This Invasive Lionfish Trip is part of REEF’s ongoing effort to monitor the establishment and consequences of invasive lionfish on native fish populations and reef ecosystems. In addition to learning about lionfish biology and ecology, as well as the background of the invasion, participants will have the opportunity to be trained in safe collection and handling procedures, as well as learn how to dissect and fillet lionfish.
Please note: Although the advertised itinerary for the Belize Aggressor III includes a visit to the Blue Hole (weather permitting), we do not anticipate visiting this destination during this Field Survey Trip.
Trip Type: Invasive Lionfish Research - click here to learn more!
Pricing: Deluxe Stateroom: $3,095 per person; Master Stateroom: $3,295 per person. All rates based on double occupancy.
Accommodations: The Belize Aggressor III sleeps 18 passengers. The boat has 8 Deluxe Staterooms with bunks that have a double bed below and an upper twin bed. All staterooms have a port-hole window and private bathroom with shower. There is one Master Stateroom with a double bed, port window, private bathroom with shower, and closet. All Staterooms have individual climate control, media player and monitor, and a hair dryer.
Diving: The Belize Aggressor III offers up to five dives a day including night dives, and two dives on the final dive day (Friday). Average water temperature during the time of the trip is 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit. A 1-3mm wetsuit is recommended. All diving is done directly from the mothership, which has boarding ladders for easy entry and exit. 80 cubic ft. tanks, weights, and weight belts are provided. Per Aggressor Fleet's policy, dive computers are mandatory for all divers on this trip. Dive computers are available for rent for an additional fee if needed.
Price Includes: The trip package includes 7 nights of double occupancy accommodation, 5 full days of diving plus one half day of diving, three daily meals and snacks (except Friday night dinner), non-alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine, round-trip airport transfers (see transfer details below), tanks, weights, and weight belts.
REEF Program Fee: A REEF Program Fee of $300 per diver will be added to each package to cover the cost of the group leader, seminar and REEF survey materials.
Additional Fees: The following costs are not included in the price paid to REEF - Port tax ($110 - includes cruising tax and park fee), all flights, transfers to and from the boat dock if not taking one of the provided transfers outlined below), dinner ashore on Friday night, optional Nitrox ($100/person), optional rental equipment, and optional souvenir purchases onboard. Gratuities for the crew are not included in the cost of the charter and are at each individual's discretion. Additional fees onboard may be paid with Visa, Mastercard, or US or BZ dollars. Insurance is not included, however REEF strongly recommends that each participant purchase adequate dive travel insurance to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. More information about dive travel insurance can be viewed here.
About the Trip Leaders: Alli Candelmo, Ph.D., is REEF's Invasive Species Program Coordinator. Alli joined the REEF team in 2018 and brings a wealth of experience to the organization. She attended Rutgers University where she obtained a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution. She has studied the population dynamics and management strategies of invasive lionfish in the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos, working with the local stakeholders and communities on both islands to help improve removal efforts and gain a better understanding of invasive lionfish.
Ellie Splain is REEF's Education Program Manager. Under Ellie's leadership, REEF's Explorers Education Program has grown to include Ocean Explorers Summer Camp as well as week-long marine science programs for students of all ages. She is a member of REEF's Advanced Assessment Team and an expert level surveyor in REEF's Tropical Western Atlantic (TWA) region, and also has experience with numerous invasive lionfish education and outreach projects, including derbies, collecting and handling workshops, and dissection demonstrations.
How to Sign Up: To reserve your space or find out more, e-mail us at trips@REEF.org, or call us at 305-588-5869. A $500 deposit will be collected at the time of booking. Visit our Trip Policies page for more information on deposit and payment schedules.
How to Get There: Participants should book round-trip flights to Belize City (BZE) arriving on Saturday, June 8, and departing on the following Saturday, June 15. Participants are responsible for booking their own airfare. REEF is not able to book air travel for participants. Visitors to Belize must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the period of your stay, adequate funds to support themselves, and a return airline ticket.
Transfers: The Belize Aggressor III embarks/disembarks at the Radisson Fort George Hotel dock. Guests arriving in Belize on June 8 will be greeted at the airport by a uniformed Aggressor crew member, who will have a "Belize Aggressor" sign when guests exit the airport. There are two complimentary transfers provided by the Belize Aggressor III from the airport to Belize City at approximately 12pm and 4:30pm, which may vary depending on flight times. Due to several flights arriving around the same time, the van will wait for all guests to arrive before departing the airport. Guests may have to wait up to one hour for the shuttle, however there is an airport lounge with free Wi-Fi. If you prefer not to wait, you may take a taxi (approximately $25) to the Radisson Fort George Hotel and wait there until boarding time, beginning at 3pm. Those who arrive to in Belize prior to June 8 should make their way to the Radisson Fort George Hotel arriving by 3pm on June 8. All guests must be onboard by 6pm.
At the end of the week, there will be two complimentary shuttles to the airport at approximately 8am and 12pm. Guests departing earlier or later may take a taxi from the Radisson Fort George Hotel.