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Best Liveaboard Trips for 2017

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If you are aiming to pack in more dives in 2017, nothing beats a liveaboard trip for great value and access to remote dive sites. Liveaboard trips are Regaldive guests’ most popular diving holiday option, with options to suit all levels of experience. Liveaboards range from good value choices to luxurious, high spec boats.

If wreck diving is your thing, or if you want to encounter sharks and other large marine life, a liveaboard trip can help you tick off many of the boxes on your diving wish list.  If you are travelling as a large group, you could even plan your preferred itinerary. Free group places are also available.

We have highlighted some of our most popular liveaboard destinations in this article. Our other top destinations include: Bahamas, Caribbean, Cocos Island, Djibouti, Fiji, French Polynesia, Oman, Palau, Philippines, Socorro Islands, Sudan, Thailand and Truk Lagoon.

MALDIVES

Diving in the Maldives is influenced by the seasonal monsoons, which in turn affects both the underwater visibility and the marine life. Liveaboards follow these variations, taking divers to the best sites accordingly. The boats generally operate in the central atolls. In recent years access to more remote atolls has become available. Regaldive feature liveaboards that cover these exciting new atolls, ranging from Haa-Alifu in the far north, to Huvadhoo in the far south. These atolls represent the new ‘frontiers’ of diving in the Maldives and lie well beyond traditional tourist maps. Regaldive’s most popular boats include Emperor Serenity, Emperor Leo and Carpe Diem.

RED SEA

Itineraries in the Red Sea usually follow a Northern or Southern itinerary. In the north the reef at Abu Nuhas is accessible from Hurghada with several wrecks resting at its base. You can also visit the Straits of Gubal and the famous Thistlegorm. There are also many world class dive sites in the southern Red Sea including the stunning reefs of Fury Shoal, the wrecks of Big Brother and the amazing marine life of Elphinstone: an ideal site to encounter hammerheads and oceanic whitetips. Regaldive’s most popular boats include Emperor Elite, Emperor Voyager and MY Nimar.

INDONESIA

Liveaboard diving in Indonesia is often undertaken in remote locations. Some of the dives can be quite challenging, suiting only more experienced divers in exciting, bizarre and unpredictable currents. Volcanic in origin, the area is a centre of marine biodiversity and has only recently been recognised for the superb world class diving that it has to offer. Regaldive’s liveaboard itineraries include Komodo, Flores & Alors, Ambon and Raja Ampat. Liveaboard diving does not get more adventurous than this… Regaldive’s most popular boats include Indo Siren, Mermaid II and Dewi Nusantara.

GALAPAGOS

The top of many wish lists, the Galapagos Islands are a diver’s mecca. Isolated from any continental landmass, the Galapagos enjoys a completely unique biodiversity that is simply spectacular. These actively volcanic islands host a distinct and unique flora and fauna, including creatures found nowhere else on earth. The world famous sites of Darwin & Wolf support a large concentration of the amazing marine life that makes the Galapagos the superb dive destination that it is. Schools of hammerheads, dolphins and rays make these islands a highlight for many divers. Another highlight is the whale shark aggregation that occurs in the warmer water surrounding these islands. Hammerhead sharks and other shark species also make regular appearances in numbers year round. Regaldive’s most popular boats include Humboldt Explorer, Aggressor III, Galapagos Master and Galapagos Sky.

Whatever liveaboard destination you choose, you can be sure of a large helping of top notch diving, combined with a friendly, knowledgeable crew and the company of a like-minded group of divers. Liveaboards are a great option to pack in your dives in 2017 and with Regaldive’s Winter Sale already underway this January, your liveaboard trip will be easy on your wallet too. Bon voyage!

For help with planning your next diving adventure, call the friendly Regaldive team on 01353 659999 or visit www.regal-diving.co.uk.

All photos © John Butland

John, Sales Manager for UK-based tour operator Diverse Travel, learnt to dive in 2002 and was instantly hooked. Most of his travel now revolves around diving having travelled abroad to dive over 40 times since learning including 18 times to the Red Sea. John says that although every dive trip has its special moments, sharks do feature quite highly on his wish list and is lucky enough to have had close encounters with nearly thirty shark species. Diverse Travel has been organising diving holidays for over five years and the team has over 40 years’ combined experience. Diverse Travel offers liveaboards and resort-based holidays in over 20 worldwide destinations. Find out more at www.diversetravel.co.uk.

