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BACK TO BELIZE ON AN AMAZING FLOTILLA CRUISE
SAIL AWAY IN TROPICAL PARADISE WITH COLGATE SAILING ADVENTURES®
Now, more than ever, taking advantage of the opportunity to get away from it all, to be able to commune with nature in a relatively untouched island paradise, is a special gift that sailing affords and only sailors can enjoy. Colgate Sailing Adventures® Cruise Leaders, Nate and Heather Atwater, led this very special flotilla cruise in 2018 and are thrilled to be heading back in 2021 to explore, again, one of the few unspoiled destinations left on Earth. To get a sense of how much fun this cruise is, read their 2018 blog here.
RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE AND BRILLIANT TURQUOISE WATERS
Located in the northern part of Central America, south of Mexico and east of Guatemala, The 400 islands and cays of Belize are a sailor’s paradise, providing relaxed tradewind sailing along the incredible Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the second largest barrier reef in the world, stretching approximately 350 nautical miles from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down the Belize coast. This Belize sailing vacation takes place in February, with delightful sailing, snorkeling and swimming in water temperatures averaging 81°F. Sailing is inside the huge, sheltered barrier reef with minimal waves and fresh 10-22 knot breezes. Temperatures range from 64°F to 87°F with an average of 7 sunny hours a day. What could be more perfect?
FLOTILLA CRUISE RESUME NEEDED FOR ALL
When you are ready to book, please click on the link below and fill out the Sailing Resume. This is absolutely required and will be used by the Atwaters in putting crews together. When finished, please print and email to Cheryl@OffshoreSailing.com.
SAILING RESUME FOR FLOTILLA CRUISES – Revised June 2020
Book Your Cabin
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This sailing vacation starts in Placencia at The Mooring’s base at Laru Beya Resort & Marina. We recommend you arrive on February 6 and book a room at the Laru Beya Resort with gorgeous beaches and a big welcoming pool. That evening, a fun Meet and Greet party and tasty group dinner kicks off the week. The next morning, February 7, you board the boats at The Moorings base, just a few steps from the resort. Stow your gear and get into sailing mode with boat and navigation check-outs, take a group photo in your commemorative cruise shirts, and then set sail! That’s Nate and Heather Atwater, your cruise leaders in the back on the left with three 2018 Belize flotilla cruise mates.
There is so much to do in this part of Belize, we recommend everyone come in a day or two early to explore. Package rates for rooms at the lovely Laru Beya resort are listed below, and we suggest you make your room reservation as soon as you receive confirmation for this flotilla. Placencia is a fun town to visit and the resort has a host of tours they will set up for you, which include lunch and expert guides. What follows are some of the cays and islands you might visit during this cruise. The actual itinerary will be provided during your Meet and Greet with cruise leaders, Nate and Heather Atwater, on February 6.
Friendly local residents welcome you with an infectious laid-back Belizean vibe. There are several restaurants and bars offering fresh seafood and local delicacies. Locals display rustic and traditional wares for sale in shops and roadside stands. Take a land-based tour to the numerous cascading waterfalls and archaeological Mayan ruins; hire a boat to take you up Monkey River to view howler monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas and many more creatures hidden in the lush green jungle; and for a real challenging thrill, don headlights and life jackets to swim and hike through the mysterious Maya underworld at the cave at Blue Creek.
This is home to fishing legend Julian Cabral, owner of The Whipray Caye Lodge open-air Sea Urchin Bar and Restaurant. The fleet will likely moor or anchor on the west side of this cay. Dinghy ashore to sample Belizean and American food with an ice-cold beer, and listen to Julian’s inside track on catching fish in Belize waters. Snorkeling close to shore is fabulous as you swim over live coral reefs. Back on board, watch one of the most stunning and unforgettable sunsets you’ll ever see!
South Water Caye
This peaceful island is part of the Belize World Heritage Site, and a great place to spend the day exploring and snorkeling off its white sandy beach, followed by dinner ashore at one of the cay’s three delightful restaurants. This amazing 15-acre coral island sits right on the edge of the barrier reef, with crystal clear waters and soft powder white sand beaches lined with majestic palms. On the east side of the cay the barrier reef drop-off is close to shore, creating one of the few places in Belize where you can literally swim off the beach for incredible snorkeling. One of the largest inhabited islands, South Water Caye has a few bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy fresh caught lobster and delicious local specialties. The fleet will anchor to the west of the cay or in nearby Twin Cays, depending on wind direction.
More excellent snorkeling beckons on the shallow reef running along Tobacco Cay’s eastern and southern shoreline, which forms the edge of the famous south Water Cay marine reserve. Watch for majestic eagle rays gracefully soaring over turtle grass beds. The fleet will anchor just inside the reef where you can watch for local fishermen preparing their catches of the day at the dock at sunset. Then go ashore to the thatched roof beach bar for a cool rum punch with locals. Don’t be surprised if they bring out their Garifuna drums for an impromptu musical treat, as the sun sets behind cool blue Maya Mountains.
