North Shore Lake Superior Liveaboard Trip – September 15-17, 2023

All-Inclusive Liveaboard – North Shore Lake Superior Weekend – $500

Join Mark Manthey and Scuba Sally as they lead our North Shore Lake Superior excursion!  The Great Lakes can be intimidating to explore…so let us show you the ropes!!!  On this all-inclusive package, we will spend the weekend on the Sol Mates boat, diving all the popular North Shore sites!  This excursion includes up to eight dives over the weekend, starting on Friday evening!  There are only 6 spots available!  This trip will fill quickly!

Possible dive sites include the Madeira, the Hesper, Shovel Point, China Beach, Split Rock Light House, Guano Island, Black Sand Beach, Seagull Cove, and other sites we have identified between Guano Island and Shovel Point.

Diving Off Sol Mates

Sol Mates’ 120 sq ft covered dive deck allows divers to get in and out of the water while staying out of the weather.

An onboard compressor provides air fills and warm water rinse hose helps mitigate the chilly Lake Superior water and a dryer is available for drying clothes and towels as well.  The Sol Mates now has a hot water shower on the back deck for divers!

Ample gear storage space is available, as are standard 120v outlets for charging dive lights or camera gear.

The crew are experienced, helpful, friendly SCUBA professionals who are experienced in cold water diving and Great Lakes charter operations.

This trip does NOT include gear.  7mm suits are fine, but drysuits are recommended!   Aquaventure has gear available for rent.  

Package Includes:

  • 2 Nights’ bunk-style accommodations on the Sol Mates boat (docked in harbor)
  • Up to 8 dives (1 Friday, 4 Saturday, 1 night dive, 2 Sunday)
  • Tanks & weights
  • Friday – Dinner
  • Saturday – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Sunday – Breakfast, Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Not Included:

  • Transportation to/from Silver Bay Marina (must arrive by 5:30pm on Friday)
  • Dive gear (less tanks & weights)
  • Dive Crew Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages (byob)

Boat Features:

  • Two private sleeping cabins
  • Two heads with showers (one with a bathtub)
  • Air conditioned/Heated salon area
  • Full galley
  • Microwave
  • Stove
  • Covered dive deck
  • Sundeck and fore deck area
  • Air Compressor
  • 2 Kayaks
  • Selection of Movies for the HDTV
  • Dryer
  • Hot shower on the back deck
  • Friendly and experienced crew 🙂

Where do we meet?

All divers need to be at Silver Bay Marina between 5:30pm -6:00pm.  The Sol Mates will depart the marina at 6:30pm on Friday, September 16th for the first dive of the weekend!

Palau – October 4-14, 2023 (Tootsie Pop Trip)

The Tootsie Pop Divers are heading to Palau!

palauJoin Drew Gerling and the Tootsie Pop Divers on this journey to one of the world’s most amazing dive destinations!

We will be staying at the beautiful Palau Royale Resort. Home to its beautiful private beach, pool, restaurants, snorkeling area, marina, and much more!

The group will be staying in the Deluxe Harbor View rooms, located on the 5th and 6th floors of the hotel’s north wing overlooking the serene harbor, where you can enjoy a quiet scenic view of sailing yachts and cruisers. Enjoy the beautiful treescapes and flower beds around the pond viewed from the room’s balcony.

The Diving

Palau is considered one of the world’s premier dive destinations, with dozens of dive sites in a rare variety: walls with fascinating coral formations, reef corners where the currents attract sharks, rays and schooling fish, channels and other sandy bottom sites, tunnels, holes, caves and caverns, and plenty of WWII wrecks, freighters, and plane wrecks! From macro to mantas, Palau has it all!

We will be diving some of the world’s best dives sites:

1. Blue Corner

2. German Channel

3. Ulong Channel

4. Peleliu Wall

5. Peleliu Express

6. New Drop Off

7. Ngemelis Coral Gardens

8. Blue Holes

9. Helmet Wreck

10. Jellyfish Lake

Depending on your daily schedule, most boats return to Sam’s Tours around 3-4 p.m. You can hop right back into the water, with your unlimited free dives at Sam’s Macro Wall right off their dock, where mandarin fish are often spotted mating at twilight.

