During an Island Routes Barbados tour, guests can swim with hawksbill turtles. // © 2011 Barbados Tourism Authority
Since its inception a little more than a year ago, Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours has extended its reach to Barbados. Island Routes presently offers more than 200 unique tour options for adventure seekers in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Antigua, The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands.
“Launching in Barbados has been an exciting and important initiative for Island Routes Tours, as we continue to expand our Caribbean business,” said David L. Shields, general manager of Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours. “We look forward to expanding on our relationships with our new certified partners and the Barbados Tourism Authority to provide the best-of-the-best that Barbados has to offer. Barbados is a classic Caribbean destination that our clientele is eager to experience.”
Island Routes Tours experiences are designed to immerse travelers in Bajan culture and cuisine, amidst a coastline ringed with 70 miles of white sand.
On the Turtles at Sunset Cruise, luxury catamarans set sail for the blue waters of Barbados, where tour participants get the chance to swim with hawksbill turtles. The Lunch Cruise stops for snorkeling on a coral reef teeming with tropical fish including angel fish, parrot fish and blue chromis as well as sergeant major and snapper, topped off with time on a white-sand beach.
Atlantis by Day is a submarine excursion that provides a look at the many species of marine life in Freshwater Bay Reef. The submarine descends to visit turtles, trumpet fish, moray eels and otherworldly coral. At a depth of 150 feet, where the fish and coral retreat, the hull of a shipwreck becomes visible through the sub’s viewports. Atlantis by Night provides a completely different view of the underwater landscape as the submarine explores the reef under the illumination of spotlights. The Atlantis VIPs program allows guests to sit up front with the pilot at the large front viewport.
Island Routes Tours also has a custom-built floating entertainment centre that brings Bajan culture to life at sea. The Bajan Life Lunch Cruise invites passengers to put on their dancing shoes for a Calypso party and their snorkels and SPF for a beach break. An on-board craft market is an opportunity to browse the creations of local artisans including jewelry and clothing. The Starlight Dinner Cruise is a romantic sunset sail that celebrates the island’s rich history with Calypso dancing and limbo, colorful costumes and live music.
Local Bajan specialties are included in the menus for each excursion. Stand-outs include the national dish cou-cou and flying fish, macaroni pie, fish cakes and salt bread. It wouldn’t be a Bajan party in the birthplace of rum without a Caribbean rum punch.
“Barbados offers so much more than sun, sea and sand,” said Campbell A. Rudder, vice president marketing, U.S., of the Barbados Tourism Authority. “We are delighted that Island Routes Caribbean Adventures Tours has established a base on island that will provide our visitors a new outlet for product offerings."