So, you’re thinking about joining a snorkeling safari but not quite sure you want to spend your hard end holiday time traveling around with a group of people you’ve never met before. What’s the group dynamic going to be like? I’m traveling alone so will I have to share a room with a stranger? Will we have to eat together at every meal? will we have to wear matching group outfits and travel behind someone carrying a big sign above their head!? These are all very valid questions, particularly the last one, and let me just quickly say that we would never put you into matching outfits and make you march through the domestic terminal in single file. To ease some of your very valid group traveling concerns here’s a little info on what it’s like to be apart of one of our group snorkeling safaris.
The Group Dynamic
As someone who’s been leading snorkeling safaris for Snorkel Venture since they first started, I can honestly say that every tour I’ve been on the general group dynamic is one of fun and excitement. I believe the reason we consistently receive such lively and easy-going groups of people is that our tours cater to a specific type of people, those that love to snorkel. If you jump on a group tour to Italy for example, you’ll have a very different dynamic as everyone within the group has a different idea of how they want to see Rome or Venice. One person might want to rush and see every site imaginable while another might want to casually take in the sites as they sit in front of a cafe with an espresso. These contradictions in personal choice are likely to upset the general group dynamic. This is not the case with our snorkeling safaris, however, as everyone is here for the very same reason—snorkeling—and that only strengthens the general atmosphere and cohesiveness of the group.
Our meals are a casual affair. Meal times are always briefed each day as the snorkeling schedule sort of revolves around them, or vice-versa. That being said, these are not set in stone, and if you want to take a meal earlier or a bit later for whatever reason, that can be easily coordinated so long as you are on time for the next snorkeling session. Also, you are not obligated to take every meal in a group setting. We always have a group table set for everyone, but if you’d prefer to have a private romantic meal with your loved one, or would prefer to take your meals on your bungalow’s balcony, that is absolutely fine.
Sleeping Arrangements for Solo Travelers
If your traveling solo and the idea of sharing a room with a complete stranger just doesn’t appeal to you in the least bit, we have a way around that with our single supplement room option. The resorts and boats we use for our snorkeling safaris always offer spacious rooms and large bathrooms so even if you do decide to share with another fellow snorkeler, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Most people spend very little time in their rooms anyway as they typically spend their non-snorkeling time in the resort or boats common areas or just taking in the incredible views.
We take a very relaxed and safe approach to our group snorkeling sessions. While we do technically snorkel as a group during our daily organized snorkel sessions, it’s more of a dispersed blob of people spread out over fifty or so yards as we slowly cruising over the reefs. Everyone has plenty of space for themselves to fully enjoy the reef and fishes at their own pace. We have at least three snorkel guides in the water at a time, with one in front leading, one or two guides in the middle, and one in back. If you want to stay close to the guides who will be pointing things out, that’s great. If you prefer to do your own thing, that’s also great. We only ask that you stay between the front and rear guides, which as I already mentioned is about half of a football field in length—depending on the reef. Then there are the house reefs, which most of our resorts have, and are available for you to snorkel at your leisure.
The Group Benefit
Aside from being able to meet and interact with a bunch of cool people who share a passion for snorkeling while not having to lift a finger when it comes to any sort of logistics or planning for the duration of the snorkeling safari, theres one more way in which you benefit significantly by joining a group snorkeling safari. How? Well, unfortunately, there is no such thing as a snorkeling resort or liveaboard. They are all dive resorts that accept snorkelers. You are welcome to book a snorkeling holiday with any of these dive operators by yourself, but since nearly all of these resort’s and liveaboard’s business comes from diving groups you will more than likely be sharing the space with a bunch of divers who will no doubt be the focus of the operator’s attention.
This is not the case with our snorkeling safaris as we charter the entire resort or liveaboard. For those resorts that are too large to charter, we are given our own boat and team of snorkeling guides for the duration of the tour. All the sites will be selected specifically for snorkeling, and best of all you won’t have to listen to a bunch of divers tell you how much “cooler” it is to wear cumbersome equipment and dive deep, when in fact you the best reefs and most of the big animals are found within the first fifteen feet of water!