Liveaboards in Maldives

Liveaboard Diving Holidays

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Updated June, 2024

Welcome to one of the most appealing and dreamed-of dive destinations in the whole wide world. If you’re an avid scuba diver, the Maldives and it’s 1,192 islands is paradise. While scuba diving is popular all over the Maldives, one of the best ways to discover this exciting marine life is by hopping on a liveaboard.

Diving in the Maldives by liveaboard offers the best in many must-have tropical SCUBA experiences. Deserted, white sand islands peep up out of the ocean by only two meters, stretching seamlessly into an underwater paradise of wildlife nourished by the Indian Monsoon current. The Maldives' crystal clear waters are home to mantas, whale sharks, and reef sharks, not to mention the brilliant flatworms and ghost pipefish who hide among its wrecks, coral gardens, channels, and pinnacles. Maldives liveaboards offer itineraries encompassing the world-class dive sites of North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll, Baa Atoll, Hanifaru Bay, Rasdhoo and many more, including remote atolls in the far north and south where you'd be hard-pressed to see another liveaboards.

Most Popular Maldives Liveaboards

Azalea Liveaboard

Azalea Liveaboard, Maldives

1st Time Diving in Maldives

Amba Liveaboard, Maldives

Emperor Leo, Maldives

Emperor Leo, Maldives

1st Time Diving in Maldives

Scubaspa Yang, Maldives

1st Time Diving in Maldives

Maldives Aggressor II

Scubaspa Ying, Maldives

Scubaspa Ying, Maldives

Liveaboard Diving in Maldives

If you think that scuba diving is a day trip activity - you're wrong - diving is a holiday in itself. Take your holidays to the next level - jump on a liveaboard to dive the Maldives best sites. Imagine spending a week on board a luxury vessel in search of the best and most remote, pristine and exciting dive sites in the world. This is liveaboard diving, an experience every scuba diver should try at least once in their life.

Although the Maldives is a very popular destination for honeymooners, the diving is not ideally suited to absolute beginners since many of its world class sites tend to be drift dives. However, those with a few dives under their belt, a reasonable amount of buoyancy control, and a level of comfort with current, can enjoy some of the most breathtaking sites imagin

Divers need guides to find the best in the underwater world so let us guide you to find your next diving adventure. Liveaboards in Maldives are the best way for divers to reach and explore the world’s greatest diving. Whether you’d like to spend your holiday on one of the charismatic liveaboards, hop from island to island with an adventurous Dive Safari trips or expand your skills with a dive course, we have an option for all tastes. No matter your preference – our goal is to provide world class diving and excellent service with an eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable approach. Learn more why liveaboard diving is more popular today than ever

Where to Go

The length of most Maldives liveaboard itineraries ranges from 7 to 12 nights. The best time to dive is the calm-sea season of December to May. The water temperature usually remains between 26-29 C, and visibility at a good 15-20 meters. Budgets for liveaboards range between 200 to 400 euros per. day. The most Maldives liveaboards depart from Malé, reachable by short flights from nearby Singapore, Dubai, and Colombo, as well as longer flights worldwide.

Central Atolls liveaboards - Ari, North & South Male. This region of the Maldives tends to be the most popular choice, particularly with first time visitors, and these charters minimise the inconvenience of internal travel within the country. Encounters with large marine species such as whale sharks, manta rays and hammerheads are what you can expect on these diving safaris, as well as thilas and plenty of reef fish. Occasionally Felidhoo, Vaavu and Rasdhoo atolls will feature in the tour route.

Outer Atolls liveaboards - The Northern atolls of Haa Alifu & Haa Dhaalu represent a region remote from the main tourist hub of the central atolls. Out here you are unlikely to see any other liveaboards or other groups underwater. Pioneering scuba divers can look forward to the exciting possibility of encountering large gatherings of manta rays, plenty of white and black tip reef sharks, leopard sharks and schools of barracuda. Solitude, tranquillity and superb diving conditions are chief attractions here.

