How Much Are Drinks On Windstar Cruises
In addition, all guests always enjoy the following complimentary amenities on every Windstar cruise: all meals in all venues including featured menu selections from dozens of James Beard Foundation chefs who have sailed with Windstar as part of an exclusive partnership 24 hour room service all non-alcoholic beverages
What’s The Legal Drinking Age Onboard Azamara Cruises
The minimum drinking age for all alcoholic beverages on all four Azamara ships sailing from North America is 21. However, on ships sailing from Europe, Asia, South America and Australia and New Zealand, where the legal drinking age is lower than 21, the minimum drinking age onboard is 18.
There Are Two Drink Packages
Already included in your cruise fare is bottled water, soft drinks, premium coffees, and juices. If you are looking for something with a bit more of a kick, you can opt for one of two beverage packages. The Topmast package is priced at $49 a day and includes all international and domestic beers and over 30 different glasses of wine.
Or, you can opt for the Captains Exclusive Beverage package for $59 a day. This package is appropriately named as it includes all the beer and wine of the Topmast Package, as well as all of the mixed drinks and cocktails in the drink menu and drinks made with premium liquors. This option also includes selections from the mini-bar in your room. You wont find that on most large ships. Both drink packages are priced per person, per day, and have a 15% service charge.
Accommodations On Windstar Alaska Cruises
Every single suite on the Star Legend has ocean views, so you can enjoy the sounds and sights of the ocean 24/7. Suites are comprised of 64 picture-window Ocean View Suites, 36 French-style Balcony Suites, and 6 Classic and Owner’s Suites with private verandas. Suites range in size from 277 square feet to 575 square feet, and all come with a luxurious full-size tub, a queen-sized bed dressed in Egyptian cotton linens , and personalized touches like a fresh fruit bowl and fresh flowers in your room. Other amenities include a flat screen TV and DVD player, a fully-stocked mini bar and refrigerator, Wi-Fi, L’Occitane Bath products, a spacious walk-in closet, and a granite vanity with magnifying mirror.
Is This Line Right For You
Choose This Line If
- You want a high-end experience yet prefer to dress casually every night of your vacation.
- You love water sports, particularly scuba diving, kayaking, and windsurfing.
- Youre a romantic: tables for two are plentiful in the dining rooms.
Dont Choose This Line If
- You must have a spacious private balcony. There are few.
- Youre bored unless surrounded by constant stimulation. Activities are purposely low-key.
- You have mobility problems. These ships are simply not very good for passengers in wheelchairs.
Gold Rush World War I And The Great Depression
The second and most dramatic boom resulted from the , which ended the depression that had begun with the . In a short time, Seattle became a major transportation center. On July 14, 1897, the S.S. Portland docked with its famed ton of gold, and Seattle became the main transport and supply point for the miners in and the . Few of those working men found lasting wealth. However, it was Seattles business of clothing the miners and feeding them salmon that panned out in the long run. Along with Seattle, other cities like , , , , and , all in the Puget Sound region, became competitors for exchange, rather than for extraction, of precious metals. The boom lasted well into the early part of the 20th century, and funded many new Seattle companies and products. In 1907, 19-year-old borrowed $100 from a friend and founded the . Other Seattle companies founded during this period include and . Seattle brought in the landscape architecture firm to design a system of parks and boulevards.
The Gold Rush era culminated in the of 1909, which is largely responsible for the layout of todays campus.
The in Seattle affected many minority groups, one being the Asian Pacific Americans they were subject to racism, loss of property, and failed claims of unemployment due to citizenship status.
Other Windstar Cruise Drinks
Did you know many of todays most beloved cocktails have their origins between 1860 and the Prohibition? If youre a fan of traditional cocktails, youll love your Windstar experience. Tell the bartender what you want, and theyll be happy to shake, strain and pour your favorite spirituous blend. Here are some of the best cruise drinks you can enjoy.
If youre curious about other Windstar classic cocktails, ask one of our bartenders about the following tasty drinks.
- Cucumber Press: Bright, refreshing and satisfyingly fizzy, our Cucumber Press combines lime, lemon, mint, cucumber and soda water for an ideal sunbathing drink.
