Discovery Voyages in the British Virgin Islands Request BrochureRequest Brochure

Discover Adventure

For those without prior SCUBA experience, this program features PADI's Open Water Diver and Adventure Diver (Advanced Open Water) SCUBA certifications, sailing and seamanship training, and marine biology. This voyage will set a foundation for your future adventure travels.

It's easier than you think. Scuba diving is not an extreme sport. The only skill you need is to be comfortable in the water. When you learn, an instructor is in the water to explain everything you need to know. Initial dive training takes place with small groups in calm, blue waters that sparkle with sunlight and the beautiful colors of the coral reef. You will learn new skills and progresses at your own pace.

After your SCUBA certification, explore the spectacular walls, pinnacles, seamounts and shipwrecks throughout the archipelago. You will begin advancing your diver education with exciting night dives and learn about the underwater realm during underwater naturalist dives. Many people are drawn to the fishes, corals, and the countless other marine animals just from seeing them on video, in an aquarium or reading about them. But when you get in the open ocean and meet these animals for yourself, you’re compelled to protect them and their critical habitats.

Marine biology activities are at our core, we want to develope your understanding of the systems. Each yacht has a Marine Biologist and you will discover the deeply interconnected ways the coral, invertebrates, and fishes work together in amazing efficiency. All educational programs are taught in a hands-on approach in which you gain knowledge by doing, seeing and experiencing.

We live aboard sailing catamarans and sail the calm blue passages between the islands. You are the crew, learning to raise and lower the sails, navigate, be the helmsman, and drop the anchor all in time for water sports and island adventures.

Trip Details

  • 14 Days
  • No Experience Necessary
  • 3 PADI SCUBA Certifications
    • Open Water Diver
    • Adventure Diver (Advanced OW)
    • Night Diver Specialty
  • 15+ Dives
  • Sail Training and Seamanship
  • Leadership Skills
  • Water sports
    • Water-skiing
    • knee boarding
    • Wakeboarding
    • Kayaking
    • Power Snorkeling
    • Tubing
    • Stand-Up-Paddleboarding SUP
  • Island Exploration
  • Culture & Natural History of the BVI
  • Marine Science Activities
    • Oceanography
    • Tropical Marine Ecosystems
    • Scientific & Marine Research Methods
    • Coral Reef Biology & Monitoring
    • Island Ecology

Choose a Date
14 Days

  • June 19 - July 2
  • July 3 - July 16
  • July 18 - July 31
  • August 1 - August 14
$4350 USD Tuition all inclusive

  • Enroll Now
  • For students ages 13 - 23
    multiple vessels separating ages

Zoomable Voyage Photo Gallery
British Virgin Islands

Day by Day

Day 1

Arrive into Tortola, the capital and largest or the islands, with beautiful white sand beaches and tall rugged mountains. Your first day is busy meeting your fellow shipmates, settling aboard and preparing for diving. Enjoy the pool and beautiful Caribbean atmosphere.

The Odyssey summer base
Day 2

After a sailing lesson and getting to know your Leopard sailing catamaran, hoist your mainsail and point across the wind towards Norman Island and the The Indians for snorkeling and a Marine Life tour. We anchor at Benures Bay for the evening beaneath Spy Glass Hill (which were the inspiration for the novel Treasure Island).

The Indians near Pelican Island
Day 3

Now it is up-anchor and away for a lesson of upwind sailing inside the Sir Francis Drake Channel as we zig'n'zag around islands to Virgin Gorda. The protected Pond Bay offers an afternoon for water-sports opportunities and some of the best sunsets in the Caribbean. We start our scuba lessons in the pool like shallows and soon we are explorings deeper as our skills progress.

Odyssey Yachts at Pond Bay, Virgin Gorda BVI
Day 4

Today we will master your basic SCUBA skills and the afternoon is water sports like knee boarding and water skiing.

Odyssey Yachts at Pond Bay, Virgin Gorda BVI
Day 5

We hike to the rocky intertidal for biology investigations and assist in a community service effort to clean up the shoreline from plastic debris. A short sail to Mountain Point and we start developing our fish and creature identification skills with our resident marine biologist. We start our PADI Open Water Training dives and visit a secret hideaway pool few others know about.

odyssey expeditions
Day 6

Up early to visit one of the most stunning sites in the BVI's, The Baths. Gigantic granite boulders and half submerged rocks line the southern seashore, creating grottos, tunnels, and arches - a wonderful place to swim, jump of rocks, and explore. Sandy beaches are lined with coconut palms, adding to the dramatic effect. Lunch is at Spanish Town, the second largest town (after Road Town), on the British Virgin Islands. Also known as The Valley, Spanish Town offers numerous shopping possibilities. Spanish Town was originally settled by Cornish miners, and ruins of the chimney, boiler house, cistern, and mine shafts can be seen. It served as capital of the territory until 1714, when the government moved their offices to Road Town. When our bellies are full we 'go to The Dogs' for some afternoon diving.

