Dive the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary with Fling Charters on a custom 5-day trip. This trip includes 3-5 dives daily on the sanctuary's pristine reefs and banks. We'll also get to visit at least one Oil Rig. During this time of year, you'll have the chance to see megafauna like Manta Rays and Whale Sharks, and the banks often have over 100ft of visibility. As a special treat - our dates line up with the annual spawning of the Madracis finger coral. Dive both the East and West Flower Garden Banks, as well as Stetson Bank, experiencing the amazing diversity hosted by this unique reef system with some of the highest live coral cover in the TWA. You will definitely add some fish species to your lifelist on this trip!
*Please note that the Fling liveaboard has basic bunk accommodations and shared bathrooms. This is an advanced diving destination.*
Project Focus: The purpose of this trip is to conduct fish surveys to support REEF's Volunteer Fish Survey Project. Click here to learn more about participating in fish surveys on a REEF Field Survey Trip!
Best Suited For: Experienced Divers
Accommodations: There are 2 double occupancy forward cabins, 2 double occupancy bunk rooms, and 2 quad occupancy cabins. All beds are bunk beds with privacy curtains. Bunk rooms include two bunk beds per room (2 of the rooms will only be filled with double occ). There are two bathrooms with a toilet and sink in the galley area and a marine head and shower in the bow section of the boat. There are also two showers on the outside deck.
Diving: The trip package includes 5 days of up to 3-5 boat dives and one-half day of diving on the last day. Please note that diving in the Flower Garden Banks is advanced due to depth and varied amounts of currents. Depth of all dives starts at 60ft so divers must have their nitrox certification and experience with multiple deep dives. Recommended requirements include 50-100 open water dives, experience in currents, and the ability to remove gear in the water. Nitrox certification, recent dive experience, and DAN (or similar) diving accident insurance are required for this trip. Recommended thermal protection is a 1 -3mm wetsuit but is based on an individual's preferences. Temperature is around the low to mid-80s during this time of year.
Pricing, Inclusions, and Other Fees
Your Package Includes: Tanks, Nitrox fills, cabin accommodation, all meals, weights, weight belt, 3-5 dives per day on 4.5 days.
REEF Program Fee: A REEF Program Fee of $300 will be added to each package to cover the cost of the group leader, seminar, and REEF survey materials. The REEF Program Fee applies to all divers and any attendee age 18 or older.
Additional Fees - Not Included: The following costs are not included in the price paid to REEF – Airfare to the Houston area, Ground Transportation to/from Houston Airport to Freeport, TX, hotel lodging on the last night after disembarkation on Friday, August 5. Gratuities are not included and are at each individual's discretion.
To reserve your space, email trips@REEF.org or call 305-588-5869. A $500 per person deposit will be due to confirm your reservation. Visit our Trip Policies page for more information on deposit and payment schedules.
Flower Garden Banks Travel Details and Other Info
Insurance: Travel insurance is not included. REEF strongly recommends that each participant purchase adequate dive travel insurance to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. REEF partners with both DiveAssure and DAN to offer travel insurance packages specifically for divers. REEF will receive a portion of the proceeds from travel insurance purchases when you click on the following affiliate links for DiveAssure or DAN. Please note: DAN Accident insurance is required for this trip.
How to Get There: Participants should make arrangements to fly into Houston Hobby, HOB, or Houston Airport (George Bush Intercontinental Airport), IAH, arriving on July 30, and arrange ground transportation to Freeport where the boat is located. Boarding starts at 7:30pm July 30, so please arrive no later than 7:00 pm. We will arrive back in Freeport on August 4, around 5:00 pm. Participants should arrange one-night lodging either in Freeport or near one of the airports, as well as ground transportation back to the airport. As the trip gets close, we will connect participants for those who might want to organize transfers together. REEF will not be arranging any ground transfers or hotel arrangements for the last night.
Transfers: Transfers are not included in this trip.
COVID-19 Considerations: It is the participant's responsibility to ensure that they understand and comply with all local requirements (for entry and visit as a tourist) of the host destination, and for exit and entry requirements for their home country. Be prepared for your plans to change. Be sure your travel insurance covers COVID-related issues. No travel is risk-free during the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example, due to a new COVID-19 variant. Please be aware that REEF is not a travel agent. We are doing our best to interpret the information provided by our trip vendor and the host country’s government COVID-19 webpages. We encourage everyone to do their own research, interpretation, and due diligence. Please see REEF’s COVID-19 Considerations and Vaccine Policies section in our REEF Field Survey Trips Policies page for more information.