The Boiler at San Benedicto Island

Customer Testimonials

Thank you for visiting our web site. Here are some comments from friends and visitors who have been aboard the Solmar V. We would love to have you sign our guestbook too. If you have been on the boat and want to tell others about your trip, want to comment on our web site, or just want to say hello, click here to add your comments to this page. We love visitors, both electronic and in person.


I have just returned from my seventh trip aboard the Solmar V. This coming November 2016 will be my eighth, and God willing, 2018 will be my ninth, if not sooner. At least once every two years is my goal……and the reasons are simple. In a world in which the sea creatures that we so love to see and admire continue to dwindle in numbers, these trips never fail to deliver some of the best big animal action on the planet – certainly the manta and bottlenose dolphin interactions are second to none. Nowhere else in this world have I been able to so consistently come face-to-face with these animals, look at them in the eye, and be stared back at, probably in curiosity…….perhaps in kinship. But above all, it is always heartwarming when I am welcomed and treated like family by a boat crew that is not just the most experienced in these waters, but which works hard around the clock to get us to some really outstanding diving and then back to land safely….and this to me, is what sets the Solmar V apart and keeps me coming back.

Manuel S. Boston, USA March 2 2016

There are no words to express the experience Alan and I had while in the Socorro Islands on the Solmar V. What a trip! As I said in a video filmed on the boat, you read about something like this, you watch documentaries on tv, you hear people talking about it, you dream it and envision such an adventure, but to actually live it and do it is priceless. The giant mantas were just magnificent. We cannot say enough about our time on the Solmar V. The crew, the food, the divemasters beyond our expectations. What impressed us was that each member on that boat, whether the Captain, Tony, Manolo, Thiago, Daniel, Rodrigo, Eric, and everyone else on board, had so much knowledge of the islands, fish, customs of the area and their genuine love of what they do on a daily basis. Their schedules are grueling, yet they were always smiling, friendly and willing to assist in any way possible. They all became our friends. Both Alan and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Nancy & Alan G. Florida, USA Feb 18, 2016

Just back at work following the trip on Solmar V. I wanted to thank you and all involved with the organization for a great trip. And your courteous assistance with the 15L tanks. The boat was all that was promised, the crew are one of the best I have been with (and there are more than I want to own up to) and for such a remote location the diving was well coordinated. The food was very good and always available. The diving was challenging at times as the elements were not in our favor. But the one thing we came for was the Giant Oceanic Mantas. Now on this one you delivered big time. It was up there with some of the best experiences I have had in my 40 years of diving. In the diving with animals/ fish category it is right up there with swimming with humpback whales in Tonga, 14 plus whale sharks in the Philippines, the sharks of the Garden of the Queens in Cuba and the school of thousands of bump head parrot fish in North Borneo. Could you please convey to Captain Gerardo and the mighty crew of Solmar V my thanks and appreciation for all their efforts in making this trip so memorable. Thanks again for an amazing adventure

Rami Chicago, USA Nov 24 2015


I just returned from a fantastic trip aboard Solmar V to Guadalupe Island. The encounters with the white sharks were up-close, personal and often in the surface cages and the submersible cage. The surface cages and the submersible cage provide different perspectives, and both options serve as great platforms for photographers. Lawrence and his team do a superb job of explaining all of the safety procedures and logistics, and they are very efficient in getting divers in and out of the cages so there is essentially no lost time. And these guys know and love their sharks. It shows in everything they do, Having been on the Solmar V many times in the past I expected the boat and crew to be first class, and they certainly were. These guys are pro's pros from the first contact until you depart. A huge thank you to the Solmar V gang, and to Lawrence! If you get the chance, take it.... GO! You'll be ecstatic that you did.

Marty Snyderman
CA USA - Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 09:16:11 (PDT)

Existen alrededor de 5 lugares en el mundo que representan una experiencia verdaderamente increÌble para hacer Buceo, Islas com˙nmente conocidas como revillagigedo son un de ellas. Haber echo este viaje con Solmar V completo la experiencia con un excelente servicio con Guias Locales que conocen el lugar como la palma de su mano. El servicio y las comidas fueron excelentes, nada que pedir, toda la tripulaciÛn trabaja dÌa y noche a tu servicio para que tu experiencia sea increÌble. Encontramos gente que habiendo salido con otras compaÒÌas regresÛ con Solmar V por el magnÌfico ambiente y conocimiento de los lugares de buceo. Agradezco a toda la tripulaciÛn sus atenciones. Para nosotros fue un viaje que cambiÛ nuestras vidas.

Xirgu CastaÒeda
QuerÈtaro, Mexico - Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 21:56:33 (PDT)

Just got back yesterday from this trip which was on my 'bucket list' as something I had wanted to do for years. Everything I'd like to say has been said before but I can add my two cents' worth anyway! Almost all the divers on board had far more diving experience than me, but all without exception told me this was tops for extraordinarily varied and fascinating marine life. Imagine how it was for me! The crew were superb: efficient to a fault, friendly and were a great help to me especially, with the odd health problem or two! The dive instructors really know their stuff above and below the water; I miss their bonhomie, their many kindnesses and sense of fun. In fact, I miss the whole thing and wish I could repeat it immediately! I feel inordinately honoured having been accompanied - for even a few moments - by these beautiful creatures: the mantas, dolphins, whale sharks, hammerheads, silkies and myriad other marine life. This is certainly the experience of anybody's life time, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Lis Davis
Frome, Somerset England - Monday, May 21, 2012 at 15:17:37 (PDT)

Just to let you know we have all arrived back safely and I, for one, am suffering from land sickness and jet lag! However I consider it a small price to pay for the very special encounters and interactions I experienced with the Mantas at Socorro and San Benedicto as well as feeling very privileged to have been able to visit the remote and dramatic Socorro Islands on the wonderful Solmar V.

I don't know where to start in thanking you and everyone on the Solmar V for working so hard to make this a very memorable and special trip for our group, but here goes.

