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Diving Ari & South

December 9th, 2016 Comments off

Dive t1216 ari and south 300x300  Diving Ari & Southhe Maldives and enjoy a dive holiday that gives you all you could wish for when you dive the Ari Atolls.

Get ready for a life-time memory pleaser with channels, drifts and pinnacles where you have every chance of meeting mantas, whale sharks and marine life of so many varieties.

Check out the offers on Nautilus One and Nautilus Two and you could be diving here in no time at all.

Categories: Dive Site, Emperor Maldives Tags:

Marine life in the Maldives

September 30th, 2012 Comments off

The diversity of the Maldivian marine fauna and flora is amazing. Yet, apart from a few exceptions, you can find almost all species of marine life native to Maldives regardless of the area you are vacationing in.

Migrating species, such as the leatherback turtle, used to linger close to all islands in years gone past, but recently they have been attracted to more isolated areas of the rapidly developing archipelago.

One of the most famous area-specific creatures that divers are most keen on spotting are the whale sharks, the biggest species of fish on record in the world, that placidly go on with their lives mainly in Baa Atoll.

But all other sea creatures aren’t so picky; the abundant coral reefs that deck the fringes of all islands in the country support a large part of the oceanic life in the region. There are creatures that limit to certain depths of the coral reef that slopes downwards as the lagoon gives way into the sea, but most fish seem to have no qualms as to which depth they populate.

Where the coral reef tapers off toward the sea is probably where a diver can enjoy the most of the dense growth of corals and wide variety of fishes the Maldivian waters have to offer. Here the visibility is clear, lit by the sun to an extent as to emulate a cerulean glow.

 

Megafauna

If you want to watch the rays feeding, you should be aware that these birds of the sea are most active in the afternoon. They should be left at a distance, though, as rays take their lunch time very seriously and may get annoyed if you venture too close. The same rule applies to turtles, though in a different way. Turtles are uncannily like rabbits in their tendency to panic and suffer from traumatizing fear. If you jolt towards them, or suddenly grab them, they’d be so scared they may never return to that spot, or that reef, for a long time.

Gray reefsharks and white tip sharks frequent the drop-offs of coral reefs as well, and contrary to their ferocious appearance and notorious reputation, are quite friendly with a healthy dose of curiosity. Their annoyance does not result in sudden burst of aggressiveness that rays display, but rather, they give obvious hints that they’ve had enough attention. Gray sharks are well known for this useful gesture; you will notice that their pectoral fins droops a bit, and they take on a sort of hunched posture, also exaggerating their side to side swimming movements. The moment they do this, you should leave them alone, because after all, the situation is akin to someone barging into your house with no invitation. On a general note, the coral reef is a very welcoming place to most intrusion such as random divers.

You will find moray eels at a deeper level in abundance. They would sit still, head sticking out of a cozy hole in the corals and their enormous mouth gaping. The razor sharp teeth that are revealed seem to send a warning message, but in truth the eel is intending no such thing; eels need to keep their mouth open in order to breath. However, do not get too close to their hidey hole, because they are aggressively territorial and will get hostile I fits privacy is invaded.

Trevallies and barracudas, cornetfish, fusiliers, triggerfish and large groupers will begin to be more common below twenty meters. The fish you may see in one dive alone will be too many to list down here. Moorish idols, emperor fish, parrot fish and surgeon fish are a granted sight, being the most common.

 

Marine “flora”

The corals, shells and niches in the coral overhang and natural terraces are themselves equally interesting, and to some doubly so, and hold in them wonders that nature reserves for those who visit these depths.

In caves, coral still grows, and climbs up the wall and clings from the ceiling. Small fish that swim in groups, like the squirrel fish, tirelessly explore the nooks and crannies, darting this way and that, as if beckoning you to join in. The harmless sharks of the reef often find these caves excellent for relaxing.

It is easy to get lost in the glory of the reef, but one thing a diver must always keep in mind is the pull of currents. If there are strong outgoing current, it is best not to swim down the exterior of the reef to witness the sights described here, but either remain in shallower waters or refrain from going deeper, exploring instead the shallower part of the exterior reef. It is best that you always keep an eye on your diving instructor, never darting away on a quest of your own.

