I had a lovely trip, saw lots of sharks! Food was very good too, they made us a Maldivian feast on the last night it was excellent!
NB: Seafari is a French speaking dive company, they do cater to needs of non-french speakers but for the social aspect and getting the best out of the dive briefings it's best to book with them if you speak French yourself.
I think the itinerary on the central route is extremely touristy. Especially Ari Atoll (North and South) is over-dived and the coral is in very bad shape. For S.Ari in particular there's a chance to see whale sharks, but you should be careful as there are often lots of dive boats in the water at one time just for 1 whale shark. Seafari did advise on how best to be in the water to not disturb the whale shark but other boats do not and so I think participating in 'snorkel with a whale shark' itineraries is not going to be good for their presence around the atoll in the long run.
Watch your buoyancy over the reefs, there's strong currents in the Maldives (which are a lot of fun!) but you will need to hold onto the rocks at times and so its worth making sure your fins/ knees etc don't touch the coral when you're hanging on!
Really looking forward to going back and seeing the Northern Atolls in the Maldives! :D
Claire M— verified review
almost 2 years ago
I did some of the best diving of my life on the Seafari Explorer in the Maldives. The Central & South Atolls itinerary included some incredible dive sites and we were lucky to see mantas, whale sharks and SO many other types of sharks (including ending up in the middle of a cleaning station with 30-40 of them swimming round us in a circle!)... the night dive with hundreds of nurse sharks blew my mind! Tom was an excellent guide and definitely showed us the best that the Maldives had to offer.
The boat itself was very comfortable with lots of space for relaxing between dives and food was plentiful and delicious.
An absolutely top notch dive trip, highly recommended!
Why we love it
This spacious and modern liveaboard has several 7 to 10 nights-itinerary to cover the best dive sites in Maldives. Choose between the classic yet stunning Central atolls route, the less visited North with plenty of mantas or the remote Equatorial South sometimes called "Maldivian Galapagos", you'll want to come back to do them all! Get ready to dive with dozens of nurse sharks, see some manta rays and whale sharks, and swim among plenty of tropical fish! We love the boat, the dedicated team, and overall, the excellent value of these trips.
They adhere to Longitude 181's International Charter for Responsible Diving, and reduce single-use plastic as much as possible.
Who is it for?
For divers who want to see some big pelagic and are comfortable in moderate currents. You must have logged 50 dives or have a Level 2 (Advanced Open Water or equivalent). It's possible to do the course on board - ask us.
Contact us and we'll tell you which itinerary is available on your preferred dates: North, Central or South atolls.
7 or 10 nights in a Double Cabin
2 to 3 dives a day. 16 dives on the 7 nights-itinerary and 23 dives on the 10 nights-itinerary. Possibility to do more dives with a little extra on board: €25 per dive
Full Board: three meals per day
Unlimited water, tea and coffee
Tanks and weights
Transfers from and to Male airport on first and last days
What's not included?
Maldives "Green Tax": €42 for the 7 nights-cruise and €60 for the 10 nights-cruise
Soft drinks, wine, beers and spirits
Rental equipment, dive courses. PADI Advanced Open Water course costs $305 (about ... EUR)
Any flight or any hotel before/after the liveaboard
With more than 26 atolls, the Maldives offers an incredible diversity of corals and fish, with up to 2000 species spotted so far.
In Central atolls, you'll get to dive at manta rays cleaning stations, and snorkel with whale sharks at famous South Ari Atoll.
If you choose to go to the Northern atolls, you'll dive in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with one of the largest coral reefs diversity of the Indian Ocean.
If encounters with big pelagic is your thing, then consider going on a longer trip to the Southern atolls: the little Galapagos of the Indian Ocean! Thresher sharks, tiger sharks, schools of great and scalloped hammerheads, oceanic mantas, mobula rays, whale sharks and mola-mola, you can see it all!
Season: Central atolls and Far North: year round, with the best time being from November to May. For the South, October to April is the best time to go.
Currents: can be moderate to strong in a few well-known sites
Visibility:15 to 40 m (50 to 131 ft)
Water Temperature: ranges 26° to 29°C (79° to 84°F) in North and Central atolls, and 25° to 30°C (77° to 86°F) in the South
Depth: shallow and deep dives
All over Maldives, you'll dive in a fantastic topography with plenty of swim-throughs, pinnacles, caverns, overhangs, and coral gardens.
In Central atolls, some of the famous dive sites you'll visit are Okobe Thila in North Male Atoll, Kandooma Thila in South Male Atoll, Broken Rock, Kudarah Thila and Maaya Thila in South Ari Atoll.
In Northern atolls, some of the famous dive sites you'll visit are Fotteyo Kandu in Vaavu Atoll, Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll and Kuredu Express in Lhaviyani Atoll.
In Southern atolls, you'll get to dive around renown Fuvahmulah Atoll.
Dive sites may change according to local conditions
Operation created in 2008
Number of boats: 3
PADI courses - ask us
Languages spoken: English, French, Italian, Maldivian
Private dive guide on demand, with an additional cost of $10 (about ... EUR) per dive
Equipment Recommended: a 3mm to 5mm wetsuit, depending on the time of the year
Insurance: both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend DAN Europe that has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote
Nearest Hyperbaric Chamber: at Bandos Island Resort in Kaafu Atoll, Kuramathi Island Resort in Ari Atoll or Kuredu Island Resort in Lhaviyani Atoll
Visas, flights, and more!
How to get there
Fly to Maldives capital city Male (MLE).
The liveaboard team will pick you up and drop you off at the airport. Plan to land before noon on the first day. On the last day, take a flight leaving after 11 am.
Bring some reef-safe sunscreen, a hat and a rash guard to protect from the sun, and some mosquito repellent. Bring a pair of conservative clothes covering your legs and shoulders, as you may visit a village-island.