Neptune AdventureBritish Virgin Islands
Focused Advanced Scuba Expedition
If you want to take your diving to the advanced level and already have a basic diving certification or PADI referral, Neptune is for you.
During this exciting voyage, you will live aboard a 46-foot catamaran and with step-by-step instruction, you will achieve your PADI Advanced certification as well as five other scuba specialties. You'll be spending action-packed days above and below the surface.
The British Virgin Islands rank among the best and most diverse diving areas of the Caribbean. Explore your world like never before while diving at world-famous sites like Alice's Wonderland, Blue Chromis Reef, Coral Gardens and the wrecks of the Chikuzen and RMS Rhone. Throughout the Neptune Voyage you will also water ski, wakeboard and perfect your sailing as you and your team assume responsibilities and take charge of the running of the vessel.
Learning the Ropes - Week 1
We're off the dock!
Week one of our BVI adventure program for teens is all about meeting new people, trying new activities and learning the ropes. Lots of sailing, scuba diving, and water sports dominate the landscape but for our students, it's the teamwork and camaraderie that is the highlight of the experience so far.
Honing New Skills - Week 2
The adventure continues!
Week 2 of our BVI summer adventure experience is all about our students honing their new skills. Dive training is in full gear as our Vega students earn their PADI open water diver certifications and our Advanced diving fleet continue their training during wreck, photography, and underwater research dives, as well as star fish and shark dissections. While our students are learning a ton both above and below the surface, they also seem to be learning quite a bit about themselves.
Certifications & Celebrations - Week 3
The final week!
We wrap up the final week of our BVI teen adventure program with the students putting their newly earned sailing certifications to the test, while still making time for some amazing diving on the famous wreck of the RMS Rhone and a trek to the top of Mt. Sage, the highest point in the BVI. Our students reflect on their experience and the amazing relationships they developed over the past 3 weeks.
It's Party Time!
And you've never seen a party like this! Towards the end of the first week, the entire fleet gets together for a BBQ and party on the beautiful beach at Vixen Point. Great food, amazing music, and an amazing fire dancing display guarantees a good time for all.
Voyage Blog Entry...
Another Day In Paradise
Author: Liz C.
Location: West End, Tortola
Today we went to the Chickuzin where we did our second wreck dive. We saw so many rays and Matt even got to swim with a spotted eagle ray, which is a long dream of his we hear about daily. We also saw big barracuda, jellies and tons of fish.
I think everyone agrees that its one of the best dives we have done so far on the trip. Once we finished up there we took the long sail to Muskmellon Bay. As skipper, I drove the boat the whole way, and once we arrived at Muskmellon, Kris told me that I had to get us to our morring without his help. So I smoothly sailed us onto the line while Kris sat up top, it was so exciting! Tonight we're doing our last night dive which we will do without the instructor. This means we have to be able to find the boat without our instructors help, using only our buddy and compass. I think we will all use a lot of extra air tonight. Every day our boat grows even closer than the day before. Like right now we are doing the dishes and dancing to Frank Sinatra while having a dance off with the other boat. Tomorrow will be a fun day. The Dolphins are going to start turtle tagging, which we are all excited for. So hopefully the the rain will go away and we can have the nice BVI weather again. Can't wait for another day in the BVI!
Alumni Author: Rachael L.
Summertime thanksgiving dinner is the meal I look forward to each trip. I would love if we had it for dinner every night! There are two chefs each day that have the job to cook our meals, but for this dinner, everybody chips in. Even if cooking is something you don't like, when we are all doing it together it turns into a lot of fun! Everybody has their own part in it, for example, making the turkey (which is canned but still tastes just as good as regular turkey to me) or slicing vegetables. Then, after we are finished cooking, all of our shipmates sit around the table to eat! We always have to be careful not to take too much of one thing otherwise there may not be enough for everyone, which is never a good thing!
Sydneys Peace and Love...
Alumni Author: Rachael W.
Rachel tells us about the longest day at AQ...
During session I and II in the BVI, the whole fleet gets together for a BBQ and dance night at Sydney's Peace and Love restaurant on the island of Jost Van Dyke.
It's a highlight of the session, and usually occurs on the same day as "the big hike" to the top of Mt. Sage, as well as the Sandcastle Competition at Sandy Spit... Needless to say, this is a HUGE day at AQ and you'll certainly be going to bed very happy, yet very tired!
