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Emperor Orion

Emperor Orion is one of the newest vessel in the Maldives at this time. Not only are the facilities new, but they go beyond all expectations with guaranteed trip departures, 24-hour conciege service coupled with service and facilities that will blow your mind. Indulge in a massage on deck or enjoy the comforts of our 2 fully-stocked bars or bask in the sun while relaxing in the jacuzzi after a sauna.

Catering to a possible 24 guests our 12 guest rooms(1 Junior Suite, 3 upper deck twin or double rooms, 4 twin or double Rooms and 3 double only rooms on the lower deck and 1 double only Executive Suite) they are all furnished with the luxury and ambience of a Maldivian luxury resort including wireless internet. Every room comprises of double/twin beds, a mini-bar, room to room intercom, Plasma Tv where you can view the real time gps information for your journey from the comfort of your bed, electronic combination safe, as well as beautifully tiled bathrooms.

All 11 rooms have en suite toilet and shower facilities, with 2 of the 11 rooms having the added luxury of bathtubs. At the front of the Upper Deck is a magnificent executive suite, which comes with its own personal external deck area complete with private open air Jacuzzi.

We also offer fun onshore activities as we take over our own uninhabited desert island for an afternoon of fun in the sun.

Emperor Orion - prices

Prices are per person per week and in Euros based on 2 persons sharing a cabin.
Exact pricing is available on the schedule here as prices vary dependant on the time year and the length of the trip and sometimes special offers are available.

Executive Suite: €685 per person per week supplement (as shown in the prices above).
Junior Suite: €460 per person per week supplement (as shown in the prices above).
Upper deck: €235 per person per week supplement (as shown in the prices above).

Included in the trip price is

Shared cabin; 7 nights; 6 days diving, 3 meals a day; afternoon snacks; 1 BBQ dinner on local 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 in the trip price is

Flight, diving equipment, alcohol, soft drinks, juices. Other services which are not listed here or above and which might be requested by the guest Anything not in the “included in the price is” segment above.

Terms and conditions:

Individual bookings:
Booking deposit:
30% of booking is required within 7 days of booking - non refundable
70 % is due to 90 days prior to departure - non refundable.
Balance due 90 days before your trip departure date - non-refundable.
Individual booking made less than 90 days before the departured ate are payable in full at the time of booking.
Cancellation at any stage involves forfeit of monies already payed.

Group charter:

Booking deposit:
10% - within 7 days of booking - non-refundable
Second deposit:
20% 180 days prior to departure - non-refundable
Balance due
90 days before departure - non-refundable

| Diving Equipment Rentals (Euro) | Per week | | — | — | | Full Set (regulator, octopus, BCD, wetsuit, mask, fins, dive computer) | E 276 | | Regulator with octopus | E 110 | | Computer | E 83 | | BCD | E 83 | | Wetsuit (shorty 3mm) | E 55 | | Mask | E 28 | | Fins (+ booties as required) | E 28 | | Torch | E 83 |

Emperor Orion - cabins

Emperor Orion has 21 guest rooms; 1 Junior Suite on the lower deck, 3 upper deck twin or double rooms, 4 twin or double Rooms and 3 double only rooms on the lower deck and 1 double only Executive Suite. They are all furnished with the luxury and ambience of a Maldivian luxury resort in mind. Every room comprises of double or twin beds, a mini-bar, room to room intercom, Plasma Tv where you can view the real time gps information for your journey from the comfort of your bed, electronic combination safe, as well as beautifully tiled bathrooms.

All 12 rooms have en suite toilet and shower facilities, with 2 of the 12 rooms having the added luxury of bathtubs (The junior and executive suites). At the front of the Upper Deck is a magnificent executive suite, which comes with its own personal external deck complete with private open air Jacuzzi.

  • Executive suite - upper deck

  • Main Jacuzzi

  • Junior suite - lower deck

  • Junior suite - lower deck

  • Double room - upper and lower deck

  • Double room - upper and lower deck

Lower Deck:

1 Jr Suite, 3 Double and 4 twin or double rooms

Upper Deck:

3 Twin or double Rooms, 1 Executive Suite with private deck area and private open air Jacuzzi.

Emperor Orion - itinerary

Emperor Orion leaves from and returns to Male but doesn’t follow a set itinerary as it’s all about the giving you the best diving possible. As you may know the Maldives has 2 very distinct currents running at different times of the year and this effects which side of the Maldives all the marine life is on at any particular time. Basically, dependant on the currents and the winds, we will select the route and dive sites.

