Liveaboard Diving in Dominican Republic
A special place to see humpback whale breeding grounds. The Dominican Republic has something special to offer wildlife enthusiasts.
Liveaboards in the Dominican Republic offer the unmatchable experience of snorkeling with Humpback Whales. For a life-changing chance to commune with nature on a scale of majesty that human beings rarely experience, select liveaboards have gained access to the protected waters where the entire North Atlantic Humpback Whale population meets to breed. If you join them, you’ll hear their unearthly songs, witness the largess of their graceful immensity, and feel the thrill of their playful rolls and breaches. Luxury liveaboards in the Dominican Republic run from January through March with a seven night itinerary.
By snorkeling Silver Bank from a liveaboard, you get an intense, concentrated experience of the the Humpbacks. You’ll depart your luxury motor yacht twice every day in the chase boat for two to three hour encounters with the gentle giants of the ocean. These encounters can be boat-based or water-based. All the encounters are carefully regulated with procedures laid out by sanctuary management, for the safety of visitors and whales alike. It’s important to be calm and quiet in the water, and to view the whales from a respectful distance.
Sites & Areas of Dominican Republic
Silver Bank, the legendary breeding ground of the North Atlantic Humpback population and the destination of your Dominican Republic liveaboard, is a shallow underwater bank of more than 1500 square kilometers, located north of the Dominican Republic and southeast of Turks and Caicos. From January to March every year, thousands of whales who have made the long journey from their feeding territory in cold Northern waters meet to court each other, mate, and raise their calves. Males can be seen showing off with boisterous displays (best viewed from the boat). More sedate family groups, or mother-calf pairs, can be approached in the water. These majestic animals are naturally protected by the bank’s shallow depth and warm Caribbean waters, and the whole area is governmentally protected as the Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic. Boats must request special permission to enter. When the calves are strong enough, they and their mothers start the swim northward, and stay in the North Atlantic until the next Silver Bank season.
When To Go
Luxury liveaboards in the Dominican Republic snorkel Silver Bank within the months of January through March, while the Humpback Whales are congregating en masse.
Tips For Travellers
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in the water, it’s best to bring your own fins and mask. This ensures that you’ll have a good fit for your face and feet. Ill-fitting gear can be a huge distraction and sometimes even a safety hazard. You should carefully check the packing list supplied by your operator; they’ll provide advice on everything from the thickness of your wetsuit to the range of your camera lenses and binoculars. Spanish is the language of the Dominican Republic. The local voltage runs at 110 V and frequency at 60 Hz; the sockets are types A and B.
How To Get There & Ports Of Departure
The small country of the Dominican Republic contains a couple of international airports, and you can reach your port of departure at the Ocean World Marina from any of them. However, the closest airport is at Puerto Plata. Your vessel operator will help you arrange transport from the airport to the marina.
A night on this special trip costs between 400 and 500 euros per night. There is also a one time government fee of 300 USD to enter the sanctuary, payable onboard your vessel in cash. Lastly, professional photographers and videographers who are traveling to Silver Bank to film must apply for their permit beforehand. The cost of the permit relates to the video project, and can be quite variable. To enter the country, you must have a passport with six months’ validity past the date of entry, an onward ticket, and enough money in your account to support yourself. Check the requirements specific to your country before you travel.