You are in prime position to take the plunge during a yacht charter, as the world's most popular cruising destinations like the Mediterranean and the Caribbean are home to some of the finest diving spots, Plus, many charter yachts now come with top-of-the-range scuba gear for you to use, including compressors and equipment for reef or wreck diving. Some even have PADI-certified dive centers on deck with Divemasters onboard ready and waiting to teach newbies.
A rendezvous diving can be easily organized if facilities or professionals aren't available on your yacht: a dive boat, gear and trained staff will zip across the waters to meet you at your vessel to make sure your diving dreams come true.
The possibilities for underwater magic are practically endless, and it's something that can be enjoyed by beginners and diving aficionados alike.
Nothing quite compares to being able to scuba dive off the deck of your own motor yacht charter. Going on underwater adventures with the freedom to explore some of the world's most remote diving spots far removed from the tourist trail, is simply magical. There's no schedule you need to abide by — it's all down to you.
Diving on a yacht charter means you can relish having the freedom to go on underwater adventures whenever you want
Additionally, a private yacht charter can easily cater everyone to everyone's diving ability, offering unparalleled flexibility in the most exclusive of surroundings. From complete novices to avid divers, a vacation can be completely catered to according to your needs.
Dive experts are always on hand to ensure everyone is safe and relaxed during their dives. And even better, after a day's exploration exploring beneath the ocean's surface, you can return to the lap of luxury onboard your yacht where your professional and attentive crew are ready to tend to your every whim.
When it comes to magnificent scuba diving locations, there's certainly no shortage of them: an estimated 70 percent of our planet is covered by oceans. From sunken shipwrecks that have become home to a vibrant tapestry of corals and marine life to awe-inspiring underwater museums and illuminated water-filled caverns and sinkholes, below are some of the best diving spots to visit during a superyacht charter:
- Blue Hole (Belize): a UNESCO World Heritage Site thought to be more than 430ft deep and one of the world's greatest natural wonders.
- Great Barrier Reef (Australia): a diving paradise, with highlights including the iconic shipwreck S.S. Yongala and Cod Hole.
- Lavezzi Marine Reserve (Corsica): known for its gin-clear waters, Corsica is heavenly for diving: a colorful maze of grottoes, caves, and caverns, with highlights including Grouper City.
- Thunderball Grotto (The Bahamas): an underwater cave made famous by James Bond that's dazzling.
- The Indians (British Virgin Islands): great for divers of all ages and abilities as it's relatively shallow and a naturally well-lit cave:
- Maaya Thila (The Maldives): home to an incredible range of marine biodiversity, making it a true Mecca for diving.
- Christ of the Abyss (Portofino): a towering statue surrounded by aquatic life, and offers fantastic photo opportunities.
- Kaş (Turkey): a diving extravaganza, as an archipelago that has over 30 recognized dive sites offering outstanding underwater scenery.
- Medes Islands (The Balearics): boasting transparent waters and one of the best-preserved marine reserves in the Mediterranean.
- Baron Gautsch (Croatia): the most famous shipwreck in the Adriatic, now home to a spectacular display of flora and fauna.
- Alonissos (Greece): Greece's national marine park is located on a verdantly serene isle and happens to be one of the country's best-kept diving secrets.
You need to have scuba diving certification in order to be able to dive. Being PADI certified (the most reputable scuba certification course globally) means you can enjoy subaquatic life to its fullest during your yacht charter vacation.
It is possible to get your scuba diving qualifications at sea if you aren't already PADI certified
Not going to be PADI certified when you begin your crewed yacht charter? Not to worry, it's also possible to get your diving qualifications while you are at sea.
Most charter vessels have at least one member of crew on board who holds a PADI Dive Instructor certification, enabling them to teach guests how to dive. They are also the ones responsible for guests' safety and are qualified to lead dive groups, being well-aquainted with the underwater terrain.
There also may be crew trained to a Divemaster level on your superyacht who can assist. Such crew can teach and certify new divers but are less senior than PADI Dive Instructors, and can only assist in dives rather than lead directly.
There are various diving courses for non-certified guests that you can do during your vacation, depending on your level of ability. There are a multitude of different courses one can take, from entry-level to advanced level programs. Below are the two most popular courses taken during a yacht rental by guests without existing PADI certification:
If you want to try out a spot of scuba diving and build confidence in the water, without needing to invest too much of your time learning during your vacation, then this introductory course is for you. No prior experience is required, and you will learn the basics of diving (without becoming a certified diver) alongside a PADI professional over the course of 3-4 hours.
During the PADI Discover Scuba Diving course, you will:
- Be shown how to use the scuba equipment correctly when you dive, including the dive gauges, tank, buoyancy control device, regulator, mask, snorkel and fins.
- Do a confined training dive in shallow waters, learning essential PADI skills that you will use for every subsequent dive, including how to breathe underwater.
- One pleasure dive once you feel you have confidently mastered the PADI diving skills, limited up to 12 metres in depth
The course is open to all group sizes and to those over 10 years old, but you need to be in reasonable health, as well as be able to swim.
The next level up and the most popular course available is the Open Water Diver Course. Once successfully completed, you will be PADI certified, and it takes around 4-7 days to complete.
The Open Water Diver Course consists of:
- A PADI eLearning module: taking around 5-10 hours to finish, you learn the basic principles of scuba diving.
- Practice scuba diving: in a pool or shallow dive environment (between 40ft and 60ft) you will do practice scuba dives. Once you have built confidence in your new scuba abilities it's out onto the open waters where you will do four full dives.
To do the course, the only prerequisites are that you are medically fit to dive, can swim and you are 10 years or older.
Note: to speed up the process of getting PADI-certified, it is strongly recommended that you do the PADI eLearning module before you commence your yacht charter, if at all possible. After all, this last thing anyone wants to be doing during their luxury vacation is having to spend time learning theory instead of enjoying themselves!
If you are keen diver looking to uncover unexplored territory underwater, then you may be interested in charter onboard an expedition yacht. Specifically designed for the discerning adventurer, you could choose to cruise on one as a standalone vessel or as a shadow support yacht, and ideal for scuba divers looking to cruise to remote, difficult-to-reach locations.
They are also perfect for experienced divers eager to unearth mysteries in the deep dark blue below, as they typically feature diving equipment that isn't on board the average charter vessel: like submersibles that can take you down to depths of 3,000ft.
Looking to slip on some scuba gear to discover magnificent ocean wonderlands below the surface? Enlist the services of your chosen yacht charter broker and inform them that diving is one of your top priorities on your vacation.
Your broker can then cater your charter according to your individual diving needs and secure you a yacht with diving professionals, excellent gear, and craft carefully curated itinerary that involves cruising the world's most epic diving grounds.
RELATED ADVICE ARTICLES