Orion’s divemasters are very experienced in the hunt for whale sharks, Don’t worry that you might miss the other stuff though; Mv Orion visits the best dive sites in the area to see sharks, mantas and all the schools of fishes and stunning reefs that the Maldives are famous for just like any other boat but they will also try really hard, and normally succeed, to find you a whale shark. It is the experience of a lifetime to swim with one of these gentle giants - don’t forget to bring your snorkel as you never know when you may run across one of these giants.

The Best of the Maldives normal route covers dive sites in the areas of North Male - Rasdhoo - North Ari - South Ari - South Male

However they reserve the right to change it dependant on the conditions and prevaling currents.

On the last day before departure there is a free trip around Male to experience a little of the culture and life that makes this oasis in the Indian Ocean so unique.

The Best of the Maldives does just what it says on the tin - you dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a single week of sublime liveaboard diving. This is a dive holiday in the Maldives to remember that hits all the seasonal hot spots of North Male, South Male and Ari Atoll. Dive the many channels, drifts and pinnacles, encountering the manta, whalesharks and reef residents as you go. The exact order of things is left deliberately flexible to ensure that no matter what time of year your holiday to the Maldives is, the breathtaking world underwater is unveiled in all its perfection.

Best of the Maldives itinerary aims to mix up big fish manta and shark dives with scenic reefs dives, hunting out the smallest reef fish, morays and macro life that are so abundant. Cleaning stations allow you to get up close and personal with massive Maldivian manta, and dives at Manta Point, Dhonkalo Thila and Madivaru provide just such opportunities. Maaya Thila is one of the best known dive sites in the Maldives and for a good reason. This pinnacle is about 30m diameter that descends to reveal sharks and fish a plenty. Night diving here is hard to beat and should not be missed. Log yet more pelagic sightings as grey reef sharks patrol the Ari Atoll area. The boat will also take some time out along the route to look for whalesharks you can snorkel with - grab your fins as these gentle giants can move fast! - See the dive sites

Best of Maldives itinerary from Nov to May 7 nights

  • Day 1 Arrive Male
  • Day 2 North Male Check Out Dive / Ari North - Night Dive (3 Dive)
  • Day 3 Ari North Fish Head (3 Dives)
  • Day 4 Ari South - Whale Shark (3 Dives)
  • Day 5 Ari South Thila Dives - Night Dive (3 Dives)
  • Day 6 South Male - Grey Sharks - BBQ Island Party (3 Dives)
  • Day 7 North Male - Manta Point - Male trip - Last night Party (2 Dives)
  • Day 8 Depart Male

Manta Madness - Best August - November - 7 nights

  • Day 1 Arrive Male
  • Day 2 North Male - Banana reef (3 Dives)
  • Day 3 Baa Atoll - Hunifaru Mantas (3 Dives)
  • Day 4 Baa Atoll (3 Dives)
  • Day 5 Ari North Fish Head (3 Dives)
  • Day 6 Ari Middle - Thilas (3 Dives)
  • Day 7 North Male - Manta Point - Male trip (2 Dives)
  • Day 8 Depart Male

Southern Comfort - Best Feb - April - 10 nights

  • Day 1 male Arrival
  • Day 2 Ari Middle - Mantas
  • Day 3 Ari South - Whale Shark
  • Day 4Mulak Atoll -Channels - Sharks Beautiful Deep Caves with colourful soft coral
  • Day 5 Thaa Atoll - Channels - Sharks
  • Day 6 Laamu Atolls - Channels Thilas - Big Schools of Sharks and Reef Fish
  • Day 7 Gaafu Dhaalu
  • Day 8 Gaafu Dhaalu
  • Day 9 Gaafu Alifu
  • Day 10 Gaafu Alifu
  • Day 11 Fly Out fromKaadedhdhoo Domestic Airport

For your flight times for this trip ideally you should aim to arrive around mid-afternoon on the day of departure as due to a same day turn around of the boat the guests from the trip before will be departing in the morning. The rest of the morning the boat will be being cleaned and prepared for your arrival around lunchtime. There are 3 complimentary transfer times from the airport to the boat on embarking day at 11:00am, 16:00pm and 22:30pm.