Voyage Blog Entry...
Coolest Day Ever
Author: Max D.
Location: Savannah Bay
Today was an awesome day! The sun was out and there were little to no clouds all day. In the morning we talked about how to use a compass underwater. Then we went on shore to test our knowledge about what learned.
It was very funny to watch everyone walking around the beach with towels over their heads and a compass in hand practicing their new navigation skills. After lunch we went over to a dive site located close to the beach to put our navigation skills to the test. Once we were all done with our different activities we all reunited back on the boat for showers and dinner. As we were eating the sun was setting in between two islands and the sun was reflecting off the water. I took a picture but it doesn't really show how beautiful and peaceful this place really is. I can't wait for another great day tomorrow, and another awesome dive with these fish!
Voyage Blog Entry...
Diving The Rhone
Author: David K.
Location: Salt Island
Today we woke up at 6:15 and sailed from Mountain Point to Salt Island, home of the Rhone. This ship was a 310 foot long packet ship that traveled from England to the America's and the Caribbean. It sank in 1867 during while trying to escape a major hurricane.
The coolest part of the dive was swimming through the bow section and then under the enormous propeller. After this we sailed to Great Harbor Peter and enjoyed some white bean soup. Our second dive today was on a reef in the harbor. When we finally regrouped on the boat we did some free-diving lessons. Tonight we are having chicken caesar salad for dinner and are doing another night dive. Super stoked!
Just you, your shipmates and the power of the wind. Now, with the breeze in your hair and the helm in your hands, you realize how far you and your teammates have come. No longer passengers, you are crew – shipmates, staff and adventurers united for this awesome voyage...MORE > >
Submerged in a completely different world - a world where 'exotic' doesn't begin to describe what's in front of your eyes, that's AQ scuba. Through crystal blue waters with incredible visibility, you'll come face-to-face with spectacular marine life like hawksbill turtles, queen angelfish and schools of mirror-like silver sides...MORE > >
Can't picture yourself actually skiing, wakeboarding and windsurfing? Think again! As you carve through the water, you'll feel the speed, the wind, the exhilaration and the accomplishment of doing something you never thought you could. You'll be grinning for sure...MORE > >
ActionQuest visits some of the most incredible places on earth - the perfect settings for watersports, cultural expeditions, hiking and exploring. The sights you see on an AQ voyage vary according to the destinations you visit, and all are extraordinary.MORE > >
Other Cool Stuff
Think that's all we do at AQ? No way. Along with the beach BBQ's and reggae dance parties in the BVI, you'll learn to drive a dinghy, tie knots, splice a line, sail a laser and even cook for 15 people at a time! While the Galapagos and Ecuador voyages are filled with unpredictable, priceless moments of cultural exchange, service learning, and adventure. You’ll see striking scenery, improve your Spanish, taste new food, and make friends for life as you immerse yourself in an entirely new culture. Every moment of every day will be jam packed with cool stuff to do, see and experience...MORE > >
PADI Adv. Open Water
The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course is the next step up from Open Water, and will increase your knowledge and safety while diving in different aquatic environments. Two of the five areas are required topics; the Deep Diving and Underwater Navigation, and we add three more topics such as Night Diving, Wreck Diving, Boat Diving and Underwater Naturalist. Experience real adventure and be one step closer to Master Scuba Diver - the ultimate non-professional certification in recreational diving.
PADI Boat Diver
Whether you've never made a boat dive or you've logged dozens, the PADI Boat Diver Specialty course can benefit almost every diver because different boats in different parts of the world do things differently.
PADI Night Diver
As the sun sets, you'll don your dive gear, slip on your scuba mask and introduce yourself to the whole new cast of critters that comes out after the sun goes down. A deep breath and you step off the boat – into the underwater night. Although you've seen this reef many times before, this time you drop into a whole new world and watch it come to life under the glow of your dive light.
PADI Wreck Diver
Whether sunk on purpose as an artificial reef or the result of mishap, wrecks open fascinating windows to the past. Most divers find wrecked ships, airplanes and even automobiles nearly irresistible because they're intriguing to explore, exciting avenues of discovery, and usually teeming with aquatic life. The PADI Wreck Diver course teaches you the ins and outs of rewarding, responsible wreck diving.
