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Latest special offers from blue o two include a Red Sea liveaboard trip this Friday for just £599

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Dive the Red Sea this Friday with UK-based dive tour operator blue o two from just £599. In addition to that crazy deal, why not book yourself onto one of their Project Shark Maldives dates, now from £1721 including flights?

Here are the details:

RED SEA

M/Y blue Horizon – Red Sea

03 Mar – 10 Mar 2017: North & Brothers £799

10 Mar – 17 Mar 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £999

17 Mar – 24 Mar 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £999

24 Mar – 31 Mar 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £949

31 Mar – 07 Apr 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £1034 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

23 Jun – 30 Jun 2017: Simply the Best £934 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

14 Jul – 21 Jul 2017: Daedalus & Fury Shoal £1061 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

21 Jul – 28 Jul 2017: Rocky, Zabargad & St Johns £1039 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 20%)

03 Nov – 10 Nov 2017: Simply the Best £1079 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

15 Dec – 22 Dec 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £807 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

22 Dec – 29 Dec 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £1169 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

29 Dec – 05 Jan 2018: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £1079 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

M/Y blue Melody – Red Sea

31 Mar – 07 Apr 2017: Simply the Best £1169 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

21 Apr – 28 Apr 2017: Project Shark: Simply the Best £989 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

28 Apr – 05 May 2017: Simply the Best £919 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 20%)

09 Jun – 16 Jun 2017: In Focus: Red Sea North £989 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

16 Jun – 23 Jun 2017: Strait of Tiran & North £989 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

11 Aug – 18 Aug 2017: Rocky, Zabargad & St Johns £1169 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

25 Aug – 01 Sep 2017: Rocky, Zabargad & St Johns £1259 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

17 Nov – 24 Nov 2017: Project Shark: Simply the Best £1214 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

22 Dec – 29 Dec 2017: Strait of Tiran & North £1169 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

29 Dec – 05 Jan 2018: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £1079 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

M/Y blue Fin – Red Sea

21 Apr – 28 Apr 2017: Strait of Tiran & North £999

02 Jun – 09 Jun 2017: Simply the Best £944 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

16 Jun – 23 Jun 2017: Simply the Best £1079 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

04 Aug – 11 Aug 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £989 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

22 Dec – 29 Dec 2017: Strait of Tiran & North £1124 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

29 Dec – 05 Jan 2018: Strait of Tiran & North £1034 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

M/Y Red Sea Adventurer – Red Sea

17 Mar – 24 Mar 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £899

24 Feb – 03 Mar 2017: North & Brothers £599

28 Apr – 05 May 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £949

19 May – 26 May 2017: Simply the Best £899 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

16 Jun – 23 Jun 2017: Project Shark: Daedalus & St Johns £1079 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

23 Jun – 30 Jun 2017: North & Brothers £989 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

14 Jul – 21 Jul 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £1034 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

25 Aug – 01 Sep 2017: Northern Wrecks & Reefs £1124 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

MALDIVES

M/Y blue Voyager

27 Feb – 07 Feb 2017: Project Shark with Elke £1721 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 25%)

06 Mar – 14 Mar 2017: Project Shark with Elke £1995

13 Mar – 21 Mar 2017: Project Shark with Elke £1795 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 25%)

20 Mar – 28 Mar 2017: Project Shark with Elke £1721 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 25%)

10 Apr – 18 Apr 2017: Pelagic Encounters £1696 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

01 May – 09 May 2017: Pelagic Encounters £1695 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

08 May – 18 May 2017: Simply the Best £1796 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 25%)

17 May – 25 May 2017: Pelagic Encounters £1695 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

15 Aug – 26 Aug 2017: Best of the Northern Atolls £2065 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

27 Aug – 09 Sep 2017: Central Atolls & Beyond £2425 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

10 Sep – 21 Sep 2017: Best of Northern & Central Atolls £2065 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

20 Nov – 28 Nov 2017: Magical Maldives £2035 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

29 Nov – 12 Dec 2017: Central Atolls & Beyond £2695 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

12 Dec – 20 Dec 2017: Pelagic Encounters £1995 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 20%)

19 Dec – 27 Dec 2017: Magical Maldives £2695 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

27 Dec – 07 Jan 2018: Best of the Maldives £2875 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

M/V Sea Spirit

18 Mar – 26 Mar 2017: Central Atolls £1954 LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 15%)

TRUK LAGOON

M/V Truk Master

16 Aug – 26 Aug 2017: Truk Lagoon (10 nights) £3258** LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

FRENCH POLYNESIA

10 Sep 2017 – 20 Sep 2017: Tuamotu Archipelago £4256** – DESTINATION OF THE MONTH!

27 Oct – 03 Nov 2017: Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve £3750**

MEXICO

Rocio Del Mar

24 Apr – 02 May 2017: Gentle Giants of Socorro Island (8 nights) £2150** LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 20%)

