September 26th, 2016 Comments off

 

IMG 0084 Medium 300x400 Emperor Serenity trip report and Sailfish! | 3   10 September“It could not have been a more perfect ending to a wonderfully social evening; until we got back to the boat and within minutes a magnificent SAILFISH appeared hunting in the bright light!”

Emperor Serenity has now settled into life extremely well as the new flagship of Emperor Maldives. Her experienced crew has her in ship-shape fashion and, with the combined experience and knowledge of the dive team, makes sure guests enjoy both luxury and incredible diving. The dive team this week were Maldivians, Issey and Maseeh, joined by Stina and Craig.

LANKAN FINOLHU
What a way to start another week – MANTAS! We enjoyed a gentle drift along the reef to the cleaning station where we could see two of these beauties already midway through being cleaned by busy wrasses. Both of the mantas were clearly enjoying the attentions although every now and again it was obvious when tiny teeth nibbled too hard…and the mantas would shudder slightly. We settled into ringside sandy seats with our reef hooks dug in and watched the show…and then another three mantas appeared from behind us. This was brilliant – to watch five mantas as they glided effortlessly through the current, looping and swirling, pirouetting and rolling so close to our heads; awesome. Also super to see was the large hawksbill turtle eating coral and then testing out someone’s reef hook to see if it was worth eating!
Today we had some very fishy dives but it was mainly a shark day. On each of our three dives we enjoyed watching the large grey reef sharks patrol back and forth in the blue waters, whilst the black and white tips generally stayed at a safe distance behind them, hoping to pick up some dropped fishy morsels. At Miyaru Kandu we enjoyed a kaleidoscopic vista of schooling fish filling the watery sky. Everywhere we turned our heads we could see fish, fish and more fish. Several beautiful eagle rays flew quickly past at one stage adding to the sheer variety. It was great to see two large Napoleon wrasse as they bumbled along the reef in their own inimitable fashion. Oriental sweetlips in their dozens were spotted, their yellow, black and white colouring amplified in the sunshine which filtered through from above. Octopus, red tooth triggers, jack trevallies, scorpionfish, bannerfish and several giant dogtooth tunas were some of the highlights. But best of all today was the WHALE SHARK spotted briefly at Lux Beyru before he swiftly descended in to the murky dark depths.

DIDHOO CORNER
Not a site we dive too often but Issey suggested we jump in here this morning as, when the conditions are perfect, this is one of the most fishy dive sites, but not a lot of people know that! He was right – the conditions were almost perfect with just a sniff of a current and lovely visibility. Away from the reef we saw three types of sharks; greys, black tips and white tip reef sharks, all of which stayed out in the clear blue water watching us, watching them. The water was teeming with all manners of fish – snappers, Moorish idols, red tooth triggers, batfish, jacks; all of which were busy hunting, cleaning and generally doing what fish do! On the reef itself we found a few gloriously decorated nudibranchs, two very well camouflaged scorpionfish and zillions of tiny colourful reef fish darting in and out of the hard corals. Issey was right – a super fishy dive!

KUDA RAH THILA
Swimming around Kuda Rah this morning was an absolute joy! It’s a brilliant dive site at the best of times but this morning it seemed more amazing than usual. We were the only boat so revelled in having this to ourselves, although the volume of fish tended to push us out a bit! As we ascended into the shallows, after having spent some time exploring the lower edges of the thila, we saw the garden of soft anemones, all open and full of anemone fish guarding their territories with a passion. In the shallower water the light intensity increased almost exaggerating the full beauty of this superb site. Giant trevallies circled the thila looking out for lunch, whilst dogtooth tunas stayed back waiting for the menu to come to them. A couple of sharks were seen as they swam swiftly by, whilst the turtles munched on the top of the reef oblivious to us and our bubbles. Most of our guests ended their dive by the shallow coral block a short distance away from the thila where the tiny fishes were congregating; a lovely place to finish before drifting out into the blue and finally surfacing amidst the clouds of fusiliers.
The thunderous skies of the last week had cleared finally and we all breathed a sigh of relief. The sun was shining most days and this evening’s sunset was as if the horizon was on fire. It was BBQ time! We all loved eating under the stars with sand between our toes and the chatter over dinner was animated and full of laughter. As we departed this small sandbank and made our way back to the luxury of Emperor Serenity, talk dropped to nothing as we all gazed upwards to the most perfect of night time skies – the backdrop was a sheer velvety black scattered with bright stars. It could not have been a more perfect ending to a wonderfully social evening; until we got back to the boat and within minutes a magnificent SAILFISH appeared hunting in the bright light!

