Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Staff Report - Bridget Seychelles

The Seychelles archipelago consisting of 42 granite and 73 coral islands lies in the Indian Ocean just 4 degrees south of the equator and 1000’s of miles from anywhere. The islands are stunningly beautiful and have more nature reserves and marine national parks than any other country.

The granatic islands which tower to over 900m are covered in lush vegetation and where you will find 100’s of the finest and most beautifully picturesque beaches in the world. Even the busiest of these have few people on them and it is not difficult to find a rocky cove where you will be completely alone on pink tinged sand.

The thing that most surprised me about the Seychelles was the huge amount of activities there are to do there. While perfect for sunbathing, romance and watersports there are also miles of nature trails for walking and discovering. The forests are a haven for nature lovers and birders, being home to many of the world’s rarest bird species. You will also find the symbolic Coco de Mer palm. Extinct elsewhere, the palm is endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse and has the largest leaves and nut in the world. The Seychelles are also home to the giant tortoise, once almost extinct. On Curieuse, a marine park island, there is a giant tortoise breeding scheme in place and home to around 300 of the animals.

As my trip was for only five days it just gave me a small taste of what the Seychelles is about. During the trip we did a three day cruise on the Sea Shell, visiting Praslin, Curieuse and La Digue islands and also stayed one night each on Praslin and Mahe.

Silhouette cruises run four sailing vessels. These cruises are perfect for those wanting a mix of diving and non-diving activities or for divers with non-diving partners as the itineraries cater equally for non divers and divers.

Sea Shell and Sea Pearl were built in the 1920s and are full of old world charm. They both have eight air conditioned cabins, three showers and four toilets. The water is solar heated so not always hot. These vessels are great if you don’t mind not having an ensuite cabin and want a sailing vessel with a bit of character. Our captain and crew were great and the food was simple but good, most meals were fresh fish caught daily. The menu is set but dietary requests will be catered for of course.

Sea Star and Sea Bird are modern sailing vessels with a higher standard of comfort and each has nine ensuite air conditioned cabins as well as two comfortable saloon areas. I viewed the newest of the vessels, Sea Bird and it is really a beautiful boat which I would recommend if you want to cruise in comfort. These modern vessels are much faster and therefore cover longer distances and are used for charters to the outer islands.

The four vessels offer regular seven night cruises through the inner islands with daily activities including beach BBQ’s or picnics, walking, exploring, kayaking and diving. With no dedicated dive liveaboard in the Seychelles this is your best option if you want to explore the islands and do some diving. Typically, on a seven night cruise eight dives will be offered but for groups of divers a customised full diving itinerary can be arranged with around three dives per day. Trips to the remote coral atolls of Aldabra are possible during March and April.

On my trip the first stop was Ans Possession off Praslin where we did a check dive - don’t expect fabulous visibility especially during the whale shark season when the plankton is rich. The visibility averaged 5-15 metres. The dive was pretty with plenty of surgeon fish, jacks, fusiliers, bat fish and loads of peppered morays.

The next day we did an early dive on a granite wall. Depths are all fairly shallow in this region, seldom deeper than 14 metres so good for inexperienced divers. We spotted two large stingrays and several octopus along with the usual array of reef fish such as sergeant majors, burrfish, surgeon and parrot fish.

After breakfast we went ashore on to Curieuse Island which until recent years was a leper colony and is now home to 300 giant tortoises which were almost extinct.

There are several walking trails on the island but beware it’s very hot and some of the terrain quite steep but manageable if you take it easy. It’s a lovely walk though and you will get to see the tortoise, some over 100 years old just grazing lazily on the grass. They are very docile and particularly like being stroked along their necks. The boat crew prepared a BBQ lunch and we had plenty of time for some swimming before heading back to the boat for another dive. This time it was a coral garden sloping from 11-14 metres. Here we saw many large tuna, several small reef sharks and numerous morays while the non divers got a lazy afternoon with beach activities or relaxing followed by afternoon tea.

The following morning the boat headed off early for a visit to La Digue Island where time stands still. There are only about 20 vehicles on the island and the mode of transport is either by bicycle which costs 10 euros per day or ox cart. We hired bikes and visited the L’Union estate, an old coconut and vanilla plantation where you can see how coconut oil is pressed in an ox-driven mill. The trail south lead us to one of the Seychelles most beautiful beaches famous for its amazing shaped granite rocks, powder white sand and azure sea - these coves feature in many brochures, movies and advertisements. If you cycle over the east coast which is slightly uphill there are spectacular beaches with huge waves but unsafe for swimming. The island is great for a half or full day trip or if you wish to stay on the island La Digue Island lodge has 69 air conditioned rooms built of wood and thatched with leaves, the lodge also has a pool and dive centre on site. There was an afternoon dive around La Digue which unfortunately I had to miss due to developing a rather nasty cold.

