Cayman Islands boat operators know exactly where to take you, whether your group is looking for a quiet area for swimming, snorkelling, diving or a spot of fishing, or just soaking up the sun on deck.
Why do visitors come to the Cayman Islands if not to enjoy being in, on or near the ocean? The unique marine environment, the tropical setting, the endless white sand beaches, the crystal clear waters, they all beckon the traveller, with promises of adventure and exploration.
And there’s no better way to experience all this than on a boat, cruising, snorkelling, fishing and exploring the spectacular sights on a Grand Cayman boat charter.
A wide range of charter boat companies operate in the Cayman Islands, serving the diving and watersports sectors as well as offering more relaxed cruises and activities that appeal to visitors looking for entertainment rather than pursuing a favourite activity.
Most boat trips, especially those popular with groups of cruise passengers and families, are conducted inside the North Sound, a large area of calm water protected by the reef that almost completely circles Grand Cayman. The North Sound area, measuring some 35 square miles, is popular with divers and snorkelers of all abilities and is also the home of the world famous Stingray City.
Half-day and full-day tours to Stingray City usually begin with a 25-minute boat ride to a beautiful sandbar within the reef, where the crystal clear water is no more than four feet deep and dozens of very friendly Southern Stingrays are waiting to greet visitors. These graceful fish are so used to humans they swim right up, nudging and encouraging visitors into the water to touch them and offer scraps of squid.
Other highlights of day tours usually include a visit to Coral Gardens to view the colourful corals and the teeming marine life that lives there. A nearby attraction, Starfish Point, is an opportunity to swim and enjoy a close-up encounter with starfish as well as schools of local fish.
These tours, usually of 30–50 people, are great value for money and usually include free use of snorkel gear as well as complimentary drinks and, on full day tours, lunch. Passengers can be dropped off afterwards at the cruise ship dock, boat marina or just about anywhere along Seven Mile Beach.
Group tours follow a set itinerary, and can be crowded if a large tour group is booked, but are reasonably priced. Private charters, on the other hand, give flexibility in itinerary, allowing you to choose where to go, when to start off, whether to stop off for lunch somewhere, and generally enjoy an intimate time with your friends and family.
Charter options allow families or small groups to enjoy the famous Cayman watersports activities without the crowds. Charter operators know exactly where to go if your group is looking for a quieter area for swimming, snorkelling, diving or a spot of fishing, either inshore on the reef or farther out where the big game fish patrol the depths.
A great feature of fishing the Cayman Islands is that incredibly deep water is so close to shore that it is only a short boat ride to get to there, meaning there’s more time spent fishing than getting to the fishing grounds. Barely a quarter of a mile from shore, outside the reef, the drop-off plummets more than 2,500 feet before plunging again to the bottom of the Cayman Trench, a further 20,000 feet deeper.
Whether you’re catching dinner on a Grand Cayman fishing charter, relaxing on deck soaking up the Caribbean sun on a private cruise, or having a swim among the corals and stingrays with your tour group, there is a Cayman Islands boat charter to suit everyone’s budget and taste.