One of the great joys of a Caribbean cruise is the sheer variety of your trip. While the excitement of simply sailing the High Seas is undeniable, and life aboard ship (and all the entertainment it provides) is hardly dull, a cruise through the Caribbean means a wealth of day trips, new ports, excursions, and new experiences at every island your stop off at.
Whether it is your first cruise vacation or just your first one this year, a Caribbean cruise is a real treat. First stop for most cruises coming from ports on the East Coast will be the Bahamas, a sun-kissed little archipelago surrounded by glittering turquoise seas, gorgeous sandy beaches, and amazing coral reefs.
The Bahamas is a haven for sun-seekers and beach lovers, but it is also one of the best places in the world for snorkeling and scuba diving. The richness of the marine world that you can encounter just a few feet beneath the waves is truly staggering, and you’ll be blown away by the creatures you see and the landscapes you’ll explore, whether you are a veteran or just taking your first breaths as a diver.
One of the finest spots for divers in the Bahamas is the Sea Star shipwreck, easily found just a short boat ride away from Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Originally known as The Emmanuelle, the Sea Star was an Italian cargo ship that was deliberately sunk in April 2002 to create an artificial reef for underwater wildlife, and an exciting location for wreck diving.
The ship is an impressive sight, even resting on the bottom of the ocean. Appearing out of the murky gloom of the open ocean, it lies at a depth of 27m and stretches out at over 55m long. Since it was sunk it has split down the middle, during the fierce Hurricane Frances, which has created two separate wrecks. With an additional opening that has been made in the cargo hold from the main deck it offers simple access for divers of all levels.
The wreck is now home to a wide variety of fish and marine life, with large schools of snappers always in attendance, and the deck covered in crustaceans of all shapes and sizes, including an enormous rainbow crab that is the largest discovered in the Bahamas!
Novice divers will have to be content to explore the outside of the ship (which is pretty spectacular nonetheless), but more experienced divers can swim through the wreck, exploring the kitchen, sleeping quarters, cargo bay, and wheelhouse.