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As return sun and adventure seekers to Aruba, we chose to experience a couple more excursions with Pelican Adventures.

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Aruba is one of three islands comprising The Netherlands Antilles (the other two being Bonaire and Curaçao). This stunning Caribbean jewel is just 32 km (20 miles) long by 9.6 km (6 miles) wide and is only 24 km (15 miles) from Venezuela.

The two-and-a-half hour snorkel tour takes in two popular Aruban snorkel spots: Catalina Bay and nearby 400-foot Antilla shipwreck, covered by tube sponges, coral formations, hundreds of tropical fish and other sea creatures.

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We board the catamaran on Pelican’s own dock by the Holiday Inn. We’re soon given a brief overview of the adventure and the sails are hoisted for our journey to Boca Catalina along the island’s north coast. Our group is hosted by Captain Mac, First Mate Leo and Guide (in the water) Oscar.

Once the music kicks in, the bar officially opens to offer rum, vodka, whiskey, fruit juice, sodas and ice water during our time on the water.

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After snorkel gear and life vests are distributed, we head down the ladder into the stunning blue sea. And just like last year, the underwater aquarium comes to life with dozens of beautiful tropical fish and coral.

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Our next stop is the Antilla. Our boat docks right above the large sunken ship and we’re given about 20 minutes to explore. At this point, I’m truly wishing for a diving tank, as this must make for an amazing experience deeper down!

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Back on board, the music kicks up and we start to make our way back to shore. With the pandemic still part of the picture, there’s plenty of room to chill around the boat, including the front ‘trampoline’ style nets above the water. This tour is ideal for snorkelers of all levels and the crew look after those new to snorkeling.

At the time of this post, Pelican’s snorkeling adventure is offered daily at 2 pm; tours cost $59 US for adults and $32 for kids.

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We also booked their Exclusive Dinner Cruise aboard the gorgeous 100-foot Monteforte III, a luxury schooner from Bahia, Brazil, brought to Aruba in 2015.

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On shore, we’re given a welcome Prosecco as we await boarding. The crew is super friendly and greet us onboard. Tables are covered with white linen and decorated with seashells and tiny potted aloe plants.

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Chef Jeremy gets busy preparing our four-course dinner while the bartender is happily creating cocktails (non-alcoholic versions available) for guests. Once the first course is plated and served, we are treated to live music provided by a local Aruban musician.

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The sunset cruise includes premium wines, beer, spirits, soft drinks and juices, all unlimited, so you can get crazy or just sip a pretty cocktail as the sun begins to set. Their virgin mojitos are amazing!

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It’s a beauty of a sunset as we’ve lucked out between short showers on the day of our sailing. Bowls of ceviche kick off the meal, followed by shrimp salad, a main course of Beef Tenderloin, and a tasty flan to cap things off.

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The crew keep things lively with outbursts of song and dance, and inspired the 80-year-old grandmother seated at the table next to us to get up and boogie as we made our way back to shore (we anchored near popular snorkel spot Boca Catalina, just as a rainbow appeared close to the lighthouse).

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[Shrimp Salad]

This three-hour dinner cruise (US $149 per person) is well worth checking out while on Aruba: The food is tasty and well-portioned, the Monteforte III is a fine-looking vessel and the scenery (and sunset) add to the vibe, making for a fun evening out at sea.

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[Best BBQ view around!]

Other tours include a champagne brunch, off-road safari/natural pools tour, starlight dinner cruise, horseback riding, parasailing, waterskiing, windsurfing, tube rides and jeep safaris.

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Pelican has been in the business of offering land and sea tours since 1986 and are Trip Advisor 2020 Travelers Choice winners. Visit them online for current tours, pricing, dates and availability.

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Our tours were kindly provided by Pelican Adventures for the purpose of this feature. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

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