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Dive holiday offers from Scuba Travel

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Check out the latest dive travel offers from our friends at UK-based Tour Operator Scuba Travel…

8th June – Book 6 spaces for only £1192.50 per person

With only 12 places onboard, Tempest is a spacious and comfortable choice for discerning divers. Departing from Hurghada, you will spend 7 nights on board on a full board basis (twin share cabin). This is a classic itinerary in the Northern Red Sea with up to 22 dives over the week. All marine park fees, 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package – please pre-book nitrox and 15lt tanks before travel. All trips are fully guided with two expert guides. Flights are with easyJet from Gatwick and transfers are also included. At the end of the week, you will have day use of a hotel and buffet lunch while you wait for your flight home. Excluded are the Egyptian entry visa, alcohol, nitrox, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. Please let your travel consultant know if you would like to prebook any PADI courses on board or have any dietary requirements.

Click here to book this offer!


 SharkQuest on 9th May for only £1195

Come face to face with pelagics in the Southern Red Sea and save £200 with this amazing early bird offer. Dive with the most experienced team, on board the stable steel hulled Hurricane. Avoid long transfers with a direct flight to Marsa Alam.

Dive the famous Daedalus Reef, Brothers Islands, Rocky or Elphinstone dependant on the best shark activity – night diving is prohibited in some of these areas so expect around 18 dives in total. All fees, 12 L tank & weights and FREE NITROX are included in your package. All trips are fully guided with two expert guides. Flights are with Thomson/Thomas Cook from Gatwick and transfers are included. At the end of the week, a day use room and lunch at a hotel is included while you wait for your flight home. The only costs not included are the Egyptian entry visa, alcohol, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. This holiday is suitable for advanced divers with a minimum of 50 dives and comfortable in the blue.

Click here to book your place!


Save £155 on the Wrecks and Reefs trip on 15th June

Sail away this 15th June on the ever popular, award winning Whirlwind. This is a classic itinerary in the Northern Red Sea with up to 22 dives over the week. Departing from Hurghada, you will spend 7 nights on board on a full board basis (twin share cabin). All marine park fees, 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package. Flights are with easyJet from Gatwick and transfers are also included. At the end of the week, you will have day use of a hotel and buffet lunch while you wait for your flight home.

Wrecks and Reefs is the ideal itinerary whatever your experience level. A popular route for those new to the Red Sea, the varied depths across dive sites suit all abilities – from novice to tekkie. Visibility is crystal clear and the warm blue waters are perfect for even the longest dive times. Water temperatures typically range between 20 and 28 degrees throughout the year. Diving can be accessed whatever the season, either by boat or RIB. Currents push nutrients rich water from north to south, giving you plenty of opportunity for exhilarating drift dives. Travel times between dive sites are short leaving more time for relaxing. Few other dive destinations can offer the same quality and quantity of top dive sites. This itinerary will fill your log book with both wrecks and reefs that are envied the world over.

Book your place for £1195!


15th September – visit the Maldives and save £100

Wind your way between Male and Baa atolls, cherry picking the highlight dive sites and including snorkelling at Hanifaru Bay on board the exceptional Carpe Vita. From May 2019 enjoy a relaxing 3 dives a day with the Carpe Vita team including one or two night dives. All diving is from a dhoni tender, with 12lt tank and weights are included and free recreational nitrox. You have 7 nights on board on a full board basis (twin/double share cabin) – cabin upgrades available. Tea, coffee and drinking water are included in your package. All trips are fully guided. To pay on board are soft and alcoholic drinks, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. The green tax has been prepaid. Please let your travel consultant know if you would like to prebook any diving courses on board or have any dietary requirements.

This holiday excludes international flights to Male airport transfers. Scuba Travel are able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel. Transfers operate at fixed times.

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking

Click here to reserve your place onboard Carpe Vita!


8th June – experience the fantastic Oman Aggressor and save £900

A truly magical itinerary for divers that love reef diving and abundant biodiversity. You have 10 nights in a deluxe stateroom on a full board basis, including all soft drinks and a limited selection of local beer and wine with your evening meal. There are master cabin and suite upgrades available. simply ask your travel consultant at the time of booking. 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package. All trips are escorted with 2 expert divemasters. There is a USD200 Port/Marine Park fee per person to be paid on board. Excluded are the Oman entry visa, alcohol, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs.