- Pinkys Delight: Invented by our bartender Angelo Labastida, Pinkys Delight looks as appealing as it tastes. Fruity, sweet, sour and a little tart, this tropical sunset-colored cocktail includes vodka, rum, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, sour mix and a splash of grenadine.
- Bloody Mary: Our bartenders know how to whip up a spicy bloody Mary to give your afternoon brunch a rejuvenating kick. Combining the flavors of tomato, vodka, peppers and lime, this classic cocktail is a tasty addition to a range of dishes, from bacon-wrapped scallops to vegetable omelets.
- Aperol spritz: AnAperol spritz has long been a popular aperitif in Italy. Our version combines gin, oranges, Aperol and sparkling wine. This amber-hued beverage features a delightful bittersweet flavor and is perfect for enjoying with appetizers.
Windstar Alaska Cruises Past Guests
After completing your first Windstar cruise, you are automatically enrolled in the Windstar Yacht Club. Yacht Club members are rewarded with stateroom upgrades, savings on future cruise fares, and exclusive onboard gifts and amenities. Members can earn shipboard credits for referring friends to Windstar, and are invited to attend private cocktail receptions and dinners with the Captain or Ship’s Officers onboard. If you are a Yacht Club member, be sure to notify your Cruise Specialist while booking.
Why Choose Windstar Cruises
Sailing aboard a fleet of six strikingly luxurious yachts, Windstar Cruises offer you the opportunity to visit hidden ports and inlets that are inaccessible to larger ships. When not relaxing in your elegantly comfortable stateroom or joining other guests in one of the spacious lounges, Windstar will enhance your time spent ashore with small-group excursions which have been designed to offer you an authentic taste of the local culture and histories of each place you visit.
Cheers Heres What Each Drink Package Costs On Ocean Cruise Lines
A number of cruise lines have changed the prices of their drink packages during 2018. Photo: Justdance/Shutterstock.com.
Many ocean cruise lines are tweaking the prices of their drink packages for 2019. If your clients like to imbibe on the high seas, consider booking one for them, so they can pay for their drinks upfront and then enjoy them every day without digging into their wallets. Heres a rundown of what every major ocean cruise line offers.
Azamara Club Cruises Azamara includes standard spirits, international beers and a changing selection of two reds, two whites and one rose. It then offers a number of different packages that include higher-end spirits. Its Premium Package costs $15.95 per person per day and includes standard brands plus higher-end spirits. The Ultimate Package costs $21.95 per person per day and includes everything in the Premium Package plus all wine and additional higher-end brands. Azamara also offers two wine packages
Azamara also offers two wine packages. The Wine-Lover Package allows guests to purchase bottles of wine below $50 there is a 5-bottle package for $180, a 7-bottle package for $235, a 10-bottle package for $315, and a 12-bottle package for $350. The Wine Connoisseur Package, which includes all bottles of wine between $51 and $75, offers guests a 5-bottle package for $315, a 7-bottle package for $415, a 10-bottle package for $560, and a 12-bottle package for $630.
An 18 percent service charge is added to each check.
You Will Have A Wonderful Time
Cruisers will appreciate the intimate feel of the ships and the superior service found on Windstar Cruises. The Windstar experience is a great introduction to small ship, boutique cruising. With a little preparation, your cruise with Windstar will take you to new places, introduce you to new friends, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Windstar Cruises and Porthole Cruise for the Caribbean Celebrations cruise. All of the opinions expressed in this post are our own.
Windstars Cruises Laundry Services:
Travel light and take pleasure in the feeling of freshly washed and pressed clothing every day from our professional laundry. Enjoy the service during your entire cruising, with a quick turnaround of 24 hours on all items, and same day service available when items are turned in by 9:00 a.m.
- Package includes laundry service for two occupants per cabin, price per day is $16 USD.
- Single occupant package price is 1/2 of the package price shown above, price per day is $8 USD.
Packages must be added by the first day of the cruise and will be priced by the total number of cruise days. Pricing is inclusive of applicable taxes. Guests may also choose la carte laundry and pressing services in their cabins. Prices range from .60 cents per T-shirt to $7 USD per suite. No dry cleaning is available.
Beverage and laundry packages can be purchased on board. Are there other onboard services that you love? Tell us in the comments below!
