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POA

Price notes statement Per person

At a glance

Flight time: 10.5 hours

Water temperature: 24 - 28°C

Highlights on-board: Best in class luxury

Highlights underwater: Best central sites including Ari Atoll

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SAVE A MINIMUM OF 10% ON YOUR NEXT DIVING HOLIDAY!

You can save an incredible 10% on holiday and liveaboard packages worldwide* when you book your Regaldive holiday from 29 December 2015. This saving applies to almost every holiday in the Regaldive programme.

Also, benefit from many other special offers, including dive pack offers, free extra nights and room upgrades. 

Example Savings:

RED SEA DIVE PACK OFFERS - INCLUDING ‘BUY ONE GET ONE FREE’

Regaldive are also offering a range of Dive Pack Offers

Call the Regaldive team on 01353 659999 or email us today to book your next diving adventure.

 Please click here to see our Christmas & New Year Office Opening Hours

Find out more 

* Subject to Terms and Conditions - please see here

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Dolmen Resort Hotel has over 400 rooms, all with attractive views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, St. Paul's Bay, impressive Neolithic Temples, or the beautifully landscaped gardens, so it will appeal to divers and visitors who are looking for a quality resort with excellent facilities. The Hotel's Oracle Casino boasts a spectacular setting on the shores of the Mediterranean and an easy-going, relaxed atmosphere.

Malta can be reached from the UK in as little as three hours and the Dolmen Resort is less than half an hour’s drive from the airport, putting it within easy reach for UK divers who want to minimise their journey and maximise their diving time.

With its dramatic underwater landscapes, excellent visibility, balmy sea temperatures and lots of wrecks and caves to explore, Malta has enough to keep divers coming back year after year. The island’s history as disputed land has led to an impressive collection of ship, plane and submarine wrecks that have really put Malta on the map for wreck diving. Dozens of shipwrecks, historic and artificial mean that Malta is a key technical diving destination, but it's also an ideal place to learn to dive.

Divers staying at the Dolmen Resort Hotel will be diving with Maltaqua Dive Centre, a PADI Dive Centre and a BSAC School of Excellence with over 40 years’ experience on the islands of Malta. Maltaqua offer Regaldive guests staying at Dolmen Resort a courtesy transfer to their Dive Centre in St. Paul's Bay, just a few minutes’ drive away.

Regaldive is offering seven night twin share packages staying at the Dolmen Resort Hotel including flights, transfers and breakfast from £358 per person. Dive Packs are available through Regaldive starting at £83 per person for seven days of unlimited shore diving (unguided).

For more details, contact our specialist team on 01353 659 999 or email: info@regaldive.co.uk, or visit Dolmen Resort Hotel.

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This liveaboard operates Saturday to Saturday, which means that only 5 days annual leave is required. Flights depart from Gatwick on Saturday morning. 

A 38.7 metre boat, Vita Xplorer easily accommodates 24 guests in her 8 twin-berth cabins, 2 king-size cabins and 1 king-size ensuite cabin. Vita Xplorer has an enviable 120m² of sundecks with both shaded and unshaded areas. Nitrox is provided FREE of charge.

This boat’s itinerary is the popular 'Abu Nuhas & Ras Mohammed' route - it provides the best of both worlds, with visits to famous wrecks in the northern Red Sea, along with some stunning reef diving. Divers can explore the famous horseshoe shaped reef of Shaab El Erg with its beautiful hard coral garden and the chance to see dolphins. Abu Nuhas has four well-known wrecks: Giannis D, Carnatic, the lentil wreck and the tile wreck, all offering spectacular dives and plenty of fish life. In between wreck dives, divers will visit the reefs of the Straits of Gubal, Gulf of Suez and also those to the north of Hurghada. A variety of deep walls and hard coral gardens with an abundance of reef fish make them well worth a visit.

