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 experienced captains welcome you aboard Bellamy, a USCG inspected vessel purpose built for Cape Cod’s shallow waters.  In coordination with a professional spotter pilot and plane, we search Shark Alley for an encounter with the largest predatory fish in the sea!

Along the way our naturalist guides will 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.  Depending on the time of year, we may also witness whales, dolphins, mola mola and a variety of migratory bird species.

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

The Boat

Bellamy began life as a Privateer 2850 Atlantic, built and designed to handle the rough waters off of the North Carolina coast.  With the help of the Privateer factory and the United States Coast Guard Bellamy was built from the ground up into a 20 passenger charter vessel.  This one-of-a-kind design includes dual outboard motors (to help navigate our shallow waters) and the latest electronics and safety equipment.  For passenger comfort, a small head (toilet) was also incorporated.

Length:    32.0 feet
Draft:        30 inches

Original Design:  Privateer Boats (Radcliffe Boatworks), Bellhaven, NC

Please see answers to Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.

Shark Alley Tour

PRIVATE CHARTER RATES:

1-6 Passengers    $1,750.00

7-10 Passengers  $2,125.00

11-14 Passengers  $2,500.00

Duration:  3 hrs

PHASE 1 GUIDELINES FOR THE MASSACHUSETTS REOPENING PLAN WILL RESTRICT US TO CARRYING A MAXIMUM OF 8 PASSENGERS FOR THIS TOUR UNTIL AT LEAST JUNE 8TH. PHASE 2 GUIDELINES WILL FOLLOW WHEN AVAILABLE.

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 experienced captains welcome you aboard Bellamy, a USCG inspected vessel purpose built for Cape Cod’s shallow waters.  In coordination with a professional spotter pilot and plane, we search Shark Alley for an encounter with the largest predatory fish in the sea!

Along the way our naturalist guides will 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.  Depending on the time of year, we may also witness whales, dolphins, mola mola and a variety of migratory bird species.

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

Notes:

  • Please refer to our online calendar for exact departure times and availability.
  • 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/juices/soft drinks/crunchy snacks also included. 
  • For groups of 6 or less, Down Cape Charters reserves the right to use a Center Console style vessel instead of Bellamy as reservations may dictate.  These vessels are no less comfortable or safe – just more plentiful.  Only Bellamy can carry 7+ passengers.
  • Additional food and beverage service is available through the Wequassett Resort.  Click here to download the ON THE WATER DINING MENU. To place an order you can reply directly to your confirmation email or call/email us at your convenience.  Items will be delivered to the boat before departure.

STAYING HEALTHY  (Updated 5/20)

As we prepare to reopen, additional protocols and procedures have been added to adhere to current state guidelines.  These include:

  • All passengers and employees will be required to wear face coverings that meet DPH/CDC standards.
  • Employees will be screened daily, including temperature checks.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures will be added for vessels, equipment and frequently touched surfaces.  
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all times.
  • Online transactions for payments and waivers will be utilized whenever possible. 

A full list of additional protocols will be emailed to each customer at the time of booking.

TRAVEL INTERRUPTION  (Updated 5/20)

Our standard 48 hr cancellation policy will apply for the entire 2020 season.  However, to reflect the current uncertainty surrounding the travel industry, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for: 

  • Interrupted travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • Customers who are feeling ill or are advised to avoid travel by a medical professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

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!  

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!

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 is your cancellation policy? 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 2 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 storms.  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.

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.

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 is no age minimum for our Private charters.  However, we do recommend that groups with very young children consider our Pleasant Bay Explorer tour instead.  Staying within Pleasant Bay reduces the chances of young kids experiencing motion sickness and it makes for a shorter trip back to our dock should the weather change.

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.

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).

Book online now!