Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Specialist Scuba Diving Resorts

Without exception, every day we recieve emails from our users asking us where would we recommend to go on a diving holiday, and do we know of any specialist scuba diving resorts in the area? As a result of this, we will very shortly be launching our new Scuba diving holidays centre on the main web site. This will provide users with details of specialist scuba diving resorts in specific locations.

The past few years have seen huge changes throughout the travel industry as a whole, and this has undoubtedly had a large knock-on effect on the way in which people plan their scuba diving holidays, essentially dividing the market into two major groups.

The first group are those divers who are looking for a complete package to be provided for them, including the accomodation, the flights to the destination as well as the diving. This market is catered for exceptionally well by a small number of specialist tour operators who provide good value for money across the package as a whole. This option makes particular sense for larger groups, or for those who are looking at more specialist diving holidays such as a liveaboard holiday, where local market knowledge can prove instrumental in the making of a good holiday.

The second group of divers are those who are looking to package the holiday themselves. These individuals tend to use the internet to identify specific diving resorts at which they would like to stay, whilst making their own travel and transport arrangements. They prefer to deal directly with the diving resorts themselves, and arranging their diving either directly with the resorts themselves, or when they arrive at the destination.

Through our new scuba diving holidays channel, we aim to offer solutions across both. We will be working with some of the largest names in the scuba diving travel industry, as well as working with some of the smaller, and more unique scuba diving resorts throughout the world.

Our process is simple. Once you have found the destination or resort that you are interested in visiting, all you have to do is to fill in the simple information form, identifying where you would like to stay and for how long. This information is then passed onto the relevant tour operator or resort who will contact you at a time of your convenience to discuss things in greater detail.

We feel that booking a diving holiday is very different from a normal holiday and we hope that the scuba diving holiday centre will help you find the best diving holidays for you and your friends!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Dominica - A Scuba divers paradise.

Located at the Northern end of the Lesser Antilles chain of islands lies the beautiful island of Dominica. A landscape and geography sculpted by the islands volcanic past, have now created a stunning and picturesque landscape both above and below the water. The beautiful, rugged landscape above the water is mirrored by Dominica’s underwater paradise of stunning corals and rich levels of marine, which have thrived due to the extensive conservation efforts in the region.

The scuba diving in Dominica is split into two main regions at the northern and southern tips of the island, both of which hold protected marine reserve status. At the northern tip of Dominica lies the Cabrits Marine Reserve, 1053 acres of coral, sponges and stunning marine life. The diving in Cabrits Marine Reserve is characterised by the wealth of swim throughs, caves and volcanic vents which can be found throughout the area. There are over 20 dive sites to be explored in Cabrits Marine Reserve, including Sharks Mouth, Sunshine Reef and Pole to Pole. However, the most popular dive site in the area is widely acknowledged to be the stunning Toucari Caves, and beautiful reef and cave dive site, and one definitely worth visiting on any diving holiday in Dominica.

The majority of the scuba diving in Dominica takes place on the south of the island, and is focused around the Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve. This large bay, which is centred on the expanse of water around the villages of Anse Bateau, Scotts Head and Soufriere, offers excellent diving and visibility, and has attracted large numbers of scuba divers to Dominica for many years. Inside Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve, the bay offers diving around large pinnacles which raise up from the depths below, surrounded by the rising columns of air bubbles, a legacy of the regions volcanic past.

The climate in Dominica is tropical, and the extreme heat is controlled by the trade winds that breeze through the Caribbean region. As such, there are only slight variations in the temperatures in Dominica, although it is best to avoid the rainy season which is here from late June through to October.

Dominica holds many opportunities for activity and adventure both above and below the water, and many divers have ranked the waters off the coast of Dominica as some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Bloody Bay Wall In Little Cayman, Cayman Islands.

For fans of wall diving, there can be no better dive site than Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman in the Cayman Islands, which offers one of the worlds best wall diving experiences. Depths ranging from as little as 6 metres, ranging down to abyssal depths of around 350 metres ensure that Bloody Bay Wall is one of the worlds best wall diving locations.

Bloody Bay Wall is in fact not one site, but several excellent dive sites along the one major wall, each with its own unique characteristics and marine life. Dive sites such as Marylins Cut and Randy's Gazebo have become popular dive sites over the years with divers looking for the ultimate wall diving experience.

What makes Bloody Bay Wall so unique however is the scale of the walls, and given the extremely good levels of visibility in the reigon (upto 60 metres), immediately the scale is very apparent to those individuals diving on Bloody Bay Wall. Huge expanses of rock are visible in every direction, something seldom found on wall dive locations anywhere else in the world.

Marine life is good on Bloody Bay Wall, and divers are likely to encounter some of the large Nassau Groupers which inhabit the walls, as well the resident populations of Queen Triggerfish and large schools of Jacks.

If you are interested in finding out more about the opportunities for scuba diving in the Cayman Islands, why not visit the Scubaworld web site.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Protea Banks - Scuba diving in South Africa

The Protea Banks are ranked amongst the best dive sites in South Africa, and offer one of the best opportunities for scuba divers looking to dive with a wide variety of species of shark.

