Next to relaxing at one of our incredible beaches, boat cruises are the most popular activity on Providenciales.
Along with offering spectacular views of the Turks and Caicos ocean, excursions often include visits to the iguanas at Little Water Cay, and stops on the amazing beaches of Half Moon Bay, Water Cay, Pine Cay or Fort George Cay, and snorkelling.
Half Moon Bay, a beach that filled in between two islands, is a destination that the whole family will enjoy. The ocean and beach is great, our unique iguanas can be seen, and there’s a shallow lagoon to explore with interesting marine wildlife.
Depending on where you’re staying, cruises may either pick you up on the beach outside your hotel or resort (if you’re staying in Grace Bay), or (in some cases) offer free transport to and from your accommodation.
Excursions are typically half or full day activities. It varies by business, but lunch is often include when the cruise spans the midday hours.
The uninhabited cays and islands in the Turks and Caicos are fun and fascinating to explore. There aren’t many uninhabited islands still remaining in the Caribbean, and discovering one of these gems makes for the perfect tropical vacation experience.
Most excursions can be booked as private boat charters, which is great for large groups and those looking for additional privacy and tranquillity.
Most Turks and Caicos boat charters include complimentary use of snorkelling equipment and often stop at snorkelling sites, but be aware that weater and ocean conditions can greatly affect your experience depending on the location. A dedicated snorkel or scuba diving excursion will typically provide the best underwater experience.
Nearly all of the beach and BBQ cruises (the most popular type of cruise) head to the uninhabited Caicos cays to the east of Providenciales. There are definitely amazing snorkelling sites in this region, but weather conditions can at times cause poor visibility and choppiness.
For those looking for the best underwater experience, consider selecting a dedicated snorkelling cruise. You’ll be more likely to visit the best sites that the conditions allow for.
Snorkelling adventures often visit the barrier reef that surrounds the Turks and Caicos, and this pristine system abounds with colourful fish and vibrant corals. The most popular barrier reef site is found at Leeward Cut, and on calm days this site offers plenty of marine wildlife to view. When offshore, a guide from the crew will typically lead snorkelers for safety.
The best rod and line fishing is typically had away from the beach cruising spots, so fishing isn’t usually offered with the typical excursion.
Sport fishing, especially in the case of bonefishing and deep sea fishing, is typically only offered on private charters.
As is the case with most things in life, you generally get what you pay for. A private tour can cater to exactly what you’d like to do and will be less crowded. Shared boat cruises tend to have more of a “party vibe”.
For 2-5 passengers, a shared cruise will cost quite a bit less, yet private charters may be the perfect choice and less expensive for larger groups and families.
In most cases, a private charter is the only option if you want to do something other than the typical cruise to Little Water Cay and Half Moon Bay (amazing places to visit and by no means a poor choice!).
West Caicos is a good example. Due to the longer boat trip out, there are no scheduled tours to this beautiful island, yet there’s great coral and snorkelling, cliff jumping, and the abandoned Victorian-era Yankee Town historical site to explore.
Fort George Cay is another great adventure that’s a bit closer to Provo. On the west side of this island is a spectacular beach, and on the east side, you can snorkel and see late 1700s cannons in the ocean where Fort Saint George once stood.
Many of the boutique and charter vessels are a bit more interesting and appealing as well, and may be sailing catamarans or luxurious cruising yachts.
There are a wide array of local businesses offering boat cruises. It's important to understand that the four groups below are our general categories, but each company’s tours are unique, and may combine two of the classes together (such as a party cruise at sunset). Such business will be shown in both categories.
Our various local excursion companies sail a variety of vessels, which includes small powerboats, sailboats, and luxury cabin cruisers. If you have a preference, inquire before you book.
As with most activities and accommodations in the Turks and Caicos, you’ll typically get the best rates on boat trips by booking directly with the local tour company.
During the winter “high season”, availability can be limited, so you may want to make a reservation a bit in advance.
Private boat charters typically have more stringent cancellation policies, especially when cancelled with short notice.