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Scuba Diving Holidays

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you planning your next vacation, but have so many questions that you don't know where to begin? We understand this and take great pleasure in ensuring your dive trip goes smoothly and lives up to all your expectations.

Whether you need to know where's a good place for beginners to dive, the languages that the divemasters speak, or if you can rent an underwater camera on your liveaboard tour, we have endeavoured to cover all the bases.

Have you already decided on your destination? Then choose one of the following dive holiday hotspots to review our frequently asked questions:

For the answers to your more general questions as they apply to worldwide scuba diving tours, read on...

General Diving FAQs

Non Diver FAQs

Liveaboard Diving FAQs

General FAQs

When is the best time for a scuba diving holiday?

Relax with peace of mind, read our frequently asked scuba diving holiday questions

Each of our destinations has its own climatic and sea conditions. First, visit our dive destinations section for the location of the trips you are interested in. Then review the detailed dive site descriptions for information on the seasons for each site. Our travel information sections will give you all you need to know on the weather patterns for each destination.

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How far in advance do I need to book?

You don't want to run the risk of a liveaboard tour departure being fully booked so, as there is only a limited number of beds available, you must try to book several months in advance. Resorts have more beds and are usually less likely to be booked out. However some of our dive destinations are very popular and you should always plan a few months ahead.

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What diving license do I need?

This depends on your package. If you are not new to the world of scuba then a PADI Open Water Diver license is acceptable in most resorts and on most liveaboards and daytrip boats provided you have an intermediate level of diving experience. Similar licenses from any other internationally recognised scuba association are also generally acceptable.

Some liveaboard itineraries may include some deep and exposed sites, but will also feature enough easy sites for the less-experienced to enjoy. Divemasters should ensure that you will never need to dive beyond your limits. Some tours require or recommend a certain level of qualification or experience and we advise you to adhere to such recommendations.

To make the most of your scuba diving vacation and to extend your training you may wish to take your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver license during your trip. Certification is normally discounted to about half price on many liveaboards. See the "Facilities" information of each boat for course prices on board.

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I don't have my license with me, can I still dive?

If you have a PADI scuba certification, we can check your details direct with PADI. Please provide your name as it appears on your card and your date of birth. If you contact PADI giving them the details of where you were certified, they can help you obtain a new card before your dive holiday begins.

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Which places are good for beginner divers?

Some places, such as Phuket and Phi Phi in Thailand, and Sharm El Sheikh in the Red Sea, are great for inexperienced divers and for learning SCUBA too. Others, such as Komodo in Indonesia and parts of the Red Sea, are more suited for advanced diving. The 'Reef Basics' sections in our destinations section explains which locations are good and not-so-good for beginners and advanced divers.

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Do I need a wetsuit?

We always recommend at least a 3 mm full length wetsuit, because making 3-4 dives a day, you will get chilled. It's best to review our dive site descriptions "Reef Basics" section for details on water temperatures at the destinations you are visiting.

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Is it safe for me to travel?

Few places in the world can be said to be truly safe these days and we are not going to claim that Indonesia, for example, is the safest country on earth. Having said that we are not going to try to sell you a trip to Indonesia in any known trouble spots such as Aceh either. Remember we check our locations out personally and we also don't want any drama!

What we can say is that statistically you are more likely to get struck by lightening than be involved in a tourist-related act of aggression on any of our packages. You have a greater chance of being mugged at gun or knife point or run over by an SUV in the USA or Europe, than be caught up in anything untoward when on holiday with Dive The World. Once again, our tourist sections carry more detailed information on security issues for each destination.

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I am single traveller. Are all destinations the same when it comes to single traveller policies?

In general terms, resorts are less likely to allow single travellers to share accommodation with other guests. In this case it will be compulsory to pay a single supplement for one person privacy. Liveaboards, being less like a hotel and with limited space, tend to view sharing a cabin as the normal practice.

Resorts in some destinations, particularly where space is limited, have a more relaxed policy. In Malaysia, Sipadan/Mabul resorts at the lower budget end allow for single travellers to choose to share a room. You can have privacy if you pay for it. Or you can take your chances and share with whoever the resort pairs you with (normally of the same sex). In the more expensive Malaysian resorts and in almost all resorts in Indonesia, Fiji and Belize, there is no option for single travellers to share. You must pay the single supplement (which varies from resort to resort). The resort will not make the 2nd bed available to other guests so the cost for the single traveller is higher.

