Otherwise, a full refund will be issued.  If weather cuts your trip short, we will prorate the unused portion.

All refunds will be at the sole discretion of Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals, Inc.

How early should I show up for my reservation?

To leave enough time for our check-­in procedure, we recommend your party arrive 15-20 minutes before your scheduled departure time.  Leave yourself some margin for traffic or parking related delays, pre-departure bathroom stops, etc.  Group tours will leave at the regularly scheduled departure time – no exceptions.  Private charters arriving late must still return at the regularly scheduled time.  There will be no refunds for those arriving late.  Trips are often scheduled multiple times per day and keeping a strict schedule ensures that all of our reservations are honored.

Will I get seasick?

The majority of our customers experience little to no symptoms of seasickness.  But whether it is your first charter or you are a seasoned pro, motion sickness is always possible on ocean-going trips.  Fortunately, there are ways to proactively avoid the most common symptoms (dizziness, nausea, vomiting).

Prepare for your charter by being well rested and well hydrated.  Avoid alcohol and large amounts of caffeine until after your trip (including the night before).  During your charter do not lay down, read or play on your phone.  Stay active, breathe deeply and watch the horizon.  Convince yourself you are not seasick – focusing or dwelling on your anxieties will only make you feel worse.

Those with a history of motion sickness might consider one of the over the counter remedies or doctor prescribed medications currently on the market.  Please consult with your physician for suggestions.

How do you attract the sharks? Do we chum the waters?

In the interest of public safety, it is currently against the law in Massachusetts to actively chum the waters in hopes of attracting a great white shark to your boat.  Down Cape Charters uses a spotter plane to find sharks – we go to them instead of having them come to us!

Are sightings guaranteed?

The short answer is, “No”.  When working with wild animals in their natural environment, it is impossible to guarantee viewings. 

We can guarantee that we will put each passenger into the best position possible to view sharks that day.  This means safe and reliable access to an area known for a high concentration of shark activity.  It also means monitoring the weather and wind conditions for appropriate visibility.  With the aid of a spotter plane, we are confident that your chances of spotting a shark with us on Cape Cod are as good as anywhere else in the world!  

Do you offer cage diving?

No.  Down Cape Charters currently offers shark viewing trips where customers stay within the safe confines of the boat at all times.  This is a surface viewing trip using the aid of a spotter plane.

What should I wear? What should I bring?

The only things you need for your charter are a form of ID and your personal items (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen – preferably not the spray kind, camera).  It is always a little cooler on the water so a windbreaker or sweatshirt might come in handy.  Please wear boat shoes, non-scuffing white-soled sneakers or relax and sail barefoot.

For shark tours specifically, we highly recommend polarized sun glasses to reduce the glare and make it easier to see sharks under the surface.  If you are taking photos, we recommend a polarized filter.  Feel free to bring your own Go Pro/pole as well.

May food and drinks be brought on board?

Yes, feel free to bring your own food and beverages.  All of our trips include complimentary bottled water.  Additionally, we recommend finger foods (small sandwiches, cheese and crackers, etc) as they are easiest to eat on a boat.  Foods with sauces will stain clothing and upholstery so are not recommended.  For adults over 21, reasonable amounts of beer and wine are also allowed (please minimize glass containers).  No hard liquor allowed.

Any excessive use of alcohol will result in the immediate termination of the trip with no recourse.

Are there any age restrictions or physical restrictions?

There are no age restrictions on Private Charters. We have hosted newborns to octogenarians without issue.  However, given the nature of the ocean, not every day is appropriate for every group.  Please let us know (leave a comment at checkout) if your group includes young children so we can keep a close eye on the weather and adjust accordingly.

Those with mobility issues must be able to walk down the resort dock (which has ramps) and step up into the vessel.  Very rarely is this an issue, but it should be mentioned.  Our team will assist in any way they can to ensure those with mobility issues are comfortable.

Are pets allowed on your charters?

As a concession operating from within a resort property that currently does not allow dogs, we have to restrict our boats to service dogs (with valid paperwork) only.

Do you provide life jackets for children?

Yes, we have life jackets for all shapes and sizes (even infants).  While we recommend that everybody wear a life jacket on our boats, by law only those 12 and younger have to wear one at all times.  Your boat will have enough life jackets on board for everybody in your group.  Younger children are welcome to bring their own life jacket if they are more comfortable, provided it is Coast Guard approved (no arm floaties, please!).

Do children and infants count towards passenger capacity?

Yes.  Each of our vessels is rated for a certain capacity by the United States Coast Guard and the USCG does not differentiate between children and adults.  A 14 person capacity means fourteen human beings, for example – regardless of age.

Book online now!