Want to swim with sea turtles and snorkel shipwrecks? Then consider cruising the Caribbean Sea in style. Climb onboard a luxurious catamaran in Barbados.
Feel like royalty as the crew pampers you with unlimited food and drink. Relax on a hammock. If you’re feeling adventurous, put on your snorkeling gear. Jump into Barbados’ crystal clear waters and watch the ocean transform into a playground right before your eyes. End the day with an unforgettable sunset before heading back to your hand-picked Barbados villas on the beach.
Sunset Cruise With Calabaza Sailing Cruises
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 20 passengers, I stumbled on Calabaza Sailing Cruises.
After reading their reviews, I was sold.
Although the sunset sailing cruise was more than my excursion budget, I thought 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!
- Transportation to/from hotel or port
- Open bar
- Two snorkel stops – turtles and reef/shipwreck
- Snorkel equipment and floatation devices
What’s not included?
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. The boat had a large front hammock. There was also a large seating area in the back. The bathroom was in great shape – yes, I checked.
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 vibe and sense of humor had us laughing the entire time.
Skipper Danny made sure that we felt comfortable and safe. He served as our personal tour guide. He 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. My favorites included cocktail shrimp and fish cakes. By the end of the cruise, we all felt like old friends.
Related: 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. However, within a few minutes, I (an absolute beginner) was out in the water snorkeling with the sea turtles.
I was awe by how much I could see underwater. The water was so clear that I could see fish swim past.
As expected for my first snorkel trip, I had a hard time breathing underwater. The crew stayed by my side till I felt comfortable enough to snorkel on my own.
After figuring out how to snorkel, I finally relaxed in the water. I watched the sea turtles gracefully swim past. The crew encouraged the turtles to swim close to us by feeding them.
They swam so close to me that I touched their shells!
A moment I’ll never forget in Barbados!
We spent 40 minutes swimming with the turtles. I never felt rushed nor 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 cameras 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?
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 initiatives. Through the Barbados Sea Turtle Project’s conservation efforts, sea turtles are now protected in Barbados. Hunting is not allowed.
Today, Barbados has one of the largest nesting hawksbill populations in the Caribbean!
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 tug boat.
Fish of all shapes and sizes!
Surrounded by colorful fauna and fish, snorkeling in Barbados 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.
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. Calabaza Sailing Cruises was incredible. The crew was attentive and passionate about their country and the sea. Their 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, in a hurry.
If you’re still on the fence about the price tag. Here’s my suggestion. Treat yourself, it was worth every penny!
Swim with sea turtles…Yay or Nay?
Author: Danielle Desir
Danielle Desir is a Travel Finance Strategist that uses her financial background and knack for financial planning to empower those who want to travel afford travel and excel in their personal finances. She shares creative planning strategies, saving tips, cheap flight deals and even talks about her student loan repayment journey on her blog, The Thought Card. Her financial expertise has taken her across the globe to over 19 countries and 3 continents (and counting), all while paying off her student loans, saving for a house and working full-time.
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