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What is a Diving Charter?

Sherry Holetzky
Sherry Holetzky

A diving charter is similar to other types of charters. It involves the temporary use of a vehicle for an outing, in this case a boat for a diving excursion. Instead of simply renting a boat and taking it out yourself, obtaining a diving charter provides you with a crew and usually a diving guide and pre-planned diving locations.

You can choose to book a diving charter that includes just a few friends or family members, or you can be part of a large group. It depends on which option you are most comfortable with, but you can usually save some money by joining a larger diving charter.

Man with a backpack
Man with a backpack

You can find a diving charter through a travel agency or by searching online. You can plan the diving adventure of your dreams, or you can book a pre-planned tour. A tour may be the most enjoyable if you are fairly new to diving or unfamiliar with the place you plan to visit, since your guide will already know the area well and will likely be able to show you things you might otherwise miss.

When you book a diving charter, you will be asked to bring along your scuba diving certification card, and you will probably be asked to sign a waiver as well as a medical declaration. This releases the diving charter company from any liability associated with your excursion, including accidents, injuries and possible death. Read these items carefully before signing. Find out in advance if you need to fax such papers ahead of time, or if you can present them just before embarking on your trip.

A diving charter may provide scuba gear, or you may be required to bring your own or rent equipment from a vendor before the dive. Find out which is appropriate and ask the diving charter company for a checklist of items you will need to bring along, especially if there are extra items you will need for particular diving locations. Make sure underwater cameras or other items you wish to bring along are allowed.

You can make the most of your diving charter by being prepared, so make a list of items you'll need for the dive as well as for other parts of the trip. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, motion sickness medication if necessary, insect repellent, drinking water, emergency contact information, and anything else you think you might need to be comfortable and safe.

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Discussion Comments


Does anyone have any great suggestions about which dive charters are the best?

My friends and I travel extensively, so location isn't really an issue. We're looking to find some great dive spots and money isn't a problem. We're lucky enough to have a friend with very deep pockets.

So far one of our favorite dives was through Atlantis Dive Charters in New England, which let us see a lot of really cool wrecks. We got a great deal on the cost of the charter and loved seeing the Concrete Hulled Freighter that was at Cape Fear. A really great experience.


@lonelygod - While I haven't been diving in the Caribbean for years, my friends and I recently organized a trip through Emerald dive charters in British Columbia, Canada to take in the dive sites located in the Powell River. We paid just under $500 CAD per person for 3 nights of accommodation and a guided 2 tank dive, with a extra sea kayaking package thrown in.

As I remember money goes a lot further in the Caribbean so you should be able to find a similar deal for less. It really depends on how many people you intend to take with you. We had 10 people on our charter, so I suppose the whole trip was pretty pricey.


Does anyone have any idea how much it would cost to hire a scuba diving charter in the Caribbean?

My wife and I will be traveling and want to do some Caribbean diving, as we have heard that the waters there are absolutely gorgeous. My friends also recommended that the best way to get access to the best dive sites was through a Caribbean charter company.

We like the idea of hiring a charter for diving, but are a bit worried that it might by outrageously expensive. So if there are any other ideas as to how to hit the best dive spots we'd love to hear about it.

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