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If you are lucky enough to be cruising with Disney Cruise Line to Grand Cayman Island, you will find fun for the entire family on the excursion to Boatswain’s Adventure Marine Park. This Disney excursion includes round trip transportation to the Cayman Turtle Farm, a conservation and education center dedicated to all things sea turtle.
Home to over 7,000 sea turtles, this amazing facility has released over 31,000 turtles into the wild. That is an amazing number, especially considering that almost all species of sea turtles, including the green sea turtles who are the focus of conservation at the Cayman Turtle Farm, are classified as endangered.
Once you enter the park, your tour guide will direct you to the Breeding Pond, where you can view mature sea turtles swimming gracefully through their saltwater home. There are over 360 green sea turtles in the Breeding Pond. If you travel during the sea turtle nesting season (May – October), you may be fortunate enough to see a female nesting on the beach.
The turtle touch tanks and wading pools were by far the highlight of our adventure to this park. The shallow wading pools allow kids of all ages to climb into the knee deep water and interact with and hold young sea turtles. Lifeguards are on duty to make sure both you and the sea turtles stay safe.
We were glad we wore bathing suits on this adventure. Between the wading pools, the snorkeling, and the swimming pool and water slide, you are definitely going to get wet!
When a tour group first arrives at the wading pools, they tend to be rather crowded. You can get some better quality time in the pools without feeling rushed or crowded if you either enter the wading pools in between tour groups, or if you come back later in the day when the crowds have cleared out into other parts of the park.
The adventurous souls in your group can dive in and swim with young sea turtles in Turtle Lagoon. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, and life vest) is included with your excursion, and this can be a great first snorkeling experience. The protected lagoon invites snorkelers to view various kinds of fish as well as young sea turtles in a calm and controlled environment.
Aside from the amazing sea turtle experiences, you can also view a rare crocodile, butterflies, native plants, and the free flight aviary features many species of birds. Adventure seekers won’t want to miss predator reef, where you can view sharks and barracuda!
The Education Center is a great place to learn about the lives of sea turtles. The center also houses the Turtle Hatchery, where lucky visitors might just get to see baby sea turtle hatchlings breaking free for their first adventures (typically May – October).
We have visited the Cayman Turtle Farm twice, and have not yet made it over to use the swimming pool and water slide. They are supposed to be quite impressive, with underwater viewing areas into the predator reef, but we spend a majority of our time at the wading pools.
Lunch at the Turtle Farm is included in the excursion. Don’t worry – turtle soup is not on the menu!
Does this sound like an excursion that you would want to participate in?