GATEWAY TO PENINSULAR MALAYSIA’S BEST KEPT DIVING SECRET OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Dive season begins at Tanjong Jara Resort
London, March 2014: Dive Season 2014 at Tanjong Jara Resort has now started, taking advantage yet again of its unique position as a luxury resort which not only fronts the pristine South China Sea and boasts a multi award-winning Spa Village, but is also located a mere 50-minute speedboat ride away from one of the region’s best kept diving secrets, Tenggol Island. Guests are invited to try the new Tenggol Divers Delight Break for the ultimate Tanjong Jara Resort Diving Experience.
One of Malaysia’s most beautiful and serene islands, the untouched Tenggol in Terengganu Marine Park provides access to over 20 stunning diving and snorkelling sites, perfect for beginner snorkellers or advanced divers. Less than three kilometres long and two kilometres wide, the steep and rugged cliffs of Tenggol Island form a spectacular canvas of underwater sights. Bright corals and a vast array of stunningly vibrant nudibranchs are first to catch the eye, while a variety of species such as the giant double-headed parrotfish, yellowtail fusiliers, eagle rays, black-tipped reef sharks, barracudas and majestic sea turtles play cat and mouse.
Depths of up to 30 metres guarantee sightings of some of the world’s most spectacular sea creatures such as the whale shark in its element; giant trevallies come in to feed and schools of jacks and barracudas prowl the reefs on the hunt. Whether it be ‘Moonraker’s’ remarkable coral formations, climbing 10 metres tall from the seabed, or the spectacular fish life at ‘Tokong Talang’, ‘Tanjong Api’ or ‘Tokong Timur’, the resort’s experienced dive instructors will lead guests on a journey of discovery.
Tanjong Jara Resort offers the Tenggol Divers’ Delight experience for guests looking to explore the teeming marine world in the Terengganu Marine Park. This includes two daily dive excursions at Tenggol Island over two days and rental of dive equipment, sumptuous barbecue lunches on the beach, as well as daily breakfast and dinner at the resort. Available for booking till October 28, 2014, at a minimum of three nights’, based on twin-sharing accommodation, rates for this package begin at £300 per room per night.
The resort’s five-star in-house dive centre, operated by the award-winning Quiver company, also offers snorkeling day-trips, Discovery SCUBA Diving, Fun Dives and a variety of PADI course for guests looking to venture beyond the Tenggol Divers’ Delight experience.
For further information on Dive Season 2014 at Tanjong Jara Resort, please visit www.tanjongjararesort.com or call YTL Travel Centre at +603 2783 1000. Guests may also email firstname.lastname@example.org to book their underwater escape.
Sea Turtles Swim Close to Tenggol Island
2 Whale Shark diving tenggol island tanjong jara resort malaysia
Diving and Swimming with Whale Sharks Near Tenggol Island
About YTL Hotels
YTL Hotels owns and manages a prestigious collection of award-winning resorts, hotels, boutique experiences and Spa Villages in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Japan, France and the UK, including Pangkor Laut Resort, voted the world’s best resort in 2003.
In July 2012, the company added Gaya Island Resort, a luxurious resort on the exotic tropical island of Borneo to the fold, while December 2012 saw the unveiling of The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the second heritage jewel in the group’s Classic Hotel collection.
With each new experience that it unveils, the company strives to embrace and highlight the natural essence of culture, character and tradition of its surroundings. YTL Hotels is the hospitality arm of YTL Corporation Berhad.
Visit www.ytlhotels.com for more information.
Mauritius is becoming a hot spot for Australian paradise seekers with a rising growth of 8.1% increase in visitors in 2013. Total Australian visitors were 18, 393 in 2013 compared with 17,009 visitors in 2012. Australia has out-performed all other markets in December with an impressive 33.6% increase for the month.
Found in the Indian Ocean and renowned for being a melting pot of cultures, Mauritius offers experiences to suit every type of traveller. From food lovers, to adventure travellers, or for those who want to just sit back and relax on some of the most beautiful beaches with the whitest sand and clearest water.
Named after Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau, Mauritius offers unparalleled luxury with 4 and 5 star resorts, world renowned spas, championship golf courses, adventure activities, surfing, diving, sailing, European shopping and much more. Tourists often find themselves in a state of delight and surprise as they tour this incredibly culturally diverse tropical paradise.
With such a growing interest from Australia, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) launched a Facebook page specifically for Australians.
Underwater World Mooloolaba SEALIFE has a new accolade to its name – now holding the title to Australia’s largest collection of jellyfish.
Packed with blue blubber jellies, moon jellies, upside down jellies, comb jellies and sea nettles Underwater World guests will learn about each species as they move through the interactive zone called Jellyfish Kingdom.
