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Observe whale sharks, manta rays & turtles at world famous Similan Islands & Richelieu Rock.

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Blue Guru Diving - Whale Shark Program - Thailand

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Whale Shark, Manta Ray & Turtle Awareness Program by Blue Guru

Blue Guru Conservation return for the 2014-15 season with a fresh new Whale Shark Program. This 6 night dive package offers guests the best of all worlds with a relaxing stay at Horizon Beach Resort on beautiful Koh Phra Thong, followed by an overnight visit to Surin National Park and a final night in an air con room with hot water at Boon Piya Resort in Kuraburi town.

Blue Guru's Whale Shark Program is conducted on our unique Richelieu Rock 2 day 1 night Dive Safari. This includes 4 dives at Richelieu, world famous as a whale shark & manta ray hotspot, and 2 dives at Surin Islands, where there are juvenile shark nurseries & turtles come to nest on the beaches.

Participants can choose any 3 PADI eco-specialty courses from the following: Whale Shark, Manta Ray, Turtle Awareness or Shark Conservation Diver.

This package is not suitable for those looking to gain Open Water certification. However non-divers are welcome to join as snorkelers.

Stay on Koh Phra Thong

The standard package starts on a Sunday with a 4 night stay on the idyllic island of Koh Phra Thong at Horizon Beach Resort. During your time here you can explore this tropical paradise, dive local, Andaman Offshore and wreck sites or simply enjoy 15km of relatively undeveloped beaches, warm sea & authentic Thai cuisine. Want to stay longer? You're welcome to pre-book extra nights.

Dive from Koh Phra Thong

Certified divers can enjoy a few preparatory dives at the local Koh Phra Thong or exciting Offshore dive sites, including a new wreck – perfect for PADI Wreck specialty. PADI Digitial Underwater Photography Specialty develops particularly useful skills to bring back evidence of your marine life encounters.

Your time on Koh Phra Thong can also be valuably spent gaining PADI Advanced Open Water certification, if you do not already have this. This certification is essential for Offshore diving & highly recommended for diving at Richelieu Rock so that you can fully enjoy these deeper open sea sites.

Join our 2 day Richelieu & Surin dive safari

Following your stay on Koh Phra Thong you will head off on a 2 day trip to Surin National Park with 2 dives at Surin Islands & 4 dives at Thailand's top dive site, Richelieu Rock. This is not a liveaboard – you get the added benefit of enjoying a 1 night stay on Surin Islands in a tent or a bungalow.

During this trip you will complete your choice of 3 eco-specialty courses, with 2 training dives for each certification.

Places on the Blue Guru's Whale Shark Program are strictly limited. Make a booking or ask a question using the form below...

PADI Whale Shark Specialty

Through the PADI Whale Shark course you'll learn about whale shark's biology, distribution & behaviour; how to safely & passively interact with them; and how you can help support whale shark research.

Whale Shark Program divers are taught how to photograph these animals and submit them to the database for analysis. During a previous Whale Shark Program the Blue Guru group were fortunate enough to witness a previously unobserved whale shark allowing our lucky diver to name the whale shark.

The best months for spotting whale sharks in the North Andaman Sea are February & March. Last season we had regular whale shark sightings between end January to mid April. However we can never guarantee sightings, as this is nature and whale sharks are rare migratory fish.

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PADI Manta Ray Specialty

New for 2014, Blue Guru also now offer the option of including PADI Manta Ray distinctive specialty in our environmental program.

Manta Rays are usuallly seen between January & March at Richelieu Rock & Surin Islands, where they come to be cleaned or feed. A diving encounter with a graceful Manta Ray is a truly awesome experience!

Participants in the PADI Manta Ray distinctive specialty will learn about manta rays' biology, distribution & behaviour, as well as how to passively interact with them whilst diving and how to help conservation efforts in Thailand & Burma. Sadly too many rays are still fished from the Andaman Sea, so all contributions towards monitoring manta rays are very much appreciated.

PADI Turtle Awareness Specialty

Blue Guru Diving offer the option of including the distinctive PADI Turtle Awareness specialty in the Whale Shark Program.