Are There Casinos On Windstar Cruises
Gambling in Windstar Cruises Star Breeze
The gambling floor offers several casino games to passengers. Players can enjoy both RNG operated slots and live table games entertainment. The age restriction for gambling varies depending on the jurisdiction the boat finds itself in, with ages ranging from 18+ to 21+.
Recommended Reading: Alaska Cruise Best Time
How To Tip Around The World
We get asked about tipping A LOT here at Windstar. How much, and when? Where is it expected, and when is it already included? So we decided to pull together a basic primer, a Tipping 101 shall we say, to help guide you in your travels particularly while dining at local restaurants and traveling on board our yachts.
Tahiti Tipping in Tahiti is not required or expected, but its certainly appreciated when given for great service. In Tahiti, most restaurant menus are all inclusive, meaning that service has been included in the price. Be sure to check your menu/check just in case, as some restaurants deviate from this norm but will alert guests that additional tipping is suggested.
Europe Typically, tipping 5-10 percent in Europe is normal, across the board! See, thats not so hard. Again, be sure to check the menu or your check first to see if service is included on the bill, as is often the case. Usually, fixed price menus already include gratuity.
Caribbean Heres another place to check you final bill. Restaurants in the Caribbean can often include the gratuity, which is around 10 percent of the total cost of the meal. If the gratuity isnt included already, its expected to leave roughly 10-15 percent for your server. For drinks at the bar , its similar to the U.S. to tip a few dollars per round of drinks.
Where Are The Windstar Ships
Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting approximately 330 ports in 2020 sailing throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Asia, Alaska, Canada and New England, Central America, Mexico, US West Coast and cruising year-round in Tahiti.
Children’s Programs On Windstar Alaska Cruises
Windstar does not have a dedicated children’s program, and is unable to accommodate children under the age of eight. Children and teens between the ages of 8 and 21 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or chaperone in their stateroom or suite who is over the age of 25. There must be one adult for every five guests under the age of 21. Children will be charged the applicable “third person” rate when staying with their parents or guardian, which is available upon request.
You Tender Quite Often
While these small ships enable you to visit off the beaten path destinations that mid-sized and larger ships cant handle, we experienced a lot of tendering. This is obviously dependent on the ships itinerary and the sea conditions during your trip. Still, you will need to plan accordingly to allow extra time to get ashore if booking private excursions. If you are prone to motion sickness, you might want to take precaution as we experienced quite a few rough rides to shore.
Windstar Cruise Ships In Alaska
Refurbished in 2015, the Star Legend has been updated to feel as modern and spacious as her sister ships. The yacht-style small luxury ship carries just 212 guests, enough to meet many new friends but not so large that you feel lost in the shuffle. With a crew of 153, you can be sure your needs will always be attended to, as if you were on your own personal yacht. The ship has an open-bridge policy, so guests can visit the bridge and chat with the Captain at any time, looking at navigation charts or learning how the ship sails. Throughout the ship’s six guest decks, you’ll find a lounge, a casino, a library, dining rooms, a spa, and lots of deck space to take in the great outdoors.
Which Cruise Line Has The Most Accidents
Carnival Cruise lineRoyal CaribbeanThe top 10 winners in the category Best Small Cruise Ship are as follows:
- Seabourn Encore – Seabourn Cruise Line.
- Wind Surf – Windstar Cruises.
- Seabourn Sojourn – Seabourn Cruise Line.
- Seabourn Ovation – Seabourn Cruise Line.
- Royal Clipper – Star Clippers.
- SeaDream II – SeaDream Yacht Club.
- Crystal Symphony – Crystal Cruises.
Review our editors’ favorite small cruise ships below.
- Un-Cruise Adventures.
Also Check: Dialysis On Cruise
Windstar Cruises Targets Luxury Travelers With More All
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Small-ship specialist Windstar Cruises is rolling out a new fare option for cruisers who hate paying for lots of little extras while on ships.
The new All-In package, as Windstar is calling it, will bring unlimited Wi-Fi unlimited drinks such as beer, wine and cocktails and included gratuities to those sailing on any of the lines six vessels.
The package will cost a flat $79 per person per day on top of the lines base fares, which dont include Wi-Fi, drinks or gratuities.
