With travel looking a sunnier prospect for 2022, specialist operator Dive Worldwide is introducing a raft of new diving trips to the Maldives. From an expert-led trip coinciding with the peak aggregation of manta rays, to a selection of new liveaboards and a beautiful new resort on the island of Innahura, there is something for everyone, from beginners to well-seasoned divers.
Maldives Manta Ray Extravaganza
Join marine conservationist and cameraman Danny Copeland on a 10-night liveaboard journey to the northern atolls of the Maldives. Timed to visit Hanifaru Bay when the reef manta ray aggregation is at its peak, this spectacle makes for a once-in-a-lifetime dive adventure. Guests will have the opportunity to snorkel with these majestic creatures as well as learn about the ecology, behaviour and conservation of the Maldivian reef manta rays.
Dives will also be encouraged to become citizen scientists by uploading images and sighting information to the IDtheManta database, contributing to research and conservation efforts. There is also plenty of time to discover and dive the little-visited Baa, Raa and Lhaviyani atolls where they will encounter plenty of big fish action, green and hawksbill turtles, Napoleon wrasse, and a huge variety of reef fish and critters.
Price: from £2,995pp sharing, including return flights from the UK, transfers, 10 nights’ full-board liveaboard accommodation, 2-3 dives a day, tanks and weights, manta ray snorkelling and expert guide. Max group size: 18. Departs: 3 September 2022.
More details: Maldives Manta Ray Extravaganza
Blue Shark One Liveaboard
Newly offered by Dive Worldwide, Blue Shark One is a traditional Maldivian safari boat which spends most of the year operating Central and Southern Atoll itineraries as well as special tiger shark adventures for experienced divers. At 30 metres in length, the spacious liveaboard boasts nine cabins, all en-suite and air-conditioned, and can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests. The PADI affiliated boat is accompanied by a dive dhoni and divers can discover the biodiversity of marine life found amongst the beautiful reefs, wrecks, cleaning stations, and on drift dives. Expect to see colourful reef fish, schools of larger species such as barracuda and jacks, as well as batfish, turtles, grouper, and squadrons of rays. There is also the chance to witness grey reef, nurse and white-tip sharks plus manta rays and whale shark. Blue Shark One is available for full charter, or join a Southern Maldives Liveaboard departure to travel with a group of likeminded divers to escape the crowds and experience plenty of shark encounters.
Price: from £3,295pp sharing, including return flights from the UK, domestic flights and transfers, 7 nights’ full-board liveaboard accommodation, up to 3 dives a day, tanks, weights and Nitrox.
More details: Blue Shark One Liveaboard
Horizon III Liveaboard
The Horizon III offers exceptional diving cruises to some of the best diving regions in the Maldives with its experienced crew being among the most respected in the Maldives. Accommodating up to 24 divers, the generous 36-metre-long fibreglass vessel features nine standard, two deluxe and one master deluxe cabins – all offering en-suite facilities and air-conditioning. Facilities includes a bar and restaurant area, a jacuzzi and the opportunity to book an ayurvedic massage with a trained therapist. Opt for itineraries focussing on the South Ari & Faafu atolls or head further south in search of thrilling shark encounters with all diving conducted from the spacious dive dhoni. Join a 7-night Best of Maldives trip aboard the Horizon III departing from Male and offering some of the finest sites in the central atolls and the chance of whale shark encounters.
Price: from £2,045pp sharing, including return flights from the UK, transfers, 7 nights’ full-board liveaboard accommodation, up to 17 dives, tanks, weights and Nitrox.
More details: Horizon III Liveaboard
Eco Blue Liveaboard
The Eco Blue liveaboard offers diving adventures for all throughout the year, with marine protection and education at the forefront of all operations. This traditionally built Maldivian liveaboard accommodates 20 guests in ten en-suite cabins (three deluxe and seven standard) and at 32 metres long, she is spacious and comfortable. Environmentally friendly and sustainable measures are in place, with the boat producing its own drinking water and offering biodegradable bathroom amenities. In addition, the crew are often involved in helping local marine partners with research and beach clean-ups – this includes coral breeding projects, manta and whale shark reporting and collecting any plastic waste found. Eco Blue spends most of the year in the Central Atolls, with all diving from the accompanying dhoni. Among the special departures are a Family Tour, Deep South Adventures and Hanifaru Bay trips. Non-divers and snorkellers are welcome on board. Stay on Eco Blue as part of a Maldives Dive Safari which combines the liveaboard with three nights at the Bandos Island Resort.
Price: from £2,795pp sharing, including return flights from the UK, transfers, 7 nights’ full-board liveaboard accommodation, up to 17 dives, tanks, weights and Nitrox and 3 nights’ resort accommodation.
More details: Eco Blue Liveaboard
Innahura Maldives Resort
This laidback resort on the Lhaviyani Atoll boasts 78 bright and spacious beach bungalows, some of which line the white sand beach, while others overlook the magnificent lagoon. This 4-star resort, the only hotel on the island of Innahura, is the perfect spot to unwind and soak up the relaxed pace of Maldivian life. There’s a restaurant, two bars, a freshwater pool, a kids pool, a games room, badminton, beach volleyball, tennis, a spa and water sports centre to entertain all ages. However, the pride of Innahura is its Prodivers Dive Centre, considered one of the Maldives’ finest, with daily boat trips offered to explore the exceptional diving of this quiet Maldivian Atoll. A 5-star Instructor Development Centre (IDC) offers modern teaching facilities and equipment for new and experienced divers alike, plus avid snorkellers. Divers can look forward to an abundance of fish life in the Lhaviyani Atoll as well as some of the most varied dive sites and reef formations in the Maldives. Enjoy the adrenaline-rush of a channel dive promising big fish action, float over underwater islands or coral gardens adorned with life, explore overhangs and caves or enjoy some thrilling drift dives. Marine life highlights include dolphin, several species of shark, eagle and stingrays, Napoleon wrasse and plenty of hawksbill turtles.
Price: from £2,345pp sharing, including return flights from the UK, transfers, 7 nights’ full-board resort accommodation, 10 shore dives, tanks, weights and Nitrox.
More details: Innahura Maldives Resort