Ever wanted to get up close and personal with the ocean’s finned predators? Now you can in the name of science.

By Marisa Spyker
February 05, 2019
Courtesy of Grand Isle Resort & Spa

On any given weekend, a stay at the Grand Isle Resort & Spa on Great Exuma Island is pretty blissful: Think luxury oceanfront villas, perfect ivory-sand beaches, sunset-accompanied dinners with a Caribbean flair.

And while a week of that is certainly enough to make us swoon, toss in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to unleash our inner Shark Wrangler, and we’re immediately sold. In partnership with nonprofit company Beneath the Waves, which researches sharks to better inform conservation efforts, Grand Isle Resort is offering its guests—for less than one week only—the unique opportunity to join a research mission with marine biologists to find and tag Caribbean sharks.

From February 20 - 24, guests who opt into the daily excursion will board a research vessel along with a lucky few other passengers and marine biologists. Departing from the Grand Isle Resort, guests will cruise the crystal-clear Caribbean waters in search of Tiger, Reef, Hammerhead, and Nurse sharks. Once “wrangled,” guests have the option to be “as hands on as [they] want,” assisting in both tagging (or marking with tracking devices) and data/specimen collection on the animals.

Courtesy of Grand Isle Resort & Spa

While seeing and touching wild sharks in the backdrop of the gorgeous Caribbean is certainly a thrill, the best part of the whole experience, of course, is that all of the real-life research performed goes toward long-term projects that will ultimately help scientists to better understand shark behavior and conservation.

Want to sign up? The excursion is open to all guests of the Grand Isle Resort during the dates of the activity (you can still book a villa here) and requires a donation of $500 per person to Beneath the Waves. And while we can’t think of a better reason to escape the polar vortex, don’t fret if you can’t make it this time around: The resort plans to open more shark tagging excursions later this year.

Related: Scientists Have Discovered the Real Reason Why Whales Jump: 

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