Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Cruise Weekly: SCUBA divers do it underwater


Expedition cruisers thrive on discovery, learning and fulfillment. What’s more, as long as you’re healthy and retain a reasonable level of fitness, you’re never too old to learn SCUBA diving.

Many of your favourite expedition cruise ships offer SCUBA diving as a rewarding and exciting onboard activity. To fully experience everything your destination offers, going underwater exploring is a natural part of enjoying your next cruise.

SCUBA diving is however, a “safety first” activity and to fully enjoy this exhilarating sport, your vessel must have a PADI® qualified instructor or you should already have your PADI® Open Water Certificate (OWC).

Local operators offering SCUBA on board include, Coral Princess Cruises, North Star Cruises, Captain Cook Cruises and Blue Lagoon Cruises. Orion and Aurora will liaise with local operators in destinations such as PNG and Solomon Islands to ensure ticketed divers are catered for.

Tufi in PNG and Gizo in Solomon Islands are some of the best wreck and reef diving in the world. Vanuatu and Fiji both have diving aplenty too. Serious divers can even dive beneath the ice in Antarctica on specialist tours through operators such as Quark Expeditions. Reef diving on our own Great Barrier Reef is hard to go past, while in WA, the famous Rowley Shoals off Broome draw divers from around the world.
PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the world’s leading scuba diving training organization. With more than forty years experience and 5300 dive shops and resorts worldwide, PADI® training materials and services let you experience scuba diving from nearly anywhere.

With just an Internet connection, you can complete most of your theory work in the comfort of your home, at your own pace. Then make a time with your dive shop to complete the final assessment and practical tests.

Going aboard your next expedition cruise with your OWC in hand, is assurance that you will enjoy the full adventure experience.

Exploring the kaleidoscope of colour on the coral reefs of Queensland or Fiji, observing the fascinating marine life at WA’s Rowley Shoals, discovering shipwrecks in PNG or archaeological sites underwater need not be reserved for National Geographic scientists and documentary filmmakers. You can experience it for yourself.

Contact your nearest dive shop before you book your next adventure cruise and ask them about introductory dives. Some stores offer these pool dives at no charge and you’ll know well in advance if SCUBA diving is for you.

You can locate your nearest PADI® dive centre at the web site: www.padi.com or Freecall 1800 023 705