What You Get:
Discover Saipan (and Tinian) with Walt Goodridge, the “Jamaican on Saipan,” and enjoy a fully personalized tour tailored to your interests, whether it’s exploring World War II sites, immersing in nature treks, or delving into Saipan’s rich cultural history. Walt’s flexibility ensures your itinerary reflects your preferences. Gain rare insights from someone who’s embraced Saipan as home, has written several books about the islands, has been recognized by CNMI Senate Resolution and three Governor’s Humanities awards, and wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper for five years. With access to private collections and off-the-beaten-path locations, you’ll experience Saipan in a way few can. Engage in insightful conversation, capture stunning memories, and leave with a comprehensive understanding of this beautiful island!
Choose from these tour options:
World War II Pilgrimage
Take a trip back in time to re-live the bloody 1944 Battle of Saipan, a decisive conflict in the Pacific theater of World War II. Explore and touch relics, pill boxes, block houses, bunkers, landing beaches plus visit the sad yet beautiful Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff, plus visit a private collection and more.
Tinian to Hiroshima Tour
Saipan’s sister island of Tinian has profound historical significance as the site from which the Enola Gay and Bockscar took off to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. Visit the runway, bomb pits, bunkers and relics, and also learn of the archeological signficance of the ancient Chamorro latte stones found nowhere else in the world.
Cruise Ship Shore Excursion
Cruise ships are a once-a-year (or less) occurence on Saipan! Experience a customized “Saipan in a Day” tour of the island in groups of 12 people per van. Start from the time you disembark and return to the dock an hour before the ship’s departure!
Amelia Earhart History & Mystery Tour
For more than 80 years, residents of many Pacific islands have known that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were not lost at sea, but were captured by the Japanese military and imprisoned in the old Japanese jail on Saipan. Explore the mystery and decide for yourself…
Saipan plus Tinian TWO Day Tour
On Day One, we’ll tour the entire island of Saipan focusing on WWII, culture, nature or anything else you wish. On Day Two, we’ll rise early and head to Tinian to experience its unique historical and archeological significance—returning by midday, so you’ll still have time for activities on Saipan.
Guam Tour with licensed guides
I don’t conduct the tours personally on Guam, but I work with experienced, knowledgeable, licensed Guam-based guides who will provide the same thorough, professional experience you receive on Saipan and Tinian!
“Saipan in a Day” Tour
Indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian culture, World War II history, breathtaking natural beauty—circle the entire island and experience a little bit of everything in this all day tour of Saipan! Personalize your tour and we’ll focus more heavily on what you’re really interested in!
“Escape from America” Relocation Tour
Where’s the best neighborhood to live? What are the supermarkets like? Where do I get my driver’s license? Where are the schools located? I’ll drive you around the entire island in each village, giving you my honest (sometimes politically incorrect) opinions, experience, tips and advice to answer ALL your questions!
Special Request: video, film or documentary location mgmt, book or dissertation research…
Filming a music video, doing research or directing a documentary on extreme weather, northern island volcanic activity, Chamorro/ Carolinian culture, the garment industry or World War II? These are all requests I’ve received and fulfilled! What’s your project?
“We have been on many tours in many countries and this tour is among the best. Walt is a transplant from Jamaica via NYC but has fallen in love with Saipan. He is incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastically shares that knowledge. He is incredibly attentive to every detail. The tour was exhaustive and insightful. We felt we really knew Saipan at its conclusion. If I had a complaint, it would be the high cost. Although initially reluctant because of the price, we are glad we chose to do the tour.”
—Bill Abbott, New Mexico (more testimonials)
Where is Saipan?
Located in the western Pacific, a short flight from Guam and 3 hours from Japan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a popular tourist destination rich in history, culture and natural resources. Saipan, just 5 miles wide by 13 miles long, is the largest and most populated of the 15 islands making up an archipelago that stretches 400 miles (north to south) along the edge of the Marianas Trench.
Here's a little background on Saipan!
SAIPAN! You don't really know US!
What IS a "personalized" tour?
A personalized tour is
• Unrushed--At your pace!
• Intimate--No huge, noisy crowds!
• Conversational--Ask absolutely ANYTHING you want!
• Customizable--More of what you like, less of what you don't!
• Flexible--Want to go back to that first site? No problem!
• Interactive--Get out, touch, meet local residents...
• Unpredictable--may include a special treat!
• Extended--Twice the duration of standard tours! (7 hours!)
Take my personalized tour and you, too, can discover Saipan, explore Saipan, understand Saipan, and really get to know Saipan (as well as Tinian and Rota) in ways most people never will!
Typically, tours on Saipan are conducted from inside big buses of 50 or more people, visiting just a few manicured sites, lasting for just a few hours, and narrated by a tour guide who has memorized some approved facts and figures-- doing what amounts to a job. Now, that may be okay for some folks.
But what if you had a guide for an entire day; someone who does this as his passion; someone who could take you off the beaten path, show you sites and sights the average tourist never gets to see; taking detours based on your unique interests, in a more intimate setting, with one-on-one conversation in which you could ask anything about the island, and get a real person's perspective while you tour the island? What if you could get all that, AND get to see all the standard, manicured sites, too! Well, that's what a personalized tour is!
(I and my tours were recently recognized by American Memorial Park (The National Park Service) for my efforts to bring visitors to this national historic park!)
Check out Reginald & Al's personalized tour! View Reginald and Al on Youtube
My Discover Saipan Advantage
"Not all tours are created equal!" Every customer is unique. Some have unusual requests for their visits to Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Pagan and Guam--everything from simply finding unique accommodations and transportation to locating specific individuals for genealogical research, or historical/cultural artifacts for study, to visiting "off limits" areas, and doing unique activities! Whatever your unique request, my mission is to "make it happen" for you. In the process, I do everything I can --leveraging professional as well as personal contacts, calling in favors, harnessing my experience in unrelated industries and backgrounds--to make your request come true. That's my Discover Saipan advantage, and that's what you pay for! Sure, you'll pay a bit more for it, but the overall experience, the information, the connection to your guide, plus the photos and memories you'll take with you will be priceless!
How it all started...
- Being born and raised in Jamaica offered me a different view of reality.
- As a Caribbean, I have a positive bias towards island living.
- As a writer, I have an eye for detail.
- Being a native English-speaker, I fill a need in this part of the world!
- My Ivy League education gave me a unique perspective.
- My career as an engineer ingrained in me a habit of thoroughness.
- As an "*INTP", I prefer observation rather than judgement
- As a vegetarian, nomad and minimalist, I challenge paradigms.
- Spending most of my life in the heart of New York City, offered me an experience that serves as an insightful contrast to the pace of this my second/third life on Saipan.
- And, finally, as an entrepreneur coach who helps people discover and pursue their passions, I can see value in just about anything!
- In other words: I can help you experience Saipan in ways others can't! You're in for a treat and an experience!
*INTP, Introverted INtuitive Thinking Perceiving (Myers- Briggs personality Test)