Drift diving in current-swept deep water channels to see some fast paced shark and pelagic action is one the main drawcards of the Southern Atolls of Vaavu, Meemu, Laamu & Thaa. Grey reef sharks, tuna, jacks, eagle rays and Napoleon wrasse are frequently seen. And the region also includes some of the best sites for whale shark, manta ray, hammerhead and tawny nurse shark sightings.

Northern Atolls - Baa, Lhaviyani, Noonu & Raa - At the right time of year, Baa Atoll can be the best place in the Maldives for diving with manta rays. Other highlights include a dizzying volume of fish throughout the area, and an astonishing dive with squadrons of grey reef sharks at Noonu.

Good to Know

Please note that liveaboard diving trips in the Maldives are very popular and you need to plan ahead to make sure you get the cruise that you want. We recommend that you book at least 6 months in advance. The best dive safari boats become fully booked many months prior to the departure date and late availability is very rare.

  • Jump off the plane and hop on a boat for a classic Maldives dive trip in the Central Atolls.
  • Grab your bunk on an exclusive Far North Atolls liveaboard for untouched, pristine diving.
  • Drift dive the Southern Atolls in serenity and witness Maldives marine life with exceptional visibility.
  • Crack the Maldives' best-kept secret- tiger sharks and oceanic whitetips in the Deep South.

The best time to dive in the Maldives is all year. However, some people prefer to avoid monsoon season, which hits the area in April and continues to bring rain through October. Water depths include shallow reefs, deep walls, and everything in-between ensuring every diver can find their perfect dive. For the more intrepid diver, there are slow currents in many areas and extremely strong currents jetting through the atoll passes for the more experienced thrill seeker.

In the Maldives, additional liveaboards fees usually include gear rental (not covered by your trip price), which can be in the vicinity of 40 USD per person, per night. Every diver also needs to independently purchase dive insurance before getting in the water. Some other fees like extra alcoholic drinks and special gear such as torches may incur additional charges. In the Maldives, a new Green Tax of 6 USD per person, per night applies for every tourist in the country. Some islands and marine parks have national park fees that are not included in liveaboard packages, like Hanifaru Bay's park entrance fee of 20 USD per person. Nitrox is offered on virtually every Maldives liveaboard- some as a complimentary service, and some for a fee. A fuel surcharge per person, per night, may be added, depending on the route. This surcharge usually ranges from 10 to 15 USD per night.

Minimum logged dives are required by many Maldives diving liveaboards, Scubaspa Yang and Ying being the exceptions. Ocean Divine requires 20, MV Orion and Amba require 50, and Carpe Vita requires 100. Safety briefings on boats like Scubaspa Yang and Ying are conducted on day one. Check dives on Maldives liveaboards are often held in Male on the first day.

Ports of Departure and How to Get there

Male is the main liveaboard departure location in the Maldives, and the country's capital city, located on the southern edge of North Male Atoll (also called Kaafu Atoll). The main Male departure port is Hulhule, next to the Male airport. Liveaboards diving in the Central Atolls set out from here. North Male Atoll is the best known and explored dive area in the Maldives, long recognized as a world-class manta and reef shark destination with many longstanding, beloved dive sites of pinnacles, wrecks, coral gardens, and cleaning stations. Entry level divers can find offerings around Male, even though currents can be strong. Standard liveaboards departing from Male may visit North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll and Rasdhoo Atoll, and sometimes Baa Atoll as well. Other liveaboards may head south of Male Atoll to include Meemu (Malaku), Vaavu (Felidhu), and Thaa (Kolhumadulu) atolls.

Travellers bound for Male can take direct flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia are all readily available, often connecting through the airports mentioned above. Flights to the Maldives are available on multiple airlines, such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, among others. From the UK, expect at least a 13 hour trip. From Germany or Australia, the flight duration is at least 12 hours. Divers arriving from the USA can fly first to Singapore, with a flight duration of 20 hours from Los Angeles.

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