Turks and Caicos Explorer II
The 106-foot MV Turks & Caicos Explorer II underwent a refit and renovation in 2005 and can now accommodate up to 20 passengers in ten cabins. Eight crew work hard all week to look after guests and make sure that their diving holiday is a trip of a lifetime. All staterooms have portholes or windows, individually-controlled air conditioning and private en suite bathrooms. The two VIP Staterooms are situated amidships on the upper, Boat Deck. Each room has a queen-sized bed, a TV, a desk, a chair and a dresser, ample space to hang and store clothing and a private bathroom. These staterooms are for couples only. The five Main Deck Staterooms are similar but have one large bed or two single beds (and lack a TV). The Three Lower Deck Staterooms have two single beds one above the other, portholes, a hanging closet and private bathroom.
The crew of Turks & Caicos Explorer II really take the effort out of diving. Once you have set up your gear on the first day they will look after it for the rest of the week, leaving divers free to enjoy what they have come for – diving! There is an awning-covered flybridge which is accessed via a staircase from the Boat Deck and features sofa seating for 12-15. Here there is a barbecue, wet bar and the helm station. From the flybridge’s open area, passengers can marvel at the beautiful scenery, or, when the diving is over for the day, select a drink from the well-stocked bar and watch the warm sun disappear into the Caribbean Sea. The Boat Deck features a large area for relaxing in the sun, has comfortable lounge chairs and provides an outside walkway to the two VIP Staterooms. The Main Deck (with the diving deck aft) features a comfortable air-conditioned salon which is used for serving breakfast and dinner, watching slide shows and DVDs or simply relaxing after a good day’s diving. The five Main Deck Staterooms are situated forward of the main salon. The dive deck is fully equipped with individual lockers, a camera table, recharging station, air and Nitrox filling station, wetsuit hanging area, freshwater showers and a bathroom. A large stairway leads down to the diving platform where 2 in-water ladders hang to make for easy access to and from the water. The Lower Deck is where the compressor is situated along with the dive gear storeroom, a camera room, communications room and crew cabins. The three Lower Deck Staterooms are situated at the front of the boat and accessed via a staircase from the main salon.
Diving takes place directly from the boat by giant stride into the water; at the end of the dive you simply climb aboard by one of the ladders. Underwater photographers have special facilities on board Turks & Caicos Explorer II. The dive deck has a large multi-level photography table for storage and servicing and there is a special stabilized charging station. Two separate rinse tanks are designated as camera-exclusive. Thorough briefings with site descriptions are given at each new dive site and, although divers are given a great deal of freedom, the buddy system is maintained at all times (unless you are authorized to dive solo: see below). Computer diving is encouraged to get the maximum profile from each dive. Turks & Caicos Explorer II anchors at specific sites in the morning or the afternoon for divers to enter the water when they wish (rather than have to dive with the whole group). Divers can expect up to 5 dives each day, including night dives. Solo diving is available for those who have completed a Solo Diver Course. The course is available on the boat for those who have PADI Advanced Open Water, are over 21 years of age, have over 100 logged dives, and can complete a 200 metre swim in full scuba gear, without stopping.
Meals on the Turks & Caicos Explorer II are freshly prepared every day. There is a choice of eggs, cereal, toast, tea and coffee for breakfast each day. Lunch and dinner are served buffet-style, with the occasional barbecue on the top deck. A selection of beverages is always available.
Turks & Caicos Explorer II operates from Turtle Cove Marina in Providenciales for 7 nights cruises, departing every Saturday throughout the year.
Price: From $1895. Includes: 7 nights cruise on Turk and Caicos Explorer in a Lower Deck Stateroom on a twin/share basis with full board (except dinner on Friday evening), including soft drinks and alcoholic drinks; 5 full days of diving (up to 4 or 5 dives daily including night dives) plus one or two dives on the last day. Supplement to upgrade to a Main Deck Stateroom: from $200. Supplement to upgrade to a VIP Stateroom: from $400. Reductions for non-divers and extra weeks. A port charge of $85 and a fuel surcharge of $125 (subject to change) are not included in the price and will be collected on board. Dinner on the last night is not included, but guests will go as a group to one of the local restaurants. Airport transfers are not included; taxis are freely available.