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lovescuba
04-11-2012, 09:03
I am off to Sabah in September, hoping to do some diving around Sipidan. I have written to 6 "resorts" and one liveaboard and have only had answers from 2 of them (one is the liveaboard, which is not going to fit my schedule). The other one that responded has told me I should book 6 days so that I MIGHT get 2 days on Sipidan. I realize there are daily permits and such but really 6 days booked so that I "might" get 2 on Sipidan. Can anyone recommend a "tactic/resort" so that my odds are slightly better then 2 days in 6 (maybe LOL).

Quero
04-12-2012, 00:39
The resorts can't promise 100% that you will dive Sipadan because they are not in control of the permits. Only Sabah Parks can issue permits, and therefore all resorts have to give you a conditional confirmation of a couple of days of diving at the island. If they were to do otherwise, they could be seen to be breaking a contract with the customer in the event that Sabah Parks were to decide to suspend issuance of the permits for any reason at all. Since bookings and payments are often made months in advance, there is simply no way to give a firm guarantee that any visitor will absolutely be given a Sipadan permit. Some people will say that reserving ahead with certain operators will get you a guarantee. They are wrong. Names of visitors are provided by the operators to Sabah Parks the day before the visit.

diveinstructorlife
11-21-2012, 18:49
Many of the operators around Sipadan have a confirmed number of permits per day. The big operators know how many they will get on a specific day in advance (around 2 months). Therefore, rightly or wrongly, many of them can confirm in advance that you can get a permit. If you choose one of the lesser operators it will be like a lottery. Anyone interested in trips to Sipadan can PM me as my dive centre arranges trips there!

Quero
11-21-2012, 19:09
Actually, the number of permits each resort is allocated has been stable for many years, not just two months in advance. No resort gives an absolute guarantee of permits because it's not up to them, but rather up to Sabah Parks authorities, and while it's unlikely, it's always possible that something will happen to provoke the SP officials to simply close the island to diving for some period. Many people plan their Sipadan trips up to a year in advance, and no resort, big or small, is in a postion to know with certainty that the island will be open to diving on any given day.

As many of you already know because I've booked your Sipadan trips for you, this is one of my areas of expertise. If an operator chooses to do so, it can organize its bookings so that it gives a customer a probable date for diving Sipadan within the period of residence at their resort, but not all do this, and in fact most don't do it. Most often you only learn which day(s) you will be diving Sipadan once you arrive, and quite often only the day before.

diveinstructorlife
11-21-2012, 20:44
Actually, the number of permits each resort is allocated has been stable for many years, not just two months in advance. No resort gives an absolute guarantee of permits because it's not up to them, but rather up to Sabah Parks authorities, and while it's unlikely, it's always possible that something will happen to provoke the SP officials to simply close the island to diving for some period. Many people plan their Sipadan trips up to a year in advance, and no resort, big or small, is in a postion to know with certainty that the island will be open to diving on any given day.

As many of you already know because I've booked your Sipadan trips for you, this is one of my areas of expertise. If an operator chooses to do so, it can organize its bookings so that it gives a customer a probable date for diving Sipadan within the period of residence at their resort, but not all do this, and in fact most don't do it. Most often you only learn which day(s) you will be diving Sipadan once you arrive, and quite often only the day before.

Quero, obviously I can only speak from personal experience but I have managed to get many confirmed dates for Sipadan months in advance for myself and others, and these dates have followed through, as promised!

I totally agree with you though that Sabah Parks can retract permits at anytime, so it is wise to not pin your entire hopes on your trip!

Quero
11-21-2012, 20:54
I'm guessing you booked your personal trips with ScubaJunkies, as they are the ones who most frequently schedule their divers. A couple of other budget places follow that process as well, but most resorts don't do advance scheduling for individuals. Instead they give a generalised commitment to provide, say, one day at Sipadan for each three days of stay at the resort, or for each five days of stay, or whatever their policy is (based on resort capacity and the number of permits they've got assigned to them).

The point I was trying to make is that the resorts don't get their permit allocations just a couple of months in advance. They've had them for years already, and until Sabah Parks decide to reallocate the totals amongst more and more resorts (there's an extensive new over-water bungalow resort going up right now, for example, and I doubt that the investors will be happy to beg unused permits from other resorts, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's a reallocation coming along), I expect the permit situation to remain stable for the forseeable future.

diveinstructorlife
11-21-2012, 20:57
Quero.....Re-read your original reply. Now realised what you were saying. I totally agree with you.

I have been with SJ yes, good outfit. SMART too are good!