Our port excursion today takes us touring with Aruba Watersports Center on their Sailing & Snorkel Trip. We made "pending" reservations on the very morning of the tour. Friends we made from the cruise, Carol and Richard, recommended the adventure. Fellow cruisers, Cindy and Mike, also hoped to jump on the same tour so we all disembarked together.
From the cruise terminal, we hailed a taxi. Had them drop us off at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. It was only a 15 minute ride for $14, not including tip.
Note: Taxis only take 5 passengers at a time so the 6 of us had to split into different cabs.
Arriving at Hilton, we walked through their lovely resort towards the beach to check-in with Aruba Watersports Center. To get to the 65-foot catamaran, they stuffed about 11 of us (12 with the captain) onto a mini raft boat to ferry us over. Must have had 2 other raft ferries for the remaining groups. It was an enjoyable excursion with rum drinks, juices and tuna or chicken wraps. They didn’t require us to wear the lifejackets... our preference because I like to dive while snorkeling.
(RCL) Serenade of the Seas: 11-Night Southern Caribbean Cruise
Port: Oranjestad, Aruba
Sail and Snorkel Trip to Boca Catalina Bay and the Antilla WW II Shipwreck
For $42 / person, you can jump aboard a catamaran to set sail for a 2.5 hour adventure to snorkel the longest shipwreck in the Caribbean called the Antilla of "Ghost Ship" that’s 400-foot long and lays tilted at the bottom of the ocean floor about 60 feet deep. Although from Malmok Beach, the tour boats look close enough to swim to, I wouldn’t recommend it. When we arrived on our tour boat, it was windy, choppy and had a strong current that could easily sweep you even further out to sea. With so many tour boats that go to this popular Aruba attraction, stay safe and jump aboard one.
Practice holding my breathe. I would've loved to capture more videos but I just got tired and out of breathe. One day, I'll dive down 60 feet and still have time to swim around to film.
"The largest shipwreck in the Caribbean sits at 400 feet long. The Antilla was a German supply ship scuttled (abandoned) by its German captain at the outbreak of World War II. The ship is known by local Arubans as the “ghost ship” and lays at a max depth of only 60 feet, popular for night diving as well as penetration diving through its large, open compartments. Because part of the ship breaks the surface, it is also a fantastic snorkeling spot." – Fodors.com