Intrepid Travel is offering adventurous travellers an alternative to large cruise ship tours of Europe and the Caribbean with new small group sailing adventures around the Mediterranean’s Cote d’Azur and Cuba’s Canarreos Peninsula.
With Australia now officially the fastest growing cruise market in the world – a record 833,348 Australians took a cruise last year, reflecting a 20% growth year on year* – travellers wanting to experience life on the seas but who would rather not sit idle on a big, expensive cruise ship need not miss out.
“Intrepid’s new sailing itineraries in Cote d’Azur and Cuba are millionaire trips on a budget,” says James Thornton, Managing Director. “You don’t need a hefty bank balance to sit at our captain’s table! Intrepid sailing trips are all about adventure – navigate around small, pristine islands, learn the ropes of sailing and rub shoulders with the locals in quirky towns.”
The only tour operator offering the chance to sail along the French Riviera, Intrepid’s Cote d’Azur Sailing Adventure travels from one celebrated port to the next, uncovering a side of France only the rich get to see. Swimming and snorkelling in the clear waters and idyllic beaches of the Iles d’Hyeres Archipelago is a highlight out at sea, while the charming cities of Marseille, St-Tropez, Cannes and Nice provide the evening’s wining and dining.
The Canarreos Archipelago, comprising of around 350 islets south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea, is the focus of Intrepid’s new Cuba Sailing Adventure.
Travellers will discover hidden beaches, uninhabited islands and underwater scenery, including the chance to swim with turtles and manta rays. Disembarking at Cienfuegos will see travellers drinking a rum or two with new friends.
The nine day trip begins in Havana and spends five nights on board a catamaran boat with all meals included before ending back in Havana.
It is from $2,195 per person and the first departure is on 15 November 2015.
Travellers can also add on the 8-day Classic Cuba trip beforehand to get a comprehensive land and sea experience in Cuba.
For more information about Intrepid’s sailing adventures visit www.intrepidtravel.com/theme/sailing
The new GVI Dive Academy, which allows dive students to contribute to important marine conservation projects and gain their PADI Dive Open Water Scuba Instructor and Master Scuba Diver Trainer qualifications, is the first of its kind and is endorsed by the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI).
The GVI Dive Academy offers two core products a Dive Master programme, a 24 week course which focuses on marine conservation and trains participants to become Dive Masters, and a 30 week course which allows participants to gain both the PADI Instructor and their Master Scuba Diver Trainer qualifications. The programmes are a unique blend of high quality training to professional levels and hands on, practical, marine conservation experience.
GVI’s Chief Executive, Steve Gwenin, said he is proud to see GVI’s work in marine conservation and dive training recognised by one of the industry’s most highly regarded associations.
“While there are companies around the world offering professional diving courses, PADI has recognised our efforts in educating divers about the underwater environment and the importance of diving in an environmentally conscious way,” Steve said.
“The GVI Dive Academy’s unique marine conservation focus and the high standards of our training mean its graduates will be highly sought-after in the dive industry and the ideal staff for responsible dive operators.”
The Divers Alert Network award is also recognition of the high standards of GVI’s training and operations.
“GVI is known for its safety and professionalism and this award reflects that. It shows how seriously we take our work and the safety of our participants, and of course how high we set the set the standards on our dive courses. Our graduates learn to dive in an environment which breeds professionalism which is why they are in demand in the dive industry and finding it so easy to get jobs,” Steve said.
To celebrate the new GVI Dive Academy, GVI has partnered with PADI Project Aware to run a competition offering entrants the chance of winning a free place on GVI’s flagship 30 week PADI Instructor course in Mexico worth AUD$15,676.
Everyone who enters receives 10 per cent off GVI’s marine programmes and discounted PADI e-learning courses. Entrants will also be supporting Project Aware, a growing movement of scuba divers protecting the ocean planet.
Enter the competition here www.prizeaid.com/campaigns/padi-gvi-projectaware
To find out more about GVI Dive Academy visit www.gviaustralia.com.au/dive-academy/ and for more information on volunteering abroad and to keep in touch with exciting news and developments, check out www.gviaustralia.com.au and become a fans on Facebook.
About GVI: Global Vision International (GVI), a non-political, non-religious organisation, was formed in 1997 to provide support and services to international charities, NGOs and governmental agencies. Through its international network of over 150 personnel in 13 countries, GVI continues to support many of the most critical conservation and humanitarian projects around the globe. Through its alliance with aid-reliant organisations throughout the world, GVI provides opportunities for volunteers to fill a critical void in the fields of environmental research, conservation, education and community development. To date over 20,000 volunteers have joined projects resulting in the direct financial support of over AUD million.