The Solmar V is a well run vessel. Captain Gerrardo, his crew and the dive guides are hard working, helpful, attentive, friendly, everyone working together, everyone hands on, everyone a well oiled cog in a motivated team. The boat was well presented, well laid out, clean and tidy, comfortable and, importantly, safe. The cabins were comfortable with more storage space than I expected and the showers hot; very comforting after a days diving. Food was plentiful and very good. I especially liked the soups, salads and between meals snacks! How Chef Tony prepared and cooked all this good food on time amazed me!

Your dive guides on the Solmar V are very special and Richard and I were very impressed by them. Especially their highly developed and intuitive sixth sense underwater in supervising each group without being intrusive or overtly controlling; they appeared to know where each member of their group was in the water at all times. They were also very knowledgeable, informative and organised as well as being approachable and friendly whilst ensuring safety was paramount. On board they ensured we felt relaxed in their company whilst their sense of humour struck a cord with us and they had us laughing on more than one occasion.

I would also like to thank Adil the videographer for the excellent quality video he produced of our week on the Solmar V; we will use it to entice new divers through the doors at Frogsborn as well as using it to promote dive holidays on the Solmar V, Mexico and other destinations. I am also planning to show it in the nursing home where I work because I have had a lot of interest from the residents; they have been enthralled by my stories of the trip and very interested in my adventures.

The dives at the Socorro archipelago are stunning in terms of the topography and marine life. I was captivated by drama at Roca Partida and The Boiler at San Benedicto. Their walls were scoured by ocean currents and big ocean swells, their fissures, clefts and shelves creating unique environments for marine life. I have never seen so many large lobsters and octopus in such numbers or indeed the way in which the White Tipped Reef Sharks at Roca Partida resting on their shelves cracks and crevices, facing into the wall in an attempt to shelter from prevailing forces, whilst their exposed tails swept back and forward in the swell. My encounters with the Mantas at Socorro and San Benedicto were unforgettable; these large, graceful and playful animals were captivating, engaging and enjoying the interactions as much as me. They all appeared to have a well developed sense of curiosity and the ability to have fun.

The feed back I have had from our group is positive and everyone enjoyed their own personal Manta experience. This was a very special trip indeed.

Maureen Frost
Frogsborn Diving Centre, United Kingdom - Friday, April 27, 2012 at 07:53:20 (PDT)

We truly wish to thank all the Solmar V Crew for the amazing job they do every day. Everything was made with passion and accuracy, from each and every dive to the panga rides, the margaritas and food - not forgetting the back office work made by Colleen and passion, in our opinion, was the secret ingredient, together with the incredible environment and all the marine life at the archipelago (and lots of laughs too!), that made our trip an extraordinary journey. We definitely found someone that loves and respects the sea in the same way that we do. Plus, you made my dream of being underwater with a humpback whale come true in the most incredible and unforgettable way (and you captured the spirit of that moment on a great video!). What could you expect more? Thanks again, we wish you all the best. Arrivederci!

Cristiana and Stefano
Roma, Italy - Friday, April 27, 2012 at 07:51:27 (PDT)

A wonderful experience, we sailed on 10 Dec 2011 on the well appointed Solmar V and arrived at St. Benedicto Island about 24 hours later. We then traveled to Socorro Island and on to Roca Partida where the Mantas and many species of sharks were in abundance. The diving was great and the crew is one of the best, if not the best, we have had the pleasure of diving with. There are currents around the three islands and all dives are lead by one of three excellent dive masters. Dive safety is always a priority. Despite the very active diving schedule, the food was so good we did manage to gain weight. The entire crew could not do enough to make your experience an excellent adventure. We would not hesitate to recommend this boat to divers that want an exciting and enjoyable live aboard experience.

Ray & Celeste Klett
Englewood, FL USA - Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 12:40:34 (PST)

La crociera alle Islas Revillagigedos, Socorro, del 19 novembre 2011 a bordo della Solmar V, È stata al di sopra di ogni aspettativa. La parola che puÚ definirla, facendole torto, È EMOZIONE. Mante giganti del Pacfico che ti sfiorano, lascive, squali martello che si contorcono in preda ad una frenesia di gioco e in gruppo di 50 alla volta, squali galapagos che si arrampicano sulle vette delle pareti rocciose, squali punta plateada che sembrano aerei con le luci di posizione, delfini in coppia che amoreggiano dandosi baci ritmici sul collo e tanto altro ancora...I messicani dell'equipaggio, dal capitano Gerardo, al marinero Jeronimo, agli stuard Luis e Luis, Aurelio, e il cuoco Tony e tutti gli altri sono stati professionali, gentili, amabili e sempre disponibili per soddisfare ogni nostro capriccio. E una nota di merito particolare v‡ alla nostra guida subacquea, Juan. Oltre che professionale, ha guidato le immersioni con il cuore, andando a cercare sempre i migliori avvistamenti per noi, e sempre attento a tutti i subacquei del suo gruppo. Un ragazzo davvero fantastico, che ha a cuore il suo lavoro, andando ben oltre la semplice guida tecnica. Lui ci ha messo affetto ed emozione. MUCHAS GRACIAS a todos. Y que te vaya bien! Con affetto

Paola <>
Bologna, Italia - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 20:15:16 (PST)

I just recently returned from a visit aboard the Solmar V to the Socorro Islands. It was the first journey of the new season to the Socorros. We found amazing creatures at all of our dive destinations. The Dive crew prepared us very well and I felt very well cared for by all of the crew aboard the vessel. They are true professionals! When people ask me about the experience, I find myself reaching for the proper words to give them a true representation. I find myself telling them that they have to have the experience for themselves to truly understand and marvel at how much bigger the world feels as a result of the wonderful creatures, the profound wilderness and awesome sense of creation you feel for having lived this. I await the day when I can once again board the Solmar V!

