Sri Lanka Emerges as a New Dive Destination, with Launch of First Ever Liveaboard
Island Hopping with Diving Becomes Available on Local Islands in the Maldives
The tiny island of Sri Lanka may be best known for its Buddhist ruins, but it is also an emerging dive destination. A sure sign of this latest trend is the arrival this September (2016) of the island’s first ever liveaboard, the Sri Lanka Aggressor, to be introduced by Dive Worldwide. Another first for Dive Worldwide, and never seen before, is an authentic Maldivian island-hopping dive experience with stays in local guesthouses.
From bespoke holidays to expert-led small groups, the leading specialist in scuba diving trips offers underwater escapes for all budgets including diving holidays for clubs or groups of friends. Regardless of diving ability, whether travelling solo or with a buddy, choose from resorts and iconic liveaboards in over 45 countries from Malta to Tahiti and plenty in between.
WHAT’S NEW FOR SUMMER 2016 & BEYOND
ISLAND HOPPING & LIVING LIKE A LOCAL IN THE MALDIVES
Dive Worldwide is first to encapsulate a new dive trend for living like a local while diving the famous sites in the Maldives’ South Malé Atoll. Its brand new island hopping adventure for summer 2016 includes stays in small guesthouses on two lesser-known Maldivian islands.
Until now it has only been possible to dive the Maldives from a liveaboard or stay in a single resort and, while island hopping is popular in the Philippines and Thailand, it is virtually unheard of in the Maldives. Tune into a slower pace with a morning dive, followed by a relaxing afternoon, enjoying the local food and culture, with the chance to rub shoulders with local people during the evening.
Time is divided between two islands on the South Malé Atoll, diving popular sites such as Embudhoo Kandu, Guraidhoo Thila and Kandooma Caves, including those in marine protected areas. Underwater highlights include drift dives, soft corals, caves, turtles, wrasse, grouper, sharks and eagle rays. The journey begins on Maafushi, a tiny island with a thriving community before moving further south to Guraidhoo, a small island with a 2,300 strong fishing community, renowned for boat building. Importantly, the island hopping is by ordinary day boat which is so much more economical than the usual sea plane transfers on offer to other visitors.
Price: A 9-day dive trip costs from £1,725pp based on 2 sharing, including return flights from the UK, accommodation, transfers and diving.
SRI LANKA – AN EMERGING DIVE DESTINATION
Once an extension to the Maldives, Sri Lanka is an emerging dive destination in its own right, with its offer of tropical waters and teeming sea life. The year-round destination also provides an array of topside attractions from ancient architecture to palm-fringed tropical beaches, temperate tea plantations and jungle habitats. From September 2016 Dive Worldwide is to offer the first ever (and newly built) liveaboard, the Sri Lanka Aggressor, with three separate itineraries available: whale and dolphin snorkelling, recreational diving, and technical wreck weeks.
The inaugural whale and dolphin snorkelling trip begins from Trincomalee encountering up to 13 species of whale and eight species of dolphin under the expert eye of world-renowned naturalist Howard Martenstyn. Recreational diving trips depart from Colombo and offer tremendous variety from local wreck to drift dives. Wreck diving enthusiasts can enjoy technical diving on world-class wrecks such as the HMS Hermes, the first ever British-built aircraft carrier, now lying at a depth of 54 metres.
The Sri Lanka Aggressor is a purpose-built, 44-metre yacht that is accompanied by two launches. Generous on board facilities include 13 air-conditioned cabins, a dive deck lounge, wet bar, BBQ grill area and a swim deck. A four day extension is available staying in a 5-star tented camp with big game viewing at Minneriya and Wilpattu parks, and the opportunity to spot leopard, deer, monkeys and birdlife. There are also side trips to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Sigiriya Rock Palace and the ancient city of Anuradhapura.
Price: A 10-day liveaboard costs from £2,455pp based on 2 sharing, including return flights from the UK, accommodation, transfers and diving. A 4-day safari extension costs from £1,100pp. A 50% discount is offered on the cost of the liveaboard on all departures from 10-17 September 2016.
SMALL GROUP ADVENTURES
For those who prefer to join like-minded souls on their underwater adventures, there are a host of opportunities to buddy-up with group diving experiences for 2016 and 2017. Among them are:
Great for experienced divers, join these special weeks in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal coast and at Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique to see as many different shark species as possible, while learning to understand their behaviour and how they see divers.
Price: 9 nights’ B&B costs from £1,535pp inc all flights, 14 dives, weights and transfers. Selected departures.
Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia is widely considered to offer the most spectacular and varied diving on earth. Join a 10-night liveaboard adventure on the elegant S/Y Indo Siren and, with marine Biologist Dr. Richard Smith, take in the finest dive sites at the epicentre of the Coral Triangle.
Price: 15 days from £4,350pp inc flights, mostly full board, transfers, expert leader and up to 4 dives per day. Depart 28 Feb 2017.
Book now for June 2017, joining instructor Neil Bennett at the very pinnacle of his sport to explore this incredible WW2 underwater battle site in Micronesia, with countless wrecks at diveable depths – a region that is without equal in the world of wreck diving.
Price: 13 nights’ full board from £3,495pp inc diving, transfers, expert instructor, Truk diving permit, Nitrox up to 30%. Depart 28 June 2017.
For more information, visit www.diveworldwide.com or call +44 (0)1962 302087.