Captain Kirks Coral Reef Adventures
There are several different types of boat tours offered by this company including Glassbottom tour, snorkel cruise, combination and sightseeing cruises etc.
Boat Tours Offered
Catamaran sailing and reef snorkeling combo,
Bermuda Shipwreck Snorkeling,
Glass bottom and snorkel combo tour on the Coral Princess,
Snorkel tour to the shipwreck H.M.S. Vixen on board the Coral Sea,
A luxury cruise aboard the Elizabeth,
Fishing aboard the Jolly Roger or a glass bottom boat tour on the Reef Comber,
High speed banana boat ride.
All tours usually operate in summer (May through November).
Catamaran Sail and Snorkel
The Catamaran 'Aristocat' has a capacity of 50 persons.It has a large fore-deck with sun mats, access to water via stairwells, large cockpit with ample shaded seating, elegant salon with walk around bar, snorkel equipment, exterior wet bar, changing room and bathrooms, fresh water shower and fully equipped galley. After a 45 minute cruise they take you to a pristine western water area where you can swim and snorkel over a reef and watch the lovely underwater ecosystem.
Departs Dockyard all days of the week. Check in ITC 15 minutes prior to departure. Sail and snorkel to a reef site. Duration: 3 hours. Adult $70, Child $50. Max weight allowed is 300lbs and min age 5 years. You must be a competent swimmer.
Bermuda Shipwreck Snorkeling
Sightseeing on way to Constellation and Montana (Bermuda’s most famous double shipwreck site). Departs Dockyard Monday - Sunday. Check-in 15 minutes before departure at Island Tour Center (dockyard). Duration: 3 Hours. Adult $70, Child $50. Participants must know swimming and be comfortable in water too deep to stand.
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Jessie James 2-Stop Snorkel Adventure
The fast RIB boat gets you to the coral reef in about 25 minutes. Two snorkeling locations are covered in about two hours. It begins with a short island/beach snorkel then zooms offshore to either Eastern Blue cut or Western Blue cut or Chub head breakers. The choice of places largely depends on the weather conditions on the day. While you will certainly get some lovely coastline views on the way, this tour is really meant for sheer snorkeling enjoyment.
Photo: Captain Kirk's Coral Adventures
This snorkeling boat tour was earlier run by Jimmy O’Connor for many years and was fondly known as Jessie James Snorkel Tour. After he retired, Chloe Mckey took it over in 2010. Earlier, they offered three offshore snorkel locations in about three hours. Since 2013, they take you to two locations in about two hours. Now Jessie James snorkel tour is operated by Captain Kirk.
The boat PISCES is a 31-foot fiberglass boat with glass bottom. It has a capacity of 16 persons. This used to be a U.S coast guard boat. This boat is relatively small and fast, and gets you to two snorkeling points one after the other quite quickly. You are able to snorkel in two different locations in a single cruise. You will spend 40-50 minutes in each location.
Depending on the weather on the day, two of the following three sites would be chosen by the captain.
1) Island and Beach area
This is at King's Point, located at the western end of the island, close to Cambridge Beaches resort. Even though this is only a beginner's swim at shallow water, you can still see a lot of corals, brain corals, fans, etc and colorful fish like parrot fish, bream, groupers and maybe even a barracuda. The experienced snorkelers can snorkel around the island.
2) Shipwreck Sites
Two famous shipwrecks are covered - The Constellation
sunk in 1943, and The Montana
wreck, sunk in 1863 sit in 15 to 18 feet of water at Western Blue Cut. This is at the north-western side of the island. These are great snorkeling areas. Sometimes the captain may decide to cover an alternate wreck - the Darlington that was sunk in 1886.
3) The Coral Reef / Sea Garden
This is an underwater area located close to Western Blue Cut and is in about 8 feet of water. The different kinds of colorful corals, fish and other marine creatures like sea fans, rods etc would be almost within arms reach of the surface. The entire underwater area is so beautiful that you will feel like you are in a tropical garden paradise under the water.
Captain Zoe and her great crew makes this a one-of-a-kind experience for you. You might also get to see the famous Costa Rican turtles on your snorkeling tour here.
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Tour duration: 2 hours 30 minutes. You need to check in at Island Tour Center (located at Royal Naval Dockyard) 15 minutes prior to departure. $70 for adults (over 12yrs) and $50 (under 12yrs). As part of the tour cost, snorkeling gear is provided. They also have life jackets for non-swimmers. On-board complimentary drinking water is provided. You need to get your bathing suits and bring your towels. Minimum age restriction is 8 years.
The boat PISCES departs from Royal Naval Dockyard (Sandys) near the Watersports Center. If your cruise ship is docked at Kings/Heritage Wharf, you can easily walk down to the boat.
Jessie James Snorkel Adventure has been discontinued. A great alternative for a similar tour in a small boat is operated by Sonny. Check out his Snorkel Bermuda Tour
Glass Bottom Cruises
Glass Bottom and Snorkel Combo
The 'Coral Sea' is a motorized boat with upper and lower decks and has a capacity of 100 persons. The lower deck has glass bottom panes to get excellent views of marine life and corals. They take you to the western water areas, and pause near the pristine Sea Garden where you can see wonderful sea-life and corals through the glass panes.
Along the way there is a commentary to fill you in with island information. Then they show you the partially submerged shipwreck 'Vixen' before taking you to a shallow bay where you can swim and snorkel. The boat is fitted with two bathrooms with toilets, sound system, swim platform with ladder, adjustable lighting system, a full bar etc. While returning, they play an island tune.