You basically dont have to feel like nickel-and-dimed, for those guests who want to purchase that sort of experience, Chris Prelog, the president of Windstar Cruises, told TPG Wednesday in a one-on-one interview to discuss the new package and other new developments at the line.
For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPGs cruise newsletter
Prelog spoke with TPG at Seatrade Cruise Global, the cruise industrys annual meetup in Miami.
Prelog suggested the new, more-inclusive package option was designed to give would-be Windstar customers more flexibility in how they arrange and experience their trips with the line.
We will call our suite class or our suite ships, and they have luxury amenities, he said.
Windstar Alaska Cruises Overview
Travel with Windstar Cruises on 12 to 14 night cruises to Alaska, with combined destinations in places like Canada and Japan. These exciting itineraries will bring you to small ports, big cities, and along the stunning waterways in between. On a Windstar Cruise, you’ll enjoy complimentary meals, non-alcoholic beverages, and onboard entertainment including local performances, plus a number of small-ship luxuries like fresh flowers in-suite and a Champagne Welcome Reception.
Windstar Cruises Adds All
Windstar Cruises now offers all-inclusive pricing, which includes alcoholic beverages, wi-fi, and all gratuities, but will keep an à la carte pricing option.
In an effort to be more in line with other luxury offerings in the cruise industry, particularly with the rollout of our newly transformed all-suite Star Plus Class yachts, were now giving the option of an all-inclusive price for all of our sailings, said Windstar President Christopher Prelog. We didnt want to take away the à la carte option from guests who enjoy going that way. We want our guests to have the choice based on their preference, what they need on board, and their general vacation philosophy.
The all-inclusive prices are now listed on Windstars website and all sales materials, along with the base cruise fares, which are listed per person in U.S. dollars based on double occupancy. The new fare is available on all six of the lines vessels.
Windstars Beyond Ordinary Care health and safety plan requires guests and crew to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Beginning Jan. 1, the lines policies include a free COVID-19 antigen test at the pier for embarking guests.
For more information on Windstar, .
They Hold Your Passports
Once boarding the ship, the staff will register your passport and hold on to it for the duration of the trip. We found this a bit odd, but it has to do with dealing with immigration on a daily basis per the staff. We recommend having a photocopy of your passport with you, or taking a photo of it on your phone, so you have access to the document at all times whether on the ship or ashore.
Star Legend Review
Editor’s note: In September 2021, Star Legend became the second formerly-Seabourn ship to be cut in half and lengthened by 84 feet, as part of Windstar Cruises’ new $250-million Star Plus Initiative. It also receives two brand-new dining venues; 50 new Star category suites; 156 new bathrooms in existing staterooms and suites; a brand-new World Spa by Windstar; a new elevated pool that is five times the size of the vessel’s previous one; a new tender embarkation area; and refitted public rooms and staterooms throughout.
For years, Windstar Cruises had been a fleet of three majestic motor-sail yachts: Wind Surf, Wind Star and Wind Spirit. But in 2014–2015, the line doubled in size when it purchased a trio of 212-passenger luxury yachts from Seabourn. Star Legend is one of those yachts, and Windstar applied $8.5 million in upgrades to the ship before it joined the fleet. Cabins, restaurants and all public spaces benefited from the refresh.
Windstar’s vibe of laid-back luxury carries over from the sailing ships to the yachts. The intimacy of the ship means that the crew — especially the stewards, wait staff and bartenders — get to know you and anticipate your requests. The staff is friendly and will ask how you’d prefer to be addressed — not defaulting to “Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So,” as is often the case on the luxury lines. The ship’s ambiance is relaxed but classy, with casual attire recommended during the day and resort casual in the evenings. The freedom of no formal night means travelers don’t have to pack too much.
Star Legend offers an “almost luxury” experience, just like its fleetmates. Your cruise fare isn’t all-inclusive like it is aboard the ships of SeaDream, Regent Seven Seas or Silversea. Nonalcoholic beverages (soda, water, specialty teas and coffee drinks) are included, but you’ll need to buy a beverage package or pay a la carte for any alcoholic beverages that you order. You’ll likewise pay for all shore excursions. All dining options, including the intimate Candles, are surcharge-free.