Guests taking the 11:00am transfer from the airport to the boat have to accept that the boat may not be fully cleaned or ready for boarding until 13:00pm. A light sandwich style snack will be provided for lunch. Any other transfers required on embarking day, other than the 3 stated above, can be arranged at a charge of 5 EUR per person, this charge will be added to your booking invoice.

If you would like to arrive the day before it is possible to stay in the airport hotel which is on the adjacent island (HulhulMale) as the airport (Hulhule island) or stay in another guesthouse on Hulhulemale Island for the night, we don’t recommend booking somewhere in Male as this involves a ferry ride to the next island. If you stay on Hulhulemale island your hotel will then deliver you back to the airport the following day (the day of departure) where you will be met by the boats representatives and taken directly to the ship. Please check with your hotel / guest house if this is a free transfer as some of them charge for this service. Planes do not fly late into the night so you will be able to sleep.

The Meeting Point is near the Airport Help Desk.

Final day

On the final evening before the dis-embarkation day Mv Orion will return to port to provision and refuel for the following charter and offer you a free trip around Male in the afternoon.

Check out and departure On departure : Guests will depart from the boat at 7am and returned to the airport so the boat may be cleaned for the next incoming guests. The crew will transport you back to the Airport arriving at about 7.30. If you are travelling later in the day you may consider a day room pass at a local hotel such as the Hulhule Island Hotel which is the closest to the airport. Normal day passes are for 12 hours and include use of the swimming pool, shower, towels, luggage storage etc., depending on which package you choose.

Emperor Orion - specs

Boat:

  • Length: 130Ft
  • Engine: 600HP Volvo

Berthing

Lower Deck

  • 6 double rooms with Queen size bed - en-suite Shower
  • 1 Junior Suite with Queen Bed and extra day bed and bathtub

Upper Deck

  • 3 Twin Rooms with en-suite Shower
  • 1 Executive suite with bath tub, private external area and private 2 person Jacuzzi outside.
  • All rooms are en-suite, with minibar, digital safe, PlasmaTV and DVD player.

Boat Crew: 9

Massage: 1

Dhoani Crew: 4

Diving Crew: 3 at all times with a mix of British, Maldivian,

Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and Singaporean crew, dependant

on the guests onboard.

Mv Orion’s layout

Lower Deck

Junior Suite, 6 Double Rooms

Main Deck -

  • Hotel Style Reception area with Library,
  • Sauna,
  • Wheelhouse,
  • Kitchen,
  • 2 Toilets,
  • Bar,
  • Souvenir Shop,
  • Buffet and Dining Area.

Upper Deck

  • External Bar, Main Jacuzzi, Spa / Massage Room, Toilet, 3 Twin rooms, Executive Suite with private deck area and private open air Jacuzzi.

Sun deck - Sun loungers and relaxation area

Mv Orion is equipped with satellite phone and internet, so it is in constant communication withthe outside world.

We are also equipped with a complete first aid kit on board,including oxygen. MV Orion’s crew is also trained to administer CPR if necessary.

Due to legal reasons we are unable to give painkillers or motion sickness medicine; therefore you should bring your own if you feel you may need it. We highly recommend a complete physical examination prior to your trip.

There is no smoking allowed inside the yacht or on the dive deck. Smoking is only permitted on the sun deck.

As diving is a very physical sport, we recommend you have a complete physical check-up prior to your trip. Two recompression chambers are available in the Maldives. One is on Bandos Island(fifteen minutes by speedboat from Male) and the other is in Kuramathi. DANspecial insurance may be obtained whilst aboard the vessel, if you do not already have cover, as this is compulsory under Maldivian Law. Vaccinations are not necessary.

