Scuba Diving Vacations – A Different Experience You Didn’t Know Existed!
Exotic, mesmerizing, serene, blissful, peaceful, glorious, exciting, breath-taking, thrilling, and sinless – These are some words that can be used to express the exotic beauty of islands. There are already thousands of people who choose to visit different beautiful islands on their honeymoons. Famous locations surrounded by water bodies have beautiful sights and exciting adventures, which people can do anything for. Even if you visit islands with empty bags in your hands, you get them back, filling them with memories and laughter from the islands.
Scuba diving is a very popular water sport and recreational activity, which is enjoyed on different islands. Although a lot of people love such sports and relaxing activities, you would not find them getting indulged in the same. The reason is simple – they are completely tied in their busy lives due to which they do not get chances to learn such activities.
However, even if you know nothing of scuba diving, you can learn the same on popular islands. You have professional trainers available for you in many places offering scuba diving, the trainers will teach you how to be involved in this activity and have maximum fun out of it.
If you are planning to visit an island, following are the top five reasons for you to opt for scuba diving:
- You don’t need to be worried about your safety. There are well trained scuba divers on all the islands (famous tourist locations) to take care of you. You are completely safe and sound in their hands. However, you must take care of your own self and should not be over-confident about your moves.
- There can be nothing better than seeing the world inside water. Who knows, you might get to see a beautiful mermaid right in front of your eyes? If you love the ‘sea-world’, it is time for you to explore the same.
- We are made up of different elements and water is one of them. Why not explore the part that exists in you? Scuba diving takes you closer to the element that has made you.
- Mother Earth is beautiful and water bodies are her pretty parts. Exploring these bodies take you to a whole new world, altogether.
- Scuba diving does not happen everywhere in India. There are only a few places wherein this takes place and if you are fond of fish and the underwater life, you must do this at least once in your life.
Where To Go Scuba Diving And Which One Is Right For You?
It depends on what you are looking for! There are many aspects that make a diving holiday your perfect diving holiday. The first thing that you probably will have to decide is whether to do a live-aboard or not. Live-aboard diving means a lot of dives, and usually not much activity on land. They usually offer the best diving and can be a bit more expensive than traditional boat/shore diving.
That said, also note there are many types of diving, varying from easy to extremely difficult. Some examples are:
- day trip boat diving
- shore diving
- cave diving
- wreck diving
- technical diving
This section will only focus on 3 of those: live-aboard, day trip boat diving and shore diving.
Live-aboard diving holidays
SCUBA diving on a live-aboard usually means lots and lots of diving. Typical days contain of 4 or 5 dives per day however this totally depends upon the trip. Depending on how many days you go, you can except to end up with 30 or 40 dives extra in your logbook.
When you dive on a liveaboard you are expected to be an ‘experienced’ diver, meaning that you should feel confident underwater. There are of course liveaboards where even inexperienced divers are welcome. It is important to realise that, if you are making 3 or more dives a day, you should keep track of all your dives and preferably dive with a diving computer. Nitrox is another good solution to keep the nitrogen level in your body relatively low, making it safer for you to dive.
Live-aboard diving usually means the best diving with the biggest fish and the better coral reefs. Because you have the possibility to go further from shore, you will experience the dive sites that are the most spectacular.
Expect a lot of dives, lots of sun bathing, and lots of sleep. Be careful with the alcohol in the evening, don’t drink and dive!
Day trip boat diving
Difference from the live-aboard diving is that you start and return to shore every day or every few days, meaning that you normally don’t sleep on the boat. Day trip boat diving usually starts at the dive center where you will meet the staff and/or maybe drop off your gear. The dive sites are usually not for away, dive centers try to be within the dive site with 1,5 hours. Briefings are usually done before you reach the dive site, as well as setting up the equipment. It is probably a good idea to set up your diving equipment before you reach open sea, this will prevent possible motion sickness; this also gives you the chance to fix anything in time if necessary.
The crew on a day trip boat usually consists of a captain and boat boys/girls, a tour leader, dive instructors and/or dive guides. Depending on the location, you will either dive alone with your buddy or in a group with or without a dive guide. Diving with a dive guide has several advantages and has proven to be more than useful.
