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Be won over with Regaldive

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For those who like to visit the latest destinations, then diving holiday specialist Regaldive suggests a visit to Tobago, the Azores or Tanzania. Fast growing in reputation and popularity, these three destinations have seen visitor numbers soar in recent years – so what is it that’s winning over divers?

Offering great value for money and unforgettable experiences above and below the water, it’s no surprise that Tobago has grown in popularity over the past few years. Attracting a well-deserved reputation for enormous brain corals and thrilling drift dives, Tobago is home to the largest Brain Coral colony and best drift dives in the Caribbean. With over 20 dive sites located close by and attracting a huge array of marine life including sharks, rays, turtles, schools of tarpon, jackfish and the occasional whale shark, Tobago offers something for all interests. Seven nights’ at the small and friendly Toucan Inn cost from £789 per person, to include flights, transfers and B&B accommodation. A five day dive pack costs from £237 per person, to include two boat dives per day, air tanks and weights.

Proving to be another hot destination on the ‘must travel’ list, the Azores are home to a host of unique experiences and are fast developing a reputation for some of the finest diving on the planet. Best visited between July and October, the islands are home to many challenging dive sites, stunning underwater arches, tunnels, caves and cliffs. A haven for sub-tropical fish, the islands are also commonly frequented by beaked, sperm and fin whales, humpbacks, false killer whales, spotted, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, turtles and an array of different shark species. Seven nights’ at the Hotel Talisman on the island of Sao Miguel cost from just £649 per person, to include flights, transfers and B&B accommodation. A four dive boat dive pack costs from  £109 per person.

For those looking to jump on a slightly more indulgent bandwagon, Tanzania is fast-becoming the destination for combined above and below the water experiences. Divers can admire manta rays, humpback whales, turtles, whale sharks and dolphins, while on dry land they can spot the Big 5 in the country’s world-renowned national parks. Safaris can be added on to dive packages through Regaldive. Seven nights’ at the Manta Resort overlooking the stunning Pemba Channel cost from £1,901 per person to include flights, transfer and all inclusive accommodation. A six dives dive pack costs from £170 per person, to include air tanks, weights, belt and guide, and a five day Serengeti Safari costs from £1,280 per person.

Andreas Elia, Managing Director of Regaldive commented “It’s great to see that Tobago, the Azores and Tanzania are now developing such well-deserved reputations amongst divers. Over the past year alone, here at Regaldive we have seen huge increases in booking numbers for these countries”.

He continued “With double the amount of people booking to travel to Tobago and Tanzania this year, and a 70% increase in the amount of people booking the Azores – it’s clear to see that these destinations really are the place to dive!”

For further information, or to book, visit www.regaldive.co.uk or call +44 (0)1353 659 999.

Marine Life & Conservation

Save the Manatee Club launches brand new webcams at Silver Springs State Park, Florida

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Save the Manatee® Club has launched a brand-new set of underwater and above-water webcams at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, FL. These new cameras add to our existing cameras at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida, and Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, in Homosassa, Florida, which are viewed by millions of people worldwide. The cameras are a collaboration between Save the Manatee Club, Explore.org, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, who made the new live streaming collaboration possible via support of their interpretative program.

The above-water camera is a stationary pan/tilt/zoom camera that will show manatees and other wildlife from above water, while the new underwater camera provides the viewer with a brand new, exciting 180-degree viewing experience. Viewers can move the cameras around, trying to spot various fish and manatees.

The Silver River, which originates at Silver Springs, provides important habitat for manatees and many other species of wildlife. Over recent years, more manatees have been seen utilizing the Silver and Ocklawaha rivers. “The webcams provide a wonderful entertainment and educational tool to the general public, but they also help us with the manatee research,” says Patrick Rose, Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club. “We have learned so much through observing manatees on our existing webcams, and the new cameras at Silver Spring can add to the existing manatee photo-ID research conducted in this area, as well as highlighting Silver Springs and the Silver River as an important natural habitat for manatees.”

The webcams are streaming live during the daytime, with highlights playing at night, and can be viewed on Explore.org and on Save the Manatee Club’s website at ManaTV.org.

