Liveaboard Island Hopping in the Maldives
Ideal for divers and non-divers alike, this trip sees you sail around the Maldives' turquoise atolls on the Scubaspa floating resort. Dive in marine-rich waters with manta rays, whale sharks and reef sharks and relax in the largest floating spa in the Maldives.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Dive with manta rays at different dive sites across the atolls
- Snorkel with whale sharks on two whale shark research expeditions
- Feast on fresh seafood with sunset barbecues on deserted beaches
- De-stress from everyday life with a daily spa treatment - with over 20 different treatments to choose from
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Leave London en route to the Maldives. There are direct flights at certain times of year, otherwise connecting flights going via the Middle East or Sri Lanka. All the flights are overnight with the direct flights just over ten hours in duration and the indirect flights (with bags checked through to Malé) more like 12 to 14 hours.
Day 2: Arrive in the Maldives and Embark
Your international flight lands in Malé International Airport. Once you have cleared customs, you will be met by a representative from Scubaspa and transferred to the liveaboard Scubaspa Yang. The journey should take around 30 minutes.
Once you have checked in to your cabin, dig in to the delicious lunch buffet and relax on deck. In the afternoon you can check out the spa, which happens to be the biggest floating spa in the Maldives - spanning two decks with six treatment rooms and more than 20 treatments on offer.
Enjoy a welcome dinner at the Alfresco Restaurant as you sail towards Coco Palm Bodu Hithi Resort area in North Male Atoll.
Day 3: Boduhithi Thila
Rise and shine with a morning dive at Boduhithi Thila to refresh your diving skills. Alternatively, partake in sunrise yoga at the pavilion before refuelling with a breakfast of fresh fruit.
The second dive of the day will take place at Boduhithi Manta Point, descending to a maximum depth of 25 metres to spot manta rays (between January and May), turtles, Napoleon wrasse and reef sharks. Settle into lunch as you sail towards Rasdhoo Atoll for the third dive of the day at Rasdhoo Madivaru Channel where you will encounter leaf fish, dogtooth tunas, humphead wrasses and a plethora of other fascinating marine life.
Spend the afternoon back in the water snorkelling, trying your hand at various watersports and exploring the white beaches at Madivaru Finolhu. Or stay on board and indulge in a spa treatment before cocktails on the sun deck at sunset.
Day 4: Kuramathi Kandu
Look out for hammerhead sharks on this morning's dive at Kuramathi Kandu, spending surface intervals marooned on a picnic island.
The second dive of the day is at Rasdhoo Madivaru before setting sail towards North Ari Atoll. Either sunbathe on deck or relax with a spa treatment for the journey. Continue relaxing with sunset salutation yoga before dipping back into the ocean for a night dive at Maaya Thila.
Tonight, feast on a tantalising 'surf and turf' dinner under the stars as you sail towards Alikoirah area.
Day 5: North Ari Atoll
This morning's dive is at Fish Head, famous for the sheer quantity of fish that live here, including schools of big snappers, tuna and grey reef sharks.
If you'd rather not get wet, don your lycra for some beach yoga classes at Meerufenfushi Island before sailing towards the Constance Moofushi Resort area to dive at Moofushi Manta Point, where you'll see manta rays gather to be cleaned by tiny cleaner fish.
Spend the rest of the morning at leisure as the boat sails towards Innafushi Island before descending into your third dive at Bulhalhohi Caves to see soft and fan corals amongst schools of batfish and groupers.
This evening, enjoy your supper with the sand beneath your toes as you head to the beach for a moonlight barbecue. This evening the boat sails towards local capital Maamigili in South Ari Atoll.
Day 6: Dhigurah Lagoon
Whale sharks are the order of the day today as you embark on two whale shark research trips in the morning, snorkelling and diving with these gentle giants.
After refuelling on a sunshine buffet lunch, work out your knots in the spa as you sail towards Dhigurah Lagoon. In the afternoon, opt to visit a local island, snorkel the local reefs or simply relax on deck.
This evening head to the Al Fresco Restaurant for a 'Mexican Fiesta' dinner before listening to a fascinating lecture by the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme on the deck.
Day 7: Vaavu Atoll
This morning's dive sees you exploring Kudhima Wreck, descending to a maximum depth of 30 metres to spot its fish residents, including boxfish, pufferfish and lionfish. Next up, Broken Rock: a unique canyon splitting the reef in two, teeming with scorpionfish, napoleon wrasse, turtles, moray eels… the list goes on.
As the boat sails towards Alimatha in Vaavu Atoll dine on a barbecue lunch on deck before enjoying the afternoon at leisure, either on board or at a local sandbank. This evening, descend to Alimatha House Reef for your second night dive to see nurse sharks.
Dine on Italian fare before watching a movie under the stars in the sun deck.
Day 8: South Male Atoll
This morning, dive at Miyaru Kandu in search of sharks before sailing towards to South Male Atoll. The second dive of the day occurs at Kandooma Thila, where inhabitants include green turtles, whitetip and grey reef sharks, eagle rays and schools of fish.
Spend surface intervals snorkelling at Sexy Beach and visiting the local island Maafushi. The third dive of the day occurs at Kuda Giri wreck, which has a maximum depth of 30 metres to spot hidden frogfish and leaf fish.
This evening bid farewell with an Asian feast under the stars as the boat moves towards Kurumba near Male.
Day 9: Hometime
Today, after breakfast, it's sadly time to depart for your flight home. When you disembark you will be transferred back to Male in good time for your flight, either direct or back via Sri Lanka or the Middle East as before, and arriving back in the UK late afternoon or 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.