Departs Dockyard at least once a day. 3 hours tour. Check in at Island Tour Center, Dockyard, 15 minutes prior to departure.
Glass Bottom Boat Cruise
Departs Dockyard several times a day. Reporting at Island Tour Center at Dockyard 15 minutes prior to departure. 1.5-hour tour.
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Catamaran Sunset Sail
Tour operates on Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu from 7:30 to 9pm. Check-in at Island Tour Center, Dockyard, 15 minutes prior to departure.
Bermuda Triangle Twilight Cruise
Departs Dockyard, Check in at Island Tour Center 15 minutes prior to departure. Tour timing: 8pm to 9:30pm.
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Kirk’s Coral Reef Adventures. 17b West Side Road, Sandys, Bermuda
By Raj Bhattacharya
Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments
Karyn (July 2017)
We took the Bermuda Sightseeing and Snorkel Tour with Captain Kirk in June. Zoe was our main tour guide and she did a great job narrating as we pulled out of the dockyard. The America's Cup was finishing up, and we sailed by the USA and New Zealand boats, and she explained the races to us. We went by an area with lots of sea turtles, and everyone on board got to see them. We then went to the lower deck of the boat to look through the glass at the shipwreck of the Vixen.
Then we docked at our snorkel site. This turned out to be the most disappointing part of the tour. The water was choppy and hard to swim around in. They do give everyone a noodle. There weren't that many fish. We did a lot of off shore snorkeling the day before and saw much better fish and coral. There was a very shallow area nearby, and most people from the tour gave up on snorkeling and just played in the water. Overall, the tour itself was worth it, but not if your main objective is snorkeling.
Carla (August 2016)
We were there on a cruise ship in June, and our family group took Captain Kirks Coral Reef Adventures shipwreck snorkeling tour, but it was very disappointing. We had to change boats before we got out of the harbor (the first one was having engine problems), so we were crowded into a smaller boat. The weather wasn't good; they should have cancelled the trip. The waves were choppy, so I had to stay in the water the entire time (to avoid getting seasick after we arrived at the snorkel stop) and the water was cold; all of our masks fogged up so bad that none of us could see anything (it was new equipment and they hadn't sufficiently "cleaned" the film off the masks), and even if we could see clearly, it wasn't very good snorkeling. Maybe we just had a bad day, but I most certainly wouldn't recommend that snorkel trip!
Lisa C. (June 2015)
I was a bit disappointed in this cruise. Part of the draw for me was the Hamilton pick up/drop off as I was staying near town but when the tour was nearly over I was asked to disembark at Dockyard as I was the only passenger going back to town and it was inconvenient to take me back in Hamilton... (I was given a ferry token for my trouble.) The ferry was just leaving as we pulled in and as I had to wait another hour for the next one I missed my lunch plans with my friend.
My other complaint is that if you're going to insist on cash only you should ensure you have change as not everyone has exactly $65. I ended up giving the tip before the tour even started as getting change for my $80 was an issue - I had planned to give a tip at the end of the tour but would have liked for it to have been my choice.
On the plus side the boat was fast and the early morning timing meant that we beat the bigger tour boats to the snorkel sites. Chloe is very knowledgeable about Bermuda and the snorkel sites were beautiful, I could have spent all day out there. I'm sad that the 3rd stop is no longer an option as it was under previous ownership - it would have been great to see yet another part of the lovely island of Bermuda!
Greg Bielat (July 2010)
My family just experienced the Jessie James Snorkeling trip July 6th. We got our money's worth of snorkeling - shipwrecks, fish and sea gardens. Loved the small boat and small number of people on board as compared to the larger boat tours. It was nice to learn about local facts from Jessie and Dominic. For the not too strong swimmers, noodles were given out to float with. Boat ride was fun. The boat even has a small bathroom on board if necessary.
Scott Lippy (June 2010)
It has been almost a year ago that we took our first tour with Jesse James and wrote a review. I'm happy to report that the trip on June 3rd had none of the weather issues compared to the first trip. The tour is wonderful! Jimmy is a great host and each time we find out some more about him and the beautiful islands of Bermuda. We now know, by direct comparison, that his tour is the BEST. You get to dive at 3 separate areas and each with their own uniqueness.
That is compared to another operator that only took us to one snorkel location. The wreck dives were very interesting and we saw lots of fish. Jessie James may not have free Rum swizzles for the way back, but he more than makes up for that with giving you actual time diving/snorkeling, which is what you really pay for. His boat is fast and that, too, grants more in the water time to explore the sights and locales. We still recommend that to keep anything that you need to take with you dry, invest in a low-cost, easily packable “dry bag”. My wife says we shall only go with Jessie James Tours in our future.
Scott Lippy (March 2010)
Last July, my wife and I scheduled a snorkeling trip with Jessie James cruises. Unfortunately the weather had been windy and unsafe for sites on the outer reefs. However, Capt. Jimmy knew of some in-shore areas that were loaded with fish and made the trip enjoyable. A rainstorm quickly appeared and cut short our final dive, but we still had fun. We got soaked from the rain on the way back to the dock and the only negative we had was our extra clothing got soaked, too. I would suggest to anyone to put things in a "dry" bag if you wish to take any towels or extra clothing. The fact that the boat is smaller than some made the trip more enjoyable as you get to know the other folks more that way. We will seek out Jessie James tours again.