It's just a 15-minute drive south of Roseau through the picturesque village of Pointe Michel to the water sports facility at Champagne. Champagne is Dominica's premier diving and snorkeling site and rates among the top five snorkeling sites in the Caribbean. Underwater geothermal springs vent gasses in the form of thousands of warm bubbles giving you a feeling of swimming through a giant glass of Champagne. The reef here is quite spectacular with a myriad of sea life including sponges, lobster, parrotfish and a resident population of hawksbill turtles. You will be outfitted with high quality snorkel gear and listen to an orientation of the facility and the adventure that awaits you on the reef. Tours of the reef are led by professional PADI-certified dive masters who will instruct you on the correct use of your gear and brief you on what you are likely to see and experience once in the water. After your tour, enjoy the comfort and convenience of showers and changing rooms, refreshments, a gift shop and a sundeck overlooking the beautiful Caribbean. You will make you way back to the pier by taking a scenic drive through the village of Pointe Michele, stopping en route at the St Luke's Primary Museum.
Average Customer Rating:
(5 Reviews) 5
Rating Snapshot(5 reviews)
4 out of 5(80%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Irie Safari Champagne Snorkel
The day we went the weather was too rough to snorkel at the original planned site. The staff got equipment for everyone and then took us to a second location where the water was not as rough. Great snorkeling and excellent guides. Would go again! Water shoes are helpful because of the slippery rocks as you enter the water.
Our snorkeling and tour guides were really warm and friendly. They treated us like friends, not like tourists. This alone, made the excursion stand out. Though the champagne bubbles weren't very significant, it was still really interesting to feel the warm water and realize those bubbles were coming out of a vent in the earth's crust. You don't get to snorkel in a situation like that very often! The coral and fish, on the other hand, were outstanding! Definitely some of the best snorkeling we've had in the Caribbean. Our snorkel guides were very knowledgeable and pointed out many interesting features of the reef. We are very experienced snorkelers and hate being herded in a group in the water. We had the opposite experience here. Though the guides asked us to stay near the group, they allowed us to swim apart on our own and explore independently.
You snorkel off the beach, but be aware, it's not sand but rather rocks and small boulders. You do have to cross these stones for a short way to get to the water. They are slippery and uneven, but the guides are right there to help you keep your balance. Shoes that you can wear into the water are a MUST here, unless you have very tough feet and used to walking barefoot across uneven rocks.
The deck where we rested (and drank a rum punch) after snorkeling was just lovely and looks over the ocean. I can't say enough about how friendly and nice the entire crew on this trip was. I'd do it again, just because of that, but I also want to get back and snorkel on that reef again.
Dominica is not a flashy/touristy port but the locals were very friendly. They were not pushy at all and the port has great security but I felt separated from the local flavor because they weren't allowed to come into the area and were literally barricaded from the tourists. I'm sure it was for our safety. We boarded a taxi van that took us to the snorkeling site. It had changing rooms and showers and a small snack bar. The island has no sandy beaches so entry was over rocks to get into the water. The snorkel site was about .25 miles from where the vans dropped us. The guide was friendly and made sure we stayed with him the whole time in the water. I wouldn't say that the views were all that great or colorful but it was a new experience if you've never snorkeled in an active volcanic area. There really are small bubbles coming up from the bottom, but they are not throughout the entire snorkeling trip. Only certain areas of the guided snorkel had any bubbles. After the snorkeling is over you are given a soda and allowed to shower off in freshwater and change clothes. Then we rode back to the port and were dropped off with no issues.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
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Review 4 for Irie Safari Champagne Snorkel
Date:February 12, 2012
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
If you do this snorkel please please bring your running shoes or hard soled shoes down to the water entry where you can then enter the water. However entry is very difficuly and over and around slippery boulders. You have to come out backwards with the surf crashing into you. Very dangerous. Champagne bubbles are warm but not a superb snorkeling site. Drinks are coke or a soda. You can get a rum but it is not offered you have to ask for it. Beautiful site once you are in the water.
Champagne reef is really unique with the millions of bubbles amongst all the fish. Entry to the snorkeling site is from a very rocky beach, and I recommend you wear water shoes. A little awkward getting in deep enough water to avoid the rocks yet being able to get your fins on! The "showers and changing rooms" and "refreshments" in the shore excursion description are really really basic. This is not a resort. But the snorkeling is worth it and the site is not accessible on your own.