Jacques Cousteau's Route

In 2015, the Cousteau Society published a list extracted from the logbook of the Calypso ship, containing the top 10 places where Cousteau and his team deemed the best dive spots they visited.

We've gained access to this list and are recruiting divers to join us on this journey through the fascinating diving destinations explored by Jacques Cousteau (legendary French marine explorer) and his team.

Known as the father of recreational diving, Cousteau explored the oceans, discovering iconic locations and becoming an inspiration for generations of divers.

From his iconic red beanie to the legendary Calypso ship, Cousteau left a legacy that continues to enchant and attract divers from around the world.

Plan your adventure with us and discover the destinations he loved so much, which remain underwater treasures to this day!

Sea of Cortez, Mexico (Baja California) From May 25th to June 1st, 2024 (Corpus Christi Holiday). Source: Sea of Cortez - Villa La Valencia

Cousteau considered the Sea of Cortez, now known as the Gulf of California, as "the aquarium of the world."

Dating back 25 million years, this deep gulf is teeming with marine life and is believed to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet. Among its residents, you'll find the greatest variety of dolphins and whales globally, as well as rays, turtles, and sharks such as the whale shark, hammerhead, and mako sharks, along with over 900 species of other fish. The Sea of Cortez is a must-visit if you love sea lions. There's a native colony that will nibble on your fins if you get close enough!

Sipadan, Malaysia From March 1st to 8th, 2025 (Carnival Holiday). Source: Sipadan - ZUBLU Diving

Sipadan, an island in Malaysia off the east coast of Borneo, became famous after Cousteau's film in the early 1980s, "Ghost of the Sea Turtles." Cousteau commented on the area: "I saw other places like Sipadan 45 years ago, but no more now. Now we find an intact masterpiece."

This location boasts over 3,000 marine and coral species, along with a large number of turtle sightings. Nutrient-rich currents in this area attract both small and large fish, sharks, and turtles. If you're lucky, you might also encounter hammerhead sharks or threshers in Sipadan.

Wrecks Route, Red Sea, Egypt From June 14th to 22nd, 2025 (Corpus Christi Holiday). Source: Red Sea Wrecks - Thistlegorm Shipwreck

This World War II tomb was largely forgotten until Cousteau featured the site in his successful series "The Living Sea, The Silent World," in the 1950s.

In 1942, the SS Thistlegorm was attacked and sunk by German bombers off the coast of Egypt. Most of the cargo withstood the test of time, turning the site into a museum of World War II artifacts. Think of fully preserved motorcycles, weapons, trucks, aircraft parts, and much more. Over the decades, a bustling artificial reef has developed around the wreck, making it home to an enormous variety of marine life.

Cozumel, Mexico From February 14th to 21st, 2026 (Carnival Holiday). Source: Cozumel Dive Sites - Blue Note Scuba

In the early 1960s, Cousteau stated, "Cozumel is one of the best places in the world for diving, thanks to its fantastic visibility and wonderful marine life."

As a popular destination for dive vacations, you've likely heard of Cozumel. This island is famous for its relaxing drift dives through incredible coral reef ecosystems. Over 25 types of corals and over 500 fish species reside here, including several endemic species like the toadfish. It's not hard to understand why many consider it Cousteau's favorite diving destination.

Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand From May 30th to June 6th, 2026 (Corpus Christi Holiday).

A group of islands located 15 miles off the coast of the North Island of New Zealand. At first glance, it may not seem like a great diving spot, but the lush visibility and abundant marine life were enough to qualify these islands among Cousteau's top 10 dive destinations and possibly even his favorite dive.

The Poor Knights Islands are remnants of volcanoes that were part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Now, the islands house a marine reserve with over 50 recognized dive sites, including the world's largest sea cave! Subaquatic diversity includes everything from kelp forests to dams, sandy areas, corals, and caves. Divers can also explore two sunken wrecks on-site. Marine life here is abundant with sightings of larger marine mammals such as dolphins and various whale species.

Richelieu Rock, Andaman Sea, Thailand From February 6th to 13th, 2027 (Carnival Holiday).

It's not precisely clear where the name "Richelieu Rock" came from. One version of the story says that Cousteau named the coral-loaded rock in honor of the famous red and purple mantles and hats of Cardinal Richelieu from the 17th century. While others say it was named after Andreas du Plessis de Richelieu, the only non-Thai Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy.

Either way, the site meets all the requirements to be classified as Cousteau's favorite dive destination.

This horseshoe-shaped reef is located in what is now known as Mu Koh Surin National Park, in the Andaman Sea, Thailand – although it's closer to Burma. The highlight of the site is an imposing limestone pinnacle that rises about 164 feet (50 m) from the depths to just below the water's surface, teeming with marine life.

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