You’ll never forget your first Caribbean cruises snorkelling experience. The moment you took that gentle dive into crystal clear turquoise waters and entered an underwater world filled with a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours and fish darting through coral and reef.
But with so many spectacular snorkelling opportunities in the Caribbean, it’s not easy to make your shortlist. You’ll soon find yourself facing a long list of the top twenty or even top fifty you want to visit!
To help you narrow it down, here are our top five must-see Caribbean snorkelling cruise destinations:
Key Largo, Florida
With lots of cruises departing from Miami, it’s worth arriving early to check out the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Sanctuary stretches along almost 200 kilometres of coastline from Key Largo to Key West, and is the world’s third largest barrier reef reserve.
The Molasses Reef, off Key Largo Island, begins with a depth of only 4.5 metres. You’ll spend hours exploring its towering reefs and bountiful coral, home to colourful parrot fish, lobsters, tangs and jacks.
Seasoned snorkellers head to the Dry Tortugas National Park, an uninhabited paradise island chain just 112 kilometres to the west of Key West. It’s easy to get to access on a day excursion boat.
Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
The island of Grand Turk is an unmissable draw for snorkellers. The largest of the Turk islands, this enchanted island is a paradise of old windmills, white sand beaches and a pristine coral reef. Snorkel off Pillory Beach at Bohio Dive Resort to join the nurse sharks and schools of small tropical fish.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
This popular cruise ship port is one of the most sought-after destinations by underwater pleasure seekers. Join a Virgin Islands Ecotours mangrove tour to experience kayaking and snorkelling amongst the mangrove trees. You’ll soon discover this is a secret shelter for all kinds of juvenile reef fish. Look closely and you can spy stingrays and turtles hiding amongst the seagrasses.
The Western Caribbean ports of Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel are only minutes from some unforgettable dives. Perched on the Great Mesoamerican Reef, the tiny teardrop shaped island of Cozumel is a premier dive destination for novice snorkellers and advanced divers. Float amongst star corals and iridescent fish on a diving excursion to Chankanaab National Park. And don’t miss the opportunity to swim with hundreds of twelve-metre whale sharks. Feeding takes place near the tiny island of Isla Mujeres, off the Cancun coast.
At the tip of Yucatan, Cancun is a unique spot for snorkellers and divers. It’s home to the spectacular Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), an underwater museum designed by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. This truly is a snorkelling experience like no other. In depths starting at 4 metres minimum, you can play hide and seek with pufferfish, crabs and lobsters amongst over 500 sculptures.
The Caribbean provides an abundance of snorkelling experiences for novice and advanced divers alike. Wherever you take the plunge, one thing is guaranteed – you’ll be completely mesmerised by the world beneath the waves. And you’ll be planning your next trip even before you return home!