GALAPAGOS

M/V Galapagos Master

9 Apr – 21 Apr 2017: Master the Galapagos (10 nights) £5649*

16 Jul – 25 Jul 2017: Master the Galapagos (7 nights) £5219* LIDS 2017 OFFER*** (SAVE 10%)

PALAU

S/Y Palau Siren

16 Feb – 23 Feb 2017: Palau Islands Wreck Special (7 nights) £2336**

*Package price is subject to change due to fluctuations in flight prices. Final package price will be confirmed at time of booking. **Excludes flights (boat only price). ***Subject to availability on a first come first served basis. Offers may be removed from the LIDS 2017 sale at any time. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer (incl. BSAC or Loyalty Club discount).

To book or for more info contact the blue o two travel team now on 01752 480808, email info@blueotwo.com or visit www.blueotwo.com.

News

10 Great Coral Reef Destinations for Every Snorkeler

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There is nothing like drifting over a coral reef, watching vibrant fish life and thriving corals as the sun shines overhead. If you’re lucky, you might spot a passing sea turtle, manta ray or even a whale shark whilst you explore. Reef snorkeling is simply one of the best experiences and you don’t need to travel far to try it.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable destination close to home, a family-friendly trip, an idyllic island getaway, or a touch of luxury, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our pick of 10 great coral reef destinations for every snorkeler to enjoy.

Family-friendly coral reef destinations

  • Easily accessible.
  • Year-round sunshine.
  • Plenty of facilities and entertainment for families.
  1. Egypt

Egypt is a classic family destination that offers clear blue waters teeming with life. There are dozens of snorkeling spots just off Egypt’s beaches, especially at bustling Sharm El Sheikh. Snorkeling there is like swimming in an aquarium, and it is a perfect for adults and kids of all ages.

For a more laid-back vibe, head south to Marsa Alam. This small resort town is renowned for its sandy beaches and coral reefs. That said, the real highlight there is snorkeling with large families of spinner dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles.

  1. Australia

Australia might be further afield than Egypt for many people, but the big marine life and year-round sunshine make it hard to beat.

Take a trip to Cairns and you can visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites at one place: the enormous Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest. As well as plenty of smaller reef life, the Great Barrier Reef hosts reef sharks galore, plus dwarf minke whales and humpback whales in winter.

Love whale sharks? Head west and to snorkel with these spotty giants at Ningaloo Reef and explore the remarkable UNESCO-listed Ningaloo Coast.

Luxurious coral reef destinations

  • Romantic settings.
  • Luxurious accommodation options.
  • Combine world-class reef snorkeling and relaxation.
  1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Sitting in the heart of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat has some of the highest marine biodiversity in the world. There are numerous manta rays, whale sharks and pastel-hued soft corals, putting diving in Raja Ampat at the top of many wish lists. These stunning islands are best enjoyed by hopping on a Raja Ampat cruise.

  1. Wakatobi, Indonesia

If you want to indulge in a luxury getaway and explore coral reefs that few people visit, go to Wakatobi. There you will find palm-fringed islands washed by azure waters with almost no other people in sight.

Underwater, Wakatobi is known for having huge sponges and corals that are busy with prized Coral Triangle critters. There are healthy seagrass beds with plenty of juvenile green sea turtles and you can spot Hawksbill turtles on the reefs.

  1. The Maldives

The Maldives is what luxury getaways are all about. Picture-perfect islands, warm waters, soft white sands and fantastic food. All with a generous helping of excellent snorkeling just a few paces off the shore.

Whether you hop on a day-boat to the outer reefs or explore around your resort’s house reef, snorkeling and diving in the Maldives are hard to beat. You can swim with whale sharks, hang out with hundreds of mantas at Hanifaru Bay, or simply enjoy a cocktail whilst the sun goes down.

Idyllic island destinations

  • Perfect for island-hopping adventures.
  • Tropical destinations far from daily life.
  • Easy snorkeling at some of the world’s best reefs.
  1. Fiji

Fiji is known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ and doesn’t disappoint. The reefs at this welcoming destination are swathed in vivid soft corals in just about every color you can imagine.

As well as eye-popping reefs, Fiji has fantastic seasonal marine life, including plenty of whales during winter and large pelagic fish. Go island hopping to swim with mantas or become a certified diver to join Fiji’s famous bull shark dive. The choice is entirely yours.

  1. The Solomon Islands

 The Solomon Islands offer some of the finest snorkeling in the South Pacific, if not the world. Whilst there are numerous destinations to choose from at these volcanic islands, don’t miss Marovo Lagoon.

