14/9 to 21/9/2022
We will dive four atolls in the dive heaven of the Maldives. Healthy reefs full of fish, large and small await us on this dive expedition. But the major draw will be the sheer abundance of Manta Rays and Sharks as well as good chances to see Whalesharks.
In addition we have something very special planned - a three day extension to the busiest Manta site in the world - Hanifaru bay.
The coconut palm and the yellow-fin tuna, symbols of the Maldives, say a great deal about this nation of more than a thousand islands. Grouped into 26 low atolls in the Indian Ocean, less than 300 of the islands are inhabited. The Maldives is flat with white sandy beaches and excellent reefs with an abundance of marine life. Scuba diving is done at a leisurely drift pace as the Indian Monsoon Current sweeps along the island chains, moving nutrients and divers along. This nutrient-rich water flows up along the walls, feeding the sponges and soft corals clinging to the rock sides. Inside the atoll lagoons, rock pinnacles – thila – vault up from the bottom to scratch the water’s surface. In the channels, there are swim-throughs, caverns and overhangs festooned with colorful sponges, invertebrates and gorgonians to explore.
At well-known cleaning stations, wrasse and shrimp service manta rays, and other large marine species. With a welcoming culture and some of the finest liveaboard dive boats and luxury resorts on the globe, a dive holiday in the Maldives makes for an unforgettable experience.
Tour - Best of Central Atolls
The diving in the blue water paradise is absolutely sublime. Shark and manta ray sightings are guaranteed as well as myriads of reef fish, morays, critters and the king of them all - the whaleshark. On this itinerary we will be diving a lot with Manta rays and reef sharks, including various cleaning stations. We will even night dive with Manta Rays and Nurse Sharks, on two special night dives. We will also try to spend a day in a whaleshark hot spot, so hopefully will be seeing one of those too. This itinerary is subject to change, depending on weather.
Dive sites: North and South Male Atolls - Felidhu Atoll - Rasdhoo Atoll - Ari Atoll
Duration: 7 Nights
Number of dives: Up to 3 dives a day
Check out the video from our last joint trip to the Maldives.
The trip will be hosted by pro-photographer Simon Lorenz and GirlsThatScuba founder Sarah Richard. Simon will give several presentations on sharks and manta rays and teach underwater photography techniques for beginners as well as advanced photographers. Sarah will share her knowledge and insight on social media. It is also possible to get your Nitrox certification on this trip.
The Blue Voyager is one of the prestige boats in the Blue o Two fleet. The luxury steel vessel allows us to travel in style from one atoll to the other. Many lounge areas inside and outside and a jacuzzi with a lot of space make for a comfortable journey. International cuisine with every meal, and of course the option to adjust to your dietary requirements.
The trip is from 14th September to 21st September. You can arrive by plane on the 14th and leave on the 21th, or, to be more safe arrive on the 13th and spend the night in Male. We will reserve a hotel for everyone arriving early.
You must be certified to dive to a depth of 30 meters as well as be comfortable with diving in medium to strong currents. Negative entries and drift dives are to be expected. Advanced Open Water certification should preferably be done before this trip, but can be conducted on site as well.
As always we are operating the trip via the Hong Kong based travel agent Southern Cross.
Extension - hanifaru
For those keen on more Manta Ray interactions we will offer an extension to the busiest Manta site in the World - Hanifaru Bay!
In the UNESCO world heritgage site of Hanifaru Bay a natural phenomenon brings in Manta Rays in the hundreds. With the right tides water gets funneled through the bay and concentrates plankton rich water - a rich bonanza for filter feeders like Manta Ray and Whalesharks. The best months for this are the late summer months all the way to November, so our trip is perfect.
After our cruise aboard Blue Voyager we will hop onto an exiting island hopper flight to Dharavandhoo, where our base will be for the coming days. Staying in the beautiful Aveyla resort we will do several days of snorkeling in the lagoon and scuba diving the area - because guess what - when the Mantas are not feeding on the plankton soup they still remain in the area for cleaning and socializing.
Your INSIDER ON THIS TRIP
Simon is a scuba instructor and award-winning photographer, tech divers and freediver who speaks 6 languages and has dived on 6 continents. The founder of Insider Divers aims to create group trip experiences with that extra special something. He aims to find unusual experiences, unusual sites and meet and greets with local experts.
A scuba instructor and reknown photo coach he offers additional training during the trips to those interested. On all Insider Divers trips he will host talks, video screenings and workshops to enhance your understanding of the animals that we encounter.