Diving is best experienced with all the best sights seen when everyone sticks together, and keep swimming around to a minimum. Keeping still and calm would produce wonderful results; the fish may decide you are just an oddly shaped bunch of corals and go about its normal jobs, like cleaning mantas and shark skin. Turtles will sleepily nibble on the coral and peer at you. Lobsters begin marching and octopuses barge into a fight with the moray eel over the tasty morsel of an unfortunate crab. The longer you take care to keep your movements slow and smooth, the more such scenes unfold before your goggled eyes.

Join us for our next diving trip ! Dream Catcher II, a very comfortable liveaboard possessing only seven cabins, is offering an unbelievable last minute price – Stay seven and pay six nights only – Find out more here

Categories: Dive Site, Diving, Fish, Maldives Tags:

The Best Manta Ray Season in the Maldives – 2011

October 3rd, 2011 Comments off

Is 2011 the Best Manta Ray Season Maldives has Seen in Years?


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Manta rays are often photographed swimming close to scuba divers

Over the past few months, we have been swamped with reports of manta ray sightings in the Maldives, with overjoyed divers and dive guides agreeing that it has been a bumper year for manta lovers. Many of our boats, such as Theia and MV Aquarius, have responded by launching special “Manta Madness” cruises, which take guests to the best Manta spots of the Maldives.

“It seems that thanks to numerous conservation efforts, the Maldives manta ray population is doing well these days. This is great news, especially considering that manta rays are an endangered species in most parts of the world.”

The recovery of the manta ray population in the Maldives appears to be evident in the dive logs of all of the liveaboard diving cruise ships we work with, as well as from anecdotal evidence we’ve received from crew members and guests over the past few months.

The abundance of mantas is also something observed by the Save Our Seas Foundation. Guy Stevens, the head of the foundation’s manta ray conservation project in the Maldives, recently commented: “The Maldives is the perfect place for these reef mantas; there is plenty of food all year round, there are few natural predators, and most importantly in today’s world of human exploitation, there has never been a significant or commercial fisheries for manta rays in the Maldives.” To read the whole interview, click here.


Best Time to See Manta Rays in the Maldives

Traditionally, the summer months offer the best chances for diving or snorkeling with manta rays in the Maldives. This is because of the higher amount of plankton in the water, which has a significant bearing on the manta ray migration in the Maldives. A manta ray diet consists mainly of plankton and the prevailing winds and currents of the hot Maldivian summer can create such a high concentration of food in certain places that a manta ray feeding frenzy ensues.

Watch this thrilling video of an underwater expedition amongst several manta rays in the Maldives

One of the most famous places where so-called manta ray cyclone feeding can occur, is the now legendary Hanifaru Bay, a dive spot made famous by a breathtaking photo reportage published by the National Geographic in 2009.

Especially in August, it is not uncommon to see more than a hundred animals gathering here during the Maldives manta ray season to make the most of the site’s unique geographical position, which sweeps huge amounts of plankton into the bay at certain times. This manta ray behavior is sometimes referred to as a “manta ray feeding aggregation”. The Maldives is known for the world’s largest aggregations of such nature.


Manta Ray Cleaning Stations Maldives

Another important element in the lives of these fascinating and absolutely harmless sea creatures are the many manta ray cleaning stations of the Maldives, which can attract several mantas at once. Seeing a troupe of imposing rays queue politely for their turn at the cleaning station is an absolutely unforgettable sight. Experienced dive guides such as ours know the locations of the most highly frequented feeding stations, where chances of diving with manta rays in the Maldives are the highest.

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A open-mouthed manta ray approaches the camera

The manta ray cleaning stations of the Maldives are essentially rock or coral formation where manta rays stop by regularly to let cleaner wrasses pick parasites and dead skin particles off their bodies. It’s a symbiosis that is mutually beneficial – the cleaner wrasses get a steady delivery of food, while the manta rays have better chances of avoiding skin irritations and potentially dangerous infections caused by parasites.






Responsible Tourism in the Maldives – An Economic Necessity

While it seems that mantas in the Maldives are adept at taking care of themselves in terms of food and skincare, they need our help to protect their habitats from the negative impacts of human activity around them.

