UK-based tour operator Dive Worldwide has some big-discount offers, including 40% off the overall price at Tobago’s Coco Reef Resort at Coconut Beach with boat-diving from the on-site PADI dive-centre. Encounters with moray eels, hawksbill turtles, wrecks, reefs and nurse sharks are all on the cards, it says.
An eight-day trip including flights costs £1,865 including a saving of £350 – but for that it must be booked by 31 January.
A more unusual holiday combining culture with scuba offers divers a chance to get to know Egypt’s capital Cairo, taking in the pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and the Egyptian Museum with Tutankhamen’s treasures, before heading south to dive the Red Sea’s southern reefs and notably Fury Shoals from Hamata, with daily boat-diving as well as an extensive house reef to explore.
The 10-day Pyramids & Reef Egypt holiday costs from £1,297, including return flights from the UK, nine nights’ B&B, a guided tour of Cairo, 10 dives and transfers. This represents a saving of 35% (just under £700 off), again if booked before 31 January, so a quick decision would be required.
Dive Worldwide also has a last-minute offer of £500 off a trip out from Mexico to Socorro, home to manta rays, sharks, dolphins and humpback whales, on the 30m Nautilus UnderSea liveaboard.
The departure is on 12 February and you get flights from the UK, a night in a hotel and eight nights at sea with five days’ diving, marine-park fees and some transfers from £3,845pp, including the discount.
Citizen science in Socorro
Talking of Socorro, two 10-day whale shark and manta ray citizen-science expeditions are being floated well ahead (from 30 November this year, and from 22 November in 2025) to that island and others in the Revillagigedo archipelago. The trips will be guided by expert Beto Garcia, executive director of Whale Shark Mexico.
Complete with a series of daily presentations to accompany the dives and the chance to participate in photo-ID and tagging operations, the 2024 trip on Mexico Liveaboards’ Quino El Guardian is priced at $3,700pp (four sharing a cabin), the second trip $100 more. The price includes everything but national park and nitrox fees and transfers, and the boat sails to and from San José Del Cabo.
Throughout the year the Quino El Guardian is also billing itself as “the dream liveaboard for solo travellers”. It has four quad cabins assigned by gender as well as a single double cabin, an arrangement it says means that everyone “gets to enjoy the same amazing experience at a lower price – a win-win situation”.
Great whites at all levels
Adelaide in Australia is the starting point for a Big Animals trip for eight people with six days of cage-diving from the Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions liveaboard, from 20 October this year. Andrew Fox uses an innovative diving method that attracts up to four sharks around the cages at a time to maximise the divers’ observational and photographic opportunities.
One of the cages is at the surface and the other 18-24m below the boat in the cold (15-17°C) waters, and guests can anticipate spending equal time in each one.
Famed photographer Amos Nachoum is expedition leader, and side activities include photo-coaching, snorkelling, exploring nearby islands and presentations from shark experts.
The seven nights on the Rodney Fox, with two nights in a hotel in Adelaide and scuba-gear hire, all taxes and fees costs US $8,950, excluding flights and transfers.
Projected Big Animals photo-workshops this year include sperm whales in Dominica in February, November and December; mobula rays and orca in Baja California, Mexico (July); and two weeks in Galapagos in September, the first in search of marine iguanas, sunfish, whale sharks and schooling hammerheads and the second tuna, whales and baitballs.
Aggressor lands with Signature Lodges
Aggressor Adventures, well-known for its global fleet of dive liveaboards, is hitting dry land with its latest venture, in the shape of Aggressor Signature Lodges, initially in Sri Lanka.
“We are continuing our expansion to cultural interactions, birding, wildlife safaris, historical expeditions and photo workshops around the world,” says chairman and CEO Wayne Brown. “We are just getting started, so look for new lodges in the coming year!”
No sign of land-based scuba offerings yet, but the lodges will follow Aggressor Adventures’ sustainability guidelines for eco-tourism, says the organisation.