On board the Valkyrie we believe that customer service should be top of our priorities & we are constantly changing and improving the boat for our guests. Unique in Scapa Flow we have three permanent crew members to help assist you and make your holiday as easy and comfortable as possible & aim to keep standards at their highest.
We believe that this should be a holiday, and aim to do everything we can to make it as enjoyable as possible for you. A problem should be a mere inconvenience, not cause for panic, alarm or worse for you to miss a dive.
We promise that our boat will always be safe, warm, dry, clean and comfortable for you.
In 2014 we WON the Best Worldwide Live Aboard Category in the Sport Diver Awards.
In 2012 we came second in the Best Worldwide Live Aboard Category in the Sport Diver Awards.
Here are a few of the Features we think make our services stand out from the crowd.
Our crew are what makes us truly unique.
We are the only boat in Scapa to have staff aboard 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.
With our 3 man (or woman) crew, we can offer an unparalleled level of on deck assistance, so if you need more help to kit up we have an extra pair of hands to make it less stressful. This also means that any problems no matter how small are dealt with promptly and efficiently. No finding the skippers phone number, calling them, no answer, find their home number, them get to the boat and deal with it. We are here. Now.
We have organised solutions for forgotten towels, toiletries, complete sets of kit, emergency “I need to be home NOW” situations, lost wallets, illnesses and kit failures.
We are all divers, and have been on numerous diving holidays ourselves and encountered the sorts of things which can make a real difference to the ease and enjoyability of a holiday. We aim to have nothing be a problem for you and will do our damnedest to achieve this.
You are on holiday, not an expedition. A holiday people care for you, do things for you and make sure you are happy. An expedition, people expect you to do it yourself. This is our difference.
We feel that this is one of our strongest qualities.
Hazel is the captain of our happy ship who holds a commercial MCA Master<200t ticket, RYA Yachtmaster commercial, and DOT Boatmasters licence. She has been in the helm chair for over 25 years in various classes of vessel and in her spare time manages to squeeze in Lecturing at the University of Highlands and Islands Maritime studies faculty. She is a diver with many years of jumping in the water and is qualified and experienced down to Trimix depths. She has a huge knowledge of the wrecks and dive sites around Scapa Flow, Orkney and Shetland and loves the hunt for new discoveries for the visiting diver.
Helen our Chef, is a magician in the galley producing our huge variety of tasty meals, snacks and baked treats. She is also a qualified watchstander on the bridge and assists with the many tasks that keep the Valkyrie running smoothly from supply, administration and ordering, to watchstanding, domestic supervision and of course cooking. Helen is a diver with huge experience in UK waters. She is also an experienced Ambulance Service First Responder with excellent first aid skills. She also owns a small remedial collie – Dug.
Lenny our relief skipper is an all rounder who is extremely knowledgeable and has a wealth of experience he brings to the boat. He is a qualified RYA commercial skipper, a PADI MSTD dive instructor, Gas blending Instructor, ASSET equipment technician, military medic and keen OC and CCR diver with an extremely wide breadth of experience in the UK and worldwide.
Tara is our second chef. Bubbly and irrepressible Canadian, Tara is an accomplished cook who brings her own style to the hearty and healthy Valkyrie menu. She is a First Aider, a qualified and confident side-mount diver who loves the Northern UK wrecks and reefs and has worldwide diving experience.
Well we think she is fantastic and fortunately so do lots of other people. A quick search on any of the large diving forums will bring up any number of trip reports so you can see for yourself our reputation amongst the diving population. I could put in a few quotes here from satisfied customers telling you how brilliant we are, but something inside of me always wonders if other people doing this simply make them up.
We have lots of space, no fighting for somewhere warm to sit on a cramped dive deck! Our deck is also covered in “coo mat”, a rubber matting making dropped things bounce.
Two separate social spaces, the lounge with a flatscreen TV/DVD, Bose ipod dock, books, and comfortable seating with cushions and blankets to chill out in. The galley is always warm and hospitable with a great atmosphere. The best bit is you can always nip downstairs to your cabin for a snooze between dives! You can even put a soggy undersuit in the tumble drier in your surface interval to ensure you are warm on your next dive.
The Valkyrie is supremely stable and handles poor sea conditions very well, allowing us to dive in comfort in much rougher weather than smaller boats.
We hope you choose our live aboard as living afloat for a week is all part of the adventure. Lying in bed and listening to the sound of the water lapping against the hull or feeling the boat move in the unseen currents of the harbour. Drinking tea early in the morning watching the Eider Ducks dive & allowing the world to slowly wake up around you. Perfect.
Specially designed and constructed for our curved hull shape, its cantilever design is load tested and the personnel rated winch and sturdy platform can safely lift a diver out of the water in a comfortable non-spine-bending 10 seconds. It also features a safety catch fail safe should the wire break which unlike most others has never happened. It also has been designed to prevent hands getting where they shouldn’t!
We have an awesome and hard won reputation for food aboard.
We are the only boat able to supply full board meals all season, with breakfast, lunch and a three course evening meal – see our “Food” page for more information.
Food allergies and major dislikes are easily catered for, please let us know in advance if you require special dietary foods to enable us to source them in time. However do note that food provided may contain nuts or other allergens.
Nitrox is ideal for use in the recreational, repetitive diving found in Scapa Flow and Shetland. We carry up to 16 J cylinders of oxygen or helium and mix gas to your requirements. As with all our filling, you don’t need to shift your kit around to get a fill.
Trimix can be blended onboard to your specification. If you require lots of trimix please let us know in advance so we can stock up on gas.
For high pressure re-breather O2 fills.
We have a purpose made fresh water dunk tank for cameras. Situated undercover in the whaleback, it offers an excellent place to rinse off your housings and strobes between dives.
Scapa virgins. People always seem to get the impression that Scapa Flow is deep dark and scary. However, if you can comfortably dive to 30m, you can dive Scapa Flow. We specialise in less experienced or confident groups. Starting shallow and working our way up to the deeper stuff, we can also arrange for guides to dive with you.
Photography weeks. Shallow and deep we can cater for any type of photography.
Side Scan training – Working with Black Laser Learning we exclusively offer side scan training in Scapa Flow. We scan for new targets, dive and identify them.
ROV training – We have our own ROV which can be deployed for a play or for training purposes. An excellent bit of kit!
A comprehensive and thorough brief is given prior to the dives in both Scapa & Shetland.
A plan of the wreck is used and we make it easy to plan your dive to see all the main features of the wrecks or scenic sites. Sometimes less is more & by sticking to the main features we don’t overload you with so much information you forget what you wanted to see in the first place!
A dive brief should be a framework on which to hang your dive, not your dive explained to you while sat in the lounge listening to someone talk about everything in intricate detail.
Hazel is very much the wreck specialist and can help you to understand areas you have visited, whilst Helen is the critter ID expert on board! A combined knowledge of over 40 years is yours to utilise!
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