Their playful behavior and seeming indifference – even curiosity – for human visitors is remarkable and plays a big part in the tourism industry of the Maldives. The question is: how to balance economic development and mass tourism with the protection of the manta ray habitats of the Maldives?

The answer lies in a responsible approach to economic opportunities. Unlike commonly assumed, tourism can play a vital role in conservation efforts. The logic is simple – the manta ray population Maldives is of crucial importance to the economy and, as such, must be protected.

Stevens explains: “The more people who visit the Maldives in search of an encounter with manta rays the better; tourism really is important for the long term survival of manta rays in the Maldives and elsewhere around the world. However, tourism needs to be managed so that it is truly sustainable. As specific sites, such as Hanifaru, become overwhelmed with tourists there is a growing need for effective management to ensure that this site does not become degraded.”


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Close-up shot of a manta ray in Maldives

The great challenge that lies ahead is to find a solution on how to manage sensitive manta ray feeding sites and how to enforce existing laws. The wheels of policy and bureaucracy have been notoriously slow in the Republic of the Maldives over the last decades. However, the new government’s commitment to environmental issues provides hope for responsible tour operators and scuba divers alike.

As always, Maldives Dive Travel is fully supportive of marine conservation efforts in the Maldives. We do our best to educate our staff and guests about the importance of responsible diving. It is our aim to help ensure that the magnificent marine life of the Maldives remains as breathtakingly beautiful as it is now for the next generations of scuba divers.

Want to experience the thrill of diving with manta rays in the Maldives? Our experienced booking agents and dive guides are at your service.

Contact us now to get the best deals on diving holidays in the Maldives.

About us: Maldives Dive Travel looks back on more than 15 years of excellence and our Best Price Guarantee ensures that you get the best rates available anywhere!


Diving Holidays in Maldives

January 27th, 2011 Comments off

Among scuba divers around the world, it’s no secret that the diving in Maldives is spectacular. In fact, the diving sites in Maldives consistently rank on lists of the best dive sites in the world.  While people come to go scuba diving in the Maldives to experience all the underwater life, from the stunning coral formations and their reef-dwelling inhabitants, to the large pelagic species that roam these waters, it’s the whale shark diving in the Maldives and the abundance of manta rays that really pull in the diving masses.

Maldives Underwater Photos Dancing Manta Diving Holidays in Maldives

Diving in the Maldives

Best Diving in the Maldives

There are literally hundreds of great scuba diving spots in Maldives, so no matter what time of year you visit, or how many times you visit, you will find a new underwater spot just waiting to be explored.  If you were to ask for just a few of the best diving sites in Maldives, anyone would have to mention Lion’s Head in the North Male Atoll for its gorgeous coral and the opportunities for grey reef shark diving in the Maldives that can be had here.  Similarly, they would have to mention Kuda Haa, also on the North Male Atoll where some of the best diving in Maldives is found in terms of smaller species: here you will find lionfish, moray eels and eagle rays.  If its manta ray diving in Maldives that you’re interested in, you’ll find that among the top diving sites in the Maldives is Hanifaru Bay in the Baa Atoll.  Definitely, diving with manta rays in Maldives is one of the biggest attractions for divers to the country and there’s no place on earth that allows divers to encounter so many manta rays on one visit.

While you’re here, you should also try to do some shark diving in Maldives, and don’t worry, the shark species in the Maldives are all typically harmless.  Diving with whale sharks in Maldives is one of the great attractions of this diving destination and it is one of the only places in the world where you can enjoy whale shark diving in the Maldives all year round.  Whale sharks are incredibly gentle creatures and because most whale shark encounters are enjoyed while snorkeling, it means you don’t even have to be a qualified scuba diver to experience one of these amazing animals.  You can also expect to see grey reef sharks, white tip sharks and zebra sharks while scuba diving at any of the good diving sites in Maldives.

While the Maldives is definitely not known as a wreck diving destination, there are a couple of opportunities for wreck diving in Maldives that will satisfy the urges for an interesting wreck dive.  The most famous is the Maldive Victory Wreck, an advanced dive that explores a ship that sank in 1981 and is now a favourite spot for sea turtles, barracudas and fusiliers.