Enviroment and conservation:

The Maldives is a heritage marine conservation site. Please help us take care of this delicately balanced eco-system by refraining from dropping litter, batteries, plastic bottles, etc. Please, also, respect any living thing, either on land or beneath the sea. We live and love our environment - let’s keep it safe for our future generations! We do not permit spear fishing, Hawaiian slings or collecting of any materials. Leave only your footprints - take only photos.

Meals

The menu onboard is varied and plentiful, with America, European, Asian and Local fusion feasts being served in our dining area. A buffet variety of fresh fruits and salads, hot entrees, hot soup, and juicesare available during meals. Lunches are buffet-style while dinners are a la carte creations, including seafood, beef or chicken .Vegetarian meals can be prepared upon requests. We appreciate if you inform us on your preference for vegetarian meals to ensure we whip up something tasty. Each evening, enjoy fresh homemade desserts. Please notify our office of your special dietary requests and speak to the Chef after boarding.

Beverages

Tea, Coffee, and Water are complimentary. The bar is open throughout the week; however, please observe our strict policy on alcohol - “Alcohol and diving never mix”. Once you consume any alcohol, your diving ceases for that day.

It should be noted that the importation of alcohol is forbidden in the Maldives. Tourist operators are able to purchase by special government license. Mv Orion has a fully stocked bar with a good, selection of beer, wine, whisky, scotch, rum, gin and vodka.

Spa and massage

For your total relaxation, we offer you an onboard Jacuzzi and a Sauna. We also provide achargeable service by our Masseuse, trained in aromatherapy; Thai Massage, as well as reflexology and relief therapy; pedicure and manicure.

Swedish Massage - Aromatherapy

Healing strokes, skin rolling and thumb and palm pressure techniques combine to calm your mind and eliminate stress - Duration 60 minutes Us$ 50

Thai Massage

The East Royal Thai massage, unrivalled among Thai massages is guaranteed to soothe; enveloping you in a cocoon of calm and serenity - Duration 60 minutes Us$ 50

Oriental Massage - Aromatherapy

Blending the best of the Swedish and the Thai massages creates this blissful and unforgettable experience. Duration 60 minutes Us$ 50

Shiatsu massage

This traditional Japanese massage applies deep strokes with the fingertips. The deep relaxation resulting from the treatment is enhanced by the herbal oils, leaves and seeds applied on the body - Duration 60 minutes Us$ 50

Back, Neck Shoulder Rub

Stress fades away while you immerse yourself in this deep tissue massage for the back, neck and shoulders. Idealdaily treatment for diver - Duration 40 minutes Us$ 50

Reflexology / Foot Massage

Reflexology adjusts your body’s flow of energy, restoring its natural equilibrium. In this massage, pressure points are rubbed smoothly to relax you and relieve pain. The success of this technique is based on the fact that the body’s energy flows through meridians or channels to the hands and feet,where it leaves through reflex points - Duration 25 minutes Us$ 30

Full Body Scrub

A combination of sea salts or blended herbs gently exfoliates your skin, bringing back its natural glow. The ingredients nourish and hydrate your skin, making it look younger and fresher. Scrubbing is a relaxing way of increasing blood circulation and detoxifying your body.The treatment would not be complete without the shower and soothing neck and back massage that follow - Duration 60 minutes Us$ 50

Deluxe Facial

The technique commences with a 30 minute back massage using aromatherapy oils, which is then followed by a 40 minute facial. This results in total relaxation and skin rejuvenation, ensuring a fresh and healthy skin tone and revitalized look - Duration 70 minutes Us$ 50.

MV Orion Shop

There is a mini-shop onboard with assorted t-shirts and miscellaneous items. However, we strongly recommend that guests board MV Orion with all the necessary batteries, toiletries and camera/computeraccessories for the length of the cruise, as we are unable to guarantee enough stock for everyone. MV Orion accepts: Cash in: $, Euro, GBP and Rufiyaa - Traveller’s checks - Visa MasterCard*.

Credit card users: Several credit cards companies charge a conversion fee. If this happens to you, please contact your credit card company.

Tips

Gratuities are encouraged but are voluntary and based upon the quality of service your crew has provided. When settling your bill at the end of the charter, there will be 2 envelopes for gratuities, 1 for Dive Crew and 1 for Boat Crew, which will be divided equally among the respective members.

