After the start of our cruise in La Romana (Dominican Republic) and a day at sea was today our first stop on the island of Aruba.
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The island of Aruba
Aruba is the westernmost and smallest of the three ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao), which belong geographically to South America and are part of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean. The island is only about 30 kilometers long, maximum 9 kilometers wide and has about 105,000 inhabitants.
Jads Aruba Diving School
We had already booked a diving trip with two dives from home. Since we really wanted to dive plane wreckage and some off the coast of Aruba, the diving school Jads Aruba was quickly found, which offers the plane wreck diving exactly today. We would have liked to have booked this trip via the AIDA, but here it was not certain whether this dive site will be approached.
At 8.30 a.m. we should be picked up from the diving school in front of the port terminal. Well, in the Caribbean the clocks are ticking a little slower: Around 9 o’clock the shuttle bus was there, in which already 5 other divers were sitting. We went directly to the small port, which is located below the airport “Queen Beatrix International Airport”. On the dive boat the diving equipment was already on it, so that it could start right away. Since there were two instructors, the group could be shared again.
Diving on the plane wreckage “Renaissance Air Planes”
In about 15 minutes along the coast we had already reached our first diving spot, which is about 300 meters off Renaissance Island: the Renaissance Air Planes.
Unfortunately the visibility under water was not so good and the current quite strong, but the sight of the aircraft wrecks Convair 400 and Air Aruba YS-11 was still really great. Convair’s plane is believed to have been seized during a drug raid in the 1980s. Since they did not know what to do with the plane, the authorities quickly sunk it. The cockpit as well as some parts of the fuselage are still well preserved. In the immediate vicinity you will also find other parts, such as the propellers.
A few metres away are the remains of Air Aruba’s former YS-11 passenger plane,which was able to carry up to 64 passengers from 1988. 12 years later, the airline went bankrupt and it decided to sink the plane off the coast of Aruba and use it as an artificial reef. Through the rear entrance you can dive into the machine and dive through the completely empty cabin space to the cockpit. At the left exit we swam out of the machine again. A truly extraordinary, unique diving experience!
The diving spot Tire Reef
The second dive site was the Tire Reef, which we dived for about 60 minutes. Here we have seen some black and white moray eels, firefish, trumpet fish, cleaning shrimp and a scorpion fish.
Our dive video of Aruba
Here you can find the video of our two dives in Aruba.
Going 1 p.m. we were back at the small harbour, from where we were then taken straight back to the ship. We spent the rest of the day exploring the city of Oranjestad.
All travelogues from our AIDA Cruise (Caribbean Sea)If you read the list of islands that AIDA is heading for on the route Caribbean Islands, you might think it was a dream for a moment: Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua. To reach eleven islands in 14 days is already a house number. But that was also the reason for us to choose this route. A cruise is predestined to get to know the Caribbean with its thousands of dream islands in a relaxed way. Here you can find all travel reports of our 14-day Caribbean cruise with AIDAdiva.
Day 01 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Short stopover before our cruise
Day 02 Dominican Republic: AIDAdiva – Our 14-Day Cruise in the Caribbean Sea
Day 03 Day at Sea
Day 04 Aruba: ABC Islands – Diving at the Renaissance Plane Wreck
Day 04 Aruba: Oranjestad – Tourist Attractions & Things to Do by your own
Day 05 Curaçao: Curacao – Island Tour, Attractions & the best Photo spots
Day 05 Curaçao: Ocean Encounters Curacao – Diving with Dolphins
Day 06 Bonaire: ABC Islands – Diving in Bonaire National Marine Park
Day 06 Bonaire: Kralendijk – Travel Guide & Things to Do
Day 07 Day at Sea
Day 08 Grenada: Diving on the wreck of the cargo ship Veronica L.
Day 08 Grenada: Molinere Bay – Diving at the Underwater Sculpture Park
Day 08 Grenada: Saint George’s – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
Day 09 St. Vincent: Kingstown & Hiking La Soufriére Volcano
Day 10 Barbados: Wreck diving in Carlisle Bay Marine Park
Day 10 Barbados: Snorkeling with turtles in Carlisle Bay
Day 11 St. Lucia: Diving in the Caribbean with Scuba Steve’s Diving
Day 12 Dominica: Dolphins, Whale-Watching & the capital Roseau
Day 13 Guadeloupe: An island tour & the town of Pointe-a-Pietre
Day 14 Antigua: St. John’s, Nelson’s Dockyard & Fort Berkeley
Day 15 Day at Sea
Day 16 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Relax one day on the Beach