Palau video – click link below

Palau for NON-Divers

Palau is an amazing destination for non-divers as well! Not only does Palau have world class snorkeling, but it also has an amazing history.   You will want to take in the land tour of Peleliu Island.  This seemingly peaceful island is home to the battleground of Orange Beach.   It’s landscape is home to the Japanese war tunnel system and is the venue of the battle of Peleliu, which became one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during WWII.  Many artifacts around the island bring the tragic history of Peleliu back to life.

German Lighthouse and archaeological hiking Ulong Island tours are also available.  The beautiful scenery of the Rock Islands is unmatched and can easily be seen on a guided or self-guided kayak tour.

  • Rock Island/Jellyfish Lake Snorkel tour
  • WWII History Tour (Battle of Peleliu)
  • Kayak Tours
  • Cultural Land Tour
  • Snorkel Blacktip shark Beach and Giant Clam City
  • Milky Way (famous mud baths)
  • Island Hiking Tours
  • Palau Historical Museum

Want to sign up?

Please fill out the Trip Sign Up Form and send it in with your $500 deposit.

Trip Pricing:

NOTE – This trip does not include airfare!

  • Diver Double Occ:  $3195
  • NON-Diver Double Occ:  $2575
  • Diver Single Occ: $4875

Trip Includes:

  • 10 Nights’ Deluxe Harbor View at Palau Royal Resort
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Resort fees & taxes
  • Daily breakfast
  • Lunch on dive days (if traveling as a diver)
  • 4 days of 3 tank boat dives (incl. Chandelier Cave dive)
  • 3 days of 2 tank boat dives
  • Nitrox (if certified)
  • Free Rental Gear (no computer)
  • Jellyfish Lake snorkel
  • Blue Corner Specialty Course
  • Unlimited shore diving at Sam’s Macro Wall
  • Boat water bottle
  • Reef hook
  • WiFi

Not Included:

  • Airfare to Koror, Palau (ROR airport code)
  • Koror State Rock Island Permit $50
  • Jellyfish Lake Permit $100 (optional tour)
  • Peleliu Scuba Permit $30 (optional tour)
  • All Other Water Activities Permit $10
  • Boat excursions for nondivers/snorkelers
  • Drinks (alcohol and soda)
  • Lunches on NON-DIVING days (if traveling a s diver)
  • All Lunches (if traveling as a non-diver)
  • All Dinners
  • Travel Insurance (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
  • Dive medical insurance (REQUIRED) see or

NOTE: $500 Non Refundable deposit holds your spot for this trip. Final trip payment is due by August 1, 2023. We strongly recommend travelers insurance, ask for details.   Cash, check, or credit card is accepted.  Cash or check preferred.

Curacao – October 21-28, 2023 (Women’s Trip)

Trip Sign up Form

Join Aquaventure group trip leaders, Jolene Philbrook, in Curacao October 21-28,2023!  We will be staying at the all-inclusive Sunscape Curacao Resort!

Grab some snorkel gear and step right from the beach into the crystal-clear Caribbean waters that a host of marine life calls home. Show off your skills on a stand-up paddleboard or catch a boat right from our pier for an unforgettable dive adventure. Try your luck at the casino or sip cocktails at the pool bar. Shopping and sightseeing more your speed? Take a shuttle into downtown Willemstad for the opportunity to sightsee! No matter how you fill your day, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible, all-inclusive vacation in Curaçao.

Curaçao is located 43 miles (70km) off the North Coast of Venezuela, outside of the hurricane belt in southern part of the Caribbean. Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands and, together with Aruba and Bonaire, it constitutes the “ABC” islands. Curaçao is considered part of the Dutch Caribbean that also includes St. Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius, also known as Statia.

Located at just 12° north of the Equator, Curaçao’s consistently warm and sunny climate creates the perfect scenario for year round tourism. That coupled with the average temperature around 27°C (81°F) plus the cooling winds blowing constantly from the east (strongest in the spring months) provide excellent conditions for adventure travelers and beach goers alike.