Cost of Scuba Diving in Maldives

One of the most crucial pieces of knowledge about diving holidays in Maldives is the price of diving in Maldives which can vary dramatically.  From a resort dive shop, the diving rate in Maldives is around USD $50 per dive.  On top of this, you also have to pay for boat trips and if you’re visiting distant dive sites, the diving costs in the Maldives can get quite expensive. The most affordable diving in Maldives is definitely the liveaboard scuba diving holiday.  You will be surprised at how reasonable liveaboard scuba diving prices in the Maldives are: a week-long cruise on a safari ship which includes two or three dives per day will typically cost about USD$180 to USD $220 per person per night.  As well as the cost of diving in Maldives, this also includes all meals and accommodation whilst on the boat along with a few excursions, so it’s really quite a good deal.  To find the best scuba diving cost in Maldives, you should keep your eyes open for last minute deals and special offers on liveaboard diving holidays which usually give you reduced diving prices in the Maldives.  If you have never dived before, you’ll also need to factor in the diving price in Maldives of taking your PADI Open Water qualification.  It is sometimes possible to take this from a liveaboard (but make sure you check before) and most resort dive centres also offer this and other PADI courses.  Finally, you need to remember that as well as scuba diving in Maldives costs, you will also need to bring your own equipment or rent it from the liveaboard or resort dive shop.  All boats and dive centres offer equipment rental, but again, it’s best to reserve it in advance.  Overall, scuba diving in the Maldives prices are comparable with scuba diving prices around the world and if you look carefully, it is possible to book cheap scuba diving holidays in Maldives.

Diving Boats in the Maldives

Undoubtedly the best way to enjoy scuba diving in Maldives is by taking a diving safari in Maldives.  These cruises are held on board liveaboard safari ships and typically, they are all inclusive diving holidays in Maldives that include all scuba diving, meals and transfers to and from the airport, as well as the occasional excursion from the boat.  Liveaboards scuba diving in Maldives is really great fun and is perfect for couples, families, groups of friends and even single divers.  If you arrive in the Maldives completely alone, you will definitely leave with many more friends.

Maldives Underwater Grey Reef Shark1 Diving Holidays in Maldives

Grey Reef Shark seen at Rasdhoo Madivaru

When to go Diving in the Maldives

Scuba diving holidays in Maldives are possible year round, although there are seasons: the Northeast Monsoon season (November to April) and the Southwest Monsoon season (May to October).  Most people will tell you that the best diving season in the Maldives is the Northeast Monsoon season as this is when the weather is drier, visibility is better and the ocean is calmer.  Officially, this is when the “peak” diving season is and as such the price of scuba diving in the Maldives is a little higher at this time and generally, you will find the very best conditions for diving in the Maldives in January and December. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a holiday diving Maldives in July, because there are still many diving cruises in Maldives, it’s just that they will visit different dive sites.  In fact, the summer months of July and August are the best months for seeing the manta rays in Hanifaru and while you might have the occasional rainfall or thunderstorm; these typically clear after a short time, revealing clear sunny skies.  So, don’t think it’s not possible to go to the Maldives diving in August, because it is, just be prepared to visit different areas: the best diving site in Maldives in January will be different from where is the best diving in the Maldives in August.

Diving Accidents in Maldives

The Maldives is one of the safest scuba diving destinations in the world and the number scuba diving accidents in Maldives are very small.   Safety procedures are rigorous and are in place at all resorts and onboard all liveaboard dive ships.  Nevertheless, you should always carry out the standard safety procedures as taught in your PADI training for both you and your dive buddy.

Find Out More about Diving in Maldives

Once you have decided you would like to go diving in the Maldives, there is plenty of research you can do online.  There are many scuba diving websites and many Maldives-related websites, all of which have information about scuba diving tours in Maldives, stories and news about diving holidays in the Maldives, resources about where you can rent diving equipment in Maldives and up-to-date offers with special diving prices in Maldives.

You will most likely spend days and days looking at the millions of scuba diving pictures in the Maldives that you can find online and when you’re ready to get really excited about your trip, check out the many diving in Maldives videos.

Please contact us to book your Maldives diving holidays.

New Year Cruise of the Maldives

May 7th, 2010 Comments off

Enjoy a New Year Cruise on Theia Liveaboard

This year, bring in the New Year in the Maldives on the scuba diving holiday of a lifetime on Theia liveaboard.  This unique scuba diving trip will combine world-class scuba diving with a great party atmosphere on the most luxurious and stylish dive vessels in the Maldives.

