the Calypso Star Charter story..
Calypso Star Charters was founded in 1990 by Captain Rolf Czabayski. Rolf was an avid game fisherman who had tagged and released many Great White Sharks before their protection in 1997. Rolf holds the final World record ever issued for the capture of a White Shark, 599Kg on 15kg line class, a fine achievement.
Fishing to Cage Diving
Over time, Rolfs attention turned from fishing for Sharks to cage diving charters. On his 35foot Bertram vessel Rolf could take 3-4 guests on charters for 3-5 days. In those days there were several locations for Shark Cage Diving including the Neptune Islands, Dangerous Reef and several Islands in the Sir Joseph Banks Group to the North of Port Lincoln.
Cage Diving specific vessel
As the business gradually grew, Rolf made the big decision to upgrade his beloved Bertram to the custom built 57 foot ‘Calypso Star’ in December 2000. This vessel offered a level of comfort not seen before in Shark Diving in South Australia. Shark cage diving remained a ‘hobby’ for Rolf, his family home and other business interests were in Adelaide while the boat was in Port Lincoln. The 3-4 day itinerary was the core business and in 2002 Andrew Wright became Rolf’s first full time deckhand.
The business changed hands in 2006 with local business identity Ron Forster and crew member Andrew Wright taking over ownership from Rolf. The 1 Day Shark Cage diving charters were introduced in January 2007. With increased promotion the popularity of Shark Diving increased rapidly. Soon the business had moved into an office at the marina employing 1 and now 4 reception staff. With the Calypso Star vessel being able to accommodate 19 guests on a 1 day charter many thought ‘it could never be done’
By 2009 demand was such that Ron and Andrew began the process of building a bigger boat to cope with the demand. A vessel was purchased in Western Australia and a extensive refit was completed in Port Lincoln and Adelaide. In September 2011, Hon John Rau MP launched our magnificent vessel Calypso Star 2 at a ceremony in Port Lincoln.
Tours with technology & comfort
The Calypso Star 2 surpasses it predecessor and the competition!. Wifi internet and live footage streamed from the cage to the saloon are major advancement with this vessel.
With a capacity of 42 and an energetic crew of 5 the Calypso Star 2 offers a level of comfort not matched in South Australia. Its huge bridge deck offers the perfect vantage point for shark spotting and our 6 person shark cage offers complete safety not only to divers but to sharks also.
Advanced Eco Tourism
In 2011 Calypso Star achieved Advanced Eco Tourism accreditation keeping us at the forefront of sustainable tourism in Australia.
This, coupled with our long association with the CSIRO display our commitment to shark preservation and research.
Our commitment to the CSIRO research has seen us making financial contributions and also ‘on the ground’ support with deployment and servicing of tag monitoring equipment at the Neptune Islands.