Please let your travel consultant know if you would like to prebook any PADI courses on board or have any dietary requirements. Dinner on Friday evening is not included, although the crew will assist with recommendations and reservations. Transfers will be pre-booked but have to be paid for locally in cash USD35 per person per way – the transfer time will be advised locally.

This holiday does not include any international flights to Muscat airport MCT. Scuba Travel are able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel.

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking

Book your place for £2525!


31st May – save £300 at Malapascua Exotic Dive Resort

Thresher sharks are not the only great diving you will discover with Exotic Divers in Malapascua – reefs, sea snakes and macro life all await in these azure waters. Once you arrive in Cebu you will be picked up and taken by land and boat to Malapascua island. Your holiday package includes 7 nights in a deluxe room on a full board basis (twin share) – optional room grades available. As standard your package includes 10 dives. Please do ask your travel consultant if you would like to pre-book additional diving. The local marine park fees are 150php per day. Special day trips are organised and subject to a small supplemental charge paid locally. Flights are typically with Cathay Pacific, Singapore or Emirates airlines On leaving Cebu airport there is a terminal tax of approx $10 – this must be paid in local currency at the airport.

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking

Click here to book your place!


Murex Manado Summer Buddy Special 

Save £400 per person. Great value diving in Manado and Bunaken, Indonesia. Over 20 boat dives discover rich coral reefs and magical macro with the welcoming team from Murex Manado. Your holiday includes flights from Heathrow to Manado with Singapore Airlines, airport transfers and 10 nights deluxe cottage on a full board basis (2 people sharing). Local taxes are prepaid. Water, tea, and coffee are available free of charge, To pay locally are any drinks not included in your board basis, laundry, land excursions, Diving extras such as special trips to Bangka, private guiding, kit hire, courses and nitrox will all be billed in-resort. UK passport holder can obtain and FOC visa on arrival.

Click here to book this amazing holiday!

NO SINGLE PERSON OFFER

Minimum 10-night stay at Murex Manado and or Murex Bangka (can be 5 & 5 or any combination)


24th May – save £350 and visit Komodo onboard Mermaid II

Komodo dragons, manta and sharks await beneath the seas of Komodo Island with the highly experienced team on Mermaid 2! Your trip starts on arrival in Bali where you will be met and taken to your hotel for the night (B&B, twin share). You will be advised locally of your transfer time the following day to join Mermaid 2 (typically between 12:00-14:00).

This trip package is based on a twin deluxe cabin (full board). All trips are fully guided by expert dive guides and include 12lt tank, weights, full board, and soft drinks. 15lt tanks are free but must be pre-booked. There are usually a total of 20 dives over the course of your liveaboard. Excluded are the Komodo Park fees 175 euro, alcohol, additional kit hire, nitrox 96 euro and any souvenirs or private guiding services. At the end of your trip, you disembark around 08:00. You will be able to wait at the Mermaid guest lounge (all 4 Diving, Sanur Beach) until your transfer to the airport – your final transfer time will be advised locally.

Flights are usually with from Heathrow but this can vary and regional departures are available on request. Please note the final trip cost will depend on flight availability at the time of booking and seasonal liveaboard rates. All transfers are included. UK passport holders no longer need to pay for a visa on arrival in Bali.

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking

Book your place now.


17th August – save £1000 on the Bahamas Aggressor

10 NIGHTS FOR THE PRICE OF 7 – Dramatic walls, lush coral reefs and exciting animal encounters, especially the big fish! The Bahamas is high octane diving for all experience levels. Your Aggressor package is based on a full board basis in a deluxe cabin. A 12lt tank and weights, soft drinks and a selection of local alcoholic drinks are included in your package. Pack in up to 5 dives per day. All trips are fully briefed by expert guides. You have to pay the port fees locally, currently $158 for a 10 night liveaboard. Due to local regulations, transfers are not included, but taxis are readily available. Excluded are the departure tax, nitrox, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. Dinner on Friday night is not included.

This is a BOAT ONLY holiday. The cost does not include any international flights to Nassau international airport NAS. Scuba Travel are able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel. Do be aware that if your flight routes through the USA you must have an ESTA prior to travel. Local regulations prohibit pre-booked transfers – the crew will assist on arrival with taxis and give directions (approx $35pp each way).

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking

Click here to book this incredible offer!


