barbados catamaran cruise

One of the highlights of my trip to Barbados was a catamaran cruise along the west coast. There are various operators to choose from – I went with Cool Runnings who operate luxurious catamarans from the marina in Port St. Charles (map). After a half day out at sea, I was convinced that a catamaran cruise is one of the best things to do in Barbados!

barbados catamaran cruise
Cool Runnings operates a small fleet of luxury catamarans.


A Barbados catamaran cruise with Cool Runnings

The operator picked us up at our hotel and drove us to Port St. Charles, less than an hour north of Bridgetown. The catamaran looked amazing: spacious, with various lounge areas and decks to lie on. It certainly was well-equipped with a restroom and shower facilities. I was excited to go on this cruise as there were possibilities to snorkel to a shipwreck and around some coral reefs. I chose a cozy corner on the upper-deck to lounge at so I could watch the captain at work and enjoy the scenery.

Navigating out of the marina at Port. St. Charles.

After the safety briefing, we departed the marina, navigating through a narrow channel, under a drawbridge and out to the Caribbean Sea. A gentle breeze greeted us as we left the harbour. I looked at the blue expanse ahead of us and was absolutely mesmerised! Once out at sea, the sails were hoisted and off we went!

barbados catamaran sailboat
The sails were hoisted and off we went!

The crew were terrific! They welcomed the guests and made everyone feel very much at home. Drinks and snacks were soon served – we didn’t have to lift a finger as they came around frequently to make sure we were OK.

sailing barbados west coast

The scenery was absolutely gorgeous. We passed coastal communities such as Speightstown and Holetown, beaches, as well as numerous villas and mansions. I loved how tranquil it was as we glided across the water. I felt absolute bliss just watching the scenery and enjoying the colours of the water.

Standing with the captain as we sailed along the west coast.
We passed the homes of the rich and famous.

We made several stops during the cruise, when everyone could go for a swim. The first stop was at a shipwreck. It was a relatively shallow area so it was easy enough to dive down to the wreck for a closer look. The water was very clear making it easy enough to see the wreck from the surface. Later, we continued to another spot to see some coral reefs. As I swam above the reefs, I spotted a cute puffer fish, other colourful fish and a few stingrays.

Diving to the shipwreck (image courtesy of Michael Collins).

Back on board, a delicious lunch was soon served. The chef sure did a great job grilling the seafood to perfection!

Lunch is served!
barbados catamaran cruise lunch
And it was fantastic!

After lunch, we continued to another spot. The captain explained that there was a bale of resident turtles there. I’ve swum with turtles around the world, such as in the Galapagos Islands, and it’s always a treat to see them glide so graciously in the water. I was one of the first ones in the water and true enough, there were many turtles there. Swimming with these turtles was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Barbados!

swimming with turtles barbados photo
It was amazing to see these beautiful creatures up close (image courtesy of Michael Collins).
swimming with turtles barbados cruise
The turtles swam circles around us (image courtesy of Michael Collins).

Note: when swimming with the turtles, please do not approach or touch them. Try to remain stationary as much as possible and don’t make any sudden moves when they’re near you. 

I had a fantastic day on the Cool Runnings catamaran cruise. The catamaran was steady and comfortable, the crew were great and the scenery, both above and under the water, was simply beautiful. If you’re visiting Barbados, I highly recommend booking a catamaran cruise!

The price for this lunch cruise is USD 100 per adult and includes transportation to/from the marina, snorkeling equipment, unlimited drinks and a delicious lunch.


Note: I visited Barbados for a series of business meetings, however, I got to experience the island thanks to the wonderful hospitality of Tourism Barbados. That said, all views shared above are mine, and mine only.

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