12 Diving Breaks To Explore The Deep Blue

If swimming after a turtle underwater is your idea of #livingyourbestlife, this one’s for you. Get up, close and personal with the creatures of the sea and book yourself a getaway in the deep blue. Make a splash in 2021 with this list!

TOP DIVING HOLIDAYS TO BOOK NOW

AL BOOM DIVING, UAE

Al Boom (alboomdiving.com) has dive centres at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and at Fujairah’s Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort. Fujairah offers some of the UAE’s best diving, with waters teeming with fish and reefs. Experienced divers can book a night dive and get close to the reef’s nocturnal creatures. Some of the popular dive sites are Dibba Rock, Sharm Rock and Martini Bay. Look forward to tropical waters and the chance to swim beside a turtle.

BAREFOOT SCUBA, ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS

There are diving and stay packages for everyone from backpackers to luxury travellers at Barefoot Scuba (barefootscuba.in). If you are looking for luxury and privacy, Barefoot at Havelock (barefoot-andaman.com), located on Radhanagar Beach, is the perfect stay; plus, guests have access to a private stretch of the sands. Barefoot Scuba’s dive centre is on the beach, so you can go on shore dives (which start from the beach) or take a boat out for deeper, more advanced dives. Complete beginners— including non-swimmers—can book a PADI Discover Scuba Diving session with one-on-one supervision by an instructor.

COMO COCOA ISLAND, MALDIVES 

Turquoise lagoons, silky-soft sands and a house reef that’s bursting with colourful marine life make COMO Cocoa Island (comohotels.com) irresistible. Divers will enjoy exploring the dramatic Kandooma Caves, the shark cleaning station, and the reef sharks, green turtles, and lots more that the resort’s resident marine biologist will spotlight on tour. At night, find a whole new side of the ocean as you snorkel with underwater torches and look out for the shy creatures of the dark.

DIVE GOA

 Calm, tropical waters are a given when with Dive Goa (divegoa.com), which organises trips within Goa and to Netrani Island. Most of the action in Goa happens at Grand Island, home to coral reefs. shipwrecks and around 115 fish species recorded in its depths. For beginners, this is a great spot to do an introductory diving session (for non-swimmers, too). You might even see a dolphin or two if you’re lucky!

DIVEINDIA, ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS 

With schools based in Neil Island and Havelock, DiveIndia (diveindia.com) offers diving trips and an array of PADI diving courses. Neil Island is currently the team’s primary dive centre. Some of the dive sites around include Junction (with interesting coral formations and lionfish) and Sea Fan City (a deep dive suitable for advanced divers). The school has garden and beach cottages at Neil Island.

DIVE WORLDWIDE, SOUTH AFRICA 

The coast of South Africa offers some of the most thrilling diving. With Dive Worldwide’s guided dive safaris (diveworldwide.com) along the KwaZulu- Natal coast, you can expect incredible underwater wildlife experiences. Look out for hammerheads, tiger sharks, humpback whales, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays and reef fish—in short, a diver’s dream! The safari will take you from the province of KwaZulu-Natal up to Mozambique over 15 days, with stays at dive resorts along the way. The trip is best suited for experienced divers. 

LACADIVES, ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS 

The pioneer of scuba diving in India, Lacadives (lacadives.com) was set up in 1995 by ad film director Prahlad Kakkar and his wife, Mitali. Lacadives has a PADI 5-Star Dive Centre in the Andamans at Havelock and at Chidiya Tapu, which offers great diving for beginners. To learn more about ocean conservation, join a session with Reefwatch India, Lacadives’ non-profit partner. The dive centre at Havelock is based at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans on the white sands of Radhanagar Beach— don’t miss the hotel’s dining options that showcase the diversity of the islands.

ORCA DIVE CLUB, MUMBAI 

When they are not helping execute underwater sequences for Bollywood films, Orca Dive Club (orcadiveclub.in) trains dive instructors. They organise luxury liveaboards in the Maldives, dives in the Andamans and wreck diving in the Red Sea. They also offer courses for certification right from the beginner’s Open Water licence to Advanced, Rescue and Dive Master.

PLANET SCUBA, BENGALURU 

The team at Planet Scuba (planetscubaindia.com) organises dive trips to Goa, Rameswaram, Puducherry and the Maldives. If you’re keen to dive regularly, sign up for the basic Open Water course—this will require two days of pool training plus a theory exam. Once you’re ready to hit the open water, book your training sessions at a location of your choice with Planet Scuba.

TEMPLE ADVENTURES, PUDUCHERRY 

The PADI 5-Star Dive Centre conducts certified courses and dives off Puducherry and Chennai. One of the few dive schools to organise dives along the east coast of India, Temple Adventures (templeadventures.com) is also involved in training the Indian Coast Guard as well as wildlife rangers in the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. You can learn all about Puducherry’s diverse marine life with the PADI Fish Identification Speciality Course conducted here. From moray eels and lionfish to the gentle giants of the ocean, the whale shark, Puducherry’s dive sites are rich with marine life.

W MALDIVES

 Nestled in the North Ari Atoll, the W Maldives (marriott.com) is great for watersports, with facilities for diving, kite-surfing and even SeaBobs (do a James Bond and basically zoom underwater on a rocket!). Experienced divers can get trained in nitrox diving or else enroll in an advanced diving course. Keep your eyes peeled for hammerhead sharks, manta rays and whale sharks.

WEST COAST ADVENTURES 

The team has dive centres set up in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Murdeshwar and Kapu (westcoastadventures.in). At Kapu in Udupi, kick off your morning with coffee and neer dosa and head out for your dives just about 20 minutes from shore. End your day with a stunning sunset and bioluminescent waves. Kapu is spectacular for night dives and wreck dives. From Murdeshwar, dive off the coast of Karnataka to explore the teeming waters around the heart-shaped Netrani Island. Great for drift diving and for beginners, it’s an easy spot to get your dive certification done over a weekend. 



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