Dive the celebrated Maldives on exclusive liveaboard, Virgo! You can cruise the atolls of Male and Ari knowing you’re getting great value on a liveaboard devoted to your diving holiday (she’s pretty good for non-divers too!).
• Upper deck cabins: 2 double/twin
• Main deck cabins: 2 double/twin
• Lower deck cabins: 5 double/twin (1 available as a Triple with a small single bed)
At a glance
• Select liveaboard for just 15 divers (18 divers from August 2016)
• Lower and upper deck twin or double cabin options
• Welcoming, spacious saloon and restaurant-style dining area
• Mouth-watering cuisine with international dishes
• Spacious saloon with internationally stocked bar
• Onboard WiFi (local charges) when in range
• FREE Nitrox
Accommodating 18 divers over her 32m length, all her cabins have twin beds with one single cabin. All cabins are ensuite. Upper deck cabins have large windows giving amazing views to the ocean and islands beyond.
Non-divers are very welcome and get a free snorkelling kit + $50 voucher to spend on board
Decorated in light wood and contemporary style, the main deck has a large saloon with comfy sofas. The bar is fully licensed so you can enjoy your favourite tipple as the sun dips below the horizon. The upper deck has loungers for sun bathing and just kicking back.
Virgo is one of the few liveaboards in the Maldives that is rebreather friendly and supports Poseidon MKV1, AP vision and manual megaldon units.
• Shared cabin; 7 nights; 6 days’ diving, 3 meals a day; afternoon snacks; 1 BBQ dinner on uninhabited island (weather allowing); unlimited drinking water, tea, coffee; total of 17 dives (inc 1 night dive); guide, tanks, weights. Free Nitrox; return airport transfer; Government taxes and bed tax; Male city tour (on request); separate diving dhoni
• Not included: Flight, diving equipment, alcohol, soft drinks, juices. WiFi – 20 USD per week, payable on board
Brand new for 2016 and bringing a class of her own to the Maldivian waters, Emperor Serenity is a contemporary, spacious liveaboard where fine accommodation and service is standard. This 40 metre boat easily accommodates 26 guests in 13 well-appointed ensuite cabins all with air-con.
AT A GLANCE
High quality, contemporary liveaboard
Choice of spacious dining and relaxation areas
Visit a local island for a BBQ under the stars
Dive with manta, man-sized nurse sharks & whale sharks
4 dive guides
Non-divers are very welcome and get a free snorkelling kit + $50 voucher to spend on board
Enjoy open air dining area at the stern of the main deck. Several sofas and tables await you inside the air-conditioned saloon for relaxing or watching TV.
The Upper deck boasts a covered and open area ideal for watching photos and footage from your diving or just relaxing, star gazing and soaking up the wonderful Maldivian atmosphere.
The sundeck is perfect for catching those sunrays or having a nap.
All diving is done from Emperor Serenity’s large dhoni tender, giving you more living space on board and getting you to the perfect dive spot every time. She is rebreather-friendly and offers free NITROX, all diving and safety equipment as well as a photography charging station and four dive guides.
Entertainment: There is a variety of nightly entertainment ranging from night dives, a BBQ on an inhabited island (subject to weather conditions and the route), watching films or simply relaxing on the sundeck comparing fish stories. A Male city tour is also included with a local guide upon request.
Book your dream diving holiday today!
Prices are per person for 7 nights sharing a twin/double cabin 30 Jul – 06 Aug Manta Madness 1799 EUR 06 Aug – 13 Aug Best of Maldives 1799 EUR 13 Aug – 20 Aug Manta Madness 1799 EUR 20 Aug – 27 Aug Best of Maldives 1899 EUR 27 Aug – 03 Sep Manta Madness 1799 EUR 03 Sep – 10 Sep Best of Maldives 1799 EUR All sailings are Saturday to Saturday.
• Shared cabin; 7 nights; 6 days’ diving, 3 meals a day; afternoon snacks; 1 BBQ dinner on uninhabited island (weather allowing); unlimited drinking water, tea, coffee; total of 17 dives (inc 1 night dive); guide, tanks, weights. Free Nitrox; return airport transfer; Government taxes and bed tax; Male city tour (on request); separate 19.8m diving dhoni
• Not included: Flight, diving equipment, alcohol, soft drinks, juices. WiFi – 20 USD per week, payable on board
These special itineraries have been chosen to run when the manta are most prolific between August and October.
Boarding your liveaboard in Male, you head north to begin your safari ending in Baa Atoll (Hanifaru Bay) where you catch a flight back to Male.
Your journey begins with wreck diving at Gaafaru Atoll, continuing on to the northern atolls of Lhaviyani and Noonu with an abundance of grey reef sharks, exciting channel diving, beautiful coral formations and pinnacles brimming with life.
Baa Atoll is home to Hanifaru Lagoon where you can snorkel with the manta and whalesharks that come to feed on the plankton in this shallow lagoon. Of course, sightings can’t be guaranteed but joining us at this time of year means your chances are really high! Baa Atoll is also home to many pinnacles, overhangs and alternative manta sites.
You can combine this itinerary with the Manta, Whaleshark & Reefs – South itinerary, which is the return trip but calling at different sites, making an exciting two week safari covering eight atolls. Contact us for details and prices.
Please note: This itinerary is at the Cruise Director’s discretion based on the weather and current conditions to ensure you get the most possible interactions with manta and whaleshark.
You don’t need a minimum number of dives but you should be comfortable with drift dives. Currents can be strong. All your diving is made from dhonis or zodiacs to give precise entry and exits points. Experienced divers can dive in a buddy pair unguided.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
MV Orion has just announced a very special price on a June diving holiday in the Maldives. This is going to be a superb scuba diving adventure which departs Male on June 23rd and cruises to the North Male, Ari and South Male Atolls of the Maldives.