Why Dive in Curacao?

Reason #1: Because Curacao is not only a world class scuba diving and vacation destination, it is also one of the best Caribbean destinations to travel to for 2022! Scuba Diving Magazine, 2022 Readers Choice Award

In Curacao you can see numerous species of fish and coral; flower corals, giant brain corals, anemones, sea turtles, porcupine fish, smooth trunk fish, yellow tail snappers, parrot fish, groupers, spotted drums, spotted moray eels, green moray eels, sharks, lobsters, and conchs.

With over 70 world class dive sites to choose from, Ocean Encounters (the onsite dive operator) offers you unlimited shore diving and boat dives you will never forget!

Ocean Encounters is committed to delivering the highest-quality dive experience. The facility is the biggest on island, catering to the highest number of repeat guests. Divers return to Curaçao and Ocean Encounters for a handful of reasons, starting with the lineup of famous sites, such as Mushroom Forest, Klein Curaçao, Eastpoint and Blue Room, where visitors can’t help but be wowed by the health of the reefs and the density of the fish schools flowing over top.

Underwater Photography in Curacao

Are you an underwater photographer?  If you are then you should discover Curaçao. This Dutch Caribbean island is a fantastic alternative to Bonaire and it is consistently rated as one of the 5 Best Places For Macro Scuba Diving and underwater photography in The Caribbean & Atlantic regions, according to Scuba Diving Magazine.

Shark and Manta sightings are rare which makes the encounters very special. But all the photogenic small stuff is here.  Some of fan favorites are the Frogfish, Longlured and occasionally Occelated. These can be great subjects for wide-angle close ups and of course Seahorses are for the sharp eyed.  Also, if you are good with your camera and buoyancy, the dive masters are more likely to share their little secrets.


  • RT Airfare from Minneapolis
  • Roundtrip Airport/Hotel Transfers
  • 7 Nights Oceanview Accommodations at Sunscape Resort
  • All inclusive of all meals & snacks
  • Unlimited Alcohol and Non-Alcoholic Drinks
  • 5 Days of 2 tank Boat Dives
  • Taxes and Gratuities
  • Unlimited tanks for Shore Dives

Not Included:


Trip Sign up Form

Diver Double Occ:  $2695
NonDiver Double Occ:  $2175
Single Diver:  $3175
Balance Due:  August 15, 2023

NOTE: $300 Non Refundable deposit holds your spot for this trip. Final payment is due by August 15, 2023. We strongly recommend travelers insurance, ask for details. Land/dive/air prices are payable by cash, check, or credit card. Airfare rates are based on early sign up, future rates are approximate, call for current price. Due to rising fuel costs, airlines have been imposing additional charges without notice, prices subject to change.

Bonaire – November 25-December 3, 2023

Join Erik & Melanie Payeur as they head to Bonaire! We will be staying at the beautiful Dive Flamingo Resort!

Bonaire has been known as one of the Caribbean’s best dive destinations! If you like shore diving, this is the place! Immerse yourself in fifty shades of blue at this spectacular oceanfront resort conveniently located just minutes from the airport and a 5-minute walk to town. Colorful and laid-back, this water-lover’s paradise offers two sparkling pools, a day spa and fitness center, weekly activities, delicious dining, an intimate casino, and an award-winning PADI five-star dive operation with a fleet of six dive boats, private dive lockers, a dive shop with equipment rental, and a famed house reef you can explore 24/7.

With over 60 marked dive sites throughout the island, it’s no wonder why this Bonaire is known for its world-class diving. Snorkelers can explore vibrant coral reef formations and unique wreck sites teeming with colorful creatures. An underwater oasis awaits you!

You can also take a break from diving and explore the extraordinary on the unforgettable island of Bonaire. Good things come in small packages and this bite-sized Dutch island is full of activities!   The icing on the cake…it’s one of the top dive destinations in the world!


