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Great Maldives and Red Sea liveaboard deals in Scuba Travel’s Easter Flash Sale

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Looking for a last minute get-away? Look no further than these amazing Easter Flash Sale prices on Emperor Liveaboards from Scuba Travel.

The Maldives is a must see location for all divers. Dive the classic sites that make the Malidves so famous and enjoy the diverse combination of scenic reefs and pelagics a plenty.

Here are the details:

Maldives / Orion Liveaboard / 7 nights / 6th May / Only £1595

Save an incredible £600 on this 7 night full board package to the Maldives aboard the exceptional Liveaboard Orion. Also included in this great price are return flights, up to 3 fully guided dhoni dives per day and full atol protection.

The exact order of things on the Best of The Maldives itinerary is left deliberately flexible to ensure that no matter what time of year your holiday to the Maldives is, the breathtaking world underwater is unveiled in all its perfection. With so many excellent and remarkable sites in and around North – South Male Atolls and the Ari Atolls, the route that can be dived time and time again. Surely no one can tire of the jaw dropping diversity and life on display. From the tiny creatures that thrill macro lovers to the elegant and inspiring big fish, there more than enough to keep you coming back for more.

Orion is a generously proportioned liveaboard. The upper deck is perfect for relaxing after a days diving with a jacuzzi and small shaded seating area alongside the main bar. Chill out in the sunshine on the wide fly deck sun loungers and soak up the relaxed atmosphere on board as you sail between the picture perfect islands and atolls that make up this island nation.

To check out all our great Easter Flash Sale Prices on the Emperor Fleet click here.

Maldives / Emperor Serenity / 7 nights in April from £1795

Save up to £600 in April for 7 nights full board on the stunning Emperor Serenity, return flights, up 3 fully guided dives a day and full atol protection all included in this fantastic package.

Dive the classic sites that made the Maldives so famous. Focusing on the hottest sites around Male & Ari atolls, there are pelagics a plenty, with manta, sharks and even whalesharks. Dive the seasonal highlights – mix up big fish, manta and shark dives with scenic reefs dives, hunting out the smallest reef fish, morays and macro life that are so abundant.

Emperor Serenity is a contemporary, spacious liveaboard where fine accommodation and service is standard. This sleek boat was built in the Maldives specifically for divers. Stand out from the crowd as you moor in the picture perfect Maldivian atolls. Spaces are selling fast so call now to book yourself on this luxurious liveaboard.

Find out more about this trip here.

Maldives / Emperor Atoll / 10th June / Only £1395

How can you resist this fantastic price for a week aboard Emperor Atoll in the Maldives including return flights, 7 nights full board, an average of 17 fully guided dives, opportunities to snorkel with whalesharks and don’t forget by booking a package with Scuba Travel you have full atol protection.

This Pelagic Magic itinerary is great for any level of diver, with a special focus on the whalesharks of Ari atoll. Come face to face with these gorgeous beasts as you snorkel through the warm waters. Dive with the Maldives’ other pelagic inhabitants – manta and sharks – at the season’s very best sites.

Emperor Atoll is a traditional Maldives liveaboard. If you are looking for an affordable way to access the full range of dive sites in this world class destination, then look no further. With only 6 cabins for 12 divers she might be smaller than some of her sister ships, but her charm lies in her open, airy layout and warm welcome, so don’t delay – book your trip now.

Find out more about this trip here.

Northern Red Sea / Mistral Liveaboard / Get Wrecked Escorted by Mike Ward / 20th May / Only £1195

Package includes 7 nights full board on the stable Red Sea Liveaboard Mistral, up to 21 fully guided dives, hotel day use and lunch on the last day.

The Escorted Get Wrecked tour gives you the chance to pick the brains of Scuba Travel’s on board expert Mike Ward whilst visiting the world class wreck dives of the the Northern Red Sea/ Mike has been running wreck trips with Scuba Travel for several years and few can compete with his encyclopeadic knowledge of the Red Sea wrecks. He has an intimate knowledge of each site visited and is more than happy to talk about the history of the wrecks – and from which angle you get the best photographs.

This itinerary is wreck-tastic and is suitable for any level diver; diving wrecks from 5 to 50m, there is something for everyone. The trip covers so many fascinating dive sites including The Giannis D, Carnatic, Chrisoula K and Kimon M… famous for their different cargos of wood, bottles, tiles and lentils. Let Mike enthuse you with his passion for the Red Sea’s Second World War wrecks too – both the Rosalie Moller and Thistlegorm lie at anchor and are well worth the multiple dives dedicated to them on this itinerary.

