If you want to take in Ocho Rios from a different angle get out on the water and take in the sights from the sea. Captain Mark is a knowledgeable and friendly Glass Bottom Boat operator based on Fisherman’s Beach, Ocho Rios Fishing Village whose brightly painted vessel gives tours around the coastline for a reasonable fee.
The Grand Tour of the Ocho Rios Coastline on the Night Vision Glass Bottom Boat
After wading through the shallows to the small pier in between Fisherman’s Beach and Margaritaville Beach, we all came aboard and sat down near the front of the vessel around the central viewing window. We were all handed life jackets and instructed not to let anything touch the glass. Which immediately made me take my belongings off the seat in fear of them sliding off onto the glass when we were in motion!
After a few minutes the Captain turned on the engine and we set off from the beach. With Chronixx playing from a loud speaker and the wind blowing in our faces, there were smiles all round as we took in the surf and watched the water bubbling frantically under the glass as the beach disappeared in the distance.
Dead Coral Reef and Captive Dolphins
When we reached the reef just outside of Fisherman’s and Ocho Rios Bay Beach Captain Mark slowed down and hovered about for a while. We saw a few fish, but unfortunately the reef is in a terrible state, with most of it dead and greyish white in colour. The captain did point out some batches of sea urchins huddled together and some types of coral that were still identifiable, such as a large brain coral – that sadly was also dead on one side…
Heading across the Ocho Rios Bay Beach we were told that we were going to try and catch sight of some dolphins. Which wasn’t what we imagined when we saw they weren’t swimming freely in the ocean.
Sadly, it would seem in a bid to raise the bar, Moon Palace Jamaica Grand has decided to enlist the Dolphin Cove franchise in creating another captivity pod with Dolphins for the sole entertainment of guests at the hotel. I personally do not agree with Dolphins (or other sea creatures) being kept in captivity and I wouldn’t purposely visit these types of so called ‘attractions’.
We spent some time circling the tank whilst the Captain clapped and whistled trying to get the attention of the Dolphins. They did surface a few times, but I was sitting down in the boat at this point in solitude with the Dolphins and wasn’t really paying any attention, nor did I take any photographs. I did see someone attempting to hoverboard whilst looking out on the other side of the boat, which was much more exciting to watch!
After leaving the Dolphins alone we sped along the coastline, with the Captain pointing out several of the landmarks on the shore, including hotels, luxury homes and the other beaches we passed. After sighting Mahogany Beach, we turned around and headed back to Fisherman’s Beach with the music pumping. The round trip took just over an hour in total.
Despite the fact that the reef was a ghost town and we didn’t get to see much sea life through the glass bottom of the boat, we all thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Zooming around on the water with the wind blowing in our faces and the legendary Chronixx blasting from the speakers, we all had smiles on our faces as we took in Ocho Rios from a watery perspective. Captain Mark and his crew member kept us in safe hands throughout the journey and they were affable and made sure we were having a good time.
The Important Bits about Captain Mark’s Night Vision Glass Bottom Boat Tour
- COST: Around JA$1,500 per person; negotiable
- PARKING: FREE parking in the Ocho Rios Fishing Village car park
- FOOD: Not supplied – Bring a snack if you think you will get hungry. There are plenty of restaurants at Ocho Rios Fishing Village
- PLANT BASED FOOD OPTIONS: As above – Whalers Seafood Restaurant offers a Vegetarian Wrap, Steamed Vegetables and plenty of Sides
- DRINK: Not supplied – Bring some water with you. There are plenty of bars at Ocho Rios Fishing Village
- SHOPPING: Limited, at Ocho Rios Fishing Village
- RESTROOMS: Yes, at Ocho Rios Fishing Village
- FAMILY FRIENDLY: Maybe not for the infirm or the elderly as the accessibility is a little challenging when boarding and disembarking from the boat
- WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: No
- FITNESS LEVEL REQUIRED: Suits all
- EASY TO FIND: Yes, follow the directions below!
- AMENITIES: Pumping Music for your listening enjoyment
- SAFETY: Life Jackets were available and there was the Captain and one other crew member onboard
- ADDED EXTRAS: Captain Mark gave a narrated tour of the sights of the Ocho Rios coastline
- GOOD TO KNOW: This trip doesn’t allow for swimming off the boat and the sighting of sea life through the glass bottom boat is limited as there isn’t much around
- CROWD INDEX: We had the boat to ourselves in a group of 4 people
- TOP TIP: Bring a camera, but be careful not to drop it overboard
Night Vision Glass Bottom Boat – Contact Details
Captain Mark’s Contact Number – 876 402 2943
Or Contact Us at Sweet Jamaica and we will help you book a trip with Captain Mark.
Directions to Captain Mark’s Night Vision Glass Bottom Boat at Ocho Rios Fishing Village
ADDRESS: Ocho Rios Fishing Village, Sailors Hole, A3 Main Road, Ocho Rios, Saint Ann
WALKING: If you are staying in the town centre you can easily walk to Ocho Rios Fishing Village. Head towards the westerly side of town where Island Village is located (walk to the left if you are facing the sea!). Walk past the entrance to The Cove Theatre (Island Village) and a few minutes later you will see the gated entrance to Ocho Rios Fisherman’s Village. Walk to the beachfront and you will see Captain Mark’s Glass Bottom Boat moored up at the small pier to the right-hand side of the beach, near Margaritaville.
TAXI: From Ocho Rios you will need to get a taxi going in the direction of Saint Ann’s Bay. It won’t cost you any more that JA$150 if you use a route taxi from the Ocho Rios Bus Park, or stand on the side of the road in the direction of the beach and flag down a taxi. Tell the driver you are going to Fisherman’s Beach and they will let you off near the entrance. Private Taxi’s will cost considerably more! Walk to the beachfront and you will see Captain Mark’s Glass Bottom Boat moored up at the small pier to the right-hand side of the beach, near Margaritaville.
DRIVING: If you are approaching Ocho Rios from the West (Montego Bay, Runaway Bay, etc) follow the A3 towards the town. You will pass Dunn’s River Falls and Mystic Mountain, then the Reynolds Pier (Cargo and Cruise Ship Pier), a little further down you will see the entrance to the Ocho Rios Fishing Village, adjacent to the turn off for Columbus Heights. Drive on in, there is a car park. Walk to the beachfront and you will see Captain Mark’s Glass Bottom Boat moored up at the small pier to the right-hand side of the beach, near Margaritaville.
If you are approaching Ocho Rios from the east (Oracabessa, Port Antonio etc) follow the A3 towards Ocho Rios and take the bypass (do NOT drive through the town centre), you will pass the Eight Rivers Shopping Plaza and Ocho Rios Jerk Centre. Keep heading out of town, you will pass Island Village Shopping Centre and the entrance to The Cove Theatre, a little further on the right hand side, you will see the entrance to the Ocho Rios Fishing Village, adjacent to the turn off for Columbus Heights. Drive on in, there is a car park. Walk to the beachfront and you will see Captain Mark’s Glass Bottom Boat moored up at the small pier to the right-hand side of the beach, near Margaritaville.