About Divers Alert Network: The Divers Alert Network (DAN) is the diving industry’s largest association dedicated to scuba diving safety. Serving scuba divers for more than 30 years, DAN provides emergency assistance, medical information resources, educational opportunities and more.
About PADI: PADI is the world’s leading scuba diver training organisation with more than 6200 PADI Dive Centres and Resorts, and more than 136,000 individual PADI Professionals who have issued more than 23 million certifications around the world.
Occidental Hotels & Resorts is pleased to announce the Allegro Cozumel resort officially reopens to guests on Friday, December 19, 2014, just in time for the holiday season. Following significant renovations, the resort is once again welcoming guests to have a fun-filled Allegro experience on the beautiful island of Cozumel, Mexico.
“Reopening in time for the 2014 holiday season is the perfect opportunity for returning and first-time guests to experience Allegro Cozumel’s new-and-improved lobby, restaurants, programing and more,” said Jaime Buxó, Managing Director of Occidental Hotels & Resorts. “This resort has always catered to an array of guests, from families to couples, and the rejuvenation of Allegro Cozumel’s facilities along with new programming will surely enhance the guest experience.”
Upon arrival, guests can experience a revitalized lobby area boasting a design scheme that celebrates the region. Evoking a Yucatan hacienda with minimalistic yet distinct textures and colors, the new lobby reflects the natural beauty surrounding the resort.
El Topaz, the buffet-style restaurant, features a brand new buffet, while El Oriental, the property’s à la carte Asian restaurant, has been completely redesigned with large teppanyaki tables and a self-service sushi bar to complement the restaurant’s diverse menu. The resort is also introducing a brand new à la carte restaurant, The Italian, which is open for dinner and captures the essence of an art gallery with decorative murals, extravagant curtains and mirrors displayed on the walls.
Sports fans on property can enjoy access to the resort’s first Sports Bar located near the main lobby and featuring a two-in-one concept, both an open lounge area with high-top tables and a section of private booths. Allegro Cozumel’s guests ages 13 to 17 years-old will delight in the brand new Teens Club, the watersports-themed room featuring game tables and consoles for various activities. The newly built Disco Bar features DJ music from around the world, where guests can dance the night away.
Among the brand new areas on property are also a spa and fitness center, tennis courts, theater and more. New and enhanced guest experiences include daily activities and programming by the pool and beach areas, non-motorized watersports and a complete PADI five-star dive center.
Situated on the celebrated Palancar Reef, one of the top dive destinations in the world, Allegro Cozumel is an ideal destination for dive enthusiasts of all levels to explore over 4,000 species of fish and 700 species of coral and sponges. Guests who are PADI certified divers, or equivalent, looking to maximize their diving can book the resort’s Ultimate Dive Experience package. This offer includes a variety of complimentary amenities such as accommodations in a Superior Premium Ultimate Dive Experience Room, a daily dive tank, access to a special in-room wetsuit drying rack, equipment storage and care exclusive check-in and check-out service, a private lounge to socialize and relax, in addition to discounts at the Dive shop.
Allegro Cozumel is an ideal all-inclusive resort for an array of guests ranging from couples and families alike. With its prime location overlooking the Mexican Caribbean Sea, unlimited meals and snacks at numerous restaurants and bars, refreshing pools, fitness facilities, nightly entertainment, and countless land and water sport activities including world-renowned scuba diving, there are plenty of options for guests to have their ideal vacation experiences.
For more information, please visit www.occidentalhotels.com.
Occidental Hotels & Resorts
For over 30 years, Occidental Hotels & Resorts has been one of the world’s leading hotel companies and one of the largest all-inclusive resort chains in the Americas, with properties in key destinations and under the various brands: Royal Hideaway, Occidental Grand, Allegro and Occidental City Hotels. Each property is perfectly suited to address leisure and corporate travel needs, from Royal Hideaway and Occidental Grand´s luxurious amenities to Allegro’s fun-filled packages and Occidental City Hotels metropolitan retreats. An exclusive component of all Occidental Grand properties, the “Royal Club” boasts boutique-style elements within the resorts including deluxe accommodations, private concierges, separate check-in and check-out and an exclusive Royal Club guest lounge and restaurant.
Across the company portfolio, the brand is dedicated to providing impeccable service and unique offerings to its guests – a philosophy that has come to be known as the “Occidental Experience.” Whether traveling as families, couples, friends or colleagues, guests can select from a number of programs, such as the Ultimate Dive Experience, Unlimited Xcaret Xperience or the expansive Destination Weddings Program, to receive extraordinarily memorable stays.