James Green
Enola, PA USA - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 20:14:10 (PST)

In May of 2011 I and my daughter had the pleasure of going to Socorro with Solmar V. Well after that trip I can honestly say that I am ruined. Let me explain, the adventure was so fantastic, the crew so welcoming and helpful that I cannot imagine another dive adventure topping that one. And according the crew our trip was only 'so-so', wow, really? I can only imagine what a 'great' trip would be like. Not a day goes by that I don't reflect a moment back on this trip, meeting some and getting to know some wonderful new friends, enjoying great meals and having the time of our lives with your crew. The boat had everything one could want or need, the rooms were excellent, dive masters and all crew attentive to any need or want. If you want the best Socorro live aboard experience you will want to go with Solmar V folks. As Elvis would say, "Ahh, thank you, thank you very much." We cannot wait for the next time on the Solmar V; we would give this ship, the crew and the experience a huge thumbs up!

Steele Campbell
Mesa, AZ - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 10:42:08 (PST)

What a fabulous trip. Solmar V runs a top notch operation. The crew is friendly, extremely safety oriented and anticipates your every need. The food was exceptional, home made by a true chef and some of the best I have had on any live a board in the last 32 years. We are looking forward to our trips in 2012. Did I mention that we saw TONS of sharks?

Werner Kurn
US - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 20:41:37 (PDT)

I had one excellent trip in SOLMAR V. I started 21th on May. I felt like my home for all the crew and the divers. Thanks to the Captain. Excellent all food. Thanks Tony. fresh fruits every day. Excellent organization. The warm shower after diving...was one surprise! Daniel, very warm person. Rey,very clear explaining Spanish too.. Erik, was strong with me respect the diving deep with nitrox..but he was correct. My hobby is the photography (Erik knows...) and some times I make notes in certain magazines. This time I will publish in WEEKEND

Claudio de Pizzini
Buenos Aires , Argentina - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 12:18:30 (PDT)

Thanks so much for the great two trips Alan and I have taken on your boat. We had a wonderful time and look forward to another trip next year. You have the best crew we have seen on any liveaboards, and the boat was in top notch shape. You don't see that very often!

Ledean Paden
- Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 08:18:08 (PDT)

My father (Steele Campbell) and I were on the Solmar Vís May 31 - June 8, 2011 trip to the Socorro Islands. I just wanted to express my compliments and gratitude to the crew on board; they did a fantastic job. The food was great and they were very accommodating despite our food allergies. The crew worked very hard, were always very friendly and helpful and helped make our trip fantastic. In particular, I want to commend Geronimo, Captain Gerrardo, Francisco, Daniel and Erick. Geronimo was very friendly and just a pleasure to be around. I particularly loved the panga tours he gave. Captain Gerrardo was extremely involved in everyday functioning of the boat, which is something I have never seen a captain do. He did everything from help pass out food, to help with equipment on the dive deck. We also really appreciated his help with our ear and sinus problems.

I really appreciated Francisco driving me around on the panga when I couldn't descend underwater due to sinus congestion. On the last day, I missed the best day with the mantas, but he drove me around on the surface looking for mantas so I could snorkel with them. I really appreciated that.

Daniel was of particular help to us as well. He was our assigned dive master and as the less experienced members of the group, he took special care of us, particularly me. He also offered suggestions to improve our skills as divers and helped me with my gear. I really enjoyed talking to him and really appreciated all of his help.

Erick was our dive master on one or two dives and I appreciated his help as well. Out of the water, he shared a lot of his knowledge about the ocean and photography and was a pleasure to be around as well.

The whole crew was extremely helpful and wonderful and did a fabulous job, but I wanted to call attention to those individuals because they made our experience particularly good. Everyone did a fabulous job though.

Thank you for a wonderful trip!

Alyssa Campbell
Tempe, AZ USA - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 08:13:56 (PDT)

I am a travel agent and would like to say GREAT THANKS to all people, who work for Solmar V for always high quality service they provide for all their guests. My last group visited Soccoro from 29 APR till 6 MAY. They told me that it was their best diving! They saw everything: giant mantas, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks and even big tiger shark! Dolphin and whales escorted the ship always and become for my people usual decoration! :) Roca Partida with its wall of rocks and great number of big fish impressed my group very much! I'd like to say that preparations for the trip were not simple. Flights and dates were changed several times and there were some special requests. But everything was done excellently! The group marked high professionalism of everybody in Solmar V crew: captain, dive-guides, chef, photographer and people, who were responsible for logistic of the trip. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Mila, Art Extreme Club
Moscow, Russia - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 at 21:18:30 (PDT)

I am a professional photographer living in the Florida Keys and have been on many "live aboard" dive boats in my diving and travel history and I thought the Crew of the Solmar V was the best by far. The visibility was not the best due to some rough weather but we were pampered by these fantastic guys and saw lots of wildlife anyway. Geronimo made sure that if I did not see it underwater I would enjoy myself above water. He went far out of his way to make sure I got the shots I wanted of the islands and the whales that were there. Rey, Daniel Luis and Eric were also awesome. They took such good care of us and tried to point out as much sea life as possible. We did see a whale shark, humpback whales and dolphins a plenty. One sound I will never forget is a humpback whale call to it's calf very close by. My whole body vibrated with the sound. The Mantas were there in force and it is a swimming experience one can become very addicted to. I was on the boat when Rey SAVED that dolphin's life and from what I could see he really cared about doing just that. I was mad I did not see that one for myself. Tony was a stellar chef and made the best meals and desserts everyday. Luis made a mean cocktail! I really enjoyed getting to know all of the crew and being treated like family. I loved this trip so much I have booked twice for this year alone, and I will be making this a yearly pilgrimage for decades to come. I made sure that Gerrardo, the Captain knew what a stop notch crew he had and now I am telling everyone that reads this page. Thank you for a great time see you all in May! Can't wait! See you boys soon!

Alicia E. Renner
Key West, FL USA - Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:22:39 (PDT)

We were greeted with steaming hot cups of hot chocolate and warm brownies or cookies after dives to warm us up fast. Every meal was served piping hot. I really appreciated the tasty, hot soups we had each day at lunch along with a good hot meal to warm us up and get us ready for the next dives. These guys spoiled us with Cheese cakes and ice cream for deserts!! Even at lunch time. Diving with this operation is a real treat!! and your company do a great job of pampering your divers.† I'll be back for more. Solmar V to Socorro March 6, 2011.

