Come Sail With Us!
Want to see Barbados from a totally different perspective? Why not see this beautiful island paradise from the water with a day of catamaran sailing?
There are approximately 16 main catamaran businesses operating island-wide. Some companies operate more than one boat under the same name, whereas others operate several boats under different names.
The style of cruise depends on each individual catamaran operator – some catamarans are more luxurious and exclusive than others, whilst some are more inclusive and will carry larger amounts of passengers than others. Some are more party focused, whereas others focus on more low-key cruising. The choice is really yours!
What Can I Expect?
The catamaran cruises tend to be all inclusive packages and cost between approximately $80 and $100USD, depending on the boat operator.
Some of the more basic catamarans charge around $60USD, whereas some of the more luxurious catamarans charge around $150USD.
Note: Prices accurate as at December 2014.
Prices generally include a full buffet lunch, open bar, snorkelling with the turtles and through shipwrecks (plus diving equipment), transfers to/from your accommodation, the catamaran crew and captain, as well as all kinds of on board entertainment like music and dancing.
Some companies even offer a photo shoot and light snacks along the way, as well as the option of more personalised cruises such as a stop off at the Boatyard for a few hours.
Some operators also offer sunset cruises; generally a 3 hour cruise with dinner and an open bar included.
Most companies also offer the option of private cruises.
Private cruises operate at varying rates, but tend to be based on a set hourly rate to rent the catamaran and crew, as well as specify a minimum/maximum number of passengers and cruising hours. Alternatively, prices can also be based on a per person rate, with a minimum number of passengers for the cruise to operate.
Tip: It’s best to confirm the exact cruising terms and conditions with each individual catamaran operator before deciding on your sailing program.
A Day Out On The Water …
Most catamarans leave from their docking at the harbour at Careenage in Bridgetown and tend to do a standard 5 hour round trip of sailing the island’s coast.
The day usually kicks off between 9am and 10am and finishes up around 3pm.
From Bridgetown, the catamarans sail northwards along the west coast.
As you cruise up the west coast of the island, you’ll find the scenery is stunning and you’ll get a much better view of Barbados’ sun kissed beaches, as well as the magnificent waterfront homes built right on the west coast shoreline.
For your first stop, most catamarans will pull into a safe bay for some west coast snorkelling action. This is prime ground for swimming with the turtles and with the water so clear, you can also see all the vibrant colors of the tropical fish.
Note: Snorkelling equipment such as life jackets, masks, snorkels and fins are usually provided as part of the all-inclusive sailing packages for most catamarans.
Most cruises also give you the opportunity to dive into a shipwreck, so make sure you bring an underwater camera for those unique happy snaps of your diving adventures.
After a little more west coast cruising, the boats usually sail further up along the coast, before making another stop for lunch.
Lunch is always a treat when catamaran sailing in Barbados – obviously you’d expect fresh fish, however there’s also chicken, salad, traditional Bajan macaroni pie, and (local favourite) rice and peas.
Hint: If you have particular dietary requirements, be sure to let the tour operator know when making your booking to ensure you are catered for.
After lunch, the boat will make another stop, where again you are encouraged to swim, snorkel, and most of all relax. Jet ski operators will sometimes come over to the catamaran and offer you a ride for a reasonable price. This is great fun on the west coast as the waters are calmer than those of the south or east coast.
After all the fun and festivities, it’s time to gently make your way back down the coast and into town again, where you’ll dock and disembark your vessel, perhaps with a minor case of ‘sea legs’.
Hint: Totally Barbados recommends wearing the highest factor sunscreen for your day out sailing as you may not feel the full force of the sun with the cool breeze blowing off the sea. We also recommend taking light clothing so you can cover up with if you feel yourself burning.
And, of course, don’t forget your sunglasses for your cool cat cruising experience!
By: Brett Callaghan