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First dive festival for Curacao

Curaçao is announcing its first annual Curaçao Dive Festival, scheduled for May 20 - 27, 2006.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 is rated best in the Caribbean for shore diving.

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, BBQs and night dives.

The festivities begin with opening ceremonies at Lion’s Dive & Beach Resort on Saturday evening, May 20, at 6:00 pm.

Visitors are welcome to join the full week of activities, or just join in for two or three days, since it’s a free festival there is 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 of 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 identification of fish in the Caribbean, will lead fish identification seminars for divers eager to learn.  He will also lead a reef dive and 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 Andrea Doria, Lusitania, Britannic, and most recently Titanic. Richie is an experienced technical wreck diver and shipwreck historian who has been diving and exploring shipwrecks since 1980. Their work identifying a WWII German Submarine, U-869, has been the subject of several television documentaries and a best selling book by Robert Kurson, “Shadow Divers”. The New York Times bestseller will soon be a major motion picture by 20th Century Fox, to be directed by Ridley Scott.

* Leading an underwater photography seminar is 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 Magazine, Skin Diver Magazine, Dive Training, Sport Diver, Time, Newsweek, and more. Marty has been involved in underwater photography for 25 years and continues to produce compelling images of marine life in attempts to raise awareness and interest about marine issues.

* Dr. Peter B. Bennett, Ph.D., D.Sc., a physiologist and scientist, has made significant contributions to the recreational diving industry including the founding of 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 singularly responsible for conducting and initiating international research in areas that have directly and indirectly benefited both the recreational, commercial and military diving fields over the past half century.

Curaçao, located outside of the hurricane belt, boasts an eclectic mix of history and culture.

American Airlines offers daily flights into Curaçao from Miami and Continental flies direct from Newark weekly.