Today, Occidental Hotels & Resorts manages over 4,500 rooms in 14 hotels across six countries: Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico. In addition to welcoming over 400,000 guests annually, the company’s timeshare concept, Occidental Vacation Club, includes more than 23,000 loyal travelers who have expanded their all-inclusive experiences through vacation ownership. For more information, please visit www.occidentalhotels.com
The Sports Action is Non Stop
CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (Dec. 23, 2014) – Besides individual active pursuits such as swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, golf, and tennis, there are great sports competitions held on land, sea and in the air throughout Charlotte County. Whether you participate or spectate, you’ll surely find some sporting fun to enjoy, regardless of athletic prowess or age.
· Florida Tracks & Trails.
Projected Grand Opening is March 2015
39450 Bermont Road, east of Punta Gorda
Florida Tracks & Trails in Punta Gorda, is under development to become the only multi-themed outdoor adventure and live entertainment park of its kind. The family-friendly 1,000-acre park will include a 56-acre entertainment ground with a spacious 40,000 square foot indoor venue and an outdoor event lawn exceeding 30-acres in size. Surrounding the entertainment grounds will be miles of one-directional OHV trails, four professionally designed Motocross tracks, 80-acres of world-class paintball, RV campgrounds, zip lines, a fresh-water beach, and a full suite of on-site amenities such as OHV rentals, a general store, party pavilions and more. Phase 1 is targeted to open in Winter 2015, with additional amenities opening shortly after. http://www.floridatracksandtrails.com/
· The 6th Annual Charlotte Harbor Regatta
Feb. 5-8, 2015
Featuring one-design fleet races on Charlotte Harbor. Ph: 941-206-1133. Entry fee is $75 per boat and tickets are available for related social events. For Notice of Race information, online registration and ticket sales visit: www.charlotteharborregatta.com
· USA/BMX Sunshine State Nationals
Feb. 13-15, 2015
BMX racing is a type of off-road bicycle racing derived from motocross racing. The Nationals feature sprint races on purpose-built off-road single-lap race tracks. The sport is very family oriented and largely participant-driven, with riders ranging in age from 2 to 70, and over.
Charlotte BMX Track, 2505 Carmalita St., Punta Gorda Ph: 941-637-1676
· Snowbird Baseball Classic 2015 Tournament
Feb. 13 – April 1, 2015
At select venues: Charlotte Sports Park, North Charlotte Regional Park, South County Regional Park, and Charlotte High School
Root for your Alma Mater at the largest annual tournament featuring Div. I and III college teams from across the country. Ph: 941-743-1900. Schedules: www.snowbirdbaseball.info
· Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training
Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
Voted the #1 Spring Training facility by USA Today in 2014, an estimated 17 spring training home games will be played at Charlotte Sports Park against major league opponents in 2015. Single-game spring training tickets for games at Charlotte Sports Park will go on sale in January with a specific date and price ranges to be announced. For full schedule and tickets Ph: 888-Fan-Rays. www.raysbaseball.com/springtraining.
· 35th Florida International Air Show
Mar. 27-29, 2015
Punta Gorda Airport, 28000 Airport Blvd., Punta Gorda.
High-speed military jets and acrobatic performers will roar into Punta Gorda Airport in Punta Gorda on March 27-30, 2015. Enjoy expanded aircraft exhibits, displays, a kids’ entertainment area, and refreshments. Proceeds benefit Southwest Florida working charities. www.floridaairshow.com.
· Pedal and Play in Paradise
Mar. 28, 2015
100 Nesbit Street, Laishley Marina Pavilions , Punta Gorda
Bicyclers of all skill levels are invited to choose from five exciting bicycle rides! Metric Century 62-mile Tour; 30-Mile Tour; 15-Mile Tour; 10-Mile Mystery Tour; City Manager’s/History Tour, 1 pm
For your safety, the 62, 30, and 15-mile rides will not be mass start events. Event includes: Welcome breakfast and full lunch; rest stops for 62, 30 & 15 mile rides; Morning riders may also go on the City Manager’s Tour in the afternoon. All rides benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and TEAM Punta Gorda’s bicycle-friendly community initiatives. Event will take place rain or shine. Helmets required. Additional information for Pedal and Play in Paradise including online registration can be found on their website https://www.facebook.com/PedalAndPlay 941-637-TEAM (8326).
