Mission

Giving Our Guests Unparalleled Experiences

To provide the experience of a lifetime to its guests, with consistently excellent service, and first-class boats, fishing gear and snorkeling equipment.

Our most valuable asset is our first-rate staff and crew who take pleasure in giving our guests the best possible experience while they are on our island.

Story

Why we do this

Our company was established in Grand Cayman in 1951 by Capt. Marvin Ebanks, who is the 'granddaddy' and founder of snorkel trips to the Stingray City sandbar. Capt. Marvin remembers as a boy fishing with his father and stopping by a shallow area in the North Sound to clean their catch. They and the other fishermen noticed that stingrays would congregate and eat the fish scraps that were being thrown into the water.

Some years later, when Capt. Marvin returned to the island after serving in the Merchant Marine, he decided that tourists to the island might like to see the stingrays from a boat, so in 1951 he began with a borrowed sailboat, taking people out from a dock in West Bay to see the stingrays. In those days masks and snorkels hadn't yet been invented for widespread commercial use, but the locals used five-sided wooden boxes (called 'water glasses'), with the fifth side being glass, to look into the water to find conch and see the fish and coral.

Once masks and snorkels were in common use, Capt. Marvin took people out to the clear, warm waters of the North Sound to snorkel, pick up some conch, see the stingrays (still from the boat), and his crew would use spearguns to catch fish and lobster. The lunch break was on the beach near Rum Point, and the fresh catch was cleaned and steamed Cayman-style over a wood fire. The conch, meanwhile, was cleaned and marinated with Capt. Marvin's special marinade and served on soda crackers as an appetizer while the fish was steaming. Ms. Anna, Capt. Marvin's wife, would have cooked a big pot of rice and peeled and cooked potatoes in the morning for their famous potato salad as well, to bring along on the boat and serve with the fish lunch.

The trip used to last all day, from about 9 AM until about 5 PM, and those trips are what the old-timers remember that started all the interest in the stingrays, snorkeling and coral in the North Sound. Today the area is world-famous and several generations of stingrays later, they are still living in the wild and coming up to people for their snacks.

Some time in the 1980s some divers decided to get into the water with the stingrays at the shallow sandbar, and from there the trip has evolved to what it is now: interacting with the stingrays in their natural habitat.

September 2011 marked Capt. Marvin's 95th birthday, and the 60th year of operation for us. Since September 2000 we have moved to the second generation of ownership with his son and his nephew. Capt. Marvin's continues to provide the experience of a lifetime to its guests, with consistently excellent service, and first-class boats, fishing gear and snorkeling equipment. Our most valuable asset is our first-rate staff and crew who take pleasure in giving our guests the best possible experience while they are on our island. Come on aboard!

Why choose us?

Offering Exhilarating Experiences Throughout The Grand Cayman

Our Stingray City tours of Grand Cayman are some of the most popular in the Cayman Islands because our company has shown visitors this pristine location since 1951. Although we're experts at navigating the infamous Stingray City sandbar, we offer so much more than this. Choose a fishing tour, a private charter, or even a night tour of Starfish Point to maximize your excursion when visiting Grand Cayman.

Fun

If you're looking to hop off your cruise ship and have the most exciting Stingray City tour in Grand Cayman, then you've come to the right place! Our crew not only ensures you'll have a safe trip t...

If you're looking to hop off your cruise ship and have the most exciting Stingray City tour in Grand Cayman, then you've come to the right place! Our crew not only ensures you'll have a safe trip to the Stingray City sandbar for a fun-filled adventure with wild stingrays, but they'll make sure you have a blast doing it! Climb aboard with our popular crew for an informative and exciting time at Stingray City.

Family-Friendly

Our tours of Stingray City and other famous destinations around the Grand Cayman are geared for the entire family. Whether it's a quiet day of fishing on the water you're after or an afternoon of s...

Our tours of Stingray City and other famous destinations around the Grand Cayman are geared for the entire family. Whether it's a quiet day of fishing on the water you're after or an afternoon of swimming and excitement at Stingray City, our crew loves to show families how to let loose and have a good time while keeping safety as a top priority.

Professional

Though our crew knows how to have a good time, we always carry ourselves with professionalism while showing your group around Grand Cayman's Stingray City and beyond. Our focus is to let your group...

Though our crew knows how to have a good time, we always carry ourselves with professionalism while showing your group around Grand Cayman's Stingray City and beyond. Our focus is to let your group relax and enjoy the experience without worrying about timing or anything else that might distract you from memory-making with your loved ones. We'll take care of everything you need while you cruise with us, including any safety issues that may arise. You're in good hands with our team!

