For kids Ages 11-17

Live Aboard Summer Camp

Swimming with sea life

Live Aboard

Join our team of naturalists and ecologists for five days adventure at the Channel Islands National Park.  Explore the national park from a whole new perspective.  Snorkeling expansive kelp reefs, swimming amongst sea lions, kayaking and swimming through some of the world’s largest sea caves, studying topography, and ecology of the island and three gourmet meals a day.  Experiential learning at it’s finest!

ocean-explorers-awesome-camp

Island Camp Summer Session

Select a session below to register for your adventure.  Age Range 11-17 and you must know how to swim.

Session 1

June 23 - 28

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Session 2

July 7 - 12

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Session 3

July 28 - Aug 2

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Exclusive Offer

Sibling Discount
Book Now $2,195

List price is $2,495 for each session.

Liveaboard Camp Highlights

5 days/ 5 nights aboard the TRUTH at the Channel Islands National Park

  • Hike at remote islands and explore ancient landscapes.
  • Play on the sand dunes, swim in the ocean.
  • Kayak and snorkeling activities each day (weather provided).
  • Individual Bunks with separate quarters for boys and girls.
  • Professionally trained ocean educators, naturalists, and guides.
  • Astronomy program under the clear night island sky.
  • Ecology based learning throughout the 5 days.
  • Divemaster & lifeguards on deck for diving/snorkeling
  • All gear is included! (kayaks, surfboards, snorkel /mask and fins)
  • A wetsuit is provided for each camper.
  • Healthy meals served each day. 

Activities

Kayaking

Hiking

Snorkeling

Beach Play

Fishing

And More!

  • hiking white dunes
  • hiking

The Details

More Information

This Liveaboard camp is an extension of our Ocean Explorers day camp that our partners at the Paddle Sports Center have been running for over a decade. This camp takes place on our custom-built expedition vessels, giving campers an unforgettable liveaboard experience!

The only liveaboard summer camp on the West coast at the US and the Channel Islands National Park. This micro version of a semester at sea is the perfect amount of adventure and learning to foster adoration of the marine environment for a lifetime.

Our ecology based program is fluid and follows the weather allowing the group to explore by land, kayak, and underwater with mask and snorkel. We provide all of the gear, food, accommodations, and highly experienced counsellors. Lead by the company owners who have more than 20 years of leadership experience specifically at the Channel Islands and Southern California, the group is in good hands. This is a co-ed experience for kids aged 11-17. All campers will participate in a swim test on day 1 and will be required to wear life jackets and/or wetsuits depending on their performance in the swim test. If you are searching for a great way to keep your kid/s away from screens for their summer break, this is it!

Camp Brief

5 Days of Ocean Exploration, learning, and adventure.

Sunday Airline Arrival

  • Board anytime after 3pm, counselors will meet campers at Santa Barbara Landing via private ground transportation (not arranged by Ocean Explorers)
  • Call for another private ride service and have your camper picked up from Santa Barbara Landing and brought to Santa Barbara Airport on Friday after 3pm.

Important Times

  • Check In: 6:00 PM on Sunday evening
  • Duration: 5 full days and 5 nights onboard
  • Return to Santa Barbara Harbor: at 3:00 PM on Friday

Camp Age and Swimming Policy

  • Experience Level: Previous swimming experience needed
  • Minimum Age: 11 years old
  • Maximum Age: 17 years old

Your Expedition Vessel

  • 49 Passenger United States Coast Guard Inspected Vessel
  • Zero deficiencies during 2022 Coast Guard inspection
  • Multi-level integrated fire detection and alarm system
  • Equipped with kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, and unicorns 🙂

Destination

  • All islands in the Channel Islands National Park

LEARNING & FUN

An educational and adventurous experience!

Science

  • Island Ecology: Campers will learn about the natural history and ecology of the Channel Islands. The islands are an incredible place to make inferences based on observation and gain a practical understanding of scientific methods. Campers will have the chance to use science to understand both the marine and terrestrial environments of California.
  • Marine Biology: Campers will have a chance to observe marine life at the islands firsthand, from kayaks and while snorkeling. Campers will learn about cetaceans, pinnipeds, kelp forests, and marine protected areas.
  • Geography: We will share map reading techniques with campers and give them the chance to practice navigation with both modern methods and primitive wayfinding.
    Geology: Ancient volcanic oceanic islands on the edge of the North American continent are the perfect place to build an enthusiastic interest in rocks and faults!
  • Astronomy: The night sky at the islands is less polluted by city lights. On clear nights we’ll learn about constellations, physics, and how mariners have used the stars to navigate for centuries.
  • Seamanship: Each camper will be taught the basic principles of Seamanship (this is the gender-neutral term to refer to maritime skills). This includes knot tying, nautical terminology, and chart plotting.

