Sharks & macro life!
Watch this super video of dives at Vaavu Atoll just the other day from Emperor Serenity.
Sharks & macro life!
Watch this super video of dives at Vaavu Atoll just the other day from Emperor Serenity.
From February to April, spend time away from the madding crowds and dive Foammulah and Huvadhoo on the lookout for the Indian Ocean’s larger residents; tiger sharks, silver tips, grey reef sharks and whale sharks.
Guests can choose to travel either from Male to Huvadhoo to join their liveaboard or from Huvadhoo to Male. Expect to meet tiger and silver tip sharks around Foamulah. At Huvadhoo, one of the deepest lagoons in the Maldives, the currents are ideal for even more shark sightings including hopefully whale sharks and silkies, hammerheads, tiger and grey sharks spotted most of the time. There are swift channel dives with several kandus; Vilingilli, Nilandhoo, Mareehaa and Kondeey, as well as reef thila dives; Gazeera and Vaadhoo.
This itinerary suits experienced divers (100+ dives) looking for ‘away from it all and different’ diving with quite a focus on drift diving.
A video showing the amazing diving on this route can be seen here.
Non-divers are very welcome and get free snorkelling equipment + $50 voucher to spend on board.
26 February – 5 March 2017
Deep South & Southern Sharks, Safari starts Kadhdhoo – Safari ends Gan
5 – 15 March 2017
Deep South & Southern Sharks, Safari starts Gan – Safari ends Kadhdhoo
15 – 25 March
South Central 7 Atolls, Safari starts Kadhdhoo, Safari ends Male
Prices do not include international flights.
Emperor Virgo – TEN night safari anyone?
As one of the six-liveaboard fleet of Emperor Maldives, here is your guarantee for memorable diving. Emperor Virgo is the perfect choice for when you want to enjoy good-value luxury, offering pretty much everything you need for a perfect getaway. The restaurant serves both western and Asian cuisine complimented with a fully equipped bar. There is also has a Jacuzzi for you to kick back and relax. WiFi is available (20US$ per week). Nitrox is included in the package price.
She welcomes 18 divers over her 32m length and all her ensuite cabins have twin beds with one single. Upper deck cabins have large windows with the most amazing views to the ocean and islands beyond.
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!).
At a glance
Select liveaboard for just 18 divers
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
Christmas in the Maldives?
18 – 25 December
Best of Maldives
Ten nights in the Maldives?
Deep South & Southern Sharks
Start at Gan and finish at Kadhdhoo
5 – 15 March
South Central 7 Atolls
Start at Kadhdhoo and finish at Male
15 – 25 March
Meet Emperor Virgo here for all the information you need (and if it’s not there, then please just ask us!)
Email us today and book firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s guides on board Emperor Orion were the well-seasoned Boat Managers, Russ and Chris, local expert Sakeel, and relative new-comer to the Fleet, Jacky. Our discerning guests hailed from around the world including from America, Russia, UK, Australia, Czechoslovakia and Slovakia…a powerhouse of nationalities!
We started this trip on an absolute high, jumping in at LANKAN MANTA POINT and encountering 11 MANTAS! The underwater atmosphere was electric as we watched in awe as these grandiose creautures swooped and barrel-rolled in the waters in front of us whilst waiting their turn to be cleaned. For those ahead in the cleaning queue, it was impressive to watch just how quickly the little army of cleaner wrasse picked and nibbled these mammoth creatures clean. Equally interesting was to see just how sensitive these sizeable mantas are, as they twitched and trembled as the wrasses nibbled too hard. Yet again, the Orion Team set the diving bar high for the rest of the trip.
A confirmed favourite spot amongst the entire Emperor Dive Team, Maaya Thila is host to a plethora of incredible corals, a guide-book’s worth of marine life and currents that can either be of rollercoaster speed to absolutely zilch. Today at Maaya we smiled our way through the dive as the site showed us just why it is a favourite. The giant trevallies were making the rounds of the reef and stayed away from the edge of the thila keeping an eye on all the smaller prey in the vicinity. There were, in turn, a few dogtooth tunas keeping a hungry eye on the trevallies. There was plenty of shark action in the blue as the large grey reef sharks, accompanied by white tips and a few black tips, swam back and forth in the medium current. For those diving with Chris at Maaya, they had the incredible encounter with two silvertip sharks who came racing towards the reef and then back into the blue at lightning speed. A few hearts beat a little faster for those few seconds!