Experienced Windstar cruisers will note some significant differences between the motor-sail-yachts and Star Legend. For starters, this is more of a traditional cruise ship and that means the cabins are larger than those on the sailing ships. In comparison, they feel downright spacious with walk-in closets, a marble bathroom and a shower/tub combo (aside from a few shower-only cabins), and either large picture windows or a French balcony. There are also elevators (not found on Wind Star and Wind Spirit), which makes this ship more appropriate for those with compromised mobility (however, be aware that there is no way to initially board the ship other than a gangway.)
Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts
Get Star Legend price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
Windstar’s port-intensive itineraries are a major selling point to many passengers who select their voyage based on the destinations Windstar visits. Star Legend isn’t the type of ship where travelers stay aboard all day when the ship is in port. They get out there and explore — either as part of a ship-sponsored shore excursion or on their own.
As with Windstar’s sailing ships, the line’s tradition of playing Vangelis’ heroic “1492” theme song (from the film of the same name) extends to Star Legend — although the crew hoists flags on Legend instead of those big beautiful sails found on Wind Surf, Wind Star and Wind Spirit.
Star Legend attracts well-to-do professional couples in their 40s and 50s, as well as active retirees in their 60s and 70s who enjoy meeting fellow passengers and partaking in pastimes such as water sports from the ship’s aft marina. It also appeals to older and less mobile folks who need to make use of the elevator (not found on Wind Spirit or Wind Star). The majority of passengers are American or Canadian, though you might find contingents from places like Australia and Mexico.
Windstar Star Legend Dress Code
One of Windstar’s hallmarks is its ability to offer luxury in a laid-back atmosphere. There is no daytime dress code: Shorts, jeans, T-shirts and capris are all fair game and underscore the overall casual vibe of the ship.
In the evening, bank on “elegantly casual” attire such as sundresses, blouses and slacks for ladies, and slacks and collared shirts for men. Jeans, T-shirts, shorts and sneakers are prohibited in the restaurants at dinner. There are no formal nights on Windstar, though they do throw deck barbecues that allow shorts and more casual attire.
13 Best Places To Scuba Dive in the World
Scuba diving is like flying under the water. Gliding weightlessly and freely in a blue underwater world is unlike any other experience. Add colorful schools of fish, intricate coral and sunken shipwrecks to the scenery, and you get a scuba diver’s paradise.
Table of Contents
While you can dive anywhere there’s water, some spots make exceptional dive destinations and are worth adding to your bucket list. This post explores the best diving sites in the world, from the warm, clear lagoons of French Polynesia to Denmark’s cool, mysterious waters.
13 Top Scuba Diving Locations in the World
The world’s top dive sites often feature clear water, captivating underwater terrains or extraordinary marine life. Some places seem to have everything a scuba diver dreams of. Here are 13 of the world’s most celebrated dive destinations to consider for your next journey:
1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is known for its biodiversity on its land and in its waters. You’ll find an array of permanent and migratory species off the coast of Costa Rica, from massive humpback whales to gentle manta rays.
On its Pacific side, prepare to discover diving sites known for underwater pinnacles, which provide a habitat for diverse marine life. Here, scuba divers gather at Cocos Island, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, to dance in the water with manta rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks. As a bonus, Cocos Island National Park is the only island in this region of the Pacific with tropical rainforest.
On Costa Rica’s east coast facing the Caribbean Sea, you’ll find shipwrecks and colorful reefs abundant with sea life. For example, to explore a wreck that’s now the home of plentiful sea creatures, head to Isla Uvita — a small, uninhabited island that sits off the coast of Puerto Limón. During your dive, you might encounter turtles, eels, reef sharks, seahorses and various other underwater creatures.
2. French Polynesia
French Polynesia is heaven for scuba divers, and not just because it has warm turquoise waters and unspoiled beaches. No matter where you are in French Polynesia, whether you’re sunbathing in Tahiti or joining a Polynesian feast in Bora Bora, you’ll also be close to an incredible dive site.
In this part of the South Pacific, you’ll find lagoons and narrow channels teeming with marine life, including various shark species, manta rays and barracudas. If you travel there in the fall, you may encounter whales during your dive, especially if you’re in Tahiti or Moorea.
