Joan Anderson Travel Service



Private Lionfish Expedition Safari Dive

Help save the Great Mayan Barrier reef when you participate in this Lionfish safari. During your private dive you will hunt and harpoon, then dine on these aquatic predators.

The Pterois volitans and Pterois miles, commonly referred to as lionfish, began colonizing the Great Barrier Reef following the destruction of an artificial aquarium off the coast of Florida during Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. These beautiful fish with their spiky fin rays can quickly reproduce and have voracious appetites, and are now decimating the reefs and mangroves that border the sea. Because of this, lionfish safaris and SCUBAs are now legally allowed in an effort to get the exploding lionfish population under control and save the reefs.

During this very exclusive half-day, private dive safari you will participate in 2 dives and help hunt down these predators. You and your group will board a boat and venture out 10 miles offshore to virgin reefs, far beyond the local diving area. Dive groups are kept to a maximum amount of no more than 6 guests at a time to ensure personal attention and instruction. Prior to the first dive you will receive a briefing on how to use a Hawaiian harpoon as well as given tips on hunting and shooting techniques, minimal distances, how to avoid damaging the coral, and other safety protocols.

Lionfish are easy and exciting to hunt as they do not swim away from a slow approach. Once speared, your boat staff will collect your catch and expertly handle it, as the poisoning caused by being pricked from the lionfish's bones is not fatal, but extremely painful. They will also prepare a mouthwatering ceviche if there are enough lionfish caught to do so. Environmental associations have been encouraging the consumption of lionfish in an effort to promote fishing and reduce their population, and people are quickly discovering the lionfish's tasty meat.

This expedition safari is not only a thrilling dive in a virgin reef but you will be helping to protect it when you sign up for this private tour offer in Costa Maya. Towels are provided as well as beers after your dive takes place.

Starting At
Tour Type
Group Size
Activity Type(s)
Active, Water/Beach
Tour Duration
5 Hours
Activity Level
Tour Leaves From
A taxi (approximately $8 US each way, not included) is requred to reach your departure location.
Food/Beverage Provided
Snacks, Beverages (Beer and non-alcoholic beverages and lionfish ceviche, if enough is caught)
Special Instructions
We recommend wearing comfortable clothing worn over a swimsuit, a cover-up and reef-safe sunscreen.
The minimum age to participate is 15 years old. Divers are required to have a minimum experience of 15 dives and to master buoyancy skills. Participants must be certified divers and show proof of certification. Divers should be in good health and good physical condition.
Location Overview
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About Shore Excursions Group
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.

We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.

Our Approach
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.

Our Tours
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.

Our People
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.

Our Owners
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.

Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.

Michael Bonner
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.

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Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.