Marine Life & Conservation

Dive Guides invited to apply for the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship

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Reef-World’s campaign is helping dive guides in need receive Green Fins environmental certification

The Reef-World Foundation – international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – is calling for dive guides to submit their application for the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship.

As a result of the Scholarship campaign, dive guides working around the world – including Brazil, the Philippines, Egypt, Colombia, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey – have received their certificate proving their status as a Green Fins certified dive guide. Yet, thanks to funding from Reef-World’s partner Paralenz, 149 more scuba diving guides will be able to receive their Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course environmental certification.

Dive guides who meet the criteria (outlined below) can apply for the scholarship at any time through the Green Fins website. To be eligible for the scholarship, guides must:

  • have completed and passed all modules of the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course
  • be able to demonstrate they or their employer are not financially able to purchase the certificate
  • be a national of a country which receives official development assistance from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Scholarship was created in response to feedback from dive guides who had passed the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course and were keen to download and display their personalised electronic certificate but were not financially able to cover the associated cost (£19 / $25 USD). The personalised electronic certificate can be displayed to entice eco-minded guests by informing them the guide has received this vital environmental certification and is aware of how to reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with diving.

Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris as well as the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures. The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course, created with the support of Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS) and running on their innovative EVO e-learning platform, teaches dive professionals how to prevent diving-related damage to coral reefs by following the highest environmental standards and better managing their guests to prevent damage to the reef.

Sam Craven, Programmes Manager at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’re proud to be offering dive guides around the world the opportunity to become Green Fins certified; no matter their background. Both the e-Course and the Scholarship have been a great success so far and we’re delighted to see so many dive professionals demonstrating their commitment to sustainable tourism by taking the course. We urge dive guides who haven’t yet taken the course to consider taking this step and welcome Scholarship applications from anyone who meets the criteria. Together, we can protect coral reefs through sustainable diving and we’d love as many dive guides as possible to join us.”


Dive guides who want to be considered for scholarship can visit www.greenfins.net/green-fins-dive-guide-scholarship-applications to apply.

To donate to the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship Fund, please visit www.greenfins.net/appeal/sponsor-a-dive-guide.

Supporters who are interested in helping additional dive guides receive their certifications can also donate to Sponsor a Dive Guide.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Go Fish Free this February

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There are no longer plenty more fish in the sea! Fish Free February challenges you to help protect our oceans by removing seafood from your diet for 28 days and helping to raise awareness of the issues caused by intensive fishing practices.

Our oceans are in a state of global crisis, brought about by ocean warming, acidification, pollution, and habitat destruction. However, the biggest immediate threat to ocean life is from fisheries. Each year an estimated 1-2.7 trillion fish are caught for human consumption, though this figure does not include illegal fisheries, discarded fish, fish caught to be used as bait, or fish killed by not caught, so the real number is far higher. It is no wonder then, that today nearly 90% of the world’s marine stocks are fully exploited, overexploited or depleted. If we do not act fast, overfishing and damaging fishing practices will soon destroy the ocean ecosystems which produce 80% of the oxygen in our atmosphere and provide three billion people with their primary source of protein.

Fish Free February, a UK-registered charity, is challenging people around the world to take action for marine life in a simple but effective way. Take the Fish Free February Pledge and drop seafood from your diet for one month, or beyond. Fish Free February wants to get people talking about the wide range of issues associated with industrial fishing practices and putting the well-being of our oceans at the forefront of dietary decision-making. A third of all wild-caught fish are used to create feed for livestock, so Fish Free February urges us to opt for plant-based dishes as a sustainable alternative to seafood, sharing our best fish-free recipes on social media with #FishFreeFebruary and nominating our friends to do the same.

“Not all fishing practices are bad” explains Simon Hilbourne, founder of Fish Free February. “Well-managed, small-scale fisheries that use selective fishing gears can be sustainable. However, most of the seafood in our diet comes from industrial fisheries which often prioritise profit over the well-being of our planet, resulting in multiple environmental challenges. In some cases, the fishing industry has even been linked to serious human rights issues such as forced labour and human trafficking! Fish Free February hopes to shed more light on fishing practices, create wider discussion around these issues, and offer solutions to benefit people, wildlife, and the natural environment.”

To learn more about these issues and to take the Fish Free February pledge visit www.fishfreefebruary.com

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Competitions

This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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