PADI Equipment Specialist
Whether it's a blown o-ring, regulator problem, wetsuit tear or a broken fin strap, you can learn how to manage basic scuba equipment adjustments. As a PADI Equipment Specialist, you are prepared for the basic scuba equipment maintenance, care and adjustments you'll encounter every day. In addition, you'll learn interesting background information about how your gear works, how it's repair and other information that helps you with your equipment investment.
PADI Fish Identification Specialty
Gain hands on experience looking for and identifying the fascinating fish you see underwater. You'll learn how to identify characteristics of local fish families and species, and local fish survey techniques and strategies. Once you learn the main fish families and characteristics, it will help you decipher the species you see all over the world.
VOYAGE ITINERARYPrevious Next
Throw your toothbrush in your bag and head to the airport! You'll start to meet our staff and other shipmates as you connect through St. Thomas on the way to Tortola. As soon as you arrive, it's straight aboard the boat where you'll meet your staff and choose your bunk. After that, change into your swim gear and take your first dip into the warm blue Caribbean water! You'll spend the rest of the afternoon getting to know your shipmates until it's time for all of you to prepare your first dinner aboard! Strangers will become fast friends as you end your first day chatting under the stars on board your new home.
It's up early with the roosters, and after a quick breakfast, we'll start off an action packed day. After swim tests are finished up, everyone will get together on the dock for the big program introduction. Next thing you know, it's time to slip our lines and get our first taste of sailing in paradise. Main from the Jib, Tack from the Clew… as you learn the boat, we'll practice tacking and trimming as we sail to Peter Island. Once we arrive in Peter, it's time for the checkout dive! Do you remember how to do a buddy check? Five point descent? Mask clear and fin pivot? Don't worry, we'll take you back to basics first! After dinner, we'll do a full introduction of the Neptune program along with a quick tune up of our Scuba knowledge.
Big day of sailing and diving, so it is up early to head east. First stop is Cooper Island. Here, in the cut between Cooper and Salt, is a great dive site called Blue Chromis Reef and you might even catch a glimpse of the wreck of the Beta, too. After a quick lunch, we raise sails once again and tack upwind to Virgin Gorda and the beautiful Savannah Bay. Take a dip, shower off and get ready for dinner. After dinner, we get together with the crews of the other dive boats for the Lifeworks Forum.
Scrambled eggs start this busy day, then it's straight off to learn about underwater navigation. We'll go ashore to practice on land first and before long you'll be navigating the length of the beach using just your compass! Grab a sandwich and set up your dive gear as we need to be at the sand circles by 1:30pm. Once on the site, it's time to practice the Underwater Navigation. Straight out and back as well as squares and maybe even a triangle, too. Once we all make it back, we'll head out for some wakeboarding before dinner. After dinner, we get together for our Night Diving lecture, preparing for our first dive after the sun sets tomorrow.
The Baths are one of the most beautiful places in the world and we'll get to explore before the crowds arrive. Giant boulders scatter the shoreline providing caves and pools of blue water. This is a great place for some rock jumping, too. Ready for a cheese burger? After the Baths, we head to Spanish town where Rose at the Bath and Turtle will be ready for you with burgers, hot dogs and all sorts of other goodies. Feeling full, we'll sail out in the early afternoon to Mountain Point and take a snorkel to view the night dive site before the sun sets. After dinner and a briefing, you'll don your gear and head out for the first of three night dives. The first one is always the most memorable and you may even be lucky enough to see a sleeping turtle.
We start the day motoring over to the Dog Islands having breakfast on the way. Once we're there, we'll tidy up and then jump straight in for a dive on the Chimneys. The hour surface interval is perfect to have a snack and read up on the Underwater Naturalist guide before heading back in for a second dive on the plane wreck at Coral Gardens. We'll head back to Mountain Point while preparing lunch and aim to get some skiing in before the Underwater Naturalist chat. That leaves just a little more time for skiing and relaxing before dinner. After dinner, we break into small groups for our second Lifeworks Forum.
We'll move the boat just round the corner to the Point for your first underwater naturalist dive in the morning. The visibility here is fantastic, so spotting five new fish, four new invertebrates and 2 new plants should be easy. Then, we're off to Leverick Bay where we'll grab a quick lunch and replenish our fresh food! After a quick motor over to Vixen Point and a Boat Diving lecture, we'll hit the beach for a volleyball competition or, if you would rather go wakeboarding, there is perfectly flat water just around the corner. There's just enough time to get the salt out of your hair before it's back to the beach for a BBQ and dance party with the entire AQ flotilla and Heavy Beatz, the best DJ in the Islands.
