Watch Shark Week on Discovery Channel, have a shark encounter of your own

Shark Week returns to the Discovery ChannelThis Sunday marks the return of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, one of the most popular annual events on any cable network. Now in its 24th year, Shark Week manages to pull in millions of viewers who are both fascinated by, and terrified of, the notorious predators from the deep. And after watching sharks on television all week, if you should happen to find yourself inspired to see them in person, Discovery can help you with that too.

This year, Discovery has enlisted the aid of Saturday Night Live‘s Andy Samberg to help host their fin-filled prime-time specials. Samberg has been named CSO (Chief Shark Officer) for Shark Week, which will see the return of some of the most popular shows from the past, as well as seven new shark-centric programs. One of those new shows actually sends Samberg himself to the Bahamas where he gets up close and personal with some of the local sharks.

Discovery knows that Shark Week is extremely popular with their audience, which is why they also give us the opportunity to have a shark experience of our own. The network’s adventure travel company Discovery Adventures offers four unique itineraries to the Galapagos Islands, where travelers will have the opportunity to see a variety of shark species –including Reef Sharks, Whale Sharks, and Hammerheads– in their natural environments.

For a complete listing of the shows that will air during Shark Week click here, and don’t forget to tune in on Sunday to get your shark fix. And when Shark Week ends for another year, book your own shark adventure to help ease the wait for Shark Week 2012.

[Photo courtesy Terry Goss via WikiMedia]