Critters in Indonesia, St Helena in Style and Paradise in the Seychelles
Whether you are after a romantic escape to the Seychelles, thrilling, technical diving in Indonesia or the first diving group holiday offered to St Helena, specialist operator Dive Worldwide has introduced a trio of fabulous new holidays which take divers to some of the world’s most spectacular and little-visited locations.
With the advent of year-round direct flights to the Seychelles offered by British Airways (introduced spring 2018), the Indian Ocean country is more popular than ever before, but the secluded Alphonse Island still allows divers to get away from the crowds and relax in solitude. Equally Ambon in Indonesia, Dive Worldwide’s most popular destination for the last two years, is one of the country’s most adventurous dive sites with curious critters to see, far from the tourist trail. Finally, guests have the chance to dive St Helena’s pristine waters on a new group trip led by Danny Copeland, previous winner of the Rolex Scholar Award.
Remote and romantic, Alphonse Island in the Seychelles is a luxury resort, newly-offered by Dive Worldwide, perfect for those looking for the ultimate in peace and tranquillity alongside world-class diving. Lying some 400km southwest of Mahé, and reached only by private flights, Alphonse is an authentic slice of tropical paradise and guests stay in luxurious suites or bungalows just steps from the beach. There’s a restaurant serving produce grown on the island, bicycles in each bungalow for exploring the nearby sandy beaches and kayaking opportunities. It is beneath the waters, though, where the resort’s true value is revealed with the PADI-affiliated dive centre offering up to three dives a day to the 30-plus sites around the island. Divers can expect marine encounters with green and hawksbill turtles, large groups of schooling barracuda and both eagle and manta rays.
Price: from £6,695pp sharing, including 8 nights’ accommodation (1 B&B in Mahé, 7 full board in Alphonse), private resort flights from Mahé to Alphonse, transfers, 10 guided boat dives and return flights from the UK.
This two-centred Indonesia holiday takes guests to the heart of the Coral Triangle, the most biodiverse place on the planet, visiting both the region’s lesser-known and more popular diving areas. Divers begin this unique holiday in Ambon, a premier muck diving location where, for the few that travel here, the rewards are immense. The dive sites range from black sand and rubble to jetties and wrecks, all home to a prolific marine life including but not limited to rhinopias, octopus and seahorse with the psychedelic frogfish undoubtedly the star of the show. The holiday then shifts to Raja Ampat, an archipelago off the coast of West Papua that is a must-visit on any diver’s bucket list. Staying in over-water bungalows at Papua Paradise Eco Resort, guests have six nights to explore the area’s staggering biodiversity where the waters teem with some 1,300 species, including mantas, sharks and dugong.
Price: from £3,375pp sharing, including 12 nights’ full board accommodation (5 in Ambon, 6 Raja Ampat, 1 Sorong), 19 boat dives, tanks and weights, transfers and return flights from the UK.
Marooned in the waters of the South Atlantic, until recently St Helena could only be reached by postal ship making it expensive and largely inaccessible. However, the advent of a new flight service from Johannesburg has opened up the island and its pristine waters to the adventurous diver. Here there are over 750 species to discover, the highlight though, and the focus of the new trip, is the aggregations of whale sharks. Large numbers of fully grown male and female whale sharks mysteriously aggregate in St Helena’s warm waters every year, and guests will enjoy three snorkelling excursions with these massive animals, ensuring an incredible and intimate experience. Topside, guests stay at the luxurious Mantis St Helena, an impressive, historic building in the heart of Jamestown, which once served as the barracks for the East India Company. They will also learn more about the history and heritage of the island with a private tour of the plantation house and estates and visits to a coffee farm and distillery.
Price: from £4,195pp sharing, including 2 nights’ B&B in South Africa, 7 nights’ B&B in St Helena, some meals, 10 boat dives, 3 whale shark snorkelling excursions, 2 land tours, expert guiding by Danny Copeland, transfers and return flights from the UK. Depart 14 February 2019.
For more information, please visit www.diveworldwide.com or call the Dive Worldwide Team on 01962 302 087.