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Mergui Archipelago: Scuba divers take the plunge from luxury yachts

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Burma Boating is set to launch monthly cruises around the Mergui Archipelago, combining two of the most sought-after activities in these pristine waters – yachting and scuba diving.

The SY Dallinghoo, a 30-metre classic gaff-rigged schooner crafted by renowned US yacht designer Dudley Dix, will cast off from the port of Kawthaung in southern Myanmar once a month from November 2019 through April 2020 and traverse the Mergui Archipelago on an eight-day, seven-night sailing trip which can accommodate up to eight qualified divers.

mergui archipelago 1

“With this new Sail & Dive adventure, we wanted to offer something extraordinary,” said Michael Cole, the head of Burma Boating. “There are few, if any, undiscovered nirvanas like the Mergui Archipelago left on this planet. These cruises will provide comfort, exquisite dining, and stops at no less than five fantastic dive sites, all of which feature a kaleidoscope of coral and magnificent marine life.”

The Mergui Archipelago is located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of southern Myanmar, and is home to the ethnic Moken community of fisherman, also known as ‘sea gypsies’. For decades, the 800 islands, lagoons, atolls and coral reefs of the archipelago were off-limits to visitors. The islands are now accessible to limited sustainable tourism, though just five hotels have opened to date.

mergui archipelago 2

One of the early investors was Myanmar tourism trailblazers Memories Group, which operates a plethora of resorts and experiences around the country, including the iconic Balloons Over Bagan. Memories acquired Burma Boating in 2018, and has since built a sister resort, Awei Pila, on one of the islands in the archipelago. Awei Pila began accepting guests last December, and earlier this year opened the first scuba-diving centre in the region, along with PADI certification classes for beginners.

In addition to the Sail & Dive cruises, Burma Boating offers weekly sailing and yachting trips around the archipelago – either four days, three nights or six days, five nights – starting 19 October 2019, through to mid-May 2020, when monsoon season begins.

For reservations and information, go to: www.burmaboating.com

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. 30-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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