Maldives Liveaboard diving holidays offer a great way to enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular dive sites and view some of the Maldives spectacular marine life.
A Maldives Liveaboard holiday enable you to reach more remote dive sites, perhaps not accessible to day boats from the Maldives island resorts. It gives you access to the biggest variety of dive sites that the numerous atolls offer and allows your liveaboard captain to select the best dives for you.
Great for the single traveler, couples or groups of dive buddies, a Maldives liveaboard holiday is a fantastic way to meet like-minded divers and add a social aspect to the magnificent activities of your diving day, with shared dining facilities and a similar passion for diving amongst your fellow divers; you’ll clearly have plenty to talk about!
MALDIVES LIVEABOARD ITINERARIES
In a single Maldives Liveaboard safari you may take in primes dive sites in two or three of the Maldives' atolls. Safaris may be 7 night, 10 night, 12 night or even 14 night, but even an extended 14 night safari could not cover the entire region.
Itineraries in the Maldives are never fixed. The focus is to safely reach the best diving & dive sites available at any given time. The route evolves dependent on the season, weather conditions and where the best diving has been in previous days.
Classic Central Atolls: a 7 day itinerary sailing the Maldives’ Central Atolls including some, but not all, of the following; North and South Male Atolls, Felidhu Atoll, Rasdhoo and Ari Atolls.
Do keep in mind that even if a particular itinerary is confirmed travel in the Maldives can involve some long sea passages crossing open channels. Attempting these will be at the discretion of the skipper who will take into account the safety of passengers, crew & vessel, as well as diving enjoyment.
MALDIVES DIVE SITES
The Maldives liveaboards we feature here at Planet Dive visit the best dive sites of the islands, and often the exclusive hot-spots that aren't accessible by island resort. The boats visit the top dive sites of Male Atoll, Ari Atoll, Rasdhoo, Baa Atoll, Raa Atoll, and the outer atolls.
Some of our favourite scuba diving sites, and recommended by customer reviews include: Lankanfinolhu, Finger Point, Kuda Giri, Maaya Thila, Fish Head, and Secret Manta Spot.
Special shark safaris, whale shark safaris, and manta safaris are available throughout the year on a range of different boats - with many new safaris to uncharted reefs becoming available for advanced divers later in the year.
Diving in the Maldives is characterized by three main types of dive sites:
Maldives Channel Dives: The currents that flow between atolls attract sharks, large schools of fish and manta rays. These dives can either be exhilarating drift dives, or you can hook into the reef at the mouth of the channel - which allows you to 'hang out' with the larger Pelagics in the current.
Maldives Thila Dives: The local Dhivehi word for coral bommie is 'thila'. A thila is a large isolated reef, similar to the shape of a mushroom that rises from the ocean floor inside the atoll. Thila dives can be treated almost as round wall dives, starting at the sandy bottom before slowly corkscrewing around the thila until you reach the top for your safety stop. Thilas are microcosms that often contain a myriad of marine life living in various environments - from the sandy ocean floor and the holes of the thila's wall to the sunny pinnacle at the top of the reef.
Maldives Outer Reef Dives: The outer reefs of the atolls are usually steep drop-offs with caves and overhangs, housing many types of fish seeking protection. Dives along the outer reef of the atolls give divers the opportunity to enjoy a drift dive along a wall - whilst keeping an eye out to the blue for Pelagics passing by, such as sharks, eagle rays, manta rays and whale sharks. The vastly experienced and knowledgeable dive guides will point out the swim-throughs that lead to the inner atolls, amongst many other priceless tips that will make all the difference on your Maldives liveaboard diving holiday.
F. A. Q.
Q: I am a newly certified diver; will I be restricted on a liveaboard?
A: Diving in the Maldives is suitable for certified divers of any level, but please be aware that you must stay within your recreational limitis. Dive guides may ask less experienced divers to sit out on some dives with extremely strong currents, but this is quite rare.
Q: Is a liveaboard suitable for a non-diver?
A: Although non-divers are always welcome to join liveaboards, there is rarely a price discount. Non divers can however still enjoy the luxury of the boat, the company of other guests and can of course visit island resorts and deserted sandbars with the others on surface intervals. When conditions permit, non-divers will be taken out by dhoni to snorkel shallow reefs under the supervision of the boat crew.
Q: I am a technical diver; do the boats have facilities for me?
A: Most liveaboards do not have facilities for technical divers, and ask all divers to stay within their recreational limits. Some boats do run special tech-dive itineraries in the Maldives, so please enquire with us if you are interested.
Q: What time must my flight arrive by?
A: In order to ensure you do not miss your boat and to minimize the time taken, you must wait for the transfer to your liveaboard. We can coordinate your flights with the liveaboards for you, which you will find very useful with the differing arrival / departure times for the varying boats – so please call us for the latest information.
Q: When I arrive at Male, where will I go?
A: Once you've landed, you will be met by the crew of your boat who will be waiting at the arrivals hall in Male airport - holding a sign with the boat’s name on it. All of this will be explained and provided upon making the booking, along with the relevant local telephone numbers and other vital instructions.
Q: Can I bring alcohol with me / consume alcohol in the Maldives?
A: The Maldives is a Muslim country and alcohol is prohibited. Any alcoholic beverages will be removed from your baggage upon arrival, including duty free liquor that was purchased in the airport or on the plane. Strict penalties apply. However, alcoholic beverages are available for purchase on board each liveaboard after you have completed your diving for the day.
Q: Will I be able to get off the boat?
A: Most liveaboards will take you by dhoni from time to time to sandbars and island resorts on your surface intervals, to go snorkelling or to sunbathe on the beach. Weather permitting; some liveaboards will take you to an island resort for a beach barbecue on your second to last night on board. You may also have the opportunity to visit the capital city of Male on your last night in the Maldives.
Q: What currency do I use in the Maldives?
A: The official currency of the Maldives is the Rufiyaa. You can use the ATM at the airport or in the capital city of Male, which may work out cheaper than the exchange rates here in the UK. You won’t need to use any cash on board the liveaboard as you can pay for all of your onboard expenses (equipment, drinks, bed tax, etc.) by credit card. Please bring some cash with you (in any currency) to tip the crew and dive guides.
Q: Do I have to pay any extras in resort?
A: Some boats will collect the Maldivian bed tax (roughly $8 per person per night) and/or government service tax (6%) locally. You will be advised at the time of booking if this is or is not included in the price you have already paid.
MALDIVES TOP TIPS
Most Maldives liveaboards require divers to have:
- Surface marker buoy (SMB)
- Dive computer
- Certification card
- Dive insurance
- Passport with at least 6 month validity
We recommend that you reserve any scuba diving equipment that you would like to rent in advance by notifying us at least seven days before your departure.
You can combine your Maldives liveaboard with a stay on a tropical island resort with consummate ease. We can add a day or more on either side of nearly all diving liveaboards to give you the ultimate Maldives experience. This works well if you would like to coordinate your holiday with the direct flights that operate from London.
Bring a t-shirt, shorts/swimsuit, and a pair of flip flops with you in your hand luggage. You will more than likely want to change into more comfortable clothing for the warm Indian Ocean climate. There may be some periods of waiting around to be transferred to your liveaboard at the arrivals hall at Male airport – which is unfortunately not air conditioned.