Places are limited on this special New Year’s cruise so book your place today!

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New Year's Eve Dive Party on Theia

New Year Dive Holiday: December 27 2010 – 8 January 2011

Places are limited on this special New Year’s cruise so book your place today!

The Theia 12-night “Dive ‘n’ Party” Cruise kicks off on December 27 and lasts until January 8th, giving you the perfect winter getaway and great New Year’s Eve party in paradise.  Expect an incredible dive holiday with delicious cocktails at sunset with the best chill music and then, after dark each night, be prepared to party with sounds of Ibiza and best in house music.  The provisional schedule of events for the dive safari is as follows: (This is subject to change.)

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Enjoy the Island Paradise of the Maldives on the New Years Cruise on Theia

Theia New Year Cruise: December 27

Arrive and check-in on Theia.  Theia departs for the North Male Atoll and guests enjoy lunch on-board followed by some snorkeling, a general briefing about the safari and have the opportunity to get to know each other over some sundowner cocktails at Theia’s Sky Bar.

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The Skybar on Theia is Great for Sundowners!

Theia New Year Cruise: December 28

Guests begin the day with the orientation dive, which allows the staff to acquaint themselves with everyone’s diving ability and allows guests who have not dived for a while to refresh their skills.  The dives will take place at Nassimo Thila and Manta Point dive sites.  The evening will play host to a Poker Night on board.

Theia New Year Cruise: December 29

Dives on the third day of the cruise will take place at HP Reef, widely considered to be one of the very best dive sites in the Maldives – a great place for spotting eagle rays and Lankan Manta Point, a cleaning station for many enormous manta rays.  After a day of great diving, guests will enjoy some relaxing sundowner cocktails to the sounds of great house music.

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Diving with Manta Rays at Lankan Manta Point

Theia New Year Cruise: December 30

On December 30, the New Year Theia liveaboard cruise will move to the South Male Atoll after first completing a dive at the amazing Okobe Thila, where you are likely to see eagle rays, napoleon wrasse, and schools of smaller reef-dwelling fish.  Once in the South Male Atoll, divers will enjoy an afternoon dive at Kandooma Thila and then in the evening will play a great Fishing Game, before getting a good nights’ rest before the highlight of the cruise, tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve party!

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Theia Liveaboard is the Maldives' Most Luxurious Dive Boat

Theia New Year Cruise: December 31

Before beginning the New Year’s Eve celebration, Theia will stop off for a morning dive at Guraidhoo Corner, a great place for spotting grey reef sharks and eagle rays.  Then, the boat heads to Maadhoofinolhu, where the New Year’s Eve celebrations will begin with a beach buffet and relaxing on the beach all afternoon.  Later, pre-dinner cocktails and chill-out music before a stunning New Year’s Eve dinner on the beach and beach party.  Dress code: white.

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Grey Reef Sharks at Guraidhoo Corner Dive Site

Theia New Year Cruise: January 1

Happy New Year!  After an amazing New Year’s Eve party under the stars, it’s time to get back to the water.  Theia will begin traveling to the South Ari Atoll and along the way will search for whale sharks, one of the prime attractions of the Maldives.  The dives today will be held at Kudarah Thila.  In the evening, guests will enjoy a Black-themed evening with Sangria and a crab race, a quirky event that is often the highlight of a Maldives’ dive holiday.

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Whale Sharks in the Maldives

Theia New Year Cruise: January 2-4

Great scuba diving continues on January 2 with dives at 5 Rocks,  Thinfushi Ethere Thila and the cruise continues for the whale sharks.  The next two days will include dives at Broken Rock, Dhigurah Thila, Vilamendhoo Thila and Dhigaa Thila.  Guests will also enjoy a unique island visit to a secluded island where there will be a visit with a local community.  The evening on January 4 will include a Margarita party and a beach dinner on Raidhigaa Island.