Discover all this aboard Mistral the latest addition to the Tornado Marine Fleet which has a luxurious feel including a spacious sun deck and jacuzzi. Photographers will love the dedicated camera room on the dive deck. Attention to detail here is key and Mistral has been lovingly laid out to optimise space on board with super speedy engines to make sailing supremely comfortable. She boasts a host of extra facilities to make your week all the more enjoyable… so jump aboard today.

Find out more about this trip here.

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.

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Save £500 on Maldives liveaboard – but hurry, there’s only 2 spots left!

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Join The Scuba Place on board the award-winning (Best Liveaboard, Maldives Tourism Awards for 2 consecutive years) Sachika for a week in the sun!

Taking in the very best dive sites of the ‘Best of Central Atolls’ itinerary, including manta cleaning stations, Whaleshark Alley, the Fish Factory and the legendary night dive with hundreds of nurse sharks, this is one trip not to be missed.

To make it even better, they have taken a big chunk of cash off the price to fill the last TWO SPACES (twin or double cabin) on each of the following sailings:

  • Outbound 5 November, return 13 November
  • Outbound 12 November, return 20 November

The Scuba Place team can arrange flights from any major UK airport, and the whole package will be ATOL Protected. Price includes flights, taxes, full board in a twin/double cabin based on 2 sharing, 17 dives with Nitrox included, all soft drinks and meals and snacks. Bar bill is extra and extra dives are available too!

The prices are based on flying with Emirates and include 30kgs of baggage per person.

Don’t miss out – get in touch today! Call 020 3515 9955 to find out more!

Brochure link: https://bit.ly/TSP_Maldives_Nov2021

www.thescubaplace.co.uk


Boat images by Top Class Cruising

Underwater images by Nigel Wade for The Scuba Place

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The Scuba Genies head to Bonaire! Part 1 of 2

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In the first of this two-part blog, The Scuba Genies share their trip report from the Come Dive with Us hosted trip to Bonaire in September 2021…

Travelling during the Covid pandemic has been challenging for some, impossible for most, and missed by all. We have been scanning the rules and regulations daily, and as soon as the UK Government allowed us, we were off!

What was supposed to be a trip to Mexico for a gang of 12 of us, just like most trips over the last 18 months, we were forced to change as the travel rules changed – we have been trying to get to Bonaire for ages, and this became the perfect opportunity – at last!

With our bags packed, negative test results and completed Bonaire health forms in hand – we made an early start for Heathrow, prepared for an 0630 departure. A quick flight and we landed in Amsterdam. As a Dutch Caribbean territory, all flights from the UK to Bonaire on KLM go via Amsterdam. In the airport, we met up with the rest of the gang who had travelled from Birmingham. After a quick layover we took off for Bonaire, where we arrived about 9 hours later. Our health documents were checked at the airport, and we grabbed our bags. It seems odd to have to fly East to then go West, but as we stepped out of the minibus at Buddy Dive Resort, only 10 minutes after leaving the airport, the sunshine and blue sky told us it was worth it!

Our accommodation for the group was made up of two 3-bedroom apartments, a stone’s throw from the water, dive shop, dock and Blennies, the main restaurant and bar. Buddy Dive also has 1- and 2-bedroom apartments along with studios, all comfortably furnished with either a garden or ocean view.

Each 3-bedroom apartment is spread over two floors – but a floor up from ground level. The ‘ground’ floor of each apartment offers a double bedroom (beds can be configured as twins or double in all rooms), a bathroom, lounge with balcony, and a very well-equipped kitchenette. Microwave, toaster, hob, fridge/freezer with ice-maker and enough pots, pans and utensils to satisfy the avid cook! On the upper floor, there are two further double rooms with ensuite bathrooms, both with balconies of their own. Each bedroom is air-conditioned, and the lounge and kitchen have celling fans. All in all, quite perfect for a home away from home for a fortnight!

The rules of group travel say we must unpack (empty bags onto floor or bed), sort kit out (look at dive bag and save it for later), put cameras together (er….NO!) and hit the bar – so being rule-abiding people that we are, this is what we did. Picking up the rental van for our stay would have to wait!

The next morning after breakfast, served in the Ingridients restaurant and right on the water, we attended the Buddy Dive orientation. The staff gave us a quick tour of the dock and resort including the famous drive thru tank shed offering both air and nitrox tanks ready and waiting to be loaded into your vehicle. Check in at the dive centre was easy… we all completed our diver forms online before arrival so with a quick hello we were handed locker keys for our kit storage. Time to head back to the room and get ready for our first dive!! That is why we’re here after all!