Night dives offered on this trip can be superb, as Gubal Island offers protected anchoring for the night. Whilst in Ras Mohamed, divers may have an opportunity to dive at Shark Reef; a sheer wall falling into the blue. From here the boat heads back towards Hurghada. 

Vita Xplorer is part of the Aquarius Fleet based in the Red Sea, along with MY Okeanos Xplorer.

For more details, please contact our specialist team on 01353 659 999, or by email, or visit Vita Xplorer.

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1 Jul 2020

learn to dive, dive, Diving

Choosing the right destination to learn to dive is crucial and there are many factors to consider. The professionalism of the dive centre, safety, access to suitable dive sites for student divers and consistent underwater conditions are just some of the factors to consider.

Here, we give our tips on the top ten diving destinations for beginners.

Sharm el Sheikh, Red Sea

Back on the map, Sharm el Sheikh has all the ingredients for the perfect learn to dive holiday. Just 5 hours from the UK and Europe this area boasts a range of sites that are perfect for beginner divers with safe, shallow coral reefs on which to get comfortable with being underwater. Add in professional dive centres, year round sunshine and great marine life and it is not hard to see why Sharm kicks off our list.

Learning how to scuba dive

Malta & Gozo

Possibly Europe's premier dive destination, the Mediterranean islands of Malta & Gozo feature excellent dive centres and a range of shore diving sites well suited to those looking to learn to scuba dive. Spend your time on one island only, or extend your holiday to combine both. A great choice for those on a tighter budget.

Learning to dive in Malta

Soma Bay, Red Sea 

Conveniently located less than an hour south of Hurghada and with a range of convenient and cost effective flight options, Soma Bay is another winning option. Boasting an award winning dive resort and excellent facilities, the house reef provides ideal conditions for training dives. As your get your confidence, a range of suitable dive sites are also available a short boat ride away.

Underwater landscape with diver in the Red Sea

Lanzarote

Another excellent value option with many direct flights, Lanzarote arguably offers the best diving in the Canary Islands and is well suited to those looking to take their Open Water course. Based on a family friendly sandy beach, our award-winning partner dive centre is blessed with suitable dive sites starting right from the shore.

Two divers training before the dive

Grenada

Dubbed the Spice Island of the Caribbean, Grenada is blessed with year-round sunshine and ideal conditions for learning to dive. Oozing charm, Grenada has extremely professional dive centres and plenty of dive sites suitable for the beginner. More adventurous souls should stay longer to check out Grenada's lesser known twin Carriacou, known as the land of reefs.

Turtle in the Caribbean

North & South Malé Atolls, Maldives

World-famous for its picture perfect atolls and azure blue waters, the Maldives has been a diving mecca for years. Learning to dive here is more expensive than other destinations, but the rewards are plentiful. Well established, professional dive centres offer very high levels of tuition, with excellent shore diving available from the best dive resorts. Providing diving opportunities on a par with many more remote spots in the Maldives, we recommend using the North or South Malé atolls as a base to learn, leaving some of the outer atolls to explore once you are qualified divers.

Young woman scuba diving

Jebel Sifah, Oman

Possibly less well known for its diving than some of the other destinations on this list, Oman never-the-less has much to shout about. Year-round sunshine and good flight options combine with excellent diving just a short distance from the country's capital, Muscat. European dive centres provide a high standard of tuition, with a good choice of dive sites available to suit those new to the sport.

Colourful fish swimming around a shallow coral reef

The Visayas Islands, Philippines

This group of islands in the central Philippines offers a range of great options, many of which can be combined to make a longer holiday. One could head to the vibrant reefs of Bohol to learn to dive with highly professional European-run dive centres, before exploring the delights of Moalboal, Malapascua or beyond. The choice is yours! Warm, tropical waters, wonderful marine life and a friendly welcome add to the appeal for new divers.

Coral reef with crinoids and soft corals

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

With outstanding Caribbean beaches and fascinating archaeological sites, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has plenty to enjoy and inspire topside, but that's not where the appeal ends. The coastline around Puerto Aventuras and the island of Cozumel offer wonderful reefs and great conditions for beginners. You'll be looked after every step of the way by an experienced, professional dive team to get your diving odyssey off to a flying start.

