Join us in one of the few places in the world where you are allowed to snorkel alongside the majestic humpback whale.
The Silver Bank Marine Sanctuary, just off the north coast of the Dominican Republic, 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 world where humans can swim and snorkel among the whales.
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 a 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.
Is This Tour Right for Me?
This tour is solely about getting in the water and having magical encounters with humpback whales. As such, the majority of the time will be spent in open ocean conditions, and not on reefs. As the experienced crew observes the different whales’ behavior and positions the tenders to safely and respectfully snorkel with these animals, you can expect to spend a bit of time in the tender-which has a sun canopy. Depending on the whale’s activity, you may be required to climb in and out of the tender more often than you would on a typical snorkeling safari.
*Please note, this is not a video from our tours to the Dominican Republic, but we believe represents the snorkeling experience we offer on this tour.
Upon arrival at Dominican Republic’s international airport – Puerto Plata (POP) International Airport, you will be transferred to Ocean World Marina where the boat will be waiting. We will board the boat at 4:00 pm and have an introductory briefing, dinner, and then set sail for the Silver Bank around 9:30 pm.
We will arrive at Silver Bank between 8:30 am. – 10:30 am, weather permitting. Brunch/late breakfast will be served while the crew prepares the mooring and assembly of the tenders. The first snorkel will be around 2:00 pm and return to the main vessel around 5:00 pm.
Each morning will begin with a delicious breakfast that consists of hot entrees, fresh fruits, juices, and cereal.
After breakfast, the first tenders runs to snorkel with the whales will begin at 8:30 am. The tenders will be shuttling us to and from the areas where the whales are throughout the day. The Turks & Caicos Aggressor II has two 17 ft. long by 7 ft. wide, aluminum V-hull tenders with 18 “ pontoons that hold 11 people in each one. They are fitted with a dive ladder for easy exiting, a full-length bimini top for sun protection, 2 50 hp 4-stroke Yamaha engines for extra safety, and a VHF radio. Tenders (with bimini tops) are launched several times daily and are used solely 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.
We will break for lunch which is served buffet style. After lunch and some time for digestion, we will resume the tender runs to snorkel with more whales.
Throughout the day snacks and refreshing beverages will be served onboard.
At 6:00 pm each evening the crew will host a “Sundowner” cocktail party on the sun deck where we can all drink in the breathtaking Caribbean views as the sun dips below the horizon.
Dinner is a three-course affair, usually plated and served at the table. Sodas, beers, and wines are included and served with the evening meal.
The yacht will return to the Ocean World Marina in Puerto Plata late Friday afternoon. Friday night, dinner is not served onboard; however, we will have a group dinner organized just for us at a nice restaurant in the marina. Please note the dinner is not included in the cost and should be paid individually.
We return to the vessel to sleep.
After an early continental breakfast, we disembark and bid farewell to our new friends between 7 and 8 am. We will arrange transfers to the airport or your hotel if you are staying in the Dominican Republic after the tour.
The Turks & Caicos Aggressor II is a 119ft (36m) mono-hulled Caribbean liveaboard that can take a maximum of 18 guests. We charter the vessel so we will have full run of the boat just for Snorkel Venture guests.
You can socialize in the spacious air-conditioned salon and dining area which features a DVD, and music player and a complete photo center, email service, and a digital video and a ‘still photo editing’ computer. Or if you prefer the outdoors, you can relax on the sun deck where there are sun loungers, a comfortable shaded seating area, and a hot tub.
There are 9 staterooms on the lower deck. There is 1 Master stateroom with a queen bed. The 6 Deluxe double/twin staterooms have a lower double bed and an upper single bed. The 2 Twin staterooms with single bunk beds. All have air-conditioning, TV and DVD, and en-suite bathrooms except Twin staterooms which share a bathroom.
Please note that the cabins are fairly small compared to a resort’s accommodation so please get in touch with us if you have claustrophobic tendencies, and we can discuss if this tour is appropriate for you and how guests with similar concerns have previously coped.
All rooms have:
- Individually controlled air conditioning
- Private bathroom with toilet and hot water shower (except Twin staterooms)
- Hand basin, towels, toiletries, and hairdryer
- TV/DVD player
- Cabinet and mirror
- Mains outlet 110 volts (US standard) – 24 hours per day
On this page you will find our Tour Dates & Pricing (see below contact form), a Booking Form and Details of Payment schedule including deposit and final balance. If you have any further questions please complete the form and we will reply within 24-48hrs.
Tour Dates 2025
8 – 15 February 2025
15 – 22 February 2025
Twin: $4,995 USD per person
Deluxe: $5,195 USD per person
Master Stateroom: $5,495 USD per person
How to book your place
Initial deposit to secure your booking is $400 per person
12 months before departure interim payment of $600 per person
6 months before departure interim payment of $1,000 per person
Balance due 3 months before departure
- Return airport transfers
- 7 nights’ accommodation and full board (all meals and snacks)
- Complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks onboard the Turks & Caicos Aggressor
- Services of snorkel guides and boat skiff for multiple snorkeling excursions each day
- Accompanied by a Snorkel Venture tour leader
- International/Domestic flights & Visas
- Snorkel equipment rental
- USD $600 Whale Sanctuary and Port Access Fee to be paid onboard and in CASH. A fuel surcharge of $150 PP may be paid in cash or by MC/Visa. Sanctuary and the Port Access Fee is established by the Dominican Republic authorities. The fees for 2024/2025/2026 will be announced as it gets closer to the start date of the season.*
- Travel and health insurance
- Evening meal on Friday
*Note: Fees and surcharges listed in exclusions are subject to change, we are not responsible for these changes and these must be paid for by the guest.
Please note our cancelation policy:
- 1 year or more: 150 USD penalty per person to switch to a credit note for use within 2 years
- 12 months or less: Loss of deposit and interim payment
- 90 – 28 days: 25% Refund (includes your final balance payment)
- 28 – 0 days: No Refund