7 Best Boating Experiences in Barbados
As an island nation, boating is in our blood and for those who visit, there is a lot to see and do on the beautiful, crystal clear waters that surround Barbados. There are also many different types of craft you can hop aboard when going out to sea, each offering a different adventure. Here, we’ll look at some of the best boating experiences Barbados has to offer.
1. Catamaran tours
Catamarans, wide twin-hulled boats that are ideal for shallower waters, are a common sight in Barbados and most of the companies that offer sea excursions use them.
There are plenty of catamaran experiences to be had around the coast of Barbados. One of the most popular activities is to take a snorkelling trip out to the reefs. Here you can swim in the calm Caribbean sea and get up close to the exotic sea life. The clear water makes it ideal for seeing the wide variety of tropical fish, turtles, stingrays and other wonderful creatures that live among the brightly coloured corals.
2. Private chartered yacht
If you are looking for something more sophisticated, why not consider chartering a private yacht for the day? Barbados hosts some of the most luxurious private charter vessels in the Caribbean, offering you and your companions complete privacy in sumptuous surroundings. Relax in comfort, choose your own destinations and enjoy the great onboard services, including cocktails, fine wines and chef prepared lunches that you can enjoy on board or as a picnic on a quiet beach.
3. Glass bottom boat
There are several glass bottom boat tours available on the west coast of the island, especially around Holetown and Paynes Bay. Great for families with young children who aren’t quite ready for snorkelling, they provide a unique view of the undersea world, especially when they pass over the coral reefs.
Most glass bottom boat excursions anchor up at some points to let those that want to go swimming or snorkelling have the chance to do so.
4. Deep sea fishing
From December until April, the deeper waters off the coast of Barbados are ideal for game fishing with species such as blue and white marlin, sailfish, wahoo, barracuda, yellowfin tuna and dolphinfish (mahi-mahi) all in abundance.
There is a range of fishing tour operators along the west coast, all of them with specialist guides that know the best places to find fish and who can give you all the expert help you need to hook a big one – whether you’re a seasoned angler or fishing for the first time.
Most operators are fully equipped, meaning you won’t need to take anything besides your sunglasses and your camera. Trips are usually for small groups of around six people and can be chartered for between four and eight hours.
5. Sunset cruises
Barbados is renowned for its fabulous sunsets and one of the best ways to enjoy them is from the deck of a boat out at sea. There are a number of west coast tour operators that run sunset cruises. Services often include exotic cocktails, champagne, hors d'oeuvres and a delicious buffet. It’s a fabulous way to spend a romantic evening looking at the palm lined coast and watching the sun go down over an unblemished horizon.
If you fancy wakeboarding, wake surfing, jet surfing, water skiing or being pulled along on a tow toy, then chartering a power boat for a day is just the ticket. These small but powerful boats are perfect to take small groups for an exciting day of offshore water sports. Some operators will also let you have a go at driving the boat for yourself.
Most powerboats come with sun loungers, a shaded canopy and bathroom facilities. Drinks and food can be supplied or you can add a restaurant stopover to your itinerary.
7. Pirate boat excursion
One of the most popular sights on the coast of Barbados is the Jolly Roger, the island’s own pirate ship. The Jolly Roger offers two cruises. Each day, an afternoon cruise sets off for a snorkelling trip before offering guests a sumptuous lunch, party games and free drinks! There’s also a sunbathing deck for you to relax on and watch the world go by.
On Thursday evenings, the Jolly Roger hosts a dinner cruise featuring an entertainment packed live show, cocktails and a feast of Caribbean food with dishes from Jamaica, Trinidad, St Vincent and, of course, from Barbados.
Barbados can be just as magical and fun offshore as it is on dry land. And there is so much to choose from: snorkelling trips, private charters, glass bottom boat tours, deep sea fishing excursions, powerboat thrills, romantic sunset cruises and pirate ship parties.
The majority of Barbados’ boat tours are to be found along the calmer waters of the west coast. If you are looking for luxury accommodation within easy reach of all these experiences, take a look at the stunning apartments and villas here at the Royal Westmoreland.