Group of scuba divers underwater

Bunaken National Marine Park, Indonesia

Located just off the coast from Manado and easily reached from the UK and Europe, Bunaken National Marine Park offers everything a beginner diver could possibly wish for. This region boasts a wonderful climate, while the warm tropical waters are famed for their colourful coral corals and marine life. One of Indonesia's most famous diving areas, Bunaken has a range of outstanding dive resorts offering professional instruction and excellent facilities. Oh, and don’t forget to look out for turtles! 

Coral reef colony

If you are considering learning to dive, get in touch with our friendly team of dive professionals today on 01353 659999. We'll be happy to answer any questions you may have and advise on the best options for you.

With over 30 years' experience, we tailor our holidays to suit your precise needs. Our small, dedicated team offer a personal and attentive service to ensure every detail of your holiday is covered. 

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Luke from Emperor Divers with Emperor Superior Liveaboard

"We have worked with Regaldive since the very beginning of Emperor almost 30 years ago, regularly looking after Regal divers on our boats and at our diving centres, but of course we haven’t had any guests for the past few months and so it's really nice to get this opportunity to update everyone.

The most important part of our company is our team. We have managed to keep the team together and we have been able to support them through this pandemic. Egypt, Maldives and Indonesia actually have relatively few COVID cases, so I am very pleased to say that no staff, nor their families, have been taken unwell by this terrible virus. We have been in contact with our team regularly. Some are posted on the boats while they are anchored up, keeping them safe and maintained ready for divers in the coming months. Others have gone back to their local cities, towns and villages to care for their families.

Aerial shot of the Emperor Superior liveaboard in the Red Sea, Egypt

To keep our diving and non-diving guests active, we have been doing live seminars on Facebook. Guides from all over the company have been talking about diving areas, or more general topics such as marine life or seas conditions and diving tips. Tracy has been running The Hatchling’s Club for our younger audience, full of information and facts about our favourite marine animals alongside some craft ideas. All our live talks have had lots of views and we have really loved the interaction that comes from this. 

We have our eye on the future and we are getting excited. Restrictions are starting to be relaxed in many countries; borders are opening up. Diving in our three destinations is so close we can taste it! Emperor is trusted to make safety the highest priority. We have operated at the highest level for nearly 30 years now and have an impeccable safety record. Over the decades we have innovated and adapted to make sure we are at the front of the pack when it comes to diver safety and service. We are ready to do so again, and we have a team dedicated to applying solutions to the current environment.

The three countries we work in have started to build a framework of procedures and policies that are still being finalised. Over and above that rest assured we will always follow the latest scientific advice and set the bar for industry best practices. As we get closer to reopening and the science, regulations and advice gets more apparent, we will confirm which procedures will be employed to specific upcoming trips.

We have been securing and maintaining our boats, our diving equipment and training our team; we are ready to go as soon as those first flights land! Egypt has had its fair share of slumps in the tourism business in recent years, and one thing has always been true – after a period of inactivity in the sea, the diving is better than ever. Reefs recover and replenish, and nature never looks more awesome. Be on one of those first flights out if you can, and we will be waiting for you here to get you back underwater with that familiar Emperor service.”

Reef scene in Fury Shoal, Egypt

Contact a member of our team or call us on 01353 659999 to discuss your next Red Sea liveaboard adventure.

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20 May 2020

turtles, turtle

The turtle has to be my favourite marine animal, and I get excited each time I see a one. Whether it’s a big chunky green or a snappy little hawksbill, I will endeavour to point it out to my buddy using the well-known hand signal we all know and love. My initial bond was formed when I spent some time volunteering at a Turtle Rescue and Education centre on Zanzibar Island ten or so years ago. Each turtle had its own way to say hello every morning when I would approach the sheltered area, they really are intelligent beings.

