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Diving the world’s largest coral atoll, Aldabra, in the Seychelles, is just one example of the 20 Scuba Diving Expedition Voyages that Silversea Cruises (rooms from $4,365; 888-978-4070; silversea.com) is offering this year as water sports gain in popularity with cruise-goers. “Our guests want to explore remote destinations both on land and in the water,” says Mark Conroy, Silversea’s managing director for the Americas. (Diver certification is required.)
Beginners can attain Professional Association of Diving Instructors certification from small-ship operator Paul Gauguin Cruises (800-848-6172; pgcruises.com), which offers lessons and refresher courses in its practice pool on the Paul Gauguin (suits and tanks included).
Windstar Cruises (rooms from $1,499; 877-978-3103; windstarcruises.com) offers Discover Scuba sailings in Tahiti and the Caribbean. The company continues to be ahead of other cruise lines with its water sports offerings. Its ships have always had platforms off the back for jumping into the water with paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. “The small ports we sail to and hidden coves we anchor in are purpose-built for diving in with your water toy of choice,” says CEO John Delaney.
Crystal Cruises (888-722-0021; crystalcruises.com) followed suit by embracing such toys on its year-old Esprit, which features a $2 million, three-person submarine, plus scuba diving and snorkeling gear, jet skis, kayaks, and paddleboards.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s (866-234-7350; ncl.com) new, $400 million private island in southern Belize, Harvest Caye, offers everything from paddleboarding to snorkeling.