Russ is a man who can describe each dive location to perfection; where you’ll jump, what you’ll see, which fish reside where but when it comes to diving at FISH HEAD his briefings are slightly shortened as he describes what we will see, “Nothing needs to be explained about this site. The name says it all. An all-time favourite with the guides.” We saw huge schools of everything, great visibility, a little current…FANTASTIC. Russ was of course, totally right!
Another firm favourite is the delightful little wreck at Fesdu. Today’s conditions were near perfect and allowed us to thoroughly explore the structure before moving finishing the dive on the nearby reef. The two resident mantis shrimps are still burrowing their holes in the sandy bottom on the starboard side and don’t seem to mind the presence of the juvenile ribbon eel who has taken up residence a few feet away. The hordes of fish swarming around the wreck create a shimmering effect of tones of silver as the sunlight dances on their scales, really quite mesmerizing. The multitudes of glassfish are quite spectacular, and despite having a good look we cannot find the secret creatures whom they are hiding! Best of all today was seeing the recently-spotted tiny frogfish, as he tried his best to camouflage himself against the soft sponge.
There are several fish who, despite having the most intricate and beautiful colourful markings, appear to be ungainly in the water and blunder their way across reefs but still manage to raise a smile with our guests. The Napoleon wrasse. For some reason today at HIMENDHOO THILA there seemed to be a Napoleon wrasse convention as there were at least six counted throughout the dive! One group of divers were followed for almost the entire dive by one such fish who lumbered alongside them, keeping his boggly eyes trained on each guest. We also saw a few Napoleons in the deeper waters but our attention was soon taken away from these inelegant creatures as a perfect squadron of 10 EAGLE RAYS passed over our heads. This was a wonderful sight as they were beautifully silhouetted against the blue tones of the ocean.
What started out as a small current gradually increased in strength as the minutes ticked by all too quickly at the Kandu this morning. With the faster current came the bigger boys, including some very sizeable grey reef sharks and some aggressive looking dogtooth tunas. We hooked in in order to watch the shark show in comfort and soon saw some white tip sharks joining the group. It is always amazing to watch sharks in their natural habitat and to see how they use the water columns and current sot their advantage. Watching them today it was very obvious as to why they are the apex predator on the reef – their nonchalant demeanour is actually hiding the fact that they are watching every single movement that every marine creature is making, both on and off the reef. Their bearing is very imposing and they are simply a joy to watch. As the dive continued a few eagle rays passed swiftly overhead and, as one group were preparing to unhook and finish their dive, they were treated to the appearance of a lone manta swimming slowly by.
All too soon or trip came to an end and it was hard to believe that another week had passed. The diving was superb and all guests were extremely happy with what they had seen; a few first encounters with mantas which made for unforgettable memories. With the perfect combination of a fantastic boat, an extremely knowledgeable and personable Dive Team, delicious cuisine and an array of well-chosen beverages, another week on board Emperor Orion was a resounding success!
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.
The Maldives is an unfeasibly beautiful country and nothing lets you experience that beauty more than a liveaboard diving holiday. With a super choice of boats, we will take you to the most iconic dive spots, islands and atolls.
The great thing about a liveaboard is that your time is spent on board whilst we sail across the warm clear waters of the Indian Ocean and dive the best dive sites. Sounds incredibly tempting doesn’t it?
For more information or if you have any questions, do please talk to us directly or email us.
Save 25% on Liveaboard Adora
Best of Maldives
24 April – 01 May
25% off in a standard cabin
Dive the Maldives. Experience mantas like never before and take part
in key conservation research
Constellation Fleet Maldives has teamed up with Manta Trust to bring guests the chance to dive with manta experts, Niv Froman and Guy Stevens. Not only will guests dive with the best, but there will be the chance to experience and take part in cutting-edge conservation research to protect these most majestic of animals as well as name new mantas.
30th August – 6th September 2015
Manta Madness, Male, Baa Atoll and Ari Atoll
Trip leader: Niv Froman
Join Constellation Fleet’s MV Orion and the Manta Trust’s Niv Froman on this trip dedicated to sightings and interactions with manta rays, focusing on the Central Atolls of North Malé Atoll, Baa Atoll and North Ari Atoll.
