Enjoy a dive holiday that gives you all you could wish for from the iconic sites of North Male, South Male and Ari Atoll. Awaiting you are channels, drifts and pinnacles where you have every chance of meeting mantas, whale sharks and many varieties of marine life.
- Includes & Excludes
- Diving Highlights
- Destination Information
- 7 Nights’ accommodation on Luxurious Emperor Leo
- 5 ½ Days Diving
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- All Tea, Coffee, Bottled Water & Afternoon Snacks
- 1 Glass of wine with dinner
- All Dives: 17 Dives
- Tanks & Weights
- Free Nitrox fills
- 1 BBQ night on a local island (subject to route & weather)
- All Fees & Green Tax
- Return flights & airport taxes (JNB – DOH – MAL, approx R22,000.00 pp)
- Travel & Diving insurance (Approx. R1085)
- Soft drinks & alcoholic drinks not specified
- Wi-Fi (5 GB package at approx. USD 30)
- Hire of dive equipment other than tanks & weights
- Tips/Gratitude’s (USD 150 pp – divided amongst the crew)
- Maldives Departure tax: USD 30 pp
- 13.2 L tank hire R1575 per week
- Upper Deck Twin Cabin R3800 per person sharing
- Upper Deck Suite Double R6300 per person sharing
Please note the following:
- Prices are subject to change in the event of price increases, airfares, exchange rate fluctuations and availability.
- The exact price can only be confirmed at the time of final invoicing and final payment due date. If you would like to secure your price to avoid any fluctuations we will provide you with a final invoice (calculated at the exchange rate at time) and payment will need to me made in FULL within 24 hours of receipt of the invoice.
- The tour package has been quoted on a sharing basis and an additional single supplement fee will be charged for singles.
Where is the Maldives?
Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives is an island country and archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of India and Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea. The chain of twenty six atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll, to the Addu Atoll. The capital and largest city is Male, traditionally called the ‘Kings Island’.
DEPART JOHANNESBURGCheck in at Johannesburg International airport at 17h55 for your flight to Doha departing at 20h55 (Duration: 8hr20). Dinner is served onboard.
ARRIVAL IN MALEOn arrival in Doha at 06h15, stay in transit for your flight to Male (Duration: 04h40). On arrival in Male – collect your luggage and check through customs. The transfer time to the Liveaboard will be advised based around the flight arrival times. After the arrival briefing on the Liveaboard, the afternoon is spent unpacking, preparing dive equipment, relaxing and overnight.
DAY 3 - 7
DIVINGSpend 5 and half days discovering some of the best diving in the Maldives: Rasdhoo Atoll: Hammerhead Dive, Beautiful Reef with Pelagics. North Ari Atoll: Grey Reef Sharks, Maaya Thila Night Dive, Manta Cleaning Stations. South Ari Atoll: Whale Sharks, Beautiful Pinnacles. South Male Atoll: Grey Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays, Pelagics, Beautiful Macro Wreck. Vaavu Atoll: Beautiful channels with magical soft corals and pelagic delights. Action packed night dive with Nurse Sharks and others. North Male Atoll: Beautiful Pinnacles.
MALE ISLANDAfter the morning dives the liveaboard will return to Male Island at midday where you will be able to relax, wash & dry dive gear. Overnight on the liveaboard.
DAY 9 - 10
DEPART MALECheck out after breakfast and transfer to Male airport for your 10h20 flight to Doha (Duration: 4h40). On arrival in Doha at 12h40, stay in transit for your flight to Johannesburg at 19H55 (Duration: 08h35). Arrive in Johannesburg.
EMPEROR LEO – AVAILABLE CABINS
Upper deck: 1 Double Suite Cabin, 3 Twin Cabins
Lower deck: 2 Double Cabins, 6 Twin Cabins
This stylish boat is built to a very high standard. She radiates comfort and, measuring at 35m, she can happily accommodate 24 divers in 12 en-suite cabins all with air-conditioning.
Her complementary wooden décor throughout gives a traditional modernism.
The main deck: Air-conditioned lounge, comfy sofas, TV, book, music and movie library, board games, internationally stocked bar and dining area. Outdoor Jacuzzi.
Upper deck: Outdoor seating area with deck chairs and tables.
Sun Deck: Deck chairs, sunbeds and bean bags. Perfect for enjoying those beautiful sunsets
Diving Highlights and Bucket List Dive Sites:
Madivaru (Hukrueli Faru)
Madivaru is home to a very colorful coral reef. The site is named for the abundance of manta rays seen here (Madi means manta ray in the Maldivian language Dhivehi) during the northeast monsoon season. Depths range from 25 feet to almost 100 feet, making the dive particularly interesting and varied. Manta rays are attracted to Madivaru because of the strong currents that form a whirlpool effect in the deeper parts of the site, where the manta rays can hover over the currents. The mantas are also attracted to the several cleaning stations located around Madivaru.
