Reed Travel Features
CHRISTIANSTED, St. Croix -- St. Croix's popular Buck Island
attracts snorkelers to its 550 acres of underwater coral gardens
and trails much as hotel guests are drawn to a manager's cocktail
However, for snorkelers who want to view fish and flora far
removed from the flippers and facemasks of other bobbing bodies,
St. Croix has options.
One alternative is offered by Island Snorkel Excursions, a
one-year-old firm run by Jan Tolliver, a licensed dive instructor
"St. Croix has many secluded snorkeling sites," Tolliver
"I take groups no larger than eight to some of the most
beautiful but unknown reefs of the island. They experience a very
personalized tour of our underwater world."
Island Snorkel Excursions offers half-day trips in which two
snorkel sites are visited on St. Croix's east end; the daylong
outings take in three different sites around the island.
"I pick my guests up at their hotels and deliver them back after
the snorkeling," Tolliver said. "We beach-hop by van from site to
site and rarely ever run into other groups.
"My trips are an alternative to Buck Island, and we spend double
the time in the water exploring several reefs."
One advantage to this method, according to Tolliver, is that
guests can return to that site for further snorkeling and
explorations on their own.
Tolliver instructs novice and experienced snorkelers.
Families are a popular market for these snorkeling excursions,
according to Tolliver.
Priced at $35 for a half-day excursion from noon to 4 p.m. and
at $55 for a full-day trip from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the rate covers
transportation, snorkel equipment and cold soft drinks. A picnic
lunch is included in the full-day trip.
Participants should bring sunscreen, a towel and "plenty of
curiosity," Tolliver said.
For information and reservations, call Island Snorkel Excursions
at (809) 773-6733; fax (809) 692-9220.