Out Island properties partner for dive program

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LONG ISLAND -- Two Out Island properties specializing in diving are cooperating for the first time to offer a seven-night dive package commissionable to agents at 10%. The properties are the 20-room Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros Island and the 45-unit Stella Maris Resort Club here.

The program features three nights at Stella Maris and four nights at Small Hope Bay. The itinerary also can be reversed.

Elizabeth Vance, director of sales and marketing at Stella Maris' Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office, said the easiest interisland air segments to either island are through Nassau, using scheduled Bahamasair service.

Between Long Island and Andros, Stella Maris will supply its own aircraft in either direction.

The plan, priced at $1,695 per person, double, covers accommodations and all meals and beverages, including an open bar at Small Hope and three drinks daily at Stella Maris. Also included are hotel taxes and service charges.

The Stella Maris Resort Club offers reef excursions.Clients are eligible for up to four dives a day at Small Hope and up to three dives a day at Stella Maris.

The plan also covers airport taxi transfers and interisland air fare (one-way) on the Stella Maris plane.

Peter Kuska, co-owner and manager of Stella Maris, said the property can arrange a group overnight stay off Conception Island with advance notice. Normally this is a day trip for package clients, he said. Conception Island has a deep, natural reef wall where turtles, sharks and jacks are found, among other marine life.

While at Stella Maris, dive clients are offered the chance to feed sharks and are taken to an area where a sunken British freighter can be inspected.

During the Andros portion, clients will be able to explore caverns and join the marine life around a reef wall.

The combination package is available through April 27.

This program also is sold by Out Island Getaways, a wholesaler which can be reached at (866) 660-1111 or by visiting www.outislandgetaways.com.

For more information, call Stella Maris at (800) 426-0466 or visit www.stellamarisresort.com; call Small Hope Bay at (800) 223-6961 or log onto www.smallhope.com.

Agents, operators can take the plunge

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Travel agents and tour operators, which generate about 25% of the Stella Maris Resort Club's annual business, are invited to try the Stella Maris-Small Hope Bay Lodge dive package for themselves at reduced rates.

According to Elizabeth Vance, director of sales and marketing for Stella Maris, both properties "consolidated their agent policies" and created a fam package rate of $75 per person, per night, double, including accommodations, all meals and diving.

In addition, a special one-way charter fare of $110 per person was established for the one-hour flight between Long Island and Andros Island or vice versa.

Citing the size of the discount, Vance said "To charter this plane could run up to $1,000."

For additional information, contact Vance at (800) 426-0466.

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