Watch these majestic creatures bob along on a self-guided tour or join a daily ocean walk to learn about the ecological significance of jellyfish and the need for their protection.
Rates: Adults from $34.20, Children $20.70, Family $93.60.
2014 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards honors Belize resort for romantic ambience and unmatched customer service.
HOPKINS VILLAGE, Belize – Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort has been honored with several awards in Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice® awards. The eco-friendly resort in Belize was voted as the #1 small hotel in Central America and the #1 romantic accommodations in Belize. Hamanasi also ranked high among transcontinental competitors scoring #8 small hotel in the world and #2 romantic accommodation in Central America.
In the 12th year of the awards, the world’s most outstanding properties were identified in the categories of Top Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Family, Luxury, Romance, and Small Hotels. Travelers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the reviews and opinions of millions of TripAdvisor travelers around the globe.
“Hamanasi is proud to receive these awards,” says owner Dana Krauskopf. “It is evidence of our commitment to customer service excellence and providing the best of Belize on and offshore. We strive for our guests to have the vacation experience of a lifetime.”
“We’re excited to recognize the world’s best properties, based on the opinions of those who know them best – the millions of travelers around the globe who come to TripAdvisor to share their experiences,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “For those seeking inspiration for their 2014 travel planning, this list of spectacular accommodations that received 2014 Travelers’ Choice awards is a perfect place to start.”
Hamanasi was the first beachfront resort in Belize to receive Green Globe certification and is dedicated to being a premier provider of sustainable accommodations and eco-tourism in Central America.
Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort is nestled between sandy beaches and lush rainforest on Belize’s central coast. The boutique resort embodies casual elegance with displays of Belizean hardwood furniture, locally crafted art, fresh Caribbean fusion cuisine, and a warm, welcoming staff. Customer service is a high priority at Hamanasi; employees undergo an extensive training program and share a true sense of pride and ownership in the resort.
At Hamanasi’s Adventure Center, guests can arrange daily reef or rainforest excursions like trips to Mayan cities like Xunantunich and Cahel Pech, Belize atolls, the Southern Barrier Reef, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve, Blue Hole National Park, and the Mayflower Jungle.
For Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort reviews, go to the TripAdvisor hotel review page.To see all 2014 Travelers’ Choice winners, go to www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice. For more information about Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort contact Dana Krauskopf at Dana@hamanasi.com or call 1-571-405-7664.
DEEP WATER CAY, BAHAMAS, – Deep Water Cay, a private island just off of Grand Bahama known for legendary bonefishing, continues to receive rave reviews for its diving program’s world-class sites. Eagle rays, sea turtles and lobsters are among the exciting under-the-sea neighbors guests can observe should they choose to travel below the surface of the crystal clear waters.
The intimate retreat is celebrating its multi-million dollar renovations by offering a special Deep Water Cay Family Dive Package. The four-night/three-day package, created for parents seeking to connect with their children through diving, provides 50% off trip packages for kids ages 12 to 17 when accompanied by an adult.
“Deep Water Cay is a hidden gem and ideal retreat for families to put down their cell phones and bond with each other in a beautiful setting,” explains General Manager Buzz Cox. “Our dive program offers families the opportunity to build a passion for a new activity together and create lasting memories.”
The Deep Water Cay Family Dive Package includes the following:
Professional dive instruction and SSI (Scuba Schools International) Diver Certification on-property including pool training and open water sessions. Families can also choose a vacation with a more basic scuba introduction and enjoy kayaks, paddle boarding, sailing, tennis, infinity pool, and private beach.
Two tanks per person, per day with guided dives to sites including Thrift Harbor, a narrow channel running north-south between the mangrove islands and Big Rock, on the south side of the cay named for its mountainous bolder coral and home to the Cubera snapper. More experienced divers can explore one of the many Blue Holes just a short run from Deep Water Cay.
Accommodations and all meals on the Cay, served at the Lodge and Blue Hole Bar. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily using the freshest fish and local ingredients. Dining is a blend of Bahamian, West Indian and Continental cuisines.
Round-trip ground transfer service from Freeport and short water taxi to the resort.
The newly unveiled Deep Water Cay includes interior renovations to the Lodge, Blue Hole Bar & Grill located poolside, the seven cottages and Drake guest house, marking the completion in October of 2013 of the multi-million dollar enhancements. Improvements began with the new Welcome Center, new oceanfront guest houses near the pool, significant additions to the marina and expanded culinary offerings.”