This is actually two private atolls – with white-sand beaches, fine food, two bars and 5-star service ashore. The waters between the two cays are shallow enough to walk between, where you are sure to see brilliant starfish, hermit crabs, tropical fish and a variety of shells. The surrounding waters are calm, ideal for kayaking, snorkeling, fly-fishing and swimming. You can dinghy or kayak over to neighboring Man-O-War Cay – a designated bird sanctuary and home to a variety of indigenous bird species including pelicans, brown boobies and magnificent frigates. Thatch Caye – one of the island’s resorts – has a small marina with water, provisions, and internet (in guest areas) available. This eco-resort is a great place to see racoon-like coatimundi roaming free, as well as spider monkeys and deer. Relax in a hammock with a good book ashore. Come back in to dine al-fresco under the stars after your day’s activities.
Midway between Quamino Caye and the Slasher Sand Bore are two cayes called Lagoon Caye. Breathtakingly beautiful, the deep water lagoon at the northernmost caye is a great place to dinghy in and out of the many inlets and mangrove habitats. Ospreys, frigates, pelicans and cormorants call this lagoon home. Swim or snorkel to explore incredible coral life with silver-scaled tarpon and colorful parrot fish.
Just 25 nautical miles off the cost of Placencia, is a deluxe private island with mixed natural beauty, fun activities and a the premier Hatchet Caye Resort. There are moorings here, and a visit to the Lionfish Grill Restaurant for a fine dining experience is highly recommended. You can visit the dive shop and enjoy superior snorkeling conditions all around this caye. Onshore WiFi is available.
On the way to Lark Caye you might stop at Ranguana Caye, on the barrier reef near Ranguana Pass. Here the unspoiled white-sand beaches are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Then head to lark Caye, anchor and enjoy the beauty surrounding the fleet from every angle.
There are many flight options from the U.S. to Belize International Airport (BZE) where you transfer to Tropic Air or Maya Island Air for a 45 minute flight to Placencia Regional Airport (PU). From there it is about a 3 mile taxi ride, $3 per person with a minimum charge of $10. Due to the number of flights organized by the Moorings, you may want to have the Moorings in-house flight specialist book your flights for you. Call 866-649-2003 for more information.
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SUPER CRUISING ON MOORINGS YACHTS
The perfect yachts for cruising Belize are spacious catamarans with lots of deck and cabin space to spread out and enjoy the breeze. The Belize Flotilla fleet includes Moorings 4800 with four cabins, and Moorings 5000 catamarans, one with four cabins and and the other with five cabins. All have ensuite heads, generators and AC throughout when the generator is running or you are hooked into shore power. Trip leaders Nate and Heather Atwater will assign crews, skippers and navigators to each of the boats prior to the cruise start.
BELIZE FLOTILLA PACKAGE – YACHTS ONLY
- Single traveling alone, in a private cabin – $3,895
- Two people sharing a cabin – $3,295 per person
Package Rates for Offshore Sailing School Graduates with US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification (BCC)
- Single traveling alone, private cabin – $3,595
- Two people sharing cabin, both with US Sailing BCC Certification – $2,995 per person
The $300 discount is only applicable to the grad who holds US Sailing BCC Certification. If others in your party do not have that certification, the non-discounted rate applies.
Belize Yacht Flotilla Package Includes . . .
- Single or shared cabin on one of the flotilla fleet catamarans
- Meet and Greet party with cocktails and dinner
- Provisioning aboard for all breakfasts and lunches, snacks and three dinners
- Use of snorkel fins and masks
- Damage waiver and local taxes
- Full fuel and water tanks before you depart
- Commemorative Belize Flotilla Cruise shirt and cap
- Complete handbook to help you plan your adventure, sent when you sign up
- Travel costs including transfers from airport to base and back
- Your stay at the Laru Beya Resort which you should book direct
- All meals ashore except the Meet and Greet party
- Beverages you wish to have aboard or enjoy at shore facilities
- Mooring and/or anchoring fees
- Marine park fees (around $10 per person per day)
- Kayak and tour rentals
We ask that each boat sets up a kitty to replenish as needed, to cover mooring, anchoring or other costs that come up during the cruise.
To Book Your Cabin: 30% deposit is required when you sign up. The balance of your total package (full payment), plus a $300 refundable security deposit per person, is due by December 1, 2020. No refunds are allowed after December 1, 2020. Please purchase Trip Insurance.
LARU BEYA RESORT ROOM RATES
- Ocean View Room – $203 per night
- One bedroom Oceanfront Suite – $298 per night
- Two Bedroom Oceanfront Suite – 465 per night
- Three Bedroom Oceanfront Suite – $619 per night
To Book Your Room: The above rates include 9% hotel tax and 10% service charge. Please tell your sales advisor when you book your cabin which dates you wish to stay at the resort. We recommend coming in at least two days before (February 5) and staying the night you disembark (February 13). Our traditional, fun Meet and Greet party with dinner will be at the resort the evening of February 6. The resort requires a 50% deposit to confirm the dates you choose; the final 50% room payment is due with your final cruise payment as noted above, and is not refundable from that point on.
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A Note About Personal Physical Requirements
To join this cruise you must be able to move around the boat easily on your own, get on and off the boat via dinghy easily, and be willing and able to share in all the duties aboard including setting and trimming sails, meal prep and clean-up, anchoring and picking up moorings. We are sorry, but the use of CPAPs or other medical items requiring electricity cannot be guaranteed. If you have physical issues which could impair your activities, please call Doris Colgate (239-985-7511) to discuss before you sign up.