COVID testing and vaccinations are no longer required to visit Bonaire.


  • RT Airfare from Minneapolis
  • Roundtrip Airport/Hotel Transfers
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Full Breakfast & Lunch Daily
  • First Day Mandatory Orientation Shore Dives
  • 5 Days of 2 tank Boat Dives
  • 1 Day of 1 tank afternoon boat dive
  • Hotel Taxes
  • Unlimited tanks for Shore Dives
  • Complimentary WI FI
  • Welcome Cocktail
  • Self-Guided Scuba Tune Up in Aquaventure Pool

Not Included:

  • Dinners
  • Dive Medical Insurance (required) or
  • Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Dive Crew Gratuities
  • $75 Tourist Tax (paid online or onsite)
  • $40 Nature Stinapa Fee (paid online or onsite)
  • Nitrox – $100


Trip Sign up Form

Diver Double Occ:  $2870
NonDiver Double Occ:  $2545
Single Diver:  $3470
Balance Due:  September 15, 2023

NOTE: $300 Non Refundable deposit holds your spot for this trip. Final payment is due by September 15, 2023. We strongly recommend travelers insurance, ask for details. Land/dive/air prices are payable by cash, check, or credit card. Airfare rates are based on early sign up (by August 15), future rates are approximate, call for current price. Due to rising fuel costs, airlines have been imposing additional charges without notice, prices subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scuba Diving

Q: Do I need to take both Part 1 & Part 2 to be certified?
A: Yes.

Q: What is the difference between Part 1 & Part 2?
A: Part 1 is the home study, classroom review, and pool ONLY portion of the certification process.  Part 2 is the open water training dive portion (4 total dives over two days) of the certification process.  Both Part 1 & Part 2 need to be successfully completed to earn your PADI Open Water or Jr. Open Water certification.

Q: How long does my PADI Open Water certification last?
A: Once acheiving a PADI Open Water certification it never expires and lasts for life. It is recommended however, to take a “Scuba Review” if a certified diver has not been scuba diving within 6 months.

Q: What is the minimum age my child can get certified?
A: PADI and the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) sets the minimum age at 10 years old. This is a “Youth Open Water Certification” (limited to 40′ and must dive with a parent or dive professional). Once the child turns 15 years old they are automatically upgraded to the standard Open Water certification. We require that all 10-11 year old students enroll in either “Private” or “Semi-private” classes. This is to ensure the class goes at a pace the child or children are comfortable with.

Q: It’s winter and I’m (we’re) going on vacation to a warm weather destination – how can I get certified?
A: Come do Part 1 with us (home study, and pool)! Then take the training materials that we have signed to a PADI dive shop anywhere in the world to do your referral Open Water Training Dives. This is known as the Referral Process and it works GREAT. You don’t want to spend your vacation in a classroom – do you? Of course not. Come and receive your Part 1 portion of the course with us and then dive in a beautiful tropical environment for your Open Water Training Dives. How cool would that be? Then once certified, dive to your heart’s content (within your level of training and safe diving practices, of course). If you had to procure a physician’s signature to dive, please make a copy of the document to bring with you to the PADI shop where you will be doing your referred dives (see Medical Statement below).

Q: How long does it take to complete my home study?
A: Generally 10-12 hours is required for home study with eLearning modules.

Q: I’m Claustrophobic. Can I still scuba dive?
A: We at Aquaventure hear this a lot! Most people that think they’re Claustrophobic have zero issues scuba diving. We recommend if you’re apprehensive to take our Discover Scuba trial class to put any fears aside.

Q: My ears hurt when I swim to the bottom of the pool. Can I still learn to scuba dive?
A: Of course! During your class you will learn how to easily equalize/clear your ears while scuba diving.

Q: How many people are in each class?
Our PADI Open Water classes generally have 4 with up to 6 students maximum.  No cattle classes here! We want to ensure you receive the most thorough scuba training available. Each Part 1 class with more than 4 students will have an additional PADI Instructor assist with the pool portion of the class.