· Charlotte Stone Crabs Baseball
Apr. through early Sept., 2015
Charlotte County Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
The Tampa Bay Rays’ High-A Affiliate co-owned by the Rays and Ripken Baseball, swing into season. Attending a Charlotte Stone Crabs baseball game is a family-affordable vacation activity in Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands. Full-season, half-season and 10 game mini-plans are available, too. Reserve tickets by contacting the Charlotte Stone Crabs at 941-206- 4487 or visit www.stonecrabsbaseball.com.
Download images of Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands from this link: https://www.cleanpix.com/cleanpix/portal/W1hgR-Q8f-M26 .
About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014 Port Charlotte has been named the top U.S. Best Value Destination by trivago, the world’s largest online hotel search site, and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PDG) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).
For more information on visiting Charlotte Harbor visit www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com or call1-800-652-6090.
Quads, Kitesurfing And Catamarans – Heritage The Villas’ New Family, Camera, Action Holiday In MauritiusOctober 31, 2014 on 5:37 pm | In Adventure Travel, Africa, Beachbooker, Mauritius, Sailing, Scuba Diving | Comments Off
Heritage The Villas, situated on the south coast of Mauritius, is introducing a new Family, Camera, Action Holiday, with the aim of bringing families together and encouraging them to get out into the wild outdoors. Recent research has shown that more than half of youngsters aged seven to 12 spend less than an hour a day outside and the “cotton wool generation” are experiencing an indoor existence. On holiday at Heritage The Villas, families are encouraged to enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities from quad biking in the estate’s own nature reserve, to kitesurfing at the on-site water sports school, all within a safe environment.
Set within a 2,500 hectare ex-sugar plantation estate, known as the Domaine de Bel Ombre, each two to four bedroom villa has been designed with families in mind. There is plentiful space for the kids to run around, large outdoor verandas, private swimming pool, cots and kids’ beds, plus every mod con a family could wish for.
The Family, Camera, Action Holiday costs from £4,289 per family (four sharing) for seven nights on a B&B basis, and includes:
Holiday planning service
Quad biking or Fauna and Flora Discovery Tour with family photo-shoot
Family golfing lesson
Kitesurfing lesson or catamaran boat trip
Preparing for the trip has been made easy for parents with the holiday planning service – a checklist sent via email, asking what each family member would like to do on their holiday. The concierge will then tailor-make a suggested itinerary, resulting in a holiday that runs smoothly and pleases all the family.
Families can enjoy the Domaine’s stunning Frederica Nature Reserve with aquad biking adventure or fauna and flora 4×4 discovery adventure, to explore the native fauna and flora, such as wild deer. Additionally, a photographer will capture the families’ time at the reserve, and a DVD memento will be created for them as a souvenir to take home.
The whole family can have some fun with a family golfing lesson on the 18-hole, par 72 championship course of the Heritage Golf Club. There is also a 9-hole pitch and putt par 3 course – ideal for beginners and children.
A kitesurfing lesson at the Kite Globing Kitesurf School is also an option in the package, so parents and kids (age 8+) can enjoy learning a new skill together. Other water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding and snorkelling are also available at no additional cost. Another option, and possibly one of the highlights of the holiday, is the catamaran boat trip to Benitiers Island, where guests will be able to spot and swim with wild dolphins.
Families can opt to eat out at any one of 12 different restaurants across the Domaine de Bel Ombre, where all tastes are catered for and each restaurant offers a varied children’s menu.
Families can also enjoy traditional fishing in the River Citronniers which runs through the resort, picnics in the gardens of Le Chateau de Bel Ombre – a 19th century colonial style mansion, as well as a variety of active pursuits such as SCUBA diving trips, tennis lessons, sports tournaments and mountain biking.
During their stay, all guests have unrestricted access to Heritage Resort’s extensive leisure facilities which include two hotels – Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali, two world-class spas, the C Beach Club, fitness centres and Le Chateau de Bel Ombre. The resort also offers a kids club (age 2-11) and teens club (age 12+) with a diversified programme of activities.
For more information on Heritage The Villas, please visit: www.heritageresorts.mu/en
Luxury dive liveaboard, the Arenui, is in high demand every year. Our 2015-2016 cruises are now 75% fully booked and even 2017 has been selling well for 6 months. We only have a few dates in late 2017 available to charter, so we are opening up our 2018 dates very soon (end of November)!
