Scuba diving for the first time is a life-changing moment. Drifting weightlessly alongside vibrant marine ecosystems gives you a fascinating and natural insight into what feels like a completely different world. As well as creating incredible underwater experiences, diving plays an essential role in our volunteer data collection in Madagascar, Belize and Timor-Leste.
In order to collect the accurate data we need for our marine conservation research, and to be safe and confident in the water while surveying, all Blue Ventures volunteers need to reach PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW) or equivalent. If you’ve never dived before or are only PADI Open Water certified (OW), we’ll train you to this standard in the first few weeks of your expedition. As it’s a core requirement we have low course fees compared to other dive schools, and you’ll learn to dive at one of our stunning tropical sites, located by some of the most beautiful and biodiverse reefs in the world!
*Note that due to the available facilities in Timor-Leste all volunteers must already be PADI Open Water or equivalent at this site.
If you’re already PADI Advanced Open Water certified, that’s great too, you’ll receive a reduced expedition fee to account for the fact you don’t need to be trained to this level. If you choose, you could then take this opportunity to further your dive skills to to Emergency First Responder (EFR) and Rescue Diver (RD).
No need to worry if you’re certified, but haven’t dived in a while – all our volunteers do a refresher dive and skills check at the start of the expedition at no extra cost. You’ll be back to your best in no time!
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Included in your expedition fee.
If you’ve always wanted to take scuba diving lessons, experience unparalleled adventure and see the world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. Millions of people have learned to scuba dive and gone on to discover the wonders of the aquatic world through this course. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health, but no prior scuba diving experience is required.
This course can be taken after completing the PADI Open Water Diver certification. It’s titled PADI Advanced Open Water Diver because it advances your diving knowledge & skills. After completing this course you should feel at ease underwater and ready to concentrate on dive surveys!
£75 on top of the expedition fee
The Emergency First Response course follows the PADI Advanced Open Water certification and participants learn how to respond to life-threatening emergencies. All PADI Advanced Open Water certified divers will need to complete this course before they do the PADI Rescue Diver course, with the exception of Doctors and other medical professionals and this can be completed within a standard length expedition (5-8 weeks).
£245 on top of the expedition fee
The PADI Rescue Diver course prepares you to deal with dive emergencies, minor and major, using a variety of techniques. Through knowledge development and rescue exercises, you learn what to look for and how to respond. During rescue scenarios, you put into practice your knowledge and skills. This is the final step needed before you can proceed to PADI Divemaster professional level.
Don’t worry! While we teach PADI we welcome divers already qualified with other agencies (eg BSAC, SSI, NAUI etc) – if you love to dive we’d love to have you contribute to marine conservation with us!
We will provide a full dive kit list including recommended products to all volunteers who join an expedition with us. However, here’s a quick overview of what we provide and what you’ll need to bring with you. If you already own a full dive kit and wish to bring your own BCD and regulators that’s also fine with us.
If you don’t already own any kit, you’re probably wondering how much you’re likely to need to spend. There’s a huge selection of gear available ranging from the upmarket to the very affordable so do your research and don’t be afraid to buy some items second hand if you’re on a budget. As a guide you can get all the essential items listed above for approximately £250 if you shop around.
Blue Ventures does magnificent work, helping local communities and offering extraordinary volunteering opportunities that you'll remember for the rest of your life.
A model for everyone working to conserve the natural life-support systems of our troubled planet.
Expedition prices vary according to your location, current diving qualification and length of stay but, as an example, start at £2795 for 5 weeks in Belize.
We also run short trips in Belize and Timor-Leste from £995.
Use the price calculator to get an estimated cost which you’ll also receive if you apply – please just let us know if you want an exact quote before you confirm your place.
If you have any special requirements (e.g. non-diving volunteer, joining outside normal expedition dates, medic, medical elective or research) please contact us for an accurate quote.
In Madagascar and Belize you can learn to dive on site with us! Participants at our Timor-Leste site need to be PADI Open Water divers (or equivalent) before they join us.
Please talk to us if you have any questions about this and we can discuss your options!
Expeditions run year round, if the exact start dates don’t work for you please ask, we’ll likely be able to sort something out that works.
Yes! We’d love for others to come and can offer a slight discount for non-divers. The capacity of these expeditions is limited to 12 people though, so do get in touch as soon as you can to discuss options.
Yes! We regularly work with schools, universities and other groups to provide bespoke short expeditions. See our specialist page for more information or just drop us a line using the contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Just complete our simple online application form and we’ll be in touch very soon!