Join Josef Litt, on his Galapagos escorted trip next 17th January

The trip of a lifetime fully escorted by Galapagos expert and published author Josef Litt. Experience ocean views as you dive through the Galapagos on board the elegant and spacious Majestic Explorer. Your liveaboard holiday is based on a twin share cabin – twin or queen bed double options – and on a full board basis, including alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, premium alcoholic beverages available for an additional charge. A 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package with 18-20 dives on average. All trips are fully guided with expert guides. The last night Sunday dinner is not included in your cruise. The crew will help with reservations and recommendations. To pay locally are the departure tax, the Galapagos park fees ($100), chamber tax ($35), tourist card ($20), fuel surcharge ($150) and nitrox ($150) on board.

This holiday does not include any international flights to Ecuador but is inclusive of your flight to Baltra from Guayaquil to join Majestic Explorer and a night in a Guayaquil hotel on either side of your liveaboard. Please ask for a competitive quote to add international flights from the UK to your reservation.

Do be aware that if your flight routes through the USA you must have an ESTA prior to travel.

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking

Click here to join the this once in a lifetime trip!


Save £1750 and dive Cocos Island onboard Argo on 13th May

Visit one of the last shark wildernesses of the world on board the premium liveaboard in Cocos, Argo. Your trip of a lifetime starts as you arrive at Cocos Island (approx 30-36 hours). Here you will enjoy 3 exciting dives a day plus 3 must-see night dives. Your liveaboard package is based on a twin share cabin (full board including soft drinks). All trips are fully guided and include 12lt tank, weights and free Nitrox. During the trip, an excursion will be made to the island. The Cocos Marine Park fees $490 must be prepaid and will be added to your holiday before travel. Onboard there is a mandatory search & recovery charge of $35, along with additional drinks, kit hire, souvenirs and tipping. Transfers in San Jose are included from the list of approved hotels. There is a departure tax on leaving Costa Rica (approx $35).

This holiday excludes international flights to San Jose Costa Rica (SJO). Scuba Travel strongly recommend you add a night in Costa Rica before and possibly after your liveaboard, depending on your flight times. These can be added to your booking, with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel. Do be aware that if your flight routes through the USA you must have an ESTA prior to travel.

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking

Click here to book this incredible offer


To find out more about Scuba Travel and the dive holidays they offer call 0800 0728221, email dive@scubatravel.com or visit www.scubatravel.com

Marine Life & Conservation

UK Shark Fin Trade ‘dead in the water’

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The government has today signalled the end of the UK’s involvement in the global shark fin trade with an announcement that new legislation will require all imported and exported shark fins to remain attached to the shark carcass and only traded as a whole commodity.

The news has been welcomed by Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation and its supporters including wildlife TV presenter Steve Backshall MBE and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who both endorsed the charity’s No Fin To Declare campaign, calling for a post-Brexit ban of the personal import allowance of shark fins to the UK.

Before Britain left the EU it had been bound by outdated legislation that permits anyone to carry up to 20kg of dried shark fins into and across European borders as part of their personal import allowance. According to Bite-Back, this loophole has been exploited by the shark fin trade to legally ‘smuggle’ fins undetected for decades.

Campaign director at Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “This news puts the UK at the forefront of shark conservation and represents a further blow to a global industry that is forcing sharks closer to the brink of extinction. We applaud the government for using Brexit to side-step this archaic EU legislation and instead lead the world in the conservation of sharks and the oceans. We hope and believe this announcement will encourage other European countries to impose similar constraints.”

It’s estimated that global fishing fleets hunt and kill 73 million sharks every year. As a result one in four shark species is now either endangered or threatened forcing populations of iconic shark species including great whites, hammerheads, oceanic whitetips and threshers to a tiny fraction of those recorded 50 years ago.

Over the past decade shark fins — used as the title ingredient in shark fin soup — have become one of the most valuable seafood items in the world, a fact the charity says, has created a ‘marine gold rush’ to catch and separate sharks from their lucrative fins.

Shark fin soup is widely regarded as a controversial dish. Not only are the cartilaginous strands from the fins tasteless, fishermen are known to cut the fins off the sharks they catch and throw the rest of the shark overboard to die.

Bite-Back first exposed the personal import allowance loophole in 2015. Alongside the detrimental environmental impact the NGO also highlighted that no other item on the ‘green channel’ list compared in terms of volume or value. In fact a 20kg consignment of fins is enough to make 705 bowls of shark fin soup and has a black market value of around £3,600.

Spain, France, Portugal and the UK all feature in the top 20 shark fishing nations in the world. Remarkably though, for years, the UK has exported around 25 tonnes of shark fins to Spain for processing and onward sale to the Far East.

