ON THE WATER

Diving

The Caribbean is one of the world’s top diving areas and a long-time favourite with UK divers. The warm clear waters attract divers of all standards for a whole range of experiences, from challenging to shallow dives. There is something for everyone, including some of the best PADI dive schools for beginners.

Belize and The Bahamas have the second and third longest barrier reefs in the world, running 175 and 140 miles respectively. Dominica’s reefs are among the healthiest in the Caribbean, where the underwater topography mirrors that of its mountainous landscape with reefs plunging to great depths offshore.  

Diving among the St. Eustatius Marine Park, pristine reefs, wrecks, walls and abundant sea life remains a favourite for most visitors to the island. The Charlie Brown and the Stenapa man-made reefs are really divers’ dreams come true.

The Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Curaçao are renowned for wreck diving.  The Turks & Caicos Islands has a large coral reef system with good wall dives, canyons and seamounts and Bonaire has some sponge formations and cup corals worth noting. Grenada has one of the only Underwater Sculpture Parks in the World.

Spectacular walls, cave dives and drop offs are common in St.Vincent; while the Grenadines white sand beaches and crystal clear waters provide for reef diving.

For those who want to explore the deep but do not dive, Antigua has a Subcat Antigua tour offering visitors an underwater voyage in a submarine and there is the Atlantis Submarine tour in Grand Cayman, Barbados, Curaçao and Saint Martin.  

For those who want to go beyond snorkelling without the pressure and commitment of a deep dive, snuba diving on Saint Lucia is an alternative option. Or you can join in the fun of the thrill-seeking SUB Underwater Experience in The Bahamas.

Sailing

Sailing is synonymous within the Caribbean, the constant trade winds and the warm sun are a draw both for the experienced sailors and the novice. Competent and experienced sailors will find challenges to match their ability and the calm waters are ideal for beginners. Yachts can be hired bareboat (no crew) or crewed. Day sails can be enjoyed from most of the islands and charters can be arranged to suit individual requirements.

The British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Turks & Caicos Islands make for great sailing itineraries. The calm waters off Antigua are a sailing dream and the high-class yachts off the coast of Martinique will take your breath away.

Improve your sailing skills while island hopping between the islands of Antigua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique.

Regattas are a great way for competitive sailors to pit their skills against others. Check out the Heineken Regatta in St Maarten, Antigua Sailing Week and the British Virgin Islands Regatta.

Fishing

The Caribbean has some of the best fishing grounds in the world.  Deep sea or big-game fishing is very popular on many of the islands including The Bahamas, The British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands. There have been many world record catches registered here by the International Game Fishing. Saltwater fly-fishing for bonefish is popular as well as deep-sea fishing for bluefish, swordfish, shark, marlin and other billfish.

Licensed operators on most islands offer full-day and half day charters with knowledgeable captain and capable crew who know the best fishing grounds.

Local tournaments provide an exciting air of competition. 30 world records have been set in Puerto Rico alone. Amateurs and professionals are always welcome to join in.

Events to look for include Blue Marlin Tournaments in the United States Virgin Islands, Curacao and Jamaica; The Bermuda Triangle Series; The Bahamas Wahoo & Billfish Championship; Billfish Tournaments in Martinique, Saint Lucia , Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago and Saint Martin; Game Fishing Tournaments in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Barbados; Sport Fishing Tournament in Guadeloupe, as well as the Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament in Cuba among others.

Cruising

What better way to see the magical islands of the Caribbean but by cruise ship? The Caribbean is one of the world’s favourite cruise destination and it’s not hard to see why.

During the course of a 7 or 14 night cruise, passengers can experience a variety of island destinations with all their varying customs, traditions and fascinating history. Passengers have the option of independent exploration or organised shore excursions at virtually every port of call, or they can simply choose to head to the nearest white sand beach and relax.

Most cruise companies will arrive in port in the morning allowing passengers to spend most of the day on shore.

There are cruise companies to suit all tastes from small, intimate ships to larger floating ‘resorts’ catering to couples, solo travellers and family alike. A cruise offers the perfect introduction to the Caribbean.