Theia New Year Cruise: January 5-8

The last few days of the New Year’s Eve 2010 diving holiday on Theia liveaboard include some of the finest dive sites in the Maldives, including Pannettone, a wreck dive at Fesdhu and the legenday night dive at Maaya Thila, where grey reef sharks can be found prowling the reef for their evening meal.  A stunning daytime dive at Maaya Thila will also feature among the activities of the last few days as well as several dives at the manta ray cleaning station at Rangali Madivaru dive site.  The cruise ends on January 7th in Male with a shopping trip in Male and a visit to the historical sites in the city.

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Ocean View Guest Suite on Theia

Theia New Year Cruise Package

This amazing New Year 2010 Dive Holiday on Theia includes the following:

  • Total 24 dives
  • All meals
  • Island visit
  • Beach Barbecue
  • Sunset and Night Fishing
  • Island visit
  • Whale shark search
  • Traditional music on Local Island with Maldivian Bodu Beru Band

All activities, dive sites and routes can change without prior notice.

The total cost for the USD $3,480 per person.

Places are limited on this special New Year’s cruise so book your place today!

Diving Holiday Destinations

March 30th, 2010 Comments off

Diving Holiday Destinations

One of the top diving holiday destinations in the world is the Maldives.  This amazing archipelago of over 1100 islands is home to a wide variety of dive sites and an even wider variety of marine life.  While there is an extensive diversity of reef-dwelling fish and smaller marine creatures, the real attraction of this diving holiday destination is the larger oceanic species that can be found here, including the whale shark, manta ray, eagle ray, grey reef shark, napoleon wrasse and several other shark species.  The Maldives is one of the few diving holiday destinations where divers can enjoy whale shark encounters throughout the year.

Maldives Underwater Photos Coral Reef 2 Diving Holiday Destinations

The Maldives is a World-Class Diving Holiday Destination

Diving Holiday Destinations within the Maldives

A single trip to the Maldives is not enough time for any scuba diver to truly enjoy what this spectacular archipelago has to offer.  There are several different diving holiday destinations with this island paradise.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the finest diving holiday destinations within the Maldives.

Maldives Underwater Photos Eagle Ray Diving Holiday Destinations

Spotted Eagle Rays are Common at this Diving Holiday Destination

Diving Holiday Destination: Hanifaru Bay

The amazing diving holiday destination, Hanifaru Bay, is a marine protected uninhabited island located in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives Islands.  Its size is no greater than that of a football field and yet it has become one of the hottest spots on the planet for underwater photographers.  The reason for this modern day phenomenon of underwater diversity is because plankton blooms between the months of May and November – a very unusual phenomenon – attracting manta rays by the hundreds.  At any one time at this diving holiday destination, there can be up to 200 manta rays feeding off the coral reefs as well as plenty of whale sharks which do the same.  Hanifaru Bay has become one of the best diving holiday destinations in the world for people looking for manta ray encounters.

Maldives Underwater Photos Dancing Manta Diving Holiday Destinations

Hanifaru Bay Diving Holiday Destination is a must for Manta Ray Lovers

Diving Holiday Destination: Baa Atoll

The Baa Atoll in the Maldives is a great diving holiday destination thanks to its many varied dive sites and also the high probabilities of spotting whale sharks. Dive sites in the Baa Atoll include Manta Point, Maavaru Kandu and Muthafushi Thila.  There are many resorts whose dive centers take divers to the sites around the Baa Atoll, but the best way to enjoy this diving holiday destination is by liveaboard.

Diving Holiday Destination: Ari Atoll

The Ari Atoll is another great diving holiday destination within the Maldives, offering a range of dive sites that include Maaya Thila, Broken Rock, Kudahrah Thila and Veligandu Kandu.  There are also good chances of seeing whale sharks in the Ari Atoll.

Theia Diving Holiday Destinations

Liveaboards are the Best Way to Explore this Diving Holiday Destination

Destination Maldives

A trip to the diving holiday destination of the Maldives is best when enjoyed from the comfort of a liveaboard diving ship. Liveaboard diving holidays in the Maldives are great because you can cover far more area on a boat than when you have to return to a resort each night.  Liveaboard diving holidays include other activities as well as scuba diving, such as fishing, snorkeling, visiting island communities, beach parties and shopping excursions.

To reserve your holiday to the Maldives now, contact Maldives Dive Travel today!