As a special promotion – exclusively for operators visiting us at DEMA – we are offering priority booking for charter dates on our 2018 calendar, before we publish the schedule online for general bookings. If your clients are looking for outstanding dive sites, beautiful scenery, great weather, luxury cabins and delicious food, plus professional and enthusiastic dive guides supported by a top-rated crew, come visit us at DEMA to discuss the details for a 16-guest charter in Indonesia on our boutique vessel.
ABOUT THE DIVE DESTINATIONS
Raja Ampat: Enjoy stunning topside views as we cruise alongside limestone rock formations and take a surface-interval break to visit remote beach island villages. Dive into this soft-coral heaven in the far east of the Indonesian archipelago and fill your logbook with famous West Papua sites such as Boo Windows in Misool, Arborek Jetty and Dampier Straits. Expect plenty of wobbegong sharks but also rare finds like the epaulette “walking” shark. Look out for photogenic critters like the pygmy seahorse and bring your wide-angle lens for the popular and almost guaranteed manta-sightings at the cleaning station.
Komodo: This is a great itinerary for all kinds of muck diving, as the dive sites here are packed full of unbelievable critters such as ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, rare clown frogfish, blue-ringed octopus, pipefish, scorpion leaf fish, coleman shrimp, boxer crabs, zebra crabs and of course the weird and wonderful nudibranchs (if lucky, the ridiculously cute Pikachu nudi)! Divers keen on coral reefs will also be amazed at the range of corals that Komodo has to offer – from soft to hard and in warm to temperate waters – while those seeking out schooling fish need look no further than the thrilling current dives of Gili Lawa Laut. If you’re also hoping for some pelagics and ocean giants then bring your wide-angle lens along too for the resident mantas and sharks, but keep a watch for passing dolphins, whales and the elusive mola-mola (sun fish).
Alor: Explore the hidden gems of Alor – one of the best kept secrets for diving in paradise. This area is famous for beautiful rhinopias but also plenty of pelagic action. This fascinating dive destination boasts stunning topside scenery and impressive volcanoes; plus a visit to the famous Pura Island villagers, who splash out of their wooden dugout canoes and dive underwater with home-made goggles fashioned from wood and glass bottles. Take time out of diving for some land excursions here; trekking through the park to find ‘Varanus Riungensis’ – another giant lizard, slightly smaller and brighter than its cousin on Komodo).
Maluku: Unlike other areas, with high populations and subsequent pressure from fishing, the Bandas’ relatively small human population has been a blessing for divers – offering a vibrant, healthy reef system with fish life in incredible numbers along with huge gorgonians and sponges and some truly monumental hard corals. Expect plenty of pelagics, widespread muck diving and unexplored coral gardens, as well as a rich colonial heritage on land. Dive Nusa Laut, which showcases the positive effects of a village taking care of its habitat, where the reef remains as unspoiled as it was hundreds of years ago and a favorite of many dive enthusiasts.
Forgotten Islands: For a new itinerary why not visit this little known and under explored, remote area of Indonesia? The Forgotten Islands are part of a remote archipelago in the south-east corner of the Moluccas (Maluku Tenggara). These trips are for true explorers and those divers seeking out something new and unusual, as we take you from one secret paradise to another. Expect plenty of rare and unusual critters and stunning corals, but also fantastic opportunities for pelagic sightings and schools of larger fish such as barracuda and mackerel, as well as the chance to meet an enigmatic whale shark or elusive hammerhead.
The Arenui is a magnificent Phinisi (traditional Indonesian wooden sailing vessel) and a work-of-art in itself. She was built using 70% recycled wood and has been designed to give guests a real taste of local culture, with handicrafts and décor from around the Indonesian provinces.
She is operated by one of the finest crews in Indonesia, with 3 Indonesian divemasters plus 4 highly experienced western cruise directors and a further 18 well-trained crew members from captains and engineers to masseurs and chefs.
The Arenui is a truly boutique liveaboard experience. Unwind in exceptionally spacious cabins, relax with professional massage and spa treatments and enjoy the view from the fabulous sky deck. Arenui believes that, even when sailing around remote islands, there’s no reason to forgo fine dining so our talented chefs offer sumptuous buffets but also daily a-la-carte menus. After all, a relaxing meal prepared with care and style is the best way to remain full of energy for the next dive!
Join the Arenui to dive Indonesia – the world’s no. 1 spot for biodiversity! Enjoy small groups with only 16 guests per cruise, so 4 per dive group. Your only challenge is which destination to choose! We explore the best dive sites of Komodo and Alor, Maluku and Raja Ampat, plus an exciting new destination – the Forgotten Islands?
Experience the beauty and hospitality of Indonesia with the Arenui.
