Cayman Stingrays hit the headlines

Swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman has been getting top notch foreign press coverage.

Headlined ’50 Great Things to do in the Caribbean’ number one is listed as Swim with Stingrays in Grand Cayman in a recent piece in the online edition of the national UK newspaper the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, April’s edition of National Geographic Traveler also touts swimming with the rays as a top activity for cruise visitors.

The Miami Herald also has a recent article entitled ‘Stingray City is a must-see on a port of Call in Grand Cayman’.

The piece naming swimming with the rays as the number one of 50 Great Things appeared in the 11 March Edition of www.telegraph.co.uk. The intro reads, ‘So you think the only thing these islands have to offer is sunbathing? Then you’re wrong’

The number one recommendation explains that Stingray City Trips will take you to a sandbar where you can feed and stroke up to two dozen southern stingrays. ‘You don’t have to get into the water: you can also view these slightly scary-looking fish from a glass-bottomed boat,’ says the blurb.

Swimming with Stingrays as number one comes ahead of many other interesting things to do in various Caribbean islands.

Number 2 is Zip-wire in St. Lucia, Number 3 is Learn to Surf in Barbados, Number 4 is Hike Through a Cloud Forest in Puerto Rico and Number 5 is Take the Train in St. Kitts.

The National Geographic Traveler article also highlights playing with the rays as one of the top things to do while on a cruise in Grand Cayman.

Entitled ‘Grand Cayman Calling’, the two-page article on cruising to Grand Cayman highlights activities that cruise visitors can partake in on their stop.

Along with playing with the rays at Stingray City the article mentions George Town’s shops, Seven Mile Beach, Beach Club, diving, Native Way Watersports, Eden Rock Dive, Divers Down, Rum Point, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and Blue Iguana Sanctuary and Pure Art Gallery and Gifts.

Two large colour photos are also included: one of an East End shopkeeper and another of a youth somersaulting into the George Town Harbour.

The Journalist, David Swanson, visited Cayman in September 2005 as part of the Department of Tourism’s Visiting Journalist Programme. This is the 10th story he has now had published on the destination.

National Geographic Traveler has a circulation of 734,858 and the ad value of the piece is $145,000 according to DoT.

The article posted on MiamiHerald.com on 16 March states, ‘More than a year after a stingray barb pierced the heart of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin off the Australian coast, stingray tourism half a world away in the Cayman Islands is as busy as ever.’

In the article Clara Bush-Young, operations Manager with the Cayman Land and Sea Co-operative points out that in Grand Cayman the stingrays are tame. ‘People hold them, kiss them, hug them.’

She mentions that the stingray that hit Irwin was wild and scared and a Bull Ray, different to the gentle Southern Stingrays that grace Cayman’s shores.

The article mentions Moby Dick Tours, Dexter’s Fantasea Tours and Red Sail Sports as offering trips there.