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Turks & Caicos Explorer II

Turks & Caicos liveaboard and humpback whales of Silver Bank

The Turks and Caicos Explorer II is a comfortable and modern 37.8m liveaboard offering superb itineraries diving the amazing marine environment and reefs of Turks and Caicos and longer excursions to Silver Bank off the coast of The Dominican Republic to swim with humpback whales.

Accommodating up to 20 guests in 10 air-conditioned spacious cabins, the Turks and Caicos Explorer II also offers a cosy lounge area in the main salon, a large sundeck with loungers, a covered fly-bridge with wet bar and sociable dining area where you can enjoy delicious buffet style meals.

Dives are from the main vessel, supported by tenders where necessary, and up to 5 dives a day are offered, giving plenty of opportunity to explore the diverse wall dives, drop-offs and reefs in the warm, clear, turquoise waters of Turks and Caicos. 

From December through to April, 5000-7000 North Atlantic Humpback whales head to Silver Bank for mating and calving, creating an incredible show of breaching, lob tailing, fin slapping, and spy hopping. These itineraries run from January to April and allows you 6-8 hours of whale watching per day, two surface watching sessions daily from comfortable tenders and opportunities for passive in-water snorkel encounters, A truly once in a lifetime experience.

Getting there
British Airways offer flights to Turks and Caicos twice a week with a touch-down in Nassau, which takes approximately 12 hours. Turks and Caicos itineraries operate from Saturday to Saturday, departing from Providenciales. Silver Bank – Snorkel with Humpback Whales itineraries operate from Saturday to Saturday, departing from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. British Airways and Tui offer direct flights to Dominican Republic, which takes approximately 10 hours.

Guide prices:
Turks and Caicos Itinerary 7 nights – Twin Stateroom (lower deck) from USD $2695pp*
Silver Bank Itinerary 7 nights – Twin Stateroom (lower deck) from USD $4195pp* 2024 / USD $4295pp 2025*

Includes: 7 nights’ accommodation, 3 meals daily, plus between-dive snacks, up to 5 dives daily, use of tanks, weights and belts, All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Bath towels, soaps and shampoo are supplied.
Additional fees: Permits & Cruising fee $450 per person, Port & Fuel Surcharge fee $450 per person

Package excludes: international flights, overnight hotel stays, airport transfers ($45 for up to two people (each way) and $25 per person thereafter), Friday evening dinner in Providenciales, optional island tours, rental, instruction and retail charges, crew gratuities, Nitrox (150 USD / week).

*Price shown is for guide purposes only and is based on low season travel and for twin share accommodation. Please contact us for a confirmed cost based on your preferred duration and time of travel.

Quick Guide: Turks and Caicos Explorer II

  • 37.8m length
  • Max 20 passengers
  • 10 cabins – 2 VIP staterooms, 4 double/twin staterooms (main deck) and 2 Twin staterooms (lower deck)
  • Recommended diver level: Advanced Open Water 

Accommodation & Facilities

Accommodation & Facilities
Accommodation on board the Turks and Caicos Explorer II includes 2 VIP staterooms located on the top deck and feature queen-sized beds, on the main deck there are 2 further staterooms with twin beds and 2 that can be either a twin or double configuration. Located on the lower deck, accessed via a circular staircase from the main salon there are 2 twin staterooms with upper and lower beds. All cabins include individually-controlled air conditioning, private bathroom and shower, hanging closet, wardrobe and storage.

The salon is a perfect place to relax and has comfortable sofas and entertainment area with TV and DVD. There is also a spacious shaded sun deck with loungers and flybridge with wet bar and barbeque area. 

A huge variety of food is available on board, evening meals include fresh vegetables, rice, pasta, chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and fish. Breakfast is served as a buffet with bacon, eggs, pancakes, French toast, muffins, danishes and fresh fruit. Lunches vary from soup and sandwiches, burgers, pasta, assorted salads, and pies. Homemade bread, cake, cookies and brownies are offered between dives.

Diving is from the main vessel and the aft half of the main deck is where diving operations take place. The dive deck is equipped with individual gear lockers, camera table, recharging station, air and nitrox filling station, tank racks and separate freshwater rinse baths for dive equipment and cameras, along with a wetsuit hanging area, freshwater showers, and a bathroom. The dive platform has two in-water ladders hang for easy access to and from the water.

For Silver Bank itineraries, there is 6-8 hours of whale watching per day offered with surface watching from one of the two tenders. When possible, there is also the opportunity for passive in-water snorkel encounters, which consists of floating on the water surface in mask, snorkel and fins, allowing the whale to develop an interest and approach you on their terms.

Turks & Caicos Itinerary

Saturday: 1500 Guests begin to board the Turks & Caicos Explorer II, 1830 Dinner (snacks or dinner available for those arriving on later flights), 2000 Captain’s Briefing, documents, etc.

Sunday: Provo’s Northwest Point. Four to five dives, with the night spent at mooring.

Monday: Two morning dives at Northwest Point, followed by a 2-hour trip to West Caicos. Three dives, with the night spent at mooring.

Tuesday: Up to five dives at West Caicos, with the night spent at mooring.

Wednesday: Two dives at West Caicos, transit to French Cay, three dives at French Cay, with the night spent at mooring.

Thursday: Five dives at French Cay, with the night spent at mooring.

Friday: Dawn dive and morning dive at French Cay, with departure for the 2-hour trip back to port. Afternoon at leisure; dinner ashore, with the night spent aboard the vessel.

Saturday: 0700/0830 Continental breakfast, 0900 Depart the Turks & Caicos Explorer II

Silver Bank Itinerary

Day 1: Safety Briefing, Crew Introduction, Necessary Dive Paperwork, Cabin allocation and ship orientation will take place before departing the Harbour.

Day 2 – 7: Spend a week on the comfortable Turks and Caicos Explorer in the company of these amazing creatures, and be thrilled by spectacular displays of breaching, pectoral fin slapping, lobtailing and spy-hopping when they half-rise out of the water.

Observe humpback whales above and below water, without a doubt one of the most unique experiences available.

The whales stay just long enough for their calves to gain the strength to swim north, and then leave in search of colder, more productive waters. During their brief time by the Silver Banks, you would be able to view the gentle giants, although only some of the humpback interactions are suitable for in-water viewing.

Pregnant female humpbacks calve during this time, and estrous females seek to mate; testosterone peaks in males and competition is high.

Docile mothers and calves, for example, are often happy to tolerate snorkelers, whereas the violent paternity race that sees five or six boisterous male whales in pursuit of a single female is best viewed from the safety of the ship.

Diving with whales is not permitted in the Silver Bank Marine Sanctuary in case the whales see the bubbles as a threat

Surface activity is frequent breaching, lob tailing, and fin slapping are some of the behaviors that can be seen on a daily basis.

Day 8: Depart Turks and Caicos Explorer II

Ready for your next adventure?

Great Escapes Diving Holidays Ltd

Combs Tannery
Tannery Road
IP14 2EN
United Kingdom

Office hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 5pm
Tel: 01449 535010

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