Archive for the ‘Maldives News’ Category

Emperor Orion trip report | 24 September – 2 October

October 10th, 2016 Comments off

0516 Orion collage 300x300 Emperor Orion trip report | 24 September   2 October“Our attention was soon taken away … as a perfect squadron of 10 EAGLE RAYS passed over our heads.”

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!

0816 manta from virgo 300x199 Emperor Orion trip report | 24 September   2 OctoberFESDU WRECK
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!

Find out more about Emperor Orion here.

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

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.

Categories: Maldives News, Photos Tags:

SAVE 20% on Stingray Fantastic value and delightful diving

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.

What to expect from a liveaboard holiday? We give you the lowdown – and the highlights!

June 8th, 2016 Comments off

0715 Orion bow and island 300x200 What to expect from a liveaboard holiday? We give you the lowdown   and the highlights!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?

Click here for an overview of what a dive safari holiday has to offer.

For more information or if you have any questions, do please talk to us directly or email us.

STOP PRESS! Last minute special saving on Adora

April 12th, 2016 Comments off

Save 25%  on Liveaboard Adora

Best of Maldives
24 April – 01 May
25% off in a standard cabin

Adora2 580x399 300x206 STOP PRESS! Last minute special saving on AdoraUsual price 2254 USD
Saver price 1690 USD

Email our friendly, knowledgeable team today

Categories: Last Minute, Liveaboards, Maldives News Tags:

Experience Maldives Manta Rays

March 19th, 2015 Comments off

Dive the Maldives. Experience mantas like never before and take part
in key conservation research

Hanifaru Manta 27 300x199 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

Manta feeding frenzy in Maldives

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.

MV Orion Port Side 300x199 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

Orion on the way to a new diving cruise in Baa, Rhasdhoo and Ari Atoll

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.

Niv Photo 2013 300x320 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

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.

Guy Stevens portrait 300x443 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

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.

Join the Maldives Dive Travel Affiliate Program

April 12th, 2010 Comments off

Become an Affiliate Today and Start Earning Great Commissions!

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.

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.

mdt 468 x60 02 Join the Maldives Dive Travel Affiliate Program

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.

mdt 300x250 02 Join the Maldives Dive Travel Affiliate Program

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.

tnmdt lightbox 02 Join the Maldives Dive Travel Affiliate Program

Theia Liveaboard Cruise Update

March 17th, 2010 Comments off

Theia Liveaboard Cruise Update

Theia set sail again on Monday, March 15 for another stunning cruise of the Maldives.  Weather forecasts for the week were good with an average temperature of 31C, but a few thunderstorms and light winds expected.

To book a space on a Theia dive cruise, contact Maldives Dive Travel today!

Theia 300x225 Theia Liveaboard Cruise Update

Theia Liveaboard Cruising the Maldives

Theia Diving

Divers will enjoy two or three dives each day.  So far, they have enjoyed some awesome dives, including a dive at Boduhithi Thila in the North Male Atoll, where they saw a variety of sharks and some stingrays.

Maldives Underwater Grey Reef Shark1 300x225 Theia Liveaboard Cruise Update

Grey Reef Shark seen at Rasdhoo Madivaru

The next dive was at Rasdhoo Madivaru in the Rasdhoo Atoll, where they saw three manta rays, white tip, black tip and grey reef sharks and enjoyed excellent visibility.  Several dives were held at the Rasdhoo Madivaru since it is such a spectacular dive site, and during a morning dive at the site, the group was lucky enough to see a group of mobular rays.

Theia Liveaboard Manta Ray 300x224 Theia Liveaboard Cruise Update

Theia Liveaboard Manta Ray

After the Rasdhoo Madivaru, Theia moved on to Bathala Maaga Kan Thila where divers were treated to an amazing grey reef shark show!

Theia Liveaboard

Theia is definitely one of the most spectacular boats in the Maldives today.  These photos show some of her characteristics and amenities.

Sunset from Theias Deck 300x200 Theia Liveaboard Cruise Update

Sunset from Theia's Deck

Theia, like all liveaboards in the Maldives, is accompanied by an additional dive boat, known as a dive dhoni, from where all the dives are carried out.  All equipment is stored on this boat, making the guest experience on board even more comfortable since there is no need to carry dive gear from the main ship on to a secondary boat.  The dive dhoni also carries first aid and emergency equipment in case something should go wrong during the dive.  The compressor is also kept on the dhoni, so there is never any noise from the compressor on the main boat.

Theias Additional Dive Boat 200x300 Theia Liveaboard Cruise Update

Theia's Additional Dive Boat

Theia Cruise Special Offers

Theia is currently running a special introductory price of only $192 per person per night, which includes all dives and meals.  Flights to the Maldives are not included and neither is scuba gear, although this can be rented (just let the boat know in advance).  There are regular cruise departures on Theia and they usually last for 7 – 10 nights.  There are several cruises this year that are scheduled to visit renowned Hanifaru Bay, home to the manta ray “feeding frenzy”.  These cruises are scheduled for: July 19 – 26, August 2 – 9, August 9 -16, August 23 – 30 and September 6 – 13.