Green sea turtle underwater

I think turtles are little miracles dressed in a hard shell. Females will lay up to 200 eggs in a single nest, cover them up and wish them the best of luck as she makes her way back to the water. The ambient temperature of the nest will dictate if the turtle hatchlings will be male or female. After 40-60 days the hatchlings will emerge from their eggs and nest and make their way towards the sea guided usually by the moon, starlight, or setting sun. For those that face the perils of the beach dash and make it to the ocean, the next miracle begins as they drift in the open ocean for several years. After this time, they will return back to shorelines and coral reefs, where we divers are most likely to enjoy their company. The turtles often spend large amounts of time in a certain area, becoming residents. Between the ages of 17 and 30 turtles are ready to buddy up with a mate and start the next round of little miracle shelled beings, which they will do every 2-3 years. Now, do they do this on the closest beach because that’s nice and easy? No. The females will return to the beach that she was born on to lay her eggs, sometimes this can be thousands of miles away. How I hear you ask? I like to think it's magic, but the latest theory is that they rely on unique magnetic signatures along coastlines.

Turtle hatchlings making their way to sea

Very few turtles reach adulthood for various reasons including human interference, the ones that do are able to contribute to the next generation. Currently six of seven species of turtle are facing extinction. Each time I see a particularly big turtle, I get super excited. Depending on the species, turtles need between 10 and 50 years to reach sexual maturity, so these large adults are a key component to their species survival. Although it may seem like we regularly spotted these nonchalant creatures on dives, their numbers are in danger. Research projects such as HEPCA work hard to collect data on turtle behaviour, focusing on feeding and nesting grounds to understand the essential role they play to help keep the Red Sea healthy.

Hawksbill turtle on a coral reef in the Red Sea

Some of my best turtle sightings have been at Apo Island, Dauin in the Philippines, Tulemben and the Islands in Bali, and the Red Sea. Turtles can be spotted in all tropical waters, and if you want to see them surrounded by beautifully healthy coral that’s teeming with marine life then you need to add Apo Island, Dauin to your bucket list. So during your next surface interval keep your ears open for the gasps of breath and your eyes out on the water to spot a mouth and nose partially beaching the waves, with the promise that you’ve got a little hard shelled miracle to look forward to on the next dive.

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Having never been to Sharm el Sheikh, the Red Sea or even Egypt before, visiting this part of the world seemed like a wonderful opportunity to provide a first hand experience of the area as well as visit some of our partners. With this insight I would then be able to pass on key information to those who have never been to these resorts or Sharm el Sheikh like myself.

Underwater photographer diving in Sharm el Sheikh

I spent time with two of our partners out there, one fantastic new addition and one long time favourite. The first was Shark’s Bay Umbi Village, a veteran in Sharm el Sheikh but a newcomer to the Regaldive fold. This diamond in the rough provides a unique experience unlike anything you would find in Sharm El Sheikh. I was picked up from the airport by their minivan airport transfer, no more than 10 minutes later I had arrived into a Bedouin ‘snow globe’, the first sight, carved into the cliffs face are their mainstay rooms that stay true to their culture. Weaving through the passageways of doors either side appearing as if from nowhere, felt like I had fallen into the pages of a children’s book.

Sharks Bay Umbi Village in Sharm el Sheikh

The local staff all live on site in true Bedouin fashion like one big family. At the head of this family is the founder and namesake of this diving ‘village’, a man called Umbi, if you take a moment and ask anyone who works here about him they will tell you amazing stories of his life and true testaments of his character.

The saying “…you come as a guest but leave as a friend” is thrown around so much but never has it felt truer than when you stay at Umbi Village. The staff here sit and chat, they take care of you and would bend over backwards for you, until you realise that they’ve become more than just a friend - they begin to feel like family too.