It is the world’s largest saltwater lagoon and is dotted with hundreds of jungle-clad islands, many of which are uninhabited. The waters are calm, and the reefs are thriving; with huge sea fans, countless reef fish, shallow shipwrecks and stunning coral gardens

Coral reefs off the beaten path

  • Great for adventurous travelers and experienced snorkelers.
  • Go the distance and enjoy the rewards.
  • Few other tourists in sight.
  1. Sipadan Island, Borneo

Sipadan Island was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcano and offers fantastic snorkeling thanks to the deep-water currents that bring up nutrients to the reef.

There you will find mesmerizing underwater landscapes with around 600 species of coral and 1200 fish species. There are huge schools of barracuda, plus parrotfish, reef sharks, tiny critters tucked among the corals, and abundant sea turtles.

  1. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is well off the tourist trail. But if you don’t mind the travel time, you can snorkel among untouched reefs and immerse in a tribal culture like no other.

With over 600 islands, there are numerous destinations to choose from in PNG. Kimbe Bay was voted as one of the world’s most beautiful reefs by National Geographic. Take a trip to Tufi and you can snorkel in the shadow of dramatic fjords and experience PNG’s incredible marine diversity.

  1. The Marshall Islands

With around 5000 visitors a year, the Marshall Islands are one of the world’s least-visited countries. Don’t expect to go there and find endless restaurants and resorts. Instead, you will find friendly locals and vibrant reefs that few people ever get to see.

Even better, the Marshall Islands has been home to the world’s largest shark sanctuary since 2011 and this island nation continues to be committed to ocean conservation. Go there before the rest of the world finds out.


Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer for Scuba Schools International (SSI), wrote this article.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Virgin Pure partners with PADI Aware Foundation to highlight plastic waste threat

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To help hammer home the severity of the issues of plastic pollution home water filtration system, Virgin Pure – which has made it a mission to reduce the number of single use plastic bottles we consume in the UK – has partnered with marine conservation charity, PADI AWARE Foundation, to reimagine four classic fish recipes as they might be in 2050, by including one incongruous ingredient: plastic.

Imagine tucking into a hearty portion of fish and chips, or a comforting fish pie, but instead of eating fish, you’re confronted with dirty, discarded plastic. The starkly damning image of whole fish replaced by plastic waste could well be a reality by 2050, when research predicts there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. It may seem an extreme image, but it is already happening, albeit invisibly; studies continue to reveal how much we consume in the form of microplastics in our food and water.

The average Londoner still buys more than three SUP water bottles every week, an eye-watering 175 bottles every year per person. In total, some 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste.

Data from PADI AWARE Foundation, which works with scuba divers across the world to remove plastic waste from the seas, also reveals there are over 8 million pieces of plastic entering the ocean each day; it estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic in the ocean for every square mile, with the majority (80%) of that plastic coming from the land.

Virgin Pure has recreated four recipes as a wake-up call to all bottled water buyers: Golden Beer-Battered Fish with Chips, a seafood Linguine, a traditional Fish Pie and a Seafood Paella to the same quality standard but with one additional standout ingredient replacing the majority of the seafood in each: plastic. All the plastic used in the dishes has been retrieved from the ocean by PADI Aware Foundation, meaning it’s the exact plastic rubbish that’s being dumped into the world’s oceans which causes serious issues for marine animals and the environment.

These plastics are not only ingested by animal life, but through the water we drink and the food we eat. In fact, researchers believe that between 10 and 30% of fish in any sample will be contaminated with microplastics.

Tom Stazicker, CEO of Virgin Pure, comments: “None of us want to be consuming plastic, visible or not. Our products filter out harmful substances like chlorine, rust and microplastics that are commonly found in regular tap water, giving a better reason than ever before for people to stop buying bottled water. We’re delighted to be supporting the work that PADI AWARE Foundation does by partnering them, and proud to be able to offer a solution for those who want to kick the plastic bottle habit for good.”

Danna Moore, Global Director, PADI AWARE Foundation adds: “We hope this campaign helps bring to life just how severe the problem is, and encourages people to do better, get involved in ocean conservation and cut down on single-use plastic bottles. Whether you are a certified diver, a fisherman or a small child building a sandcastle at the local beach, the declining health of the oceans affects us all.”

One of the benefits of Virgin Pure is that it provides clean tasting, filtered drinking water on tap, making it that much easier to stop buying bottled water altogether. The devices also filter out microplastics from tap water, the same microplastics that are also commonly found in fish and other seafood.

To donate to PADI Aware Foundation, visit: https://netdonor.net/page/81717/donate/1

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