Adult rates for the four-night, three-day package are $2,784 and $1,392 (50% savings) for youth (through age 17). All rates are based on double occupancy of Deep Water Cay’s cottages and do not include tax, resort fee of 12% and guide gratuities suggested of $50/day minimum. Note that youth must be 12 or older to participate in diving activities. Offer based on available dates through 2014. For more information about Deep Water Cay and reservations, call (888) 420-6202 or visit www.deepwatercay.com.
ABOUT DEEP WATER CAY
Deep Water Cay is a private island just off Grand Bahama Island, 110 miles from Palm Beach, FL. offering the ultimate in tropical seclusion for resort guests and private homeowners. For 2 1/2 miles a sandy lane runs the length of the island offering travel by golf/electric cart, bicycles and flip-flops. DWC serves as a welcome respite from more complicated routines, for others it is an opportunity to pursue their passion for world-class outdoor pursuits. There is a limited opportunity for ownership on the Cay.
Visitors and fans can also stay current with Deep Water Cay on Facebook and Twitter.
HOPKINS, Belize – Pina Coladas and Mai Tais are drinks of the past. Foodies and cocktail connoisseurs seek out adult beverages that pack more than a sugar rush. Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort’s bar in the south of Belize offers an authentic tropical mixology that not only tastes delicious, but also embodies the culture, local cuisine and atmosphere of this Central American hot spot.
Recently named Belize’s top bartender by a national distillery, Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort bartender Mark Jacobs captures the essence of Belize in his signature cocktail, the Boa. Mixing Baron gin, Fandango wine, lime, sprite, grenadine and floated blackberry wine – the Boa offers complex flavors with a tropical zing. Another drink that caught the eye of the judges was the Singanga Sting. Part coconut rum, barrel rum, cucumber juice, lime, mint, sugar and soda – this combination instantly conjures images of balmy, lush getaways like Hamanasi.
Jacobs crafts unique beverages for thirsty travelers enjoying the pristine beaches and treehouse accommodations at Hamanasi or who have come back from a day of adventure in the rainforest that surrounds the region.
In the kitchen, Hamanasi Resort uses the expertise of its award-winning chefs to create dishes that coincide with the “Fresh meets Fusion” philosophy of the kitchen. As the leading sustainable travel resort in the area, Hamanasi also incorporates their eco-friendly practices into the cuisine. Foodies will enjoy traditional Belizean and Garifuna dishes loaded with fresh ingredients from Hamanasi’s organic garden.
For more information on Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resorts unique tropical cocktails and cuisine, visit www.hamanasi.com
The allure of the Azores’ whales, wild dolphins and vibrant pelagic sea creatures are helping drive a wave in popularity for the subtropical archipelago, as the number of travellers taking trips to see the islands’ underwater wildlife with leading specialist tour operators increased by up to 200%* over the last year.
Wildlife specialist Wildlife Worldwide (www.wildlifeworldwide.com) saw a two-fold increase in the number of their customers choosing to dive in the Azores and a 60% increase* in the number of people taking underwater wildlife excursions such as swimming with the islands’ wild dolphins in 2013 compared to 2012. Leading specialist operator Sunvil (www.sunvil.co.uk) also experienced an 83% increase** in bookings for whale watching trips in the archipelago over the last 12 months compared to the previous year.
With 2014 marking the 30th anniversary of the end of whaling on the islands, the Azores is a text book example of a destination which has changed its fortunes from a tradition of whale hunting to a thriving tourism industry with whale conservation at its core.
The islands are a world-class scuba diving and whale watching destination (with 25 migratory species), and the only place in Europe where travellers can swim with wild dolphin species such as the spotted, striped and bottlenose dolphin in their natural habitat. Excellent local and wreck diving sites provide access to a colourful underwater world with creatures such as manta rays, morays, stingrays, dusky groupers, comb groupers, wrasses, parrot fishes, trigger fishes, breams and damselfishes. Spring and summer are best for spotting underwater wildlife, and the magnificent Blue Whale can be seen in April on its migration route.
7 night Whale and Dolphin Watching holiday for the Blue Whale Migration from £933 pp
Discover the Azores’ majestic whales and dolphins during the Blue Whale Migration with Sunvil.
Price of £933 per person includes 7 nights’ accommodation at the Marina Atlantico Hotel in Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island, direct return flights and transfers, and four whale and dolphin watching excursions.
To book, visit www.sunvil.co.uk or call 02087 584 722
New 5-night ‘Sperm Whale and Bottlenose Dolphin’ holiday from £1,340 pp
This new trip with Wildlife Worldwide offers the chance to help a team of scientists with a study of sperm whales and Bottlenose dolphins in the waters surrounding Faial Island.