Jim Matras
- Friday, March 18, 2011 at 14:39:49 (PDT)

Buceo desde hace mucho tiempo, y cuando llegué a Solmar "pensó" que sería uno de esos bordo vida normal ... pero después de ocho días a bordo, tuve que dejarlo casi empujado, sin voltade ir, además de las inmersiones excelentes, el equipo es increíble, no tengo palabras para describir tanta atención, tanto celo, y todo hecho con muy afecto. La comida en indescriptible de Tony, la habilidad y el calor del capitán, sin igual. El cuidado de Luis (pangero) y Luis (Camarero), sin igual. La sonrisa y el cariño de Aurelio, sin comentarios. Gerónimo, que es una persona muy especial, siempre atento a todo y llevarnos muy querido en su panga! Los instructores Eric Rey y que no han seguido nuestro grupo, pero siempre estaba! Y, por ˙ltimo, el querido Daniel nos llevó a lugares maravillosos y esperamos que las inmersiones, como siempre, sabía que iba a mostrarnos algo sorprendente señalar con el dedo, y vimos viravamos o una cobija, o un tiburón ballena e inolvidable! Y al final de cada inmersión, fuimos recibidos con mucho cariño por el capitán que nos miraba desde arriba y descansó sólo con todos nosotros, estaban a salvo en el bote! Gracias a todos ustedes que han hecho estos los ocho mejores días de mi vida! Definitivamente volver a bucear con usted! Abrazos a todo el equipo Solmar!

Suzi grupo LAHS, estaba a bordo del Solmar de 27 febrero a 4 marzo 2011

ENGLISH: I have been diving a long time and so when I arrived to the Solmar V I thought this would be just another normal liveaboard trip...But after 8 days onboard I did not want to leave and had to be almost pushed off the boat! Besides the excellent diving, the crew is incredible. I don't have words to describe how attentive and detailed they were all done with smiles! Tony's food was indescribable, the enthusiasm of the captain and crew without equal. Geronimo's panga rides were super! And the dive staff, Rey, Erick & Daniel were attentive and took us to marvelous dive sites while always pointing out marine life like the huge whale shark I will never forget. The crew was always watching out for us and the Captain did not take any breaks until we were all safely back onboard after diving. Thanks to all of you for making this the best 8 days of my life! I will definitely return - hugs to all the Solmar V team!

Sao Paulo, Brazil - Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 13:54:51 (PST)

I had a fanatastic trip on Solmar V in January, 2011. I have been on many liveaboards in Australia as well as in Palau and Papua New Guinea. Solmar V exceeded all my high expectations. In addition to the nice mix of guests from around the world, the staff were fabulous, vessel well cared for, food sensational and great diving. I had to give myself a mental check when I said I was tired of looking at mantas! Solmar V delivered mantas galore, hammerhead sharks in mass and dolphins and whales just to mix it up a little. The winter sunsets and sunrises were spectacular as was the topography of the islands. Would I recommend Solmar V: absolutely for anyone interested in big critters!

Stuart Cutcher
Cudgen, New South wales Australia - Saturday, March 05, 2011 at 18:02:09 (PST)

We had a wonderful trip with Solmar V. Everything was great: the boat, food, drinks, dives, crew, guides, mantas. My group is happy with the trip, as well as other guests as far as I know. We'll stay in touch, 'cause I hope to go to Guadalupe Island with Solmar V.

Dmitry Friedman
Moscow, Russia - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jose Luis, Leslie and the Crew of Solmar V - Greetings and it was an Honor being on the New Years Trip to Socorro (December 26, 2010 - January 3, 2011). The Trip was simply an "Over the TOP Big Animal Encounter"! The only complaint we have is that the food was TOO GOOD and we gained weight and we still cannot say or pronounce "Revillagigedos". The Mantas were BIGGER than expected, the Moray's are all on Steroids and swimming in the middle of the day and all crammed in the same crevice that we could not tell where one started and stopped, the octopuses poised for pictures sitting in the middle of the reef in the middle of the day, the dolphins were great especially with the one pod that had one spinning like a top in the middle, the white tip sharks stacked like wood on the ledges, the other sharks cruising around and let not forget the elusive schools of hammerheads always in the distance and never close enough except to tease us. Thanks Again and Happy New Year! Love to you all - Scott Morrison and Donna Gibson. P.S. Leslie - I spoke to Kit Ivey and she sends her love and greetings! What a small world.

Scott Morrison
Newport Coast, CA USA - Friday, January 14, 2011 at 19:42:16 (PST)

Dear Jose Luis, Leslie Lee and all from Solmar V: Thanks for the fabulous trip to bring in the new 2011 year! There's no place I would rather have been than amongst the great crew, guests and beautiful wildlife. Top-notch professionalism all the way through. Thanks for the special gift of the DVD, too! I didn't have a good video camera, so it was perfect to be able to take home this very well-done piece, done by a another great pro, Camilla. Nat and I hope to see you all again soon.

Lynn Powers
Brooklyn, NY USA - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hi Jose Luis, Just wanted to pass on a huge thanks to you and the crew of the Solmar V for treating my clients Scott and Donna so well! Not that I expected anything less :-). I just got off the phone with him and he had nothing but glowing reviews from his trip! Thanks again for sending another one of my clients home very happy!!! Happy New Year and the best to all for a wonderful 2011!!!

Terri Huber, Deep Blue Adventures
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 at 14:27:54 (PST)

A voyage on Solmar V is not a dive is a life experience. A stunning vessel, delightful (professional, personal and incredibly helpful) crew, truly wonderful cuisine ó all buttressed by world class diving with giant mantas, hammerheads and countless other critters make it a voyage extraordinaire!

Russia - Tuesday, December 21, 2011

Dear Colleen, My clients have returned form the trip and were very happy with all the services and the boat. This was one of their best trips ever they told us, and believe me, they have done some others special locations in the world. So I thought to let you know they were thrilled about their holiday! Thanks for taking care so well. Met vriendelijke groeten, Kind regards,

Saskia Schrama - Diving World Nederland BV
Zeddam, The Netherlands - Friday, November 26, 2010 at 12:52:29 (PST)

Wanted to say you have the best crew of any live-aboard I have ever been on. I was very impressed with them. They all work so hard and work together as a team! They rock! The captain was even on the dive deck helping us out of the water and I have never experienced that. YOUR crew Thank you for the wonderful experiences we all had. Everyone had a great time and was very pleased with the trip! I am going to really miss those sea lion pups! Thanks for the great service.