Maaya Thila is one of the most famous dive sites in the Maldives and is known as a great spot for both daytime and night-time scuba diving. The marine life depends largely on the currents, which vary greatly; when the currents are not strong, it is an easy dive site, suitable for less experienced divers, but when currents are strong Maaya Thila is recommended for only advanced divers and they will need to use a surface balloon. Maaya Thila is most famous for the white tip reef sharks that can nearly always be seen here, both during the day and night. A night dive at Maaya Thila also allows divers to encounter moray eels, turtles, octopus and stonefish.
Declared a “Protected Marine Area” by the Maldivian government, Kudarah Thila is a popular dive site which enjoys many incoming currents. Coral reef formations at Kudarah Thila are bright and colorful, including a variety of soft and hard corals. Thila means “Pinnacle” in Dhivehi, and at Kudarah Thila there are actually four pinnacles, which can be all visited in one dive. A swim-through at the south-east corner of the dive site makes this a particularly popular dive, as does the rich variety of marine life, which typically includes trumpet fish, snapper, gobies, dartfish, oriental sweetlips and groupers. A little further away from the reef, divers are likely to see gray reef sharks, napoleon fish and sea turtles.
Kuda Giri Wreck
This beautiful 30m long wreck lies along the side of a small pinnacle in South Male Atoll, sloping from 18m down to 33m at the stern. A great dive for macro lovers with the wreck having leaf fish, false-cheeked pipefish and other interesting little creatures to entertain. Explore the wreck and then work your way over to the shallow pinnacle that has an interesting overhang and little swim-throughs as well as a good coral garden at 5m where you can finish your safety stop.
Bodu Miyaru Kandu
‘Big Shark Channel’, is another top dive site and certainly lives up to its name. Dropping in at the south eastern corner you keep the reef on your left until you reach the drop off at the channel entrance which is approximately 30 metres deep. This site features small caves and numerous overhangs, and there is a sloping section on the left side of the channel covered in hard coral and some soft coral.
The official language is Dhivehi. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and visitors can easily make themselves understood
3 hours ahead of South Africa
The Maldives has a tropical climate with an average temperature of around 30 °C during the day throughout the year.
The sea in the Maldives is warm all year round, the water temperature ranges from 28 °C to 30 °C
Electricity supply is 220V to 240V, 50Hz AC. The standard socket is the UK-style three-pin, although there are some variations, so an international adaptor will be useful.
An Airport Development Charge of USD 25 is levied on passengers embarking on international flights in the Maldives. (This departure tax is payable in USD at the airport).
Emperor Maldives believe that tips should be on a voluntary basis depending on the quality of your service from the guides and the crew. You will find an envelope in your cabin and the general recommendation is $150 per person. Please feel free to leave what you think is acceptable and it will be equally shared between the guides and crew.
STAYING IN CONTACT
The liveaboards are equipped with Wi-Fi and internet is available when a mobile signal is present, usually only nearby or in port. This service is for limited internet browsing and to connect with communication applications. Upload/download is very limited.
Please Note: MTN roaming is not available in the Maldives.
WHAT PAYMENT METHOD IS ACCEPTED
The Maldivian currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa
Liveaboard accepts payment in USD or Euro or Credit cards Visa and MasterCard only. Credit cards are charged in USD plus a 4% surcharge. ATM’s are available. Banking Hours: Sun-Thu 07:30-14:30.
WHAT TO BRING
Proof of dive insurance and dive certification card.
Passport valid from 6 months from the time of entry
No visas are required by SA passport holders. A visitor’s permit is issued on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days.
One full empty page in your passport in which to put the Visa on Arrival sticker.
- Dress is generally casual. T-shits and cotton clothing are most suitable. In Malé, the capital island and other inhabited island it is recommended that women wear modest clothing without bearing too much.
Hat and polarised sunglasses.
- NO Alcohol will be allowed through customs on arrival in Maldives, any alcohol will be confiscated. Alcohol is available to purchase on board; a beer is around 5 USD, spirits between 6-10 USD and a bottle of wine between 30-50 USD.
- You don’t need a minimum number of dives but you should be comfortable with drift dives, as currents can be unpredictable and strong. If you are an Open Water Diver, some dives are below 18m therefore we recommend having advanced experience or taking your PADI Advanced Open Water course on board to maximise your enjoyment from the trip. Inexperienced and beginner divers may find some dives challenging and may be asked by the Cruise Director to skip dives that are not suitable for their diving experience. All diving is made from dhonis to give precise entry and exit points. This is the Best of the Maldives – and it delivers exactly that. This is where you dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a week of wonderful liveaboard diving across Male and Ari atolls.
- Wetsuit: 3mm or 5mm long or shorties are suitable for most of the dive sites.
- Certification must be presented as well as a log book and dive insurance
- Safety: Every diver needs to be equipped with a diving computer, SMB and drop line which is to be deployed at the end of each drift dive after completing the safety stop
- Alcohol Consumption: If alcohol is consumed in between dives by an individual then they will be required to refrain from diving for the remainder of the day
- Flying After Diving: A minimum surface interval of 18 hours must be allowed prior to flying or going to altitude
- Decompression Chamber: There are several chambers are available in the Maldives. The largest and longest operating chamber is on Bandos Island (15 minutes by speedboat from Male).