Diving holidays

Divers of all ages and experience will tell you that there’s a whole new world under the sea just waiting to be explored. No matter what your ability, there’s always something to see, in addition to the many other benefits of diving which include stress relief, exercise, having fun, meeting people and even catching fish for dinner! To help you make the most of your diving holiday follow the tips below:

Get qualified

There are many different bodies around the world that award diving qualifications. You need these to be able to use the equipment and dive safely. For example, you could learn through the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSACopens in a new window). This offers training for members in the UK and abroad, with qualifications ranging from ocean diver to advanced instructor. You can find affiliated diving destinations at their dedicated travel site. Another popular body to learn with is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADIopens in a new window). This US-based company operates training schools in many holiday resorts and offers courses from open-water diver level to instructor development.

Where to go

One of the main reasons people dive is to experience an amazing natural world inhabited by fish and other marine life such as brightly-coloured coral, shellfish, sea urchins and octopi and even sharks and turtles. Some of this you can see with a snorkel just below the surface of the sea, but much of it is invisible to the eye unless you go much deeper. Some of the most scenic dive spots, from a natural perspective include the Red Sea, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Malaysia and Indonesia across the Malay Volcanic Belt, the Maldives, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and Thailand.

Be adventurous

More adventurous divers might like to explore wrecks and deep sea walls and rock formations. You can go on special training courses to help you do this safely with a professional diving body such as BSAC or PADI. World-renowned and interesting wreck diving sites include Scapa Flow in Scotland with its sunken World War I German fleet, Truk Lagoon in Micronesia with over 40 Japanese battle and logistics ships sunk by the US Navy in 1944, and numerous shipwrecks and an entire Roman port town submerged on the coastline of the Black Sea in Bulgaria.

Stay healthy, get fit

To go diving you do need to have a certain level of fitness. You can find out more about this from professional diving bodies such as the BSAC and PADI. UK diving clubs and schools require you to have a medical certificate before you can dive, or learn to dive, with them. To obtain this you must complete a Sport Diver Medical Form from the UK Sport Diving Medical Committeeopens in a new window, which contains a medical health questionnaire enquiring about medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy, or problems with your ears, heart or lungs.

Be responsible

It’s a privilege to be able to dive underwater, but unfortunately some coral reefs are under extreme threat. To help conserve them, make sure that:

  • Your boat won’t damage the reef with its anchor
  • Your point of entry is away from fragile corals
  • Your movement doesn’t cause sand or other particles to upset coral
  • You don’t touch anything – even the gentlest touch can cause an imbalance in the ecology of a reef
  • You don’t take anything with you and you don’t leave anything behind, such as rubbish or kit

You do not buy any souvenirs that look like they could have come from the sea, such as coral necklaces or ornaments.

Insurance for diving holidays

With Churchill travel insurance, you can stay insured while you dive, as long as you remain within our terms and conditions. This means taking all the usual precautions abroad that you would in the UK – using a reputable company that is licensed and qualified to teach you to dive, for example; and using all the recommended safety and protective equipment. As our ‘excluded and included activities’ reveal, we can cover you on a leisure-only basis down to 18 metres as long as you are qualified. Which means there’s lots of scope for viewing amazing marine wildlife and even exploring wrecks with the right guides.

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