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The underwater world

Home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world, the Indian Ocean offers ample diving opportunities for those looking to venture further afield this winter. Here we focus on two of the best-known archipelagos: the Maldives, with their perfect white powder beaches, clear waters and endless deserted ink-blot islands; and the Seychelles, with their iconic granite boulders and beautiful topography.

Alternatively, why not venture to the less-chartered waters of the South Pacific then you will be spoilt for choice with the superb diving, tropical islands and a sea so blue it hurts your eyes.

Let us take you there.

The Maldives has nearly 1,200 islands of which only about 200 are inhabited. Whether you head north or south, the diving just about everywhere is fantastic. The fish life is prolific and as the low-lying coral islands are grouped in 26 atolls, some of the dive sites can be subject to very strong currents as the sea rushes in and out. The dive sites are endless and it is simply not possible to pick a best. Recommendations include Madivaru, with its mantas and whale shark, and Fish Head, so-called by anglers because that’s all there is left by the time their catch reaches the surface. Both are fantastic dive sites, but any of the thousands of dive sites can be their equal.

There are few wrecks, but those it does have are home to some of the most vibrant and wildlife-rich places on earth. Deliberately sunk to form an artificial reef, the Fesdu wreck sits on the sea floor in roughly 30m (98ft) and is covered in spectacular corals. The British Loyalty, is another deliberately scuttled vessel where divers regularly report encounters with turtles and large shoals of snappers. And finally, The Shipyard is one of the Maldives most beautiful and famous wreck sites, with two vessels to enjoy. Known as Skipjack 1 and Skipjack 2, both were purposely sunk and provide spectacular coral growth, attracting butterflyfish and angelfish, as well as whitetip reef sharks and eagle rays.

A yacht provides the freedom and opportunity to discover the otherwise inaccessible and when it comes to the Seychelles there is no better way to explore. Whilst the Inner Islands offer fantastic cruising and diving (think majestic whale sharks), the Outer Islands, and Aldabra in particular, are relatively unchartered and offer some of the very best diving in the world. The largest coral reef atoll in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Aldabra has been described as one of the wonders of the world and remains totally untrammelled.

The fish life in the South Pacific is prolific and nowhere more so than French Polynesia. Here you will find coral atolls home to a wealth of coloured reef fish, as well as some amazing wreck dives.

The Tuamotu Atolls are the central archipelago, comprising more than 70 low-lying islands and atolls. A world-renowned Scuba diving destination, these UNESCO islands include the world’s second largest atoll, Rangiroa, and the UNESCO-classified biosphere reserve in the Toau atoll. Best for diving enthusiasts, non-diving guests can snorkel in the calm waters of the lagoons.

One of the of the best wrecks in the Society Islands, the Nordby lies off the island of Raiatea and is home to an astounding array of marine life from sharks to colourful nudibranchs. For an alternative wreck dive, the waters near Beachcomber Island in the Fijian Mamanuca Islands are where the Martin B-26 bomber plane wreck lies. Sections of the broken plane wreck have been linked with ropes to allow divers to explore with ease. At a depth of around 25 metres (82ft), various parts of the plane are easy to spot, and the marine life is superb.

Are you tempted?

Let us plan your winter getaway in French Polynesia. This example six day itinerary gives you a flavour of where you could be cruising. Contact us now to discuss your next trip.

Burgess Yachts
 

Discover the depths of the ocean

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