Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Want to know more about your up coming trip to the Turks and Caicos? Are you new to liveaboard diving? This page should have all of the answers to your questions about our Turks and Caicos Explorer II.  If you still have questions, you can contact us.  If you'd like to save a copy of these helpful tips, you can download the Trip Information Sheet.

Search the Turks and Caicos FAQ

Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Filter by Custom Post Type
Though all meals (except Friday’s dinner), beverages, and much more has been taken care of with your trip payment, there are additional items which you may charge to your on-board bill. These include:
  • Hotel Tax: US$95 per person
  • Departure tax
  • Fuel Surcharge: US$80 per person
  • Crew gratuities
  • Incoming and outgoing telephone calls
  • Photographic and/or scuba instruction
  • Optional island tours
  • Dive gear rentals (other than tanks, weights and weight belts)
  • Retail sales (shirts, scuba accessories, etc.)
The bill may be paid at the end of the trip using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or cash. Personal or traveler’s checks are not accepted on board, and we are unable to provide cash for credit card charges more than invoice amounts.
The M/V Turks & Caicos Explorer II comfortably accommodates 20 passengers in 10 double staterooms, each of which has private bathroom facilities, individually-controlled air conditioning, hanging closet and wardrobe. The air-conditioned main salon on the main deck includes dining tables, TV, CD/DVD, video library and lounge area. A large sundeck with lounge chairs and buffet area is located aft of the upstairs deckhouse, which contains two additional passenger staterooms, pilothouse, and Captain’s cabin. A large, awning-covered flybridge with wet bar, barbecue and seating for 12 to 15 is accessed from the sun deck as well. The dive deck is equipped with a bathroom, individual gear bins, camera table, recharging station, air and nitrox filling stations, tank racks, freshwater showers, and a separate fresh water rinse for both scuba and underwater camera equipment. There are two large stairways accessing the dive platform, where two in-water ladders hang for easy access to and from the water. The Turks & Caicos Explorer II is also equipped with a satellite telephone for outgoing calls worldwide.
The weather in the Turks & Caicos Islands is remarkably consistent year-round. The temperatures range from the 70’s (F) or higher in the winter months to the low 90’s during the summer, with nearly constant sea breezes. Water temperatures range from a low of about 72 degrees F in winter to a high of about 82 degrees F in summer. There is normally little appreciable current at the sites we visit, and visibility is generally between 75 and 150 feet. Most divers are comfortable with a 3 mm wetsuit in summer and a 5 mm wetsuit with hooded vest in winter.
The majority of dives aboard our vessels are offered at scheduled times, up to 5 times daily. This is to allow adequate surface intervals, provides the option for guided dives on as many sites as possible, and allows the vessel to travel on a schedule to different locations.
The minimum certifiable age for divers is 10 for most SCUBA certification agencies; normally, the agencies restrict 10 and 11 year olds to a maximum depth of 40 ft. Explorer Ventures Fleet therefore allows children as young as 10 years to participate in our trips, with the following restrictions:
  1. All children under the age of 15 must travel and dive with their parent or guardian, unless undergoing active training with an instructor.
  2. Our itineraries offer very few diving opportunities at depths less than 40 feet; diving opportunities for 10 and 11 year olds will be significantly less than those for older divers. For this reason, a minimum age of 12 for divers is strongly suggested.
  3. A parent/legal guardian will be required to sign the liability release on behalf of a child under the age of 18.
  4. All divers under the age of 18 are required to have dive accident insurance that covers recompression chamber treatment and medical evacuation.
To ensure your safety, we require the following of all divers:
  1. All divers must be certified as open water scuba divers by an internationally recognized certification organization.
  2. We recommend that divers log at least one dive within the 12 months prior to boarding the vessel, or are encouraged to participate in a refresher course on board. Rental/Course Pricing (PDF)
  3. All divers must adhere to the buddy system, unless certified, equipped and adhering to standards for solo diving.
  4. All divers must log in and out of the water with a member of the diving staff.
  5. All divers must have a submersible console. In addition, a timepiece must be worn by at least one diver in a buddy team. Dive computers are strongly recommended.
  6. On night dives, a cyalume lightstick or marker beacon must be worn by each diver.
  7. Decompression diving is not allowed under any conditions. The maximum allowed depth is 130’ (110’ on nitrox).
  8. Diving activities must cease when the consumption of alcohol begins.
  9. Please note that, due to a combination of staff and equipment logistics, insurance requirements and local diving regulations, rebreathers, diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs) and multi-cylinder configurations (except for a small pony bottle) may not be used aboard Explorer Ventures Fleet vessels.
  10. Dive Accident insurance is strongly recommended (and required for divers under 18 years of age). More information on Dive Insurance.
Packing for a liveaboard trip is much easier than packing for a land-based vacation. The climate doesn’t require much more than shorts, T-shirts, and swimsuits (you may consider slacks, dress shorts or sundresses for dinner ashore, though all restaurants are “casual”). Soft luggage is recommended as it takes up very little space when empty. Sun screens, sunglasses, a visor or hat is recommended. In case of rough weather or if you have a tendency towards seasickness, come prepared with motion sickness medications or Transderm patches from your doctor. If you have favorite CD’s, IPod playlist or DVD’s, feel free to bring them. All linens (including sheets, comforters, bath towels, hand towels, dive towels, and wash cloths) are provided on board. If possible, pack your regulator, dive computer, mask, a swimsuit, change of clothes, necessary medications and toiletries in your carry-on bag. Having these few items with you will make an unexpected luggage delay far more bearable.
