We spent the morning on Silvermoon 3 , a luxury catamaran in Barbados with our three children, aged 9 years, 7 years and just 7 months. In total we were a group of 11 as we also sailed with my parents and my brothers and their partners. We swam with turtles, snorkelled around shipwrecks and saw lots of gorgeous marine life. The private charter cruised the West Coast of Barbados and we enjoyed a delicious lunch on board. We had an incredible time on board and would easily recommend sailing a catamaran in Barbados as one of the best things to do in Barbados with kids.
Barbados Catamaran Cruise
We were collected from our hotel at 8:15am to set sail from Bridgetown Port at 9am. After a very light hearted, but all important safety briefing, we set sail on our catamaran in Barbados. We cracked open the rum punch and to be honest I lost track of time as we sailed the West Coast. The first hour or two flew by as we explored the boat and found our sea legs. We took in the sights as Mikki our (female!) skipper shared some of the history and gossip surrounding the grand villas and houses along the coastline. I’ve now seen where Churchill holidayed during World War 2!
We were served nibbles and drinks throughout the morning before reaching our first stop. This one was what we were here for – Swimming with turtles! We eventually moved on to the next stop where we donned our masks and snorkels again to see two shipwrecks and whole lot of marine fish and anemones.
Once we had dried off from swimming it was time for lunch then a lovely cruise back to Bridgetown Port.
Swimming with Turtles in Barbados
A catamaran cruise in Barbados is the perfect opportunity to go swimming with sea turtles. The catamaran crew know the best spots to find sea turtles and they carry a good supply of food to tempt the turtles in.
When we arrived to snorkel with turtles there was only one other boat in the area. They very quickly finished up and then we had the space to ourselves for a little while. Two turtles decided to join us. They happily swam around us as Chris, one of our crew produced tasty morsels to entice them towards us. We saw turtles when we snorkelled in the Maldives but we never managed to get this close to them. It was just the most wonderful experience.
I would have to go as far as saying Barbados is one of the best places to swim with sea turtles. Chris gave us helpful guidance about how to behave around the turtles and explained that if we chased them they would very quickly disappear. As they said on the boat “they are wild animals, they are not remote controlled or solar powered and they will do what THEY want to do”.
Snorkelling shipwrecks in Barbados
Most of the shipwrecks in Barbados have been purposefully sunk. It’s actually incredibly sensible. Once the old ships have been stripped of any dangerous liquids and anything valuable, the ship is sunk to provide a home for sealife! It’s quite nice knowing that no lives were ‘lost at sea’ in the site you are swimming around. There are so many fish living around the shipwrecks in Barbados. We stopped at a site with two wrecks to explore on our catamaran trip.
Lunch on board Silvermoon 3
While we were snorkelling the shipwrecks the crew prepared our lunch. We had tuna grilled on the barbecue, roast chicken, macaroni pie (which is very similar to mac n cheese) and salads. I cannot rate the food highly enough. It pleased every one of the fussy eaters in our group; kids and adults alike. Wine flowed as freely as we needed through lunch.
Through the trip we were offered top ups of all the water, soft drinks and of course rum punch that we could possibly need. We also had the most incredible frozen piña coladas. Not that I personally drunk much as I’m still breastfeeding.
Is a catamaran in Barbados baby-friendly?
We took Max when he was 7 months old. We always felt safe with Max on our Barbados catamaran cruise. He was a non-moving baby so that definitely makes it easier. A toddler who wants to run around the boat might have been more of a challenge. We took his buggy on board for nap time but he also napped on the day beds on the catamaran. We moved the cushions and back supports around to create a safe space that he couldn’t roll off and he was very comfortable in the shade of the boat with the breeze blowing over him.
Max has been on a boat many times. His first trip being island hopping in Croatia on a rib at just 10 weeks old. We know he doesn’t get sea sick and we’re confident getting on and off boats holding him, especially when there is a crew member to help.
Can you take kids on a luxury catamaran in Barbados?
Absolutely yes! This was fantastic activity for the whole family. Young children, or those that aren’t strong swimmers might need to wear life jackets to give you some peace of mind. Even non-swimming children, or those not confident at getting in the sea with fish and turtles will likely be able to see the turtles from the boat so won’t feel they’ve missed out. The food options cater well for children and there is a lot of shade for them to avoid the hot sun.