Thursday, December 1, 2011

Win a a trip for two to one of the Caribbean’s best diving destinations, Dominica, the Nature Island worth £3000!

The annual DIVER Awards recognise top performers in the leisure scuba industry. When divers see that any organisation has won a DIVER, they know they're dealing with the best - and, of course, they can expect to be treated accordingly in return.

The prestigious awards are voted for by you, the readers, and it’s that time of year again, time to help reward the diving people who made 2011 that bit special for you!

If enough of you give the nod to any one contender, DIVER will award them with one of the handsome bronze DIVER trophies that, over 14 years, have established themselves as the highest accolade in the UK diving world.

As in the past, the 2011 awards cover products, manufacturers, retailers, dive centres, tour operators, holiday destinations, liveaboards and publications and the awards are presented at the London International Dive Show (LIDS) in March.

In addition, voters automatically enter a prize draw for a valuable diving holiday. This year’s prize is a trip for two to one of the Caribbean’s best diving destinations, Dominica, the Nature Island worth £3000! The prize draw is on 18 January 2012.

You have until the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve to submit your votes, but why not do it now, before you get all caught up in the Christmas rush?

Vote now!

For diving holidays to the Caribbean click here

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New for 2012 - More great diving holiday inspiration!

BIG in Japan

Working closely with our suppliers, we’ve created a 12 night diving holiday to Japan that allows you to travel independently to the southern parts of the country. Explore Tokyo, relax on tropical beaches, encounter manta rays, observe hammerhead sharks and discover an underwater city! Link

Prices from £3995pp

Timor Leste

A young nation with plenty of dive sites to explore and discover, Dive Worldwide recommends the luxurious SY Oriental Siren operating ten night trips in peak diving season from Aug – Nov, starting in 2012. Pristine corals, sandy muck diving slopes and offshore pinnacles await the adventurous diver.

Prices from £2450pp (Boat Only)


We’ve added a unique dive resort to our portfolio for divers looking for something different in the world class diving area of Sipadan and Mabul. Seaventures Dive Resort is a converted oil rig with 25 rooms offering panoramic views of tropical islands and a lift down to the spectacular house reef.

Prices from £1995pp


Darwin's Diving Triangle package is a seven night island hopping adventure visiting Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal islands. Discovering the islands of the Galapagos with Red Mangrove allows for plenty of land-based and diving opportunities, maximising wildlife encounters and creating plenty of memories.

Prices from £3695pp


Dive Voluntourism (DiVo) is an Australian non-profit organisation, working with marine conservation and research groups to introduce recreational divers to hands-on participation in marine conservation. Make 2012, the year you give back to the oceans. Get involved on Lord Howe Island in the inaugural marine monitoring programme, working closely with the rangers by completing surveys of endangered and rare species unique to the local ecosystem.

Prices from £1495pp (Land Only)


Due to popular demand, we have introduced more resort and liveaboard options for 2012. Some old favourites are back, such as Kuredu and Bathala resorts and the Atoll Explorer liveaboard. The luxurious Diva Maldives in the south Ari Atoll has a year round population of whale sharks and a dedicated marine biology centre offering interactive learning opportunities, no matter what your age!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Diving in Tobago - Staff Review - Phil North

Nestled at the southern end of the Caribbean island chain, Tobago considers itself to be the ‘real Caribbean’. Relatively untouched by tourism, the island has both a rich history, a vibrant culture and impressive biodiversity, not to mention the diving.

The first part of my week in Tobago was spent in the more remote north-eastern part of the island, at the Blue Waters Inn just outside Speyside. With its own private beach and stunning views over to Little Tobago - a mecca for bird lovers - the Blue Waters Inn makes for a fantastic base to explore the many dive sites of northern Tobago.

The corals here, fed by the nutrient-rich waters of the Orinocho, are in great shape and marine life is plentiful. Early encounters were a rare juvenile Drumfish, a Hawksbill Turtle cruising along in the gentle current and unusual Giraffe Garden Eels. Day two in Tobago was also a good day’s diving, although I missed the day’s best sighting - a majestic Manta Ray at Coral Garden, home of the world’s largest brain coral.