Guests on this cruise will pay for 6 nights and get the 7th night free – only USD $1,197 per person!
The MV Orion is one of the Maldives’ most luxurious scuba diving liveaboards, offering business-class accommodation to 22 guests throughout 11 cabins. The cabins are spread over two decks, and each have a private ensuite bathroom. There are nine standard cabins, one junior suite and one master suite, which boasts a private 2-person Jacuzzi and private balcony.
Cruise the Maldives with MV Orion this June
Diving around the North Male, Ari and South Male Atolls
The diving in the Maldives is world-class, and the North Male, South Male and Ari Atolls are home to some of the finest dive sites in the country. World-class dive sites in these areas include Gangehi Kandu at Ari Atoll, a great place for spotting a variety of sharks including grey reef sharks and leopard sharks. In South Male Atoll, Kandooma Thila – known for spectacular coral formations and intense varieties of fish – is one you will not want to miss and in North Male Atoll, Kuda Haa will not disappoint. Macro-enthusiasts will be delighted here as they discover a wealth of nudibranchs, leaf fish and flatworms amid schools of snapper, tuna and lionfish.
MV Orion Dive Safari Route Planner
MV Orion Maldives Special Offer
Take advantage of this great special offer and enjoy an amazing dive safari of the Maldives this June. The cruise departs on June 23rd for a 7-night adventure, but you will only pay for 6 nights! All dives, including Nitrox diving, are included in the price, as well as your accommodation, all meals and non-alcoholic drinks. The fully-stocked bar will be serving up a selection of icy cold beers, cocktails and wines, which will be charged at the end of your trip. Total price: USD $1,197 per person. To reserve your space on this fantastic holiday, contact Maldives Dive Travel today… spaces are limited and with an offer like this, they’re bound to fill up quickly!
Summer 2010 is approaching quickly and with it come many new opportunities to dive with manta rays and whale sharks in the incredible Hanifaru Bay dive site in Baa Atoll, the Maldives. Hanifaru Bay has sprung to fame in recent years after being featured in the National Geographic Magazine. As shown in the documentary, Hanifaru is the setting for a spectacular natural phenomenon known as a manta ray “feeding frenzy”, during which up to 200 manta rays and up to a dozen whale sharks gather together to feed voraciously on the massive amounts of plankton found in Hanifaru Bay during the months of August and September each year.
Theia, the brand new luxury liveaboard, launched in Februrary 2010, has several 7-night dive safaris of the Baa Atoll and the North Male Atoll, home to some of the Maldives’ finest dive sites including Lion’s Head, Okobe Thila and Banana Reef, to name a few.
Theia departs Male on the following dates for this amazing Hanifaru Bay scuba safari:
July 19 – 26 | August 2 – 9 | August 9 – 16 | September 6 – 13. The price for the safari is USD $1,344 per person which includes 2 or 3 dives each day, all meals and accommodation.
MV Orion, another of the Maldives’ most luxurious liveaboards, is also offering safaris that will visit Hanifaru as well as sites in the Baa Atoll, Ari Atoll and North and South Male Atolls.
Space is extremely limited for this special Hanifaru Bay dive safari, which departs Male on September 3 for a 10-night trip. The cost of the trip is USD $1,990 per person which includes all meals, accommodation and 2 or 3 dives each day.
To coincide with our newly announced Hanifaru Bay Scuba Safaris, the following are a number of videos taken by people scuba diving in Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll in the Maldives. You will notice an incredible number of manta rays that gather here to feed on the masses of plankton. The best time of year to see this spectacle is from July to September, so don’t miss out on our limited number of dive safaris.
How Does the Maldives Dive Travel Affiliate Program Work?
Becoming an affiliate for Maldives Dive Travel is completely free and it takes only a few minutes to sign up. Simply visit our affiliate program web page, where you will be invited to join the program. Once you have confirmed your account, you will be able to take numerous online tutorials that will tell you everything you could need to know about becoming a successful affiliate.
Options for Maldives Dive Travel Affiliates
Once you are inside your affiliate program account, you will find a number of different options that you can use to promote our diving holidays. Traditional options include putting text links or banners on your website. Once you select a banner or text ad, you will see your specific affiliate code. It’s this code that tells us the customer came to our site from yours, and that’s how we know when to pay you a commission. There are other, less traditional options, such as the light boxes, that will add an eye-catching and stylish touch to your site. There are also email templates, links for including on your social media profiles and so on.
Maldives Dive Travel Affiliate Program Commissions
Commissions in the Maldives Dive Travel affiliate program are paid on a per sale basis. When a customer comes to our website from your site and proceeds to make a purchase, your commission will be recognized as soon as the customer completes payment. Affiliates are paid 8% of the value of the sale. You must accrue $250.00 of commissions before receiving your first payment, and from then on, commissions will be paid once a month.
Who Can Be a Maldives Dive Travel Affiliate?
The great thing about the Maldives Dive Travel affiliate program is that ANYONE can join! It’s ideal for people with a website about scuba diving, the Maldives or international travel, but it’s also a viable option for people who don’t have a website. Perhaps you’re an avid scuba diver, and you have a lot of scuba friends on Facebook – you can put your affiliate links on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media profile, and we will see when customers come from your site. Maybe you have a massive email address book, filled with people who love travel and scuba – send them an email using one of our email templates and all they have to do is visit the site via the link you provide. There are many ways you can make money with our affiliate program, starting today, and it’s totally free to join, so you have nothing to lose!
Maldives Dive Travel is the first provider of Maldives liveaboard holidays to offer an affiliate program. By signing up as an affiliate, you can earn great commissions simply by placing banners or text links on your website or social media profiles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Liveaboards are the Best Way to Explore this Diving Holiday Destination
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!