Summer may be nearing its end, but a spot of winter sun always provides a beacon of hope once the nights draw in. And this winter's going to be a corker, from swimming with whale sharks in Tanzania to being seduced by the songs of humpback whales in Oman, mingling with mantas in the Maldives and so much more. If you're already sorted for this year, stay ahead of the curve on next year's holiday with some of the world's most coveted destinations....
The Outer Atolls, Belize
Boasting three out of four of the Caribbean's atolls with over 160 miles of reef, not to mention the world-famous Blue Hole, Belize's outer atolls have some of the best diving in the Caribbean - and with so much reef to explore, it's likely you won't encounter another soul.
Hallaniyat Islands, Oman
Hop aboard the Oman Aggressor and cruise to the little explored Hallaniyat Islands where, between November and December, you can spot giant catfish, mobula rays, leopard sharks, barracudas, nudibranchs and even giant oceanic manta rays. Visit between December and March and you might also encounter the beautiful serenading songs of humpback whales.
Experience the creme-de-la-creme of East Africa's diving in Tanzania. Start on Mafia Island, snorkelling with whale sharks (October to March) and diving in the very fishy Mafia Island Marine Park. Next, head to Pemba Island to dive in the acclaimed Pemba Channel, which boasts some of Africa's most pristine and varied corals (over 320 species, to be exact). Add to that an incredibly diverse amount of marine life and no one else around for miles and you can see why we keep singing its praises.
A speckle in the remote Outer Islands of the Seychelles, private island paradise Alphonse quietly boasts some of the most coveted species to grace the ocean, from sharks (hammerhead, bull, silvertip and more) to marvellous macro (think: leaf scorpionfish, nudibranchs and tiger mantis shrimp). While above water, ancient giant tortoises lethargically roam the island like the land before time.
Laamu Atoll, Maldives
A mammoth amount of megafauna continues to thrive and flourish in Laamu, so much so that if Original Diving guests of Six Senses Laamu do not see a shark, dolphin, turtle, napoleon wrasse, eagle ray, sting ray or manta ray during their trip, they'll let guests stay for free.
Plunge fin first into some of Cebu's best dive sites. First explore the underwater world of Moalboal, home to a resident sardine shoal, as well as spectacular fan corals and all manner of macro life. Malapascua follows with its famous thresher shark encounters, incredible critters and endless exciting dive sites.
PLAN AHEAD FOR 2020
These divine diving destinations might require some forward planning, but you'll reap the rewards...
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
You know the drill. King of coral, Raja Ampat is one of the most coveted diving destinations in the world, which is why it's completely fully booked this year. However, there are still some places available in our favourite properties and liveaboards for next year, so get your diaries out and strike while the iron's hot.
Palau Siren, Palau
Plan a liveaboard adventure aboard the Palau Siren and dive Palau's world-class sites, see the weird, translucent creatures of the deep 'blackwater' diving and, depending on whether you visit during the new or full moon, witness a bumphead parrotfish or red snapper spawning event. Needless to say, this is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. Not to be missed.
The Solomon Islands
A chain of volcanic islands scattered between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Islands offer boundless opportunities for exploration with dramatic walls, pristine soft and hard coral gardens, caverns, caves, WWII wrecks and muck sites galore, all best explored by luxury liveaboard, naturally.
Interesting in ending the year in style? Get in touch to organise your winter diving holiday extraviganza.