The second part of the week was spent in the south of the island, diving with R&Sea divers, run by a lovely English couple, Wendy and John. The south of Tobago is the lively end of the island, with a truly Caribbean coastline of white powder sand beaches – a trip to Pigeon Point is a must, the island’s main town and a regular schedule of festivals throughout the year.

The highlight of the week was an encounter with a beautiful Loggerhead turtle laying her eggs. While soaking up the truly tropical atmosphere one evening, I noticed a commotion on the beach. Right in front of my eyes, a young female Loggerhead turtle was hauling her massive frame up the beach to lay her eggs. She picked her spot and started to dig, before entering a trance like state while she layed her eggs. The many turtles who visit Tobago’s shores to lay eggs are monitored and protected by an excellent network of local volunteers. They are so in tune with the turtles movements that they knew to expect eight turtles to visit that beach during the night. The magical encounter with one of nature's ancient giants lasted for a few hours before she made her way back to the water, leaving the next generation to their own fragile fate.

Underwater, the wreck of the MV Maverick proved another excellent dive, attracting large amounts of marine life. Other good dives were the Cove and Cove Crack, a site well known for Nurse Sharks. At the end of the week, I reluctantly said goodbye to my many new friends and acquaintances and headed back to the UK with fond memories of Tobago, the ‘real Caribbean’.

For Diving holidays in Tobago - click here

Diving in Panama and the Yemaya II Liveaboard - Client Testimonial

Frog Fish (by Mark Owen)
"All of the following was superbly arranged by Dive Worldwide.

We arrived at Panama airport and were met. Unfortunately we then had to wait 2 hours for our transfer to the hotel as our driver had got stuck in traffic and had a flat tyre. Be aware, in Panama everything will be here/ takes 5 minutes! Our hotel in Panama was great, what we would class as 4 star they class as 3 star. We spent our first evening sitting on a terrace looking out over a wonderful view of Panama city. Our guide was Bianca. She was fantastic, made us aware of our itinerary, and even rang the hotel later to check all was ok. As a guide we couldn't fault her, she was brilliant.

Spiny Anemone (by Mark Owen)
The next day we travelled to Coiba National Park. This was a 4 hour trip, but Bianca had told us about this and our driver made various stops for food, etc. we picked up our travel companions on the way, and arrived at the dock for the Yemaya II late afternoon. The crew and skiff awaited us and immediately took our luggage and made us feel welcome. We then had a short trip to the boat and here we got our first view of the rainforest. The scenery is absolutely breath taking. Arriving at the Yemaya II we were enthusiastically greeted by the crew. A lovely welcome.

Hermit Crab (by Mark Owen)
The Yemaya II is a lovely, comfortable boat with a fantastic, friendly crew. The chef is superb - his food really is outstanding. His cakes are to die for! All the food is freshly cooked, locally sourced and organic. In fact, most is freshly caught and bought from the local fishing boats.
You won't be disappointed or ever, whatever time of the day or night, go hungry. The atmosphere is relaxed, and your every need will be catered for. The crew, especially the captain, dive master and chef, couldn't do enough to make sure we were all happy.

Coiba 'Desert Island' (by Mark Owen)
We woke up the next day to be greeted with views of islands, rainforest and a blue, blue sea. Words cannot describe how beautiful this area is, or how unspoilt it is both above and below the water. From then on every morning we saw devil rays basking around the boat
and every evening we had sail fish (flying fish) and that's before we had even entered the water!

Guineafowl Puffer (by Mark Owen)
We had the opportunity to dive 3 or more often 4 times a day. The diver master and crew are really knowledgeable and point out all the best 'stuff'. The dive sites are varied and pristine and visibility is really good. Don't worry about crowding - apart from the sea life we never saw any other divers. We had the ocean to ourselves! If you want true variety in everything you won't be disappointed. We saw lots of black tip sharks, turtles, whale shark (wow), morays, dolphins, and if you like the smaller 'stuff' you won't be disappointed. Loads of frog fish, black coral, starfish, anemones, sea urchins and much much more?

