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 Dwain Gardner for an underwater adventure!
Trips like this sell out fast!
Registration closes on April 20, 2021.
Dwain Gardner, Trip Leader
Dwain took his first scuba class when he was 19 at the University of Missouri in Columbia. After the first day of scuba class, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. For four and a half years, Dwain helped teach a course at the University of Missouri, then continued to teach scuba and managed several dive stores before starting Capt. Nemo’s Dive Shop 36 years ago. Now, 42 years after that first scuba class, Dwain enjoys giving newcomers the same inspiring experience he had in his first lesson, teaching beginning students and helping over 2,000 divers become certified.
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.
- From Columbia: $3,100
Deposit and payments
- $500 deposit due upon sign up
- $1,000 due January 1, 2021
- $1,000 due March 1, 2021
- Full payment due May 1, 2021
- Non-diver: $2,490 from Columbia
- Prices are based upon double occupancy
- All payments are non-refundable
- Prices are subject to change due to events outside of our control
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- Deep Diving
- Boat Diving
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. Saba’s Mount Scenery provides extensive hiking and walking options for those that want to explore everything Saba has to offer.
Know before you go
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.
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 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!
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.
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!