Ranked among the Caribbean's best islands for diving, called one of the top destinations for new divers, home to Mushroom Forest - one of the top dives in the world and rated best in the Caribbean for shore diving - Curaçao is, or should be, on any diver's wish list of places to visit. In an effort to share its underwater splendor with the world and invite visitors to come explore the depths of the island's surrounding waters, Curaçao has announced the First Annual Curaçao Dive Festival, scheduled for May 20-27, 2006.
Registration is free and visitors can enjoy a week full of guided dives, workshops, seminars and advanced dives, while nightfall brings happy-hour gatherings with live entertainment, movies on the beach, barbecues and night dives. The festivities begin with opening ceremonies at Lions Dive & Beach Resort on Saturday, May 20, at 6 pm. Visitors are welcome to join the full week of activities, or they can join in for just two or three days; since it's a free festival, there's no monetary commitment that ties visitors in to a strict schedule. Plus, local dive operators are offering special packages throughout the festival. In addition to fabulous diving, Curaçao also offers great hotel and resort options. Twelve participating hotels are offering a special airfare credit for the dive festival of $100 to $200 off the final hotel bill for stays of five nights or longer.
World-famous experts will lead the Curaçao Dive Festival program with workshops and seminars throughout the festival.
- Robert F. Myers, a biologist who specializes in fish recognition and is currently working on a book about the identification of fish in the Caribbean, will lead fish ID seminars for divers eager to learn. He will also lead a reef dive during which he will explain the behavior of the fish and point out their hiding spots.
- John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, consultants for the film and television industry as well as co-hosts of the popular Deep Sea Detectives television series on the History Channel, will lead workshops on wreck exploration. John is passionate about diving shipwrecks and has explored such famous wrecks as the Andrea Doria, the Lusitania, the Britannic and, most recently, the Titanic. Richie is an experienced technical wreck diver and shipwreck historian who has been diving and exploring shipwrecks since 1980. Their work in identifying a WWII German submarine, U-869, has been the subject of several television documentaries and of Shadow Divers a book by Robert Kurson. This New York Times best-seller will soon be a major motion picture by 20th Century Fox, to be directed by Ridley Scott.
- Leading an underwater photography seminar will be expert photographer Marty Snyderman. Marty is experienced in still photography and film production and is an author and speaker specializing in the marine environment. Marty's work has been featured in National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Sport Diver, Skin Diver, Dive Training and more. Marty has been involved in underwater photography for 25 years and continues to produce compelling images of marine life in order to raise awareness about and interest in marine issues.
- Dr. Peter B. Bennett, Ph.D., D.Sc., a physiologist and scientist, has made significant contributions to the recreational diving industry, including founding the Divers Alert Network (DAN) in 1980. For 23 years he provided the vision and guidance to develop and direct the world's largest diving medical, health and safety organization. He was also single-handedly responsible for conducting and initiating international research in areas that have directly and indirectly benefited the recreational, commercial and military diving fields over the past half-century.
For additional information on the Curaçao Dive Festival schedule and eligibility for the special airfare credit from hotels, to get free registration information or for information on suggested accommodations, please visit www.curdive.com.
Curaçao, located outside the hurricane belt, boasts an eclectic mix of history and culture, which creates a Caribbean experience like no other. Also known for its ecotourism and pristine diving conditions, Curaçao attracts the adventure traveler as well as those looking to unwind and enjoy its perfect climate. Visitors to Curaçao can enjoy an 18-hole championship golf course, casinos and much more. American Airlines offers daily flights into Curaçao from Miami, and Continental flies direct from Newark weekly. Contact hotels or travel agents directly for more information.
To learn more about Curaçao or to receive a free destination DVD call 800-3- CURAÇAO (800-328-7222) or visit www.curacao.com.