Diane Darcy, Affordable Trips/ World of Diving
Saturday, November 06, 2010 at 08:01:56 (PDT)

I was fortunate enough to be on the Solmar V Sept. 6-10, \'10, for a Guadelupe SharkDive trip. Other than a once-in-a-lifetime, totally awesome experience, it was horrible. Seriously, I have been all over the planet as a marine photographer & this was a good as it gets. The Solemar V crew was always there for whatever I needed. The chef and his cuisine was rocking. Cat & Lawrence Groths' Shark Team is simply the best. We saw Blue Whales feeding & a huge pods of mixed Dolphin on the ride out. At Guadelupe, almost half my awake time was spent in the water. I came for the sheer experience of being close to Great Whites & it was memorable to say the least. I also came away with some classic images, They can be seen at A trip I highly recommend.....Thanks Solmar V!! You Rock!

Marty Wolff
USA - Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 08:00:04 (PDT)

What a wonderful trip my family and I had aboard the Solmar V in early August 2010. We went to Guadalupe for the great white shark experience and were certainly not disappointed! From boarding the boat in Ensenada to our return a few days later, we were pampered. The crew on the Solmar V were all great from the captain on down. The accommodations were comfortable and the food was terrific. Now, for the best part: we had sharks galore! Everybody had sharks around the cages at all times and the wranglers did a great job getting the big boys (and girls) closer! We look forward to a return trip on the Solmar V.

J. Arch McNamara, MD
Philadelphia, PA - Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 21:59:06 (PDT)

We went on a 9 day trip to the Socorroís this May 2010 and it was definitely one of the best dive holidays we ever had. The food was really great and the crew always friendly and helpful. The dives at San Benedicto and Roca Partida were exceptional. We saw always lots of mantas and on numerous dives we had dolphins. Besides the Mantas we saw lots of sharks, including silkies, galapagos, and out in the blue schools of hammerheads (Danny was excellent in tracking the hammerheads, thanks!). I did some nice underwater videos and some nice manta and shark pictures. Some of the pictures are on my photo blog and on my website. The video will come soon, need some editing. Overall the trip was awesome and we would definitely do it again. Thanks Solmar V crew for everything.
Sylvie and Edwin, Switzerland,

Edwin Meier
Bremgarten, Switzerland - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Greetings from Canada, Just a word of thanks to the crew of Solmar V after our week in The Sea of Cortes June 5 to 12, 2010. Your professionalism and genuine care for all your passengers was beyond excellent! Truly an excellent team! From the food to the diving and snorkeling an all around great time. I will be recommending Solmar V to all my Dive buddies. Hope to be aboard soon again for a trip to Socorro.

Denis & Darlie Krueger
Fox Creek, Alberta Canada - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 15:24:53 (PDT)

Thanks for another fantastic trip aboard the Solmar V. This was our sixth trip, the fourth to Revillagedos, and the diving at the islands never disappoints. These islands have the friendliest mantas on the planet, making it a playground for photographers and videographers. In addition, we saw dolphin, hammerheads, squadrons of whitetips and the sleek Galapagos shark. We didn't get to see a humpback under water (some on the trip saw them while snorkeling and we all saw lots breaching on the surface), but what's not to be missed is hearing the humpbacks sing on a dive. Amazing. But what keeps us coming back is the crew of the Solmar V. They make sure we feel at home before the boat rounds the cape on its way to the islands. These folks are great. The divemasters saw to it that we got the best that every site had to offer, yet they aren't intrusive so there's plenty of freedom for photography, video or just slowly cruising the reef. After the dive, you can lay even money that one of the panga drivers will be sitting there waiting to take your gear. After two decades, Jose Luis and his staff have it down. And you won't be going hungry. There are between dive snacks and hot chocolate, and Chef Tony puts together tasty and abundant meals.

Joe Pomento & Susan Walters
Redondo Beach, CA - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 11:18:20 (PDT)

This was my third trip to Socorro; and this trip was similar in a lot of ways to previous trips, but different in significant ways. I remembered previous trips to be about the extended, up close and intimate encounters with mantas at El Boiler. Yes, we had those, but we also had extended manta encounters at El Canyon, San Benedicto and at Cabo Pierce, Socorro. On previous trips (around 2000) we enjoyed hammerhead and silky sharks from afar, but at El Canyon they were schools of 15 or more and they came very close (full frame, head on with a 17mm lens close). We also had mother and calf humpback whale encounters at Socorro along with a pod of dolphin. There, were the usual suspects at Roca Partida, whitetip sharks like cordwood, silkies, and Galapagos. All in all I attribute the abundance and friendliness of the large animals to the enforcement of the Biosphere regulations (spearheaded by the crew of the Solmar V) and the gentle way our divers interacted with these large animals. It is heart warming to see a dive destination actually get better over time. What stayed the same was the service we got from the Solmar V crew, the comfort and elegance of the boat, and, of course, Chef Tony's great meals.

Bruce Watkins, April 7, 2010 trip
Livermore, CA USA - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 19:42:07 (PDT)

Thanks again so much for allowing me to hop on your boat. It was truly a spectacular trip. One I never will forget - and I have great pictures and video. It was really a wonderful week full of diving. You have a great crew - including Erick and Daniel as dive masters - along with the rest of the crew. Everyone worked hard to provide excellent service and I was quite impressed. It was a really wonderful experience. Kudos to you and congratulations on a well run ship! I hope it will not be my last trip. Thanks again - Patrick

Patrick Martin
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 13:39:55 (PST)

First of all we want to wish the entire crew of Solmar V a happy New Year and all the best for 2010! We had a fantastic trip to the Socorro Islands on November 11, 2009. Manta encounters and hammerheads schooling at Socorro island, lots of sharks and a whale shark at Roca Partida, dolphins at San Benedicto and last but not least, humpback whales on the way back just in front of the boat. What could one ask for more on a diving trip? Add the great dive masters and crew, the delicious food and margarita's and the fine company of our fellow divers and you can imagine that we hope to return in the future!

