In a BBC survey of the "50 Things To Do Before You Die" scuba diving took no less than 4 spots in the top ten including diving with dolphins and sharks. People love to commune with nature and on a coral reef you can see more wildlife in 10 minutes than you would over 10 hours in a rainforest.
More women than men are learning to dive these days. The approximate ratio is 65:35. And it is a trend that is reflected elsewhere. Diving is no longer a male preserve. The misconceptions have been stripped away. Students quickly find out that the underwater environment is not a dark, cold alien world but a place of tranquillity and breathtaking beauty.
Learning to dive has no boundaries. The only prerequisites for a PADI Open Water course are that you are at least 10 years old, you are in reasonably good health and you can swim a few lengths in the pool.
Also we ask you to fill out a medical questionnaire to see if you are fit and healthy to dive. If you answer "yes" to any of these questions you will need a doctor's note to begin training.
PADI's director of marketing Gary Von Roekel says: "Our research has shown that scuba diving is growing in popularity because it's an activity that's not only fun and exciting, but peaceful and relaxing too".
Celebrated underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau called it a "corridor of marvels" because of the amazing abundance of life found there. The Red Sea is where Africa meets Asia, desert meets ocean and the marginal tropical waters sustain a remarkable variety of marine flora and fauna. There are more than 1,000 species of fish, 500 species of coral and another 500 species of invertebrate dwellers. Water temperature is unusually constant throughout the year, ranging from 21C in winter to 27C in summer. No major rivers drain into it and annual rainfall is exceptionally low. The result - crystal clear visibility.
Anyone completing the Advanced course on one of our Red Sea trips also gets a free Red Sea Diver speciality course which focuses on the marine biology, fish identification and reef ecology of the marine National Park.