Some of the world’s best diving sites exist in Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Tetiaroa and other French Polynesian islands and atolls. For example, to go wreck diving in Tahiti, visit the Faa’a Lagoon and witness the ruins of a World War II minesweeper and old seaplane.
In Bora Bora, put on your wetsuit and sail out to Tupitipiti Point, one of the most famous diving sites in the region. Here you’ll find a fascinating coral terrain complete with swim-throughs and overhangs.
If you want to glide weightlessly through coral canyons and caves buzzing with reef fish, plan a dive at Tetiaroa’s “Canyons” site. Overall, you may find it hard to choose a single dive site in French Polynesia, but it’s even more challenging to leave this paradise on Earth.
If you want to glide through the water alongside large pelagic fish and marine mammals, plan a trip to Mexico’s Socorro Island. Socorro is the largest of the Revillagigedo Islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean located south of the Baja California peninsula. This remote volcanic island rises out of the water to an elevation of over 3,000 feet. Although the island itself is a sight to behold, it’s the surrounding waters that draw eager scuba divers to its coast.
Socorro Island, particularly the site Punta Tosca, is one of the few places on the planet where scuba divers can swim with humpback whales. Divers may also encounter friendly dolphins, schools of hammerhead sharks and giant manta rays.
While Socorro Island is a must-see for advanced scuba divers, beginners should head to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula for calm, crystal-clear water. One spot worth visiting is the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, located near Cancun, where you can view submerged, life-size sculptures.
On the Yucatán Peninsula, you’ll also find hundreds of cenotes to explore, such as Cenote Dos Ojos. Located in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Cenote Dos Ojos is a popular dive and snorkeling site known for its high visibility and underwater caves.
4. The Philippines
The Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, between the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea. A trip to the Philippines provides thousands of diving opportunities for beginners and experienced divers alike. Some of the sites are among the best in the world.
For example, if you’re looking for an unforgettable wreck diving experience, you’ll be pleased with Subic Bay. Located in southwest Luzon, Subic Bay was once a U.S. naval base and is now a popular site for wreck dives. At Subic Bay, you can get close to sunken warships in warm, tropical water.
You’ll also find some of the top wreck diving sites on Coron Island, a limestone utopia surrounded by clear, aquamarine water. The area is known for its WWII shipwrecks bordering coral reefs as well as its dramatic cliffs and lush jungle scenery.
If you enjoy relaxing on the beach after a day of diving, think about journeying to Boracay. This tiny island south of Manila is often regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Known for its white sandy beaches and shallow, transparent waters, Boracay is a tropical paradise. Here you can dive and swim around colorful reef fish, such as parrotfish, puffers and angelfish. You might also encounter moray eels, blue-spotted stingrays and sea snakes during your adventure. With its easy access to dive sites and shallow waters, Boracay is the ideal diving destination for beginners.
Australia is at the top of many divers’ bucket lists, thanks to the Great Barrier Reef. Containing the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see treasure. When you enter this vast world of vibrant colors and shapes, you’ll find an array of coral, fish, mollusks, sponges, anemones and other sea life species. You might also run into whales, dolphins or turtles as you glide through the water.
After your dive, you’ll enjoy equal beauty on Queensland’s tropical shore and a chance to view unique flora and fauna, including dozens of bird species. Due to the region’s warm, crystalline waters, you can dive here any month of the year and have magical memories to take home.
With both Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, Spain offers a wide selection of dive options, including some of the world’s top sites. On a voyage to Spain, you might spend time diving in the Atlantic Ocean around the Canary Islands, where you’ll find year-round sun, warm glass-like water and fascinating underwater worlds. Off the coast of Gran Canaria, in particular, you can explore submerged volcanic formations or shipwrecks.
Costa del Sol in sunny southern Spain is another beloved scuba diving area. Situated near the Strait of Gibraltar, this portion of the Mediterranean is home to abundant marine life, including whales, dolphins, octopuses and various fish and plant species. In Marbella, you can dive at the site of a sunken crane tower, which is now an artificial reef and home to eels and other sea creatures. After your day of sea, sun and adventure, relish your memories over a plate of fresh seafood and a bowl of gazpacho.
