Editorial Team

Author

1. Bonaire

The Caribbean island of Bonaire has been a pioneer of sustainability since it launched a national parks foundation in 1962, and the island's efforts to protect its biodiversity over the years can be seen in its rich marine life. The reefs in Bonaire are close to the shoreline, meaning the kind of underwater landscapes normally reserved for scuba divers are accessible to snorkellers. Within the clear, warm waters and colourful coral you might spot turtles, octopus, rays, tropical fish and seahorses.

 

It's easy to explore Bonaire's snorkel sites independently. Along the roadsise you'll see yellow rocks that mark each site and the best place to enter the water. Some of the best sites to snorkel on Bonaire include Bari Reef, Lac Bay and 1000 Steps. Or you could visit the uninhabited paradise island of Klein Bonaire on the Samur Sail Beach & Snorkel shore experience, where you can combine a relaxing boat ride with some peaceful, pristine snorkelling where you might spot French angelfish, parrotfish or snapper.

 

Discover cruises to Bonaire here.

Turtle swimming in Sampler Reef, Klein Bonaire

2. Santorini, Greece

Santorini is thought by some to be the site of the Lost City of Atlantis. And while we can't guarantee you'll make any earth-shattering underwater discoveries, swimming and snorkelling in the waters of this beautiful Greek island is still a wondrous experience. 

 

The crystal-clear Aegean Sea is home to spectacular sea life such as scorpionfish, damselfish and seahorses. Red Beach (Kokkini Paralia) on the island's south coast is a great place to start your underwater odyssey. On shore, you can bask on a carpet of red sand formed from the towering volcanis rock cliffes. If you want to dive a little deeper, you can don your snorkel gear and explore the bounty of the underwater caves and caverns. Or embark on the Caldera Sail and Springs shore experience, a boat tour that allows you to snorkel in the waters off Red beach and also includes a visit to the thermal springs of Palea Kamen, among other stops.

 

Discover cruises to Santorini here.

Greece, Cyclades, Santorini island, oia (Ia) village, blue orthodox church

3. Airlie Beach (tours to Whitsunday Islands), Australia

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is fully deserving of its status as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Whitsunday Islands, a collection of 74 tropical islands, are at the heart of the reef, and from here you can discover an underwater universe among the warm emerald seas.

 

Alongside the worlds largest collection of coral reefs, the waters here are teeming with fish such as clownfish, coral trout and the massive Māori wrasse, as well as dolphins and sea turtles.

 

From the cruise port of Airlie Beach, you can travel to the Whitsundays and enjoy unparalleled snorkelling opportunities. If you'd rather keep your head above water, Whitehaven Beach, with its velvety sands and electric-blue waters, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

 

Discover cruises to Airlie Beach here.

Aerial view of Hill Inlet, Betty's Beach and Whitehaven Beach, Tongue Point, Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia.

4. Tortola, British Virgin Islands

There are around 100 beaches in the British Virgin Islands, and the bijou island of Tortola has its fair share of beauties, boasting pristine white sand and abundant coral for great snorkelling.

 

Smuggler's Cove is perfect for beginners with its rich marine life and clear, shallow waters. For those who prefer to lounge, the beach here is as quintessentially Caribbean as you can get. For something a little more adventurous, take a boat trip out to Treasure Point Caves on the idyllic Normal Island, reputedly the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevensons's classic Treasure Island. Here you can explore colourful sea life and three water-level caves.

 

For swimmers and snorkellers alike, a visit to The Baths at Virgin Gorda is a must and can be done on the Virgin Gorda shore experience. Swimming amongst the islands grottoes, boulders and tranquil labyrinth of natural tunnels, arches and tidal pools, all nestled among powdery white sands, is an unforgettable experience.

 

Discover cruises to Tortola here.

woman free diving in turquoise caribbean waters  under / over splitview

5. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of great snorkelling, but an hour outside of Reykjavik you'll find one of the world's most unique underwater experiences.

 

The Silfra Fissure is the only place in the world where you can swim between two continental plates (Europe and America). The limpid waters offer up to 100 metres of visibility, all the better for experiencing the dramatic underwater landscape - the otherwordly shades of blue, mesmerising rock formations and volcanic nooks and crannies are clear as day. See for yourself on the Into the Blue - Snorkelling Adventure shore experience. 

 

Prefer to keep your head above water, or fancy something a little warmer? The Blue Lagoon is another uniquely beautiful place to take a dip in Iceland, and its milky, sky-blue, geothermal waters will leave you feeling brand new.

 

Discover cruises to Reykjavik here.