Which UK cruises offer guided snorkeling tours around historic shipwrecks?

The charm of embarking on an island cruise is undeniable, the allure of the water, the thrill of the waves and the scenic beauty of the natural world at its unspoiled best. But what if your cruise could also include a dash of adventure and a dollop of history? Enter the exciting realm of guided snorkeling tours around historic shipwrecks. Whether you are an experienced snorkeler or a novice, this unique activity will certainly level up your cruise experience.

In this article, we will explore some of the top UK cruises that offer this incredible experience. We will delve into the details of each excursion, providing you with a full description of what to expect, thus, allowing you to choose the one that suits your preferences the best. So, prepare to immerse yourselves in a captivating blend of sun, sand, water, and history.

P&O Cruises

The first on our list is the renowned P&O Cruises. This company, known for its high standard of service and varied array of activities, offers some great snorkeling excursions.

Like many other cruises, P&O take you to the most picturesque Caribbean islands, including Barbados. But what sets them apart is their commitment to providing unique experiences. As part of their island tours, they offer a guided snorkeling excursion around the shipwrecks that lay beneath the azure waters of Carlisle Bay in Barbados.

This full-day activity begins with a scenic boat ride from the cruise ship to the bay. Upon reaching, you are provided with snorkeling gear and a brief orientation session. Then, it's time to plunge into the water and explore the historical shipwrecks, teeming with tropical aquatic life. This snorkeling tour is a great way to not just enjoy the water, but also gain a deeper understanding of Barbados' maritime history.

Princess Cruises

Next, we have Princess Cruises. Known for their luxury and grandeur, Princess Cruises also has a special place for history lovers and adventure seekers. They provide a guided snorkeling tour around the shipwrecks off the coast of Bermuda, another beautiful Caribbean island.

The tour starts with a pleasant boat ride to the dive site. Under the guidance of experienced snorkeling instructors, you get the chance to explore the shipwreck of the 'Constellation', which sank in 1943. This snorkeling tour is ideal for those who enjoy underwater exploration coupled with a touch of history.

The Princess Cruises snorkeling tour is a full-day affair, complete with refreshments and lunch. The exciting day ends with a leisurely beach visit, allowing you to unwind and soak in the sun after a day full of adventure.

Celebrity Cruises

Our third recommendation is Celebrity Cruises. The company is known for the detailed planning that goes into each of their excursions, ensuring that they provide unique and memorable experiences.

One such excursion is their snorkeling tour around the shipwrecks in the waters off the coast of Barbados. The tour begins with a cruise to Carlisle Bay, where several shipwrecks rest. You are then given a safety briefing and snorkeling gear, before you embark on your underwater adventure.

The clear waters of the bay allow for excellent visibility, making it possible to see the shipwrecks and the numerous fish species that inhabit them. The experience of swimming amongst the ruins of these vessels is absolutely thrilling and an experience you won't easily forget.

Royal Caribbean International

Last but not least, we have Royal Caribbean International. This behemoth in the cruise industry offers a wide array of activities on their cruises, including snorkeling tours.

On their cruise to Barbados, they offer a snorkeling tour around the shipwrecks of Carlisle Bay. This tour is famous for the rich marine life that inhabits the shipwrecks, making it a popular choice among nature enthusiasts.

Under the guidance of experienced instructors, you dive into the clear turquoise waters and explore the shipwrecks. The tour also includes a visit to a reef, where you can see beautiful coral formations and a variety of tropical fish. The full-day tour includes lunch and refreshments and ends with a relaxing time on the beach.

Holland America Line

Last on our list, but certainly not the least, is the Holland America Line. Known for providing immersive cultural experiences, this cruise line also offers a unique snorkeling tour.

Their excursion takes you to the wreck of the 'Antilla', a German cargo ship that sank off the coast of Aruba during World War II. This snorkeling tour is not just about the thrill of exploring the underwater world, but also about learning the history associated with this shipwreck.

From the comfort of your cruise ship, you set off on a boat to the wreck site. Once there, you take a guided tour of the wreck, learning about its history and the marine life it now supports.

In conclusion, these five UK cruises offer amazing snorkeling tours around historic shipwrecks. Each of them provides a unique experience, combining the thrill of snorkeling with fascinating insights into maritime history. Regardless of which one you choose, you're sure to have a memorable time.

Cunard Line

Moving forward on our list, we have Cunard Line, a renowned name in the cruise industry. They continue to uphold their reputation with a variety of activities, including snorkeling tours around historic shipwrecks.

Cunard Line offers this unique excursion during its cruise to the Mediterranean island of Malta. The tour takes you to the wreck of the HMS Maori, a British destroyer that sank during World War II.

The snorkeling excursion duration is about 5 hours, classifying it as a moderate excursion with an activity level suitable for most individuals. The excursion type is both active and scenic, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world while getting a dose of history.

The excursion size is kept small, ensuring that each participant receives individual attention, and the experience is more personal. The details of the excursion include a brief history of the wreck, instructions on using the snorkeling gear, and a guided tour around the wreck site.

The clear, azure waters of Malta offer excellent visibility, so you can marvel at the wreck and the colorful marine life it inhabits. This unique excursion is bound to be a highlight of your cruise experience with Cunard Line.

Silversea Cruises

Lastly, we present Silversea Cruises, a luxury cruise line known for its small ship cruises and immersive experiences. One such experience is their snorkeling tour around the wreck of the SS Antilla, a German ship that sank in the Caribbean Sea during World War II.

This excursion is included in their Caribbean cruises and offers an unique blend of adventure and history. The activity level of the tour is easy, making it suitable even for snorkeling beginners.

The excursion duration is around 4 hours, making it a standard excursion. The excursion size is small, allowing for a more personalized experience.

The full details of the excursion include a brief history of the SS Antilla, a safety briefing, and a guided tour around the wreck. You will also have the opportunity to marvel at the vibrant marine life that the wreck now hosts. After the snorkeling tour, you can unwind on the beach and soak in the Caribbean sun.


Whether you're a history buff, an adventure seeker, or a nature enthusiast, these snorkeling tours around historic shipwrecks offered by UK cruises provide a unique and exciting experience. From exploring the azure waters of the Caribbean to the clear Mediterranean sea, each of these cruises allows you to immerse in a blend of sun, sand, water, and history.

To sum up, the cruises mentioned here - P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Cunard, and Silversea offer snorkeling tours that range in activity level from easy to moderate. The excursion size is kept small, ensuring a personalized experience. The excursion duration varies but all provide ample time to explore and learn about the historic shipwrecks.

So whether you are an experienced snorkeler or trying it out for the first time, these cruises offer a memorable experience that combines the thrill of underwater exploration with engaging insights into maritime history. So, why wait? Dive into this unique experience and enhance your cruise journey with a sprinkling of adventure and a dash of history.

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