Often you will dive twice or three times a day with surface intervals of 2 hours or less. Sometimes it is possible to do night dives, certainly worth the experience.
Shore diving is usually done by loading the equipment in a Jeep or truck and driving over land to the dive sites. Although there are so called ‘house reefs’ that allow divers to walk in straight from the dive center.
The dive site is only a little walk or swim away from where you are dropped off and usually offers the same conditions as diving from a boat. It is a good idea to ask for instruction on how to enter the water, considering possible waves and currents. Expect to have diner during your surface interval in a restaurant close by the dive site.
Shore diving can be more intensive then boat diving because of walking on land with equipment or because of surface swims to the dive site. However, shore diving takes up less time and gives you more freedom since you are not ‘stuck’ on a boat. No worries for sea sickness either! It is also the cheapest option.
So how do you make your choce?
You will have to think about what it is that you are looking for. If you are looking for a holiday just for diving and not much else than live-aboard diving is a great chose. Liveaboard holidays usually offer great dive sites and lots of dives. There is a price tag however.
If you still want the freedom to do other things that just diving but still want the luxury of boat diving, then day trip boat diving is probably the best choice for you. Day trip boat diving gives you the easy entry’s (most of the times) and there is no need to walk with equipment (except to the dive platform). Do realise that even day trip boat diving usually takes up a day, although it is possible to day half a day. Most of the times you will return to shore somewhere in the afternoon.
Shore diving offers you the ultimate freedom and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the environment and culture of the country you are staying in. Drives to dive sites can be very exciting and highly enjoyable. Enjoy your surface intervals by arranging different activities such as a game of volleyball on the beach or something.
Here Are Recommended Top Scuba Diving Destinations For You
The Red Sea Egypt
For many Europeans, traveling to the Red Sea for scuba diving is like many North Americans going to the Caribbean. For a scuba diver based in North America or anywhere else outside of Europe or Africa, a journey to the Red Sea is considered one of the more exotic scuba diving trips. Like other overseas travel, getting to the final destination is the hardest thing. The Red Sea can be dived from ports in both Egypt and Israel but most international scuba divers do so from the Egyptian side. There are two major scuba diving areas in Egypt, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. Sharm El Sheikh at the northern part of the Red Sea is the more established center having been a popular vacation resort area as both Egyptians and Europeans have been vacationing here for many years. The local scuba dive industry grew along with the overall steady growth of classy resorts, shops, some of the best organized tours in the world and other tourist services in Sharm El Sheikh. Hurghada, once just a sleepy fishing village along the west side of the Red Sea, is starting to grow as scuba divers discover this alternative to Sharm El Sheikh.
Florida – USA
Go diving in Florida and you will be amazed at the range and different opportunities along its coastline.
Experienced people will appreciate that one of the greatest recognized spots in the world for scuba divers is the “Florida Keys”. It is on “The Keys” that you will locate Key Largo recognized for many years as “The Scuba Diving Capital of the World”.Once you see the immense choice of different dive sites and places to look at it is no wonder Key Largo is so well thought of. When you arrive at Key Largo you will find a huge variety of coral reefs, shipwrecks and caves.
The reefs vary from small and pretty to large and deep so there is something for everyone. Some of the wrecks are nothing short of spectacular. The Spiegel Grove was the largest ship ever deliberately sunk off the shoreline of Florida and takes several dives to fully explore.
As you go through “The Keys” you can also find good scuba diving in areas such as Islamorada and Marathon but in reality the next region you would want to take a trip to would be Key West.
You will discover that Key West has it all.
If you are thinking about a scuba diving vacation spot, then you should consider Hawaiian waters. Hawaii’s waters are warm and clear, filled with different colored fish and coral reefs. No place can compare to Hawaii when it comes to scuba diving. A different world once you are under the water, you will experience an adventure you are sure to remember for the rest of your life. There are eight main islands to choose from, each with their own diving locations, and unique characteristics.
Throughout the islands, diving offers many different types of marine life, color coral, and even lava formations. The water is clear and beautiful and most of the time you can see as far as 100 feet. There are diving shops and resorts located throughout the islands, so you can either rent equipment, or bring your own. If you don’t know how to dive, don’t worry, most shops will offer certification courses, or lessons if you aren’t feeling comfortable.