You’ve woken up, walked out onto your balcony and took in the stunning scenery with a clear view of the island of Tiran across the water. Your tummy grumbles, reminding you that you need breakfast, after taking a brief stroll passed the Bedouin tent you reach the restaurant where a buffet is waiting for you complete with a cook ready to make your omelette whichever way you like. The perfect way to start the day.

Sharks Bay Umbi Village in Sharm el Sheikh

What is to be said for the experience on land remains true for the sea, a short walk down their own jetty and you’re on one of their magnificent vessels that are capable of not only providing a gateway for day diving but also a liveaboard experience from mini 3-5 day safaris up to a full week.

The pristine Reefs of the Tiran Strait are just 25 minutes away by boat (or 10 by speedboat). Gordon Reef can be seen first as the wreck of the Louvila sits on top of her. On a gentle drift dive I enjoyed a large plateau of porites coral that was teeming with schools of yellow goatfish. At the drop off you might be lucky enough to see a white tip reef shark cruising below or huge tuna in the blue water. Barrels that fell off a cargo ship in the 80s have formed an artificial reef on the sand, housing territorial anemone fish and wrasse. I witnessed blue-spotted stingrays sheltering underneath the many table corals here and a hawksbill turtle fed on the abundant broccoli coral. This area enjoys currents from very deep water funnelling over the shallower saddles of the Tiran reefs – one of the reasons it is so rich.

The dive crew are on hand to make every part of your dive trip effortless then in between or after your dives there is plenty of space to relax on the upper sun deck whilst indulging in a delicious catered lunch.

Anemonefish in Sharm el Sheikh. Image by Camel Dive Club

Sharm el Sheikh underwater scenes

Back on land you’ve rinsed off and got comfortable again and are ready for your dinner, arriving in the Bedouin tent is a glimpse into their pure way of life. The seating areas with cushions on the ground to sit or lie on is a comfort like no other. Once settled, you can order from their a la carté menu with features a wide variety of choices such as wraps, pizzas, pasta dishes to name a few. The chicken bedouin roll is my personal favourite. Finishing off your day with a glass of your favourite drink and a bit of shisa should that take your fancy.

Before you’ve even left this haven you’ll be planning your next trip to come back and see your friends.

Camel Dive Club is a resort that’s reputation is renowned. Situated in the centre of Sharm El Sheikh a short 200m walk to the beach, this is a complex comprised of a hotel, dive centre and restaurant, with each section requiring its own personal mention without ever feeling like they are separate in any way. This is a place that was intentionally and perfectly designed for the needs of a diver. 

Pool at Camel Dive Club, Sharm el Sheikh

The hotel rooms surround the training pool, these spacious rooms complete with large comfortable beds and an en suite shower room is the luxury you will look forward to after your diving when you’re sat on your balcony enjoying the evening sun.

The dive centre is the social hub, whether or not you’ve been diving that day they're always wanting to talk about all things diving. State of the art classrooms for courses and any tec requirement you may desire, they can accommodate.

Camel Dive Club, Sharm el Sheikh

Lastly the restaurant, Pomodoro, a delicious breakfast buffet to kick off your day or a classy evening meal to toast a fabulous day of diving, either way a food coma will be waiting for you at the end. 

Camel Dive Club is more than just a resort, it is it’s own little world in Sharm El Sheikh, one that will be always be there waiting to take you on your next adventure.

Speak to a member of our team to discuss Sharm el Sheikh diving holidays.

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5 May 2020

whale shark, dive, Diving

At first, there were many near misses. We’ve all been there. You return to the boat from a dive to excited chatter from your fellow divers about their thrilling marine life encounter; and endeavour to share in their delight as they recount their tale while querying how on earth you managed to miss it. Or maybe you pick up on the buzz of excitement on a dive, or hear the frantic attention grabbing exploits of a dive guide only to miss the reason for all the excitement.