Banana Reef Dive Site

March 25th, 2010 Comments off

Banana Reef, one of Maldives’ Best Dives Sites

Banana Reef Dive Site

***Book your next liveaboard holiday NOW with MaldivesDiveTravel.comBest Price GUARANTEED!***

Type of Dive Site:  Wall / Thila (Pinnacle)
Location: North Male Atoll.
Best Time to Dive: All year sound
GPS Position: 04.15000, 73.32000
Depth Range: 5m – 30m
Coral Growth: Excellent
Features: Caves, overhangs and coral heads
Fish Life: Abundant
Experience Level: Novice

***Last Minute Deal on Dream Catcher II Liveaboard — Act now, only a few spots left!***

Diving Hints and Currents:

Banana Reef was the first dive site to ever be discovered in the Maldives and is still among the best. The best diving at this site is on the banana-shaped area in the northeastern where there are caves, gutters and overhangs filled with fish life and soft coral. Spend as much time as possible near the coral heads; if you begin the dive with your left shoulder to the reef, this is an excellent way to observe the area.

At Banana Reef, you are likely to see many fish, including Oriental Sweetlips, Giant Squirrelfish, Bannerfish and many other species that congregate in this spot. When the currents are strong, underwater turbulence can be experienced near the near the large overhang. Stay near the wall and don’t let the current push you away. A surface balloon is necessary as boat traffic can be heavy at times.

schooling squirrel fish snapper maldives Banana Reef Dive Site

Galileo Reports Seeing 17 Dolphins in South Male Atoll

December 14th, 2009 Comments off

Galileo Reports Seeing 17 Dolphins in South Male Atoll

Galileo Liveaboard, one of the Maldives’ most well-equipped scuba diving liveaboard ships has been experiencing some amazing scuba diving in the last few days.  After seeing 72 grey reef sharks yesterday at Kandooma Thila in the South Male Atoll, the boat went on to also see 17 dolphins at Bodo Kandu dive site, also in South Male Atoll. So far, the Galileo cruise has been amazing, and the guests on board, who are from all over the world, have been extremely happy with their diving holiday in the Maldives.

 Galileo Reports Seeing 17 Dolphins in South Male Atoll
Galileo Liveaboard Reports Seeing 17 Dolphins

Galileo Diving Holidays

The Galileo Diving Holiday guests still have a few more days of diving and hopes for seeing more amazing marine life are high. There are some great special offers on diving safaris on the Galileo Liveaboard, making your dream scuba diving holiday in the Maldives more accessible than you might have thought.  All prices include scuba diving, meals and accommodation, as well as a selection of other activities.

Galileo Web Size Galileo Reports Seeing 17 Dolphins in South Male Atoll

Galileo Liveaboard Special Offers

* January 4 – 18 2010 – 14-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 1,764 per person

* January 18 – 25  – 7-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 756 per person

* February 25 – March 4 – 7-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 882 per person

Note: This safari starts and ends in the Laamu Atoll (south Maldives), so you need to purchase a return flight from Male International Airport to Kaddhoo.  This will cost approximately USD 250 and is not included in the price of the safari.

* March 4 – 11 – 7-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 882 per person

Note: This safari starts and ends in the Laamu Atoll (south Maldives), so you need to purchase a return flight from Male International Airport to Kaddhoo.  This will cost approximately USD 250 and is not included in the price of the safari.

Galileo Liveaboard Information

For more information about the Galileo Liveaboard ship and the dive safaris operated around the Maldives, visit the Galileo Liveaboard information page.

Galileo Dive Safari Gives Guests Amazing Diving Experience

December 11th, 2009 Comments off

Galileo Gives Guests Great Diving Experience in the Maldives

The Galileo liveaboard, a true explorer-style vessel regarded as one of the most well-equipped scuba diving safari boats in the Maldives, is currently cruising around the northern part of the Ari Atoll.  There are 13 guests currently on board Galileo, from countries around the world, including Estonia, Italy, Spain, Germany and Singapore, making this a true “United Nations” style adventure.

Galileo Web Size1 Galileo Dive Safari Gives Guests Amazing Diving Experience

Galileo Liveaboard

Galileo Liveaboard Guests Enjoy Amazing Diving

Today, December 11 2009, the guests were treated to an amazing dive at the Woshimas Thila dive site where they saw seven enormous grey reef sharks.  Later on in the day, the guests enjoyed an hour-long manta ray “show” at the cleaning station Donkalho and to top off the incredible day, they dove at Hafza, where they saw not one, but three leopard sharks!

