What should you expect from one of our guide led group snorkel safaris? Well, we have a ton of different locations all across the world—from Indonesia to the South Pacific, all the way to Cuba and Mexico. On some of these tours we will be based out of amazing resorts, while on other tours we will be cruising the coastline via luxurious liveaboards, and on a select few will be doing both. Regardless of the different styles of accommodation, the trips will for the most part run the same with a few obvious logistical differences between the different tours. The basic idea behind these tours though is for our Snorkel Venture guide or guides to escort our snorkeling guests to the worlds best locations for day after day of epic snorkeling while staying in the areas best resorts or yachts who will look after our every need—from the meals to the time spent snorkeling.
The First Day
The first day we all meet up can vary depending on the location. On some tours the whole group meets up at the resort or onboard the vessel. While on other tours we convene at the airport hotel we will all be staying at the night before jetting off to our ultimate snorkel destination. Prior to the tour you will have a detailed description of when and where to meet. Regardless of venue, before the trip gets underway you will have a chance to meet your tour leader or leaders along with the other guests over a nice meal where you will be given a thorough briefing on what the following days will look like.
Any time we are traveling together as a group, whether it be via plane, bus, or boat, all you need to do is follow the leader. They will assist with checking in for flights, lifting your heavy bags, and making sure no one gets left behind. Everything has been organized in advance for us so worrying about taxies between airports and harbors and hotels is something you don’t need to think about, leaving your only obligation to the details of your favorite podcast.
Snorkel, Eat, Sleep, Repeat
Once we’ve arrived at our destination and you’ve made yourself at home in your room or cabin we will be given an all encompassing briefing on how the following days and weeks will look. We will cover all the essential safety information, geography of the area, and of course what to expect in the water. Once this is all out of the way the routine of wake up-breakfast-snorkel-lunch-snorkel-snack-snorkel-sunset cocktails or night snorkel-dinner-sleep-repeat, begins It’s a hard life. Of course, if you don’t feel like joining all the organized snorkel sessions feel free to just relax a the resort’s beach, get a massage, drift over the house reef, or enjoy the view from the boat. There are usually kayaks or paddle boards around which is also a nice way to spend a couple hours.
One of the most exciting things about these tours is no matter where we are, everything is catered to snorkelers. For the liveaboad tours we charter the entire boat, and this is also the case for most of our resort based tours as well. For those larger resorts like Wakatobi or Komodo Resort, there will most likely be other divers staying at the resort, but they will be doing their own thing. These larger resorts always make sure we have a boat or two for ourselves along with our own local guides who will remain with us for the duration of the tour.
Every time we go out for a snorkel, with the exception of self guided house reef snorkels, there will will always be a Snorkel Venture guide as well as the local guides in the water with you and of course surface support from either a dinghy or the main vessel. With regard to snorkeling the house reef, there will always be someone present on the pier, and if you would like the Snorkel Venture guide to snorkel with you all you have to do is ask and they will be happy to join you.
The sites we will be selecting for our snorkels will be based solely on our snorkeling needs. At all the different destinations we know where the best shallow reefs are, when the currents (if there is any at all) are best suited for us, and in the case of any choppy water we will always look for the reefs with a bit more protection from the wind and waves.
Safety in and Out of the Water
Safety is something we’ve put a lot of thought into and of major importance to us. All of our Snorkel Venture guides are first-aid trained along with the guides from the resort or boat. Things like emergency oxygen, first aid kits, and life jackets are always pointed out at the beginning of the tour. Before jumping in the water we always do a head count, and once again back onboard. There are briefings about each site before we start our snorkels which will explain things like what way the current is going, which way we will be going (always with the current if there is any), hand signals, and what we hope to see on that particular snorkel.
In the water we like to keep a loose group formation with one guide in the front of the group clearly marked with an orange life ring or float, and one in the rear as well. There will then be a couple more guides mixed about the middle of the group. We encourage people to spread out and snorkel at your own pace and style, but we do ask that you stay behind the lead guide and in front of the guide in the back. If you prefer to stay close to the guides they will go out of their way to point things out to you, and will of course hold your hand if you need it. We want to provide maximum safety and comfort at all times while still allowing those more confident in the water to explore at their leisure.
Straight up Fun
In short the trips are an absolute blast. Everyone turns up as strangers with a common passion, and finishes the tour as a group of friends