On day three we left the vessel after breakfast while the rest of the guests were heading over to Praslin for walking in the Valle De Mai with its famous Coco de Mer palms.
On Praslin we stayed at the beautiful Paradise Sun hotel which is a four star boutique hotel. Rooms are chalet style and very tastefully decorated. They have air conditioning although I preferred to have the air conditioning off. With the shuttered doors closed and the ceiling fan on it was plenty cool enough. While the group went off for an afternoon dive to Booby Island where they saw sharks, octopus and dolphins I took myself and my cold off to explore the main beach area which had hardly anyone on it. If the Paradise Sun hotel is out of budget there are numerous other accommodation options such as the rustic guesthouse Laurier or three star Acajou hotel. The food at Paradise Sun was as expected - excellent. I opted for the fresh fish of tuna and job fish.

On our last day we took the ferry back to Mahe. The trip takes around one hour and is a good option if you are going to be doing more diving. Alternatively you can take a 15 minute flight.
We stayed in the main Beau Vallon Bay area at the Berjaya hotel but there are many hotels and guest houses on the bay to suit all budgets. I recommend the four plus star Fisherman’s Cove boutique hotel or for more budget conscious the small hotel Augerine which has 15 simple but very tastefully decorated rooms and a small barefoot restaurant. Both are five to ten minutes walk from the Underwater Centre, or pick ups can also be arranged. The dive centre is British-run and well set up to cater for groups and individual divers of all abilities. They have four fully equipped custom-built dive boats and run a full daily diving programme to short and long distance sites. In addition to diving during the whale shark season of September and October the centre runs whale shark snorkelling encounters. The Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) was set up in 1997 and is a local non profit organisation focusing purely on marine research and management. The society successfully lobbied the government to declare the whale shark a protected species in 2003.

The whale shark snorkelling trip costs $125 and all income goes into the project which is run by Dr David Sanders and a group of interns. They send up a microlite to spot the sharks and if there are positive sightings the boat leaves in the afternoon.

Unfortunately last year the sightings were very low and this year sees the same trend, although speaking to divers onboard they told me in previous years they have encountered up to 40 sharks in four days.

The day I went out followed my usual luck and we didn’t get to see any whale sharks which is not surprising as only 2 had been spotted earlier that morning by the microlite. However, despite my disappointment I had a really good afternoon snorkelling with a school of 17 Mobula or devil rays which are like small Mantas. I also saw a shark, a turtle and several dolphins so I certainly couldn’t say the afternoon wasn’t enjoyable.

In general the weather in the Seychelles is warm and humid, averaging 29°C throughout the year with more rain around November to end of January. As tropical islands close to the equator, the Seychelles experience quite a lot of rain at all times of the year, but this mostly occurs in brief showers followed again by tropical sunshine, hence the lush green vegetation.
The South East Trade Winds are prevalent from May to September when it will be drier, breezier, and slightly cooler than during the remainder of the year. The North West Trade Winds are prevalent from October to April. This is a much calmer breeze, which results in increased humidity and calmer seas. Higher rainfall occurs during this time of year.The transition periods of April and October tend to be the calmest and hence the best visibility for divers but diving is possible throughout the year.

Air Seychelles operate two direct flights from London each week; out on a Friday or Sunday and returning on Thursday or overnight on Saturday.

In a nut shell if you are looking for a tropical paradise holiday with more to do than just diving then the Seychelles won’t disappoint. There is good diving to be found with the possibility of encountering some large species, but the Seychelles is not just about the diving, the islands have so much more to offer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Client Testimonial: Belize - December 2008 - A.W.

"The holiday was wonderful. It was everything I'd hoped it would be. The Radisson Fort George hotel at Belize was wonderful - a perfect introduction to the country. Lamanai Outpost is a most special place - lovely people, food, location, experiences. I can't recommend it highly enough. Mata Rocks was also wonderful - out of the town, small and friendly. What a good job Dive Worldwide did. From my first enquiry to the last minute questions everyone was very helpful. Thank you. We had the time of our lives!"

