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need advice on good snorkelling excursion

Napanee, Canada
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need advice on good snorkelling excursion

My family of 5 is coming to St. Thomas for one day on a cruise. We love to snorkel! I am afraid to sign up with one of the excursions through the ship in fears of being on a very crowded boat. We would love to see the turtles and snorkel in more than one spot. Any suggestions for excursions would be greatly appreciated.

St. Thomas
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1. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

Look into some of the 6 passenger vessels listed and reviewed here on Trip Advisor that sail out of Red Hook -- High Pockets, Captain Max, Independence, Morningstar, Winifred, Fantasy, or a bit larger vessel Nightwind.

They will tailor the day to the preferences and needs of your group and it will be a private charter for your family alone - including all drinks , food and snorkel gear.

Edited: 28 November 2011, 04:47
North Pole, New York
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2. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

And for snorkeling from shore see the several threads here and on cruisecritic on Sapphire Beach.

Bonaire
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for Bonaire
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3. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

I agree with local sailor. Charter a private boat and head to the BVIs. The Indians on Norman Island have fantastic snorkeling, as do the Caves.

Massachusetts
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4. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

Many places off St John are great too--if you're on a boat, Waterlemon Cay is nice, areas around Hawksnest are as well. Caves and Indians off Norman are great too. The 6 pack boats mentioned above are great, as is Captain Rick with Lion in Da Sun.

If you want to snorkel off the beach, on St Thomas Coki, Sapphire, Secret Harbor are all good [don't go to Coki on a cruise ship day]; St John has Trunk, Caneel, Hawksnest, and if you want to get a car and travel, Salt Pond and Leinster.

North Pole, New York
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5. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

The BVI's do offer the best snorkeling in the area (Norman Caves, Indians, and other spots), I didn't mention that because of the extra "work" involved in getting there from STT but it's a great day if you choose that.

Be aware that a passport is required and there is typically a fee on top of the excursion price (they will inform you of that). You also need to ensure you have enough time in port for the tour operator to get you back on STT in time to meet your ship. Pirates Penny is extremely popular as are others mentioned.

But the islands of the BVI are gorgeous, and I would consider saving that for a land-based trip to Tortola or VG to enjoy the snorkeling. There are some really excellent day sails out of Tortola and VG, and these enable you to spend much more time snorkeling rather than motoring there and back from STT.

Have a great day whatever you choose!

Edited: 28 November 2011, 15:48
Napanee, Canada
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119 posts
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6. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

Thank-you for your suggestions.

I wasn't aware that BVI was within sailing distance. It is a destination I have been dreaming about visiting.

How much time would you estimate it would take to sail there ?

We are in port from 7AM -5PM. I wonder if we would have enough time?

I will also check into the 6 -passanger vessels mentionned.

Thank-you!

St. Thomas
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7. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

I would not recommend trying to do a BVI sailing trip while on a cruise ship visit - all the vessels I mentioned stay in the USVI for their trips and know excellent snorkel sites to show you -- if you do a BVI trip seriously consider a power vessel and a much higher cost.

Napanee, Canada
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119 posts
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8. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

Hi local sailor,

You are right , we don't really have enough time for BVI ....next trip.

I looked into the 6 passenger boats you recommended and they look fantastic! We will definitely go with one of them. Thank-you so much for this advice.

For some reason I did not see them on tripadvsior under attractions, until I looked more carefully after your mention, and tried clicking other tabs.

St. Thomas
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9. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

You are welcome - Yes I do find it hard to locate these trips on TA as well but applaud your effort and persistence. These vessels are beautiful, well maintained, well sailed, have great food, are usually owner operated and really go out of their way to make your day totally enjoyable.

10. Re: need advice on good snorkelling excursion

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