We had a great time relaxing in Turks and Caicos. We did a lot of snorkeling, and also tried snuba which offers some of the views of scuba with none of the required training. It was a great way for us to test the waters and see if we wanted to scuba dive. There were lots of parrotfish, as well as a few other sea critters around.
In looking for a multi-day tour of the Great Barrier Reef we found that the majority of cruises are designed for scuba divers, so we were thrilled when we discovered Coral Expeditions and their ship the Coral Expeditions II, which offers itineraries that cater to snorkelers.
This was our first cruise on a small vessel (the ship holds around 50 passengers), and we were pleasantly surprised with the amenities and level of service onboard. The common spaces, including a lounge, dining room and sundeck, were clean and well-maintained. Our cabin on Deck C featured two fixed twin beds with drawers for our belongings, a small closet, and a built-in writing desk. The bathroom was our least favorite part of the room, as we struggled to alleviate the humidity and moisture that would build up after showering.
We would definitely travel with Coral Expeditions again, although next time we’d probably choose a larger room with a double bed.
On our 10 hour tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle, we visited Gulfoss Waterfall, went snorkeling in the Silfra Fissure, hiked through parts of Thingvellir National Park, and visited the Geysir hot springs (home to the geyser after which all geysers are named). It’s little surprise that the Golden Circle is considered one of Iceland’s must-do itineraries.
There are few places on Earth like French Polynesia. This paradise has some of the best snorkeling we’ve ever experienced, with sharks, sting rays, manta rays, moray eels, myriad varieties of fish, corals, and more. On land, the white sand beaches and lush jungles are breathtaking. And staying in an overwater bungalow is the icing on the cake.
On our trip to Iceland we snorkeled in the Silfra Fissure, a rift where the North American and Eurasian continental plates meet. The 35 degree water is some of the clearest in the world. Even though we were wearing multiple layers and a dry suit, being in the water for 45 minutes was a frigid (but incredible) experience!
We took a Caribbean cruise on the Allure of the Seas, and on our shore day in Saint Maarten we visited some of the island’s must-see locales, including the iguana farm, the French/Dutch border, Orient Beach, and Maho Beach to watch the low-flying planes.
On the Moorea Cata Jet tour, we drove a mini speedboat around the island, with a couple of stops to check out stingrays, reef sharks, and a secluded private beach.
On the second half of our Moorea Miti Tour, we enjoyed a delicious lunch on a private beach, followed by some more snorkeling in the crystal blue water.
The Moorea Miti Tour was fantastic. For the first half of the tour, the boat brought us to a shallow sand bar to swim with black tip reef sharks and stingrays. Lots of close encounters with these incredible animals!
On the Aquablue Helmet Dive excursion in Moorea, you breathe fresh air that’s piped into a large metal helmet that rests on your shoulders. You walk along the bottom of the lagoon for about 30 minutes with your guide. We loved seeing fish and coral from this new vantage point!
This was our second excursion with Reef Discovery! We had read and heard such wonderful things about this tour, we booked in twice because we wanted to hedge our bets against the rainy weather that had been hanging around the island. On this tour, the highlight was the alien looking coral gardens. Take a look at the video to get an idea of what the tour is like!
We did a fantastic Shark and Ray Snorkel Safari excursion in Bora Bora with three snorkel stops. The first dive was outside the barrier reef where we swam with dozens of black tip sharks and lemon sharks. The second spot was on a sand bar where there were sting rays and more black tips. The last stop was a coral garden, with stunning coral formations as far as the eye could see. Definitely recommend this excursion.
We’d heard such great things about Bora Bora Pure Snorkeling by Reef Discovery that we booked the excursion twice! We saw myriad species of fish, moray eels, an octopus, eagle rays, and even a manta ray. Take a look at the video to get an idea of what the tour is like! This video is of day 1.