Arrivals & Departures Now you can learn to scuba dive while cruising

Fan coral underwater in Roatan, Honduras, Caribbean, coral reef with blue water and corals
Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Adventurous Australians can now become certified scuba divers while they cruise.

Royal Caribbean International has teamed up with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) to offer a range of courses on 10 ships across its international fleet, including Sydney-based Explorer of the Seas.

“No other cruise line offers these unique onboard qualifications – our guests can return home with a newfound passion and skill-set, adding a whole new level of adventure to their holiday,” Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand managing director Adam Armstrong said.

The 3800-passenger ship will be home to a Five Star Dive Centre offering educational programs, professional instructors and diving equipment for hire.

A range of programs will be offered for all levels, from a 30-minute Try Dive program for beginners from $US29 ($A38), through to PADI’s Reactivate Program for certified divers looking to refresh their skills from $US59 ($A77).

Courses available on the locally based Explorer of the Seas this season include the Try Dive program, Reactivate Program as well as the PADI Scuba Diver program.

Priced from $US449 ($A584), this course includes all the materials required for pre-cruise knowledge development, a confined water session in the ship’s pool, equipment hire and two dives in Vila, Vanuatu.

A 10-night roundtrip voyage on Explorer of the Seas, departing Sydney on March 30 and cruising Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, plus Mystery Island and Vila in Vanuatu, costs from $1499 per person twin share in an interior stateroom.  

On board selected other Royal Caribbean ships, PADI’s Open Water Diver course is available, allowing guests to earn complete scuba diving certification, from $US599 ($A780) per person.

The complete certification begins at home with the online course using either the PADI Touch app for mobile devices or the online PADI eLearning for computers.

Divers will test the waters in the ship’s pool before heading out to complete the four mandatory open-water training dives.

The training dives are split among two different ports of call, allowing for maximum sightseeing throughout the cruise. Upon returning home, guests will be certified scuba divers, able to plan and execute dives on their own.

Experienced divers can also hire dive gear on board and plunge straight into destinations like Vanuatu’s Twin Bommies and the Caribbean’s Belize Barrier Reef.

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