Location

A slice of paradise Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is one of the most beautiful islands and one of the most diverse ecosystems in the Caribbean. It’s also home to Stingray City, which is exactly what it sounds like—a spot where you can swim with stingrays. A few things that we love about Grand Cayman include:

  • It has some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world! You can see a wide variety of fish and coral here, including sea turtles, stingrays, and even nurse sharks.
  • The food is amazing! The island is mostly known for its seafood restaurants and fresh local produce.
  • The people are friendly! Many visitors say they feel like part of the family when they visit Grand Cayman because everyone is so welcoming and kind towards them.

Frequently asked questions

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, as most of our business is from the hotels and condos we do offer pick up along the 7 mile beach road.

Yes, we offer group rates starting with groups of ten or more for cash payments and 10% for credit card payments.

Yes, we provide snorkel gear (mask, snorkel, fins and snorkel vest or life jacket) for everyone ages 4 and up, included in the price of your tour.

Yes, we would be happy to make your tour a private charter. Please see the rate sheet under 'Private Charters' on our web site.

We will not schedule you for a trip that will not work with your ship's schedule, and we have kept detailed records over the years so we know what time your ship's last tender will be.

We are the only provider with an office right across the street from the cruise terminals, so you are guaranteed to find us easily. Your reservation confirmation from us will give you walking directions to our office, and there is a photo of the building (Waterfront Centre) and a map on our web site.

We would be happy to drop you off at Seven Mile Beach after your tour with us. There are always local buses and taxis waiting at Calico Jack's and Tiki Beach, two of the more popular areas on the beach, both with restaurant/bar/restroom facilities. Bus fare back to the cruise terminal is US$2.50/person, and taxi fare is about US$5-7/person, subject to change.

We have no age restrictions on our tours. We ask that if you are bringing along children under the age of 4, you bring flotation devices for them as we do not provide them for children under age 4.

Yes, however, pregnant women are not allowed to do any of the dolphin tours.

It is recommended that you know how to swim if you intend to do any snorkeling. We have a lifebuoy that you may use to hang on to during the snorkel stops so you can see the fish and coral if you are not comfortable swimming.

The water at the Stingray City sandbar is 3-4 feet deep. We anchor the boat nearby in about 5-6 feet of water so we don't run it aground, and you then make your way over to the shallower area where you will stand in the sand while the stingrays swim around you. The snorkel stops are in 8-10 feet of water.

We recommend that you wear your swimsuit under a cover-up or shorts/t-shirt as the only place to change clothes at Stingray City is in the head on the boat.

We offer card-carrying travel agents a discount on our tours. Please let us know when you are making a reservation, and bring your IATA card with you for check-in.

We have several boats ranging from 34-60 feet in length, with capacities from 20-45 people. The average number of people on a tour is 25.

You may make your reservation at any time now for a future date; during the busy season (November to May) we urge you to make your reservation at least two weeks in advance as trips tend to fill up.

No, we do not do any SCUBA diving but we recommend DiveTech locally (www.divetech.com).

We strongly recommend that you know how to swim before taking a snorkeling trip, but our crew are experienced at teaching beginners how to snorkel. Just ask them when you get to the boat.

If you book online, you will be charged upon completion of your reservation. If you book by phone or in person, you will be charged when you check in with us on the day of your tour. However, we will need a credit card to hold your reservation either way.

If your cruise ship cannot stop here on its scheduled day, or arrives too late for you to take our tour, you will not be charged. If you need to cancel your reservation for personal reasons, please do so at least 72 hours in advance to avoid being charged. If your ship arrives on time and you do not show up for your tour, you will be charged. If the weather is such that our captain cancels our boat trip, you will not be charged, but we do not cancel for rain only.

We have two-stop (2.5 to 2.75 hours), three-stop (3 hours) and beach lunch (5 hours) tours. These times are dock-to-dock; add 15-20 minutes for transportation each way.

You may book online by filling out the reservation form on our web site, or you may phone our office using one of the phone numbers on our 'Contact' page.

The stingrays are hungry morning, noon and night. The ones who have eaten in the morning will go off to their afternoon hangout, and others will take their place throughout the day.

The Stingray, Starfish and Snorkeling tour is approximately 40 min per stop giving you a bit more time per stop.

Yes, you may stay on the boat at any of the stops.

We provide snorkel vests and life jackets for everyone ages 4 and over. If you are bringing children under age 4 with you, please bring a flotation device for them.

Our private dock is about a 4-minute drive from our main location on Seven Mile Beach, and it's about a 15-minute drive from our location across from the cruise ship terminals.

Yes, on most of our tours we are able to accommodate a person in a wheelchair provided it is collapsible.

If your ship arrives too late for your tour with us, or is not able to stop at all, you will not be charged. However, in most cases, we will have been made aware in advance that your ship will be arriving late, and we will do our best to make adjustments to the timing so that you can still take your tour with us. Please check in at our office in the Waterfront Centre as soon as you are able to get off the ship to see what we have been able to arrange for you. If you have booked through a tour agency and have paid them in advance, you will need to deal with them directly to receive a refund.

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