Boutique eco-resort commits to maintaining the global standard in sustainable tourism and will continue improvements for the benefit of guests, employees and the community
HOPKINS, Belize — Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, an award-winning boutique eco-resort in Belize, recently earned a Bronze Certification from Sustainable Travel International’s Sustainable Tourism Education Program (STEP), illustrating full compliance with a set of baseline best practices aligned with global sustainable tourism criteria. Hamanasi is the first hotel in Belize to earn this esteemed certification.
The revolutionary STEP Eco-Certification Standard was one of the first standards to be formally recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The standard includes universally accepted best practices for tourism business management and dozens of sector-specific practices. Each practice includes multiple levels of involvement, ranging from low-cost baseline criteria to resource-investment industry leader criteria.
STEP measures all aspects of sustainability for tourism businesses and serves as a practical tool for assessment, benchmarking and education. Companies enrolled in the STEP program are required to assess the impact of their business practices and continue to thoughtfully integrate sustainable practices into future operations.
“Hamanasi is illustrating leadership in sustainable tourism by committing to the certification process,” said Robert Chappell, Senior Director of Standards & Monitoring at Sustainable Tourism International. “It is a rigorous undertaking and by completing this process, it shows they’re committed to having their work generate positive impact on the people and places where they’re located.”
The bronze level is the first step in the certification process, laying the foundation for future sustainability initiatives. One of the primary focuses of the program is to demonstrate continuous improvement over time. These improvements can have a profound effect on habitat preservation, cultural heritage protection and area economic systems.
“Reducing our carbon footprint, educating others and engaging in community projects are energizing, on-going commitments. These include expanding our organic garden, enhancing our Green Team’s outreach initiatives and transitioning to more eco-friendly infrastructure. We see being a sustainable resort as a continuous journey with and for the benefit of our employees, guests and community,” said Dana Krauskopf, co-founder and owner of Hamanasi.
Within 12 months of receiving the bronze level certification, businesses are encouraged to setup an on-site assessment of best practices from an independent, third party auditor. Common Accommodations best practices involve facility management, safety, employee training, guest rooms, public areas, and kitchen operations.
To find out more about the STEP Standard, visit www.sustainabletravel.org. To find out more about Hamanasi’s commitment to sustainability and to book your stay at the No. 1 Small Hotel in Central America, visit www.hamanasi.com or call 877-552-3483.
About Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort:
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.
About Sustainable Travel International:
Sustainable Travel International is the world’s leading organization that is harnessing the power of travel and tourism as a force for good. We help communities, businesses and governments build a better future for themselves and their environments through travel and tourism. Our vision has always been to harness the power of travel and tourism as a force for good. Since our creation, we have dedicated ourselves to understanding the complexities of travel and tourism around the world and spent more than 10 years developing tools and partnerships that deliver on such ambitious goals. Today, in response to urgent threats facing our planet, we are convening leading travel corporations and tourism destinations to scale-up our solutions in order to improve the lives of at least 10 million people over the next decade. Collectively, we are redefining global travel and tourism as a force for good.
Welcome to Gala-Gala Eco Resort, Ponta d Ouro, Southern Mozambique. Only 8km from the South African border our accessibility makes this an easy Mozambique holiday. The biodiversity of the area in and around our resort is extensive with impressive bird life, butterflies and other indigenous & interesting forna & flora. Only few hundred metres from our resort is a stretch of African coast line with some of the world best diving, boasting abundant marine life including fish, rays, eels, turtles, dolphins, whales and of course an extensive list of sharks species.
Gala-Gala Eco Resort offers space and serenity for those who want to be away from the village vibe, but also a large number of activities for people looking for an active and social holiday. The beautiful surroundings of our authentic Mozambique accommodation bring you back to nature. You will be struck by its beauty and tranquillity. At Gala-Gala Eco Resort, our intimate operation & barefoot luxury style ensures personal service second to none in a space unlike anything else in Ponta d Ouro. Gala-Gala offers a variety of accommodation options including exclusive private ensuite cabanas with air conditioning, standard cabanas with fans & shared facilities & camp sites each with their own bathrooms.
Only 1km from the markets of Ponta d Ouro you are treated to easy access to the vibe of the village but then you can retreat to the quiet of our resort to relax and unwind. Your stay with us is fully chaperoned ensuring authentic experiences and making your holiday hassle free and carefree.
