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James Delgado

Fee Range: $5000 - $8000

Underwater Adventurer






James Delgado

Underwater Adventurer

Dr. James P. Delgado has led or participated in shipwreck expeditions around the world. His undersea explorations around the world include a deep sea submersible dive two and half miles down to RMS Titanic, the recent (2010) scientific mapping of the Titanic wreck site, the discoveries of Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic’s survivors, and the notorious “ghost ship” Mary Celeste, as well as surveys of USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, the sunken fleet of atomic-bombed warships at Bikini Atoll, the lost fleet of Mongol emperor Kublai Khan in Japan, the polar exploration ship Maud, wrecked in the Arctic, and the 1846 wreck of the United States naval brig Somers, whose tragic story inspired Herman Melville’s Billy Budd.  His archaeological work has also included the excavation of ships and collapsed buildings along the now-buried waterfront of Gold Rush San Francisco.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Explorers’ Club, Delgado is the author or editor of thirty-two books and numerous articles, most recently Misadventures of a Civil War Submarine: Iron, Gunpowder and Pearls.  His book, Khubilai Khan’s Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada, received the Society for Historical Archaeology’s prestigious James L. Deetz award for publicly approachable archaeological writing. Two previous books, Lost Warships: An Archaeological Tour of War at Sea and Across the Top of the World: The Quest for the Northwest Passage, were both international best-sellers published simultaneously in North America and Britain. His other books include Adventures of a Sea Hunter: In Search of Lost Ships, The British Museum Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology; Gold Rush Port: The Maritime Archaeology of the San Francisco Waterfront; Ghost Fleet: The Sunken Ships of Bikini Atoll; Pearl Harbor Recalled: New Images from the Day of Infamy; Great American Ships; To California by Sea: A Maritime History of the Gold Rush and three books for children, Wrecks of American Warships, Native American Shipwrecks, and Shipwrecks of the Westward Movement.




Diving and Documenting the Dawn of the Nuclear Age at Bikini Atoll


Diving and Documenting the Titanic


The Nautical Archaeology of the Civil War


The Shipwrecks of Kublai Khan and the Origins of the “Divine Wind”


The Lost Ships of Pearl Harbor


The Great Museum of the Sea: A 3,300 Year Tour of History’s Most Amazing Shipwrecks


The Quest for the Northwest Passage: The Saga of Human Exploration of the Arctic


The California Gold Rush By Sea: By Way of Cape Horn and Central America


The Buried Ships of San Francisco: History Beneath the Streets and Sidewalks


The Submarine Pioneers: The Origins and Early History of Humanity’s Quest for the Deep


Adventures of a Sea Hunter: An Insider’s View of Documentary Television


Forgotten Ancestors: One Family’s Rediscovery of its Deliberately Forgotten Legacy

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