A.W - Belize: December 2008

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Client Testimonial: South Africa - Mr & Mrs Myer

"Aliwal Dive Centre is a very professional set up, the diving is well organised, the staff are very friendly, helpful & efficient. The accommodation and breakfast are very good.
Hluhluwe Game Reserve is a first class game lodge. The accommodation, staff, food and game drives are all excellent. This is well recommended.
Coral Divers, Sodwana has a professional diving set-up. The staff are friendly & efficient and the food is good. The accommodation is rustic but adequate, however the whole place seemed very tired & could well do with a revamp. A vehicle is recommended to do the trips available in the area. "

Mr & Mrs Myer, South Africa, October 2008

Click here for diving holidays in South Africa

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Customer Testimonial: Maldives - Stingray liveaboard - September 2008

"The staff and dive guides were excellent and the food was good and plentiful!" Steve Atkinson

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Customer Testimonial: Philippines Dive Holiday

"Just to let you know we are back from our holiday. The diving was exceptional - in fact we did 26 dives in total each. Out of all the hotels the Pura Vida Beach Resort – Dumaguete was outstanding in the accommodation and food. We will certainly be going back again."

Mrs M Voke, September 2008

Click here for Dive holidays in the Philippines

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Client Testimonial - Curacao Dive Holiday

"Just thought I would say we had an amazing holiday and everything went like clock work. I would recommend self catering at the all-west and Curacao as a whole. The freedom we enjoyed really made the holiday. We only dived 5 times as explored the island so much!

Thank you very much for your help and patience in setting it up for us."

Mr Philip Ellard

Click here for Curacao Dive Holidays

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Client Testimonials: Newfoundland, Canada – July 2008

We had a wonderful time, the people at Ocean Quest were first class and the diving and accommodation were excellent, I can fully recommend this trip to anyone, we were really well looked after. Without a doubt this was one of the best diving holidays we have been on, the fact that we had personal one to one attention, the interest that the owners have in promoting Newfoundland from an environmental perspective and protecting the wildlife and wrecks and the history behind the dive sites was a real pleasure to see.

When we were delayed for 2 days by fog the owners picked us up from the airport at 10 o'clock at night, made us some food, cooked us breakfast the next morning and took us back to the airport 2 days later and did not charge us any extra.

The people were all very experienced and qualified in Diving, Boat management and such.

Phil Perchard

Click here for Dive Holidays in Canada

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Staff Report - Curacao Diving Trip - by Anthony Dixon

Looking for a relaxing place for a dive holiday? No hassles, cold beer, go any time of the year? Well try Curacao. Situated in the far south west of the Caribbean, it is less than 50 miles from the north coast of Venezuela, but can take only one change of 'plane to get there.

Arriving via Miami after our flight, the resort manager made it his business to greet his new arrivals in person to settle us in - as he did for just about everyone. Directed to the beach front BBQ, we were greeted by the friendly smiles of the resort staff, as well as that all important first cold beer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Client Testimonials: Kungkungan Bay Resort, Indonesia - July 2008

"All the staff at KBR were friendly, attentive and our smallest whim was catered for".
(Steve Atkinson).

Click here for Indonesia Diving Holidays

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Staff Reports: Katrina - Andaman Islands - May 2008

I was invited onto the brand new sailing vessel, the S/Y Siren to visit the remote Andaman Islands. Lying between India and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal, these mysterious islands are little visited and even less often dived. Although closer to Thailand that India, we flew via Chennai and boarded the boat in the islands capital, Port Blair.

The Siren has extremely comfortable, en-suite cabins - all enjoying individually controlled air-conditioning and offering a computer and flat screen, so the laptop can be left at home! Once on board we set up our kit just once - thereafter it stayed in situ for the whole trip, with free nitrox for those who were qualified to use it. All diving was from ribs and, with dive sites no more than 10 minutes ride, four dives a day, with sensible surface intervals, were easily managed...

Client Testimonials: Belize - May 2008

Hamanasi Resort was outstanding in every way.
Ms K. Winser

Click here for Diving Holidays at Hamanasi Resort in Belize

Monday, April 14, 2008

Oman Feature - March/April 2008 edition of Scottish Diver Magazine

HEADING OFF to warmer waters has become an October event over recent years and several trips to the Red Sea have proved to be very successful with good diving but increasingly crowded dive sites. This year I decided to look for some less travelled destinations and see if I could get somewhere a bit different.

