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Thread: Getting to Antilla Wreck WITHOUT a "Tour"

  1. #1
    Junior Member CDNJehn's Avatar
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    Question Getting to Antilla Wreck WITHOUT a "Tour"

    Wondering if there is a way to get out to the Antilla without booking a complete snorkeling tour? We had a blast with Jolly Pirates in April when we visited the island via cruiseship. But our stop at the Antilla was cut short for me because of rough water (I seriously thought I was going to flippin' drown!). We'd like to be able to head back to see the Antilla (in better conditions of course) but don't want the whole snorkel tour experience again. I was thinking that it might be just as much $$$ to try to get there on our own though, without a "tour". Any suggestions?

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    Senior Member SkiChris's Avatar
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    You are correct that it would cost you more money to book a private charter boat to take you direct to the Antilla. My recommendation for a "no frills" Antilla Tour is Roberto's Watersports. They have a trimaran that is docked at the pier between the Holiday Inn & Marriott resorts. Their Antilla tour costs $35 (very reasonable price) and they sail to the Antilla and then move next to it for a snorkel at Catalina Bay. The water at Catalina Bay is much calmer than the Antilla and the fish are more colorful so well worth jumping in for a snorkel at this extra stop. After the snorkel at Catalina, the boat returns to the Marriott Dock. Sometimes the order of the 2 snorkel stops is reversed whereby they'd stop at Catalina Bay first and then go to the Antilla - it all depends on the number of boats currently anchored at each location. The tour provides snorkel gear and even offers you a half sandwich when you return from the snorkel. It's a great value. http://www.robertoswatersports.com/

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    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    Most of the snorkel tours go to the Antilla and all have different options/times. Beware that at the Antilla wreck, oil sometimes seeps into the water from the wreck itself. We have been there several times in the past, but stopped going when my daughter and a couple of other girls had their swimsuits ruined from the oil when they swam through it. Despite valiant efforts by the crew on board, the suits were total losses. We have since seen others on the beach saying they had swimsuits ruined from the oil also. That said, it is a pretty neat snorkel site to see at least once.

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    Junior Member CDNJehn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaltVB View Post
    Beware that at the Antilla wreck, oil sometimes seeps into the water from the wreck itself. We have been there several times in the past, but stopped going when my daughter and a couple of other girls had their swimsuits ruined from the oil when they swam through it. Despite valiant efforts by the crew on board, the suits were total losses.
    Good to know! Maybe I'll have to bring along an old bathing suit (or buy a cheap one) for that day, one I won't mind throwing out if necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkiChris View Post
    You are correct that it would cost you more money to book a private charter boat to take you direct to the Antilla. My recommendation for a "no frills" Antilla Tour is Roberto's Watersports. http://www.robertoswatersports.com/
    Thanks for the referral! I'll check out their site. With Jolly Pirates we visited the Antilla, and my husband stayed out for some time. But my snorkel kept plugging so I barely saw anything. We also snorkeled at Catalina as well, but then my SON had snorkel issues ... so all in all I didn't see much. A return trip to both places might be in order.

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Re: difficulties with snorkel

    So many do have difficulties with snorkels. It can be very problematic and frightening and a turn off.

    there is a FullFace Snorkel Mask out there.
    I am unsure of its availability or where to get it...
    but I'd imagine it will become available in dive shops in Aruba and USA pretty soon

    check out the video
    http://www.dudeiwantthat.com/outdoor...eling-mask.asp
    Quote Originally Posted by CDNJehn View Post
    Good to know! Maybe I'll have to bring along an old bathing suit (or buy a cheap one) for that day, one I won't mind throwing out if necessary.



    Thanks for the referral! I'll check out their site. With Jolly Pirates we visited the Antilla, and my husband stayed out for some time. But my snorkel kept plugging so I barely saw anything. We also snorkeled at Catalina as well, but then my SON had snorkel issues ... so all in all I didn't see much. A return trip to both places might be in order.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    I am going to be perfectly frank. If you were in the water there once and did not see the wreck there is no real need to go through the expense to try to repeat the experience.

    It is difficult to see the wreck structure with the exception of the top surfaces. Aruba is not know for terrific water visibility or clarity. Online writers glorifying Aruba's diving will tell you visibility in Aruba is 60' but from experience on 12+ dives on the Antilla that would be absolute perfect conditions-being at the right place, at the right time. Rare would be the day you would be able to see the 60' straight down to the bottom.

    If you still HAVE TO go to the Antilla, my best suggestion is to find an operator who would be able to get you there just after sunrise. As the day wears on the winds get stronger in Aruba and whip up the waves as well as the current.
    Last edited by Arubalisa; 06-28-2014 at 11:37 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SkiChris's Avatar
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    I normally agree with everything that Arubalisa posts, but on this point I"ll have to disagree with her. My husband and I have been traveling to Aruba for 15 years and each time we take a snorkel tour to the Antilla - it is always one of the highlights of the trip. It is simply one of the best opportunities to view a shipwreck of that size in all of the Caribbean. I agree with the comment that the water quality and visibility can vary so always ask about this when you sign up for your tour. If the people at the tent know it is your second time to go view the wreck, they will be very honest with you about suggestions for the best days and times to take your tour for the best water clarity based on the weather for the week

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