Koh Phra Thong and the nearby Surin Islands are home to 4 types of turtles: Hawksbill, Leatherback, Green & Olive Ridley. During your stay on Koh Phra Thong, we offer the opportunity to learn more about turtles, which nest in the long stretch of beach in front of Golden Buddha Resort. These species of turtles have survived since the age of dinosaurs and yet sadly numbers are in decline.

Participants will learn about the threats turtles face from man & nature and have the opportunity to join a daily early morning walk to monitor the beach for turtle nests. Individuals can also visit a local village where there is a small museum run by Naucrates turtle project volunteers.

PADI Shark Conservation Diver Specialty

During the PADI Shark Conservation Diver course you'll learn about the vital roles sharks play in marine eco-systems; major threats faced by sharks; key conservation efforts being made globally & locally; and how you can help support shark conservation & dive responsibly with sharks.

Sharks that can be seen in our area include leopard sharks; black tip, white tip & grey reef sharks; nurse sharks and of course, the big ones – whale sharks.

This specialty course includes pre-course reading & a knowledge review which can be completed at your own pace before arrival. The study guide is also useful post-course reference material.

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About whale sharks

As the dive centre located closest to Richelieu Rock, Blue Guru is keen to do everything they can to protect this world famous dive site’s most awesome visitor – the whale shark. Unfortunately, whale sharks are an endangered species. More research & action is needed to monitor their migrations & prevent extinction before it’s too late.

Whale sharks - docile giants

Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish & are docile plankton eaters. They slowly cruise through the world's tropical waters, mounths agape, filtering vast quantities of water (6000l/hour) through their gills for their microscopic food. Whale sharks can grow up to 12m in length and weigh as much as 14 tonnes. They are also thought to live as long as 80+ years.

Diving or snorkeling with these magnificent creatures is an amazing experience. However, it’s essential that safe practices are followed, so passive interactions don’t harm whale sharks.

Shark Guardian

Blue Guru Conservation is proud to be an official Shark Guardian dive centre. We contribute data from every dive & snorkel session to Shark Guardian's Thailand eShark project. This helps monitor population levels of sharks, rays & other endangered marine life in Thai waters.

Ecocean whale shark library

Blue Guru Diving is also an active participant of the ECOCEAN and Shark Trust research databases. These hold information of whale shark encounters by divers. This data is then used by marine biologists to increase our understanding of these amazing creatures.

What’s included in our Whale Shark Program?

Blue Guru's 6 night Whale Shark Program is a once in a lifetime experience. This package offers outstanding value from only 35,500 Bt per person including service/tax (based on 2 divers sharing off peak Horizon Beach Bungalow & National Park camping).

This includes:

  • - Return taxi transfers between Phuket Airport & Kuraburi
  • - Private chartered longtail boat from Kuraburi to Koh Phra Thong
  • - 4 nights in double or twin bungalow at Horizon Beach Resort
  • - 2 day/1 night Richelieu Rock/Surin Islands dive safari with 6 dives
  • - 3 PADI eco-specialty courses with certification cards: choice of Whale Shark, Manta Ray, Turtle or Shark Conservation Diver
  • - 1 night on Surin Islands in tent (optional upgrade to bungalow)
  • - All meals on 2 day/1 night trip on dive boat or in Surin National Park
  • - Dive kit rental on 2 day/1 night trip (deductible if have own kit)
  • - 2 days dive insurance (deductible if have own insurance)
  • - Transfer from Kuraburi pier to Kuraburi town at the end of dive trip
  • - 1 night at Boon Piya Resort in Kuraburi town in double or twin room
  • - FREE Master Scuba Diver certification for Rescue divers with over 50 logged dives attaining 5 specialty certifications
  • Optional extras:

    • Local, offshore or wreck diving
    • National Park day trip to Surin Islands or Koh Tachai
    • Additional specialty courses at Koh Phra Thong, e.g. wreck, photography
    • Advanced Open Water course at Koh Phra Thong – highly recommended
    • Bungalow on Surin Islands with fan & en-suite bathroom
    • Further nights on Koh Phra Thong or in Kuraburi

    Not included:

    • Flights
    • Meals on Koh Phra Thong & in Kuraburi

    Please read our terms & conditions for further information.
    Prices for single divers, groups, snorkelers & children available upon request.

    Want to join our Whale Shark Program?

    To book a place or ask a question about the Whale Shark Program, please use the form below.

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