Ultimate African Sea & Safari Adventure
Experience the best of African wild life in a unique environment on land and in the ocean. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino & 9 different species of sharks including tiger sharks and hammerheads. Be part of a hands on program including rhino tracking or leopard monitoring or join in on a dolphin encounter making these trips a once in a life time opportunity. All this within a 50km radius. These trips are dates specific please enquire about available dates.
2 nights Bhekula Safari & 5 nights Gala-Gala Eco Resort diving ~ 7 nights rack rate
Big 5 game viewing & unlimited diving ~ R15755.00 per person sharing DBB
3 nights Somkhanda Safari & 5 nights Gala-Gala Eco Resort diving ~ 8 nights rack rate
Conservation & tracking program & unlimited diving ~ R16915.00 per person sharing DBB
5 nights Bhekula/Somkhanda Safari 5 nights Gala-Gala Eco Resort diving ~ 10 nights rack rate
Big 5 game viewing, conservation & tracking program & unlimited diving ~ R22570.00 pp sharing DBB
These packages include:
Meet & greet Ushaka airport Durban
Transfers to Bhekula or Somkhanda game lodges & Gala-Gala Eco Resort
Meal as specified
Conservation, community levies & marine taxes where applicable
Cylinders & weight belts for dives
These packages exclude:
Drinks, tips & gratuities & items of personal nature
Optional extra activities
Meals not specified
Travel and medical insurance
Other dive gear hire
For other detailed T’s & C’s please see request our important notes
Visit the website at: www.gala-gala.co.za
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos – Both beginner and veteran scuba divers will enjoy the Scuba Dive vacation package deal offered at The Sands at Grace Bay for travel to Turks & Caicos now through December 20th. By partnering with Ocean Vibes LTD – a leading PADI dive and snorkel facility in Providenciales – this top-rated resort located on world-famous Grace Bay Beach is offering a weeklong “Surf & Turf” themed vacation package that features a discounted luxury resort stay and daily scuba dive excursions to breathtaking sights around the island that are selected based on the diver’s skill level and interests.
The “Surf & Turf” themed Scuba Dive vacation package rates start from $1,250 per person for a six-night stay, and from $1,480 per person for a seven-night stay (based on double occupancy) and include:
Studio Courtyard accommodations at The Sands at Grace Bay resort (room upgrades are available for an additional charge)
Resort taxes & fees
Two-tank scuba dive excursions for “two” offered through Ocean Vibes: The 6-night package includes 5 days of diving and the 7-night package includes 6 days of diving.
For the “turf” portion of this package, guests will enjoy luxurious accommodations at The Sands at Grace Bay resort located on world-famous Grace Bay Beach. The resort offers guests free use of non-motorized watersports including snorkeling gear, Hobie Cats, kayaks, windsurfing equipment and stand-up paddleboards, plus bicycles for island exploration. It also boasts three free-form swimming pools, tennis courts, and the island’s legendary Hemingway’s Restaurant.
For the “surf” portion of this package, guests will enjoy up to six days of two-tank scuba dive excursions with Ocean Vibes to explore some of the world’s leading dive sights. Each daily dive excursion is selected based on the diver’s skill level and includes: hotel pick-up and drop-off, a scenic 45-foot boat ride to the best dive sites around the island, and complimentary lunch and refreshments. Valid scuba dive certification is required. SCUBAPRO dive equipment rentals including regulators, wet suits and BCDs are available for an additional charge.
The Sands at Grace Bay’s “Surf & Turf” dive travel package is available for new bookings made for stays of six nights or more, for travel now through December 20, 2014. Package rates start from $1,250 per person for a six-night stay in a Studio Courtyard Suite, and rates vary based on room type, additional night add-on’s and hotel availability at the time of booking. To book this offer, call the resort’s toll-free reservations line from the U.S. (877) 777-2637 and request the “SCUBA DIVE” travel package. For more information about this package, visit www.thesandstc.com or the OceanVibes website.
About The Sands at Grace Bay
The Sands at Grace Bay is situated on the world-renowned 12-mile crescent of powdery white sand known as Grace Bay Beach. Named one of the, “Top 15 Resorts in the Atlantic” by the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards, this gracious, family-friendly 114-room resort offers accommodations in studios and 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites ranging from 1,000 to 1,600 square feet, all of which combine comfort-focused amenities and spectacular natural surroundings. Suites also come with fully equipped kitchens appointed with stainless appliances, dining and living room areas, private balconies, washer/dryers and more. The Sands at Grace Bay is the home of Hemingway’s Restaurant and Bar – a legendary beach-side venue and local favorite – where guests can enjoy gourmet selections and island specialties seven days a week. Spa treatments by Spa Tropique are also available by appointment.