In addition to all this, regularly, dolphins swam with the boat. The crew always alert you when they are around. We also saw whale blow holes, but they were too fast for us, but the sight was enough. The boat is also equipped with kayaks, so most afternoons we explored
'paradise', desert islands. It felt we were Robinson Crusoes, exploring new lands. Great fun!

Starfish (by Mark Owen)
We finished our trip with a couple of nights by the Panama canal. Don't miss this, or a visit to the Miraflores locks (but avoid the restaurant there). We also went kayaking in the rainforest, again organised by Bianca. Our guide was really knowledgeable and found lots of animals we'd have missed. We also had lunch in our own private waterfall - really fantastic.

All in all, would I recommend a trip to Panama and to the Yemaya II?

Well, in a way I don't want to - I want to keep this fantastic place and boat a secret just for us. However, on a serious note. Of course I'd recommend both, without hesitation. You won't be disappointed. It's the holiday of a lifetime!"

Jo W. August 2011.

For Diving holidays and liveaboards in Panama - Click here

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ocean Giants, Giant Lives - Diving with Whales & Dolphins tonight on the BBC

Tune in today at 21:00.

Ground-breaking documentary granting a unique and privileged access into the magical world of whales and dolphins, uncovering the secrets of their intimate lives as never before.

This episode explores the intimate details of the largest animals that have ever lived on our planet- the great whales. From the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean to the freezing seas of the Arctic, two daring underwater cameramen - Doug Allan, Planet Earth's polar specialist, and Didier Noirot, Cousteau's front-line cameraman - come face-to-face with fighting humpback whales and two-hundred-ton feeding blue whales.

Teaming up with top whale scientists, Giant Lives discovers why southern right whales possess a pair of one-ton testicles, why the arctic bowhead can live to over two hundred years old, and why size truly matters in the world of whales.

For your chance to see some of these Oceans Giants in their natural environment , see our selection of diving holidays.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Seychelles - The MCSS and Whale Sharks

Image courtesy of MCSS/Justin Spray

The Indian Ocean has long been one of the primary sources of whale shark sightings and some of the earliest scientific records came from the Seychelles.

Since 1996, the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) incorporating the Shark Research Institute Seychelles, has been monitoring and tagging whale sharks in Seychelles waters. As a result of their efforts, they are a protected species in these waters.

In recent years, funding has allowed the expansion of the programme with advanced satellite tracking technology to enable far more data to be collected on this species.

You can help the MCSS researchers with their monitoring activities. The best time to visit is Sep-Oct and when they are found in an accessible area the team collects data, including photographic identies of individual fish. All activies are run in accordance to the Seychelles Whale Shark Encounter Code of Conduct.

Trips are run daily when conditions allow. In the morning, the microlight locates the whale sharks and in the afternoon, enthusiasts head out on boats to the most promising areas to snorkel with these gentle giants.

You can follow their progress on the MCSS Blog

Dive Worldwide work together with the Seychelles Underwater Centre to bring you fantastic packages so you can discover the Seychelles, dive and help with research. Book your holiday now!

Sea-Explorer Dive Centre - Reethi Beach, Maldives

Bite-Back at Cancer. Win a holiday to Fiji!

A dive holiday to Fiji, including flights, accommodation and diving, is up for grabs in a charity lottery. Bite-Back at Cancer, which raises money for shark charity Bite-Back and Marie Curie Cancer Care, is offering the trip of a lifetime to the remote island of Kadavu.

1,000 tickets have gone on sale for £10 each. The prize, offered in association with Dive Worldwide, is worth more than £4,000 and includes seven nights at Fiji's premier eco adventure resort Matava, and ten guided dives.

'We hope to raise £10,000 for these two remarkable charities and we thing the lure of Fiji will be too hard to ignore for hundreds of divers,' said Stuart Keasley of Bite-Back at Cancer. 'Considering that two people will experience this breath-taking holiday for £5 each we hope the diving community can get behind this stunning prize and share the excitement of experiencing Fiji for just 71p per person per day! How amazing is that?'

