• TIDES Advanced Explorer

TIDES Advanced Explorer

$2,650/student (Deposit: $850) Already have your scuba certification? TIDES Advanced Explorer is the next step in your underwater adventures! Students will build on their understanding of the marine environment and safe scuba practices by earning Nitrox and Perfect Buoyancy scuba specialties and broadening their marine science knowledge with a Marine Ecology course.

Starting from

Availability: In Stock

TIDES Advanced Explorers will explore both the biotic and abiotic parts of the ocean as they dive into different marine ecosystems and learn about anthropogenic impacts and conservation with SSI's Marine Ecology course. Students will then continue to hone their dive skills by completing the SSI Enriched Air Nitrox and SSI Perfect Buoyancy scuba specialties. 

All skills learned will be put to the test on a 5 day place-based, learning expedition to MarineLab and our Ocean First location in Key Largo, Florida. Here, students will scuba dive on coral reefs, snorkel in mangrove forests and seagrass beds, and begin to view the world through the lens of a marine scientist. Students will also get the chance to dive in one of the world's few underwater habitats, Jules Undersea Lodge, for an unforgettable scientific ecology experience.  


  • Age: 12-18
  • Open Water Diver Certification
  • All participants must complete a SCUBA medical waiver and be in good health
  • Gear: Students must own their own snorkel equipment (scuba mask, fins, snorkel)


Don't yet have your Open Water Diver certification? Become a TIDES Explorer and learn to scuba dive!
Ocean First also offers regular group Open Water Diver classes monthly.

Program Cost: $2,650/student

  • Sign-up by May 1st, 2024 to put down your deposit and reserve your spot!

  • Non-refundable deposit: $850 due upon sign-up 

    • Please note: minimum students for program to run is 6 students. Course is subject to cancellation if minimum number of students do not sign up by deadline (deposit will be refunded in this case only).

  • Second Payment: $850 due June 1st, 2024 

  • Final Payment: $850 due July 1st, 2024

Cancellation Policy:

  • Changes made to the reservation may result in additional fees.
  • Cancellation 180 days or more: refund given based on reselling the space, minus the initial deposit.
  • 179 - 120 days: payments made to date are forfeited as well as any vendor fees.
  • 119 days or less or a no-show: no refunds given.
  • We strongly recommend securing trip cancellation insurance to protect your investment in the unlikely event you need to cancel your trip. Our preferred provider is DAN Trip Insurance.


  • SSI Enriched Air Nitrox, Perfect Buoyancy, and Marine Ecology certifications
  • Rental SCUBA gear
  • Ocean First scuba and marine science instructors
  • 5 days/ 4 nights dorm-style lodging at MarineLab 
  • All meals on-site
  • TIDES T-shirt
  • Virtual, instructor-led classroom sessions
  • Digital learning materials
  • Review of in-water scuba skills 
  • 2 Confined water perfect buoyancy training dives in Jules Lagoon 
  • Digital copies of all certification cards earned and one hard copy of enriched air nitrox certification earned
  • 4, 2-tank boat dives (pending weather conditions)
  • 1 Eco experience dive in Jules Undersea Lodge with phytoplankton lab activity
  • MarineLab Activities
    • Discussion: Seagrass Ecology
    • Lab: Invertebrate Diversity
    • Discussion: Coral Reef Ecology
    • Field Trip: Seagrass/Mangrove Ecology
    • Activity: Night Snorkel in Lagoon
    • Field Trip: Rodriguez Key 
    • Lab: Invertebrate Behavior

Not included

  • Roundtrip Airfare
    • Please note parents/guardians are responsible for arranging travel for their students. Students will be chaperoned for the duration of the program beginning and ending with arrival and departure at MarineLab respectively. 
  • Chaperoned transportation from the Miami airport to MarineLab may be added on for an additional fee. 
    • Contact us to request chaperoned airport transfer. (Est. fee $165 - $325 based on transfer requests) 
  • For Denver area students only, chaperoned travel through the airport may be added on for an additional fee from DIA, beginning at designated airport meeting time (subject to change if the flight is delayed) and ending upon student pickup at baggage claim.
    • Contact us to request chaperoned airport travel from DIA ($100 fee/student)
  • Personal Snorkel Equipment: Scuba mask, fins, dive booties, snorkel
    • Contact us about any questions regarding purchasing snorkel equipment or to receive a complimentary equipment buying guide
    • For Denver area students, gear can be purchased at our Ocean First, Boulder location
  • Personal Dive Accident Insurance (we recommend DAN)

Virtual Calssroom Dates (Zoom): July 8th, 2024 - July 25th, 2024 (MST)

  • Mon, July 8th - Virtual orientation/Pre-trip meeting for all students and parents: 6:30pm - 7:30pm MST
  • Mon, July 22nd - Perfect Buoyancy: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Tues, July 23rd - Nitrox: 1:00pm - 2:00pm 
  • Wed, July 24th - Marine Ecology Part 1: 1:00pm - 2:00pm 
  • Thurs, July 25th - Marine Ecology Part 2: 1:00pm - 2:00pm 

In-Person TIDES Explorer Camp at MarineLab and Ocean First Key Largo: July 29th - Aug. 2nd, 2024 (EST)

  • Day 1: Mon. July 29th
    • 6:30pm EST: Arrival at MarineLab Campus
    • 7-8pm: Orientation, pizza dinner
  • Day 2: Tues. July 30th
    • 7am: Breakfast
    • 8am - 12pm: Perfect Buoyancy confined water skills and scuba skills refresher dive
    • 12:30pm: Lunch 
    • 1pm - 5pm: Jules Undersea Lodge Eco experience dive
    • 6pm: Dinner
    • 7pm - 8pm: Discussion: Seagrass & Mangrove Ecology
    • 8pm - 9pm: Lab: Invertebrate Diversity
  • Day 3: Wed. July 31st
    • 7:30am: Breakfast
    • 8am - 12pm: 2 AM boat dives
    • 12:30pm: Lunch
    • 1pm - 5pm: Field Trip: Seagrass & Mangrove Ecology
    • 6pm: Dinner
    • 7-8pm: Discussion: Coral Reef Ecology
    • 8pm - 9pm: Nitrox Practical Session
  • Day 4: Thurs. Aug. 1st
    • 7:30am: Breakfast
    • 8am - 12pm: 2 AM boat dives
    • 12:30pm: Lunch
    • 2pm - 5pm: Field Trip: Rodriguez Key
    • 6pm: Dinner
    • 7pm -8pm: Lab: Invertebrate Behavior
    • 8pm - 9pm: Activity: Night snorkel in Lagoon
  • Day 5: Fri. Aug. 2nd
    • 8am: Breakfast
    • 9-11am: Lagoon Snorkel, Undersea Lab Museum, Gift Shop, Paperwork
    • 12pm: Lunch
    • 12:30pm: Depart

For Questions or Inquiries:

Contact Jaimie Albach, TIDES OFKL Program Coordinator

  • Email: jaimie.albach@oceanfirst.blue


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