A cruise to Bonaire is one of the best ways to get a taste of both European culture and tropical paradise all in one great vacation. Bonaire is a small island in the Caribbean, just north of the Venezuelan coast. It’s a territory of the Netherlands but uses the American dollar, making it a convenient way to enjoy a completely unique locale for your next trip.
If you’ve never had the chance to travel to Bonaire before, you’re in for a real treat. As you research the options for your dream trip, consider these 7 excursions and outings to help you make the most of your time in this incredible location. There’s no shortage of things to do in Bonaire!
Activities on the Water
The crystalline waters of the Southern Caribbean are warm and inviting. There are many ways to enjoy the sea on this island, whether you choose to skim over the waves or take a deep dive into bliss.
1. Samur Sail, Beach and Snorkel
The Samur is unlike any boat you’ve ever experienced. Step aboard this authentic Siamese junk — that’s a sailing vessel, for landlubbers — from Thailand and cruise away under its vibrant red sails. You’ll head to Klein Bonaire for a snorkeling excursion, but not without learning all about your complimentary equipment and enjoying soft drinks and fruit juices along the way. When you arrive, you can choose between joining a guided snorkeling tour of the reef or lounging on the white sand beaches for the afternoon. This is an ideal way to experience the Caribbean from above and below.
2. Discover Scuba Diving
Bonaire is a top destination for diving thanks to its clear waters and fascinating reef life. If you’ve never tried scuba diving, this excursion offers everything you need to learn this skill. You’ll take a complimentary boat to the PADI Dive School, where you’ll receive your course outline and be instructed on all the equipment with hands-on demonstrations. With all equipment provided, you’ll then take a shallow-water dive at a nearby spot, where you’ll get to see varied sea life, including eels, brightly colored fish and more.
3. 2-Stop Snorkel Adventure
Step aboard the Seacow for everything you need to enjoy two great snorkeling spots in Klein Bonaire. After lessons and time spent getting acquainted with your equipment, you’ll dive into the water and enjoy getting up close and personal with a range of fish, octopus and maybe even a sea turtle or two. After your two snorkeling sessions, there’s a delicious rum punch served aboard the Seacow as you sail back to your Caribbean cruise ship.
4. See and Sea Semi-Sub Adventure
For a totally modern ocean experience, try this unique sailing experience aboard a semi-submerged trimaran. This is the perfect activity for a family cruise with children as young as age six, and it’s ideal for older travelers or non-swimmers as well. You’ll get great view of local sea life through the glass-bottomed gondola that lets you feel like you’re floating through the water — all without getting wet! If you’d like to give snorkeling a try, it’s also an option.
Activities on the Land
No cruise vacation is complete without exploring your port of call. Bonaire has beautiful beaches, architecture and landscape to enjoy, and there are many different ways to tailor your island experience to your personal tastes.
5. Bonaire by Harley Davidson
If you love motorcycles, this excursion will be one to remember. Anyone over age 25 with a valid motorcycle license can participate — and bring along a passenger age 18 and older. You’ll ride along the coast past breathtaking landscapes that include salt flats, mountains and historic huts that speak to the island’s past. You may even catch glimpses of local wildlife as you ride, inducing Bonaire’s famous pink flamingos. It’s an unforgettable way to explore Bonaire!
6. Mangrove Eco Safari
Climb aboard a rugged safari truck to travel to Lac Bay National Park. This area features an incredible mangrove forest along the water, where you’ll enjoy native flora and fauna during an hour-long tour on a quiet, inflatable boat. As your safari continues, you’ll also tour the land for amazing views. This area is home to a range of wildlife to enjoy and you’ll feel like you’re miles away from civilization.
7. East Coast Off-Road ATV Experience
Tour the rugged eastern coast of Bonaire behind the wheel of your own ATV. This is an adults-only tour suitable for competent drivers, and after a brief training session you’ll be off exploring. This is a great way to get a feel for the natural landscape of Bonaire. You’re likely to see animals in their natural habitats, including wild donkeys, lizards and more. You’ll even have the opportunity to whiz past a historic lighthouse and explore local bat caves.
Bonaire is a world-class snorkeling and diving destination, which makes it a must-see vacation spot for anyone interested in getting a close look at natural wonders. A cruise to Bonaire allows you to travel in style and enjoy all the on-board amenities you crave before seeking out your own best island adventure. No matter how you decide to spend your time in port, you’re sure to love your trip to Bonaire.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.