Sailing the Maldives’ Central and Northern Atolls
On this nine-day itinerary experience the North and South Ari Atolls on the Four Seasons Explorer, dipping into different turquoise lagoons, diving the archipelago's best dive sites and being marooned (in a good way) on two of the Maldives' most luxurious private islands.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Live the castaway life - albeit that of a very luxurious castaway - at two of the finest island retreats in the Maldives
- Cruise between the North and South Ari Atolls on the Four Seasons Explorer, diving some of the Maldives' most remote dive sites
- Hit the waves with a surf lesson at one of the Maldives best surf breaks
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Your direct overnight flight to the Maldives leaves London in the evening and takes just under ten-and-a-half-hours.
Day 2: Arrive in the Maldives
The flight lands at Male International Airport mid-morning.
Once you have cleared customs you will be met and transferred to the domestic terminal for your 30-minute seaplane flight to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, located in the Baa Atoll. The flight is a lot of fun as you stare down in awe at the turquoise blue seas and strings of atoll islands below.
Days 2 – 4: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
Spend the next three days enjoying all that this beautiful resort has to offer, whether you choose to dive, snorkel, or sit back on the beach.
The house reef is just a few fin kicks off the beach, so it is quite easy to spend countless hours floating around the reefs enjoying the diverse marine life. The resort is also close to Hanifaru Bay, which is one of the best places in the world for seeing whale sharks and large numbers of manta rays (between June and October) as they gather to feed in the plankton-rich waters.
When not in the water, visit the Marine Discovery Centre to enhance your appreciation of the resident marine life, rejuvenate with a relaxing spa treatment and take walks along the sand bar extending out from one end of the island. At low tide you can walk all the way along the sand bar but at high tide you'll have to grab a kayak or paddle board and venture out there.
Day 5: Four Seasons Explorer
Each day you can dive twice in the morning and once in the afternoon, as well as sunrise, night and wreck excursions.
On board you will be given an orientation by a Manta Trust expert before setting sail to Dhonfanu Island, where you will spend the morning snorkelling and diving the pristine reefs before refuelling with a fresh lunch on board.
Spend the afternoon back on the reef or relaxing on board before heading to Dharavandhoo Island to watch sunset. Return back to the boat for supper and watch the night sky.
Day 6: Four Seasons Explorer
Rise and shine for a morning dive on the Dhonfanu reef before sailing to Fares Island to dive the marine rich reef.
Refuel at lunch while watching the changing scenescape as you sail towards Muthaafushi Island, where you will spend the afternoon diving, snorkelling or relaxing on the boat, depending on your mood.
As the sun sets, try your hand at handline fishing off the back of the boat before feasting on a fresh supper.
Day 7: Four Seasons Explorer
Spend the morning diving the Muthaafushi reef for a final time before setting sail towards Kagi Island.
Learn about the fascinating marine life inhabiting these reefs with a fish talk from the resident marine biologist as you sail.
Spend the afternoon diving and snorkelling the Kagi reef or pump up the adrenaline with a range of water sports, from tubing and wakeboarding to water skiing.
Day 8: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
This morning you will set sail for Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, arriving in time for breakfast.
Upon arrival on Kuda Huraa, spend the rest of the day relaxing back into island life, whether taking a walk along the beach, indulging in a spa treatment or dining on delicious cuisine. For the active adventurer, there is a surf school, with year-round swells perfect for beginners (whilst experienced surfers can catch bigger waves between April and October).
Day 9: Home Time
Sadly, today you will start your journey home. This morning you will be met at the resort and privately transferred to the airport. The transfer is a 25-minute speedboat ride. Your 11-hour flight back to the UK leaves late morning, arriving back in London in the early evening.
Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.