On liveaboards, single travellers normally share a cabin with another guest. If you are a single traveller and specifically want one person privacy in your cabin (on a boat with no single cabins), there will be a single supplement to pay on top of the normal published price for 1 person. This can range from 25% to 100% of the per person price, and there is quite a variation from destination to destination. A 65% single supplement is around the international average. Indonesia tends to be less expensive for singles, Galapagos tends to be more expensive. You can often find lower single supplements in the lower budget price destinations such as the Red Sea, Burma and Thailand. Whereas high price destinations such as Cocos, often where boats cover large distances, are more expensive for single travellers who insist on a cabin to themselves.

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Can you arrange accommodation for me for a stop-over or in addition to my liveaboard trip?

From top-of-the range international beach resorts to one-star inns and guesthouses, there's something to suit everyone's taste and requirements. And you can be certain that whatever option you select, it will be backed up with their 'Low Price Guarantee', so you will always get top-dollar value for money.

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What languages do the divemasters speak?

English is the main language of communication on all our scuba diving trips. However, most of our dive operators have guides that can speak a variety of other languages. For details on which languages each resort and liveaboard covers, please refer to the national flags on each product information display.

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Can I request vegetarian food?

Please review the "Food" section for details of different dietary requirements that can be met on each liveaboard dive tour or resort stay. Please tell us your requirements at the time when you book your holidays with us, so that we can meet your request.

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Where's the best place to see mandarinfish?

Actually, you can find mandarinfish quite easily in the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia, or otherwise maybe try Mabul in Malaysia.

Our 'Creature Feature' section highlights some of the more popular marine life you can find at our scuba holiday destinations, and where best to find them. If your favourite is not listed, then: send us an email and we'll try to run a feature in the near future.

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Non Diver FAQs

Is there anything to do on your vacations for a non-diver?

Some of our destinations are remote islands with undeveloped infrastructure and they offer very little except superb diving and snorkelling. If you are travelling with a non-diver or you'd like to break up your trip with some other fun activities for yourself, we can make some holiday recommendations for you.

Sabah in Malaysian Borneo has a lot more to do than diving and it is worth extending your time as much as possible to add some of these wonderful experiences to your scuba trip. Orangutans, proboscis monkeys, snakes, elephants, macaques, crocodiles, hornbills and many more beautiful species of wildlife can be seen in the interior of Sabah. Mountains, jungles, white water rafting, trekking, nature in every hue as well as beaches, watersports, golf, mountain-biking ... there's so much to see and do on vacation here ...

Krabi in Thailand has simply stunning scenery and countless adventure options, minus the crowds of the more popular and nearby Phuket and Phi Phi Islands. Probably the most beautiful location in the whole of the country, Krabi manages to combine it's glorious natural wonders with the service and warm smiles that you've come to expect from holidays in Thailand. You can dive the local area, Koh Phi Phi and some of the sites in Phuket, or take a ride up the coast to visit Thailand's No.1 scuba destination, the Similan Islands.

Bali in Indonesia remains the most popular tourist destination in the whole of South East Asia. A dramatic mountainous interior and exquisite rice terraces provide jaw-dropping vistas. Then the blend of Balinese dance, culture, artwork and architecture give the island it's unique fascination. Perhaps that's why many visitors don't seem to realise that the scuba diving is excellent here too.

Australia, unsurprisingly given its size, has a wealth of tourism opportunities. If you are lucky enough to be diving on the Great Barrier Reef, you will need plenty of extra time to see sights beyond the Cairns area such as Ayer's Rock, the Whitsundays or Fraser island. There are "heaps" of nearby beaches plus white water rafting, 4 wheel drive safaris, trekking and even an adrenaline charged skydive!

The Red Sea is best accessed from Egypt, a land synonymous with cultural and historical fascination. If you are planning a sightseeing and diving holiday then your time will need to be split between places like Luxor and Giza where the pyramids and the Sphinx are to be found, and the coastal area where the desert meets the mighty Red Sea.

Fiji is one of the best vacation destinations in terms of pleasing both diver and non-diver alike. Taveuni and Kadavu both offer a wealth of natural interest with waterfalls, treks and isolated bays perfect for exploration by sea kayak. If staying in Viti Levu you can visit the markets and activities of the towns and no matter where you are there is always a little village nearby welcoming you to join them in a cultural kava drinking session.

Galapagos is a destination as famous for its birds and land animals as it is for the extraordinary underwater life. While the liveaboard cruises to more distant islands of Wolf and Darwin may not be the best place for a non-diver, land lovers can spend several days learning about the flora and fauna of the islands and of their place in Charles Darwin's legendary work. The Galapagos is an enthralling destination for all nature lovers, whether they spend their time at 25m below the surface or investigating the highlands and shores of this fascinating volcanic archipelago.

