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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures in
St. Kitts and Nevis

Explorer Ventures: "Explorer Venture II St Marten, Saba and St Kitts", Aug, 2018,

by richard s mcgowan, CT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10399 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This liveaboard goes either from St Maarten to Saba to St. Kitts, or reverse. We boarded in St Maarten (starts strictly at 3 p.m. but you can drop your luggage off at the boat before then). The dock is next to the cruise ship dock, a few blocks from the main walk on the Dutch side so you can take the shore walk over to the main hotels / shopping area in a matter of minutes. We arrived a few days early and stayed at the wonderful Holland House on the main beach – it was off season so we got a great deal (there was a wonderful Mexican restaurant next to it - Crazy Haberderos - which had the freshest food). We did not dive in St Maarten, on or off the boat, (some told us the diving was not very good), and night one we left for Saba (3-4 hours) arriving about midnight. This is an open water passage and was “moderately” choppy and can get worse. The captain heavily advised to take medication if you were prone seasicknesss.

We were looking forward to Saba and spent 3 days diving there but the currents did not cooperate and ripping currents severely limited the number of sites we could dive (these are not tidal related so they cannot be predicted). They are unpredictable to the point that the first easy “checkout” dive off Saba was with a fairly strong current that came up from nowhere.

The Saba dives we did do were nice to good, we could not dive the pinnacles. They offered a 3 hour tour ($20) of Saba one afternoon which we took – missed one dive. It was a nice look at the this small island though it was hard to hear the driver speak over the engine and includes an hour of wandering around the main shopping area which is not large. If the currents had cooperated I doubt we would have taken the tour.

On day 4 you overnight to St Kitts (3-4 hours) arriving about midnight – again open water with moderate chop for us but can get worse. The diving in St Kitts was nice to good. The clear highlight of the trip was the night dive on the River Taw, a sunken vessel. Octopi, squid, shark, turtles, rays and a bunch of small stuff. The last 2 dives on docking morning were bland, as they often are, but its a matter of logistics.

We saw lots of turtles, reef and nurse sharks, spotted morays and stingrays. There were also octopus, squid and a variety of other fish and small stuff.

As I said earlier, this is nice to good Caribbean diving.

The crew was EXCELLENT. Captain Ian was engaged and hands on. The DMs were cheery, helpful and available. Food was great and varied. Liquor and wine included, local beer. Usual you drink you don't dive rule. Always fresh snacks between dives and cookies, etc., available at all times. They accommodated the vegan request by one o f the divers.

The ship is the oldest in the fleet. As others have noted it is an old design and a bit worn, but as the company has noted, it is also less expensive than its newer cousins.

We go to dive and the dive deck was fine. Big step off the side and up via the rear ladders. Briefings were good. You could follow or go off on your own – only limited by nitrox depth or one hour back on the boat time limit. We never got near our NDL limits though we did all but one dive. The dive deck has 2 outdoor showers (water was always warm) and a head. The have a line that runs around the dive deck to hang things to dry – which they actually do, and fairly quickly – which is convenient. Separate hangup line for wetsuits in the middle of the deck. You have an open cubby as wide as your seat under your dive seat and they give you a plastic container with top (10x16x4?) to put smaller things in. There was a large center table for cameras and separate water holders at the rear. Also an outdoor charging station in the corner. They require a dive sausage and will lend you one. Night dives usual tank and dive light requirment.

The boat has one one general upper level where there is an open deck with lounge chairs on the aft end and the enclosed eating area / lounge mid-ship. Everyone seemed to have enough room in-between dives. The website photos are accurate. The ship is going in for a cosmetic update of the cabins and lounge area (carpeting, wall coverings, lounge cabinets) in September. It will be newer looking but the layout will be the same.

We had one of the front cabins (6) on the lower deck. It was fine. Lots of under bed storage otherwise about 8 hooks with hangars, but only 3 small (4x4) hanging wall drawers for small light stuff. We were barely there aside from sleeping – I changed bathing suits in the dive deck head then hung them on the dive deck line to dry.

Bathroom / shower was usual – I could turn around in the shower with care. Usual 3 array soap/shampoo/conditioner built ins. There was a good sized medicine cabinet which helped. Plenty of hot water.

Departure info. The ship docks the day before about 1 p.m. Dinner is ashore at your expense They will arrange an optional group dinner. Departure day you are off the boat at 9.a.m., though you can keep your luggage onboard until cab pick up time (they will arrange).

The trip ended up being was exactly what we expected. Nice Caribbean diving on a nice boat with nice people.
Websites Explorer Ventures   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Cozumel, Caymans, Bahamas, Key West, Bonaire, Belize. Turks & Caicos, Palau
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60-120 Ft/ 18-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Nitrox depth limits and one hour back on the boat
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments see review
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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