Communication

MV Orion is equipped with satellite phone and internet, therefore, it is in constant communication with the outside world. In the event of an emergency, family and friends may contact you at the above numbers.

Special occassions

If there is a special occasion such as Birthday or an anniversary coming up during the trip please let us know in advance. We are delighted to arrange a cake, which will be provided complimentary by the Company.

Electricity:

Plugs are the type G and 3 prongs.MV Orion has 220V and 110V to accommodate a variety of guests’ requirements.

Rental dive equipment

NOTE: All divers must carry a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) and dive computer on every dive Should you wish to hire any diving equipment, as above, please ensure you book within 30 days of your charter.

Special Occasions:

If there is a special occasion such as Birthday or a anniversary coming up during the trip please let us know in advance to arrange the cake for the special occasion, which will be provided free of charge.

Arrival and boarding

It is recommended to fly into the Male International Airport (MLE) on the day that your charter starts. The airport is a ten-minute boat ride from the capital, Male. If you arrive on the day of your charter, you will be greeted at the airport and transported to MV Orion on our Diving Dhoni. If you flyin prior to your charter date, you should meet in the airport arrival area at a pre-arranged time on the day of departure. Our Crew will have a sign that says “MV Orion”. Please notify us of your arrival time and / or hotel reservations 30 days prior to travelling. MV Orion anchors off Male about 15 minutes from the airport.

Passports and documentation

Visitors must have a current passport (valid for at least six months on arrival), adequate funds to support themselves and a return airline ticket to travel to the Maldives. Visas are issued upon arrival. It is the travellers’ responsibility to ensure they have the proper documentation to travel to the destination and return to their country. Please check with the appropriate consulate to ensure you have the proper documentation. Always check your passport and visa requirements. We cannot assume responsibility for passengers not having correct documentation.

Maldives diving conditions

The climate is warm year round and determined by the monsoons. The monsoons are mild and not as defined as in neighbouring countries. The northeast monsoon starts in January and goes through the end of April. In January and February the currents can be very strong but the big animal activity can be fantastic. The beginning of January brings clear water to most of the region which can be over 60m (200ft) visibility. Underwater visibility in the Maldives is determined by the tidal movements with incoming and outgoing tides. The monsoon patterns have a significant impact on the diving. From May to October, the southeast monsoon brings more big animal action and is the ideal time to go North to places like Baa Atoll.

The air temperature varies little with an annual average of 30C (90F) and minimum of 26C (80F), while the water temperature ranges from 26C (80F) to 30C (86F). Diving is carried out from our purpose built “diving dhoni” that will not anchor but will follow the divers from the surface. This is the safestand most comfortable way to dive in the Maldives due to the wind and currents. Every diver will have their own Dive Station with their own basket where for storing their diving gear, which will always remain on the diving dhoni. The system leaves the main boat free to handle accommodations, meals and social activities in a quiet atmosphere.

Most guests make up to 3 dives a day, so some sort of protection is needed. A 3mm wetsuit should be comfortable and adequate.

There is a law in the Maldives that the depth limit is 98 feet/ 30 metres. The Divemaster requires proof of certification before the first dive. Proof of your Dive Insurance will also be required, as well as the signing of our Waiver of Indemnity form. Every effort is made to ensure you have a safe trip. However, unforeseen circumstances can and do happen. Therefore, dive accident insurance and travel insurance are compulsory. A reasonably priced DAN Dive Insurance may be purchased onboard. TRIP REPORT AUG12 -

This week we were back to the usual mix of nations from around the world, sometimes it feels like MV Orion is like the UN :) There was a pleasant atmosphere on board and everyone was excited to get in the water. 14thAugust 2012

The diving commenced with Lankan Manta Point, which produced a manta sighting at the end of the dive, which unfortunately not everybody saw. With this in mind and the tide tables at hand Mario decided it was best to try again for the 2nddive. Great idea because we saw two mantas coming in onto the cleaning station, which stayed for about 20 minutes. Needless to say everyone came up happy. The 3rddive of the day was on Nassimo Thila, with a small current from the North West bringing the Thila to life with loads and loads of fish, Giant Trevally, and huge dogtooth tuna chasing the poor fusiliers around. Everybody was amazed by the soft coral formations, and we also saw two turtles, two or three napoleons and the biggest nurse shark in a crevice I have ever seen, the book says three metres is possible, and it was definatly close to that… 15thAugust 2012