Cocos Island is not a place for non-divers. Practically the only time anyone leaves the liveaboard boat is to dive. The Costa Rican mainland however, has an incredible variety of activities for the intrepid nature lover. You can tour volcanoes, trek into the highlands above San Jose, fly through jungle canopies on a lightning-fast zip line, or discover creatures in their natural rainforest habitat. Costa Rica also has a fascinating culture and history with interesting arts and crafts and delicious cuisine.

Belize has so much more to offer than diving. A trek into the lush rainforests should be on anybody's 'to do' list. Ancient Mayan ruins, some still being excavated, are dotted all over Belize. Ambergris Caye with its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, water sport activities, and lots of walking trails to observe the abundant flora and fauna, also has plenty to keep the non-diver occupied.

In Mexico, considering its suitability for non-divers depends where you are. Pacific coast liveaboards are not much fun for non-divers unless you are the type who likes to get into a great white shark cage. Seaside towns like Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula and Caribbean resort towns like Cozumel and Cancun have plenty of beach-dominated activities. All manner of watersports are complimented by bustling Mexican markets selling every piece of tourist memorabilia imaginable, Mayan ruins, beautiful golf courses, horse riding and some hardcore partying venues.

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Liveaboard FAQs

What is a liveaboard cruise?

A liveaboard holiday comes to an end on Mermaid II at Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Liveaboards provide scuba facilities and living accommodations for divers. The boat becomes your home and you eat, sleep and dive on it! Liveaboards stay at sea for the duration of the tour and therefore can explore more remote sites. This type of diving opens up a whole new world of top class scuba holidays that would simply not be available on regular daytrip boats.

How many dives will I make each day?

Generally you can make 4 per day. A typical cruise day starts at 07:00 hrs with the first dive, and the last being either a sunset or night dive. You have about 3 hours between dives, at your leisure.

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Can I recharge my strobes and batteries on the boat?

Usually this is not a problem onboard liveaboard charters. Please review the boats' "Specs" section for details of the power sources provided on each of the trips.

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What type of scuba tanks and valves are on the boats?

Please see the "Specs" section of each boat for more details as specifics vary between different cruises.

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Can I rent an underwater camera on the boat?

Some liveaboards have cameras available for rent. See the "Facilities" section of each boat for more details. Please request these in advance to ensure availability.

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Where can you pick me up from for my boat transfer?

We'll send you transfer details during the booking process so that you'll know where you need to get to well in advance of your cruise.

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What should I bring on board for my diving tour?

All your personal scuba gear (except tanks, weights and weight belts), a bathing suit, towel, toiletries, T-shirts, shorts, and sun cream. You may also want to bring something a little warmer for the evenings.

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Is dive insurance for customers included in the cruise price?

Some scuba charters provide insurance, others insist that you have your own. For details please review the "Safety" section for each boat. In any case, we recommend you have your own personal dive insurance for your own peace of mind:

Get your travel and diving insurance from World Nomads

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Can a non-diver go on a liveaboard safari?

Non-divers and snorkellers are welcome on all liveaboards. Do bear in mind though that most of these cruises are designed primarily for diving, not snorkelling. Prices for non-divers are usually discounted 10%, sometimes more, but please ask for exact details.

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Must I share a cabin?

Space is the ultimate premium on liveaboards and single cabins are extremely rare and expensive. Unless we manage to book you a single cabin, you will be expected to share. It may be, if the trip is not fully booked and there are an odd number of passengers, that you can have your own cabin, but this situation cannot be guaranteed. The only way to guarantee a cabin for yourself is to pay for 2 beds! Please review the "Cabins" section of each boat for more details on the types of cabin available.

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Are your boat products listed in order of quality?

No, they are listed in order of price category. We like to provide a selection of products in a range of prices. We select what products we sell in any destination once we have assessed them and we are confident that they can provide a good service. Then we analyse the prices including the additional costs of the dive trips, such as marine park fees, taxes and other fees that the standard customer will have to pay. We work out what the daily price is for each package and we use this to determine whether products appear in our High, Medium or Low budget options. These categories are divisions in price among the products we sell in that location. They are not meant as a description of quality. Each product carries a Customer Star Rating which is a measure of our customers' satisfaction with each product.

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I have a question that is not answered here – what can I do?

Ask us. We have a team of experienced divers on hand to deal with all your queries. So if there is something on your mind or you need clarification on any issue then simply contact us. We will be delighted to help make the booking process easy for you and see to it that you have a great time on your next scuba diving holiday.


Unit 702, 7/F Bangkok Bank Building,
No. 18 Bonham Strand West, Hong Kong
Tel.: +66 (0)83 505 7794
Fax: +66 (0)76 281166