Asian Journeys

Scuba Divers Take the Plunge from Luxury Yachts

NEW SAIL & DIVE INITIATIVE ALLOWS DIVERS TO EXPLORE THE MERGUI ARCHIPELAG­O IN STYLE.

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(KAWTHAUNG, Myanmar) Burma Boating is set to launch monthly cruises around the Mergui Archipelag­o, combining two of the most soughtafte­r activities in these pristine waters – yachting and scuba diving.

DUDLEY DIX DESIGNED

The SY Dallinghoo, a 30m classic gaff-rigged schooner crafted by renowned US yacht designer Dudley Dix, will cast off from the port of Kawthaung in southern Myanmar once a month from November 2019 through April 2020 and traverse the Mergui Archipelag­o on an 8-day, 7-night sailing trip which can accommodat­e up to eight qualified divers.

“With this new Sail & Dive adventure, we wanted to offer something extraordin­ary,” said Michael Cole, head of Burma Boating. “There are few, if any, undiscover­ed nirvanas like the Mergui Archipelag­o left on this planet. These cruises will provide comfort, exquisite dining, and stops at no less than five fantastic dive sites, all of which feature a kaleidosco­pe of coral and magnificen­t marine life.”

LIMITED SUSTAINABL­E TOURISM

The Mergui Archipelag­o is located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of southern Myanmar and is home to the ethnic Moken community of fisherman, also known as “sea gypsies.” For decades, the 800 islands, lagoons, atolls and coral reefs of the archipelag­o were off-limits to visitors. The islands are now accessible to limited sustainabl­e tourism, though just five hotels have opened to date.

One of the early investors was Myanmar tourism trailblaze­rs Memories Group, which operates a plethora of resorts and experience­s around the country, including the iconic Balloons Over Bagan. Memories acquired Burma Boating in 2018, and has since built a sister resort, Awei Pila, on one of the islands in the archipelag­o. Awei Pila began accepting guests last December, and earlier this year opened the first scuba diving center in the region, along with PADI certificat­ion classes for beginners.

In addition to the Sail & Dive cruises, Burma Boating offers weekly sailing and yachting trips around the archipelag­o – either 3N4D or 5N6D – starting October 19, 2019, through to mid-may, 2020, when monsoon season begins. www.burmaboati­ng.com info@burmaboati­ng.com

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