Hawaiian waters offer diving for all skill levels. There are five main underwater habitats that you can explore. They include the coral reefs, caves, small caverns, lava tubs, drop-offs, basalt boulders, and sandy bottoms. These areas are so diverse that you can gain access to them either from the shore line, or also from boats. Boating out to a dive spot is the easiest access and offers the best conditions. Diving from the shore line is not encouraged when there is high tide.
Diving in the Caribbean is a unique experience. Boasting with beautiful beaches and a rich marine life, Caribbean diving offers guests the wonders of nature and luxurious accommodations. The islands’ exotic beauty draws divers from the all over the world. From simple equipment to the most sophisticated diving gear, diving resorts in the Caribbean cater to its guests’ needs. The seas of the region are perfect for any kind of diver: whether experienced or a beginner, Caribbean diving is a wonderful experience.
One of the most popular spots for diving in the Caribbean is Bonaire. A leader in marine conservation, the waters of Bonaire have remained unspoiled, allowing marine life to flourish. With its rich marine wildlife, diving in the Caribbean allows divers to have an up close look at world’s most exotic species of fish, turtles, corals, reefs and other sea creatures and sights. Diving resorts in the Caribbean are scattered across the region, each offering accommodations and amenities that range from luxurious to quaint and charming.
The Caribbean islands has several diving destinations. With a little research, experienced and novice divers could find the perfect place for diving in the Caribbean. With each island offering a unique experience to divers and simple travelers, the Caribbean is the perfect destination for those who love the water.
The amazing and wonderful marine life gives ultimate diving experience to enthusiasts. They can dive underwater to see hammerheads, dolphins, whale sharks, sea turtles, giant manta rays, almaco jacks, yellow fun tuna, Galapagos sharks, sea lions and much more. The best part for divers is that it has provision for all level of divers.
Even if you are a learner, there are dive schools available in the area that provides certification courses to learn the art of scuba diving in the protected waters of Santa Fe and Academy Bay. On the other hand, intermediate divers can explore areas like Cousins Rocks, Floreana, Gordon Rocks, North Seymour, etc. They will see different variety of sharks, golden rays, hammerheads, morays, giant manta rays, fur seal and so on.
If you are advanced divers, you must get ready for incredible diving experiences by taking cruise tours. The peak season will provide you a chance to explore silky and black tip sharks, whale sharks, hammerheads and lots more.
Tips To Consider Before Going Scuba Diving
No matter if this is your first scuba diving vacation or you have been on many, you need to understand that there is a certain amount of preparation that goes into one of these trips. Unlike a standard vacation where you need to just throw a few changes of clothes into a suitcase and you are ready to go, with a scuba diving vacation needs just a bit more in the way of planning. When the time comes to plan for your next vacation, you need to think about where you are going to stay, where you are going to dive, the cost and the equipment you need to take with you.
Specialist Travel Agents
You may not know this, but such is the rise in popularity of scuba diving, there are now several travel companies who specialize in offering diving vacations. They operate in just the same way as other travel agents, however, they are also in a position to help you with the scuba diving part of your vacation. You will be able to choose from a resort that specializes in diving activities, plus they will probably be in a position to offer training to novices as well as equipment hire. Or you will be able to choose to stay at a resort but arrange your own separate scuba diving experience.
Keeping the Costs Down
Scuba diving can be an expensive hobby, however, your scuba diving vacation does not need to break the bank, and there are plenty of savings to be made by signing up to an all-inclusive package or be part of a group tour. Of course, this may not suit your preferences, and you can still save money on your vacation by shopping around for last minute deals, or by opting to travel at a time other than the busiest times of the year.
Before you Travel
One thing that you need to remember before you set off is to contact the airline that you are flying with, and ask them if they have any restrictions in place regarding your diving gear. It may well be worth asking them for details about how much of your apparatus can be included in the carry-on luggage.
You must also make sure that you have all of the relevant paperwork, documentation and visas with you if you are planning on traveling to another country. Also you may need to be immunized against diseases such as malaria when traveling to countries with a hot climate.
Happy scuba diving!
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