Famous as the soft coral capital of the world, Fiji is also known for encounters with manta rays and sharks including hammerhead, grey reef and silvertip sharks.

The winning ticket will be drawn at the Bite-Back at Cancer Ball on 24 Sep 2011.

Buy your tickets now!

Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll - Maldives

The protected waters of Hanifaru Bay, in the Baa Atoll, are a popular destination for liveboards, especially during the month of August. During the southwest monsoon, scores of manta rays and whale sharks congregate in the small channel to consume zooplankton that is trapped in huge densities. A spectacular natural phenomenon, not to be missed!

The Baa Atoll has recently been designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, a significant achievement for the Maldives. This has prompted a surge of tourism interest in the area, requiring local bodies to balance the impact and sustainability objectives of the biosphere with the new income. Government organisations and environmental bodies have highlighted the need for proper management of the area in order that the programme is successful.

The listing recognises “where local communities are actively involved in governance and management, research, education, training and monitoring at the service of both socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation,” UNESCO said in a statement.

Baa Atoll, Maldives, harbours globally significant biodiversity in its numerous reefs and demonstrates a long history of human interaction with the environment. Covering approximately 139,700 ha of coastal/marine areas, the site is representative of the Maldives’ high diversity of reef animals, with stony and soft corals, reef associated fish species, marine turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. In addition to its 12,170 inhabitants, some 350,000 tourists visit the biosphere reserve annually. As part of a Global Environment Facility (GEF) project, the site has great potential for demonstrating sustainable development throughout the Maldives and the region, while relying on a green economy. (UNESCO)

As of 01 July 2011, the local resort islands only offer snorkelling in Hanifaru Bay and the liveaboards with permits will continue to offer diving until the end of the season. Regulations on number of visitors are already in place and from January 2012, no one will be allowed to dive in the bay.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 2011 Ultimate Dive Spots

  • Malta & Gozo - Escorted Wreck trip and Top Dive Sites
  • Ecuador & Galapagos Islands - Island Hopping with Red Mangrove
  • Indonesia - Wakatobi's Top Dive Sites
  • Bali Diving Academy - Dive Safari
  • Maldives - AAA Hotels & Zitahli Resorts & Spa and Werner Lau
  • Philippines - Atlantis Resorts and Liveaboard
  • Fujairah, UAE - Le Meridien Al Aqah and Al Boom Diving
  • Zanzibar's Top Dive Sites

Click here to view our online version.

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 2011 Ultimate Dive Spots

  • Sea Bees - Pak Meng, Thailand
  • Worldwide Dive & Sail - Asia
  • Extra Divers - Explore Indonesia
  • Extra Divers - Oman
  • Pom Pom Island Resort - Borneo
  • Selkies Dive Centre - Malta
  • Euro Divers - Maldives

Click here to view our online version.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Information in Regard to Closure of Dive Sites in Thailand

As reported recently in the media, due to higher than normal sea water temperatures in 2010, some of the hard corals around the Similan and Surin Islands have been damaged by coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is a well-known phenomenon and has occurred several times in various parts of the world over the past century. The term covers an event where the symbiotic coloured algae living inside the coral are released due to stress (high temperature, for example). When the algae have been released, the coral appears white, hence the term “coral bleaching”.

In the Similan and Surin Islands, the highest impact has been on hard corals in shallow water, where the sea temperature is generally higher than in deeper water. Corals located deeper than 12 meters have suffered no or very little damage.

Local authorities have decided to close certain reefs for protection. We as a responsible operator welcome this decision and are eager to do everything within our control to protect and conserve the wonderful underwater world.

Only two out of 17 of the temporary closed reefs are located in the Similan Islands Marine National Park and many can be found in areas where diving is not permitted. Local dive spots around Phuket and Pak Meng are not affected.

With some excellent Manta Ray sightings guests on the liveaboards as well as on the day trip boats have been enjoying some exciting dives.