It is amazing how quickly a week flies by. We enjoyed some incredible diving and, with Craig’s knowledge of marine biology, learnt some new stuff about the underwater world. Lead by Stina and her calm nature and ready smile we sailed through the Maldivian atolls, whilst Maseeh and his quirky humour headed up the daily entertainment on board the dhoni going to and from the dive sites. Another brilliant trip on board Emperor Serenity.

Our thanks to Chapur Risley for these fantastic photos taken whilst on Serenity. See more of the photos here.

 
September 19th, 2016 Comments off

0916 photo gallery 300x300 A picture paints a thousand words (so they say), so our little gallery will paint a library!

 

 

Enjoy browsing our Photo Gallery of Maldives magic.
Liveaboards, marine life, resorts, hotels, diving, snorkelling and good old-fashioned fun!

Discover more here.

 
September 12th, 2016 Comments off

Fantastic value | Great diving!

15 – 22 October
29 October – 5 November
05- 12 November

Maldives Liveaboard Stingray 300x225 SAVE 20% on Stingray | New dates

Last Minute Deal on Stingray Liveaboard

Best of Maldives
Usual price: 1554 USD
Now just 1246 USD per person in twin share cabin
20% OFF last minute discount

Stingray is a solid wooden boat combining traditional Maldivian boat-building with modern engineering. Nine comfortable cabins (four with double and five with twin beds) all have air conditioning, ensuites and external portholes for that ‘must see’ vista of the Indian Ocean.

More information on Stingray here or click here to watch a video including a star appearance by a whale shark!

 
September 12th, 2016 Comments off

Maldives holidays MV Leo 300x200 Spotlight on Emperor LeoSailing into her fourth season, Emperor Leo has undergone some sweeping changes over the summer months.

With a modernised look and the use of light and bright colours, Emperor Leo will stand out in the Emperor Fleet as another ‘flagship’ liveaboard.

A newly added upper deck cabin offers outstanding ocean views, with a total of three superior cabins on the upper deck, each with direct access to the open patio area.

All cabins have undergone a transformation and offer guests a stylish and comfortable haven. With compact, modern bathrooms, the accommodation is of hotel standard and service.

Whilst features in the lounge and dining area have been updated, they reflect her traditional décor and returning guests will enjoy the fine level of improvements. Utilising the wood design of bar and dining area, the whole space welcomes the Maldivian sunlight, mirrored in the colourful accessories and luxuriously large sofas.

Not only has the boat undergone changes but in order to stay abreast of culinary expectation, Emperor’s professional chefs are interchanged across the Fleet in order to provide contemporary and innovative international cuisine.

Emperor Leo lays claim to having one of the most experienced dive guides leading the choice of trips in the Maldives; Chris Trickey. For over 15 years, Chris has headed diving trips here and he truly knows where to dive, how to dive and how to make the best out of your trip. He is renowned throughout the diving industry and guests return trip after trip specifically to dive under his guidance.

Experience and knowledge continues with the years of Maldivian maritime experience and familiarity from Captain Ahmed. Having taken command of Emperor Leo several years ago, he carries a calm and reassuring presence, sailing the boat through the Atolls whilst running the team of professional chefs, housekeepers, barmen and crew with unflappable skill.

To ensure memorable diving, it is essential to have an exceptional dhoni captain. MV Sirina accompanies Emperor Leo, acting as the diving platform from which to enjoy the magical waters and giving more room on the ‘mother ship’. Captain Niyaz, a man who hails from the southern Atolls, has navigated the Maldivian waters both north and south. His unsurpassable knowledge of the dive sites needs to be seen to be believed – his promise to direct the boat to the best possible drops is legendary.

Emperor Leo sails Best of Maldives, South Central 7 Atolls, Deep South & Southern Sharks and offers group discounts up to 20 pay and four go free.

Discover more about Emperor Leo and diving in the Maldives here.