After such a fun night, the morning always comes too soon, but we need to be up early for the long downwind sail to Peter Island. Once we arrive, we'll have a quick Deep Diving presentation before lunch. Ready to go deep? This one is a 100-footer, right in the center of Great Harbor. We'll do some skills down there to analyze any possible effects of Nitrogen Narcosis, and then round out the afternoon with some more watersport fun. In preparation for the Wreck Diver specialty, after dinner we all meet up for a chit chat and learn stories of sunken ships and treasure!
Today, we motor over to Salt Island where the world famous wreck, the RMS Rhone, lies. Sitting between 30 and 80 feet, she is now home to thousands of fish and other sea creatures. After this fantastic wreck dive, we'll be off to the Leeward side of Salt Island to hike the hills around the salt ponds. We have a quick lunch back on board before motoring back over to Peter Island, where we'll brush up on our dive table skills for an hour or two before skiing and then snorkeling the second night dive site. After dinner, it's time for your second night dive, but this time you're leading! The instructors will be behind you all the way, but this should prepare you for next time when you and your buddy will be out there, just the two of you!
SLEEP IN! But it's tough when the sun comes up at 5am. Still, who's complaining?! We'll make scrambled eggs and, in groups, prepare to map the wreck of the Fearless. This is a great wreck and is the sister ship to Cousteau's famous Calypso. Grilled cheese and a surface interval and then your choice whether to hit the books, the pillow, or head out for another dive. Whichever you choose, everyone will be skiing that afternoon. After Dinner, we'll settle in for a relaxing movie night!
We head for Ginger Island early that morning and aim for a dive on the windward side of the Island. It's rocky, but the experience is worth it, as the coral and fish diversity on Alice In Wonderland will blow your mind. After the dive, we'll head over to Trellis Bay to grab lunch, get some fresh food, and call home. It's a quick motor over to Marina Cay after that. This tiny island is quintessentially Caribbean, with lush landscaping and only a couple of pink buildings. After dinner, we head to the top of Marina Cay for a Lifeworks Forum with the whole fleet.
This is a day to remember! After filling ourselves up with french toast, we'll head out to the wreck of the Chikuzen. A huge, sunken Korean refrigerator ship that lies 9 miles offshore. Home to thousands of fish, enormous rays and other creatures, you will not forget this dive! After and amazing dive, we head to the beautiful Muskmelon Bay and hop in for a quick snorkel before dinner. This is an important one, as it will prepare you and your buddy for your first night dive without an instructor. After dinner, off you go! Night dive #3 and, when you surface, CONGRATULATIONS, you're a certified Night Diver!
After a sleep in, scrambled eggs and a quick ski around the flat, calm bay, we'll raise anchor and head over to Tortola and Somer's beach to learn about the next course on the PADI ladder, Rescue Diver. We have a quick introduction to the Rescue diver course and then after lunch, we grab our mask, fins, and snorkel and head to the beach for some rescue scenarios with the instructors. We'll finish the afternoon with a championship game of Ultimate Frisbee on the white sand beach. We head back to the boat to get ourselves cleaned up, then it's back to the beach for a BBQ with the entire AQ fleet.
Up and out on the earlier side today for a great downwind sail to Brewers Bay. This morning, we'll finish off our Underwater Naturalist certification dive before lunch. After lunch, it's time to start the equipment specialist certification with part one of the course discussions where we'll discuss everything from masks to dive computers. Afterwards, it will be your choice between a second dive on the point, snorkeling or skiing around the bay. There may even be time to explore the sandy beach before slipping the mooring and motoring around the corner to Cane Garden Bay. After dinner, we'll learn a little more about the underwater world during the fish and creature slide show, then off to bed early as tomorrow is a big day.
Are you ready for the longest day ever? Starting with a hike to the rainforest at the top of Mt. Sage, you'll have earned that Cheese Burger in Paradise once you make it back down. This is the place where Jimmy Buffet wrote those famous words, so enjoy your lunch and then head back to the boat. Once we're all back on board it's off to Sandy Cay for the sandcastle building competition. The whole fleet will be here to compete, so don't forget your shovel and pail. Wash off in the blue waters before we set off once again to Little Harbor on the island of Jost Van Dyke for the evening. This is the best meal ever! BBQ chicken, rice and peas, potato salad and an ice-cold soda... all to the sound of a live reggae band. Sydney's Peace and Love Restaurant really knows how to lay on a party. You'll sleep really well tonight!
