Just in time for the holidays, the dive travel experts at PADI®, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors®, have curated a collection of holiday trips for divers of every experience level and interest, including first-time divers. With more than 6,600 dive centers and resorts across the globe, and thousands of dive travel packages, PADI provides divers with underwater adventures, worldwide travel opportunities and new perspectives to steward ocean health. As part of the organization’s mission to create a billion torchbearers to explore and protect our ocean, PADI enables divers’ exploration through life-changing diving vacations and experiences at the world’s best resorts, liveaboards and dive centers through PADI Travel®.
“From Mexico to Thailand to the Maldives, many dive destinations offer excellent conditions this time of year, making it an ideal season to book a dive trip and explore the world above and below the surface,” says Kristin Valette-Wirth, chief marketing officer at PADI Worldwide. “There is no better way to end 2019 than by expanding your horizons and fully immersing yourself in a destination that celebrates adventure and connection to the world around us.”
PADI Travel is offering dive vacation packages for both new and experienced divers who want to celebrate the holidays in paradise:
- Riviera Maya, Mexico — This popular coastal destination on the Yucatán Peninsula – well known for its gorgeous beaches, lively nightlife and breathtaking dives – features stunning reefs, a plethora of marine life and crystal-clear cenotes. These Caribbean waters are beautiful year-round, and stunning coral reefs close to shore make the destination well suited for any level of diver.
- Turks & Caicos — Shallow reefs with little current make Turks & Caicos’ waters ideal for those who are just learning to scuba The area teems with fish, rays, turtles, dolphins and migrating humpback whales during winter months. Wrecks, caverns and incredible walls also make this a world-class destination for avid divers. Beginning and experienced divers can sail into 2020 with an exclusive PADI Travel discount aboard a luxury yacht.
- Koh Tao, Thailand — With a great island vibe, tons of activities and easy (yet stunning) diving, Koh Tao is a spectacular holiday destination. December is peak dive season in Thailand, and divers will find festive scenes aplenty from the velvet crimson of coral to the shimmering shoals of silver fish, leopard sharks, whale sharks and mantas.
- Hawaii, USA — This quintessential tropical vacation destination is known for its pristine beaches, lush scenery, surf and spectacular diving. Hawaii is home to diverse dives that commonly feature the likes of sea turtles, eels, manta rays and, of course, the state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Great for a family getaway, the islands’ waters are routinely above 24º C/75º F, even in December.
- Maldives — Maldivian waters are at their clearest between December and March, and each dive delivers impeccable visibility and heart-stopping beauty. With diverse marine life, colorful reefs and thilas (submerged islands), many dive sites in the Maldives are suited for both beginner and advanced divers. Travelers can spend Christmas with manta rays and whale sharks, or ring in the New Year in tranquil, turquoise water with PADI Travel deals on week-long liveaboard holidays.
- Queensland, Australia — It’s summer down under and the Great Barrier Reef offers clear blue waters with great visibility and abundant marine life. Choose the floating hotel experience of a dive safari or stay on the mainland to enjoy the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal city life.
Those planning to dive for the first time during their holiday can make the most of their vacation time by starting their scuba course at home with PADI Open Water Diver eLearning. This interactive knowledge-development platform presents fundamental scuba diving concepts and safety rules through videos, audio, images and text, which prepares students for underwater skills development with a PADI Instructor. The first dives are in a pool or confined water; the PADI Open Water Diver course also includes four open water dives. The confined water and open water dives can be done with a PADI Dive Center locally or at a travel destination. The course is student-centered, completed at a pace that works best for each individual. On average, the in-water portion of the course can be completed in three or four days. Kids as young as 10 years old (who meet the requirements for both course knowledge development and dive performance) can become certified divers, making scuba diving an experience the entire family can enjoy together.
For more information about learning to scuba dive or to start planning a dive holiday, visit padi.com.