However, it will soon become illegal to import or export individual shark fins making it extremely costly and inconvenient to buy and sell a product that is contributing to the decimation of vital shark populations.

Wildlife TV presenter and Bite-Back patron, Steve Backshall MBE, said: “Today’s news is a fantastic outcome for shark conservation and the culmination of years of campaigning from Bite-Back. The government’s decision to effectively ban the trade in shark fins will be significant in helping to restore the balance of the oceans. At the same time it sends a clear message to the world that shark fin soup belongs in the history books and not on the menu.”

Support shark and marine conservation at www.bite-back.com

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Protecting England’s Wreck Sites: Site Security Protocols Launched

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The security of heritage assets is of the utmost importance; a monetary value cannot be attached to the significance of a site or its associated artefacts. This statement is true for both on land and underwater sites.

The policing of underwater sites however, is often a trickier affair, with out-of-sight often equalling out-of-mind. Unfortunately, a site’s underwater location does not stop thieves from stealing or damaging artefacts.

To aid in the protection of our underwater cultural heritage, a selection of sites of historical, artistic and archaeological importance have been protected by law under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 (https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/what-is-designation/protected-wreck-sites/). Historic England manage these sites on behalf of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, Digital and Sport (DCMS), and a team of Licensees, effectively voluntary custodians, play a key role in their ongoing management.

The licensees work tirelessly on the wrecks and have had a special relationship with them since the very first days of the Protection of Wrecks Act. If it wasn’t for them, many of the sites would still be unknown and we would have very little knowledge of many of the existing sites. Their presence on the sites acts as a deterrent to anyone thinking of accessing the sites illegally and their monitoring ensures that the sites are understood and enjoyed by many people.

To further aid in the physical protection of these significant sites, Historic England funded a partnership project between the Protected Wreck Association (PWA https://protectedwrecks.org.uk/) and MSDS Marine (https://msdsmarine.com/). This national-level project has seen the development of Site Security Plans for protected wreck sites. The model developed is based on the highly successful model developed by Ron Howell and the SWMAG team who are Licensees for the Salcombe Cannon and Moor Sands protected wreck sites.

A Site Security Plan is the end result of a process which assesses how secure a site is from illegal access. By completing two very easy to use but highly specialised forms, the site is given:

  • Its own Site Security Champion
  • Its own Heritage Crime Officer in the Police
  • A level of risk of heritage crime occurring to enable appropriate response to be put in place and to allow targeting of resources
  • Quick win opportunities to decrease its level of risk
  • A protocol for the licensees to follow every time they access the site
  • Specialist guidelines to enable crime reporting to enforcement authorities
  • A toolkit consisting of: A High Vis vest, to help identify the Site Security Champion to the public / authorities and pocket-sized card, summarising guidance on reporting crimes.

The project team will be supporting Licensees and their teams in completing a Site Security Plan and Risk Assessment for each Protected Wreck Site. MSDS Marine will be contacting Licensees inviting them to book a slot to work through the process. Individual Licensees and teams can also follow the guidance to complete the documents on their own with MSDS Marine on hand to support as required.

The Site Security Forms are accessible on the Protected Wreck Association website, in the members only area https://protectedwrecks.org.uk/members-area/site-security/ . If you are not a member and would like to join, this is an excellent time, as its free!

Assessing the security of a wreck site will inform Historic England of any sites which are at a high risk of heritage crime, and aid them in the future management of these sites. It will assist Licensees in highlighting areas for concern and in turn offer positive actions that can be taken to reduce the threat. It is hoped that the scheme will help put practical measures in place to ensure that the sites are protected from illegal activity in future.

Alison James, Project Manager at MSDS Marine said: “I spent ten years working at Historic England managing England’s protected wreck sites and at times was incredibly frustrated by being unable to ‘police’ the sites. The model we have developed is based on the highly successful model developed by SWMAG which has been shown to work on a number of occasions. We hope this will make a real difference to the sites and the teams that work on them.”

Professor Mike Williams, Chair of the Protected Wreck Association said: “We are delighted and grateful that Historic England has funded this project. It will enable us to undertake valuable work to support our members, who are dedicated volunteers protecting our maritime heritage.”

Hefin Meara, Marine Archaeologist at Historic England said: “We are pleased to support this important project and recognise the enormous contribution that licensed volunteer divers are making to help protect England’s fascinating marine historic environment.”

For more information please visit www.ProtectedWrecks.org.uk , www.MSDSMarine.co.uk, and www.historicengland.org.uk.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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