This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Monterey Express. Just click on a question to see the answer. If you have any other questions, contact us at (888) 422-2999, or e-mail us at CaptTim@MontereyExpress.com.
Can you tell us about the Monterey Express?
Where does the Monterey Express depart?
Does the Monterey Express operate on weekdays?
What dives are scheduled for weekends?
Is Night Diving available?
What is provided?
What level of diving is done aboard the boat?
Does your Dive Master dive with the divers?
What about crew experience and makeup?
What about safety equipment?
What should I bring?
What is the cost?
Should I tip the crew?
How do I book space on the boat?
What is your cancellation policy?
Can you tell us about the
The Monterey Express is a custom Newton 42 which was designed and constructed for a single purpose – recreational diving. The vessel is 42 feet long with a wide 16 foot beam designed for a stable diving platform and unmatched diver comfort. Powered by twin Caterpillar Turbo diesels, the 'Express cruises at 17 knots with 20 divers, tanks, and gear. She is the fastest and newest dive bessel in Central and Northern California. She is certified for 30 divers; however we limit the number to 20 for diver comfort. Three hot showers round out the vessel to provide after-dive warmth for dressing for the short and fast trip back to Monterey Harbor.
Where does the Monterey
The Monterey Express departs from the "K" dock in the inner harbor of the City of Monterey marina, located between the harbor master's office off of Del Monte Ave, between wharf #1 and wharf #2. The London Bridge Pub is located about 50 feet in front of the entrance to "K" dock. Parking is available in the lots directly adjacent to "K" dock as well as the parking lot located along Del Monte Avenue. For a map, see our How to Find Us page.
Does the Monterey Express
operate on weekdays?
Normal "Open" weekday departures are scheduled on Wednesday and Friday mornings year round, with departure at 9:00 AM and return at around 1:30 PM. Divers should be advised that the vessel does require a minimum of 8 passengers to operate on an "Open" charter.
What dives are
scheduled for weekends?
Two (2) day trips are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday, with the morning departure at 8:00 AM and the afternoon departure at 1:30 PM. boarding times are 30 minutes prior to the departure times.
Is Night Diving
Night dives are scheduled throughout the year depending on interest. They will normally be posted on the web on our Dive Schedule page. These dives are inexpensive single tank dives with divers bringing their own tanks (BYOT) and gear. Departures depend on the sunset time, so please call to check boarding and departure times.
All tanks are provided for two (2) dives. We have steel 80's with standard "K" type valves. Hot and cold beverages and snacks are also included in the charter. TANKS ARE NOT PROVIDED FOR THE SATURDAY NIGHT DIVES.
What level of diving is
done aboard the boat?
The Monterey Express' normal diving level rarely exceeds "intermediate". Although many of our sites could be considered "intermediate" we will not normally dive an "intermediate" site that has turned "advanced" due to weather or sea conditions. Our emphasis is on "RECREATIONAL" diving.
Does your Dive Master
dive with the divers?
The Dive Master on most California charter boats is primarily the safety swimmer. His/her duties also include briefing the dive procedures and emergencies, keeping track of divers as they enter and exit the vessel, and checking equipment safety and function before the divers enter the water. The DM also enters the water to assist divers who are having difficulty or find themselves unable to return to the vessel due to fatigue or other emergency situations.
A tour guide can also be made available at an additional charge if you make prior arrangement with Monterey Express, Inc.
What about crew experience and
The Monterey Express has one of the most qualified crews in Central and Northern California. A USCG-qualified crew is onboard on all trips. The typical makeup of the Monterey Express crew includes a USCG-licensed Captain, a senior deck hand (most often a USCG-licensed captain as well), and a certified Dive Master (usually Paramedic or EMT certified) or an Instructor. Most of our crew members each have more than 15 years of recreational, commercial, or military diving experience and have worked aboard the Monterey Express since she began operation in July of 1996. See our Crew Page for more details.