Filip and Veerle De Kimpe - Roelandt
Belgium - Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 09:11:59 (PST)

I just came back last week from the first trip of the season to the Islas Revillagidos. Another great time. It seems each trip (been on various) has something extra special. This time the mantas at the Boiler were upstaged by a pod of dolphin at Cabo Pearce (Socorro Island) which joined us on the first three dives of the day. Simply amazing.

Daniel Hartman
Mexico - Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 19:52:24 (PDT)

A huge thank you to the entire team at Solmar V. We just returned from a 9 day trip to Socorro and had a fabulous time. As a fairly new diver (4 prior ocean dives), I was nervous about this trip but it worked out beautifully. I owe a huge thank you to our dive master, Rey, who took extra time with me on the first couple of dives to help me feel comfortable. His patience and guidance (along with my husband's) paid off big and by the end of the trip I felt much more confident and improved my diving skills ten-fold! I felt spoiled as a new diver to be diving with the dolphins, hammerheads, white tip sharks and most of all the gentle and beautiful manta rays. The service and food on board was great. We really enjoyed all the soups that the cook prepared and the hot chocolate after the dives was delicious. It was an incredible experience and I have no doubt we will be back.

Jennifer Silvester
Salt Lake City, Utah USA - Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 19:51:38 (PDT)

This was my second trip on the SOLMARV and sign me up for my next one! Thoroughly enjoyed the islands and especially the "national geographic type" dive at Roca Partida. A once in a lifetime event. Crew was caring and thoughtful and food wonderful and creative. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

David Cohn
May 26, 2009 Trip, - Friday, June 19, 2009 at 14:25:08 (PDT)

I would like to thank the staff aboard the Solmar V for an unbelievable week in the Archipelago de Revillagigedos (Soccoro Islands). This was my first live-a board dive trip and it lived up to all of my expectations. The daily diving adventures were led by an outstanding group of professional dive masters (Daniel, Ray, and Erick) and support staff. Their knowledge of the islands, dive sites, and the local sea life enabled us to maximize our underwater experience. I was blown away by the amount of underwater activity. Manta ray encounters were frequent and truly spectacular. At Roca Partida, we observed giant schools of silkie sharks. Other frequent encounters included hammerhead, white-tip, and Galapagos sharks, as well as tuna and wahoo. Dolphins were always present and on our way back to Cabo San Lucas, we came across a pod of migrating blue whales, to complete our perfect week. I was also able to add to my PADI certification while on board, completing the Nitrox course. Thank you again for an amazing experience.

Dean Smith <May 26, 2009 Departure>
Houston, TX - Friday, June 19, 2009 at 14:23:01 (PDT)

I enjoyed a truly great week in the Socorro Islands aboard the Solmar V. For divers looking for a different kind of experience, away from overcrowded and over dived resorts, this trip must surely be a major contender. It’s a great diving adventure and offers glimpses of a bygone era, of seas teeming with life in all its brutal beauty. I'd like to extend a big thank you to the crew on the Solmar V, whose friendliness, professionalism and knowledge of the area contributed to a truly great week of diving.

Jeremy Cuff, Underwater Photojournalist, UK
- Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 11:35:05 (PDT)

I led a group in Dec 08 and I'm pleased to report that the Solmar V proved to be a great boat, with a truly great crew that made a strongly positive impression on me. They are uniformly professional and proficient at their tasks. From years of experience cruising these waters with scuba divers, the crew worked together as a flawless team. At the boiler, we got our money's worth as a quartet of giant manta rays, as large as 15-feet across the wings, performed a one-hour water ballet around us, under us, and over our heads. The manta rays had plenty of company. Sharks routinely encountered include white tips, silvertip, silky, hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, with the occasional tiger shark or a whale shark swimming by for good measure. Above all, I appreciated the competence and experience of the Captain and crew. All boat handling, diving and other services were done safely and professionally, with the diving experience and guests' enjoyment foremost in mind. I'm looking forward to my return trip later this year.

Ken Knezick, Island Dreams Travel
- Friday, May 15, 2009 at 15:16:03 (PDT)

We were on your vessel in March 09. As someone who leads underwater photo & video expeditions around the world and demands the best, I found The Solmar V to be a quality vessel, her crew experienced and professional, and overall a great venue for our guests.

Jason Heller - Publisher Dive Photo Guide
- Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:20:02 (PDT)

A huge thank you to the entire team at Solmar V. We just returned from a 9 day trip to Socorro and had a fabulous time. As a fairly new diver (4 prior ocean dives), I was nervous about this trip but it worked out beautifully. I owe a huge thank you to our dive master, Ray, who took extra time with me on the first couple of dives to help me feel comfortable. His patience and guidance (along with my husband’s) paid off big and by the end of the trip I felt much more confident and improved my diving skills ten-fold! I felt spoiled to be diving with dolphins, hammerheads, white tip sharks and most of all the gentle and beautiful manta rays. The service and food on board was great. We really enjoyed all the soups that the cook prepared and the hot chocolate after the dives was delicious. It was an incredible experience and I have no doubt we will be back.

Jennifer Silvester
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 08:42:57 (PDT)

At 85 (Vern) and 70 (Marsha) we have just returned from a week of scuba diving around the Soccorro Islands (the Revillagigedo Islands) 300 miles south-west of Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico... Such a great trip..... We swam with white tip sharks, Galapagos, hammerheads, humpback whales... (this is the first time that I have heard whales sing. They can only be heard under the water...) Giant Mantas with wing spans of about 18 feet swam right over us actually loving the bubbles on their tummies.... In the olden days we were allowed to tickle their tummies, leaving our finger tips bleeding since their skin is like fine sandpaper. Of course there were all the other amazing sea creatures like octopii, grouper, parrot fish, nudibranchs etc etc etc... This trip was the end of a long dive career... Vern started diving in the 50's and I started in 1972. We have had amazing experiences under water.... and on land during diving trips. I was very sentimental about this End Of Era trip and shed tears, especially to say goodbye to the Solmar crew who has taken such good care of us on all our adventures since 1993... Vern at 85 did about 10 dives on this trip... diving being very advanced with strong currents and very rough water. He is amazing. So he has hung up his fins!... and I couldn't dive without him. He got me into this when we got married 43 years ago, the rule was that I must learn to dive and he had to learn to ski and play tennis. We have had a blast.