27th February – 7th March 2016
Southern & Central Atolls Sharks & Mantas
Huvadhoo, Laamu, Thaa, Meemu, South Ari Atoll
Trip Leader: Guy Stevens
Join Constellation Fleet’s MV Orion and the Manta Trust’s Guy Stevens. Dedicated to sightings and interactions with manta rays, focusing on the Southern & Central Atolls with the chance to really understand the magnificent manta.
Manta Trust scientists will be collecting photographic identification images of all mantas encountered throughout the expedition, a task that guests are welcome and encouraged to take part in. Sightings of all the manta rays encountered will be added to the Maldives database and guests will be invited to name any new individuals. Every manta sighting, whether it’s a new manta or a re-sighting of an individual which is already known, is an important piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle, allowing the manta team to better understand the population size, composition, migratory routes, reproductive output, native ranges and areas of critical habitats; all of which is crucial information in developing effective management and conservation strategies for these increasingly vulnerable animals.
About The Manta Trust
Manta rays are among the most charismatic creatures that inhabit our oceans. With the largest brain of all fish their intelligence and curiosity make encounters with these creatures a truly amazing experience. However, despite their popularity with divers and snorkelers many aspects of these creatures’ lives remain a mystery, with only snippets of their life history understood. More worryingly, in recent years, a fishery for these animals has developed with devastating effects on populations of these animals globally.
The Manta Trust was formed in 2011 to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for these animals, their close relatives and their habitat. As charismatic megafauna, manta rays act as the flagship species helping to promote and engage the general public in the wider message of marine ecosystem conservation. Through this top down approach to conservation the manta ray becomes the catalyst for change, engaging and motivating the general public, governments and local communities alike. As a UK Registered Charity, the Trust brings together a number of projects from around the globe, both new and long-standing, including the Republic of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. By conducting long-term, robust studies into manta populations in these locations the Trust aims to build solid foundations upon which Governments, NGOs and conservationists can make informed and effective decisions to ensure the long term survival of these animals and their habitat.
Trip Leader, Niv Froman
Join Niv’s entertaining talks on the highlights of manta lives and cutting edge research, and gain an insight into the life of a manta researcher.
Niv has been passionate about nature for as long as he can remember; his dream has always been living in close contact to the wilderness and to try to understand its fascinating mysteries.
After graduating summa cum laude in Natural Sciences at the University of Milan, Niv completed a Masters degree in Environmental Management focusing primarily on animal behaviour and evolution.
In 2010 he began work as a marine biologist in the Maldives, an experience that brought him closer to marine life and developed his passion for the underwater domain.
The complex and still poorly understood behaviour of manta rays particularly intrigued him from his first encounter. It was the desire to better understand their biology and help the conservation effort that introduced him to the Manta Trust. Since 2013, Niv has worked full time as Project Leader of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, managing and coordinating the conservation and research of these majestic creatures.
Trip Leader, Guy Stevens
In 2005 Guy founded the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) with the aim of helping to conserve the Maldives’ manta population through active research and education. In 2011, Guy formed The Manta Trust along with a collaboration of scientists, conservationists, photographers, filmmakers and communicators. His work with manta rays now takes him to other corners of the world, but the Maldives for him will always be the best place to see and study these amazing animals.
The research that Guy has conducted on the manta rays of the Maldives, especially in the famous Hanifaru Bay, has been featured in dozens of articles including a National Geographic Magazine feature and numerous television documentaries (BBC, ITV, National Geographic, Animal Planet, ABC, etc). Guy’s research at Hanifaru and his work with The Manta Trust contributed to the declaration of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2011. In March 2013 Guy and the rest of the Manta Trust team were key players in a coalition of NGOs which were instrumental in the successful campaign resulting in manta rays being listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), greatly improving the global protection for these vulnerable species.
Guy is now working towards the completion of his PhD focusing on manta rays at the University of York in the United Kingdom. Throughout the expedition, Guy will be providing lectures and informal talks on manta ray and whale shark research and conservation, general marine biology and highlighting the diverse and productive marine ecosystems of the Maldives.
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