Discover America's paradise in the Caribbean
It is now easier than ever to enjoy world class diving in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands of America's Caribbean. Many resorts and dive centers throughout the United States Virgin Islands offer scuba divers a variety of value-added packages for exploring the beautiful coral reefs, tropical fish and aquatic life found in the waters of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. The underwater drop-off walls, wrecks, caves and more found around the islands of the USVI offer some of the best dive spots in the Caribbean. St. Croix's best known diving is found on its north side. Cane Bay Reef, Davis Bay and Salt River Bay are populardiving spots known for the 13,000-foot deep subsea canyon and steep diving walls. Divers off the coast of St. Croix may even experience close encounters with rare species of sea turtles that nest seasonally on the island's beaches. The waters of the Pillsbury Sound between St. Thomas and St. John offer several shipwrecks, encrusted with brightly colored sponges and coral, which are perfect dive spots. Off the southwest shore of St. Thomas, dive boats visit the wrecked 300-foot WIT Shoals. With five decks full of brilliant sea life, the downed ship is one of the most fascinating artificial reefs in the Caribbean. On the northwest point of St. John, large boulder and rock formations such as Carvel Rock and Congo Cay offer interesting dive opportunities. Dive centers and dive resorts throughout the USVI are conservation-oriented and require divers to follow all local rules to ensure the preservation of the beautiful reefs and aquatic life.
St. Thomas Dive Centers
Admiralty Dive Center, centrally located at the Holiday Inn Windward Passage Hotel in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, is a full service dive center that provides boat dives, rental equipment and a retail store. Daily packages include a two-tank, two location reef or wreck dive for $80, or a night dive for $55. Dive packages, which may encompass several days include: a six-tank package (three two-tank dives) for $220; an eight-tank package (four two-tank dives) for $288; a ten-tank package (five two-tank dives) for $355; and a 12-tank package (six two-tank dives) for $420. Prices include equipment and dives may take place in either the morning or evening hours. For additional information, click on the home page below.
Aqua Action Dive Center on St. Thomas allows divers of all skill levels to experience some of the most beautiful and exotic marine life found in Caribbean waters. The dive center offers a special package for novice divers, which includes equipment rental and a full hour dive in a nearby harbor for $65. Certified divers may choose from an 8:30 a.m., two-tank dive for $70; a 1:30 p.m., one-tank dive for $50; and a night dive for $60. Value-added packages are based on a per-diver rate and are $185 - $200 for six dives or $240 - $270 for eight dives. Each additional dive is $30 per person. In addition, Aqua Action Dive Center also has a specially trained staff to assist and teach divers with physical disabilities. For more information, call (340) 775-6285.
The Chris Sawyer Diving Center has three locations on St. Thomas and offers interested divers a variety of packages, dive locations and certification options. While aboard Sawyer's 42-foot boat, Fool' Gold, divers may choose from a one-tank dive for $55 or a two-tank dive for $75. Equipment is included. Vacationers ready to dive extensively will enjoy the Diving Adventure Passport. The passport is issued on the first dive and includes all equipment as well as the choice of a night dive. The six-dive passport is $210 per person and the ten-dive passport is $315 per person. For those who have never even tried diving, the dive center offers an entry to scuba experience that gives beginners a guided sample of the beauty and ease of diving. This three-step program begins in the resort pool, then proceeds to an exciting reef dive from nearby Coki Beach, and finally concludes with a guided open-water scuba dive. The cost for this entry-level experience is $60 per person and includes all necessary equipment. In addition to these dive packages, the dive center also offers a five-day PADI certification course that includes academic review sessions, pool practice and four reef dives. For more information and reservations, click on the home page below.
St. John Dive Centers
Cruz Bay Watersports, with three convenient locations on St. John-including the Westin Resort-is a full-service dive center ready to assist divers in the enjoyment of the coral gardens and wondrous fish surrounding the island. Each day, the center offers a two-tank, two-location dive for $80, a one-tank dive for $55 and a night dive for $75. In addition, Cruz Bay Watersports provides a two-and-a-half day open water certification course for $350 per person. Prices include equipment and a certified instructor or dive master. Call (340) 776-6234.
Low Key Watersports offers dive packages, PADI certification programs and equipment rentals for divers of all skill levels. Certified divers may choose from several dive trips including a two-tank, two-site dive for $75, a night dive for $65 and the Major General Rodgers wreck dive for $75. In addition to the dive trips, Low Key also provides a series of dive packages: three two-tank, two-location dives for $210; four two-tank, two-location dives for $260; or five two-tank, two-location dives for $295. Low Key Watersports provides beginning divers endless options for training and certification programs. The Discover Scuba Program is $65 and allows the first-time diver the opportunity to learn the basics of scuba diving and participate in a shallow reef dive. For additional information, call 340-693-8999
St. Croix Dive Centers
Dive Experience, located in downtown Christiansted, St. Croix, welcomes divers with a full retail shop, rental equipment, instructional programs and dive packages. A one-tank dive with Dive Experience is $55, a two-tank dive is $75 and night dives are $60. Six-dive, ten-dive and 14-dive packages are available for $200, $325 and $425 respectively. Prices include equipment, transportation and a divemaster or instructor. For more information, call (340) 773-3307 or (800) 235-9047.