Leopard Shark Web Galileo Dive Safari Gives Guests Amazing Diving Experience

Leopard Sharks in the Maldives

Galileo Dive Safari Itinerary

This seven-night safari on Galileo gives guest the opportunity to have incredible diving experiences like this every day of the trip.   2 or 3 dives are held each day, including one night-dive a week.  The trip also includes a beach barbecue party and many other activities on the boat including snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming and fishing.  One of the coolest experiences of a diving safari in the Maldives, besides the diving of course, is when a freshly caught tuna is served up sashimi-style as the afternoon snack!

Grey Reef Shark Galileo Dive Safari Gives Guests Amazing Diving Experience

Grey Reef Shark at Woshimas Thila

Galileo Liveaboard Special Offers

Galileo liveaboard, the most high-tech safari ship in the Maldives, currently has some great special offers that make an amazing scuba diving holiday in the Maldives much more affordable than you had probably expected.  The following cruises all include accommodation, meals and all scuba diving.  Alcoholic drinks are charged at additional costs and you will receive a bill for them at the end of your holiday.

  • January 4 – 18 2010 – 14-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 1,764 per person

  • January 18 – 25  – 7-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 756 per person

  • February 25 – March 4 – 7-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 882 per person

Note: This safari starts and ends in the Laamu Atoll (south Maldives), so you need to purchase a return flight from Male International Airport to Kaddhoo.  This will cost approximately USD 250 and is not included in the price of the safari.

  • March 4 – 11 – 7-night Galileo Diving Safari – EUR 882 per person

Note: This safari starts and ends in the Laamu Atoll (south Maldives), so you need to purchase a return flight from Male International Airport to Kaddhoo.  This will cost approximately USD 250 and is not included in the price of the safari. To find out more about the Galileo Liveaboard ship and the dive safaris operated around the Maldives, visit the Galileo Liveaboard information page.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

November 24th, 2009 Comments off

Black Pearl liveaboard sets sail, commencing a new week of diving adventures in the Maldives!

Black Pearl live aboard performed its last dive of the week to Maaya Thila, North Ari Atoll. Once the dive was finished, the Black Pearl started heading back to Hulhumale’ of the North Male’ Atoll.

Maaya Thila Dive Site

The Maaya Thila dive was one of the best dives last week with regards to Maldives marine life. Although the visibility was below average, there was an abundance of fish life, where highlights included grey reef sharks, dogtooth tuna and white tip reef sharks.

Maldives Underwater Grey Reef Shark1 Black Pearl Liveaboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

Grey Reef Shark at Maaya Thila

Visiting Male’,  Capital City of the Maldives

It took about 3 and a half hours to cross Alihuras Kandu, the channel that separates Ari Atoll and Male’ Atoll. During the crossing, the sea remained calm, allowing for an extremely pleasant and enjoyable cruise back to Male’. The clear Maldivian weather was an added bonus. After reaching Hulhumale’, the anchoring process began. Once fully anchored, the guests took off for their visit to Male’, the capital of the Maldives.

Guests Departure and Arrival

Black Pearl‘s guests from the UK departed on the morning of the 23rd, the same day the new diving group arrived, which was a total of 12 divers from Switzerland. The orientation dive began after lunch.

Farukholhu Fushi Beyru Faru, aka Faru Beyru, Dive

 Black Pearl Liveaboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

Mobula Rays in the Maldives

The orientation dive at Farukholhu Fushi Beyru Faru (also called Faru Beyru) turned out to be a very exciting check dive for everyone. We saw 10 mobula rays…Absolutely unbelievable! The orientation dive to Farukholhu Fushi Beyru Faru, aka Faru Beyru, was a great start to the week! Mobula is a genus of ray in the family Myliobatidae (eagle rays). Their appearance is similar to that of manta rays, which are in the same family. The devil fish can attain a disc width of up to 5.2 meters (17 feet) and probably can weigh over a ton, second only to the manta ray in size. Despite their size, there is little known about this genus. Black Pearl recently spotted a mobula, also called devil fish, at Kandooma Thila dive site.