Sailing & Watersports: sailing Charters & Tours

A guide to sailing charter operators and day-trip sailing excursions around Tobago

Sailing off Pigeon Point

Being a small island surrounded by sea, it is natural that visitors will want to enjoy Tobago’s waters from the deck of a boat. The leeward side of the island has lots of great bays, with fantastic snorkelling sites, and the perspective from the sea is very different to that seen when touring by car.

For their own safety and comfort, day trippers should only venture out on boats surveyed and inspected by the local government. These boats can be easily identified as they must display a registration number consisting of the letters ‘TL’ plus a three-digit number. The law requires that these boats are fully insured and carry a Motor Launch registration license onboard. They are also supposed to have qualified, competent crew. Most dive shops, and 99% of the fishermen’s pirogues, are not insured to take passengers, so you are strongly advised to treat these vessels with caution - they are licensed as simple fishing vessels and can be identified by the registration number, which starts with ‘TF’ (typically ‘TFT’ or ‘TFG’) followed by a four digit number.

Visiting YachtsSailors will love the seas around Tobago. However, those of a more delicate constitution may find conditions heavier than they would like at some times of the year. Most operators carry sea-sickness tablets, but it is best to go prepared. All the tours follow the same basic format: departure from Mt.Irvine Bay (or Pigeon Point); a sail up the Caribbean coast; possibly a mid-morning snorkelling stop; a longer lunch and snorkelling stop (three of the firms use Cotton Bay and the charm of this lovely little bay can be rather spoilt when there are several boats present); and then a return with possibly another snorkelling stop along the way.

There are four main sailing excursion operators and these are listed below, in alphabetical order. All four are based in the south-west of Tobago and offer complimentary collection and transfer to all/most accommodation in Region 1 (Crown Point) and Region 2 (Lower Caribbean). We have quoted prices, where we have them, but it is important to use these only as a guide and to check before booking. Most tours cost in the region of US$70-$85 per person. In addition to these operators, there are a number of smaller services offering snorkelling and beach barbeque tours in small, pirogue-style boats.

Hold your mouse over any Reader Satisfaction Rating (RSR) for further information. Click on the RSR rating to cast your own 'satisfaction' with those services you have experience of.

Alizes Marine 'Jade'RSR Alizes Marine

Alizes Marine is a family run sailing charter operation established in Bon Accord. After a few years working abroad as crew on charter yachts, Franck and Jozy Sarazin have come back to Tobago to offer private and shared charters on a luxurious sailing catamaran, Jade (Privilege 51ft/17.5m).

Jade can comfortably accommodate 8 guests + 2 crew in 5 en-suite cabins, each with their own private toilet and bathroom. The trips are all-inclusive and will take you to secret hidden coves and bays that not many people know about. Sumptuous meals; open bar and great entertainment: from diving, to snorkeling, kayaking and great sailing! You can either book the entire boat for a private charter or just rent a cabin and take part in one of the shared charter. Alizes Marine mainly organises seven-day tours around Tobago, but can accommodate shorter trips and private day sail. Alizes Marine is also an agent for other charter catamaran and can organise many sailing options to and from Tobago, The Grenadines, Grenada, the Carnival in Trinidad and Discover the Orinoco River.

Based At:

Bon Accord Lagoon (Region 1)

Website:

www.alizes-charters.com

Telephone:

(868) 680-9776

Email:

email now

RSR CocoMotion

CocoMotionCocoMotion is a 31-foot (10m) speedboat boasting twin 200-horsepower engines. The boat has a top speed of 55 knots, although the speed on normal tours seldom exceeds 35 knots, offering a high-adrenaline ride to thrill-seekers with a tough constitution. The business has operated under the ownership and management of Marlon Winter-Roach and Rachel Crew since September 2003.

The cockpit seating area of CocoMotion is protected by a small sunshade, but high-factor sun block is essential to protect against the combined affects of sun and salt spray – although, to be fair, this is advisable on all sailing trips. Being a speedboat, there are obviously no facilities, such as toilets (heads), so careful planning is the order of the day.

CocoMotion operates from Mt.Irvine beach and trips normally involve a combination of speeding along the coast, generally to Emerald Bay (Castara) with two stops for snorkelling at the best spots. As with the other sea tours, the inclusive package provides round-trip hotel transfers, an open bar (beer and soft drinks), barbeque lunch and the supply of snorkeling gear.

A full review is available by clicking on the CocoMotion tab.

Based At:

Mt.Irvine Bay Beach

Website:

www.cocomotion.net

Telephone:

(868) 639-2449

Email:

email now

RSR Island Girl (Natural Mystic)

Island GirlNatural Mystic is a 40-foot (12m) trimaran and Island Girl a 43-foot catamaran. Natural Mystic is currently undergoing a full refit and all tours are being operated aboard the new Island Girl by owner Scott Clarke.