Q: What equipment is provided?
We provide top of the line Aqualung & Scubapro equipment for your pool (Confined Water) and Open Water training. This includes tanks, weights, BCD, regulator, alternate air source, dive computer, and (wetsuit/hood/gloves for lake dives).

Q: What equipment do I need to bring?
While we will provide all of the equipment listed above, you need to bring your own mask, snorkel, and fins. A custom fit of your mask, snorkel, and fins is incredibly important for your comfort and safety, You should consider these items in the same way you consider your toothbrush when traveling – you want to bring your own – trust us on this! We have a full range of scuba rated equipment with a very knowledgeable staff. We highly recommend you to come into our store before the class to get properly fitted with your equipment. Please make sure that you have scuba-rated fins. Fins that you may own for snorkeling may not be powerful enough to “drive” a full set of scuba gear.

The days of your class you will need to bring a swimsuit and a towel. If you are not eating at the adjacent Subway for lunch, bring your own plus a water bottle. There will not be enough time on class days to go any farther than the Subway restaurant next door for lunch.

Q: How old do you need to be to become a certified Open Water Diver?
To be a fully certified PADI Open Water Diver you must be at least 15 years old and there is no maximum age; however, children as young as 10 years old can become PADI Junior Open Water Divers. 10 and 11 year olds must  successfully complete the same requirements as an adult student so you may want to consider private lessons for your child(ren).  Once certified, 10 and 11 year olds must dive with a parent, a guardian, or a PADI Professional. Those  12, 13 and 14 years old must dive with a certified adult diver. Once a Junior Open Water Diver reaches the age of 15, they may administratively apply for standard PADI Open Water Diver certification (this can be done here at the shop or directly with PADI).

Q: Do I have to be a good swimmer?
Not necessarily…you need only to be comfortable in the water and capable of swimming continuously for two hundred yards, and treading water/floating for 10 min.

Q: What is required of me before the first class?

You should complete the online eLearning program: Complete all online coursework including all interim Assessments and the Final Assessment.

You will receive a second email from PADI. This email contains a link that you need to click on and complete all digital paperwork. Read all of the documentation and complete all of the paperwork (Note: if you have any “yesses” on your Medical Statement, you must complete a separate RSTC Medical Statement and bring it to your doctor – see next question below).

Q: What if I have a “yes” on my Medical Form?

To view the RSTC Medical Form click here – PADI Medical Form-PDF

Safety is our number one concern. If you can answer “yes” to ANY of the medical questions, a separate PADI RSTC Medical Statement may need to be taken/sent to your physician for signature for permission to dive prior to you getting into the pool. Please call the shop if you have any questions. Note: if you do have any “yesses” on your Medical Statement and your physician clears you to dive, please make copies of the document as you may need to bring this for your referral dives or future dives with other shops.

Q: Where are the classes held? 
There’s no need to run around town! Your entire Part 1 scuba class will be held at Aquaventure Dive & Photo Center. This includes both classroom and pool portions of the class. Our custom on-site pool is a balmy 85 degrees. We are located in Maple Grove just northwest of Osseo on the north side of County Rd 81 in the same strip mall as a Subway restaurant.  Our address is: 10024 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, MN 55369 (763) 424-8717.

Q: How warm is your pool?
A: Our pool is kept at a comfortably warm at 84-85 degrees.

Q: Are private lessons available?
Yes. Whether you prefer one on one instruction, Semi-private instruction, or a private class for your family, private lessons can be scheduled to meet your needs. Call us for more details (763) 424-8717. Private/Semi-Private lessons are required for 10 and 11 year olds or those feeling they need a bit more time and attention. Semi-Private lessons are also terrific for couples and families! We work to your schedule and needs.

Q: How do I sign up for the class?
You can simply call us and sign up over the phone with a credit card (pre-payment required) or stop in at our store.

Cancellation policy:
Course fees are due upon class enrollment to guarantee your space in the class. Classes are non-refundable within 14 days of the class start date and non-transferrable within 7 days of class start time. One transfer is allowed for a fee of $90. All course fees are forfeited if you do not attend.