07/17/2021 - 07/24/2021

Saba

The “Unspoiled Queen” of the Caribbean

 

Where we are diving

Saba, known as the Unspoiled Queen, plunges below the sea as steeply as she rises above. From shallow patch reefs to deep underwater seamounts. Past volcanic activity has created spectacular formations and structures. Underwater lava flows and hot springs are the most obvious evidence of Saba’s volcanic origins. This island is protected by both a marine park and a land conservation foundation.

The reefs are populated with schools of tropical fish including, sharks, turtles, and healthy coral. Sheer close-to-shore walls are covered with sponges of all sizes, and the heavily encrusted deep-water seamounts and pinnacles provide amazing opportunities to experience an abundance of marine life. Unusual and exciting marine sightings are always possible in Saba. Advanced Open Water Certification is recommended for this trip. Join trip leader David Hollis for an underwater adventure! 

                                                                                              

Trips like this sell out fast!
Registration closes on April 16, 2021

David Hollis, Trip Leader

David’s passion for scuba started before he turned ten while doing Try Scubas with his dad. His passion for the ocean and all outdoor activities has only grown since. A progressing Dive Professional; David’s favorite place to dive (so far) is Grand Turk but he continues to explore all dive destinations.

Resort Details

Where we are staying

Juliana’s Hotel has the perfect location, nestled in the lush hillside in the village of Windwardside, where the days are warm, the nights are refreshingly cool, the birds are chirping, and a gentle breeze flows through your room. Located in the touristic village of Windwardside, Juliana’s hotel is also just a minute’s walk from Saba’s finest restaurants, gift shops, grocery stores, museums, hiking trails, and much more. Juliana’s Hotel is close to the Mount Scenery stairs, which take you to the highest point on the island. You’re also in a great spot to gain access to the crossroads of the island’s most scenic trails. Enjoy the fascinating changes in vegetation along the way and the magnificent views of the neighboring islands.

Learn more about the accommodations from the resort website.

Trip Details

Price

  • From Omaha, Springfield, North Liberty: $3,030 per diver
  • From Madison/Columbia: $2,225 per diver*

Deposit and payments

  • $500 deposit due upon sign up
  • $500 due December 1, 2020
  • $500 due March 1, 2021
  • Full payment due May 1, 2021

Other info

  • Non-diver: $2,330 from Omaha, Springfield, North Liberty; $1,525 ground only from Madison, Columbia
  • Prices are based upon double occupancy
  • All payments are non-refundable
  • Prices are subject to change due to events outside of our control

What’s included

  • Roundtrip airfare and transfers
  • 7 nights of accommodations
  • 11 boat dives
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner – Dine-around Saba program

What’s not included

Recommended courses

  • Enriched Air Nitrox
  • Deep Diving
  • Boat Diving

Recommended equipment

  • Mesh bag
  • GoBe 800 wide light
  • SeaLife Micro 3.0 camera

What prior travelers say

 

“Saba “The Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean” lives up to its name and is one of my favorite places to dive and has some of the most abundant marine life I have ever seen. The Saba Marine Park surrounding the island offers beautiful coral, turtles, sharks, and dolphins. Saba, being an inactive volcano, offers immense offshore seamounts or pinnacles which house vast marine life. On land, Saba’s dine-around package will give the group a tour of Saba’s incredible restaurants and provide a presentation on Saba’s ecological uniqueness. Saba’s Mount Scenery provides extensive hiking and walking options for those that want to explore everything Saba has to offer.”

– David H

Important Details

Know before you go

Water
Saba offers year-round diving with seasonal differences in water temperature and surface conditions. The water temperature varies between 77°F-84°F. Visibility ranges from a minimum of 60ft to virtually unlimited. Swells and heavy rainfall may influence visibility, but typically it clears again very quickly. 

Weather
The daytime temperature on Saba averages around 81°F. Easterly trade winds and the mountain create ever-changing cloud movements. Temperatures will always be cooler on the top of Mt. Scenery.  

Electricity
Electricity on the islands is the US Standard, 110 volts. For American electronics, there is no need for a converter! 

Courtesy & Dress
Casual sportswear is an appropriate dress anytime on Saba. Bathing suits are not appropriate within the villages. Being shirtless in any of Saba’s villages is actually against the law!  

Language
Everyone speaks English, although Dutch is the official language. 

Currency, Taxes & Tipping 
Saba uses the US dollar. There are ATMs in Windwardside and the Bottom. Credit cards (including foreign cards) are accepted at larger establishments. Service charges are included on restaurant bills, so no further tipping is necessary. However, gratuity is not included at Tropics Cafe, so tipping will be necessary there. At hotels, a 10% to 15% service charge is generally at the discretion of the guest. Tipping taxi drivers and guides are at visitors’ discretion. 

Meals
Most meals are included in your package. Breakfast is included daily at Tropics Cafe (gratuity not included). There is one lunchbox lunch provided for divers on the 3-tank dive day only. Non-divers will have to pay for their lunch those days. Dinners and gratuity for dinners are included with the Saba Dine Around Program.  

Getting to Saba
All travel to Saba happens through St. Maarten so a hopper flight is needed to get to the island. Only a twelve-minute flight, but what twelve minutes they are! When boarding your Twin Otter or BN2 Islander at Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten, you’ll certainly notice the difference in scale to many of the commercial airlines parked and landing around you. Only space for 16 passengers in a Twin Otter (7 in an islander) so you’ll get a real feeling that you and your fellow travelers are part of a team heading out on an expedition. On takeoff, you’ll soar gracefully upward banking hard right to swing around in the direction of Saba. Out over the turquoise sea, that sharp silhouette in the distance with clouds atop is your destination! The runway at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is only 400m in length and reputed to be the shortest commercial airstrip in the world! You’ll get the real sense of landing on an aircraft carrier as you’ll see the waters of the Cove Bay to the left and the Caribbean sea to the right of the runway. The approach is practically at a cliff, the rugged terrain of Saba blocks out the entire sky as you peer over the shoulders of your pilots. Then it’s a sharp bank left and a gentle touchdown. Landing on Saba is an art form, and the Pilots of Winair & Windward Express are maestros, so enjoy it, remembering it will not be a problem! 

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