 
September 6th, 2016 Comments off
Maldives Liveaboard Stingray 300x225 SAVE 20% on Stingray Fantastic value and delightful diving

Liveaboard Scuba Trips on Stingray Liveaboard

17 – 24 September
Best of Maldives
Usual price: 1302 USD
Now just 1042 USD per person in twin share cabin
20% OFF last minute discount

Stingray is a solid wooden boat combining traditional Maldivian boat-building with modern engineering. Nine comfortable cabins (four with double and five with twin beds) all have air conditioning, ensuites and external portholes for that ‘must see’ vista of the Indian Ocean.

More information on Stingray here or click here to watch a video including a star appearance by a whale shark.

 
August 29th, 2016 Comments off

Mantas galore with Emperor Serenity and guests…0816 manta from virgo 300x199 Emperor Serenity trip report | 13 – 20 August “For some of our guests it was their first personal experience with these giants of the ocean and one they would always remember.”

LANKAN MANTA POINT
Not the best of visibility but we didn’t care as that’s what mantas love! But at Lankan Point these magnificent creatures are not coming in for feeding, they are coming in to be cleaned and to socialize with other mantas coming in for the same reason. We enjoyed just a small current today and the marine life was quite exceptional, especially in this particular area where we don’t necessarily dive for the corals and fish; there were masses of fusiliers being hunted by snapping jacks and dogtooth tunas. Large numbers of snappers of every size and design added a great splash of colour. We stayed clear of the titan triggerfish who was enormous but got up close and personal with the hawksbill turtles we found digging for food on the top of the reef. Best of all was what we came for; we had a solo female manta arrive to the cleaning station and we enjoyed watching her as she gently flinched at the cleaning wrasses’ nibbles and pecks – successful in their mission to clean the parasites off her large, graceful body.

EMBUDHOO EXPRESS
Embudhoo Express lived up to its name today and we were ‘slightly’ challenged by a fast running current. This decent current brought out the bigger boys who swam against it with such ease we felt clumsy and cumbersome in our gear. We enjoyed the show put on by the numerous grey reef sharks who were soon joined by white tip reef sharks of all sizes, juveniles learning to handle the currents (and nosey divers) and older more experienced adults. When we could tear our eyes off the main predators of the site we spotted many morays – giant, leopard and one splendidly decorated honeycomb moray. A good challenging dive but it was smiles all round after.

KUDA GIRI WRECK
We all love this little wreck when we have it to ourselves! With almost perfect visibility and no current to speak of we spent time casually exploring the structure and its environs. Numerous types of shrimps went about their daily business…doing what shrimps do! On the wreck itself we found several types of moray including one free-swimming, which we don’t see too often on a day time dive. For those with alert eyes, several beautifully camouflaged scorpionfish were spotted, sitting quietly waiting for some unsuspecting prey to pass their way. Best of all had to be the large school of chevron barracudas which hung in the water at the bow of the wreck keeping a beady eye on possible lunch options.

ALIMATHA SUNSET
No matter how many times we dive at Alimatha it can still surprise us with the number of sharks who turn up to entertain us and feed and socialise. Timing it so we jumped as the sun was just slipping below the horizon, we entered the water and could immediately see large numbers of nurse sharks already there, some swimming up and down the channel, some keeping to the shallow sandy area and some doing both. These sharks are adorable. The ones who visit Alimatha are very large in size and great in number. Their eyesight is pretty poor so they are often known to unwittingly bump into and gently nudge guests as they make their way past. For some divers it can be a bit of a fright, but a wonderful experience. The nurse sharks were joined this evening by a few hunting blacktips.

KUDARAH THILA
This is such a lovely dive site at all times and with today’s gorgeous conditions it was nearly at its perfect best. We dived into this marine paradise and were engulfed by fish who created an artist’s palette of colours around us. A true Kodak moment, which lasted for the entire dive! Apart from the sharks, who were close to the thila but still in the blue, we saw an unexpected nurse shark and several very large dogtooth tunas. All around the thila there were clouds of midnight and blue-lined snappers, jacks and trevallies and clouds of the odd-looking surgeon fish. Everyone loved the pristine anemone garden in the shallows, where we spotted some lovely shrimps and even some brightly decorated nudibranchs.

MAHIBADOO
MANTAS! MANTAS! MANTAS! We were mesmerized by the mantas who arrived this morning and displayed their athletic abilities with grace, ease and absolute elegance. For some of our guests it was their first personal experience with these giants of the ocean, and one they would always remember. We were rooted to the spot watching as the mantas barrel rolled and swooped around us, almost oblivious to our excitement and bubbles. When we did finally look away we also saw some lovely nudibranchs, a few sharks and many lovely corals but the talk around the breakfast tables later was definitely the mantas!

