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Monday, January 27, 2014

Announcing The 2013 Sea TREK Operator of the Year — Sea TREK De Palm—Aruba

Last week Sub Sea Systems announced our Sea TREK operator of the year. After careful consideration of all of the outstanding operators, we narrowed it down to a select few… and then nominated Sea TREK De Palm—Aruba as the 2013 award winner. This annual award is determined based on Sea TREK operators' tour quality, staff excellence, innovation, community outreach and complete commitment to the Sea TREK program. 

Sea TREK De Palm excels in all of these areas. Their tour creativity and innovation is inspirational. The location boasts an abundance of wildlife including: green eels, eagle rays, sea turtles, squid, and a colorful variety of reef fish, sea stars, and anemones. The location has been enhanced unequivocally by the sinking of large, decommissioned vehicles. In addition to a large bus and an airplane, Sea TREK De Palm has an underwater café complete with wine bottles. While the novelty of these additions makes the tour more entertaining and distinctive, the vehicles also take pressure off of the natural coral reefs in the area. The enhanced environment stimulates new reef growth, attracting a variety of sea creatures, and fueling prosperity for the local businesses and employees.

Enhanced environments, such as sunken vehicles, give sea creatures — big and small — a place to live. The ocean is teeming with life, but the abundance is seen most clearly in a reef environment. The eco-system allows for a vast variety of creatures to live in symbiosis. The vehicles give a basis for the growth of many varieties of coral, anemones, and sea fans. These creatures provide homes for a richness of fish, and sea animals. ‘Artificial’ reefs take pressure off of the natural reefs by allowing many species to grow their populations without exhausting natural resources.

The artificial reefs allow for the local economy to grow as well. The eco-tourism brings prosperity to the island, and spreads awareness about ocean conservancy and reef preservation.

Sea TREK De Palm has also faced many challenges this past year, and has confronted them with confidence and innovation. Due to recent local construction and mud runoff Sea TREK De Palm’s dive site had extremely low visibility, causing inoperable conditions and weeks of canceled tours. Instead of succumbing to the challenges, Sea TREK De Palm took the opportunity to seek a new location, and plans to develop a site on the opposite side of the island. The new location features a sandy pathway and beautiful coral ‘trees. ’ The crew also plans to open another underwater café, and a variety of new surprises along the way. Sea TREK De Palm hopes to continue to use their original location when conditions allow.

Sea TREK De Palm had a record month in July with over 674 TREKKERS. The staff is always receiving fabulous accolades, and the tour is renowned as a “must do” on the island.

Ranked #2 on TripAdvisor, with over 2,600 5-star ratings, participants share:

“Sea TREK is phenomenal!”
“We decided to do the Sea TREK underwater walk…Walking along the
ocean, interacting with the animals and seeing the sights was one in a million.”
“…Experience of a lifetime and would do it again and again.”
“By far one of the most amazing things I have ever done!”
“Simply fantastic! Thank you so much… or should I say ‘masha danki!!!’”

Congratulations Sea TREK De Palm—Aruba! We cannot wait to see your new location!

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