Price of £1,340 per person includes 5 nights’ four star hotel accommodation (based on two sharing), transfers, direct return flights, and three full days at sea in search of whales and dolphins. Three days are full-board, and two days on a B&B basis. Price applies for all departures from June to August.
To book, visit www.wildlifeworldwide.com or call 0845 130 6982
To find out more about the Azores, please visit www.visitazores.com
Supported by Rixen Cableways, the inventor and leading developer of waterski and wakeboard cableways, Elgounacable features the 90,000m² Sliders Cablepark for waterskiers, wakeboarders and wakeskaters to practise and perfect their technique, and the Malibu BeachClub offering sun protected terraces, a restaurant, pool and spa area for those wanting to relax or simply watch the sporting action.
To fully showcase the new cable park’s world-class facilities, the world’s top riders have been invited to El Gouna to try out the cables and show off their skills at a spectacular sunset party each day from 3 – 8 January 2014. The stars include World and European Champions Julia Rick and Frederic von Osten, world ranking leader Sam de Haan and Vize World Champions Vanessa Weinhauer and Declan Clifford, the British number one.
Holidaymakers can enjoy the show or test the waters themselves at the Sliders Cablepark which offers four cables; an Olympic standard, counter-clockwise cable with a slalom course and a selection of large Rixen obstacles, a shorter, clockwise wake cable with a series of sliders and kickers and two ‘Easy Rides’ designed for beginners and youngsters to try their hands at the sport for the first time.
Elgounacable is open from 9am until sunset year-round. Beginner passes including two hour’s access, a wetsuit, a life vest, a helmet, a board and a short lesson from an instructor start from £29.50 for waterskiers and £34 for wakeboarders. One hour, two hour, daily and weekly cable passes for more experienced riders are also available and start from £13.50 for one hour’s access.
With year-round sunshine, pristine lagoons and 10km of sandy beach, El Gouna is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, with captivating reefs and wrecks for divers to explore, five kitestations for kitesurfing, sailing and windsurfing lessons courtesy of Sail La Vie and courses for wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakeskating and wakesurfing from water sport specialists, the Orange Concept.
For more information on the resort, please visit www.elgouna.com
A self-sufficient, fully integrated resort town stretching across 10km of pristine shoreline on the beautiful Red Sea coast, El Gouna is Orascom Development’s flagship project and development benchmark illustrating the vision “Life as it should be”.
Year-round sunshine and turquoise lagoons a short flight from Europe make El Gouna the ultimate paradise escape; it is home to some of the world’s most reputable brands in the tourism and leisure industries. El Gouna offers its guests and residents an unparalleled lifestyle attracting a growing multinational community of 24,000 residents.
The town’s luxury facilities include a landing strip, three yacht marinas, an 18-hole championship golf course, 17 hotels, two Angsana Spa outlets, and a state-of-the-art Lax Gym. The international standard hospital provides 24-hour emergency care, a hyperbaric chamber for diving emergencies, and a dialysis service. El Gouna is also home to a pilot campus of the Technische Universität Berlin, a field study center of the American University in Cairo, international and Egyptian curriculum schools, a German-Egyptian hotel school, and a nursing institute. Additionally, the town has over a hundred restaurants and bars, as well as facilities for scuba diving, yachting, fishing, water sports, tennis, and horseback riding.
Award-winning architecture contributes to the resort’s unique flair, while its status as Egypt’s most environmentally friendly destination made it the powerhouse behind the Green Star Hotel Initiative. Here, a creative and diverse community of entrepreneurs, artists, environmentalists, and sports enthusiasts make their home and give the town an eclectic and sophisticated international flavour.
For more information, please visit www.elgouna.com
El Gouna welcomes Monarch Airlines’ twice weekly service in May 2014
Monarch Airlines has announced a new twice weekly service to Hurghada International Airport as part of its route network expansion for summer 2014.
Departing on Tuesdays and Fridays from Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester, the new flights will begin on 2 May 2014 and serve a number of popular Red Sea resorts in the area such as El Gouna, a fully integrated resort town set along 10km of pristine shoreline and unspoilt lagoons.
Just a 30 minute drive from Hurghada, the year-round sunshine destination of El Gouna boasts 17 hotels, 100 bars and restaurants, three marinas, an 18-hole golf course, a variety of retail spa and fitness facilities and an array of water sports. The resort is also due to open Elgounacable, a new cable park for water skiers, wake boarders and wake skaters of all levels, in December 2013, as well as Ancient Sands, a brand new luxury resort and residential project, in April 2014.