You’ll find some of Europe’s best dive sites in France, especially if you love investigating shipwrecks. For example, you’ll want to add Corsica to your bucket list if you wish to go diving in underwater canyons or explore sunken ships.
Corsica is a mountainous island in the Mediterranean known for its picturesque coastline, sandy beaches and clear azure waters. Here you can swim around a submerged tanker and sunken aircraft, which are now habitats for eels and sponges. At the Scandola Nature Reserve, you can dive into a canyon and move through tunnels and caves, meeting eyes with various sea creatures along the way.
There are also plenty of islands and dive sites to explore between Cannes and Nice, too, where you can expect clear water and high visibility. After you work up an appetite, you’ll have access to world-class cuisine onshore — what more could you ask for?
It’s no wonder scuba divers are drawn to Italy, with its endless miles of Mediterranean coastline and hundreds of islands dotting the sea. You’ll find notable diving sites all along this boot-shaped peninsula and at its many islands, along with stunning scenery. You’ll discover some of Italy’s best diving sites on its main islands, such as Sicily, Sardinia and Elba.
On Elba, you can shore dive to a sunken ship called the Elviscot, an excellent site for beginners. Due to the shallow water, photographers will also be pleased with the underwater brightness. Another popular dive site is Formiche della Zanca off Elba’s coast, where you can swim to massive rocks that create a labyrinth of trails.
In Sicily, you can enjoy diving to caves, pinnacles and shipwrecks. For example, near Taormina, you can venture to Grotta Azzurra, a beautiful sea cave, or view the remains of a Roman cargo ship, known as Wreck of the Columns.
Sardinia is also one of the best scuba destinations in the Mediterranean, home to caves, shipwrecks, plentiful sea life and various shore dives. When you’re not diving, you can enjoy spectacular vistas overlooking the sea.
Are you heading to the Italian Riviera? Consider diving in the bay at San Fruttuoso to see the original Christ of the Abyss or exploring a pinnacle not far from Portofino, where you’ll find snappers, anthias and gorgonians.
Denmark may be more widely known as a haven for bicycling, but it’s also one of the world’s best places for wreck diving. Shipwrecks fill Danish waters, and many of them are yet to be discovered and explored. For example, a ship called Delmenhorst was only recently discovered in the Baltic Sea not far from the island of Lolland. This warship sank during a 17th-century battle and today remains mostly buried in the seabed.
There’s plenty more to discover in the Baltic Sea, including wrecks from World War I and WWII. Due to the sea’s low salinity, the wooden ships are in excellent condition. When you’re not examining sunken vessels or looking for underwater treasures, you can keep busy in Copenhagen and find out why it’s one of the happiest cities on the planet.
Indonesia needs to be at the top of every scuba diver’s bucket list. Situated between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia comprises over 17,000 islands, and only about 6,000 of them are inhabited. In addition, Indonesia contains a major portion of the Coral Triangle, holding approximately three-fourths of the world’s coral species and over a third of the planet’s coral reef fish species. As you might imagine, Indonesia is a scuba diver’s dream.
There’s so much to discover no matter where you are in Indonesia, whether you want to see pygmy seahorses up close or shine your dive light on WWII ruins. Still, one of the country’s most famous diving areas is Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago located in the West Papua province. Scientists have just started exploring this remote region and regularly discover new marine life species. Here, hundreds of pinnacles and small islands dot the peacock-blue water, which buzzes with abundant sea life, including sharks, manta rays, turtles and large schools of fish. Overall, the islands of Raja Ampat are ideal dive sites for people who want to explore pristine reefs and rare biodiversity.
If you can’t make the trek to Raja Ampat, there’s plenty to enjoy in Bali. Bali is known for its natural beauty and fascinating culture, which will enhance any diving trip. Offshore you can explore an underwater temple, a sunken cargo ship and coral-coated pinnacles where crowds of sea critters live.
Belize is worth visiting at least once for many different reasons. While exploring this Caribbean treasure, you can wander Maya ruins, visit a black howler monkey sanctuary or find a secret spot on one of its cays. Belize is also home to the second-largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere and remarkable diving sites, such as the Great Blue Hole located at the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.
