Caribbean Explorer

Explorer Ventures welcomes you aboard the liveaboard diveboat M/V Caribbean Explorer II, as it takes you on an 8-day / 7-night scuba diving excursion to some of the most scenic islands in the northeastern Caribbean. The beauty and blend of French, Dutch, British, and native cultures will intrigue and amaze you. The M/V Caribbean Explorer II travels two distinct itineraries, one which departs from St. Maarten and ends in St. Kitts, and the other that departs from St. Kitts and ends in St. Maarten. Both itineraries include diving at the beautiful islands of Saba and St. Kitts.

The island of St. Kitts presents serene beauty, warm, clear waters, and a wide variety dive sites that will exceed your expectations. You will have opportunities to dive finger reefs, wrecks, walls, ledges, and drop-offs, with the best diving occurring between 50-90 feet (15-27 m.). Scuba diving here is suitable for both beginning as well as experienced divers. Joining you on your dive you may encounter schools of Jacks, Snappers, Angelfish, and juvenile Barracuda. You may also spot Moray Eels, Filefish, Sea Turtles, Spiny Lobsters, and Octopi. The amazing abundance of life on the reefs lets you get up close so you can take in all this reef-based ecosystem has to offer.

Some of the dive sites you may visit at St. Kitts include Paradise Reef, The Rock, Friars Bay Reef, the Vents, and the wreck of the M/S Corinthian. Paradise Reef offers a deep seaward wall and reef dive and also a shallow landward side dive. Close to the site of the old harbor, you will find a number of old anchors here. The best dive depths are between 60-90 feet (18-27 m.). Look for Barracuda and Moray Eels. The coral here is in excellent condition.

The dive site known as The Rock is a circular reef, the center of which is a towering rock of coral that is surrounded by a sandy channel. The coral mound is an ideal location for macro-photography. In addition to a resident turtle, large Trumpet Fish, Parrotfish and Angelfish populate this area.

Friars Bay Reef is an easy dive with a maximum dive depth of 50 feet (15 m.). Stingrays love the sandy bottom around the reef, while lots of juvenile fish, Lobster, and Moray Eels can be seen along the reef.

The Vents is another easy dive site, where the best diving occurs at depths of 50-70 feet (15-21 m.). In the center of this reef is a large, semicircular hollow. You will feel the water temperature getting warmer as you swim, and eventually will locate the plume of 90°F (32°C) water rising from a geothermal vent. You will see an abundance of small fish at this site.

The wreck of the M/S Corinthian rests at a depth of 70 feet (21 m.). The Corinthian is an old tug boat that sank in 1995. Its bow now slopes down towards a sandy bottom. There is a lot of fish life at this wreck. You can expect to see Groupers, Flounders, Parrotfish, and Rays, as well as shoals of bait fish.

The more than three dozen dive sites at Saba Island are all unique, unspoiled, and patrolled and protected by the officials at the Saba Marine Park. Underwater visibility around this 5-square-mile (13 square kilometers) island is excellent and the variety of marine life amazing—rich, vibrant corals and colorful, tropical fish populate these waters. Towering 3,000 feet above the surface and surrounded by volcanic sand, this island is the top of a dormant volcano. Pinnacles, reefs, lava tunnels, and sheer walls all provide great photo and video opportunities. A few of the dive sites you may visit while at Saba include Third Encounter, Shark Shoals, and Diamond Rock.

Advanced divers will enjoy diving at Third Encounter and Eye of the Needle, a must-dive while at Saba. The pinnacle here rises from about 200 feet (60 m.) to within 90 feet (27 m.) of the surface. This spectacular rock is untouched, and full of giant sponges and a variety of colorful corals. Look for Nurse Sharks sleeping under rocks and Black-tipped Sharks patrolling the area.

Shark Shoals is another advanced dive site, and a favorite of many dive enthusiasts. The top of the pinnacle here is covered with giant sponges, under which you may find large crabs and lobsters. On the current side of the pinnacle you will see large schools of fish, an occasional turtle, and enormous groupers at their cleaning station. At each side the drop off provides a view to the bottom of the ocean, at a depth of about 300 feet (90 m.). As you swim around, look toward the surface to see the sharks cruising above.

Diamond Rock dive site is appropriate for all levels of dive certification. Here you will see Nurse Sharks, Stingrays, large Barracudas, Turtles, and schools of Yellow Fin Tuna and Horse-eyed Jacks. This scenic dive site is beautiful, and a great place for taking pictures.

Please note, the above descriptions are sample dive sites only, and selected dive sites may vary from one excursion to another, as they depend on weather and logistics. All diving will be done from the vessel. Divers must be certified from an internationally recognized scuba diving certification organization. You will make up to five dives daily. Additionally, throughout the week your trip may include island tours.

The weather in the northeastern Caribbean is consistent year round. During the winter months the surface temperatures are in the upper 70s to low 80sF (25°-27C°), and during the summer months temperatures are in the low 90s (32°-33°C) with constant sea breezes. The water temperatures range from a low of 76°F in the winter to about 85°F in the summer (24.4°-29°C). There is typically little ocean current, and visibility is normally between 50-150 feet or better (15-45+ m.). A 3mm. wetsuit is usually enough protection for most divers in the summer, and a 5mm. wetsuit provides adequate protection in the winter.

The Captain and crew of the M/V Caribbean Explorer II strive to provide scuba divers and vacationers with the highest quality and most innovative liveaboard experience possible. In addition to unmatched scuba diving, guests will enjoy excellent accommodations and delicious meals as part of their vacation package. Explorer Ventures dive boat excursions afford guests both safety and comfort as they travel to world-class scuba diving locations in the Caribbean.