Whale shark

In truth, these moments just add to the joy when you finally enjoy that thrilling encounter you’ve been longing for. That was very much the case with my first ever whale shark encounter, which I remember vividly to this day. I was working as a videographer on the Andaman Coast of Thailand. Having got the required shots of divers swimming through a photogenic underwater cavern, I exited into the blue to hear that distant but slightly frantic tinging on a tank. Here we go again, I thought. But wait, what’s that. Oh my. A shape was emerging in the distance. Or was it? Yes, it was. Definitely, and it was getting closer! As the scene unfolded, the whale shark made a beeline right for me. The Andaman coast of Thailand is thought to be a nursery area, and this young whale shark was without doubt curious by nature. We shared a magical encounter, and my love affair with whale sharks was born.

Whale shark

These gentle giants are a much sought after animal for many divers and snorkellers, and for good reason. Growing up to 18 metres (albeit most likely closer to 10), they seem to emanate a friendly and curious nature, and are thought to be so ancient that they may even pre-date the dinosaurs! While they are found in tropical waters all around the globe, and can often be encountered by lucky scuba divers, they continue to have an air of mystery around them. Their breeding and birthing grounds are not yet known, although the presence of large pregnant females in the Galapagos Islands suggest this is a hotspot. St Helena in the mid-Atlantic has also become known recently as a place where both adult males and females intermingle, giving rise to the idea that this is also a crucial habitat. In many places where they are found, such as the Maldives or Mafia Island in Tanzania, it is thought to be adolescent males that tend to gather together.

Whale shark

No matter where in the world or how fleeting, any whale shark encounter is likely to stay with you forever, and like me, you will begin a lifelong love affair.

Whale shark

If you would like to have the chance to encounter one of the most  impressive animals to grace our oceans, speak to one of our friendly Regaldive team today!

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28 Apr 2020

nudibranch, muck diving, dive

Nudibranch means ‘naked gills’ and these slippery little jewels live their fairly short lives with their gills on the outside of their body. Yet they aren’t afraid of the presence of a human and pose perfectly for the underwater photographer. It is a thrill to frame them as the main subject of a “still” life and catch their bright, delicate gill appendages swaying in the current. Front rhinophores stand to attention like feathers in winter’s first frost and fuchsia-coloured mothers (or is it fathers?) lay delicate egg circles. To appreciate the tiniest nudibranch however you need to be armed with one of two things – a magnifying glass or super macro lens. Only then can you truly witness this colourful underwater creature.

Nembrotha

The crème de la crème of the nudibranch photograph is capturing the moment a cleaner shrimp or parasite hitches a ride on their back, an underwater Aladdin on his magic carpet. Every year underwater photographers of all abilities join the Anilao Shootout in Bantangas or the Lembeh Shootout hoping the genie will grant them just one wish: the best images of these beautiful critters.

Emperor nudi

The vivid flecks of dots and dashes along the slug warn predators that they wouldn’t be a tasty meal. They prey on sponges, anemones and other marine life while occasionally even turning to cannibalism! They are very clever when it comes to meal times and have a penchant for turning toxins into defensive mucus. They store stinging cells that they have eaten in their cerata until it is needed for defence.

Nudibranch

Spotting nudibranchs amongst the sea bed is like looking through a kaleidoscope. Bright lightening-white ardeadoris stand out in a sea of muck in Moalboal, while dark and gloomy funeral jorunna prefer to flaunt their gothic image next to the rainbow colours of the reefs in the Visayas and the Bunaken National Park. The go-faster stripes on a chromodoris give a false sense of speed in this world of the slow! While 'pyjama' usually means bed time in our world, in theirs it is time to get psychedelic! Powder blues and baby pink gastropods rear up like garish mini-pythons as you close in with your strobes primed and ready to flash; blue dragons sway from side to side shrugging their tendrils in the open water with ambitions of becoming alien craft; flabellina curl their back inward like circus acrobats.

Nudibranch

Phyllidiella pustulosa, phyllidiopsis, ocellated wart slugs, nebrotha guttata – how on earth did scientists come up with such ugly names for these stunningly surreal creatures??

Images by Cath Bates

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