Located only 5 miles off the coast of Margate in Kwazulu Natal, the Protea Banks are in fact a large, exposed reef where depths average around 30-40 metres, and the visibility can range anywhere between 3m up to 20 metres. Protea Banks is an advanced dive site only, and strong currents and large swells are regularly experienced across the reefs.

Without doubt, the major reason that scuba divers visit the Protea Banks is the opportunity to dive with the large shark species. In Protea Banks, there are regular sightings of Zambesi (Bull) Sharks, Tiger, Hammerheads, Ragged Tooth and Bronze Whalers. There are also a few sightings of Great Whites in the waters around the Protea Banks giving credence to its claim as being one of the worlds best shark dive destinations.

If you are looking for a particular species of shark, it is worthwhile doing the research first, as seasonality and location certainly come into play on this. If you are coming to Protea Banks to dive with Hammerhead Sharks, then it is best to visit around November and December, whereas March and May are the best time for sighting the notorious Zambesi (Bull) Sharks.
For those looking for more information on diving in South Africa, why not visit the Scubaworld web site, where we look at the opportunities for scuba diving in South Africa in depth, looking at destinations such as the Western Cape, Aliwal Shoals and Sodwana Bay.

Yongala Wreck - Worlds Best Dive Sites

The Yongala Wreck is widely acknowledged as being one of the worlds best dives sites. Located approximately 60 miles south east of Townsville, on the east coast of Australia, the Yongala Wreck is well worth the long trip out to visit the wreck.
The Yongala sank in a cyclone in March 1911, and lay in just undeer 30 metres of water for approximately 60 years before she was discovered. Over time, she has become encrusted with corals, and has become home to a wide variety of marine life including queenfish, turtles and a variety of sea snakes. However, the Yongala Wreck is also notorious for the huge groupers that can often be found lingering underneath the bows at the front of the wreck. During the winter months, it is sometimes also possible to spot migrating humpback whales as they pass through these waters.

The majority of dive operators who dive the Yongala will offer a two dive day, although it should be noted that this is a dive for intermediate divers and above, and strong currents will often be experienced on and around the Yongala wreck.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Scuba Diving In False Bay - South Africa

False Bay is located just over the other side of Table Mountain from Cape Town, and it offers some of the best cool water diving in the Western Cape.

The majority of the diving in False Bay is over the western side of False Bay, towards the shores of the Simons Town and Boulders Beach areas. Predominantly a summer diving destination, False Bay offers a number of excellent dive sites, including the famous wrecks of Smitswinkel Bay where five wrecks were sunk to form an artificial reef in the 1970's.

The Smitswinkel wrecks are in fact the resting places for the former South African navy frigates the Transvaal and the Good Hope, the fishing trawlers the Oratava and the Princess Elizabeth and the Rock Eater. When you are diving on the Smitswinkel Wrecks, it is worth noting that all the wrecks are relatively deep, at around 40 metres, so plan your dives accordingly.

As well as the Smitswinkel Wrecks, there are a number of other good dive sites in the False bay area including Pyramid Rock, Castle Rocks and Partridge Point, all of which are worth a visit if you are scuba diving in False Bay.

If you are considering going scuba diving in South Africa, why not head over to the main Scubaworld site, where we have plenty of information on all aspects of diving in South Africa.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Sharm El Sheikh - Scuba Diving In The Red Sea

As one of the most popular scuba diving resorts in the Red Sea, we thought we would take a closer look at Sharm El Sheikh, to see why huge numbers of scuba divers visit here each year.

Sharm El Shiekh is located on the Southern tip of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, and is today the main destination for those wishing to scuba dive in some of the Red Sea's best dive sites. From Sharm El Sheikh, day boats regularly visit dive sites such as the Thistlegorm Wreck, the Straits of Tiran, the Dunraven Wreck and Ras Mohamed.
Getting to Sharm El Sheikh is relatively easy from most major western airports, and there are numerous airlines offering cheap flights to Sharm El Sheikh from Manchester, Gatwick and other major UK airports. These cheap flights, coupled with the huge increase in hotels and other forms of accomodation in Sharm El Sheikh have resulted competitive prices for those seeking a cheap scuba diving holiday. The main airport in the region is Ras Nusrani, which also serves as the destination airport for those travelling on to the resort of Dahab further north on the Sinai Peninsula. There are a number of luxury coach and bus companies operating trips to Sharm El Sheik from Cairo, although the distances involved do tend to deter people on a limited timeframe.

Today, there is a large number of excellent hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, including the Hilton, the Movenpick and the Intercontinental.

There are a huge number of dive operators in Sharm El Sheikh, many of which are very well established and extremely well organised and equipped. The dive industry in Sharm El Sheikh is undoubtedly big business, and the huge numbers of day boats leaving the harbour each morning is testimony to this.

