Barbados Shipwrecks & Swimming With Sea Turtles

Swimming With Sea Turtles and Snorkeling With Calabaza Sailing Cruises

Want to swim with sea turtles and spot shipwrecks? Then consider cruising the Caribbean Sea aboard a luxurious catamaran in Barbados. Feel like royalty as the crew pampers you with unlimited food and drink. Relax on a hammock or if you’re feeling adventurous, put on your snorkeling gear and jump into Barbados’ crystal clear waters. Watch the ocean transform into a playground right before your eyes! Lastly enjoy an unforgettable sunset before heading back to your hand-picked Barbados villas on the beachIf this sounds like how you’d like to spend a relaxing afternoon in the Caribbean, set sail with Calabaza Sailing Cruises.


Calabaza Sailing Cruises Sunset Cruise

When planning my trip to Barbados, I knew that I wanted to go on a sailing cruise. But I didn’t want to cruise with a ton of people. So while looking for a cruise with less than twenty passengers, I stumbled on Calabaza Sailing Cruises. After reading their reviews, I was sold.

Although the sunset sailing cruise was slightly over budget, it was worth it. The sunset cruise cost $95 USD. Calabaza Sailing Cruises also offers lunch cruises for $115 USD and private cruises. No matter which cruise you choose, I’m confident that you won’t regret it – I did not!


What’s included?

  • Transportation to/from hotel or port
  • Open bar
  • Snacks
  • Two snorkel stops –  turtles and reef/shipwreck
  • Snorkel equipment and floatation devices


What’s not included?

  • Towels
  • Sunscreen


Calabaza II Catamaran

The newest addition to the fleet!

Calabaza conveniently arranged transportation from my guest house. They picked me up at 2 p.m. and dropped me back home after the cruise. At Port of Bridgetown, the crew (Bobby, Keelie, Captain Sean and Skipper Danny) welcomed us onboard Calabaza II.

Calabaza II was spacious and looked brand new. There was a large seating area in the back and the bathroom was in great shape – yes, I checked. The boat also had a large front hammock.

Carrying only twelve passengers, the catamaran never felt crowded. At sunset, I shared the hammock with a handful of guests.


About The Crew

Since there were only a few guests onboard, we had the crew’s undivided attention. Their outstanding customer service made the sunset cruise feel exclusive. Also, their easy-going attitude and sense of humor had us laughing the entire time.

Skipper Danny served as our personal tour guide. He made sure that we felt comfortable and safe. He also shared stories about the island and marine life. Bobby and Keelie served food and drinks. Drinks included beer, Chardonnay, and rum punch. The food was plentiful. Cocktail shrimp and Bajan fish cakes were my favorites. By the end of the cruise, we all felt like old friends.


Related: 4 Reasons To Visit Barbados


Swimming With Sea Turtles 

Carlisle Bay Marine Park was our first snorkel stop.

Captain Sean instructed first-timers on how to use the snorkel gear. He shared helpful tips and patiently answered all of my questions. Since this was my first time snorkeling, I was a bit nervous. Although I had a hard time breathing underwater, the crew stayed by my side until I felt comfortable enough to snorkel on my own. Within a few minutes, I (an absolute beginner) was out in the water swimming with the sea turtles.

After figuring out how to snorkel, I finally relaxed. The water was so clear that I could see underwater. We spent 40 minutes swimming with the turtles. Throughout the tour, I never felt rushed or bored.

The crew also took photos of us with the turtles. Their waterproof cameras captured these priceless moments.

After our cruise, Calabaza sent us a link to download the photos. Feel free to bring your own underwater camera too.


Sea Turtle Project

Swimming with sea turtles in Barbados is a unique experience.

Did you know that hawksbill and leatherback turtles were once endangered species? Through the Barbados Sea Turtle Project’s conservation efforts, sea turtles are now protected in Barbados. Hunting is not allowed.

The Barbados Sea Turtle Project aims to restore the marine turtle population in Barbados. Training workshops and public awareness campaigns are just a few of their ongoing initiatives.

Today, Barbados has one of the largest nesting hawksbill populations in the Caribbean!


Bajan Queen 

The shipwreck was only a few feet from the surface!

At the second snorkel stop, we explored two Barbados shipwrecks.

One of the ships was the Bajan Queen. The Bajan Queen was Barbados’ first tugboat.

Surrounded by colorful fauna and fish, snorkeling was a visually stunning experience. There was so much to see that the crew practically had to drag me back to the boat.

We spent 30 minutes at each shipwreck.


Enjoy Sunset

When our group returned to the catamaran, I relaxed on the hammock. With an ice-cold rum punch in hand, I enjoyed an unforgettable sunset with new friends. I had so much fun with the other guests that some of us met up later that night.

Forming friendships doesn’t always happen on group tours, sailing with Calabaza was special.

I wouldn’t change a thing about my sunset cruise. The crew was attentive and passionate about their country and the ocean. Calabaza’s motto says it all, “We cannot change the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”

With good reason, Calabaza Sailing Cruises makes me want to head back to Barbados. So if you’re still on the fence, take it from me, treat yourself. It’s worth every penny.

8 replies
  1. Francesca Mazurkiewicz says:

    What an experience! I’m with you, I wouldn’t want to be on a cruise with a large group, and how awesome that you had the crew’s undivided attention. I’ve snorkeled before but never with sea turtles. Looks incredible!!

  2. erinklema says:

    Yay, of course! What an incredible experience to not only see sea turtles that up close and personal, but to also swim alongside them! If I visit Barbados, I’d love to do this.

  3. Buddy The Traveling Monkey says:

    What a fun experience! And I think it’s great that they stayed by you while you gained confidence in the water. Not everyone takes the time to do that.

  4. The Family Voyage says:

    That looks amazing! I love snorkeling and have seen a few turtles, but I’ve never been that close :-D


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