Save the Manatee Club, established in 1981 by the late renowned singer-songwriter, author, and entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett, along with former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, is dedicated to safeguarding manatees and preserving their aquatic habitat. For more information about manatees and the Club’s efforts, visit savethemanatee.org or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).

Photo: www.avalon.red

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Dive Worldwide introduces three new resorts ahead of Go Diving Show

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Ahead of Go Diving (2-3 March, Stoneleigh Park), the leading scuba diving exhibition that marks the start of the dive season, Dive Worldwide has introduced three new resorts, each one set in a world class diving location. Among them is Coral Eye Resort in Indonesia, an eco-friendly island retreat with a welcoming community vibe where like-minded people get excited about the marine world and all its wonders.

Dive Worldwide has the largest programme in the UK of tailor-made and small group liveaboard and resort-based diving holidays to over 200 destinations worldwide, catering for beginners and experienced divers alike.

NEW RESORTS

Coral Eye Resort, Bangka Island, Indonesia

Founded as an outpost for marine studies, Coral Eye is a boutique resort on Bangka Island, east of Sumatra, which has been transformed into a diver’s paradise. Today Coral Eye, set in the heart of the Coral Triangle, attracts a community of visitors who share a passion for the sea. Its eco-friendly villas are designed to blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings.

From Coral Eye and the Coral Eye Dive Centre, it is possible to discover more than 30 world-class dive sites– each within 40 minutes of the beachfront dive centre – along with the fascinating volcanic topography and varied marine life around Bangka Island in North Sulawesi. From the beautiful house reef to steep coral-covered pinnacles, charming critters, turtles, and abundant reef fish, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Dives, up to four per day, are guided in groups of four by local guides with a wealth of experience and keen eyes.

Price: 9 nights at Coral Eye Resort from £2,775pp based on 2 sharing including Full board, transfer, 10 dives, tanks and weights

The Fives Beach Hotel and Residences, Mexico

This resort is an oceanfront haven where luxury meets adventure. Against a backdrop of lush greenery and a white sand coast in Playa del Carmen, The Fives Beach Hotel’s location in Riviera Maya provides access to a plethora of renowned dive sites, including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and the world-famous Cenotes.  Within the resort is The Fives Dive Centre with its range of SSI courses, from beginner to advanced.  Guests can dive with eagle rays and look for a splendid toadfish in Cozumel. Puerto Morelos has such a cool vibe above the water, but below the surface the National Park is also the best the Caribbean has to offer.

With a diverse range of accommodation, choose from stylish rooms with balconies to vibrant suites and oceanfront residences providing more privacy and a panorama of the Caribbean Sea. Beyond diving, guests can indulge in the hotel’s array of restaurants, relax with a cocktail by one of the hotel’s seven outdoor pools, explore the vibrant local culture at the nearby Mayan ruins or enjoy the hotel’s numerous cultural offerings.

Price: 7 nights at The Fives Beach Hotel and Residences costs from £3,145pp based on 2 sharing, all inclusive, including 8 ocean dives and 2 cenotes dives, tanks, weights and transfers

Aventuras Club – Mexico

Located in Puerto Aventuras, these stylish marina and lagoon view apartments, each with tasteful Caribbean interiors, are the perfect location for an ocean and Cenotes diving adventure. The 19 marina apartments offer views over the marina, while eight luxury lagoon apartments overlook a private bay in the lagoon and benefit from a small private beach and a swimming pool.

Diving the magical caves and passages of the world-famous Cenotes in Mexico is conducted with Maya Blue Dive Centre while ocean dives are provided through a local dive centre. The Mesoamerican reef system along the Riviera Maya is home to colourful coral gardens and marine life aplenty, providing an exciting and varied week of diving experiences including plenty of hawksbill turtle encounters.  Travel between June and September and add in a snorkelling trip to see the incredible gathering of whale sharks around Holbox Island or Isla Mujeres.

Price: The Cenotes & Reefs dive trip costs from £2,095pp based on 2 sharing including  7 nights at Aventuras Club, 6 ocean dives, 2 Cenotes dives, Tanks and weights and transfers.

For further information visit Dive Worldwide (diveworldwide.com, 01962 302087).

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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