Princess Alice Seamount

Imagine waters deeper than 1000 metres suddenly rising up to only 35 metres from the water surface. This is Princess Alice, a mid-Atlantic seamount 45 nautical miles (about 85 km) off our base on Pico Island (Azores).

Well renowned for the extraordinary Carousel of Mobulas, Princess Alice is also inhabited by Jacks, huge Tunas, and Barracudas.

Success rate between July and mid-October is virtually 100%.

All participants are required to first undertake a check dive with us, along with fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. Minimum qualification: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent).
  2. At least 50 logged dives.

Please consider carefully the above requirements, as we cannot make any exceptions.

Seasonality From beginning of July to mid-October.

Water Temperature From 20°C to 24°C.

Visibility From 15 to 30+ metres.

Success Rate Greater than 99%.

Dive Princess Alice with CW Azores
Dive Princess Alice with CW Azores - Photo by Justin Hart

Princess Alice Video

The mobulas of Princess Alice

There are so many of them and they are gigantic! They are the mobulas of Princess Alice! Curious and sociable, they enjoy approaching the divers and play with their bubbles. To see them flying in the Big Blue, right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is a truly lifetime experience. The species most frequently sighted is Mobula tarapacana and, less frequently, Manta birostris. The former is known as Devil fish in English and Jamanta in Portuguese.

How we dive Princess Alice

Departure is scheduled between 7am and 8am from our base in Madalena - Pico Island. Getting to Princess Alice is a 2.5-hour cruise at a minimum. Once there, our Team will prepare the dives which, due to the strong currents, are carried out on a descent line.

The mobulas and mantas will be swimming in a circle around the pinnacle situated at -30 metres, making it unnecessary to leave the place where we set anchor.
Leaving the descent line can make you quickly find yourself in the blue, far away from the boat and the action.
Because of that, the descent line can only be left upon authorisation by our dive guides.

A Princess Alice Expedition includes 2 dives. Surface interval is spent on board for lunch and can be made more interesting by going for a snorkel. Indeed, quite often the mobulas come up right to the surface, for the joy of snorkellers too!

With us, no one has ever got back disappointed from Princess Alice. It is going to be a lifetime experience. Once back to land you will have big stories to tell for days on end and it is an adventure you will remember for life. That's a promise - a very safe one to make!

Diving Princess Alice - Photo by Jan Reyniers
Diving Princess Alice - Photo by Jan Reyniers

Help the Manta Catalog Azores Project

Join us in supporting the scientists who work very hard for the conservation of mobulas and mantas.

If you are a diver, or simply had a chance to photograph a manta or mobula during any tour out at sea in the Azores, please send your photos to the Manta Catalog Azores Project (all details below).

The Manta Catalog Azores Project aims at providing a better understanding of the spatial ecology of Mobulid rays and the threats they are facing. In particular, the researchers want to learn where, when and why these animals aggregate at particular areas in the Atlantic Ocean, such as the seamounts in the Azores. For this, they have developed a photo-ID catalog and a sightings database (number of animals seen on each dive), with the help of citizen scientists (divers that provide data) and their collaborator dive centers, like us.

You can learn more downloading the manual we received from scientist Ana Filipa Sobral, M.Sc.
Manta Catalog Azores Project (PDF, 2.2 MB)

Important links:

Manta Catalog Azores - how you can help
Manta Catalog Azores - how you can help

Access the Manta Catalog Azores Project website
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What Our Customers Think

Another beautiful day in the Azores at the amazing Princess Alice Pinnacle with so many giant mobula rays. So much diversity in this unique part of the world. Thanks again to the amazing team CW Azores, can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Scott Portelli
Thanks CW Azores for a great week of diving! Wonderful team, friendly, knowledgeable & respectful of the beautiful creatures around. I'll be back soon! Hamid Rad
Big big thanks to a special and super passionate crew never seen anywhere in the world! Giovanni Passerini
A really great crew, very focused on making sure you have great encounters. Big shout out to Martin and Michael, super helpful guys. Absolutely recommend these guys. Nigel Motyer

Logistics and Prices

Due to the long distance from shore (45 nautical miles -> 83km), diving Princess Alice is strongly weather and sea dependent.
This is why we advise you to spend at least 7 nights in Pico to book for that.

There is nothing to be worried about. You can book your trip to Princess Alice on top of a regular diving package and we will only charge you once the trip is confirmed. For the rest of the week, there are lots of diving spots to explore around the island, you can dive with the sharks and, of course, watching the whales and swimming with the dolphins will keep you busy and happy!

Remember: all participants are required to first undertake a check dive with us and should be certified to a minimum level equivalent to a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. Furthermore, divers should have a minimum of 50 logged dives.

N.B. Our dives are always guided by experienced and qualified divemasters (PADI Divemaster or higher). We are the only PADI Dive Resort on the island of Pico (registration number: 799438).

Book your activities

Price

1 Princess Alice Expedition (divers)

220

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1 Snorkelling Princess Alice Expedition

150

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1 Shark Expedition

175

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3 Shark Expeditions

460

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1 Coastal Dive

45

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4 Coastal Dives

169

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6 Coastal Dives

243

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10 Coastal Dives

390

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or purchase our famous Adventure Package for Divers

All prices include tanks, weights and diving guide. Princess Alice Expeditions also include a pack lunch.

The Jewels of Princess Alice

by Claudio Valerio - Valefilm

The Jewels of Princess Alice from Claudio Valerio on Vimeo.

book your princess alice adventure, with just a check dive or in a special package