A well-deserved sleep in, followed by a slow breakfast as we motor around to one of the most famous islands in all of the Caribbean, Sandy Spit. If you were asked to close your eyes and picture a classic deserted island, this is it! We'll drop anchor and head to the cut between Green Cay and Little Jost. Here, at a dive site called the Playgrounds, we often see turtles, eagle rays, tarpon and many other big pelagic fish. After lunch, you'll complete the Equipment Specialist course and learn about the inner workings of a regulator. Afterwards you'll choose whether to head out for another dive or go to the beach to play Frisbee, weave a palm frond hat or maybe sit back and relax! This evening, we'll have our final Lifeworks Forum evening, when we'll chat a little about our goals and aspirations.
Wow! Back to West End, the place where it all started. You've now circumnavigated the whole of the BVI, but, this time, we'll only be staying long enough to fill up with fresh food and water before heading out again for a long upwind sail to Dead Chest Island. Dead Chest is the island where renowned pirate, Blackbeard, marooned 10 of his men with nothing but a cutlass and a bottle of rum. The tale of this incident is well-known to this day, through the words of the song "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum." We won't be going ashore, but below lies one of the prettiest dive sites in the islands, Painted Walls. After our dive, we head over to Peter Island for dinner and some study time for the advanced quiz we take tomorrow night!
Up and out to Cooper Island! We'll grab breakfast on the way and review bowlines and clove hitches too as you'll need to tie those underwater this morning as part of the wreck diver certification. Once we arrive at the wreck of the Beata, a big inter-island tugboat that was intentionally sunk in 2001, we'll jump straight in, tie our knots, practice deploying and retrieving a wreck line and check out the wreck. We'll grab some lunch and relax while we wait on deck for our minimum surface interval of 2hrs before heading back down to the wreck for the final dive of our wreck certification. This one you are going to love, as it involves a full swim-through of the wreck. In through the hold, up through the cabins and the pilot house, and out into the open water again. This dive is a real highlight! After that, it's back to Great Harbor Peter for dinner and quiz night!
Second to last dive this morning on the wall along Peter Island, and then over to Road Town, the capital of Tortola and the BVI, for lunch. You'll enjoy exploring the town and picking up a few gifts for people at home. We head back to the boat for our final downwind sail to Norman Island, so enjoy yourself as we race the other yachts for position in the anchorage. After dinner, we have our closing program and time to reflect on the amazing experience that we have shared.
Off for the final dive of the trip on the Indians. It's a shallow dive, but one of the very best. Once you are back aboard, it's go, go, go. We start heading back to West End, but this is a good time to get your bags packed and the boat cleaned. With lines thrown ashore in West End and the yacht shipshape once again, you can relax, swap addresses, take photos and get ready for the final BBQ. After the BBQ, we get together on the dock for our last program presentation and then reminisce about the amazing adventures we've all had together.
Up early and head to the airport. Make sure that you remember to pack that towel and bathing suit you hung up to dry last night, then head for home with an address book full of new friends, pocket full of certifications and a bag full of great memories. See you next year!
Having said that, when on program we follow strict guidelines as to when students may use their cell phones. The environment we strive to create aboard relies heavily on each individual remaining focused on the group and our experience. Being tied to the modern world of "instant communications" can, in certain circumstances, be a hindrance to the personal and group processes aboard. We feel that there is ample opportunity to make calls during personal time ashore.
Please be aware that ALL cell phones (this includes iPhones, Blackberries, camera phones etc.) will be collected upon arrival to the program and held in safekeeping. Cell phones will be made available to students at times designated for making phone calls when we are ashore.
We encourage our students to call home when they have the chance, however, we do not require this, as our staff are usually busy with other activities such as stocking the boats with fresh food over this time. The old saying "you can lead a horse to water..." comes to mind, as some shipmates call home every time and some never call! In the BVI, there are ample opportunities, and the phone service is pretty reliable.
FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INFO
To learn about student travel to and from the British Virgin Islands, please click HERE to visit our Student Travel page
Here you'll find:
> Contact details for Leah Hernandez, our student travel coordinator
> Options on how to get to the British Virgin Islands
> Info on how we accommodate early arrivals or late departures
> What you should consider in terms of passports and visas