Marsha Bohr
Pasadena, CA USA - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 12:11:31 (PDT)

A thank you to the Solmar V crew! My friend, Vicki, and I took back-to-back trips (Sea of Cortez and Socorro) October 23 to November 8, 2008 and had a wonderful time! The diving was fabulous with playful sea lions, turtles, angel and other reef fish at Sea of Cortez and mantas, sharks, schools of large tuna, and very friendly dolphins at Socorro. The food was terrific, the boat comfortable and the crew always friendly and helpful. A special thank you to Danny for fixing my equipment (more than once) and finding the hammerheads, Eric for explaining the wonderful sea life we encountered and Ray and the Captain for making sure I (and others) knew the election results on November 4. I will definitely take future trips on Solmar V to Socorro and to see the Great Whites.

Linda DuPuis
Tampa, FL USA - Monday, December 15, 2008 at 09:21:54 (PST)

Hi to all on the Solmar V. Just spent 5 days on the last Guadalupe trip this year and had the most amazing time. You guys work so hard and nothing is any trouble. I just wanted to say thanks again especially to Geronimo and Danny. You both have a special place in my heart. You both looked after me so well and it was a pleasure chatting, I just wish we'd had more time. Really want to now do another trip on Solmar but you are soo booked up. The thought of waiting a year is gutting. Margarita is my new fave drink and when i see you again i will bring a star chart so we can gaze, chat and know what we're looking at. Oh and i'll endevour to have a fully functial camera from the start!! piérdale y viajes seguros embaldosan yo le veo otra vez. Vicki xxx

Vicki Lloyd
Plymouth, Devon UK - Monday, October 13, 2008 at 16:37:28 (PDT)

Jose Luis and Leslie, Thank you! The Solmar V is a beautiful vessel, well equipped, and captained by a professional who knows the sea! San Benedicto and Roca Partida are the best for pelagic encounters. Every dive provided us with an abundance and a variety of exceptional critters; dolphins, mantas, sharks, schools of Wahoo and Tuna. The crew is fabulous, always there to give you a hand, take a camera, or fill your hunger. The best compliment I can give is to return and we will be back.

Tonia Drazkowski
Lahaina, HI USA - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 19:11:49 (PDT)

The soundtrack of humpback whales plays in the background. The hammerheads passing below us reflect the sun beams and some Galapagos shark patrol the area while a group of silvertips feels curious. Oops, I have a manta over my head ! The school of tuna escapes from the sharks and a large wahoo gets very close. Time to wake up? No! Just another day in Roca Partida, diving with the Solmar V folks. Boilers is probably the best dive in the world to take manta photos. How about a dolphin and a manta in the same frame? Been there done that in San Benedicto. I even saw three whales and a manta at the same time. Great to see some of the staff is the same from my previous trip 7 years ago. Plan on a longer belt (not talking about weight belt here) after the trip, food is very good.

Carlos Villoch
Spain - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 18:15:00 (PDT)

Just got home from our trip to Socorro Island. We had the lucky opportunity to swim with Mantas, dolphins and different varieties of sharks. The crew and diving were top notch!!!!! Thank you Solmar V for an incredible adventure.

James and Gigi Forth - April 22 to April 28, 2008
New York, USA - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 16:42:58 (PDT)

Byron and I are back from the Solmar trip. I wanted to let you know the trip lived up to all the claims on your website: mantas, sharks (hammerheads!), tons of eels, etc. It was a great trip and if anyone is on the fence about booking you certainly can use me as a reference. The food was great, too.

Rob Courter
- Monday, February 04, 2008 at 11:22:01 (PST)

We came back from the Nov 9 trip to Socorro. I just want to tell you how pleased we were with the upgrades and changes you have put in since taking over ownership. The addition of Nitrox was great but we could also see improvement in the food, upkeep of the ship etc. (Since the chef was the same I can only assume you have expanded the budget on this.) We have made 7 or so trips on the Solmar and this was the best. Its so nice to see most of the same crew working and working well. Once again congratulations on what you have done for the Solmar.

Dan & Genevieve Hartman
Cozumel and the U.S. - Wednesday, January 02, 2008 at 18:07:00 (PST)

We had an absolutely fantastic time... My husband has been diving for 55 years......about 40 weeks in the Sea Of Cortez from the days of the Marisla to the Baja Explorador to the Solmar V and of course the Solmar is absolute luxury. He had never seen so many sharks of every variety and mantas and whale sharks...Unbelievable. He said he had THE most fabulous dive of his life on this trip...the whale sharks, hammerheads and all the other kinds of sharks and mantas were out to play. We want to reserve a trip for 2009 with our daughters who actually encountered a whale shark and hammerhead simultaneously in the Sea of Cortez when they were 15 and 17 years of age and had no idea what they were seeing. They are 38 and 40 now! oxoxm

Marsha Bohr
Pasadena, CA USA - Monday, November 12, 2007 at 13:15:40 (PST)

In the past I have photographed great white sharks in South Africa, Australia and Guadalupe Island, but no expedition has yielded more fantastic images than my week on the Solmar V with Lawrence and Shark Diving International. I think I finally met someone with more enthusiasm than even I have for these magnificent animals. Mr. Groth is a wealth of information and I look forward to repeating my trip next season. It will take me that long to go through everything that I shot in my five cage days at Guadalupe. Thank you too to the Captain and crew of the Solmar V. My cage time would not have been anywhere near as rewarding without their constant hard work wrangling the sharks in for a close look. My only complaint is that I was hoping to loose a few pounds with all my hard work...but the food was too good!

