A cruise to the Eastern Caribbean has so many benefits: gorgeous scenery, ocean breezes, great weather and plenty of culture in the form of music, architecture and food. Because the islands in this region are populated by many different European, African and indigenous cultures, your visit will feel exotic, even though these destinations are easy to reach aboard a Carnival cruise ship.
Best of all, the Eastern Caribbean is one of the world’s hot spots for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Clear, warm waters and an abundance of sea life make this region the perfect destination for these watersports.
Whether you’re a certified diver or looking to give snorkeling a try for the very first time, you’ve come to the right place. Explore our top 10 choices for diving and snorkeling in the Eastern Caribbean for what you need to know to help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.
1. Grand Turk
Turks and Caicos is a unique spot for diving in the Eastern Caribbean because of its steep drop-off: Move just a bit beyond shore, and you’re suddenly in waters up to 7,000 feet deep, making for the perfect SCUBA adventure during your trip.
2. Half Moon Cay
Half Moon Cay brings you all the laid-back fun of The Bahamas, plus plenty of clean, clear water for snorkeling. The calm waters of this sheltered curve of beach make for the perfect place to spot colorful fish and a stingray or two. Choose an excursion by boat to get to the best spots with ease.
3. St. Kitts
St. Kitts calls itself the best diving destination in the Caribbean, and they could be right. Its remote location means that many areas are practically untouched, including colorful reefs, underwater caves and even abandoned shipwrecks.
Book a two-tank SCUBA dive if you’re already certified, or try a SNUBA excursion if you’re not. SNUBA is like snorkeling with an oxygen line that’s connected to a boat, so you have much more freedom to explore.
4. Princess Cays
Princess Cays offers plenty of watersports action for anyone looking for fun things to do in The Bahamas. Its location on the remote tip of the island of Eleuthera provides plenty of open water to enjoy.
Book a Beach Party Pack to enjoy access to snorkeling equipment, a float and a shoreline cruise to take a peek under the waves.
5. Amber Cove
Most people don’t associate diving with the Dominican Republic, but that’s exactly what makes it a great place to explore — it’s considered a hidden gem by those in the know.
The cruise ships dock at Amber Cove, but travel further down the coast to Sosúa to enjoy all the fun of power snorkeling, where your personal, handheld motor makes it easy to glide through the clear waters.
6. San Juan
As a major trading post in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico has seen its fair share of shipwrecks over the centuries, which means there’s plenty to explore while diving. SCUBA in Puerto Rico often takes place from the shore, making it the ideal place for a beginner to get started.
7. St. Thomas
With beautiful reefs located close to the beach, St. Thomas is a great place for novices to get the most out of snorkeling and diving. Ancient volcanic activity means that there are loads of underwater structures to swim through and explore.
8. St. Maarten
The shallow waters of St. Maarten are ideal for snorkelers and first-time divers looking to try these exhilarating sports.
There are no bad places to go, but one of the more unique opportunities is snorkeling in Maho Bay, where jets fly low overhead as they land at Princess Juliana International Airport. If you prefer walking to swimming, don’t miss walking on an underwater shipwreck on a helmet diving excursion.
Love British culture but also want to enjoy a taste of paradise? The pink sands of Bermuda are the perfect place to enjoy some beach-edge snorkeling in a place where they drive on the left.
Barbados is actively working to make itself a premier diving destination, and the efforts are paying off. Clear water, abundant sea turtles and fascinating shipwrecks are just some of the highlights of this diving destination.
See it all on a snorkeling trip to Turtle Bay that lets you get close to these gentle creatures, dive to a shipwreck and even enjoy a rum punch on board the ship.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.