On the Wednesday we dived Okobe Thila with a small to medium incoming current, nice blue water, lots of fish, two eagle rays, one white tip, napoleon, turtle, big tunas, lots of trevallies, and the magical soft corals and reef formation. For the 2nd dive we crossed to Rasdhoo and dived Madivaru, where although not fantastic visibility we were treated to a show by a school of eagle rays gliding by, and the usual magnitude of fish life. For the 3rddive we crossed down to Ari Atoll, and the famous Maaya Thila night dive. It was white tips galore, grey reef sharks, stingrays, and snappers all having dinner with the aid of our torch lights. As always it was pretty lively on the dhoni after the dive, with all the excited divers comparing photos and videos… 16thAugust 2012

Thursday first dive at Hafsa Thila, 4 grey reef sharks in the deeper section, also white tip sharks, the usual show of hunting tuna and trevallies, curious batfish, baby whitetips on the topreef, one grey reef on the edge of the pinnacle at end of the dive. Next dive at Fish Head, white tip, lots of fusiliers on top, lots of trevallies, saw grey reef getting dental work done on the deep pinnacle. Giant moray eel with banded boxer shrimp cleaning it, turtle, nice flatworm. Mario saw two guitar sharks on the bottom. Third dive due to weather at Dehgaa Thila, nice dive, with lots of curious batfish, and pretty little nudibranch. 17thAugust 2012

Friday morning stunning dive at Reethi Thila, blue water, very small current, about 8 sightings of grey reef sharks, big tunas, turtle on stunning top reef, some people saw a couple of mobula mantas (devil rays) in the distance.

From here we moved straight to Maamagilli snorkelling with a beautiful whaleshark, and then diving and dropping straight on a waiting whale shark. The best bit was that there were no other boats around. The third dive of the day was at Machafushi Wreck, where we saw a cute little black leaf fish, 2 stone fish, nudibranch, and then cruised off the wreck onto the beautiful shallow reef. 18thAugust 2012

Saturday’s first dive was at Kuda Rah Thila with small to medium incoming current, again we had beautiful blue water, lots of blue line snapper and humpback snapper, a few mantis shrimps, a dancing flatworm, a large friendly napoleon, and a small school of chevron barracudas. After the dive Orion crossed over to South Male Atoll, where we dived Guraidhoo Corner with a strong incoming current. We hooked into the corner and it was a treat to see 4 eagle rays hovering above us, countless grey reef sharks, white tips, a napoleon, schooling tunas, all coming together to create very good action. 19thAugust 2012

Sunday mornings first dive was at Kandooma Thila where we were entertained by 4 eagle rays in formation staying around us until we left for the cleaning station. Enrico and Mario’s groups saw about 15 ( Enrico ) to 25 ( Mario) grey reef sharks. Great dive! And to finish a fitting finale for the trip was a great dive at Lankan Finolhu with two Mantas hovering over the cleaning station dancing for us for most of the dive. Big smiles everywhere, happy ending… MV Orion Team

Alex, Ksenia, Enrico, Mario, Heiko

Best of the Maldives itinerary:

The Best of the Maldives does just what it says on the tin - you dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a single week of sublime liveaboard diving. This is a dive holiday in the Maldives to remember that hits all the seasonal hot spots of North Male, South Male and Ari Atoll. Dive the many channels, drifts and pinnacles, encountering the manta, whalesharks and reef residents as you go. The exact order of things is left deliberately flexible to ensure that no matter what time of year your holiday to the Maldives is, the breathtaking world underwater is unveiled in all its perfection.

Emperor Orion - diving

The Maldives offer the best that diving and snorkelling has to offer, Manta rays are guaranteed on pretty much every trip and there are a myriad of sites where you can see these beautiful creatures of the sea.
All of our liveaboards will do the best to give you the best experience possible dependant on the current conditions on the date of your trip and our boats are liveaboards for people enthusiastic or serious about their diving but also welcome snorkellers and non-divers who will have their own separate itinerary.
One of the highlights of any Maldives safari is the possibility to see one of the gentle giants of the ocean. Whale sharks are unusually common in the Maldives and are seen nearly year round in some areas and all our liveaboards will do their utmost to give you this chance encounter of a lifetime.
Diving from a liveaboard in the Maldives is without doubt one of the cheapest and easier ways to experience the best that the Maldives has to offer and these are, in our opinion, the best liveaboards in the area in terms of value for money, comfort and quality of service.

