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The Superyacht Guide: How to get PADI-certified on your luxury yacht charter


From swimming among the famed coral gardens of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, to unearthing World War II shipwrecks in the Caribbean, scuba diving can unquestionably be the highlight of any yacht charter.

In order to fully explore the fascinating underwater world on your yacht charter, any guests wishing to scuba dive are required to hold the relevant qualifications. 

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) offer the most popular and most internationally recognised scuba courses in the world.

Many superyachts are marketed in the global charter fleet with scuba diving gear available for use by guests, with a number also offering a dedicated onboard dive centre and trained crew. These often feature changing areas adjacent to the swim platform as well as specifically designed tenders capable of carrying plenty of oxygen tanks.

Scuba dive centre training onboard charter yacht Flying Fox

Instructional scuba charters that give guests the chance to acquire diving qualifications while at sea require a certified scuba instructor on board or member of the charter crew to hold the requisite PADI certification enabling them to teach novice divers.

Many superyachts have at least one crew member who is certified to Divemaster level, enabling any charter guests who hold a basic PADI Open Water certificate to dive along with them on their 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.

PADI training with instructor on yacht charter

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 (which can be done online, in a classroom or on board the yacht) to understand basic principles of scuba diving
  • Confined water dives to learn basic scuba skills
  • Open water dives to review your skills and explore

Scuba divers holding on to the rope underwater

For more specialist information on getting certified before you go, please contact your local PADI centre.

If you hope to make scuba diving one of the main activities on your luxury yacht charter itinerary, it advisable to talk to your charter broker for more advice on obtaining a diving qualification and answer any queries about a charter yacht’s insurance policy for diving.

They will also be able to help you find 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.

Take the time to explore the range of superyachts for charter with scuba dive equipment.

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