To book a space on a Theia dive cruise, contact Maldives Dive Travel today!

5 Year Record for Tourist Arrivals in January

February 25th, 2010 Comments off

Despite the recent economic crisis, the Maldives tourist industry is going strong!

The Maldives President’s Office has reported that 67,478 tourists arrived in the Maldives during January 2010, making it the country’s strongest January in five years.

***Check out Maldives Dive Travel‘s BEST PRICE GUARANTEE for unforgettable liveaboard diving holidays!***

maldives whale shark 5 Year Record for Tourist Arrivals in January

Moosa Zameer, Head of Planning and Statistics for the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, said that January 2o1o was “the best [January] we have ever had.”

Tourists Arrive in the Maldives on Cruise Ships

Sim Mohamed from the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), added that many of these tourists are “surface arrivals,” such as passengers on a cruise ship who arrive for a day or two.

Sim Mohamed noted that a number of services have begun bringing tourists regularly from India and Sri Lanka.

maldives atoll white sandy beach crystal blue water 5 Year Record for Tourist Arrivals in January

Under normal circumstances, most tourists coming to the Maldives are at “the high end of the market – those who have the disposable income to go wherever they want to go,” he says.

Airlines and Resorts Have Cut Rates

However, in light of the recent economic crisis, many resorts and airlines have reduced their rates significantly, he explained, with some resorts cutting their rates up to 30-50 percent. More airlines opening their routes to the Maldives also means more competitive air fares. Get more information about flights to the Maldives here, like flights from Germany to the Maldives!

Because resorts are operating at lower rates, “there isn’t a significant rise in financial activity in Malé or even in other islands,” Sim said, but “it’s still a win for the government since they get bed rent.”

maldives turtle 5 Year Record for Tourist Arrivals in January

Zameer believes that the rise in tourist arrivals is not only accredited to cheaper rates at resorts, but to all the “work in promotions carried out after the [economic] crisis at the end of 2008.” He believes both the private sector and the ministry have put a lot of work into promoting the Maldives as a tourist destination, even for those who are more budget conscious.

Shift in the Tourism Market in the Maldives

Traditionally, the key markets for tourism in Maldives have been the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, China and Switzerland, according to MATI. But this trend has already seen a change this year.

Zameer says there has been a “shift in the market,” as European seasonal tourist numbers are dropping and the Chinese and Indian markets are emerging. Kuwaitis have also helped the market “enormously,” he says.

Zameer believes people are starting to realise this is the right time to travel, and they can “go to the destination they have been waiting to go to.”

Sim agrees “there has been a big rise in tourists coming from India. There is also a very sharp rise in Chinese arrivals after Chinese New Year, and there will be another one towards Easter, mostly Italians.”

He added that MATI is “feeling good vibes” from the market, especially from Germany and the UK.

***Check out Maldives Dive Travel‘s BEST PRICE GUARANTEE for unforgettable liveaboard diving holidays!***

maldives palm tree 5 Year Record for Tourist Arrivals in January

Theia Liveaboard takes Maiden Cruise

January 18th, 2010 Comments off

Long-Awaited Theia Sets Sail on Maiden Cruise

Luxury liveaboard safari ship, Theia, made her maiden voyage on January 11.  The long-awaited super cruiser is a beautiful ship reminiscent of private yachts often seen cruising the Mediterranean or Caribbean.

Theia side view Theia Liveaboard takes Maiden Cruise

Theia Liveaboard

Theia Liveaboard Features

Theia has 8 cabins on board, of which 2 are luxurious ocean view suites located on the upper deck and 6 are cabins on the lower deck.  In total there is accommodation for 18 people.  All rooms have air-conditioning, hot water, en-suite bathrooms and exterior windows.  They are all stylishly decorated with dark woods and fresh green and white colours.  Internet access is available on board, as well as a TV and Hi-Fi system in the lounge area.

theia bedroom Theia Liveaboard takes Maiden Cruise

Theia Guest Room

Theia Diving Holidays

The first diving holidays on Theia are scheduled to begin in February 2010.  You can reserve your space here.  All diving holidays on Theia are different, but they all promise to show guests the most pristine, untouched areas of the Maldives, finest scuba diving sites and most spectacular scenery.

Maldives Underwater Photos G.Nowakl Whale Shark Theia Liveaboard takes Maiden Cruise

Whale Sharks are Often Spotted in the Maldives

Food and Activities on Theia

All diving trips on Theia include three meals a day, snacks and all dives (2 or 3 dives each day).  Meals are prepared by well-trained chefs and highlight many of the local, fresh ingredients you can find in the Maldives, including a lot of fresh fish and tropical fruits.  The kitchen creates many great meals, combining local flavours with western favourites.  There is a full bar on the ship, but alcoholic drinks are charged additionally at the end of the trip.

For more information about Theia, and to reserve your space on this amazing liveaboard, click here.