What about safety
Besides an extensive first aid kit designed for our EMT and Paramedic trained Dive Masters, we maintain two (2) "E" size O2 bottles and regulators to treat 2 divers simultaneously for a minimum of 1 hour each. We also maintain all USCG required safety and survival equipment and have a built-in automatic Halon fire suppression system in the engine compartment. GPS, Radar, Radio, and Sonar are also part of our safety and survival equipment.
What should I
First off, leave your tanks at home (except for Saturday night dives). If you wish to bring your own, let us know when booking so we can ensure that there are tank racks left open for your equipment. We will not compensate those who bring their own tanks. Bring all of your own personal equipment or contact us or a local dive shop to arrange for rental gear. Cameras are always welcome on this boat, We can also arrange to have photo equipment delivered to the boat as well as a videographer to document your trip, all for an additional charge.
We encourage you to bring your gear in a soft bag so that it can be collapsed on board after making ready your BCD and tank, in order to make room to move about the vessel. Hard boxes such as Rubbermaid "Tuff Totes" or similar containers or "roll-around" dive bags cannot be collapsed and continue to occupy large areas even when empty.
Partial suit-up should be done on shors, so arrive early enough to load your personal gear, fill out the paperwork, and partially suit up at the dock. The trip to our most distant sites can be as long as 45 minutes or as short as 15. Dressing on a boat while underway is not recommended, and often your dive can be shortened if you are only just starting to suit up after arriving at the site.
Check with your doctor, but motion sickness medicine should be considered. Bonine, Dramamine, etc should be taken several hours before boarding the vessel if approved by your doctor. Eat lightly before the trip, and avoid heavy breakfasts loaded with bacon, acidic fruit juices, etc.
For your shoreside stay in Monterey dress warmly and in layers. Monterey has many mornings and afternoon layers where a marine layer (fog, overcast, etc) remains long after the late morning sun has already burned off the layer in inland areas. Temperatures usually range in the mid 60's and low 70's in the summer and fall, and are cooler in the winter and spring.
Other items we recommend you bring are a towel, sunscreen, an extra pair of socks, a pullover or jacket for after-dive, and a container for you eyeglasses if you wear them.
What is the
All trips except the Saturday night dives are $90.00.
Saturday night dives are $35.00. For Saturday night dives, the diver must bring all gear (including tanks). Leave your dive bags on shore.
Should I tip the
Please note that the cost of the trip does not include gratuity for the extra service and help you will receive from the Monterey Express crew. Tipping is not required, but sincerely appreciated when earned. Doug, Reuben and the rest of the crew pride themselves on providing the extra service that really stands out from the others to make your day with us enjoyable and safe.
How do I book space on
Use our interactive online
The best way to book a reservation is to use our online reservation system. You can use the button below to access the system.
A list of dive shops booking on the Monterey Express is shown on our Dive Links page.
We encourage you to use your dive store when booking; it costs you no more. You can make a reservation through many of the dive shops and retailers located in Central and Northern California; check your local yellow pages or our Dive Links page. All of the retailers who have scheduled charters (see our Trip Schedule page) can also book individual spaces on any charter that Monterey Express has going. This sport cannot exist without the dive shops and the investment thay have made in comnpressors, equipment for rentals, repair stations, etc.
Directly through the Monterey
If unable to use a dive shop, contact us at (831) 915-0752, or e-mail us at CaptTim@MontereyExpress.com.
What is your
Due to the limited space available on any charter, a notification policy of approximately 72 hours is required for a full refund when the reservation is for a diving party of 3 or less. An additional 24 hours is required for each additional member of a party of more than 3 divers Example: Cancel by Wednesday 12:00 for Saturday morning and afternoon charters. Cancel by Thursday at 12:00 for Sunday morning and afternoon charters. Cancel an additional 24 hours earlier for every diver in the party over 3.
Ask for your cancellation time for your party when making reservations.