From swimming amongst the famed coral gardens of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, to unearthing ancient sunken shipwrecks, scuba diving can unquestionably be the highlight of any yacht charter.
In order to enjoy the underwater life at your cruising destination of choice, any participating guests are required to get the relevant qualifications, and PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) offer the most popular and most internationally recognised scuba courses in the world.
If you hope to make scuba diving one of the main activities on you luxury yacht charter itinerary, it advisable to talk to your charter broker about finding the best yacht for your party’s needs – for example, whether the shallow draft of a catamaran or power of a motor yacht would be best suited to your requirements.
Around a quarter of superyachts are marketed in the global charter fleet with scuba diving gear available for use by guests, and a handful of the largest even offer a dedicated onboard dive centre. These often feature changing areas adjacent to the swim platform as well as specifically designed tenders capable of carrying plenty of oxygen tanks.
Instructional scuba charters that give guests the chance to acquire diving qualifications while at sea are hard to come by as they require a member of the charter crew to hold a PADI dive instructor certification - enabling them to teach novice divers. However, you will often find that crew members are often certified to Divemaster level meaning that if a charter guest has taken the PADI open-water course, they may dive along with them on the vacation.
PADI scuba certifications are the most reputable in the industry and are accepted throughout the world. Courses are provided at a number of levels depending on previous experience, ranging from introductory training programs to recreational diving instructors. The PADI Open Water Diver course is the world’s most popular scuba course and is recommended for charter clients, whether taken before embarking or during via a local dive operator with a ‘rendezvous diving’ arrangement.
The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of three main phases:
• Knowledge Development (online, home study or in a classroom) to understand basic principles of scuba diving
• Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills
• Open Water Dives to review your skills and explore
Your charter broker can offer you more advice on obtaining a diving qualification and answer any queries about a charter yacht’s insurance policy for diving. For more specialist information on getting certified before you go, please contact your local PADI centre.
Take the time to explore the range of PADI-certified training centre superyachts for charter below.