The Maldives is an island chain, made up of 2 rows of atolls crossing the equator in the warm Indian Ocean. Spread over 90 000 square kilometres and made up of 1190 islands, it will take a lifetime of exploration to discover each beautiful bay and sun-kissed beach. If you to set out to attempt such a feat, the best means of achieving it would be on a luxury vessel capable of taking you to the most remote of Maldivian islands.
Many visitors to the Maldives hire these watercraft, known as “Liveaboards” in order to take advantage of the best diving spots, but there are far more activities available on them than just diving. While seeing the exotic undersea life would be a highlight of your vacation aboard, you could also choose other water activities such as water or jet skiing, as well as scuba diving, fishing, open sea swimming, surfing or simply sunbathing.
Your choice of liveaboards is broad, from intimate small group carriers with a maximum of 12 guests sharing 6 cabins, to a large 40 metre vessel capable of hosting 26 guests comfortably. Expect modern and spacious accommodation, a relaxing air conditioned saloon and deck space both covered and open to enjoy the view of the endless ocean.
The options for wining and dining aboard have also been designed to bring you memories that will last a lifetime. Expect full board with three meals a day, as well as afternoon snacks. If the weather plays along, you may just be able to have dinner on the beach at an uninhabited island, with the stars twinkling overhead, and the sea lapping at your feet. Most of these liveaboard vacations include equipment and diving options for both day and night. Some have restaurants, highly trained chefs, a concierge service, a bar, library, Jacuzzi and other facilities to make your stay even more enjoyable.
The itinerary varies in both destination and length, so before choosing, inquire about where the liveaboard will take you and how long your stay will be. You may want to choose your cruise from December to May when the water is calmer and warm – between 26 & 29 degrees Celsius. Most cruises are between 7 & 10 days, but longer options can be negotiated. Popular cruising destinations include the Ari Atoll where, in a radius of 40km, there are 105 islets to explore. Marine life is abundant here and your liveaboard will give you access to some of the more remote and less visited waters. Ask if you can visit Maaya Thila or Donkalo Thila where mantra are plentiful and whale sharks common. Another useful destination to know about is Baa Atoll, which includes the less congested atolls of Lhaviyani, Noonu and Raa.
Whatever you choose, the crew will be sure to go out of their way to make your visit a tropical vacation to remember.