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Inter-Ocean Tours enews
April 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 you will find following articles.
2009: The year of deals

Have you visited our SPECIALS page lately? It is full of the great deals. We have never seen anything like this. If you are even remotely thinking about vacation, please take a look at SPECIALS, or contact us since specials are coming in almost daily.

Kyoko's Bonaire trip has only a Habitat Cottage room available for either double ($884 per diver) or single ($1195 per diver) occupancy for July 4-11, 2009. She has a good mix of singles and couples, and airfare is still available for $800 out of San Francisco.

Not only dive packages, but airfares are also at a record low. The lowest airfare right now are April through May, and September through November. Spring and fall are great time for divers to travel to the South Pacific and Southeast Asia (Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia). Especially in the fall there is a chance of tropical storms for some of the Caribbean destinations and these areas are a wornderful alternative.

We are now representing Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Regent, Cunard, Holland and Princess Cruise. We are glad we can book your cruise to  the Caribbean, the Panama Canal or even to Alaska! The state of Alaska is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and a one week cruise starts at $299 per person. It may be just right for your summer getaway.

We talked about the Aggressor's 25th Anniversary sale in last issue, and in March Peter Hughes announced Buddy 1/2 off weeks. This 25% off special also applies to singles. The dates for both liveaboard specials are also on our SPECIALS page.

Scuba Show 20092009: Long Beach Scuba Show

This year's Scuba Show will be held on May 30-31, 2009 at the Long Beach Convention Center. This is one of the biggest consumer show in United States. Marilyn and Kyoko will be at the booth 339, and we are planning to have some special prices. If you are attending the show, please stop by and enter your name for our drawing. We love the oppurtunity to talk to divers and our past clients in person. For more information on the Scuba Show please click the Logo on the left.

At the Bay Area Dive Show April 17-18, 09 in San Jose we shared the Philippine Tourism's booth. Marilyn met 3 clients she has worked with for 15+ years by phone and email, but never saw in person before. Kyoko also talked to many old friends and clients. It is always nice to connect people in person. Now we know who is skinny and who is blond for sure. Some of the clients told us that they came because of our email, and it is good to know somebody is actually reading them. We plan to have our own Inter-Ocean Tours booth next year.

Destination Philippines: Atlantis Resorts and beyondReef

In diving magazines you see lots about bio-diversity in Indonesia, but the Philippine's is not mentioned as much. Did you know that the specimens in the Coral Reef Exhibition at California Academy of Science were brought from the Philippines? The Acadey had all worldwide reefs to choose from, and their choice is an indicator of the quality of reefs and its exceptional inhabitants. There are 7107 islands in the Philippines with healthy and diverse coral reefs. You can dive walls, have muck diving, and dive wrecks including Spanish era and World War II. The reefs are home to whale sharks, mantas, dugongs, and more species of nudibranches than anywhere in the world; plus new species are being found all the time.

We have been selling Atlantis Resorts and Expedition Fleet liveaboards for a long time. We have been getting many inquires about the Philippines and want to learn about more resorts and different islands. With over 7,000, this is a big task! That is why Kyoko traveled to the Philippines in February and visited different islands.  Personal visits and reviews by our staff is the best way to be able to help clients make choises. She loved the diving so much, she learned and got good recommendations for many resorts, and ended up promoting Philippine dive packages in Bay Area Dive Show.

Atlantis Dumaguete The regions Kyoko visited include South Visayas and Dimakya Island (North Palawan). In South Visayas, she dove Cabilao Island, Balicasag Island, Panglao Island, and Apo Island (off Dumaguete). They all had beautiful coral reefs and lots of creatures. She had a chance to visit Atlantis Dumaguete, had dinner and talked to the general manager Bigs. Bigs has been there for 2 years and loves her job and the resort. It's always nice to know that a manager loves the job, since it makes a big difference in the quality of all aspects of a resort. The Atlantis Dumaguete was built for divers, and has nice rooms with a desk for computers and wifi. They also have well organized dive operations, lockers, a battery charging room, and great food. Have we mentioned they offer unlimited boat dives? Yes, boat not shore dives. Atlantis Resort is one of the best dive resorts for sure. Kyoko also liked Balicasag Island Dive Resort in Bohol and Pura Vida Beach Resort next to Atlantis.

Turtle Kyoko dove wreck the Kyokuzan-Maru and the house reef with Dugong Dive Center at Club Paradise. Club Paradise is on Dimakya Island, and it takes 1/2 hr jeepney ride and 1/2 hr banca (outrigger boat) ride from Busuanga Airport (1/2 hr flight from Manila). The island was beautiful, and the house reef was superb. Kyoko's photos from the trip are on her Gallery. She took her first shot of sea moths and warty frog fish. She fed turtle grass to large, calm, wild turtles and released a baby turtle into the ocean. As a wine drinker she was impressed by their wine cellar and enjoyed every single meal: both Filipino and Western. Although she did not get to see them, there are resident dugongs nearby. When the weather cooperates, Apo Reef or the wrecks in Coron can be reached from Club Paradise. This is a great destination for all divers.

There are many additional destinations. Anilao is 11/2 hr ride from Manila, and across the channel with another 1/2 hr ferry ride is Puerto Galera, and the second Atlantis Resort. Both are known for good diving. Only accessible by liveaboard is Tubbataha Reef, a world heritage site. Donsol in Southern Luzon is whale shark heaven from January to April. Malapascua Island (Off northern Cebu), Mactan Island (1/2 hr from Cebu Airport), Moalboal (West Cebu),  Liloan Santandar (South tip of Cebu), and Balingoan (off Cagayan de Oro), the list is endless. The dive packages with basic accommodation start at less than $700 diver for 7 nights double occupancy, 5 days of two tank boat dives, all meals, round trip airport transfers and taxes. With the airfare typically around $1000 roundtrip to Manila (not direct flights), it is amazingly affordable. For more information on destinations please visit our Philippine page. We are planning to have a group trip to Philippines in 2010.

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