As with all trips, the first dive was a check dive, so we climbed down the steps into the water off the dock to go an explore Buddy Dive Reef. Finning over the sandy bottom, past the coral restoration project ‘trees’ and following well laid lines with directional markers we hit the reef after just a minute or two where you can drop to 35+ metres over simply stunning corals. This reef, just like the rest of the sites we dived, is super-healthy and teeming with juvenile fish wherever you look. Moray eels, turtles, octopi and HUGE tarpon on our first dive! What a great start!

The following day we decided it was time to explore the island. We picked up our 6-person minibus from Reception, pulled up to the drive thru tank station and grabbed 12 well filled Nitrox 12l aluminium (A-Clamp – not DIN) cylinders. With our guidebook in hand, off we went driving on the right of course, in search of marine life.

There are over 50 dive sites scattered around the coast of the main island, and even more on the island of Klein Bonaire accessible by boat. We chose a comfortable start by picking dive sites to the South where the entry seems to be a little easier on old knees and hips. We packed up sandwiches we made after a quick shop at the supermarket the day before, along with waters and a few essentials – towels, sunnies and bug spray.

I won’t bore you with every dive site name and description – the guidebook is the tool for that – but it is more than safe to say that we dived, dived and dived again! Every dive gave us far more than we expected, and the marine park surrounding the whole island delivered the goods without fail. Super healthy corals, plentiful marine life, warm and very clear water at 30 degrees made life easy. Parking the van up at the marked dive sites wasn’t difficult, and a few strides across the sand was far simpler than we had expected.

I will say that some sites are a little more challenging to get into the water from – anything more than three or four steps doesn’t float my boat! We adapted our entries for the group – some kitting up in the water, some not, but the rule of thumb quickly became step in up to thigh-depth, inflate bcd, fall flat on your back and paddle out before putting your fins on. Simple! Getting out of the water was pretty much the reverse of the above – stand up when you can, remove fins, and then navigate the rocks and sand channels before you walk up the beach. Nothing that an over-weight, under-tall chap in his mid-50’s with dodgy knees and even dodgier hips couldn’t cope with! (That is me by the way…..no offense to anyone else intended and no animals were harmed in the writing of this either).

We saw stuff – lots of it! Huge tarpon, French and Grey Angelfish, forests of Christmas Tree worms, anemones with Peterson, sexy and cleaner shrimp, clinging crabs, nudibranchs – especially lettuce-leaf slugs, coral-banded shrimp, lobster and so much more. Turtles everywhere, trumpet-fish in unbelievable numbers, and that was generally the story – all in very good visibility too! The corals and huge sponges were stunning with fascinating reef-structures offering all sorts of hidey-holes for critters!

There were some really special sited that we loved, and Salt Pier was one. The Cargill solar salt facility is easily found with its distinctive line of white salt pyramids.Each pyramid, roughly 50-feet high, can contain up to 10,000 metric tons of 99.6 percent pure salt. Even more noteworthy, in addition to the acres of salt ponds, the facility is also home to largest pink flamingo sanctuary in North America. Our very own Chloe has written an in-depth blog about Bonaire and its pure salt so be sure and check it out!

Back to the diving! We were given a hint to drive just past the pier to park where we would find an easy sand entry to the site. We kitted up and finned out through the shallows where we encountered three juvenile hawksbill turtles along with a few smooth pufferfish fighting to feed on patch of sponges, and then made our way under the immense structure of the pier. There are several platforms supporting the conveyor belts that move salt to the container ships and there wasn’t much diver-traffic to contend with. We were amazed by all things weird and wonderful – big scorpion fish hiding under the metal work, angelfish battling for food, schooling fish up above you, and frogfish! Barracuda, Caribbean reef squid, spotted drums, octopus, oh! and more frogfish! Even a flying gurnard in the shallows! What a dive! And as it is shallow, it can be a very long dive too, especially with the 200-210 bar fills the drive-thru often gave us.

Check back for Part Two of this Blog tomorrow!


Find out more about the worldwide dive itineraries that The Scuba Place offers at www.thescubaplace.co.uk.

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Competitions

Egypt | Simply the Best Itinerary | 04 – 11 November 2021 | Emperor Echo

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. Great value for money and perfect for small groups of buddies with a ‘Book 5 and 1 dives for FREE’ offer all year round.

Price NOW from just £1275 per person based on sharing a twin cabin/room including:

  • Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Subject to availability.
Alternative departure airports available at supplement.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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