“With a number of new developments currently underway at the resort and now a new flight route launching from the UK to Hurghada in 2014, we’re looking forward to seeing what next year holds for tourism in El Gouna,” says Jens Freise, Senior Director Marketing & Sales for Destinations & Hotels in Orascom Development. “El Gouna has always been a big hit with British tourists thanks to its year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches and plethora of activities, so we’re really pleased that Monarch Airlines has launched the twice weekly service to accommodate the increasing number of tourists returning to the Red Sea.”
Monarch is offering a seven-night, all-inclusive stay at the three-star Three Corners Rihana Inn departing from £400 per person. Departing London Gatwick on 2 May 2014, the package includes return flights, taxes and all-inclusive accommodation based on two people sharing a double room. To book, please visit www.monarch.co.uk.
El Gouna can currently be accessed via mid-haul flights from the UK to Hurghada with Easyjet, Thomas Cook and Thomson. For more information on El Gouna, please visit www.elgouna.com.
The scuba diving fraternity along Queensland’s coast is gearing up for the biggest sex show on the planet as the world’s largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef, prepares for the annual coral spawning season.
With sea temperatures already hovering above the magic 26 degree mark and a late November full moon expected to slow tidal flow to twice a day reducing the chance of sweeping the spawn out to sea, marine scientists believe this year’s November 22-24 spawn spectacular will be the best in years.
Tusa Dive and Quicksilver’s Silverswift, two Cairns based dive operators, have packaged special night diving tours specifically around the event.
According to Russell Hore, a veteran marine biologist with Quicksilver, “coral spawning is the Everest of seeing reproduction in nature and should be on every diver’s bucket list.”
“A lot of factors need to align before you can see the reef go off,” he said.
“To begin with, spawning tends to happen at night when plankton feeders are asleep (allowing eggs time to fertilize) and you need almost perfect tides, weather and temperatures.
“When you narrow it down to an event that is hit and miss; and you actually get to see it, then it’s something you will remember forever.”
A marine biologist since 1989, Hore has three spawning experiences under his own weight belt and says divers can expect to see eggs popping out of the coral.
“When a big boulder coral goes off, it releases an underwater snow storm and you get to see hundreds of bundles floating to the surface.
“You know when it is happening. There’s a slick on the surface and the smell on one hand, while on the other, most of the fish life are sitting on the bottom with distended stomachs. It’s like they have stuffed themselves with Tim Tams.”
Contrary to popular belief, Hore adds that too much sex is not a good thing when it comes to coral.
“You don’t want it to get too crazy. If you get too much spawn at once, visibility goes down.
“You also don’t want the reef to produce sperm at the same time as eggs or there’s a risk of self fertilisation and a potential impact on the reef’s gene pool.
“A 30 minute delay and a gentle tide are definitely best,” he said.
Twelve hundred kilometres south of Cairns, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort dive instructor Ryan Jeffery said anyone who misses the northern reef’s spawning season in November can get a second shot at it on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
“Being at the southern end of the 2700km long reef, the water around Lady Elliot Island takes a little longer to hit the perfect 26 degrees and marine experts predict coral spawning will happen this year sometime between December 20 and 25.
“That’s going to be a great Christmas present for anyone here during the holiday season.”
Station Manager at neighbouring Heron Island Research Station, Doctor Elizabeth Perkins will be working with a team of University of Queensland post graduate researchers to collect spawn and conduct experiments relating to climate change.
A keen fan of what she calls ‘reproduction on a mass scale’, Dr Perkins agrees the Southern Great Barrier Reef is a good place to watch spawning.
“With the diversity and number of coral here on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, the spectacle is incredible.”
“If you pick the right night, it’s amazing to see the release. The water is alive with creatures feeding on the eggs,” she said.
“This time of year there are also turtles mating in the ocean and laying eggs on the beaches; and the waters are full of mantas (rays),
“There is a definite buzz about the reef.”
It’s not all positive. Doctor Perkins warns there is also a smell that “you don’t realise from watching it on the Discovery Channel.”
For travellers unable to go on the night dives, the lead up to coral spawning offers an exclusive insight into the reef’s birthing process.
Quicksilver’s Hore says if you get up close to the coral just before spawning, “you can actually see distinct little colorations in the mouth of the coral, little signs that ejaculation on a mass scale is about to take place.
“It’s almost like you are experiencing a pregnancy on a really small scale – without the demand for ice cream!”
Irrespective of where divers choose to be, Perkins, Jeffery and Hore all agree that Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is the best place in the world to see the phenomenon.
“Biologically, it’s the most diverse system in the world and there are more corals here than anywhere else,” Perkins said.
“When we talk about mass coral spawning, we are talking about branching types of coral, which make up 60 percent of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef.”
“It’s also a lot cleaner here than other places around the world,” adds Jeffery.
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