Bonaire, Dutch Antilles – Learn from some of the world’s top professional dive teachers at the Caribbean’s premier luxury dive and beach destination, and save 20 percent on your accommodations when you register for a newly offered instructor development course beginning November 26, 2014.
Great Adventures Bonaire at Harbour Village Beach Club has expanded its dive services to include instruction of professional level certifications, a greater range of diving education, and achieved PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Resort Rating. The dive center recently welcomed Gary Mawston, a Platinum Course Director with many successful years of experience working with instructor candidates in the Caribbean and Europe. In 2008, Mawston was ranked in the top five course directors worldwide with professional certifications in excess of 10,000 and is one of only 65 Platinum Course Directors worldwide.
“Gary is a great addition to the team at Great Adventures Bonaire and compliments the current teaching staff,” said Frank Gonzalez, Managing Director of Harbour Village Beach Club. Mawston joins PADI Master Instructor Christine Ball, Master Scuba Diver Trainers Mark Spychala and Jan Van Den Ouden, Open Water Scuba Instructor Alfonso Rodriguez, and Open Water Instructor/Dive Shop Manager Muriel Anderson Spychala, who collectively offer more than 80 years of teaching experience.
Great Adventures at Harbour Village Bonaire will run an Instructor Development Course from November 26 at the resort, with the Instructor Exams following on December 6 and 7. The center will also offer DiveMaster, Assistant Instructor, Emergency First Responder Instructor and Tec Rec Coures, as well as a number of specialty instructor ratings and new internship opportunities for divers interested in a professional diver instruction career.
Great Adventures Bonaire at Harbour Village is conveniently located along the resort’s white sand beach. “It’s the perfect location to learn to teach new divers,” said instructor Ball. “We also have our two air-conditioned classrooms and a peaceful beach gazebo that doubles as a great outdoor classroom,” she said.
Harbour Village, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is set within an exclusive beachfront enclave on a four-acre, private peninsula on the island of Bonaire that offers direct access the best diving in the Caribbean. Bonaire is designated as having the most pristine coral reef environment and most species of fish in the Caribbean by the NOAA and is consistently named Best Overall Dive Destination by Scuba Diving Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards.
Due to Bonaire’s leeward location outside of the hurricane belt, and its consistently pleasant climate, crystal-clear visibility prevails at any depth and gives an enthralling view of the undersea landscape. Dive sites just off Harbour Village’s shore include the shipwreck of the 60-foot “Our Confidence,” located just 50 yards out from the beach, while another popular dive site, “Something Special,” is also a short swim away.
Harbour Village Beach Club’s luxurious private villas are located just a few steps away from the beach and feature opulent décor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra Restaurant and Bar, which gives the sensation of sailing into the Caribbean seascape with a dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as The Spa at Harbour Village Beach Club.
In addition to diving, the resort’s concierge can help craft the perfect itinerary of island adventures. Explore natural wonders such as Bonaire’s famed solar salt beds and one of the world’s largest pink flamingo nesting grounds, or catch a glimpse of the island’s rare Bonairean Lora Parrot. Or relax at the resort, lounging at the seaside pool, dozing in a hammock on the beach or taking to the waves with our complimentary paddle boards and kayaks.
About Harbour Village Bonaire
Harbour Village Beach Club was voted Bonaire’s Leading Hotel in the 2013 World Travel Awards, hailed as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry” by the Wall Street Journal. Located in the Dutch Antilles within an exclusive beachfront enclave on a four-acre, private peninsula on Bonaire, Harbour Village Beach Club is often referred to as “the best kept secret” in the Caribbean where vacationing is effortless, and the world’s best diving and underwater landscapes are just steps away. Harbour Village Beach Club offers 30 luxurious guest rooms and suites, a private white-sand beach, onsite PADI 5 Star Dive and Water Sports Center, private 64-slip marina, beachfront restaurant, full-service spa, lighted tennis courts, beachside and cascade pools, fitness center, supervised children’s programs, complimentary wireless Internet and a wealth of other premium amenities.
Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the island of Bonaire offers year round sunshine, low annual rainfall, and has been designated as having the most pristine coral reef environment and most species of fish in the Caribbean by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation lists eight out of almost 90 of Bonaire’s dive sites in their top 10 in terms of species richness in the Caribbean — abundant underwater life includes more than 300 species of tropical fish and over 120 different types of coral. The island is able to maintain this environment and receive awards for Bonaire diving year after year because its surrounding waters have been protected as the Bonaire National Marine Park for over 30 years.
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