SCUBA, St. Croix Ultimate Blue-water Adventure, is a full-service dive center on St. Croix that offers boat-diving packages, rentals and a variety of certification programs. For certified divers, the center offers a one-tank dive for $65 or a two-tank dive for $80. SCUBA also offers a series of packages: two two-tank dives for $160; three two-tank dives for $215; four two-tank dives for $275; five two-tank dives for $330; six two-tank dives for $385; and seven two-tank dives for $435. In addition, the dive center has a one-tank night dive for $65 or guests may exchange one day of diving (two-tank) from one of the previous packages for a night dive (one-tank). All dives include the necessary gear and an instructor or divemaster. Courses provided by SCUBA include: a computer assisted, five-day Executive Open Water Certification program for $600; a One Week Open Water Certification for $350; a four to six week Monthly Open Water Certification class for $225; and an Open Water Checkout program for $225, in which students complete the classroom and pool work at home and travel to St. Croix for the open water dives (two two-tank dives). For additional information about the center's advanced courses, rentals and more, call (340) 773-5994 or (877) 567-1367.
Guests of the Pink Fancy Hotel on St. Croix may choose to participate in the hotel's Certified Divers Package or Beginners package. Each package includes seven nights and eight days of deluxe pool or garden side accommodations, daily continental breakfast and a three-day car rental. Certified divers receive three days of diving including two two-tank dives and one one-tank dive. Beginners receive a three-day diving course with classroom and pool instruction and boat dives. Cost is based on double occupancy and is $545 per person from April 15 - Dec. 14 and $645 per person from Dec. 15 - April 14. For an additional $100 per person, beginners may be certified through a four-day program. To receive information about these packages, call 340-773-8460.
At the Hotel Caravelle, located on the water's edge in the quaint port of Christiansted, St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures offers visitors a dive vacation that includes accommodations and a series of dives. The dive boat conveniently leaves from the hotel dock each morning and afternoon. Prices for these packages begin at $470 per person, based on double occupancy. To receive additional information, or make a reservation, call (340) 773-0687.
The Tamarind Reef Hotel on St. Croix has created a series of dive packages that include continental breakfast daily and the use of ocean kayaks. All packages include a $75 voucher for dinner at The Galleon Restaurant, T-shirts and sun visors. Divers have the opportunity to choose from superior or deluxe accommodations or even a junior suite. The six-day/five night package is $1,236.20, $1,283.40 or $1,330.60, respectively and the eight-day/seven-night package is $1,788.28, $1,854.36 and $1,920.44, respectively. For additional information or to make reservations, call (340) 773-4455.
The Waves at Cane Bay offers divers a unique approach to exploring the underwater splendor of St. Croix. Overlooking a shoreline that hugs a nearby underwater drop-off wall, known as the Cane Bay Reef Wall, the resort boasts an ultimate diving location. Certified guests are provided free tanks, weights, air-fills and underwater maps of the Cane Bay Reef. Hotel guests may also enjoy a private tour and witness over 24 ancient anchors with guide and hotel owner, Kevin Ryan, for $25 per person. For guests who are not certified, the resort offers a Discover Scuba Diving class for $75. Shoreline diving is accessible from the resort while nearby dive shops provide boat diving excursions. Rooms at the Waves at Cane Bay range from $75 - $195 nightly. For more information, or to make a reservation, contact the resort at (340) 778-1805 or toll-free at (800) 545-0603.
Bolongo Bay Beach Club on St. Thomas recently introduced a new series of three Value Dive Passes. The dive packages are: a six-dive pass for $198 with a one-time equipment rental for $40; a 12-dive pass for $330 plus a one-time equipment rental for $75; and an unlimited dive pass for $395 with a one-time equipment rental for $90. The St. Thomas Diving Club, a five-star PADI training facility located on Bolongo's property makes these packages available to divers of all skill levels. The diving club also offers open-water certification courses. Contact Bolongo Bay Beach Club and Villas at (340) 775-1800.
Guests of Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina may create a unique dive and resort package that will allow them to easily explore the beautiful underwater world of St. Thomas. The resort offers a choice of either a three- or seven-night package each with either six- or ten-dives. Visitors interested in the three-night, six-dive package can choose from Harborview Suites with rates of $1,203 for single occupancy and $1,406 for double occupancy or Beachfront Suites with rates at $1,377 for single occupancy or $1,580 for double occupancy. The seven-night, six dive package is $2,303 per single occupancy and $2,506 per double occupancy in the Harborview Suites, or $2,943 per single occupancy and $3,146 per double occupancy in the Beachfront Suites. The ten-dive packages are offered to guests staying at least seven nights at the property. The rates for the seven-night, ten-dive package are $2,376 per single occupancy and $2,676 per double occupancy in the Harborview Suites and $3,040 per single occupancy and $3,340 per double occupancy in the Beachfront Suites. Contact (340) 775-6100.
Wyndham Sugar Bay Beach Club & Resort, an all-inclusive resort located on St. Thomas, provides guests the opportunity to upgrade their all-inclusive package to include a variety of diving excursions. Visitors staying three nights can pay an additional $158 and receive two two-tank dives; those staying five nights can receive three two-tank dives for an additional $236; and guests of the resort for seven nights can receive four two-tank dives for an additional $315. Rates apply to double occupancy rooms and include transfers to the dive boat. For additional information, call 340-777-7100.
Regardless of skill level, the United States Virgin Islands offers the ultimate underwater getaway. For additional information about these packages and more, call 800-372-USVI (8784) or contact the nearest USVI Department of Tourism regional office in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C. or Toronto.