Of the dive operators in Sharm El Sheikh, there are a number of better knowns dive operations including the Oonas Dive Club, the Red Sea Diving College and the Camel Dive Club. Today, these operators are able to offer a complete package for a scuba diving holiday, including the accomodation in Sharm El Sheikh, the diving, and even the bars and restaurants in which to discuss the days diving afterwards!

As with the majority of scuba diving in the Red Sea, the diving in Sharm El Sheikh is excellent, and offers a wide range of dive sites for divers of all levels of experience. For the more experienced divers, sites such as the Thistlegorm Wreck or Shark and Yolanda Reef can prove to be the highlight of a scuba diving holiday. For beginners, or those wanting to learn to scuba dive, there are a huge number of shallower reefs, which offer good diving in an environment highly conducive for those wanting to learn to scuba dive.

Throughout the Sharm El Sheikh region, the coral reefs offer a good range of both hard and soft corals, and the marine life on the reefs is comparable to other destinations such as the Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef.

Our partners at Offplanworld.tv offer a range of investment property in Egypt. So if you're interested in the wide range of investment property in destinations including Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, why not take a look!

Monday, 5 November 2007

Scuba Diving In The Red Sea - Elphinstone Reef

Elphinstone Reef is undoubtedly one of the highlights of scuba diving in the Red Sea, and is widely recognised as being one of the best dive sites in the entire Red Sea region. The Elphinstone Reef is usually accessed either via a Red Sea liveaboard, or from one of the numerous day boats which leave from the nearby resort of Marsa Alam.

Located approximately 5 miles off the coast of Egypt at Marsa Abu Dabbab, Elphinstone Reef is in fact one large long reef, with walls which fall away to around 70 metres on either side. The diving on Elphinstone Reef is split into the Northern and Southern Plateau's, with the northern end offering a shallower option, and the southern end of the reef sloping away into the depths. At the northern end of the reef are two large pinnacles, which are deep at around 40-42 metres.

At the far end of Elphinstone Reef is the Sarcophagus Archway where legend dictates that an ancient pharoah lies beneath the arch in their sarcophagus. In fact, this is a large stone in the shape of a sarcophagus, which only more experienced, technical divers are likely to encounter due to it's depth (65m).

There is a good amount of both hard and soft coral covering Elphinstone Reef, as well as a good marine life population. On the reef, you are likely to encounter some large Napoleon Wrasse, as well as the resident Oceanic White Tip Shark and his accompanying Pilot Fish.

If you would like to find out more about the opportunities for scuba diving in the Red Sea, why not visit our main site, and take a look through the wide range of scuba diving holidays and destinations on offer.

Dahab Scuba Diving - The Bells Dive Site

The Bells is one the most well known dive sites in Dahab, and it characterised by the large wall which is the foundation for this beautiful dive site.

The dive site itself is located about 100m north of the Dahab Blue Hole dive site, and following the dramatic entry point (a small slot in the wall), you work your down to around 30 metres before beginning to follow the wall along. The exit point for the dive is the Blue Hole lagoon, which is in around 6m of water.

There is a good amount of coral to be found on the wall, with good amounts of plate and cabbage corals to be found. As with the majority of the dive sites in Dahab, there is a wide variety of reef fish to be found in the area, which overall make for a very pleasant dive, and certainly worth more than one visit if you are diving in Dahab. There are a number of dive operators in Dahab, and all will visit the Bells on a regular basis.

If you would like to know more about diving in the Red Sea, including dive sites such as the Thistlegorm Wreck, the Dunraven and The Brothers, why not visit the main Scubaworld web site which covers it in detail.

Dive Operators In Phuket

Also recently added to the Scubaworld site is the dive operators in Phuket pages, which will allow any dive operators on the island of Phuket to list their services on the site.

There are a large number of operators on the island, and the scuba diving in Phuket is widely acknowledged as being amongst the best diving in Thailand. Located between the Andaman Sea, and Phang-Nga Bay, the scuba diving in Phuket offers a wide variety of dive sites for divers of all levels of experience.

If you are interested in finding out more about the scuba diving in Phuket, then you should feel free to visit the Scubaworld site, where there is extensive information on the scuba diving in Thailand and Phuket. This covers information including some of the major dive sites in Phuket including Racha Islands and Shark Point.

Dive Operators In Scotland

Over the weekend, we launched our dive operators in Scotland pages, which are incorporated into the Scuba diving resources channel, accessed through the link in the top right corner of the page. From here, divers are able to access our large database of dive operators from around the world.

It's a tall order, but it is our hope that we will have all the worlds dive operators indexed through this database within the course of the next year, providing an invaluable resource for someone looking to go scuba diving overseas.
So if you are a dive operator, and you would like to be listed, or if you know of a specific dive operators in Scotland who you feel should be included in the list, why not let us know via the comments box on the Scubaworld Blog. If you would like to know more about the opportunities for scuba diving in Scotland, why not visit the main Scubaworld web site, where we look at all aspects of diving in Scotland including the diving at Scapa Flow, widely acknowledged to be one of the worlds best dive sites.