There were lots of ideas thrown around but I ended up going for the Musandam Peninsula of Oman. Why, I do not really know, I knew it would be warm but beyond that very little. I hadn't read much about diving in Oman and knew virtually nothing about Musandam itself.

Click here to read a pdf of the full article!

Client Testimonials: Mozambique - April 2008

The whole Scuba Addicts team were outstanding. Every day they went the extra mile to ensure that we had the best trip. The local knowledge was first rate. Definitely the best dive operator I have dived with in 14 years!
Mr R. Gibbs

Click here for Mozambique Diving Holidays

Client Testimonials: Roatan - April 2008

We spent a week staying and diving at Anthony's Key Resort. Diving was straight forward and would suit new as well as old divers. It was very different to the other parts of the Caribbean we had dived before, with a greater variety of soft corals, lots of crevices, canyons and swim throughs, two good purpose sunk big wrecks and great viz. We finally got to see seahorses in the wild and diving for 45 minutes with 3 dolphins from the Research Institute in open water was something special. A really well run and organised resort and dive operation, with local guides, comfortable accommodation, and everything, including the diving was included in the price. A really relaxing week of diving, chilling out in a very hassle free resort.

We then had the added bonus of spending 3 days exploring Honduras with a personal guide and driver. It meant that we really thought we had seen some of the country, both mountain forests, lakes and ancient ruins, but also got a good impression of what life was like for Hondurans. Everything, including the stop over in Miami, was very smoothly organised by Dive Worldwide. Just one thing to consider; postcards take 6 to 8 weeks to get from Honduras to the UK!
Mr Hill (Cambridge)

Click here for Diving Holidays at Anthony's Key Resort, Roatan, Honduras

Friday, March 14, 2008

Staff Report: Bridget Maldives March 2008

It was the third day of spring and driving up the A3 towards Heathrow in heavy snow I couldn't help but feel excited, I was off to the Maldives for a much needed holiday with my husband. We were booked on the Black Pearl Liveaboard and really looking forward to some sun and getting into the warm water at one of our favourite dive destinations.

The flight with Emirates was uneventful taking seven hours to Dubai and a further five to Male, via Dubai as the direct flight was already full when we booked five months earlier.

Monday morning we stepped out into the glaring sunshine and heat at Male airport. Our guide was there to meet us and within ten minutes we were on the dive dhoni making our way across the harbour to where the Black Pearl was moored. A warm smile, cold drink and even colder towel provided by the Sri Lankan chef was very welcome. After the obligatory briefing and paperwork we were shown to our cabin where we slept for the next couple of hours...

Click here for full Report: Diving in the Maldives

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Client Testimonials: Belize - February 2008

Hamanasi Resort: A very friendly efficient hotel ideal for divers/non-divers+family, especially if you opt for full board with 5 days excursions. This includes diving or snorkelling out to the Keys (on separate boats) or a different land option each day; all well organised and catered for you personally. At week-ends the choice is yours, providing there are at least 2 people. If you opt for a relaxing day, there is a pool on site, and the sea/beach are on the doorstep! You can walk or cycle (bikes are free, allocated to your room) to Hopkins village, or stroll along the beach without seeing a soul! The staff will do all they can to make sure you have a relaxed, worry free vacation. Highly recommend.
Mr & Mrs Atkinson

Click here for Diving Holidays at Hamanasi Resort in Belize

Client Testimonials: Guatemala & Belize - February 2008

'Thank you for organising a splendid holiday for my wife and myself. Your attention to detail ensured that the whole trip went very smoothly.'
'Many thanks for arranging such a super, trouble free holiday for us. Every part of it was memorable.'
(T.A, Worcester)

Click here for Diving Holiday to Guatemala & Belize

Monday, January 14, 2008

Diving Video Clips at Dive Worldwide TV

We are proud to present our new site -

This new site showcases some of the diving destinations featured in our website and brochure. What better way to seek inspiration than by seeing recent footage of the kind of action you will see when choosing one of our holidays?

Our photographer, Andy Lange (Pictured below) has been putting together all his footage for our website. Please come back soon as the number of clips grow.

For more information about is work please visit:

Client Testimonials: Borneo - January 2008

Juliet, We passed on our thanks to your colleague at the dive show, but could I say thank you very much for organising what was the best honeymoon that we could have possibly hoped for. Everything went particularly smoothly and we enjoyed every minute of it. We shall definately be using you again.
Mr & Mrs Green, from Hertfordshire.

Click here for Diving Holidays in Malaysia