Silver Bank Trip in 2020 - Snorkel with Humpback Whales
Join us and the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II to snorkel with Humpback Whales. See them spin and play, and sense the power and grace of some of the most intelligent mammals on earth. It’s a life-changing experience!
✓ We book liveaboards that offer the best overall value
✓ Fun, engaged trip leaders who care about the guest experience
✓ Repeat customer discounts, gear discounts and other benefits
✓ Great support if flight/weather issues occur
Trip Overview - Designated as a Marine Sanctuary, the Silver Bank provides a safe wintering haven for the entire North Atlantic Humpback Whale population who gather here from January through April by the thousands to court, mate, calve, and rear their young. Humpback whales find the area ideal for mating and giving birth. The banks offer safety and protection to females and their calves until the young are strong enough to make the trip back to the North Eastern U.S. coast. This sanctuary, also known as the “Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic” is one of three places in the worldwhere humans can swim and snorkel among the whales.
The Turks & Caicos Aggressor II moors in an area near the backbone reef of the Silver Bank where an old Greek freighter called the Polyxeni lies aground being rapidly reclaimed by the sea. This extensive reef provides some protection and a comfortable anchorage for the yacht. The tenders (with bimini tops) are launched several times daily and are solely used to bring you closer to the whales. Tender runs last one and a half to three hours depending on the proximity of whale activity and time of day.
During the trip you will enjoy two distinct types of encounters. One type will occur on the surface as you enjoy the spectacle put-on by rowdy males as they aggressively compete for the attention of the females by breaching, slamming into one another, lob tailing, spy hopping and fin and tail slapping. Needless to say, these activities can only be safely observed from a reasonable distance in the tenders.
The other type of encounter will involve entering the water wearing mask, fins and snorkel to observe less aggressive and often curious groups and individuals. Whales considered to be approachable in the water include mother, calf and escort male trios, solitary females and sleeping whales. Sometimes the whales are curious and cooperative and sometimes they disappear in a flash
Snorkeling Conditions - You will be snorkeling in water that averages 78°F. Most guests make as many as 2 “whale runs” each day, so some sort of protection is needed. A 3-5mm wetsuit or shorty and full-foot fins are suggested. Most snorkeling is done from the tenders. Some whale observations do occur from the mother ship.
✓ Accommodations aboard the yacht
✓ All meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine
✗ Airfare (international and domestic)
✗ Equipment rentals
✗ Airport transfers
✗ Hotel stays/day rooms
✗ Dinner on final evening
✗ Crew gratuity
✗ Port/park fees, fuel surcharge, taxes (when applicable)
SATURDAY: Boarding is at 4 p.m. with a 9:30 pm departure to Silver Bank.
SUNDAY: Arrival in Silver Bank is around 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Sunday weather permitting. Brunch/late breakfast while crew prepares mooring and assembly of the tenders. The first tender runs begins at 2:00 p.m. (2 tenders running). Afternoon tenders runs to the yacht at approximately 5:00 p.m.
MONDAY - WEDNESDAY: First tender runs will commence immediately after breakfast. Whale runs are throughout the day. “Sundowner” cocktail parties on the sun deck every afternoon following whale runs. Nightly presentation and video will be after dinner.
THURSDAY: Two tenders runs will be offered prior to departure from the Silver Bank.
FRIDAY: The yacht returns to the Ocean World Marina in Puerto Plata late Friday afternoon. Friday night, dinner is not served onboard; however, the crew will recommend a restaurant in the marina.
SATURDAY: Check out is between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m.
About Turks & Caicos Aggressor II - Turks & Caicos Aggressor II's accommodations include six Deluxe staterooms, each having a double and single berth with ensuite bath and flat screen TV and DVD player, two Single-Share staterooms each with two single berths that share a bathroom/head between the two staterooms with flat screen TV & DVD player and one Master suite for couples that has one large double bed with ensuite bath and a flat screen TV and DVD player.
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