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Take the kids diving with Regaldive

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UK dive tour operator Regaldive are offering some great deals for family diving over the next 12 months. Here are the details:

The First Steps (ages 8 – 11)

Children who are eager to take their first breath underwater can do so on a Bubblemaker programme, costing from just £21 per child with Regaldive. With a qualified instructor and in the confines of a pool, children aged eight to 11 can take their first exciting plunge. The course lasts between one and two hours, includes a theory and pool session, and can be undertaken anywhere in the world.

On a budget: Seven nights’ at Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt, cost from £568 per adult and £379 per child. The hotel benefits from a large swimming pool, lazy river, waterfall and rock feature as well as tennis courts and a watersports centre. A Bubblemaker course costs from £21 per child (to include equipment), and for adults, a five day dive pack costs from £80 per person (to include guide, tanks, weights and air for two boat dives per day) when taking advantage of Regaldive’s buy one get one free offer*.

Fit for a King: Seven nights’ at the small and friendly Buddy Dive in Bonaire, which benefits from two swimming pools, its own house reef and in-resort entertainment, cost from £1,331 per adult and £1,091 per child. To include flights, transfers and B&B accommodation, based on two sharing. A Bubblemaker course costs from £21 per child (to include equipment), and for adults, six days unlimited shore diving costs from £95 per person (to include air tanks, weights, weight belt and sales tax).

A Taster of Scuba (ages 10 +)

Suitable for children aged 10 and above, the two-day Discover Scuba Diving course, costing from £59 per child with Regaldive, offers an exciting preview of the underwater world and includes one pool and one open water dive. The course teaches the basic skills and concepts of scuba and enables children to experience the thrill of diving under the supervision of a PADI instructor.

On a budget: Seven nights’ at the great value Falcon Naama Star in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, cost from £387 per adult and £349 per child to include flights, transfers and B&B accommodation based on two people sharing. A Discover Scuba Diving course costs from £59 per child (to include equipment), and for adults, a five day boat diving dive pack costs from £131 per person (to include guide, tanks, weights and air for two dives per day) when taking advantage of Regaldive’s buy one get one half price offer**.

Fit for a King: Seven nights’ at the luxurious Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Muscat, Oman, cost from £1,278 per adult and £1,089 per child, to include flights, transfers and B&B accommodation, based on two people sharing. A Discover Scuba Diving course costs from £59 per child (to include equipment), and for adults, a five day shore or boat dive pack costs from £221 per person (to include two unguided boat / jeep dives per day, air tanks & weights).

Get Qualified (ages 10 +)

For children aged 10 and above looking for the ultimate dive experience, the Junior Open Water course follows exactly the same format as the PADI Open Water course for adults. Known as the ‘passport to the underwater world’, the course qualifies children to dive with a buddy and explore all the ocean has to offer***. Those aged between 10 and 11 can dive to 12 meters, while those aged between 12 and 15 can dive to 18 meters.

Costing from £226 per child with Regaldive, the four to five day course includes five theory and five pool sessions, as well as four open water dives.

On a budget: Seven nights’ self-catering in a private apartment in Gozo, which benefits from a kitchen, shower room, sitting and dining area, and terrace or balcony, costs from £391 per adult and £280 per child, to include flights, transfers and accommodation.  A Junior Open Water course costs from £226 per person (to include equipment), and for adults, six days unlimited shore diving costs from £79 per person (to include air tanks, weights and belt).

Fit for a king: Seven nights’ at the beautiful Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives, which benefits from its own house reef, swimming pool and playground, cost from £1,917 per adult and £1,513 per child, to include flights, transfers and full board accommodation. A Junior Open Water course costs from £226 per person (to include equipment), and for adults, six days unlimited house reef diving cost from £330 per person (to include tanks and weights).

Andreas Elia, Managing Director of Regaldive commented “We all know how many opportunities learning to dive opens up, but sometimes children’s courses can be overlooked. With courses for children as young as eight, there’s no reason why our young families can’t make as much of the underwater world as we do”.

He continued, “Although it may be several years yet before we see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the two-week old Prince George donning their dive gear, it would certainly be great news for the dive industry!”

For further information, or to book, visit www.regaldive.co.uk or call 01353 659 999.

* Buy One Get One Free valid for travel between 1 Nov – 14 Dec 2013, 3 Jan – 4 Apr 2014 and 25 Apr – 11 Jul 2014.

** Buy One Get One Half Price valid for travel between 13 Nov – 10 Dec 2013.

*** Once qualified, children aged 10-12 years old must dive with a parent or guardian

News

Euro-Divers opens to guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

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In celebration of Euro-Divers’ 50 Years of Diving with Friends in the Maldives, the team have opened a new PADI 5 Star Dive Center at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives retreat lies at the northern edge of the Maldives in the tranquil Raa Atoll, reached via a panoramic 45-minute seaplane voyage from Male. The island has 80 all-pool-villas, 36 of which are over water with a private pool for your enjoyment and 44 beachfront villas designed seamlessly to immerse guests in the natural surroundings. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt Earth Check operating standards, integrating their environments’ natural, physical, and cultural elements.

Raa Atoll is well-known for the excellent scuba diving it offers. The underwater landscape of Raa Atoll is characterized by a high number of thilas scattered inside the lagoons. These underwater coral mountains are magnets for marine life including huge schools of tropical reef fish, a generous splash of colour, iconic bucket-list-must-see marine creatures including sharks, mantas (appearing during the entire year), turtles, and uncrowded dive sites—a perfect diver’s heaven for beginners and experienced divers. We offer a full range of PADI courses for different levels. From November till March, the Manta cleaning station is located 15 minutes away by boat.

The team from Alila Kothaifaru Maldives look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find out more at: www.euro-divers.com/alila-kothaifaru-maldives

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Marine Life & Conservation

Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

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Ocean charity makes initial grant of $90,000 to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.

Ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organisations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.

To improve ocean governance, Blue Marine uses a combination of top-down intervention and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities at the front line of conservation. It will work together with the DCNA to help marine-park organisations protect the unique and threatened biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean.

The new partnership is an important development in the successful management of marine conservation parks in the Dutch Caribbean. The UK-based charity has established a small-grants fund to provide rapid access to support for critical conservation projects run by marine parks.

The individual projects and their local partners are:

Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.

The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.  The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.

Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.

Blue Marine’s Senior Project Manager Jude Brown commented: “Having recently visited two of the islands, I witnessed first-hand how special this region is. Diving the waters off Saba I saw huge Tarpon swimming amongst shoals of blue tang, and hawksbill turtles feeding on the seagrass beds. I also witnessed the challenges these islands are facing from coral disease to issues with coastal development. It is an exciting opportunity to work in the Dutch Caribbean, bringing expertise and funding from Blue Marine to join with the wealth of knowledge already on the islands, to work together to protect the important marine life arounds these islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DNCA commented: “The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile. The coming week we will be in The Netherlands to present a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean to emphasize the urgent need for a climate smart future for our islands.”


Photo: Coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean- Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast- all rights reserved

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Competitions

A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

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

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