The vessel provides tanks, weights, and weight belts for your use. If you prefer to rent the rest of your equipment from us, we have all of the equipment that you will need. Please indicate on your application form what equipment you will require. Otherwise, the following items are the diver's responsibility:
  • Certification Card
  • Diving Log Book * (strongly encouraged; required for solo diving course)
  • Mask *
  • Snorkel *
  • Fins *
  • Booties (if you wear them)
  • Buoyancy Control Device (required) *
  • Regulator w/alternate air source *
  • Submersible pressure and depth gauges (required) *
  • Underwater time piece (required)
  • Dive light *
  • Safety marker buoy *
  • Tank Marker Lights (required for night dives) *
  • For solo divers: pony bottle, whistle, knife, compass, and safety marker buoy or flag deployable from safety stop depth *
  • Dive computer (recommended) *
  • Wet suit (3mm) *
  • Repair kit w/ spare parts
* Available for rent on board
Please list on the application form any dietary needs you have. Aboard the Turks & Caicos Explorer II, evening meals usually consist of lots of fresh vegetables, rice, pasta, chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and fish. Breakfast is the usual fare of eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast, muffins, danish and fresh fruits. Lunches vary from soup and sandwiches, burgers, pasta, assorted salads, and quiche. Homemade baked breads, cookies and brownies are offered between dives. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests, please indicate so on your application form. Please note that specific brands of drinks, dressings and foods are often unavailable in the islands, and that it can be very difficult for us to find low-fat, gluten free or soy products, fresh fruit, fish, and other items common elsewhere. While we will do our best to accommodate your requests, please be realistic and consider bringing some of your own foods if the lack thereof may constitute a health risk.
All US Citizens traveling by air to the Turks & Caicos are required by the U.S. Government to have a valid U.S. Passport. Canadian visitors may enter without a passport if they have an original or notarized birth certificate and a photo ID. Visitors from other countries do require passports, but for most other countries visas aren’t necessary (except countries of the former Eastern Bloc). Travelers are encouraged to contact the nearest British Consulate Office for specific entry requirements. A valid return or onward airline ticket is also required.
For Arrivals on the Saturday of Boarding: Though transfers are not included in the package, you will be met at the airport by a local driver who will be aware of the boat’s location. Due to tides, weather conditions and her size, the vessel’s weekend location and schedule is tide-dependent, and she may be located either in Caicos Marina or anchored offshore. If you are not met at the airport and are unsure where to meet the boat, simply ask your cab driver to call the boat’s cell phone number or VHF Channel 16 and ask for instructions. Cab fares can vary but generally are up to $45 each way for up to 2 people, and up to $25 for each additional person. This can also vary depending on the time of day. If you arrive on an early flight, you’ll be given the option to stay at the airport restaurant to relax or to go to the shopping/restaurant area called Salt Mills (this is a few dollars more than a direct taxi ride to the vessel). In either case, the driver will deliver you to the vessel around the 3 pm boarding time. The marina where the vessel docks do not have any amenities available. Since you may be picked up by dinghy at a beach, you will be more comfortable if you wear sandals or deck shoes and either shorts, or trousers or pants that can be rolled up. If delayed call 1.800.322.3577 (US/Canada) Operations office or 1.649.242.8267 (boat’s cell).
If you are staying overnight on Providenciales prior to boarding: While the vessel normally docks at Caicos Marina, tides and/or weather may dictate an early departure. Please be sure that your application form has included your hotel information on Providenciales, and call the vessel prior to checking out of your hotel to determine where and when to board. The boat is available for boarding after 3 p.m. If you experience travel difficulties and are delayed, please contact the vessel or Operations office.
The U.S. dollar is the official currency; most major credit cards are accepted widely throughout the island. The taxis require cash.
The Turks & Caicos Explorer II arrives back in Providenciales midday Friday. Transportation will be provided for a casual dinner on Friday evening.  Passengers spend Friday night and have Saturday breakfast on board.  There will be sufficient time to catch a flight out at any time on Saturday. For most flights, the departure tax is included in the ticket purchase price. Please check with your airline for information specific to your ticket.
You can be reached aboard the Turks & Caicos Explorer II from North America via Satellite phone at 1.863.203.1063 or cell +1.649.242.8267. When calling from Provo, it is easiest to call the cell phone at 242.8267. Outgoing calls may also be made. Please be aware that a charge is assessed for both incoming and outgoing calls on the Satellite phone.
Crew gratuities are not included in your package. The crew works very hard, 7 days a week and up to 12 weeks at a stretch, providing the best possible service for our guests. The industry standard for crew gratuities on dive trips (if of course you are happy with the service which you have received) is between 10% and 15% of the package price per passenger. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated.
Places to Stay: Places to Eat:
  • Tiki Hut Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seafood and grill menu. Daily specials. Friendly neighborhood bar. Sunday Brunch - Make your own Bloody Mary. On the boardwalk at Turtle Cove Marina
  • Shark Bite The Sharkbite Bar & Grill sits over the water in Turtle Cove Marina on Providenciales. Friendly service, great value and lots of fun are right here. 941-5090
For more information on traveling to Turks & Caicos:
Packages Include:
  • 7 nights/8 days aboard vessel
  • 3 meals daily, plus between-dive snacks
  • Up to 5 dives daily
  • Use of tanks, weights and belts
  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Packages Do Not Include:
  • Airport transfers
  • Friday evening meal
  • Rental, instruction and retail charges
  • Crew gratuities
  • Trip Cancellation & Dive Insurance (recommended)
  • Departure taxes
  • Port taxes
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • Current Onboard Charges
Nitrox is available for an additional charge, as long as the diver is Nitrox Certified. Please read our Nitrox page for more information.
Solo Diving is allowed as long as the diver has proof of certification of "Solo Diver" from one of the agencies that offer this course.   We also offer a Solo Diving course if you'd like to get Solo certified.  Please view our Solo Diving Policy & Courses page for more information.