David Fleetham <>
Makawao, Hawaii USA - Monday, September 17, 2007 at 09:22:28 (PDT)

I would like to express my special thanks to the Captain and Crew of the Solmar V and the Great White Sharks of Isla Guadalupe. This was a high octane, adrenaline pumping, and heart-pounding trip of a lifetime. It far exceeded my pre-trip expectations of 2-3 Great Whites. I had over 100 encounters each day, many within inches to 5 feet. I even had 6 camera bumps with the HD video to prove it!!! The submersible platform was fantastic with as many as 5 Great Whites circling at one time. The action above and below the surface was nonstop. I cannot express how exciting and awe inspiring it was to see this magnificent, powerful yet graceful apex predator in such clear clam water. The trip out and back was better than expected. We had excellent conditions with a special treat of one Fin Whale, two Mola-Mola's, and a large pod of Common Dolphins. Now get this, we also saw about 18 Blue Whales lunge feeding on Krill. All of this took place within the luxury of your beautiful, safe, comfortable vessel along with a highly experienced, attentive Captain and Crew. Thank you for fulfilling a childhood dream...

Dr George Willis
Miami, Florida USA - Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 07:18:17 (PDT)

You guys are truly the best and exemplify extraordinary guest and customer service. I look forward to my next trip with your crews and hope to bring the rest of my family to share in your experience. Keep in touch and I can send reimbursement when it is needed. Thanks for your help and we will talk soon.

Patrick Drew
Telluride, Colorado USA - Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 15:52:45 (PDT)

Not being a diver, I thought I would take advantage of the Baja Nature Cruise in the Sea of Cortez offered this year. What an amazing world I was introduced to!! Snorkeling reefs or with Sea Lions, Mobulas, & a Whale Shark; Kayaking around a Sea Lion Rookery watching babies nursing or playing in the water, exploring the San Jose island estuary & all it's inhabitants. Sighting Finback Whales with Dolphins among them. The nights were breathtaking, The stars seemed close enough to touch. Then you add a very friendly, attentive & professional crew, wonderful accommodations, Great food all around, an experience that became a home away from home. Talk about reality shock when I got back to the states! Exceptional Experience, hope the Nature Cruise is a regular for the SolmarV. I was so taken by the experience, I'm planning on becoming a diver for my next trip!

RCS de Leon
Tarzana, CA USA - Monday, June 25, 2007 at 07:14:48 (PDT)

Incredibly memorable trip with an outstanding crew. The boat was in impecable condition and their concern for our safety and enjoyment was paramount. Yes, the rooms are small but the diving and experience is tremendous. One dive will always remain as one of our best with three mantas, 7 or 8 dolphins, plus a few sharks all in sight at the same time. Thanks to every involved with Solamr V!

Dave & Jan Hinman - Delta Divers
Rome, NY USA - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 07:07:00 (PDT)

I just got back from a trip to the Socorro's and loved it. The boat and food were excellent. The diving at San Benedicto and Roca Partida was exceptional. I saw everything that I was hoping to and then some. Swimming with a Humpback whale and her calf was an incredible experience. The numerous dives where dolphins would play were really fun. Besides the Humpbacks and dolphins we saw lots of Mantas, sometimes four at a time, sharks including silkies, galapgos, silvertips hammerheads and two tiger sharks. Overall the trip was awesome and I would definitely do it again. Thanks Solmar V crew for making it really cool.

Terry Layton
Quartz Hill, CA USA - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 07:05:35 (PDT)

The Solmar V and the very efficient crew make this beautiful live aboard boat one of the best. It is a large & solid with all the safety equipment that gives you confidence when taking a trip to offshore Islands. The meals are great and I love the hot chocolate and soups after diving. The experience of diving with the Manta Rays at the Boiler at San Benedicto is one of my favorite all time dives. Diving at San Benedicto and Rocas Partida it is still possible to see varieties of sharks and all the big stuff that can no longer be found in most diving locations.

Chuck Nicklin
- Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:52:25 (PDT)

Our trip in March was wonderful. We saw manta rays on several dives and sharks including hammerhead, silvertip, Galapagos, silky and white-tip reef on nearly every dive. On one site, a pod of dolphins joined us, diving repeatedly to visit us at 50 feet. A highlight for three lucky snorkelers in our group was seeing a humpback below them. The diving is fantastic, the boat, its crew and the food, terrific. Bonnie J. Cardone, former editor, Skin Diver Magazine.

Bonnie Cardone
Santa Maria, CA USA - Monday, April 02, 2007 at 07:18:38 (PDT)

On behalf of myself and our entire crew, we want to take a moment to thank everyone from Solmar V who assisted us during the past months as we planned and executed our filming expedition to the Sea of Cortez. Everyone's dedication and attention to detail every step of the way during our stay aboard Solmar V helped to make this a successful trip. Throughout, every request was met with a smile and yet another offer to help in any way possible. Under challenging circumstances, each member of the Solmar V crew pitched in to assist our film crew in managing the activities required to capture the film sequence of Humboldt squid.

Howard and Michele Hall <>
- Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 22:42:29 (PDT)

Hola Jose & Leslie, We are now back to earth after our trip on the Solmar V. The upgrades to the Solmar were great but, the dives at Roca Partida made the entire trip. In two days of diving at Roca Partida we saw a Whale Shark up close enough to touchº5 times. We were excited about going out again on the Solmar in spite of the problems last year with the Mexican Navy. Even though they held us up for about 6 hours at Socorro Isle the Whale Shark made up for everything. The Giant Mantas were spectacular as usual but the Whale Shark was unexpected. Thank you again for a great trip. The crew on the Solmar V is the best bar none.

John & Paula Saunders
- Friday, March 16, 2007 at 20:13:24 (PDT)

I am back from the Solmar V liveaboard dive boat today. I am back from the best dive trip ever. I saw manta rays and sharks on every dive, I even saw a whaleshark!!! We had unusually good weather everyday out at sea. The weather only got bad on the crossing from the Islands.

Mike Scammon
- Friday, March 16, 2007 at 20:12:51 (PDT)

Photo by Bonnie Pelnar