Seabob Aruba: Exploring Shipwrecks and Swimming with Sea Turtles on One Happy Island

Seabob Aruba: Exploring Shipwrecks and Swimming with Sea Turtles on One Happy Island

It’s not often that you get to cross off two bucket list items with one stone, but that’s part of what makes Seabob Aruba so special.

Most people go to Aruba to enjoy the 5-star resorts and lounge beachside for hours. While the hotel I stayed at was definitely inviting, I wanted to get out and see more than just my guest room.

Specifically, I wanted to have an underwater adventure. If you too have mermaid dreams, or simply want to pull a Joe Jonas and have your cake by the ocean floor, then you can’t miss Seabob Aruba.

What is Seabob Aruba?

Seabob Aruba

A seabob is an underwater propeller that allows you to dive up to 40 meters at up to 16km/hour (approximately 9mph). You may have seen one being used in action movies. I personally recall Pierce Brosnan pulling off a heist in “After the Sunset” thanks to one of these bad boys.

They’re expensive machines, costing more than $70,000, so definitely take care to handle the equipment as directed because they’re a big investment for local franchisees. The machines are manufactured and were invented in Germany.

You can control how fast you go, when you dive and how deep you dive. The benefit to utilizing one of these machines as opposed to snorkeling or free diving is that you get to mimick the experience of scuba diving and interact with wildlife without needing additional training or a $1,500 scuba certification.

To dive, you simply hold your breath and point the machine downwards.

Can anyone ride a Seabob?

Seabob Aruba

Theoretically yes, but the machine pulls you by your arms and requires at least some upper body strength. I would not recommend this for anyone with difficulties grasping or using their upper body. Unfortunately, on my tour there was an elderly gentleman who was ready to go but, after 5 minutes in the water, realized the force was too much for him and we had to turn back to drop him off.

While you do everything as a group in the water, there is nothing holding you back from wandering or conversely, getting lost, so make sure you’re paying attention and always keeping an eye out for your guide’s buoy.

What do you see on the dive?

Seabob Aruba

It depends on the season in which you go. I was there in March and was lucky enough to stumble upon a half dozen or so sea turtles. There were also sea urchins and various fish. I did not see any sharks (knock on wood), jellyfish, stingrays or anything else of the sort.

Overall, it was very pleasant and tame marine life, great for beginner snorkelers and divers.

Additionally, the tour takes you out by the Antilla shipwreck. Unlike the snorkelers limited to viewing the wreck from above, Seabob Aruba allows you to dive closer and see the reefs that have formed around this foreign object, giving new life to a ship that died at the hands of the ocean.

What equipment should I bring?

Seabob Aruba

Yourself! Wetsuits are provided, as are photos (for an additional fee) and masks. You don’t wear fins or a snorkel. You can leave your shoes/bags in the van with the driver, I took a wet bag and had my hotel key, cash for a tip and a towel for after. Heads up, you will have two staff members to tip–your driver and your diving guide.

Where can I sign up?

Seabob Aruba

You can reserve your visit with Seabob Aruba online ahead of time. The cost per person is $140 not including pictures, which are offered for an additional $40 at the end of the trip after you have a chance to look them over. Our guide took more than 400 of them so you definitely get bang for your buck.

I recommend going on the morning tour as the water fills up quickly with other boats and snorkeling excursions as the day goes on, scaring away the wildlife and bringing tourist legs into your underwater photos.

What should I expect? 

Expect to swallow some salt water. Expect to freak out if you hold a sea urchin and feel it start to hold you back. Expect to get lost and panic at some point, thinking that you’re reliving a scene from an open water horror movie. But most of all, expect it all to work out in the end, and to leave with amazing memories of that time you swam with sea turtles in Aruba.

Till next time, safe travels!

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Explore shipwrecks and swim with sea turtles on an underwater adventure with Seabob Aruba!Seabob

14 Comments

  1. June 5, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    This looks like a really cool experience, but I can’t tell how you breathe from your article — so could you tell us a little about that? Thanks!

    • June 6, 2017 / 10:19 pm

      Thanks Ann! You hold your breath while you dive, so you go underwater for as long as and low as you feel comfortable with. A little intimidating at first but doable!

  2. June 7, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    I have never heard of Seabobs. The thought of scuba diving scares me, so I’m not sure I’d ever do this myself, but I would love to explore a sunken ship. And go to Aruba. So maybe I need to rethink my fear of deep sea diving…

    • June 12, 2017 / 2:12 am

      I understand Juliann, the ocean is intimidating! I was also concerned about the wildlife within it, my mom pointed out that sharks live in shipwrecks haha but it was a great experience and lots of other tourists came later in the day so it felt popular/safe. An adventure worth trying, for sure!

  3. June 11, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    This is so cool! I hope I’ll get to try this one day soon though I’m still quite scared of open water and I’m such a bad swimmer….

    • June 12, 2017 / 1:53 am

      Thanks Allison! Open water is no joke and you definitely have to take it seriously, but with the right guide and baby steps I think you’d have a great time!

  4. June 11, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    This is so cool! I love snorkeling, but haven’t tried diving yet. This sounds like a cool happy medium between the two. I’ve never heard of this but would love to try it!

    • June 12, 2017 / 1:52 am

      That’s a great way to describe it Susan, an in-between way of exploring underwater 🙂

  5. June 11, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    This definitely looks like fun. We would do this in a heartbeat. Last weekend, I went diving at Point Loma Kelp Beds and it was cold (53 degrees) and dark (10′ vis). This weekend I went diving at Catalina Island and it was a balmy 65 with 30′ vis. Taking a Seabob in tropical waters with great vis sounds so good right now.

    But girl, if you’re paying 1500 bucks for a scuba certificate, you’re shopping in the wrong place. You’re based in South Florida.. Check for Groupon special during the shoulder / off season and you can get certified for less than you’d imagine.

    • June 12, 2017 / 1:49 am

      Thanks for the tips Jenn! I’ve been keeping my eye out for Groupon deals, would love to get certified. And yes, I would totally skip out on the cold waters at first haha that sounds like a pro move! I hope you had a great time! 🙂

  6. June 11, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    This looks like such an adventure! And a water activity I’d love to try the next time I’m in the ocean. I was a little scared about not having the snorkel and having to hold my breath though. I’ll need to train myself to be underwater for longer!

    • June 12, 2017 / 1:46 am

      I was scared too! That’s why it’s good that you can go below for as little or as long as you like, I went under for longer as I got comfortable. Definitely a great adventure!

  7. June 12, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Wow this looks like so much fun! I would love to try that one day. I’ve never even heard of it before. You also saw a lot of great sea life on your dive!

  8. July 31, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    That looks like so much fun!

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