The Baths of Virgin Gorda BVI
Day 7

Day of the Dogs. We start with a morning dive at "The Chimney" on Great Dog. It is a great place to fine tune those natural navigation skills. Project Ocean Survey, Bronco Billies, the Flintstones or Joes Cave follow. When we get our days allotment of nitrogen, it's time for a nice slow downwind sail to Marina Cay. A small island with tropical gardens and its own culture and a unique history. Famous for Robb White's Two on the Isle, a true-life love story mixed with Robinson Crusoe. Everyone visits the unique gift shop before heading to the beach restaurant for desserts. The "View-Master menu" is a throwback to our childhood and so is the tasty key lime pie.

Cooper Island Wreck Alley BVI
Day 8

Mangroves snorkeling in the morning and Guana Island in the afternoon is great for water skiing, wake boarding, and kayaking in its perfectly calm waters. Underneath the surface we explore the reefs full of soft corals where nurse sharks are commonly seen (they don't bite). Hiking ashore brings us to a vista overlooking the Atlantic with expansive views. At sunset, be sure to sit with your friends at the front of your boat to watch for the green flash. Night dive in a rocky outcropping filled with a carnival of fishes and invertebrates.

Day 9

You're not too old to play at Green Cay's Playgrounds, a dive site where we often come face to face with dolphins and see elegant eagle rays gliding by. Do a reef fish survey for project REEF and help science. Your team has really come together; it's time to go ashore for an evening with a beach camp fire and limbo with reggae dancing and steel drums.

Day 10

An early start heads to West End, the pastel enclave, to refill on ice-cream before performing a perfect series of fast tacks with your now smoothly operating crew beating upwind through the Narrows toward Norman Island. While the end is near, the diving still gets better exploring a series of top sites we visit a secret wall of black coral and maybe Santa Monica Rock to spot big pelagics. Hey lets finish with a Night Dive.

Sopers Hole Marina, West End BVI by Mark Goebel ©cc2.0
Day 11

We start with a sail up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Dead Chest Island and dive a Picaso inspired site called 'Painted Walls'. Sailing up to Salt Island we then dive of the Wreck of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Companys RMS Rhone. This is one of the most highly rated shipwrecks in all the Caribbean. The wreck is situated on the lee side of Salt Island, spread out over a couple of acres. The Rhone, a 310-foot long iron-hulled steam-sailor, was built in England in 1865 and was sunk by a hurricane a mere two years later on October 29th, 1867. The Rhone was of a hybrid technology? powered by both sail and one of the earliest steam driven propellers. It looks exactly like people expect a historic shipwreck to look like. The long sleek lines of the intact bow section, lying on her starboard side in 78 feet of water, are clearly visible. The pointed bowsprit, the long iron mast, the lifeboat davits and even a signaling canon are easily spotted. Inside the wreck schools of fish flow around the support beams, shafts of light penetrate through portholes. On the "ceiling", a liquid mercury-like layer of trapped air cascades past beams covered with brilliant orange cup coral. Snorkelers floating on the surface above can easily see the huge propeller, the aft mast and a line of portholes. The Rhone is also a film star - she was the filming location for the treasure diving epic The Deep. The evening is at Cooper Island and we finish our Night Diver Specialty.

RMS Rhone
Day 12

We get to dive some of the clearest water in the BVIs today. Starting at Ginger Island we dive a 'Alice in Wonderland' named for the mushroom shape of the corals. We move around Ginger's Backside which is almost always flat calm, providing a restful location for surface interval and second dive. Again, a huge healthy coral reef runs the length of the island starting at about 25ft under the boat and falling away to the sandy bottom at about 50ft. This is usually a very slow paced dive, giving the group plenty of time to explore the holes and ledges in the reef for lobster, octopus and the occasional turtle - also look out for small stingrays out on the sand. The days not done.

Cooper Island Wreck Alley BVI
Day 13

The last dive is a beauty Blond Rock with the clear water and lots of grottos. A lazy sail back to home port. We have a farewell pizza bash ashore and reminisce with your new close friends on the fantastic adventures shared together.

Octopus is a pizza not on a Pizza
Day 14

We brush the sand from our feet and say our goodbyes. Good friends. Splash On...

Looking over Sandy Cay to Tortola

Prerequisites

To take the PADI Open Water Diver course, you must be:

  • 12+ years old
  • Basic water skill comfort:
    • swim 200 meter/yards. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
    • Float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods that you want.
  • For safety, all students complete a brief scuba Medical Statement (PDF) that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, you sign the form and you’re ready to start. If any of these apply to you, as a safety precaution your physician must assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms that you’re fit to dive.


What people say

"Aurelie can not stop telling her friends about her summer aboard Odyssey Expeditions. Quiet kid who absorbed every minute of it. It took her some time to process it all, but now we see a much different kid - willing to try new things... so thanks for helping build her confidence. She also continues to be in touch with her buddies made last year aboard the boat." ~ Racheal D.

"My children Saraih and Zak had an amazing time on the Odyssey Expedition, it truly far exceeded our expectations, thank you for all that you do." ~ Mary R.

"I really wanted to say thanks. Odyssey was really a great experience for me, and as it turns out, a life changing one as well. It opened the doors for my passions, and I've decided to continue in my training as a diver. As of this summer I will be a scuba instructor! Hopefully someday I'll get to go back and work for you guys! I just wanted you all to know how much the trip meant to me, and I'm so thankful that my life will never be the same. You all are great!" ~ Melissa F.

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