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St. Kitts

St. Kitts Snorkeling Excursion Tips

St. Kitts snorkeling
© 2018 Scott S. Bateman

St. Kitts snorkeling excursions are not known to offer the best reefs for viewing sea life in the Caribbean. They do offer decent experiences similar to other islands.

St. Kitts is one of the most quiet and peaceful islands we have visited in the Caribbean. Even a simple shore excursion such as snorkeling was a quiet experience.

Snorkeling in the Caribbean is often a matter of luck. Colorful and interesting sea creatures show up when they feel like it and not according to an excursion schedule.

Some of our best experiences have taken place off islands not known for snorkeling (St. Thomas). Some of our most boring snorkeling excursions have taken place on islands well known for it (Cozumel).

St. Kitts is not known for good or bad snorkeling. It just so happens that the island has some decent snorkeling spots for cruise visitors as well as anyone staying at St. Kitts hotels. Our St. Kitts snorkeling excursion was routine.

Snorkeling Excursion Tips

Cruise lines offer convenient scheduling for snorkeling excursions at an island such as St. Kitts. For example, one major cruise line offered an excursion on a catamaran with an open bar. The duration was three and a half hours including transportation plus sailing time.

The cost was $70 for “adults” ages 13 and over and $55 for children 12 and under.

This package is similar to the one we took. I advise against taking children on any excursion with an open bar. In our experience, the adults often get rowdy. We have seen some of the younger adults get drunk to the point of getting sick or nearly passing out.

“On the way back a dance party broke out. What a blast. This was a fun, fun, & more fun excursion,” one reviewer said.

A national excursion operator offered the same tour, length and price. It also had another option with lunch and open bar for $97 per person.

Another operator offered a “deluxe” snorkeling tour for prices “starting at” $72. It lasted four hours and included lunch and open bar. So it pays to shop around

Other cruise lines offer similar packages at prices that vary according to the amenities. A kayaking tour without alcohol is a common option.

Anyone who orders directly from an excursion operator may pay around $55 without food or open bar.

Our St. Kitts Snorkeling Experience

Angelfish St. Kitts
Angelfish swims near sunken van off shores of St. Kitts. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Our genial Caribbean crew of four, who seemed to come from several islands, took us out of Basseterre harbor by motorboat and on a 30-minute ride southeast in the direction of Friar’s Bay Beach.

The weather was hot and the breeze typical of the open water—steady and soothing. We soon dropped anchor and likewise dropped into the water.

Success at snorkeling and diving are part location and part luck of the day. In this case, we didn’t have much of either.

Floating on top of the water and looking down is almost like going to a movie or an art museum. It is escapism with a view.

In this case, the coral lacked the unique colors and shapes that make a good snorkeling trip an exciting one.

Likewise, the fish were fairly few and also lacked distinct colors and shapes. Regardless, we enjoyed an hour of leisurely swimming, joking around and simply relaxing.

Forty five minutes to an hour seems an ideal amount of time in the water for a snorkeling trip, especially when the views are routine.

Even when they aren’t routine, such as swimming with turtles, sting ray or barracudas, we often have noticed that people tend to start getting out of the water by the time 45 minutes have passed.

Crew Livens Up the Trip

The crew, however, livened up the trip after we got out of the water.

The crews of these open-bar excursions throughout the Caribbean apparently follow the same guidelines.

They crank up the music, pass out the rum punch, chat it up with the guests, refill their glasses as often as possible, and get anyone rowdy who is in the mood to get rowdy.

Our crew followed the rules and charmed everyone with their good humor and spirits.

No one can easily say one Caribbean island is better than another based on one snorkeling trip. We assume the boat owners and crews take us to some of the better locations of an island within a reasonable distance from the dock. Again, luck with weather and sea life makes a difference in the quality of the experience.

At least in the case of this trip, the snorkeling at St. Kitts did not impress us. But for some people, a snorkeling excursion on any Caribbean trip is worth the time and money

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
October 23, 2021

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