It's true that on and near St. Maarten, some of the lesser-known locations make the best spots for snorkeling, swimming and so much more. And the best part is: we'll take you there. If you are looking for the structured, set in stone snorkel tour offered in large groups, this is NOT the St. Maarten tour for you.
After being picked up at the cruise pier, take a scenic drive to Oyster Pond where your 30-38 foot offshore powerboat (with powerful twin 225/250hp engines) waits to rescue you from the crowds and whisk you away to the lesser-visited locations of St. Maarten for the best snorkeling, great uncrowded beaches, fun, drinks, music and an awesome crew! The boat will anchor in shallow water, allowing you to step off easily from the transom at the rear of the boat.
With a group of no more than 14 guests on your St. Maarten excursion, you will head for the beautiful north side of the island, where two stops will be made at different locations for great snorkeling. The actual stops will depend on sea conditions that day (and the captain has the final word) but are usually at Creole Rock, Happy Bay, Pinel Island (a former penal colony) or Tintamarre, a deserted island often frequented by turtles and rays.
No two trips are ever the same as they are based on weather / sea conditions that day and the group on board, however a general description would be 4 hours on the boat total with a 60 minute run from Oyster Bay to the north shore where a 45 minute snorkel from the boat takes place. A 30 minute run to one of the off shore islands where you will have approximately 60 minutes free time on the island followed by a 50 minute run back to Oyster Bay. Once again, final itinerary and times at stops will be decided the day of the tour based on the conditions that day.
In between snorkeling, you will enjoy the scenic ride, great music, water, soda and the hospitality of your crew. Your tour returns to Oyster Pond Marina, where your driver will be waiting to return you to the cruise terminal.
This is a shore excursion with a personal touch, and it promises to be a lot of fun for everybody. We teach you about nature, how to snorkel, and we are around you in the water, so we make sure you see the best sights and guarantee the snorkeling experience will be a safe one. This excursion includes quality snorkeling equipment, safety gear, belts and life jackets, all of which makes this trip a wonderful and safe experience for the young and "older."
Reviewer: Bill Harris
We booked two ports through the cruise company and one through Shore Excursions. Hands down this was the better deal! So it was 2 adults and 5 kids ages 9 to 14 and we were on a 35 foot powerboat with 7 other people. So a small group in St Martin for some snorkeling. Water was not as clear as I would have liked but that is just the risk you run with the weather. Folks running the boat were great and we had an awesome time!1
Reviewer: Josephine Garner
Great time. Guides were a lot of fun and shared the history of the area with us as well as their knowledge of snorkeling. This was only our second time snorkeling so their expertise was very helpful.
Reviewer: Kristi Henry
The crew of the boat (Kevin and Mika) was very helpful, pleasant. They were extremely careful of everyone's safety and clearly knew what they were doing. Transportation from the port and back was excellent (large air conditioned bus); the marina they were located in was very clean, modern, lovely. It gave us a lot of confidence, important when going with children and my mom (in her 70s). Water was the most beautiful colour, so warm. The beaches were fantastic, with such fine sand. We saw turtles and rays. The variety of sea life was not as extensive as we've seen at other places (Belize and Honduras) and the colours weren't as striking, but there had been some turbulence a few days before and we were told the water could be murky, which it really wasn't. The boat only held 14, a nice small size and there were plenty of drinks (pop, beer and water) and some delish sandwiches. I would absolutely recommend this excursion. It was reasonable (about 110 USD each I think) and worth it!
Carlos and Mika, our tour guides, were so much fun. We thoroughly enjoyed this excursion. What makes this excursion better than others is the small number of passengers (14). The boat travels at a high speed and it gets a little rocky but it adds to the fun. The islands we visited were beautiful. We didn't see a lot of turtles or fish but this could have been due to weather and/or time of year (Nov). We will take this excursion again next time we visit.
Captain Alan and his team did a fantastic job explaining everything as we went. Very knowledgeable about where to go and even had backup spots just in case the areas planned didn't work out. My wife and I would definitely do this one again.