BATHALA MAGAA
Another favourite site amongst the guides, Bathala usually manages to astound even the most seasoned of divers. The shoals of red tooth triggers who sweep along the ridge create a reef of electric blue and their frenetic energy seems to energise the fusiliers into swimming faster than normal and the snappers to arrive in huge numbers. Behind these smaller fish come the predators – the jacks, the trevallies and the tunas who arrive with only one agenda, to hunt and to eat! Today’s dive was electric with so many fish around us, so for much of the dive we just hung in the tiny current on the top of the reef and watched the fishy world go by. Then back to the incredible space and comfort of Emperor Serenity. Does life get much better than this?

 
August 22nd, 2016 Comments off

Nautilus Two
TEN nights
12 – 26 October
SPECIAL – NO single surcharge!

Just €2.460 for 10 nights from/to Male on the fabulous Ari & South route.

With no single surcharge you save €1.400!

Email our friendly, knowledgeable team today.

 

Meet MV Nautilus Two

At 43m, the Nautilus Two is more than just another liveaboard. Built entirely from wood, according to Maldivian time-tested methods, this ship is so visually appealing.

Lots of room, beautiful construction and the most modern equipment plus 12 spacious, luxurious cabins. And you can enjoy the Jacuzzi, recliners and onboard bar!

Dives are from her diving dhoni, accompanied by two professional dive guides. NITROX is available at a surcharge.

No diving destination offers more schools of fish, more colourful reef fish, a wider variety of underwater landscapes or better diving services. The average water temperature is 28°C throughout the year and visibility can be as much as 50 metres.

 
August 11th, 2016 Comments off

Just look at these photos from Emperor Virgo

0816 manta from virgo 300x199 More mantas than you can believe!

There are some amazing photos from Virgo of mantas like never before!

Click the photo to enjoy them all on Facebook here.

Want to be there?
How about 2 – 9 October on Emperor Virgo for a Manta Madness trip.
Just 1715 Euros!

>> More on Emperor Virgo here…

 

 

 

 
August 5th, 2016 Comments off

Virgo Orion collage 300x168 Orion   Best of Maldives Super spacious boat at great rates

 

Rates as low as $225 per night including meals and diving

MV Orion
Standard cabin
7 nights JUST 1575 USD
Usual retail price: 1879.50 USD for 7 nights

 

7 – 14 August Best of Maldives
14 – 21 August Manta Madness
21 – 28 August Best of Maldives

Space! There’s lots of it because all your diving takes place from her 19.8m dhoni. So your liveaboard is all yours and free of diving equipment.

On board is the sitting area and reception room, dining area and bar. The choice of food is international but look out for the curries by Orion’s Sri Lankan chef – really tasty! And from this September you can enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with your evening meal. On the upper deck is the jacuzzi, a seating area and massage room (paid locally subject to availability).

Best of Maldives is perfect for first time visitors to the Maldives – both divers and non-divers. If you’re a diver then ideally you will be happy with drift diving but there’s no minimum number of dives needed. Night diving is well worth jumping in for in the sheltered areas. There is always something new to see and dive so this route can be done lots of times and never become mundane. With such a big fabulous marine life going on, it’s a case of taking it all in. Time after time!

Email our friendly, knowledgeable team today 

 
July 26th, 2016 Comments off

Not 318 USD but JUST 183 USD a night!

0516 casa mia collage 300x168 Seriously sizzling summer savings at Casa Mia Maldives  Now is the time for you to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation.

And with these savings, you’ll want to book today!

Savings of up to 135 USD on super Sea View Deluxe room. At just 183 USD a night instead of the usual 318 USD.

 

 

Savings are also available on other rooms:

Garden View just 137 USD from 244 USD
Beach View just 126 USD from 288 USD
Sea View and Beach View Deluxe just 168 USD from 300 USD

Casa Mia is your home away from home in the Maldives. A beach hotel and dive centre where you can relax in 24 beautifully appointed rooms arranged around a private swimming pool and private beach.

Please note, discount does not apply to the transfer cost and all bookings with summer discount must be booked with a sea plane transfer. 

Email our friendly, knowledgeable team today