The Famous Shipwreck of Long Bay Beach

 Photo courtesy of  Content Cay

Photo courtesy of Content Cay

Two miles off the shore of Long Bay Beach sits an old rusted cargo ship, beached in the shallows since 2004, when it drifted from its mooring during Hurricane Frances. Thirteen years since it made Long Bay its final resting place, the ship known as La Famille Express (as you'll see marked in fading white paint along the top of the vessel) has become somewhat of an icon on the southern shore of Providenciales and a must-visit for those exploring the Turks & Caicos by sea.

turks and caicos shipwreck.jpg

Due to its deteriorating conditions, visitors aren't advised to climb aboard the ship (tempting though it may be). But the former Soviet Navy vessel turned Caribbean cargo ship is still a sight to behold up close, and it's a fantastic snorkeling spot — the bottom half of the ship is thriving with sea life as it slowly transforms into an artificial reef, and small patches of rock and coral surround the towering vessel.

There are two ways to get to La Famille Express — by boat or jet ski. Remember that, even though you can spot a speck of the ship from shore, it is two miles out — not ideal for kayaking or paddleboarding. Experienced kiteboarders have been known to kite out to the wreck, but for the rest of us, stick to motorized vessels to get out there.

Many local charter boat companies will be happy to take you out to explore La Famille Express, and jet ski companies offer tours of the ship. So start planning your shipwreck adventure off Long Bay Beach during your stay in Turks & Caicos. Exploring a shipwreck isn't something you get to do every day — now's the time to check one off the bucket list.