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Inter-Ocean Tours enews
February 2009

Trips for Divers

P.O. Box 27116
Oakland, CA 94602
travel@interocean.com
510-638-3448
800-345-7159
510-638-1741 Fax

In this issue we are covering:
Kyoko's Report on Costa Rica Trip
Inter-Ocean Tours "Dive Bonaire"
Aggressor's Silver Anniversary
Dive and Trip Insurance

Costa Rica Trip: Last December 18 of us including 4 non-divers andHypselodoris 2 kids, stayed at Ocotal Beach Resort in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Ocotal Beach Resort is 1/2 hr drive from Liberia International airport and on the beach of El Ocotal Bay. The resort has two pools: Infinity pool and jacuzzi up the hill, and a pool with a wet bar on beach. The restaurant served drinks, but no bar (pool bar closes at 4pm!). However Father Rooster Bar & Grill next to the resort had a cozy bar where our group could gather in the evening and share our day’s adventures. Father Rooster also served us well for some lunches and dinners.

After the first shock of cool and murky water, I enjoyed the dives a lot. Cooler water brought in diamond sting rays with a wing span of 4-6 ft, and they were everywhere! So were balloon fish and puffers. It was a little early for their Manta season, but we saw many devil rays jumping out of water, plus pilot whales, bottle nose and spotted dolphins. Octopus, seahorses, nudibranchs and eels (green, snow flake, undulated, jewel and snake) were common sights. Because of low visibility it may not be a place for everybody, but California divers should be able to enjoy the many creatures of Eastern Pacific.

Young howler monkeyAnother attraction of Costa Rica is the diversity of life on land. We had a tour to the Arenal volcano, hiked in the park's rainforest and soaked in Tabacon Hot Spring. We could not see the volcano because of the low cloud, but Tabacon is a must if you can fit into your schedule. Staying Arenal area over night is recommended since our day trip from Ocotal had 8 hrs driving. The day before departure, a part of our group went on Canopy tours while others took a river tour at Palo Verde National Park. Canopy tour is always fun, and in Palo Verde National Park we saw many birds, monkeys, and crocodiles.

With several all inclusive resorts less than $1500 a week, it is a great destination. For some of the possible packages please visit our SPECIALS page, and for photos plus more about this trip please visit Kyoko and Ben's personal web page.

SnorkelersInter-Ocean Tours Dive Bonaire: Kyoko is leading a group trip to Captain Don's Habitat in Bonaire in July 2009. Bonaire offers the easiest diving in the Caribbean if not in the world. It is below the Hurricane Belt so the diving is great year round. Bonaire has the Caribbean's first Marine Preserve and it was started at Habitat by Captain Don. Bonaire was also the first to install permanent moorings, so the reefs are healthy with lots of life. In front of the resort is healthy fringe reef where you can dive 24 hrs! Kids 16 and under will stay and dive free on this trip.

Captain Don's Habitat Bonaire
July 4-11, 2009
$884 per diver in Habitat 2bdrm/2bath quad
$1132 per diver in Deluxe Oceanview double

The price is per person based on the number of persons in accommodation. 3 in room less & single more. The package includes 7 nights at Captain Don's Habitat, full breakfast daily, 5 days of 2 tank boat and 6 days of unlimited shore diving, round trip airport transfers, and taxes. Airfare, Bonaire National Marine Park fee (diver $25 & snorkeler $10), and gratitudes are not included. Please contact us for the best airfare. Non-diver deduct $330. Kids 16 and under stay and dive free with paying adult divers.

$100 per person deposit secures your reservation and full payment is due on May 1, 2009. E-mail travel@interocean.com for more information.

Aggressor's Silver Anniversary: To celebrate 25 years of offering divers the ultimate live-aboard diving experience, Aggressor Fleet, the world's largest fleet of franchised dive yachts, is offering tremendous savings on 25 dive vacations during 2009. Single travelers, couples, groups and clubs may save $250* per person on 25 inclusive, week-long scuba adventures from Belize to Hawaii and the Maldives to Palau. Our SPECIALS page lists the discounted dates of each region.

"Our '$250 for 25' silver anniversary special is just one of many ways we are showing our appreciation to divers throughout the world for making Aggressor Fleet their live-aboard of choice," says President Wayne Hasson. "Other exciting events in 2009 include our star-studded lineup of Celebrity Cruises, Dive with the Owners cruises, and new Video Contest."

We have just received the news of two liveaboard operation closing. One is North Sulawesi Aggressor and the other is our beloved boat on Great Barrier Reef, Undersea Explorer. We will miss the great trips Undersea Explorer has offered.

Dive and Trip Insurance:  "Do I need a trip insurance?" is one question we get all the time. And the answer tends to be 'Yes' these days. Airlines have increased all fees including ticket changing fees, and they will not return your money unless something happen to you. Illness, even death of a family member usually does not affect their return policy. Tickets are normally nonrefundable, but what happens if you need to cancel the trip last minute? We may be able to rebook flights for new dates, but airline change fees range from $100 to $250 and up; plus additional cost difference if the fare has gone up. What about the problems that could happen during your trip? If delayed due to missed connection, weather, late or canceled flights; the airline may offer a room & meal, but won’t reimburse you for the meals, dives and room, etc. you are missing. What if you become ill or injured during your trip? Does your health insurance pay for international medical care or SCUBA accidents? Dive boats usually want full balance 60-90 days prior and this is non-refundable. Resorts all have different refund policies sometimes as strict as boats.

Next question: “What insurance should I purchase?” There are many choices in coverage and you can purchase for each trip or annually. Airlines and travel agents are selling one time insurance relatively inexpensive for airline tickets. DAN diving accident insurance offers non-dive and dive trip cancellation, medical, trip interruption for your injury or illness in addition to dive accident coverage. Dive Assure offers dive accident insurance combined with Comprehensive Trip Cancellation and Interruption for single or multiple trip at Diamond level, and it is cost effective for what it covers. As diving accident insurance the biggest difference between DAN and Dive Assure is that Dive Assure is primary. They all have choices of cost based on level of coverage. You can obtain single trip insurance through Travel Guard or DAN. Use the links above for details of coverage choices and costs.

If you have any questions or would like some information to help you plan your trip, your can email us at travel@interocean.com or call us at 1-800-345-7159.

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