The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are located in the Western Caribbean, 480 miles south of Miami, Florida. The largest of the three islands is Grand Cayman (approx 76 sq mi). The .Sister Islands. of Cayman Brac (14 sq mi) and Little Cayman (10 sq mi) lie 80 miles to the northeast of Grand Cayman. The Cayman Islands are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. The total population is approximately 50,000.

The 24th Annual Flowers Sea Swim will be held on June 11th on Seven Mile Beach on the main island of Grand Cayman. The majority of tourist activity and accomodations are in the Seven Mile Beach and George Town areas.

Flight and Immigration Information
Grand Cayman lies 1 hour due south of Miami by air and is served by several international airlines connecting through the United States, England, Canada, Jamaica, Cuba and Honduras.

The airport code for Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman is GCM.

For all relevant airline information please see www.caymanislands.ky, or ask your travel agent.

For information on US passport/travel requirements, please see the International Travel page on www.travel.state.gov.

All visa and entry requirements can be found on the Cayman Islands Immigration Department website at www.immigration.gov.ky, or ask your travel agent.

Special Discounted Attractions

The Flowers Sea Swim and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism are pleased to partner with the following operators to provide discounted activities for visiting overseas participants of the Flowers Sea Swim. Please take the time to enjoy our beautiful Island!

Hotels/Accomodations
Please see our Travel Specials page for discount hotel bookings.

Our partner hotels are:
Ritz-Carlton
Sunshine Suites
Marriott
Beach Suites
Wyndham Reef Resort

Other hotels close to the race site are:
Comfort Suites
Grand Caymanian Resort
Grand Cayman Beach Suites

Local Transportation
Taxis and rental cars are available at the airport. Rental cars should be reserved in advance – and remember, we drive on the left! Public buses also operate but do not serve the airport. Bus stop shelters are visible on the road sides, however buses will stop anywhere to pick up, you need only wave them down. A single trip costs CI$2.00/USD$2.50.

Seven Mile Beach (which is actually 5.5 miles long) is approximately 3 miles from the airport. Many hotels offer complimentary shuttle service.

When departing, allow time for traffic and arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to your scheduled departure time.

Sightseeing
You will get a taste for snorkeling while competing in the Flowers Sea Swim. Beautiful fish and other sea life abound in the waters of the Cayman Islands.

For snorkeling tours, diving and other water-based activities, please visit our sponsor, Red Sail Sports, at www.redsailcayman.com.

For all other sightseeing activities please see www.caymanislands.ky, or ask your travel agent.

Weather
The weather during June is warm during the day cooling off slightly at night. Day time temperatures average 85F. Rainfall averages 6 inches in June. Water temperatures average in the low 80sF in June.

Dress Code
Lightweight, comfortable clothing is recommended. The dress code is casual (shorts or slacks and tee-shirts), though excessive exposure is frowned upon. Dressier wear is recommended at higher-end restaurants. Most restaurants require shoes and shirts.

Please do not wear bathing suits or skimpy beach wear beyond the beach. Note that there are no nude beaches in the Cayman Islands and that public nudity and topless bathing are prohibited by law.

Currency
The Cayman Islands readily accepts United States Dollars, though many businesses will give only Cayman dollars in change. Canadian dollars, the Euro and pounds sterling can be exchanged for CI dollars at local banks. It is best to convert other currencies to US Dollars before arriving. Credit and debit cards are also widely accepted.

Time Zone
The Cayman Islands are on U.S. Eastern Standard Time year-round and do not observe Daylight Savings Time. In June, we are 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Voltage
The Cayman Islands uses the same electrical standards as the USA . 110volts, 60Hz. Most of our electronics and appliances are imported from the US, and any travel items you bring from the US, such as camcorders, blow dryers, electric razors, travel clocks, and phone/battery chargers will work.

Taxes
A mandatory Government room tax of 10% is standard on room charges and will be added to your bill.

Gratuities and Service Charges
Many restaurants will automatically add a charge of 15% to your total food and drink bill. In this case tipping is not required, and you should check your bill before leaving extra. Your food and beverage server receives only a portion of the gratuity, and you may tip extra at your discretion. Please note that both US$ and CI$ amounts may be listed, so it.s important to read the bill carefully.

Drinking Water
Tap water in the Cayman Islands is completely safe to drink. All hotels, condos, and most restaurants are connected to the city water supply. Bottled water is readily available if preferred.

Groceries
Grocery stores are fully stocked to meet most needs. They are located island wide with several in the Seven Mile Beach area.

Prescriptions
We strongly recommend you bring a sufficient supply of any prescription items you may require to last your entire stay in Cayman. There are numerous pharmacies on Grand Cayman, including at most large grocery stores.

Gyms and Health Centers
Many hotels and condos have gym facilities available to guests. Additionally, there are a number of health clubs and spas on the island.

Internet Access
Internet/email access can be found at numerous restaurants and internet cafes as well as at libraries and post offices. Many hotels also provide in-room access for a daily charge.

Churches
Numerous denominations are present in the Cayman Islands and welcome visitors.

Flowers One Mile Sea Swim – A History

The start and growth of the Flowers Sea Swim nearly exactly parallels the push to get open water swimming in the Olympics.   From the International Olympic Committee’s perspective, it was important to develop the interest and development of open water swimming in small nations as it was in the larger countries of the Olympic family.  Additionally, the Flowers Sea Swim helped showcase three standard features of open water swims over the years.

  1. The Flowers Sea Swim helped usher in the era of mass participation open water swims that attracted both to elite Olympic swimmers and the newcomer to the sport who had just learned to swim.  Although such mass participation events are standard in dozens of countries on five continents, it was the vision of Frank Flowers in the 1980’s to organize swims where swimmers of any age, ability and background could compete together with famous Olympic swimmers.
  2. The Flowers Sea Swim helped usher in the era of charity swims where local charitable organizations are supported to the revenue and donations generated by the open water event.  Although thousands of such charity swims are now held around the world, it was usual 19 years ago.
  3. The Flowers Sea Swim continues to set the standard in providing random prizes to its participants.  Although most open water swims offer a handful of prizes to its swimmers after the race, there is no open water swimming event in the world that provides the scale or value of prizes to its participants like the Flowers Sea Swim.