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Family Diving Holiday Guide


About Diving Holidays - Holiday Companies
Family Diving Holidays

With a range of specialist dive courses for children aged 10 years plus (8 years in a swimming pool), the thrill of diving can now be experienced by the whole family. Exploring the underwater world will open up a whole new dimension to your travels and children love to see all the sea creatures that they have learned about at school. With locations such as The Red Sea, Gozo in Malta and Turkey reachable within 5 hour flight times, a diving holiday is feasible for those travelling with children.

Types of Diving Holiday

There are 2 main types of diving holiday:

> Land based holidays where you stay in a hotel, apartment or villa and travel out by boat each day to dive sites. This option allows you to combine diving with other activities and also to visit land-based attractions. Many of the holiday companies or hotels provide crèche facilities and childrens’ clubs, so this is the best option if you have children too young to dive.
> Liveaboard holidays where you live on the boat and tour between dive sites. This allows you to reach more secluded dive sites not reachable to day-boat divers. Living on a boat is a great experience and older children will love being able to jump off the boat for a swim.
Age Ranges

Children can participate in swimming pool based diving programmes from 8 years of age. From 10 years, children can take diving certification courses in open water. If your children are younger than this but you still wish to dive, then you will need to ensure that childcare is available for the hours that you will be diving.


Companies will only accept older children of 12 years plus on liveaboards unless your party is hiring out the whole boat. Please check the policies of the different operators.

Dive Courses

PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) is an internationally recognised diving organisation which co-ordinates dive training. Not all PADI dive schools offer the full range of courses, so please check availability with the local dive school for your holiday.

Junior Dive Courses

PADI have developed special designed training courses to introduce children to the principles of breathing underwater.

> Supplied Air Snorkeling For Youths (SASY): 5 year olds plus. Young children use a personal flotation device with a scuba tank and regulator attached. This is a bit like snorkelling as children float on the surface with heads in the water but use the supplied air to breathe.
> Bubblemaker: 8- 11 year olds. A 1 - 2 hour swimming pool based course which introduces children to breathing underwater using special breathing tubes.
> Seal Team: 8- 11 year olds. Young divers take part in a series of aquamissions in a swimming pool
> Discover Scuba Diving: 10 years plus. A one day course with one pool session and one open water dive.
> PADI Junior Open Water: 10 – 15 year olds. A four or five day course with five theory sessions, five pool sessions and four open water dives. Once completed, children aged 10 – 12 years must dive with a certified parent or guardian. PADI specify that 10 – 11 year olds can dive to a maximum of 12m depth and 12 - 15 year olds to a maximum of 18m depth. At 15 years of age, junior divers can upgrade to adult Open Water status.
Adult Dive Courses
> Discover Scuba Diving: A one-day introductory course with one pool session and one open water dive.
> PADI Scuba Diver: A two-day course with three theory sessions, three pool sessions and two open water dives. This allows you to dive to 12m with a Divemaster.
> PADI Open Water: A four or five day course with five theory sessions, five pool sessions and four open water dives. This allows you to dive to 18m with any qualified diver.
For more detail, visit the PADI website
Family Diving Gear
Most dive companies will hire out the gear you need.
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