Island Girl is licensed to take 40 passengers, but tours are limited to just 26 people. Weather permitting, tours operate out of Mt. Irvine Bay and sail up to Cotton Bay.

In common with the other operators, tours aboard Natural Mystic/Island Girl are fully inclusive and include transport to and from your hotel, free drinks and a barbeque lunch with dessert. The catering, in particular, gets regular rave reviews. Snorkelling equipment is provided.

A full review is available by clicking on the Island Girl tab at the top or bottom of these pages.

Based At:

Mt.Irvine Bay Beach

Website:

www.sailtobago.com

Telephone:

(868) 639-7245

Email:

email now

RSR Picante

Sybille from Sand Dollar Sailing Charters Picante is a 42 ft. sailing catamaran operated by Yacht Pleasures Company Limited based in Store Bay. Captain Markus Grundmann who has lived in Trinidad and Tobago for more many years, has a sailing experience of about twenty-five years, most of it in the Caribbean. Picante offers two kingsize en-suite guest cabins, complete with toilet and sink. There is a deck shower on the platform. The cockpit is permanently shaded with a hardtop bimini. There are two trampolines at the front where you can sunbathe, take in Tobago's stunning coastline or star gaze at night.

This company offers a wide variety of scheduled day and sunset trips, overnight sailing "Around Tobago" (starting from 2 days/ 1 night) as well as sailing charters to the Grenadines (min. 8 days). They also cater for weddings, honeymoons, birthdays, special events and more. Overnight charters can be offered with self-catering or fully catered option. 

Based At:

Store Bay

Website:

www.yachtpleasures.com

Telephone:

(868) 620-4750

Email:

email now

RSR Splash Sports

Splash Sports Owned by Ellis John, of Tobago Dive Masters, this service comprises of sailing tours on a fully motorised 50-foot (15m) catamaran called Maestro del Mar. This is a motorised catamaran, not a sailing catamaran.

The company offers three regular scheduled tours per week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Shorter sunset tours are also offered. After complimentary transfer from the your hotel, the tours depart from Mt.Irvine Bay and, weather and conditions permitting, travel up the Caribbean coast to Englishman's Bay before returning to Cotton Bay (known locally as Big Bay) for a BBQ lunch. The return journey visits the Nylon Pool, No Man's Land and the Bon Accord Lagoon.

The boat can take up to 60 passengers and trips are subject to a minimum of ten passengers. Current prices (Nov '03) are US$85 p/p, inclusive of hotel transfers, BBQ lunch and drinks (beers, rum punch, soft drinks). Early reports have been very positive.

Based At:

Mt.Irvine Bay Beach

Website:

YouTube Video

Telephone:

(868) 682-2919

Email:

email now

RSR Tobago Princess

Splash Sports Owned by Tony Roth of Tobago Sea Sports, this new service started in 2007 and utilises a custom-built 50-foot (15m) tri-maran, powered by twin outbound engines. The twin-deck boat can carry up to 92 passengers, including crew, and is fitted out with large-screen Plasma TV, DVD, and CD-players. The company offer day cruises, sunset cruises and charters.

Based At:

Plymouth

Website:

www.cruisetobago.com

Telephone:

(868) 639-4221

Email:

email now

RSR Zoe

Splash SportsIf you want a change of pace and a contrast from the laid-back pace of life on Tobago, how about a touch of speed in a Yamaha SX230 jet boat. Operated by Captain Peter Abraham, Zoe draws just 16 inches, enabling guests to step aboard almost from the beach. Snorkelling tours are offered from Pigeon Point (outside Conrado Beach Resort) and from the Coco Reef Resort.

Based At:

Crown Point

Website:

www.zoe-tobago.com

Telephone:

(868) 639-1710 / 367-3132

Email:

email now

Smaller Sailing Craft

In addition to the above specialist sailing tours, a number of general tour operators operate smaller boats, normally based upon the local pirogue-style vessel, and offer various variations of sailing along the coast, snorkelling, swimming and beach barbeque. Operators involved include Alibaba Tours and King David Tours, both of Castara, Frankie Tours & Rentals and Woody's Tours of Mason Hall. Contact details for all these services can be found on our General Fishing Tour Operator page.

Typical Glassbottomed Boat

Tobago Satellite Map

Enjoy interactive satellite maps of Tobago. If you have Google Earth download the map here. If not, click the map below to view in a browser window.

GBP = $10.12 

   USD = $6.00

EUR =  $7.98 

   CAD = $5.65

  Mid-market rates per XE.com

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Page Updated: 19 Apr 14