One of two liveaboards plying the cerulean waters of the Turks and Caicos, the Turks and Caicos Explorer II offers eager divers up to 27 dives on a week-long trip, which typically features spectacular walls and incredible visibility on most dive sites thanks to limited rainfall, i.e., runoff. Marine life making regular appearances on any TCI trip includes Caribbean reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, turtles, grouper, and a variety of reef fish.
Built in 1995 as a luxury yacht and charter dive boat, the Turks and Caicos Explorer II joined the Explorer Ventures fleet in 2005 and began operating in the Turks and Caicos in February of that year. The boat measures 124 feet (38 m) long and holds up to 20 passengers in 10 staterooms.
Itineraries typically begin and end in the main island of Providenciales and visit West Caicos and French Cay before returning to Provo, though full charters do sometimes visit Grand Turk and South Caicos. In short, the trip offers both exciting diving and all the modern amenities to make your stay comfortable and top-notch. Dive in to read our review of the Turks and Caicos Explorer II.
Our Overall Review
Things we like:
Exceptionally attentive crew
Lots of Caribbean reef sharks
A delicious, wide variety of food
Thoughtful touches like hot towels after every dive
Things we don't like:
No dives on the last day after 9 am
Nitrox is not included
Diving on the Turks and Caicos Explorer II
When it comes to liveaboard travel, the experience can be summed up in three words: Eat, Sleep (life onboard the boat), and Dive. To that end, we’ll break down our review into those categories, though we’ll start with the diving.
The waters and climate of Turks and Caicos make it ideal for diving year-round, with the high season running from December through May. Land temperatures range from the 70s (21 C) to low 90s (32 C). Water temperatures remain a comfortable 72 to 82 F (22 to 27 C), depending on season.
There’s typically very little current on the dive sites. And, with limited rainfall, you can expect spectacular visibility of between 75 and 100 feet (23 to 30 m) to be the norm. Itineraries typically include up to five dives per day, and you’ll visit a variety of dive sites, including pinnacles, walls, wrecks, and various coral reef systems. With easy, gentle dive conditions, a trip onboard the Turks and Caicos Explorer II is suitable for all levels of diver.
- Visibility of up to 100 feet (30 m)
- Five species of black coral
- Marine life including reef sharks, eagle rays, turtles, and grouper
- Plunging walls covered in gorgonian fans and sponges
Onboard the Turks and Caicos Explorer II
Interior spaces on the boat are both comfortable and air-conditioned. Most of the dive briefings take place in the salon, where you’ll also eat your meals at large, communal tables. There’s a TV for movies or you can plug your phone into the media player and play some of your own footage.
All 10 staterooms feature ensuite bathrooms, wardrobes for clothing storage, and either a porthole or window, with two larger rooms on the top level, five on the main deck, and three on the lower deck.
Outside, a guest favorite is the top-level, open-air flybridge, with a wet bar and banquette seating. The boat deck also has some lounge chairs set up for sunbathing.
Finally, the ever-important dive deck—the launching pad for all dive operations each day. The Turks and Caicos Explorer II features a spacious dive platform that makes entering and exiting the water a breeze and plenty of room at each individual station for gearing up. Other amenities include gear bins, a camera table, recharging stations, separate freshwater rinse baths for dive equipment and cameras, wetsuit hanging area, freshwater showers, and a bathroom
- Air-conditioned interior spaces and cabins
- Ensuite bathrooms and wardrobes in each cabin
- Open-air flybridge with wet bar
- Spacious dive deck with gear bins, camera table and recharging facilities
Food onboard the Turks and Caicos Explorer II
Staff and crew onboard share a motto that “good food is the starting point for a great dive.” As on most liveaboards, you’ll get three full meals plus snacks throughout the day. Plated dinners prepared by the chef are a highlight, and include locally inspired food, American favorites, and gourmet dishes as per the chef’s preference. Note: if you have specific dietary needs, make sure you inform the reservationist at time of booking, not when you board. You’ll also have access to unlimited soda, juice, tea, coffee, and — when your diving is done for the day — alcohol, beer, and wine.
- Plated dinners each night
- Wide variety of food
- Can cater to a variety of dietary preferences and needs
- Alcohol, beer, and wine are included (after the day’s diving)
Dive into our full guide to things to do in the Turks and Caicos!