Maldives dive sites

Ari Atoll - Some of the popular dive sites

Kudarah Thila

Type of dive: Reef dive
Description: One of the best dive sites for soft coral and fish life.
The marine life here is so abundant, that the divers have named it ‘fish soup’. The thila is in a circular shape and can be covered in a single dive at different depths, if the current is not very strong.

Maaysa Thila

Type of dive: Reef dive / Night dive
Description: The thila is about 80mters in diameter.

The whole thila can be done at different depths in a single dive. There are manycaves and overhangs around the thila. The large rocks on the north eastern side have large black coral trees growing on them. The site is famous for the sharks and a great barracuda which reside here. The site can be dived at any time of the day, each with different activity going on the reef. The best chance to get close to these creatures is at night time, when they are hunting. You will see sharks, barracudas, rays and eels trying to grab a morsel.

Bathala Maaga Kanthila

Type of dive: Drift dive
Description: The northern tip of Magaa reef extends into Bathalaa Kandu and is home to a number of grey reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks. They can be seen patrolling along the reef looking for food.

Maalhos Thila (Blue Curves)

Type of dive: Drift dive / Reef dive
Description: The thila is known for the abundance of soft coral growth on the thila, particularly the blue/violet colored variety that grows on the ceiling of the caves and overhangs, thus the name ‘blue caves’. In addition a large variety of fish life can be observed here.

Rasdhoo Madivaru

Type of dive: Drift dive / Channel dive
Description: The reef on the southern side of Rasdhoo drops vertically to the ocean depths. The site is home to a school of Scalloped Hammerhead sharks (sphyrna lewini). In the early hours of the morning they rise from the deep waters off the atoll into the shallower depths, accessible to divers.

South Male Atoll - some of the more popular dive sites

Guraidhoo Kandu South

Type of dive: Drift dive / channel dive
Description: Since the eastern side of the channel is Open Ocean, large predatory fish can regularly be spotted here. This site is famous for sightings of sharks, schools of eagle rays and the occasional Sail fish and Hammerheads. The best condition to do the dive is when the current is flowing into the Atoll. The dive begins on the outer reef following the current into the atoll. Most of the pelagic species can be observed on the eastern side, where the reef drops off into the deep ocean. At the end of the dive in the channel, along the reef you can find overhangs with plenty of soft coral growth and small fish.

Kandooma Thila

Type of dive: Drift dive / reef dive
Description: Located in a channel, the reef is subject to strong currents at times. The ocean currents carry lot of nutrients to the reef, supporting an abundance of sea life. The site is well renowned for the soft coral growth, turtles, diverse fish life and invertebrates found on the reef. At the reef slope you may find sharks and eagle rays.

Embudu Kandu (Express)

Type of dive: Drift dive / channel dive.
Description: Similar to Guraidhoo Kandu, but more sharks are likely to be spotted here. The currents can be very strong at times. The stronger the current however the better chance of seeing sharks. Under the guidance of an experienced dive guide, the dive can be managed done easily.

Best of the Maldives itinerary aims to mix up big fish manta and shark dives with scenic reefs dives, hunting out the smallest reef fish, morays and macro life that are so abundant. Cleaning stations allow you to get up close and personal with massive Maldivian manta, and dives at Manta Point, Dhonkalo Thila and Madivaru provide just such opportunities. Maaya Thila is one of the best known dive sites in the Maldives and for a good reason. This pinnacle is about 30m diameter that descends to reveal sharks and fish a plenty. Night diving here is hard to beat and should not be missed. Log yet more pelagic sightings as grey reef sharks patrol the Ari Atoll area. The boat will also take some time out along the route to look for whalesharks you can snorkel with - grab your fins as these gentle giants can move fast!

Emperor Orion - schedule

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