The Great Blue Hole is a massive marine sinkhole, stretching about 1,000 feet across and reaching a depth of over 400 feet. Divers dream of descending into the Great Blue Hole to view underwater stalagmites and stalactites. When not investigating the rock formations in the mysterious sinkhole, you can explore the surrounding reef teeming with sea life.
If you’re not ready to plunge into a giant sinkhole, you have endless diving options elsewhere in Belize’s bath-like water. For example, you can easily access reefs and canyons off the shore of Belize City. Beginner scuba divers can enjoy applying their new skills at most cays, where the water is calm and clear. You might pass a manatee suspended in the water during an adventure or encounter endangered sea turtles nesting on the coast.
12. Cayman Islands
The warm Caribbean Sea surrounding the Cayman Islands is a magnet for scuba divers due to its astonishing visibility. You can see underwater wonders, such as colorful coral and tropical fish, crystal-clear as you dive. You’ll find plenty of unique diving attractions in the Cayman Islands, and some of them are considered must-sees.
One popular diving spot is the Bloody Bay Wall Marine Park, located in Little Cayman. Bloody Bay Wall is a steep underwater cliff that drops thousands of feet into the sea. Along the wall, you’ll find colorful coral formations, sponges and sea fans. In the wall’s nooks, you might discover crabs, lobsters and moray eels.
For more wildlife viewing opportunities, head to Grand Cayman, where you can take a diving trip at Stingray City. Stingray City is a large sandbar and home to various fish species and friendly stingrays. Here, the stingrays are so used to human interaction you can play with them or pet them and make lifelong memories.
To scuba divers, Fiji is more than a South Pacific paradise. It’s also known as the best place in the world to see soft coral and sharks. Divers of all abilities can enjoy Fiji’s underwater caves, walls, canyons, reefs and diverse marine life.
One recommended diving area is the Beqa Lagoon, located off Pacific Harbor. Here, divers can view pinnacles covered in colorful soft coral, swim around tropical fish or come close to various shark species.
Another top diving location is the Namena Marine Reserve in Savusavu. The reserve holds a horseshoe-shaped barrier reef that’s alive with coral and hundreds of fish species. Its sheltered water is also a haven for migratory animals, including dolphins and whales. Onshore, the reserve is a vital nesting area for green and hawksbill sea turtles and various birds, including red-footed boobies.
Reasons to Scuba Dive on Your Next Adventure
If you’ve never gone scuba diving before, you may be wondering if it’s right for you. While there’s certainly plenty to see on land, diving gives you a chance to see an alien side of this world. Considering that about 71% of the Earth is covered in water, you would never run out of things to do if you learn how to scuba dive.
The act of scuba diving itself is enjoyable and unlike any other experience. So, if you’re questioning whether to stay land-bound or take the plunge, here are reasons to give scuba diving a chance:
- It’s peaceful and relaxing: When you journey into the deep, you leave the noise, worries and busy schedules far behind. All you’ll hear is the sound of the bubbles you exhale as you slowly glide through the water.
- You’ll get to explore areas few people see: Learning how to scuba dive allows you to explore parts of the world very few people have seen before. If you’re an explorer at heart and love to roam off the beaten path, it’s time to give scuba diving a try.
- You’ll have an unforgettable experience: It’s hard to forget an underwater encounter with a friendly sea turtle or a giant whale shark. After diving, you’ll have stories to tell and memories to cherish for life.
- You can make new friends: Scuba diving is a great way to meet like-minded adventurers. So, if you’re a solo traveler looking to join a fun group of people, scuba diving can be your ticket.
- It’s the closest thing to flying: When you’re underwater with your scuba diving gear on, you can freely glide as if you were flying. The weightlessness is exhilarating and stress-relieving.
Discover Your Best Dive Site With Windstar Cruises
If you’re ready to dive and experience a new part of the world, Windstar Cruises is prepared to take you there. At Windstar Cruises, we sail to scuba diving destinations worldwide, including ports in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South Pacific. As a guest, you can take a diving excursion once we dock or find a piece of underwater paradise on your own. We have diving instructors on board many of our voyages to help you plan your dive or teach you the basics.
Ready to set sail? Browse our cruise destinations or contact a Windstar Vacation Planner to learn more about our small, intimate cruise ships.