As you may have read from our previous posts about Sharm el Sheikh here on Scubaverse, the diving is great, the reefs are healthy and the dive sites are uncrowded. We had a wonderful 10 days staying and diving with Camel Dive Club and Hotel. So how can you get there?
Many people believe that Sharm is closed, but this is not the case. The current government advice (Jan 2017) is that staying in Sharm el Sheikh is fine, but for “precautionary measures” Sharm airport is not advised apart from essential travel. The UK and Russia are the only two countries in the world that still have flight restrictions to Sharm airport, so we can only hope that these are lifted soon. At the moment, you cannot get a direct flight from the UK to Sharm el Sheikh, but there are plenty of other options for travel and there are great deals to be had once you are there too.
We flew from Heathrow to Cairo, and then an internal flight from Cairo to Sharm, using Egypt Air. There were no long waits at the airport between flights and we got a whopping 46gk (two 23kg bags) each of check in baggage on top of the usual hand luggage. This meant that we could happily pack all our dive gear, including warm winter suits, all our underwater photography equipment and still have room for more; a real luxury for the traveling underwater photographer!
There are plenty of other options with Turkish Airlines (again with good baggage allowance, and an extra bag for divers) from lots of regional UK airports, and you can also fly via lots of European airport too, so you can use up some air miles should you want to, or stop to have a nice weekend city break to recover on the way to or from your diving trip. Here are some options to consider:
Flight options from UK to Sharm:
Direct regular flights to Sharm:
- Italy – Meridiana and Neos (from Milan, Bologna, Verona and Rome)
- Germany – Germania (from Dusseldorf and Munich)
- Belgium – TUIfly (from Brussels)
Ornella and the team at Camel Dive Club are happy to help you find the best flights to join them as part of the service when you book.
Many people contacted us via social media when they saw that we were out in Sharm to ask how we got there, but mainly about travel insurance. Many divers believe that because of the government advice, you cannot get insured, but this is also not true. Friends of Scubaverse, Westfield Sub Aqua and Marine Insurance Services, offer cover for travel and diving in Sharm. We are sure there are others offering this too, but most people we spoke to had used this option.
Finally, many are put off because they think the price of a trip diving in Sharm will be too high now that the package trips and cheap flights have stopped. But, whilst the flights might be a little more (and there are certainly some great deals out there) the diving and hotel packages have come down to try to encourage more divers to return. This means that overall, there are some great deals to be had.
Camel Dive Club have the following offers:
7 nights at Camel Hotel + 5 days diving for only 311 Euro per person sharing
7 nights at Camel Hotel + 1 day diving + PADI Advanced Open Water course for only 377 Euro per person sharing
7 nights at Camel Hotel + PADI Open Water Course for only 350 Euro per person sharing. SPECIAL PRICE for 2 people booking together
NO SINGLE SUPPLIMENT in selected dates
- Seven nights in a double/twin room at 4 star Camel Hotel, including buffet breakfast
- Guided diving (two boat dives a day, tanks and weights) / PADI Open Water Course / PADI Advanced Open Water course
- Free nitrox (two 12lt tanks per day, 32%)
- Airport transfers
For bookings and more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All the above offers have LIMITED AVAILABILITY.
We felt completely safe while we were there and during our transits through the airports. Security is as tight as we have seen anywhere on our travels, with our bags being checked several times throughout the process. Many Europeans, who have access to direct flights, are heading back to Sharm, and if you want to go back and dive the Thistlegorm, Ras Mohammed and the Strait of Tiran, then we hope this helps you plan your trip.
For more from Nick and Caroline visit www.frogfishphotography.com.
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Jump into… A career in diving
A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’
I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!
I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!
If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles.
Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at.
There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.
So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour.
Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
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