Boat Dive Curaçao Diving and Snorkeling Guide Shore Dive Top 10 Dive Sites

Superior Producer

Dive Site Recommendations

  • Dive Type: Shore / Boat
  • Snorkel Site: No
  • Experience Level: Advanced (Min)
  • Depth:70 – 100ft (20-30m)
Superior Producer | Curaçao Dive Site Guide | Dive Travel Curacao
Photo courtesy of the Maritime Museum of Curaçao

Special Notes

Due to recreational & commercial boat traffic, an inflated surface marker buoy is mandatory when shore diving. Consult a recommended Curaçao Dive Operator for additional details & recommendations.

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The Superior Producer arrives in Curaçao

The ship had a rather mundane existence, picking up and dropping off cargo all along the Dutch coastline. The vessel also changed hands several times over the years. But On November 13, 1970 the MV Superior Producer was sold for the last time.  Pan-Ven Line SA purchased the Superior Producer and re-flagged to her new home port in Panama. Now her new sole task would be moving cargo between Willemstad (Curaçao) and Pampatar (Venezeula), a city on Isla Margarita.

On September 30, 1977, the MV Superior Producer arrived early in the morning. After docking on the inside of Curaçao Harbour (St. Annabaai), just past Queen Emma floating bridge, loading began. Crews loaded the ship for two local Curaçao merchants with Christmas cargo consisting of whisky, bottles of perfume, clothing and bags.

The Sinking on September 30, 1977

At 13:30, on that fateful Thursday afternoon, the crew of nine men of Venezuelan and Colombian nationality, cast off the lines. The ship Immediately began to heel dangerously, at which point the captain ordered a portion of the cargo, not properly stowed, to be thrown overboard.

This did not help and the situation was further complicated because the crew neglected to close the portholes. As the Superior Producer began taking on water, the efforts of the Curaçao Port Authority tugboat to pull the boat upright again had no effect.

After several unsuccessful attempts, the harbourmaster, fearing for safety of the crew and ultimately for the harbour itself decided to cease all rescue efforts. The tugboat then dragged the MV Superior Producer about 500m  (1,640ft) west outside the harbour entrance.

At 16:30, three hours after cast-off, the MV Superior Producer disappeared below the waves and sunk into the turquoise depths about 150m (500ft) from shore. During this same period, the captain and crew safely abandoned the ship and were safely picked up by a boat from the harbour police.

Pure Chaos

Word of the sinking spread across Curaçao like wildfire! Scuba divers, freedivers and snorkelers alike arrived on the shoreline from all over the island to scavenge the wreck for its cargo.  At the time the scene was described as ‘pure chaos’. Within a few days after the sinking, the newly sunken wreck of the Superior Producer was completely stripped. Even the neglected portholes were gone.

Now, one of the Top Shipwrecks in the World

Today, the Superior Producer sits quietly upright on her keel, located between Double Reef and the entrance to St. Annabaai. Her bow faces west in roughly 30m (100ft) of water and lies about 150m (500ft) from the shoreline in front of the new Curaçao Mega-piers.

As an advanced shore or boat dive, the easiest approach will be from the stern due to the possibility of the prevailing currents. When you begin your descent on the fringing reef, an eerie dark shadow starts to appear. 

At first, you will only see the stern, but then the entirety of this magnificent 50m (165ft) mass with it superstructure rising to within 21m (72ft) of the surface reveals itself, covered in a vast kaleidoscope of color. 

Superior Producer Curacao | Photo by Frank Do | Dive Curaçao
Photo courtesy of Frank Do

Now with roughly a half of a century of growth, the MV Superior Producer is an amazing artificial reef site. It is home to numerous colonies and different species of corals, sponges, gorgonians and sea whips.  Because of this, it is a natural attraction for schools of predatory fish such as Tarpons, Barracudas, Snappers and Jacks.

The Superior Producer is also a heaven for macro photographers and anyone who likes to get a close look at smaller stuff too. Caribbean spiny lobsters, parrotfish, French and Queen angelfish, turtles, scorpionfish and even morays.  Look even closer for banded coral shrimp, nudibranchs, flamingo-tongue shells and possibly even frogfish.  Basket stars, octopus and large spider crabs catch the eye while night diving this beautiful shipwreck too.

Are you ready to dive into history in Curaçao?

With its wide-open cargo holds and accessible wheel house, the MV Superior Producer has become renowned as one of the Top Shipwrecks in the World. It is rivaled only by the likes of the SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea and the WWII wrecks in Palau.

For more information about how you can dive this iconic shipwreck, contact Dive Travel Curaçao.

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