The Dominican Republic has a designated marine sanctuary in the Silver Bank that provides safe winter protection for migrating Humpback Whales where guests can swim with whales.
The Dominican Republic has a designated marine sanctuary in the Silver Bank area. This provides a safe winter protection area for migrating humpback whales. They travel from the northern waters to the warmer Caribbean to mate and then calve. The sanctuary is home to the largest whale gathering worldwide between January and April each year.
The largest gathering of the North Atlantic humpback whales occurs at the Silver Bank. Here over 3,000 whales gather to perform courtships, mate and give birth. There are only a few liveaboards with permits to spend a week in this area and provide a remarkable experience for any guest aboard.
You can be thrilled by spectacular displays of breaching, with pectoral fins slapping the ocean. A highlight of this trip is swimming encounters with the humpbacks eye-to-eye in their natural environments. You are accompanied by experienced personnel who can show you the mothers and playful calves, listen to their songs, witness courtship dances and more. There are chase boats in the water twice a day for 1.5 to 3 hours at a time allowing swimming with the whales.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
Dominican Republic - 2 LIVEABOARDS
Turks & Caicos Explorer II
The luxurious Turks & Caicos Explorer II is a 37 metre-long liveaboard taking divers on 7-night trips around the Turks & Caicos. At the beginning of each year, she also visits the Silver Bank in the Dominican Republic for humpback whale encounters. She comfortably accommodates up to 20 passengers in 10 double staterooms, all air-conditioned with en suite bathrooms. Guests can enjoy up to four dives a day plus a night dive. Nitrox is available on board.Book Now
Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
Dive the Turks & Caicos Islands in comfort and style aboard the luxurious 36m Turks & Caicos Aggressor, part of the world-renowned Aggressor Fleet. She accommodates a maximum of 18 guests in 9 staterooms with individual climate control. Yacht amenities include a beautiful spacious lounge and dining area and a large sun deck with hot tub, deckchairs, bluetooth stereo, shaded wet bar and grill. Dive amenities include Nitrox, camera table, charging station and a complete digital photo/video editing centre.Book Now
The twenty square mile area of the Silver Bank is a marine reserve that is north of the Dominican Republic close to the Turks and Caicos.
Special permits are required for boats to enter the area, and strict guidelines and controls are in place to ensure proper procedures are followed.
Encounters with the humpback whales in the water are planned during the trips in the mating and breeding season.
Best Time to Go
The liveaboards in the Dominican Republic snorkel Silver Bank during January to March, while the humpback whales are migrating to calve.
December to May is the dry season and summer months with sunny, hot and mildly humid conditions.
How to Get There
As a smaller country, the Dominican Republic has a couple of international airports, and you can reach the port of departure at the Ocean World Marina from any of them. However, the closest airport is at Puerto Plata.
There are direct flights from several US cities to Puerto Plata International airport.
Local time vs GMT
What to pack
Food and drink
Dominican Peso, USD accepted widely
On entry for most nationalities
Spanish and English is spoken widely
Puerto Plata International Airport (POP)
Suncream, lightweight and beach apparel
28 - 32 C daytime, 21 - 24 C evenings
Blend of African and Spanish, typically rice and beans
Specific Whale Watching Cruise Information
There are additional fees associated with your liveaboard.
A USD 300 Whale Sanctuary access fee and port fee to be paid onboard. Professional photographers and videographers also have an additional fee to pay to the Whale Sanctuary.
The Silver Bank does not allow the use of drones.