Adventure

  • Kayaking: Campers will begin each day with a kayak paddle. We will start off with easier paddles and build our skills throughout the week. Campers will team up with one another in tandem (two-person) kayaks.
  • Snorkeling: Each day campers will have the chance to explore the underwater world and kelp forests of Channel Islands National Park. They will learn how to clear their mask and make dives below the water’s surface.
  • Nature Hikes: Throughout each session, campers will have the chance to visit some of the more remote and less trafficked islands within the Channel Islands for once-in-a-lifetime hiking opportunities. We will explore the caliche forest of San Miguel Island and visit the rare Torrey pines of Santa Rosa Island.

Staff & Safety

We are maritime professionals and leaders, safety is always our priority.

We are maritime professionals and leaders, safety is always our priority.

Captain, Lead Counselor are both Wilderness First Responder certified. We carry a small arsenal of first aid gear including AED and Oxygen.

Recent Upgrades – Our Vessels have recently undergone significant safety upgrades to improve escape means from the bunk rooms and detection of smoke and fire. All counselors and crew sleep in the bunk rooms with the campers to assist in any emergency. 

Night Watch – A licensed USCG Master Captain is on duty during the night while at the islands and conducts a roving night watch, inspecting every area of the vessel on 15-minute cycles. For early arrival, a crew member is assigned to night watch duty while at the dock. 

Guide Experience – Our guides/counselors have decades of experience at the islands working with children of all ages.

Want to see for yourself? We invite all parents to visit us at the boats ahead of time by scheduling an appointment with us via email. 

Location

Santa Barbara Harbor

Santa Barbara Landing
301 W Cabrillo Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Camp Preperation

What to Pack for your camper?

CIAMP includes multiple sports and activities over the 5-day trip – you’ll want to plan accordingly for the activities that you’ll be participating in. We suggest bringing the following items, for each activity.

Kayaking Gear

  • Kayak clothing – bathing suits and sun tops. Your camper will be given a Farmer John style wetsuit (like overalls).

Hiking Gear

  • Small daypack – 25-35 liters
  • Appropriate trail footwear
  • 2 Towels
  • Dry bags for San Miguel and Santa Rosa beach landings
  • Reusable water bottle 1 liter or more
  • Waterproof Camera

General items

  • Sleeping bag or additional blanket – the bunkroom can be chilly at night, we recommend bringing a sleeping bag or extra blanket.
  • Personal medications and motion sickness medication. We cannot administer any medications to campers. If your camper has a severe or moderate allergy to anything, you must send the camper with no less than 2 doses of Epinephrine in an auto-injector.
  • Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc) we have soap and shampoo in the showers.
  • Sunglasses and hat.
  • Sunscreen-must be reef-safe sunscreen. We also suggest SPF 50 long sleeved shirts. We sell these at Paddle Sports Center if you would like to load up before, shirts at only $25!

What to leave behind:

  • Tablets and handheld games
  • Batteries
  • Toys
  • Snacks and drinks (we have plenty)

Cell Phone and Device Policy

Cell phone service where we are going is limited. The TRUTH has Starlink Internet which works in all areas. Campers will not be permitted to access this network, but parents will have direct contact with the boat at all times and the boat will be able to contact a parent in any special circumstance.

Camp flow can be interrupted by the use of phones and tablets, and our purpose to create an authentic ocean wilderness experience is enhanced by the absence of these devices while at camp. We hope you agree, but we’re willing to make some accommodations at special request.

  • Campers are asked to surrender their phones to the crew once we get underway.
  • At special request by the parents, we can allow the campers morning and afternoon access to their phones for the purpose of checking in with parents.
  • Phones are returned to all campers when we return to the dock on Friday.
  • Crew will message all parents 2 hours prior to arrival on the dock on Friday.
  • All parents will be given an emergency contact phone number that rings directly on the boat and another that rings at the office. If there is an emergency, that camper’s phone will be returned to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each half of the vessel bunk room is sectioned off, one half for boys, and other half for girls. There is a counselor/guide of the same gender on each respective side.

Campers must be at least 11 years old. We ask that they are no older than 17 years old.

YES! There is no way around this. Previous swimming experience is required. 

Yes, we are partnered with the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation department.

Yes, our vessels are equipped with Starlink and have access to high speed internet for weather and communications. However, the kids don’t know that and we don’t share that! For the most part, our vessels will be outside of cell service during the week long camp. If you have an emergency, or if your child needs to talk to home, we can make that happen and we’ll always be in contact with our office if it’s not an emergency.

beach by Felipe Alvarado from Noun Project splash by Yeong Rong Kim from Noun Project Life Jacket by DinosoftLab from Noun Project